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Thread: Fresh Meat - The Synchro

  1. #1
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    Fresh Meat - The Synchro

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Several years ago, Peter and the guys at Veneziano started working on getting their own signature HX machine made. *The project started out as modifications to a standard machine offered by the manufacturer, which took place before I started working at Veneziano. *I think that the first mention that I made of the project was here (add "L" to the url as necessary), back in the early days of my blog.

    Well, I have now left Veneziano, but its still near by and I still swing by a lot for coffee. *The last time that I did so, I saw this (apologies for the crappy photo):




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    Re: Fresh Meat - The Synchro

    Here it is from the front - my reflection is in it, but, fortunately, I was fully clothed:




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    Re: Fresh Meat - The Synchro

    The creative process for this machine involved a lot of input from a lot of different people, both Veneziano staff and people who werent part of the company.

    Personally, Im really stoked to see how well the outside of the machine turned out, having seen the design drawings nearly two years ago. *I think that our local designer did a great job of meeting the brief and, seeing as he is quite young, I hope that adding this to his portfolio will help him to further his career. *The nice thing is that the black part can be sprayed custom colours in the same way that one can with the LM FB70 and FB80.

    I only spoke to Peter very briefly about the machine this morning, so Im not up to speed on exactly what features made it and what stayed on the wish list, but it looks and sounds like Veneziano got most, if not all, of what everyone asked for.

    Im really happy to see the one thing that I really wanted on this machine - the "chronos" style volumetric keypad with built-in shot timers. *The selection process for this component and others was a bit of a PITA, involving things being couriered back and forth between Veneziano and the manufacturer and me fumbling to explain things in my best eye-talian. *I hope that this simple feature will go some ways towards eliminating the drift in shot times that you see across the day, even with the most experienced barista.




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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh Meat - The Synchro

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1224036535/0#2 date=1224037097
    The creative process for this machine involved a lot of input from a lot of different people, both Veneziano staff and people who werent part of the company.
    <snip>

    Im really happy to see the one thing that I really wanted on this machine - the "chronos" style volumetric keypad with built-in shot timers. *
    That is one fine looking piece of machinery. So
    1) Is it a one-off Veneziano custom model or will it go into production. The latter I guess as you mentioned custom colours
    2) Are they trying to lure you back? And...
    3)
    Its whats in the cup that counts.
    Have you had a try of it yet?

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    Re: Fresh Meat - The Synchro

    Ahh yes I remember seeing that now when I dropped into First Pour, half scratching my head, going what is this? Didnt thnk it ask anyone about it, just gawked.

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    Re: Fresh Meat - The Synchro

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus link=1224036535/0#3 date=1224039012
    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1224036535/0#2 date=1224037097
    The creative process for this machine involved a lot of input from a lot of different people, both Veneziano staff and people who werent part of the company.
    <snip>

    Im really happy to see the one thing that I really wanted on this machine - the "chronos" style volumetric keypad with built-in shot timers. *
    That is one fine looking piece of machinery. So
    1) Is it a one-off Veneziano custom model or will it go into production. The latter I guess as you mentioned custom colours
    2) Are they trying to lure you back? And...
    3)
    Its whats in the cup that counts.
    Have you had a try of it yet?
    (1) Its a production model. The first shipment only just arrived and there is another on the water. The single group version is still being sorted out in Italy.

    (2) I live around the corner, so I pop by all the time and use various machines that they have ;D

    (3) No; havent used it yet - it had basically only just been plugged in when I saw it (note the odd white tablecloth that it was on). Id rather not speculate on how it will perform, seeing as Im not sure what may or may not have changed from the previous machines that I got to use. Im sure that Ill get to use it in good time.

    In the meantime, Im just excited that its a reality after all that time and work and Im stoked that I got my chronos keypad (observe as ego inflates and I become more unbearable than usual ;P).

    Cheers,

    Luca

  7. #7
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh Meat - The Synchro

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1224036535/0#5 date=1224067359
    *The single group version is still being sorted out in Italy. *

    Im stoked that I got my chronos keypad (observe as ego inflates and I become more unbearable than usual ;P)
    Single group huh - commercial machine I imagine?
    Sorry I missed the significance of the volumetric keyboard - not being a barista. I take it this sint a standard feature on (m)any machines. Correct me if Im wrong but I imagine you can program shot times for various coffee types/cup sizes or just dial a shot time in seconds??? But I will take my cue from your last sentence and refrain from commenting further. Ill just say well done

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    Re: Fresh Meat - The Synchro

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus link=1224036535/0#6 date=1224068035
    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1224036535/0#5 date=1224067359
    *The single group version is still being sorted out in Italy. *

