While many modern espresso machines record basic brew and machine health, few have the built-in internet connectivity that is required to make this data actionable in a wider cafe business context. It remains a challenge to present key data points in a structured way that achieves a long-desired goal of cafe owners and managers: understanding brew quality and consistency across cafe locations.
Austria-based coffee software experts Cropster and espresso machinery experts La Marzocco, out of Florence, Italy, recognized this shortcoming and teamed up to build a plug and play interface that automatically captures key brewing parameters from IoT ready models Linea PB, GB5, KB90, and more models to be introduced.
“La Marzocco is leading the pack with espresso machines that are shipped with smart IoT technology. Cropster has over a decade of experience integrating coffee equipment data into management software for coffee businesses. Our customers communicated the desire to leverage brew data in their business and we knew we could provide an elegant solution for them,” says Isabelle Verschraegen, product manager for Cropster Cafe.
La Marzocco’s models collect brew time, brew water volume, temperature, and, in models, the brew yield, among other data points. Via a built-in or retrofit gateway, connected Cropster Cafe accounts capture this brew data across multiple machines and locations in real-time.
By associating brew buttons to recipes, Cropster Cafe aggregates all captured data to generate reports on machine usage and brew consistency, by machine, by location, and by brew parameters. With no manual intervention, this makes it easy for cafe managers, trainers, and bar staff to act on newly revealed facts.
Until now, baristas, trainers and managers often only exchanged information about brew quality and consistency via anecdotes, personal visits, and ad hoc sampling. Clearly, a time-consuming task that produces an incomplete picture. “Understanding brew consistency across locations, teams and equipment is an enormous challenge for cafe owners as they strive to maintain a consistent customer experience while minimizing variable costs,” says Isabelle Verschraegen. “Busy baristas clearly should not focus on creating manual brew logs but on making delicious beverages and providing a great customer experience”.
Cropster Cafe’s integration to La Marzocco’s models unlocks this black box:
Cropster Cafe captures brew facts at the push of a button on a connectable La Marzocco machine. The generated reports visualize location performance, brew consistency by the parameter, production growth, and show machine usage to schedule preventive machine maintenance. Based on these insights, it is quick and easy to identify needed recipe updates, issues related to coffee freshness, machine maintenance, and opportunities for staff training. A seamless integration to Cropster’s suite for roasters even allows baristas to review roast profiles and dates to dial in and update recipes based on it, and for roasters to track a coffee’s performance once it leaves the roastery.
New GB5 X/S models and Linea PBs and KB90s manufactured at the time of this writing are natively connectable to Cropster Cafe. Older generations of the same models will require a simple, inexpensive gateway retrofit to facilitate the connection. Retrofit kits are available through La Marzocco branch offices and distributors worldwide.
Having witnessed Cropster’s success in developing coffee roasting, La Marzocco has been eager to welcome Cropster to be the first third-party service provider for their new Pro-App. “Cropster has proven their ability to innovate and add value to coffee roasters worldwide with “Cropster Roast” software. Given their track record, partnering to be the launch partner of Cropster Café for La Marzocco internet-connected machines was a simple decision,” says Scott Guglielmino Senior Product Manager of La Marzocco.
Press Release by Cropster, original found here.