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SCAA 2006 Charlotte Day 1 Reports
Posted: April 8, 2006
Article rating: 9.4
feedback: (8) comments | read | write

So today's the first "full swing" day of the SCAA Charlotte show. Today, the USBC is going on, as is the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the trade show floor. There'll be photos galore, little snippets of interesting news here and there, and a list of the semi finalists for the USBC posted later tonight.

Listen to the CG Podcast, win a....
Posted by Mark Prince, 5:45am Permalink to this blog entry
Click for larger image
Chris White with Prize
Chris standing next to the machine he donated to be given away on a CG podcast.

Win a very decent machine from Krups - the new XP4050. Here's how it came about.

Chris White, Director of Altura Coffee in Albany New Zealand is a judge at this year's USBC. All the judges are going to be given (very graciously) a Krups XP4050 machine as a thank you from Krups (along with all the competitors as well). First, this is very generous of Krups - and they deserve massive kudos for supporting the USBC (and the Canadian championship as well) in the big way they do.

Now Chris had a problem. He's in NZ. They don't have 110V power. So the machine wouldn't work very well for him. After a brief chat, he agreed to donate his machine to CoffeeGeek to give away to some lucky person, and it was quickly decided that it would be done on a future CoffeeGeek podcast.

Spoke to Casey Sangmeister who handles the marketing for Krups USA, and she agreed to hold onto the machine until we figure out who's going to win this. And then she will mail the machine off to the lucky winner.

This is very cool of Chris and of Krups - and some lucky person listening to a future CG podcast is going to get a very capable entry espresso machine!


Show Floor (pre opening), USBC Day Two
Posted by Mark Prince, 8:40am Permalink to this blog entry

Just a random sampling of photos from today's (still unopened) show floor. Posted here instead of flickr cuz flickr seems to be temporarily down.

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GS - Original!
Paul Pratt has his GS original on the show floor at his booth. SWEET. Totally rebuilt by him.
Looks familiar, huh. This is because the GS/3 is based on the GS's look.
Paul and Andy
Paul Pratt and Andy Schecter at Paul's booth in front of the La Marzocco.
Gimme some of that coffee!
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Pulls a mean shot...
The shot pulled is with Andy Schecter's new piston design trickery (barely seen to the right of the grinder on the left, behind the paper cups).
Rancilio has a cool booth this year, but no new goodies for consumers :(
Country Pavilions
One of my fave things at the show are the country pavilions.
Pasquini is at the show. The Livia was my first ever "serious" machine.
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I love Bodum ;)
The Full size bodum Santos electronic is at the booth... but no mini bodum santos e. Interesting....
New double walls.
The interesting shapes just keep rolling on.
Manual drip bodum!
Yes, a funky looking manual drip coffee maker from Bodum.
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Cool cups!
I'm buying a set at the show.
Krups Booth
Krups - I love these guys. Their support of the USBC means a lot. Some new products this year too.
Okay, so I took two photos. Oops.
New tiny Super Auto
A very tiny super auto from Krups. This may mean a) small grinds path from grinder (yay!) and b) small brew path for brewed espresso (yay!). If you know the size of the illy pod box, you can guess how small this krups is.
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The XP4030
Currently reviewing this machine - it's very capable for its price point, and my new "cheapest I can recommend" machine.
This is the one we're giving away on a future CG Podcast.
Love the cow themed cappa cups. Nice size too.
Insulated press
Interesting looking insulated press pot.
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The best lookin' male barista in the comp! Okay, I just say that. Ryan Dennhardt!
Barista water.
Barista setups look interesting this year.
Krazy about Krups
Posted by Mark Prince, 1:30pm Permalink to this blog entry
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New tiny SA
An efficient, tiny super automatic. Be wary, Saeco and Capresso, and others ;)
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Cool Control
The controls are very sweet.
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XP Combi
A new type of combi machine with a decent espresso side!

You may think I'm harping on Krups, and I am. But things have changed at Krups over the last year or so. The company has seen some changes up at the ownership levels, and there's a new, for lack of a better word, vision that's coming to the forefront at the company.

I had an amazing talk today with the Krups folks. I was at their booth for about 45 minutes, and in that time, got a complete walk through on the new super auto that they plan to roll out in September. And we talked about a lot more as well.