    Im stoked that I got my chronos keypad (observe as ego inflates and I become more unbearable than usual ;P)
    Single group huh - commercial machine I imagine?
    Sorry I missed the significance of the volumetric keyboard - not being a barista. I take it this sint a standard feature on (m)any machines. Correct me if Im wrong but I imagine you can program shot times for various coffee types/cup sizes or just dial a shot time in seconds??? But I will take my cue from your last sentence and refrain from commenting further. Ill just say well done
    Happy to give as much info as I can, but Im just conscious that I dont work for the company any more and do not know all about the machine, so I dont want to give out the wrong information, nor do I want to put words in their mouth. *In that respect, I guess this whole post is premature, but a guy can get excited once in a while, cant he? *In any case, Im sure that information will be forthcoming from Veneziano in good time, probably on their web site.

    In terms of the single group, think of it like the single group offerings from other commercial machines. *It wont have a tank; rotary, plumb-in only and I think that you will have to plumb it out, but Ill stand corrected on that as necessary. *Theres no reason why you couldnt use such a machine at home if you had the space and the inclination, but it would be a pretty heavy-duty home machine. *Im not quite sure exactly what the target market for single group commercial machines is, but I imagine it to be something like a milk bar, an office or a small restaurant, where there arent going to be so many orders at once that you would want to sacrifice the extra space for another group, but where you want the convenience and quietness of a machine that is plumbed in and out.

    In terms of the chronos pad, I guess that I should explain it more fully. *A standard volumetric key pad has four buttons that dispense a predetermined volume of water. *You might program the double shot button to dispense 75mL of water or so; 60mL in espresso and 15mL that will be absorbed by the puck. *The idea of the volumetric pad is that you dispense a consistent volume without having to switch off the pump, so you might put your two shots on into two glasses, start steaming the milk and let the machine stop the shots. *This makes it a bit easier to keep up with the pace in a busy cafe. *

    The problem is that a consistent volume is dispensed, regardless of grind setting. *So if the grind is too coarse, you get your 60mL of espresso in too little time (eg. 15 seconds). *If the grind is too fine, you get your 60mL in way too much time (eg. 45 seconds). *If the barista is so busy that they really need the volumetric shots, they are hardly going to use a shot timer and are probably going to focus on what they need to do to meet the orders that they have, rather than the shot times. *On the other hand, they might time by counting in their head and getting it wrong. *They might just be lazy and not time the shot at all. *Whatever the reason, it is entirely possible that shot times could begin to drift throughout the day.

    This key pad only has two volumetric buttons, rather than the standard four. *In practice, you mostly only end up using the double shot button, so having four buttons is pretty superfluous. *One would think that you would work out what volume you should be getting and stick with it; ie. a double will be X mL and a single will be Y mL. *Most cafes use the double most of the time, so, arguably, all that you really need is the double volumetric button. *If its so slow that the cafe is using the single, the barista probably has time to manually stop the shot. *A double ristretto will probably turn out at the same volume as a single espresso. *In practice, if a decent barista gets an order for an espresso or ristretto, they will probably stop the shot manually. *So two volumetric buttons is going to be more than adequate to meet your needs in practice.

    By giving up the two superfluous volumetric buttons, you get a shot timer. *The timer starts when the button is pressed to dispense water and it stops when the flow of water stops, whether that is because it reaches the pre-set volume or because the barista presses the button again to cut it short. *Its basically like having a stopwatch per group that automatically stops and starts. *As far as I know, La Marzocco were the first to come up with this idea in some production Lineas. *The electronics on the FB80 also have the chronos function. *I loved the idea, so I asked for it to be included in this machine. *As far as I know, this is the first time that this feature has been made available on a reasonably priced HX machine.

    The timer just gives you information; you can only adjust the volume dispensed. *With the timer, it becomes easier for the barista to maintain consistency of whatever mL in howevermany seconds. *That might be the standard 30 in 30 or whatever the barista thinks tastes best. If the time isnt right, the barista knows that they need to adjust their grind or dose.

    Its a really simple feature, and one that I think that more machines should have. Its not a huge deal, but its a nice extra - Im just excited because I asked for it.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  9. #9
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    Re: Fresh Meat - The Synchro

    Wow, much more detail than I expected. Thanks.
    I wouldnt be in the market for a single group commercial but I was just curious whether the new Veneziano range is targeting the commercial or consumer market. You pretty much confirmed what I suspected, heeding your caveats.

    Thanks for explaining the chronos. I wasnt sure whether the digital display was showing time or program number (or both) but you have explained it very well

    Cheers



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