Even though I didn't get a chance in my first visit to taste espresso from the La Marzocco Strada machine, I did get to taste coffee from Rancilio's new XCelcius equipped machine. This is a machine that is unique to the industry: it can not only brew espresso at a stable temperature (many machines can do that these days), but it can control the temperature up or down during the shot brew.
Rancilio set up several shots for me, all pulled on the same XCelsius enabled machine, but some at a flat temperature, some at a temperature profiled curve. The flavor differences on the temperature profiled shots were stunning and immediately noticeable, even to my relatively untrained palette.
My first tasting shot was one was pulled at a straight 201F, while the second was a 201-193F shot. The flat 201F shot was very bright, with like floral notes, and I could have probably been described as borderline sour. In contrast, the temperature profiled shot brought a completely different set of flavor notes, a thicker consistency, and absolutely no brightness. This was an eye-opener for me.
Rancilio is hoping to have pro machines with the XCelsius technology on the market by late summer, but said they had no plans for consumer-level products using the new tech right now. Their representative, Glenn Surlet mentioned to me that if XCelsius did make its way to a consumer machine it would be very expensive. He also told me that Mark Prince of CoffeeGeek had been pushing them to do a consumer version pretty hard.
What do you think? Would you like to see this technology in a super charged Rancilio Silvia? How much would you be willing to pay for a big brother (sister?) machine to the Silvia that was more closer to a commercial machine than a consumer one, with XCelsius inside?
Will Smith is one of the guys you see all the time at Tested.com. In addition to loving technology, Smith is a die hard coffee and espresso fanatic.