Victoria Arduino is now well and truly a fixture of the Australian coffee industry, with an Experience Lab and Eagle One Prima coffee machine engaging more members of the community.
Brunswick has become a hub for specialty coffee, with the inner-city suburb home to many of the Melbourne’s leading roasters, finest cafés, and most dedicated coffee enthusiasts. Victoria Arduino officially joined the neighbourhood in March 2021, opening the espresso machine and grinder manufacturer’s most impressive Experience Lab to date on Breese Street.
“When people visit, the first thing that excites them is the design. It’s beautiful. They walk in and straight away, you hear ‘wow, this place is amazing’,” says Brett Dedman, Sales Manager for Victoria Arduino Australia.
“The Experience Lab is not only about showcasing Victoria Arduino and our machinery. We’re here to share our knowledge and work with the coffee community – from home users to café owners and roasters – to give people an ‘experience’ when they visit.”
Victoria Arduino’s latest equipment lines the shopfront window, providing passers-by with a glimpse of the visual style of the brand. Upon entering, a mural on the left wall feature some of the iconography of 115-year-old coffee brand. A display wall on the right acts like a timeline, displaying historic equipment alongside new mementos and machinery, showing the continued influence Victoria Arduino has over the coffee industry.
“The lab tells the story of who we are and where Victoria Arduino originated. In Australia, the Mythos One has become the industry standard grinder, but a lot of people don’t know about the company or the rich history behind it,” Brett says.
“There’s a lot of history to be told about Victoria Arduino and values it has to share with the coffee community.”
Brett says the Experience Lab has been busy, with many roasters, café owners, baristas, and home users passing through.
“Roasters pitching to cafés can use our lab as their showroom, or café owners or baristas can come and see the Eagle One for themselves. Our door is always open, you just need to let us know you’re coming by,” he says.
“The Experience Lab allows people to really touch and feel the machines, which a lot of home users really appreciate. You can always just buy a machine online, but we give them the chance to bring in their favourite coffee – or we’ve always got tasty coffee in the lab – to get a feel for the machine, drink coffee from it, and see exactly what they’re buying.”
The Eagle One Prima is Victoria Arduino’s flagship espresso machine for the domestic market. The name “prima” comes from being the Italian manufacturer’s “first step towards a new frontier” and first machine in a long time catered to coffee at home.
Released in mid-2020, the smart and versatile one-group espresso machine’s settings are programmed through the accompanying Victoria Arduino app, making it well suited to a coffee novice looking for a fantastic at-home experience.
Other users in mind include baristas stepping out with their own small business and roasters looking for a smaller machine to test for quality control in the roastery. One such example is Karon Farm Coffee in Gordon, Victoria.
“We found you could exploit its functions to the finest degree, be that temperature control, water volume, and pre infusion, for example, or just use it as a day-to-day high-end set and forget machine,” says Luke McPherson, Owner of Karon Farm Coffee.
“I personally found it very forgiving. Small errors in puck preparation didn’t seem to be as glaringly obvious as other machines I’ve used, and I loved the ability to share brew recipes for my roasts with other users.”
Luke adds the lever-activated Steam By Wire was particularly responsive and easy to use, and a quick start-up time tops off the Prima’s many features.
“We have used [the Prima] in the roastery since getting it for quality control, as well as daily duties to caffeinate me and our small team. Everyone has commented on how easy to use it was, just walk up, grind, tamp and shoot. They also commented on the unassuming beauty of it,” Luke says.
“I will be recommending the Eagle One Prima to high-end home users who really want to be able to control all variables and to our smaller-volume commercial customers who still want to serve really good coffee, as well as fellow roasters that need an espresso machine for quality control.”
In Brett’s opinion, what makes the Prima unique as a smaller, single-group, domestic coffee machine is that its performance matches that of its larger commercial Eagle One counterpart.
“Home users are looking for a café-quality machine to produce coffee at home, and the Prima is exactly that. I’ve got the Prima at home myself, and not a day goes by without making myself a fantastic coffee every morning,” Brett says.
“It’s internal components – the engine, boiler, steam pressure, and group heads – are identical to the Eagle One. You can set the two side by side, get your coffee from the same grinder, and extract the same quality in the cup.”
Victoria Arduino consulted with numerous coffee icons while developing the Eagle One machines to ensure they met even the most stringent needs of the coffee industry. These included former World Barista Champions James Hoffmann, Hidenori Izaki, and Dale Harris, and 2017 Swiss Barista Champion and Victoria Arduino Australia General Manager André Eiermann.
Alongside quality, sustainability and energy usage were front of mind when developing both the Eagle One, the Prima, and their New Engine Optimization (NEO) technology.
The NEO instant heating system only heats water that is required for coffee extraction, with thermal insulation reducing heat dispersion, meaning the machine can use a much smaller boiler and significantly less energy throughout the day.
“Ninety-seven per cent of CO2 emissions from a coffee machine come from when it’s in use on the bar. With more people buying machines for their own homes, it just makes sense to develop a machine that’s more sustainable. That’s especially true for a product like coffee, where a large portion of the community values sustainability,” Brett says.
“All people should be looking out for this planet, it’s as simple as that. When I look out my front window, I see so much construction happening, high-rise apartments and housing being built. That’s a sign we’re growing as a society, but in order to keep growing, we’re going to have to make choices that are sustainable as possible.”
That ethos carried through to the construction of the Brunswick Experience Lab.
“Our two core values with the Eagle One are performance in the cup and being as sustainable as possible. We’ve designed the Lab with those sorts of values as well,” Brett says.
“We’ve designed it as beautifully as we can while keeping it sustainable. Other than a polish, we’ve added nothing to the raw materials of the floor, brickwork, and ceiling. All our panelling uses recycled material and even our benchtops are made from reconstituted material called paperock.”
He says having an official base in Australia is going to better equip Victoria Arduino with the ability to share its message.
“Everybody is well aware that Australia and Melbourne, with Sydney closely following, is at the forefront of the coffee industry. What we do with machines and how we make coffee inspires the rest of the world to follow suit,” Brett says.
“The Experience Lab is letting us further engage with the coffee community. We’re expanding our reach and broadening our growth, connecting with more industry partners and home coffee drinkers.”
For more information, visit www.victoriaarduinoau.com.au
This article appears in the August 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.