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Reports From the Road
SCAA Houston 2011 First Two Days
Author: Jon Rosenthal
Posted: April 30, 2011
Article rating: 7.6
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
 
Discussion with Kyle Anderson, co-owner of Baratza
Posted by Jon Rosenthal, 10:15am Permalink to this blog entry

I met Kyle Anderson in the Baratza booth this morning at 0900, well before the show opened up to the public at noon.  He was one of the earliest on the floor and he greeted my warmly.  He was preparing to make some coffee with a small V60 pourover and (of course) the new Baratza Vario-E, the product I came to discuss with him.

Kyle is a friendly guy with an easy smile, but his eyes give away his intensity.  It is clear to me that his brain is always working overtime, so he is in good company sharing a booth with Bill Crossland and Vince Fedele.  His responses were genuine, and always crisp and clear.

I asked him about his experience of the show so far, having already exhibited for a full day before, and he replied that there was a "huge interest" in the new products from both shop owners and home enthusiast types so the booth was busy and crowded all day.  Both Esatto and the Vario E have been popular with booth visitors, but it seems that the Esatto has had a bit more attention... probably because it looks so different from anything we have ever seen before.

When asked if there had been any input from SCAA visitors about possible improvements for the scale or accessories he responded that there really had been no unsolicited inquiries of this type at this show so far.  He also mentioned that nobody had yet commented on the fact that the scale systems do not yet support portafilter holders.

But he did indicate that there have already been a few shop owners who expressed interest in using this scale system in their shops.  in fact, it seems that one shop in Oregon (named Noble Coffee) already uses the Virtuoso and the shop owner was a big proponent to develop the weight based grinding technology and so they are already using the product commercially.

We talked about the possibility of having a grinder that could grind using either a timer or a scale for control so that a user could choose how they wanted to run the machine, but he indicated that the current processor they were using already had all of it's functions utilized and so the entire control circuit would need to be redesigned around an upgraded brain chip to allow for that multiple capability.

Finally, I asked him if he has anything planned for new development coming up. He didn't give any direct answers, but his face did light up and he said that he had something truly revolutionary that he's starting on that he thinks will take 2 to 3 years to come to fruition.  he believes that this next development will alter some of the paradigms that grinder manufacturers hold now... so watch out!!

Click for larger image Click for larger image
At the Booth
Baratza's booth was busy the whole show. Here Kyle Anderson (with jacket) and Kyra Kennedy (hand on chin, other co-owner) are listening to some attendees.
The two grinders
The two weight-based grinders at the pourover station - the Esatto attached to a Preciso on left, and the Vario-E in the middle.
Click for larger image Click for larger image
The Two Grinders
The two new grinders: notice the Vario-E has different markings on it as compared to the standard Vario
Pourover Station
Notice the one grinder with an extended hopper design! I wonder if Baratza will be selling that as an accessory.
Click for larger image Click for larger image
Baratza's Booth
At the booth, the posters show off the great technology.
Other Baratza Grinders
Of course, Baratza has other grinders besides the Vario-E and Esatto.
Article rating: 7.6
Author: Jon Rosenthal
Posted: April 30, 2011
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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