Under the Gruppo Cimbali Spa website, it lists the La Cimbali M100 commercial espresso machine under its stable of traditional coffee machines.
However, there is nothing traditional about the way this beast of a coffee maker looks. Whether you are looking at the M100 HD or M100 GT variants, it is chock full of espresso making technology, aimed at delivering the best espresso coffee making experience there is.
With its individual group head touch screen controls, this espresso machine looks more like a spaceship, and as far as we are concerned, that’s a good thing. Ensuring that the machine performs as well as it looks, is an entire set of features such as La Cimbali’s proprietary Perfect Grinding System (PGS), HD / GT technology, remote telemetry monitoring, smart boiler, and cold touch steam wand.
The most striking thing when you initially set eyes on the La Cimbali M100 espresso machine, is the use of the coloured body panels over its stainless steel base, giving it a really modern and up to date appearance.
Since its beginnings in 1912, La Cimbali coffee machines have always been sort of muted in design, and the use of exciting and bold colorways were sparingly employed. Notably, these colorways were employed on the La Cimbali ET coffee machine from the 80s and the La Cimbali M30 espresso machine from the 90s.
It is therefore nice to see it back again on the M100. We particularly like the M100 in black, though the unit we viewed was decked out in white. The use of 3 separate display touch screens situated on each individual group head gave the indication that some sort of pressure profile control or individual group head temperature control was available. Upon further scrutiny of the machine. This turned out to be true.
As another semi-automatic coffee machine that crosses the $20,000 mark, the M100 is definitely a top of the line sort of coffee machine, and one that you might see being used in specialty coffee shops, and at barista competitions.
The individual group head temperature and pressure controls also put it in the same league as the Victoria Arduino White Eagle T3. What we can’t help but feel is that at that price point, there are probably quite a number of nicer looking, and more well marketed branded options from guys like La Marzocco, Synesso, and Slayer, to name a few.
That being said, here are some key features that can make it a joy to use, especially if customisation is what you prioritise.
HD / GT Technology
To start things off, the GT technology that can be found on the GT variant of the M100 espresso machine, enables the user to programme each group head to a different temperature setting. This allows for flexibility when you are working with more than one coffee blend or coffee varietal in your coffee shop or foodservice establishment.
The HD variant, which is a step up from the GT variant, allows for an even greater level of machine customisation and control, by also allowing you to customise pressure profiles for each button on the respective group heads.
All this allows you to have custom fit profiles for not just different types of coffee beans, but also for each different style of espresso being pulled. This would be the type of control that a skilled barista working out of a specialty coffee shop could potentially work to great effect.
However, if you are running a volume based foodservice operation with unskilled workers, you might be better off with a regular semi automatic espresso machine. Less confusing for your workers, and the coffee machine will likely cost quite a lot less to buy as well.
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Perfect Grinding System
This is a pretty cool party trick that is exclusive to La Cimbali, and basically, when you pair a La Cimbali grinder, with an M100 espresso machine via bluetooth, the grinders make automatic corrections to grind size and volume, based on what the espresso machine is experiencing.
So for some reason, if your espresso shot is pulling 2 seconds faster than normal, I’d imagine the system would allow for the grinders to automatically decrease the grind size ever so slightly to compensate for this.
Overall, this feature seems to gravitate toward mass production or high volume, where the objective would be coffee consistency, and where the baristas are probably less experienced and have not previously manually calibrated grind sizes. I would think a full fledged specialty coffee shop barista would prefer to calibrate any deviations manually.
Remote Telemetry Monitoring
Done via a Wi-Fi uplink connected directly to the La Cimbali M100 espresso machine, you can do a live monitoring of the consumption that goes through the coffee machine, as well as provide real time insights into how the coffee machine’s components are running.
The M100 can also communicate any errors or malfunctions directly to the technician. From a servicing and maintenance standpoint, this is really great, as it reduces time spent on troubleshooting. However, from a consumption observation standpoint, it seems like La Cimbali are trying a little too hard here.
While it sounds good in theory, nobody is going to try and match their point of sale figures to the number of coffees produced by the M100. So unless you are able to feed this data into an enterprise resource planning software, where the system can automatically order new coffee beans for you after hitting par stock, it seems like this function is probably only going to be used by micromanaging operators, or the hands-off cafe owner.
Another industrial coffee machine for your consideration is WMF Coffee Machine, sophisticated brewing with easier to use touch button panel.
Smart Boiler & Cool Touch Steam Wand
The worst nightmare of a barista going through high volume coffee production, is a drop in boiler pressure. This can lead to a very compromised quality of coffee, and you will need to stop and wait a couple of minutes for the boiler to get back up to temperature and the correct pressure.
With a smart boiler system on the La Cimbali M100 espresso machine, this should not happen, as the program helps to monitor boiler pressure in the coffee machine, and helps to regulate it so that the machine keeps a consistent pressure, and the barista can keep on making coffees.
La Cimbali does not actually fully explain how this smart boiler system actually controls boiler pressure, but we figure it's probably a combination of using a PID sensor that has been hooked up to specific parameters set by La Cimbali.
Pretty standard stuff, but nonetheless, very important and useful. Similarly, the cool touch steam wand is something that is pretty standard across most coffee machines, but is an important point of parity among coffee machines in the market.
We did note that the unit we viewed, utilised a rubber sleeve coat, while in some catalogue images, we seem to see a teflon coating steam wand instead, similar to what you would find on a Schaerer Barista espresso machine.
To continue browsing for more commercial espresso machines similar to La Cimbali M100, click on the link. Or, drop us a message if you have something in mind but is not sure of the brand or make, we look forward to assisting you.
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