The development of Franke’s A Line coffee machines


Franke Coffee Systems on how its A Line range of coffee machines has developed over time to ensure all customer segments are accounted for.

Automated machines are built to make lives easier, but according to David Downing, Franke Coffee Systems’ Oceania Business Development Director, the Australian café market has not moved to automation as quickly as Europe and North America.

“[Australian baristas] want their customers to walk into their café and see all the different components operating, from the grinders to the extraction to the final pour,” he says. “This usually comes down to the barista wanting more involvement, especially in latte art.”

This is why David believes Franke’s A Line of automatic coffee machines is ideal for cafés looking to make the adjustment to an easier mode of coffee making.

The range consists of seven models: A300, A400, A600, A800, A1000, S700, and SB1200. David believes the larger machines, specifically the A800, A1000, and SB1200, are best suited for cafés with a greater output.

“It’s a range that fits into most, if not all, customer segments, including cafés,” he says.

The collection was first launched in Australia in 2014, but has undergone several changes since.

“We added the SB1200, A1000, and A300 machines, while making new configurations to each of the pre-existing models,” says David.

One such change was the ability for the larger machines to produce iced coffee in line with its growing popularity.

“The machines chill an extracted espresso down to room temperature before adding cold milk and foam, all while maintaining the notes of the coffee,” David says.

This is made possible through Franke’s unique iQFlow technology, which David describes as one of the more innovative features of the range.

“If you do an extraction out of a normal coffee machine, you’re bringing the coffee into the cup while losing pressure on the extraction, which leads to a loss in the taste profile,” he says. “It’s critical that the profile remains perfect, which is why we developed this technology.”

Through iQFlow, users can personalise any number of flavour profiles, which can help a café achieve a unique sensory experience for the customer. This is accomplished through the personalised settings on each A Line machine.

“It takes the purity of the coffee to the next level,” David says.

A similar degree of care can be seen with the FoamMaster technology in each A line machine, which delivers the milk texture to match the demands of the user.

“We texture and heat the milk through a thermal block in the machine, so it can reach the exact temperature set through the settings,” David says.

The milk texture, as well as other menu changes, can be made through either the touchscreen of each machine, or through Franke’s telemetry system, Franke Digital Services.

“We developed [Franke Digital Services] ourselves, so it matches perfectly with our equipment,” says David. “It allows the user not only to obtain data on demand daily, weekly, or monthly, but it also allows for the monitoring of performance and software.”

This monitoring, according to David, can apply to any number of machines a business might have.

“It’s best if you control things on the telemetry side through a laptop,” he says. “It’s a great system, because you can make one adjustment to a recipe through your device and it can transfer to the entire fleet.”

David says the intuitive screen on each machine can give the user full customisation.

“The menu screen itself is very unique, because we can develop specific menus for each customer,” he says.

Image: Franke

The A Line comes with its own range of extensions that can further help a barista, including the Flavour Station, which dispenses a pre-set volume of flavour into a drink. Baristas simply need to connect a syrup bottle to the flavour station, adjust the settings for the right quantity, and have the machine do the rest.

Additionally, Franke provides milk cooling units as an optional service. With seven solutions to choose from, Franke gives the user the opportunity to select the type that best suits its chosen machine. This includes the UT40 CM, a cooling unit designed specifically for the SB1200.

“When we made the SB1200, we saw a need in the market for a system that could include complete milk separation,” David says.

Through the UT40 CM, users can store up to four 10-litre milk containers in the SB1200 machine. Any type of milk, including dairy, dairy alternatives, or cold brew, can be put in this system. It contains Franke’s IndividualMilk Technology, which ensures complete milk separation from storage to cup.

With optics a common concern across the Australian café scene, David says the look of the A Line machines was a big factor. Users of the range can still take control back if they desire through some adjustments to its larger machines.

“There is plenty of automation already happening in the coffee space, from grinders to milk pouring,” he says. “What we’re doing with the A Line is combining all of these into the one machine.”

“You can attach steam wands to the SB1200. With this, you have the option of bringing automation into a new environment while making it look traditional.”

David highlights one Asian café chain that has made its way into Sydney, and is in the process of installing a fleet of A800 machines across its locations, signalling a change in the perception of fully automatic machines in the café space.

David does not recommend any one machine over another, as he believes every business will have its own needs.

“When you look to invest in Franke, make sure you do your homework before contacting an authorised distributor,” he says.

Prospective buyers are encouraged to visit Franke’s showroom in Sydney, as well as its upcoming showroom in Abbotsford, Melbourne, which will open soon.

“Our doors are always open for people to bring their ideas in and see what works best,” says David.

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This article appears in the April 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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