Italian espresso machine and grinder company Dalla Corte is preparing a good old-fashioned United States road trip to introduce its latest machine, the Zero.
There are two variants of the Dalla Corte Zero: Classic and Barista. The Classic version offers Zero’s engaging design as well as Dalla Corte’s patented multiboiler technology applied to larger 0.75-liter independent groups, while the Zero Barista is additionally equipped with a system of advanced flow-profiling capabilities.
Each group on the Zero Barista can be set in one of two modes: Fixed Water Flow and Freestyle Water Flow. In fixed mode, the rate of water flowing through the group is adjustable in grams per second through the machine’s built-in touchscreen. That flow rate then remains constant throughout the extraction. In freestyle mode, the barista can manually adjust the flow rate on the fly during the extraction, shifting between four pre-set rates of 4, 6, 8 or 10 grams per second.
Dalla Corte Marketing Manager Giovanni Giaquinta told Daily Coffee News that the company’s design collaboration with Lukasz Bertoli and Francesco Fornasier of Italian design studio Emo Design involved balancing the brand’s profile and its consumers’ needs.
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The Zero’s rounded body echoes the shape of the main boiler inside, while its individually functional groups are accentuated by the brand’s signature grid offset from the body of the machine. The machine was also given an intentionally low profile to foster greater communication over the bar.
“An important part of Zero’s design was finding a way to encourage interaction between customers and their barista,” siad Giaquinta. “The solution was found in lowering the machine’s height as much as possible, in order to reduce physical barriers.”
Balancing tradition with advanced technology, the Zero also comes standard with 54-millimeter group heads, with 58-millimeter groups available as an option by request.
“We stand by our exclusive 54-millimeter portafilter, a non-standard measure that has always set us apart,” said Giaquinta. “The unique design of our portafilter is ideal for a cup of true Italian espresso and it has been installed on Dalla Corte’s professional espresso machines since the first Evolution in 2001. With the ever-increasing interest in specialty coffee, Dalla Corte wanted to give its customers the option to install on all DC professional coffee machines — including Zero — also the 58-millimeter portafilter, allowing baristas to use a higher amount of some particular blends, which require an overdosing to truly bring out the aromas in the cup.”
Dalla Corte initially revealed the Zero in its home city of Milan at the HOST conference in October 2019, just a few months after the Swiss food and beverage systems company Franke Group acquired a majority stake in the company. Production of the Zero and its subsequent rollout were briefly delayed by the pandemic.
The first Zero machines ultimately reached customers overseas in December of last year. To promote sales of the machine with support from its U.S. distributor, Dalla Corte will be hitting the road next month on a five-city tour that includes stops in San Antonio (June), Atlanta (July), Anaheim, (California), and Portland (Oregon). The machine will also be on display at the upcoming SCA Expo in New Orleans in October.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.