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Kees van der Westen Launches Luxe Single-Group Machine, the Spiritello

Kees van der Westen Spiritello espresso

The Kees van der Westen Spiritello espresso machine. All images courtesy of Kees van der Westen.

Dutch espresso machine maker Kees van der Westen recently launched pre-orders for its newest and home-friendliest espresso machine to date, the Spiritello.

Combining its house design of a manual lever group with a wealth of modern features and design touches, the Spiritello is the first Kees van der Westen machine to include an onboard reservoir, meaning no plumbed connection is required.

Smaller than its commercial counterparts in the Kees range, the Spiritello stands 555 millimeters (21.85 inches) wide. A Kees-made Idrocompresso lever group mounted to the front reaches 808 millimeters (31.81 inches) when resting in the upright position.

The positioning of the lever group — on the front of the 600-millimeter (23.62 inch) deep machine — is intended to make way for use on standard kitchen counters and in front of cabinets.

Kees van der Westen Spiritello machine

The stainless steel water reservoir has a capacity of 3.5 liters, and plumbed water and drain connections are available. Featuring commercial-grade materials, the luxe prosumer machine weighs in at nearly 100 pounds.

The Spiritello includes dual boilers, and the Idrocompresso group is fully saturated with brew-temp water. The steam wand, which boasts a tip made of PEEK plastic, is insulated within a visually customizable casing.

Features unique to the Spiritello within the Kees range include a large knob underneath the machine for adjusting pre-infusion pressure, which is applied from 1.5-4.0 bar by a rotary pump.

Kees van der Westen Spiritello knob

The Spiritello is also the first machine to offer Kees van der Westen’s in-house software and electronic hardware. This includes 2-inch-wide circular display and a push/turn knob through which users adjust temperature, activate eco-mode settings or find maintenance/usage info.

“We personally do not think an espresso machine goes together well with a phone, so there is no app,” Kees van der Westen head of marketing Yvette van der Westen recently told DCN. “In our opinion, at first sight an app may seem to make things easy, but rather often [it] causes frustrating troubles, especially in the long run. We build our machines to last a lifetime and therefore put all our efforts into intuitive and durable software and hardware on the espresso machine itself.”

Kees van der Westen Spiritello design

Spiritello development began about five years ago. Following the warm reception of the customizable Slim Jim, and later the Idrocompresso, the company decided to steer its new 1-group concept towards a lever group with flexible aesthetics.

The existing single-group design of the company’s popular Speedster model would not allow for the addition of a reservoir without an unwanted expansion of its footprint. So company founder and designer Kees van der Westen literally went to the drawing board, sketching out elements of the Speedster and the Slim Jim in a single new machine.

Kees drawing board

“‘Spiritino’ seemed an attractive combination of the name of our big machine with an Italian diminutive, and Kees always likes to honor Italian espresso heritage,” Yvette van der Westen, the daughter of the company founder, said. “Later on, we decided on ‘Spiritello,’ as this simply has a somewhat more elegant ring to it.”

Water from the Spiritello’s reservoir is preheated by heat-exchanger prior to entering the 0.8-liter coffee boiler, where a 450-watt PID-controlled heater finishes the job. Water directed to the hot water spout has its own cold-water mixing valve for sputter-free flow and user-adjusted temperature.

All water-touching surfaces, including the portafilters, are stainless steel. Each boiler can be turned on or off independently.

Kees van der Westen Spiritello 1

Pricing for the new machine will fall somewhere between the Speedster and Slim Jim Idrocompresso, according to the company, which points customers to local distributors due to variations in conversion rates, import tariffs, shipping costs and customization options.

“We don’t want to create confusion, so we steer away from mentioning list prices on the internet,” van der Westen said.

Among U.S. distributors listed on the Kees van der Westen website, Seattle-based Visions Espresso is the only one showing pricing as of this writing, with the Spiritello starting at $15,999.

Kees van der Westen Spiritello back

The Dutch company said the machines will begin shipping worldwide this fall.

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