Why the Anfim Alba is the perfect grinder for busy cafés

The Anfim Alba

Anfim Ambassador Jessica Sartiani believes the Anfim Alba is the perfect grinder for busy Australian cafés.

In Italian, the word “alba” translates to “sunrise”, which is a fitting name for a machine that helps coffee drinkers start their day in the best possible way.

For the designers and engineers at Anfim – part of the Hemro Group of coffee brands which also includes Mahlkönig, Ditting, and HeyCafé – the name Alba was the natural choice for its next grinder.

Released in November 2023, Alba is the bigger sibling to the Luna grinder, which has proved resoundingly popular since its launch in January 2023 as the first model in a new era of contemporary grinders from Anfim.

“The Alba has all the characteristics of the Luna – the traditional Italian quality expected from Anfim products along with a contemporary design – but the burrs are bigger, so it works faster and will keep up with the demand of high-volume cafés,” says Anfim Ambassador and Barista Jessica Sartiani.

“The Alba’s flat burrs, which are designed and produced in Germany, are 80 millimetres in diameter compared to Luna’s 65-millimetre burrs. This makes it a great option for cafés that are going to be using the grinder all day, from open until close.”

According to Jessica, these larger burrs also contribute to the increased speed of the grinder. The Alba can deliver a dose for a double shot of espresso in just 2.6 seconds, speeding up the workflow for baristas in busy venues. There are a number of other features designed to aid workflow too, including the portafilter holder.

“In my experience as a barista, having a portafilter holder is really important. What I love about the Alba is that you can set the size of your portafilter for the holder, which will ensure all the grinds end up in the basket, not on the counter. This will save the barista from wasting time clearing up” says Jessica.

“The grind spout is also adjustable, which again helps to keep the workspace tidy. It’s removable too, making cleaning super simple.”

Jessica highlights the stepless grind setting, which makes adjusting the grind as seamless as possible.

“Being able to change the grind quickly and easily is essential for a busy café; you want to spend time engaging with customers not fussing around with the equipment,” she says.

Anfim Ambassador Jessica Sartiani with the Anfim Alba
Image: Hemro Group

Jessica and the Anfim team recently put the Alba’s capacity to the test at Milan Design Week, where a different roaster used the grinder daily to serve coffee to the event’s hundreds of visitors.

“We did around six to eight kilograms each day, and the roasters were blown away by the quality and consistency of the coffee the Alba was producing at that volume. Despite the amount of beans going through the grinder, the motor kept the temperature consistent and therefore the flavour of the coffee remained high,” says Jessica.

Just like the Luna, the Alba has a 3.5-inch touchscreen display with an open interface for third-party content. While baristas can use the manual mode, it also has the capacity to store three programmable recipes to lock in dose settings, which again saves the user valuable time.

“My favourite thing about the touch-screen display is that you can personalise it with your own logo to integrate it with the interior of your venue,” says Jessica.

“Having three programmable recipes means users can easily switch timings for different portafilters, for example if you’re using a naked portafilter or if switching from a 17-gram basket to a 20-gram version.”

When designing both the Anfim Alba and Luna, the Hemro Group team were keen to make them simple to clean and disassemble for any maintenance.

“It’s important for baristas to have easy access to the burrs so they can be cleaned regularly. A lot of baristas aren’t used to disassembling the grinder because they think it’s too difficult,” says Jessica.

“With the Alba, it’s straightforward and regular cleaning will result in a super clean cup of coffee. Ideally, I would recommend cleaning the burrs every day, but realistically I know many baristas won’t have the time at the end of each shift, so I suggest a minimum of at least once a week – especially for high-volume coffee shops.”

Anfim Alba merch
Image: Hemro Group

Jessica and team believe cleaning is a such an essential part of the coffee preparation process that at their recent series of Café Throwdown competitions they introduced a cleaning round.

The competitions were held in Rome and Milan, and put teams of café owners and baristas in head-to-head showdowns for the chance to win a Luna grinder. The cleaning challenge was the third and final round, preceded by espresso recipe and latte art rounds.

“The idea behind the Café Throwdowns was to introduce a new competition that focused on grinding. Competitors worked in teams, which was a great way to highlight teamwork in the industry,” says Jessica.

In the first round, competitors were presented with a coffee and had 15 minutes to set up the grinder, devise a recipe, and prepare a double espresso for the judging panel of industry professionals. Next was a latte art round with a twist, in which team-based challenges included one member pouring and the other holding the cup.

“The competition had a zero-waste format, so all the coffees prepared in the latte round were used to create cocktails for the attendees once they had been judged,” says Jessica.

The final round saw competitors dissemble and clean the Luna grinder, with the fastest team earning top points.

“We purposely didn’t give the competitors the chance to practise on the grinder as we wanted to demonstrate just how easy it to clean in the café setting. It was a great display of their barista knowledge and teamwork,” says Jessica.

The winners of the two competition rounds took home a new Luna grinder. Jessica says the event was such a success that they’ll be running more in the future.

“This year was our first event and we had 14 teams enter in total. Lots of people who came to watch have already said they’ll sign up to the next one, so we expect it to be bigger and better,” she says. 

For more information, visit anfim-milano.com/en

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

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