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The Slayer – Ferrari of Coffee Machines

By Joe Cox

The Slayer Coffee Machine

Ok, so there are a lot of coffee machines out there. And some are certainly not suited to the workplace. To a true barista a coffee machine is more like driving a car than pushing a button and he the office environment is both an alien and unsuitable environment to the gleaming chrome of the coffee machines they are used to.

These are the coffee machines usually found behind the counter of your local café instead of your office breakout area. And there is one coffee machine in this pantheon that truly stands out from the rest. This is the Slayer, a true Ferrari of the coffee machine world. With only 200 in existence they are indeed very special, and like a Ferrari are on the pricey side when compared to other models. A Slayer will set you back $18k and that’s without paying the kind of expert barista needed to operate the beast.

So how does it work and what makes it special? Well let’s take the fundamental process used by these machines to make your coffee. Hot water is forced through fine coffee grains in a filter basket at high pressure to produce your espresso complete with a beautiful head of crème. The pressures used to achieve this are between 8 to 9 bars and this takes place for around 30 seconds. The Slayer is different in that it allows this pressure to be controlled by the barista via a wooden panel. This allows low pressures to be used during the pre-brew phase before the force is upped to full pressure. The barista can then ease off the pressure so as to enrich the texture of the brew.

In laymens terms this makes for a smoother and richer coffee and a more tailored extraction of flavour from the coffee bean. David Donde, of Truth Coffee in Cape Town is one of the very few coffee shops operating a Slayer and offers us this analogy: “Just as a professional race car driver is quicker with the driver aids and stability control turned off, so too can the expert barista achieve so much more by manipulating the wooden paddles of the Slayer, adjusting the pressure profile to stay in the sweet spot of flavour extraction.”

We take our coffee and our coffee machines very seriously here at Office Beverages. I believe the range of machines we have on offer reflect the needs of any modern office. But I’ll take my hat off to a machine of this calibre, especially when in the hands of a coffee making expert. This is coffee as art and what a canvas the Slayer makes. Think we’ll stick to the Flavia for now though.

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