On the super auto. This one is the first "build" out of a new factory / facility for Krups in France. Why is this important? A little known detail about the super auto world is that most super autos, no matter the brand, come out of only a couple of factories. One in Switzerland, one in Italy, and I think there's a company in Germany as well. The previous Krups super autos were slight modifications on the super autos that Capresso and other companies would also sell.

Along with this came various philosophies as baggage. Let me try to explain this. This duopoly (tripoly?) of super auto companies had their thoughts and concepts on what a consumer super auto should be. And I can tell you personally that these thoughts and concepts sometimes had little to do with a superior quality shot. The companies that would buy these technologies and brand them (like Krups, Capresso, Delonghi, and others) were often handcuffed in what they could and could not get. Krups, for instance, had a fight to get the supplier of the Orchestro Dialog to include a "preinfusion on / off" mode - the supplier didn't want to give this ability. In my mind, that's a minor concession, and if that was a fight, imagine Krups asking for a shorter grind path for the machine.

With the changes at Krups came a commitment to taking more control over building and design of products. This new super auto is the first culmination of that. My discussion today had me very excited about where super autos may be going. Two key faults I find in many super autos - too long grind paths (path of the ground coffee from the grinder burrs to the interior brewing chamber), and too-long path for brewed espresso, have been completely addressed in this machine. The grind path is nearly vertical, AND, they designed an ingenious (yet super simple) way to clear all ground coffee from the machine. When the piston moves to seal the brewing chamber, it drags a simple spring along with it that "sweeps" the grind path clean.

Second, the way the interior group is designed is pretty sweet. The thermoblock sits directly under the brewing group, and provides active heat to it - kind of mimicking what a saturated grouphead does on a traditional machine. The exit path for the brewed coffee travels only about 2 inches total before it falls into a cup. Bonus points - the area where the transit tube is in the machine is actively heated by being close to the thermoblock.

Temperatures set at the factor peak out at 98C in the thermoblock (three temperature settings are available). I'm very happy with that. The grinder is first rate. The control system is amazing - a rotary dial accesses most functions, and you can change the brewing volume "on the fly".

There are things I'm concerned with, but I hope to address them to Krups and see if they'll look into modifying it. One is the dose amounts - 6 to 7.5 grams per shot. I'd like to see this number go up to 11 grams per single. Second, there's only three grind settings on the grinder fineness dial. I'd want a lot more.

As for other news from Krups - the interior components on the XP series machines that I'm pretty happy with? They've put it into the latest "combi" machine, making a combi package (espresso + drip coffee) that can rawk.

And still more Krups news. I talked to them about possibly sourcing and supplying a) unpressurized baskets for the XP series, and b) a traditional wand that the end user can swap with the froth aiding wand. In both cases, they seemed very receptive to this. I will keep the lines of communication open to see if this will become reality.

And one more tidbit. There was a possible allusion (nothing confirmed) that maybe, just maybe... a next generation Krups Moka Brew might see the light of day in N. America. Woot!

Jazzed about Krups these days. They always had cool looking products. Now it looks like the true starting out CoffeeGeek can get happy with them as well.

USBC Wannaruminate
Posted by Mark Prince, 5:00pm Permalink to this blog entry

There's a lot I want to write about the USBC, but I gotta save the content for after I'm done judging. It's (almost) all good.

Semis go tomorrow. I don't even know if I'm judging yet or not.

Sorry to hear that Murky Coffee's crew didn't advance. I was hoping to see what Katie would do in the semi finals.

The trade show floor opens!
Posted by Mark Prince, 5:45pm Permalink to this blog entry

The trade show floor is open. Hoo yah! A bunch of flickr photos for you to enjoy. Leave comments!

SCAA 2006 Day 1 CoffeeGeek's SCAA 2006 Day 1 photoset

Article rating: 9.4
Posted: April 8, 2006
feedback: (8) comments | read | write
Reports From the Road Column Archives  
Column Description
One of the more popular pieces of content on the CoffeeGeek website are the reports from major trade shows. We cover shows like no other media source does - giving first hand intimate and frank reports that give you the real scoop on what's going on, from a consumer and a coffee lover's true perspective.

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