The innovations inside De’Longhi’s new manual machine, La Specialista Maestro, help home baristas achieve perfection in just a few attempts.
From an aesthetic point of view, there’s a lot to love about De’Longhi’s newly launched La Specialista Maestro, but it’s the innovations that work within that make the machine particularly special says Cheryl Bosworth, Product Trainer at De’Longhi Australia.
“This machine has been designed to help home baristas achieve greatness – it takes away a lot of the guesswork that can go into the settings and ensures that the different aspects of making coffee are consistent,” explains Cheryl who has over 20 years’ experience in the coffee industry. “For example, the dynamic pre-infusion feature is one that takes out the speculation of how to pre-infuse, which can be very confusing for a home barista. The machine is going to do this based on the density of the coffee grind, so that it’s ready for the hot pressurised water to push through and extract every single flavour and property into the espresso that’s being made.”
The dynamic pre-infusion is just one of the key technology features that are built-in to La Specialista Maestro that Cheryl says work seamlessly to ensure the coffee-making experience for the home barista is an enjoyable as well as successful one from the beginning.
“The overwhelming feedback we’ve had from consumers so far is that they’ve been wowed by how close they’re getting to a perfect cup of coffee in the first attempt with this machine,” enthuses Cheryl. “It’s only requiring a few tweaks to achieve absolute perfection – not an endeavour that results in throwing away coffee or wasting kilos of their favourite specialty beans.”
Discarding coffee is anathema to what La Specialista Maestro is designed for – which is to honour the coffee flavour profiles as much as possible, and to make great coffee from the outset with its in-built innovations. Other key features include the sensor grinding technology, which includes two sensors to provide a consistent dose each time, the smart tamping station, and the active temperature control.
“Consistency is the key word here, from start to finish. The grinder has eight grind settings to choose from and users can refer to the coffee guide and its table settings to establish which setting to use, depending on the coffee beans and their roasting level. The sensor grinding technology will then work to deliver the correct dose each time,” Cheryl elaborates. “The smart tamping station is activated by a lever which goes up to 20 kilos of pressure, depending what you press. It then ensures a flat and even tamp each time without mess. Another important innovation is the active temperature control which has five temperature profiles to suit the beans and your personal taste. This guarantees the temperature is kept consistent throughout the brewing process.”
For milk-based espresso coffees, the home barista can choose their level of interaction with La Specialista Maestro. They can opt for the scientifically engineered LatteCrema System which has been brought over from De’Longhi’s esteemed fully-automatic range, or they can manually texture the milk with the My Latte Art steam wand.
“Another beautiful aspect of this machine is the choice you have – you can make your own latte creations with the professional steam wand, or you have the amazing LatteCrema System which ensures the perfect temperature, perfect creaminess and perfect density of froth every single time,” gushes Cheryl. “And the wonderful thing about this machine is the automatic milk recipes have been designed to specifically suit the Australian taste – they pour the coffee first, then the milk. This may seem like a simple difference, but in terms of getting the balance and flavour right with milk recipes, it has a huge impact on taste.”
Besides the technological innovations in La Specialista Maestro, Cheryl points out that the La Specialista Maestro coffee guide is an indispensable resource for home baristas. This includes a settings table that has been created in collaboration with coffee scientists from around the globe.
“This settings table is not just a guide that De’Longhi has come up with from scratch. It’s based on thousands of hours of sensorial tastings and research into bean varieties and roasting levels,” says Cheryl. “Essentially, it’s the work of a collective of world coffee experts, grounded in science and taste.”
Home baristas only need to follow three simple steps to set their machine parameters – first, check the packaging for information regarding the bean variety and species, second, identify the roasting level, and third use the settings table in the coffee guide to establish the optimal settings.
Moreover, roasters can assist consumers with the information they put on their packaging, says Cheryl.
“While minimalist packaging may look cool, it won’t help a home barista when it comes to choosing beans. My recommendation is to give them as much information as you can,” she advises. “This would include information about the bean varietal and origin, how light or dark a roast it is, what machine it is best suited to, and tasting notes.”
Cheryl also advocates the sampling of as many different beans as possible to “open the palate to new possibilities”.
“People tend to find a coffee they like and then stick to it – I suggest trying as many different roasters and coffees as you can, as you’ll discover more,” she says. “Importantly, La Specialista Maestro is about providing home baristas with more guidance so they can have fun and experiment, knowing the machine is going to work consistently in the background for them.”
For more information about the De’Longhi La Specialista Maestro, please click HERE.