Bristol Twenty Single Origin Coffee

RANCILIO SPECIALITY RS1 NEW LAUNCH

With the introduction of the RS1 to the UK Market at the London Coffee Festival in April, this month we are going to take a closer look at what makes the Rancilio Speciality RS1 stand out from the competition.

The RS1 helps coffee professionals offer a better coffee experience by providing cutting-edge brewing technology combined with Rancilio expertise and a unique workflow design, resulting in an easy to use espresso machine with a great value.

ADVANCED TEMPERATURE PROFILING

Unmatched temperature control during the extraction allows baristas to fine tune every shot, resulting in a better cup profile.

Temperature Profiling is designed to enhance the sensory properties of any coffee, dynamically adjusting the water temperature during the 25-30 second brewing process: by increasing or decreasing this temperature by up to 5°C (9°F), specific characteristics of the espresso can be changed to achieve significant improvements in the quality of the product in the cup.

By accurately controlling the espresso extraction temperature profile, baristas are given a precise tool to unlock the flavour potential of each single origin coffee or blend. Each stainless steel group contains a micro-boiler and two heating elements, maximising accuracy and thermal stability for the water temperature and group body.

Fair Trade Vs Direct Trade Coffee

RANCILIO EXPERTISE

Fair Trade Vs Direct Trade Coffee

INNOVATIVE BREW GROUP HYDRAULICS

The RS1 features an innovative brewing group that maximizes efficiency and can introduce fresh water into the group-head micro-boiler with every shot

VARIABLE STEAM LEVER

Steam pressure delivery features a purge function and two programmable positions per side, perfect for switching between various pitcher sizes and different types of milk.

PORTAFILTER

New stainless steel, weight balanced portafilters with a soft touch, ergonomic grip. Designed to sit flat for stable and consistent tamping.

DIGITAL TOUCHSCREEN INTERFACE

Ten years of developing and designing barista interfaces. Allows quick and easy access to all programming via the digital touchscreen.

Each group is programmable via the digital touchscreen interface. Unmatched temperature control during the extraction gives each barista the ability to fine tune every shot. Steam lever power can be modified through the digital touchscreen interface. Two power levels are available, ideal for different pitcher sizes and different types of milk.

Steam lever power can be modified through the digital touchscreen interface, two power levels are available, ideal for different pitcher sizes and different types of milk.

Cup warmer temperature is directly changeable via the digital touchscreen interface with five different levels to choose from.

LOW PROFILE BODY

Compact, low profile body designed to facilitate customer interaction and service operations.

GROUPHEAD WITH DEDICATED DISPLAY

Dedicated screen for each brew group displays a digital shot clock and extraction temperature. Groupheads also feature simplified actuation and ample lighting provided by LED Lights.

TECH FRIENDLY DESIGN WITH ECO MODE

Easy access to pump adjustment and internal components, arranged to speed up maintenance operations. Insulated steam boiler with programmable water renewal and low power and eco mode.

WATER BUTTONS

Two water buttons with programmable dosage and temperatures levels.

COOL TOUCH STEAM WANDS

Cool touch steam wands ensure easy manoeuvrability when things heat up, and new proprietary steam tips allow for more even development.

BUT WHAT DOES TEMPERATURE PROFILING MEAN?

While most high-end espresso machines allow you to set a precise brewing temperature, the RS1 also allows you to change the brew temperature up or down during the shot.

A large boiler at the back of the machine feeds water to a smaller boiler tucked inside the group head. If you want the water to cool down during your brew, it mixes cold water into the hot. On the other hand, if you want the water temperature to increase during the brew there is a tiny but powerful heating element to boost the temp.

WHY WOULD WE WANT A ‘TEMPERATURE PROFILE’ ANYWAY?

Well, if thermodynamics and laws of solubility are to be believed, extraction efficiencies are highly affected by temperature. Typically, but not always, the solubility (that is, the capacity of a material to be dissolved) of a chemical is increased as temperature increases. That said, some solubilities can decrease with increasing temperature… it can be complicated.

And for coffee, a mixture of hundreds of compounds, the impact of changing temperature on the resulting brew will be even more complex. But, thankfully, there is no better way of measuring changes in temperature on taste than by actually tasting the coffee.

And that’s what we did on my recent trip to Rancilio in Milan. We tested our Colombian –  Las Acacias Estate & Formula 442 coffees, assessing flavour, sweetness & body.

CONSTANT TEMPERATURE VS. TEMPERATURE PROFILING

Our first tests focussed on the effect that a constant temperature has on flavour and preference. 

Both coffees were brewed using a recipe of 18gm in, 40 gm out in 25-28 seconds. 

For this first test, we set the RS1 to extract the coffee at constant temperatures of 85 degrees, 90 degrees and 95 degrees.

Las Acacias: With the Las Acacias we saw a big increase in acidity, smoothness and sweetness from a higher temp, but the same notes were muted in the medium and lower temperature.

Formula 442: The lower temperature decreased the quality of every aspect we tested for whilst the other two extractions remained very consistent. Maybe the old Italian lever machines were on to something.

Next up was temperature profiling. Would increasing or decreasing temperature during extraction make a difference?

To find out we set up temperature profiles for each roast profile from 85 to 95 degrees and 95 degrees down to 85. 

Across the board we scored the ascending profiles much higher. The Las Acacias especially had an incredibly balanced coffee with the increasing profile. The sweet fruit flavours were really accentuated, and there was little to no bitterness. The increasing temperature brought out some incredible flavours not present when brewed at a constant temperature which resulted in a perfectly balanced cup.

With the Formula 442 the rich red fruit flavours really stood out, again with decreased bitterness using the increasing profile, but the decreasing profile brought forward more body and mouthfeel in the cup which is more suited to this coffee.

Our experiment showed that the quality of the brew was excellent in both the ascending and descending profiles, however the most interesting component was the way that the temperature profile affected the acidity and body of the coffee.

With the ascending profile, the acidity was not only of a nicer quality it was also a higher quantity. However, with the descending profile, the coffees all had a more apparent body.

This allows us, as a roaster, to have more control over the consistency of our coffee between sites and enables us to increase body for blends while highlighting acidities in single origin espressos. In sites with multiple coffee offerings this would be invaluable.

CONCLUSION

The Rancilio Speciality RS1 crams a lot of functionality into a very tidy machine. From its stylish and sturdy design, to its customisable interface and the ability to adjust temperature with incredible precision – it’s a pretty compelling package.

Of course, a machine like this doesn’t come cheap. In the UK, the Rancilio RS1 has a list price of £13,500 for the 2 group, although we do have some introductory offers available. That puts it in the same price range as the iconic La Marzocco Linea PB, which has undeniable brand creds, but lacks some of the great features of the RS1, especially the temperature profiling. If you’re looking for precise brewing control, the San Remo Opera 2.0 also includes pressure profiling & enough digital controls to hack the Pentagon – but it costs around £5000 more than the RS1 & requires 40-amp power.

Ultimately, the RS1 is the best choice for a café focused on precise temperature control for bringing out the subtleties in a range of different coffees…as long as you’re willing to think a little differently.

Come and visit us at London Coffee Festival where we will be supporting Rancilio Speciality RS1 and check out our Colombia – Las Acacias Estate in all its glory, plus we will be offering show prices for the RS1.

Fair Trade Vs Direct Trade Coffee

Recent Tweets