Recently, we spoke with Brydon Price from the La Marzocco Australia Sales Team about the brand's ubiquity and why LM was and still is at the forefront of coffee machine technology.
What does the LM brand mean to you?
LM represents a unique blend of Italian heritage and industry leading technology. Working with a brand responsible for shaping so much of what the specialty industry now takes for granted comes with a great level of pride. LM is constantly providing solutions which create a real difference for baristas and café owners. They have been the industry leaders throughout my coffee career.
What was your first and/or worst machine that you worked on?
I don’t really have a worst machine. Undoubtedly the equipment I worked on early in my career with traditional single boiler and heat exchangers had their limitations but at the time we didn’t really know any different. We temperature surfed super hot group heads and managed workflow around steam pressure but this was all part of the fun! Today the worst designs however, would have to be machines cramming in pointless features with cheap unreliable components as a means to represent a false ideal of specialty coffee.
What’s the coolest piece of tech at LM?
Integrated ABR scales are the coolest piece of tech across a range of our equipment. In the case of the Modbar and KB90 the scales also run with an auto drip technology which provides an even greater ability to achieve true consistency of brew recipe in every cup. ABR technology is unique to La Marzocco and so well designed that they make an incredibly difficult addition to an espresso machine rugged and reliable. An accurate flow meter is a wonderful thing but scales are so much better!
Why is the Linea so good/ubiquitous?
The Linea set a new bar in the late 80’s/early 90’s for so much of what the coffee industry now relies on. It integrated earlier innovations such as fully saturated group heads and multiple boilers with PID temperature control and consistent volumetrics. With stable accurate temperatures for both brewing and steaming, La Marzocco offered a machine that did all those tasks demanding of an emerging new world of high coffee consumption in new global markets so much better than any other equipment. This package has proved so reliable and café suitable that it remains a demanded machine at all levels of the coffee world, from commercial franchises through to new school specialty cafés and roasters.
Tell us about your first interaction with Padre or a story about Padre.
My first introduction to Padre was a visit to League of Honest Coffee. Fresh off the boat from New Zealand, League was one of those early specialty café sites that blew my mind and represented exactly why Melbourne was truly a coffee capital - queues out the door, lots of coffee toys and light roast coffees, the likes of which weren’t at that time, common at home.
Second memory of Padre was a little more personal, meeting Marinus as a fellow specialty coffee professional. Chatting with Marinus represented the openness to sharing expertise and passion for specialty that was a little more common at the time. Despite my working with Five Senses Coffee and his being Padre there was little sense of competition, but more a community riding the third wave of specialty coffee that was over taking Melbourne. This set up a pretty obvious picture of Padre as a community minded and quality focused business.
What are two things all new café owners need to know?
You may be the boss but you’ll likely be the least paid - do the most hours and carry out the tasks no else will do.
You’ll get to create a space and choose the people you want to spend your working hours with. Focus on making your café somewhere you genuinely want to be.
Who would you describe as your coffee hero?
Emma Markland Webster of Monster Trucks Coffee/New Zealand School of Coffee/AMC. Emma was an early and is a continuing mentor in my coffee career. A colleague as she became New Zealand’s first ever barista champion, her passion lead mine in the wider world of specialty coffee and was an undoubted support in my journey to become a WCE Rep and Head Judge. Emma remains a close friend and frequent source of inspiration.