Single Serve Technology Emulating the Traditional Italian Experience
Recently, TuTTO Espresso, a manufacturer of espresso brewing technology announced that Café Coffee Day, the largest coffee chain in India entered into an agreement to incorporate the TuTTO MaxEx single serve espresso brewing system into their customers’ coffee experience through a product named “Coffee Day Wakecup.” Intrigued by this, we arranged to Skype interview with Luca Majer, CEO/Managing Director of TuTTO Espresso, and discuss his product and the distinctions between it and other single serve platforms.
TuTTO Espresso is based in Origgio, Italy (near Como and Milano) and was founded in 1983. Developing new brewing methods, RFID-based vending technologies and the optimization of the drinks’ process have become TuTTOespresso’s focus. Since 2001 the company has filed for over 130 patents and believes that it is one of the most innovative companies in these fields globally. The MaxEx, and the associated technology is a major step forward in single serve espresso preparation using a capsule.
According to Majer, “the patented capsule product is unique from the Nespresso product and the Keurig. Our product was first developed in 1983 and is more like the Lavazza Espresso Point, which was originally developed by Unoper. For us, it is easy to differentiate from these other products. It is a question of hydraulics; the Keurig capsule uses low pressure as the capsule is pierced on both the top and the bottom allowing water to flow through under low pressure; the Nespresso product uses a different technology from ours as well.”
The difference is in the development of a pre-infusion of the coffee with a tamped coffee “puck” in the cartridge that duplicates the barista experience in the preparation of a high quality espresso. “With the development of technologies that are emerging on the market, many of the important elements of a fine espresso are disappearing. These products are often catering to a specific clientele that is not as aware of, or care for, the pungent, complex, and aromatic taste of a fine espresso,” says Majer. “One element that is prevalent is a faster flow rate, often as little as 10 seconds for an espresso, that goes against the standards of Professor Illy of one milliliter per second (28 ml for one ounce). Not including these important standards produces a result that is less satisfactory”.
In Mr. Majer’s personal writing, he talks about the loss of the “Espresso Italiano” experience in Europe – the emergence of consumer products in Europe that place convenience and speed over quality. “If you look closely at the development of recent products, you see that one by one, the ‘Golden Rules’ we studied as the cornerstones of espresso making are being destroyed by this ongoing process of coffee brewing innovation.”
Some capsules, with five gram of coffee loosely packed in the capsule with a flow-through rate of four milliliters per second, produces a product that is significantly different from an espresso produced using classical methods. “This leads to a slightly different drink from what you would find in some of those beautiful little roasters you find in Seattle,” continued Majer.
“That is why in our capsule, we use a more traditional approach (to preparation),” Majer continues. The TuTTO Espresso capsule develops a very high pressure head, up to 15 bars to a tamped coffee dose in the capsule. The bottom of the capsule is sealed with “petals” that “unfold” under the increased pressure delivering a properly brewed espresso to the cup.
In the future, Mr. Majer sees a global revolution in coffee unfolding because of changes in preparation and appreciation in America. New products and methods will emerge that produce coffees in a much different way. Taste profile, preparation methods, and presentations will look very different from today. Much of these changes are a result of innovations also inspired by the Pacific coast coffee community. Europe is learning from the American experience to develop a greater appreciation in consumers of the culture of coffee as a fresh and lively experience.