WBC Machine testing

Later today I get on a plane and head over to Vancouver to take part in the WBC machine testing. As anyone can probably understand I did think long and hard about getting involved, and am of course aware of the inevitable politics that surround something like this.
However the opportunity for me to learn more about espresso machines and grinders, as well as test protocols, was too good to miss. Not many people get to know what happens at these testing sessions but I hope this year I will be able to open it up a bit and share my experiences. I don’t really see myself passing judgment on machinery, more collecting data and analyzing it. Obviously there will be a lot in terms of results and statistical analysis that aren’t going to appear on here, but afterwards I hope the whole process will be clearer.

10 Comments

  1. James….will you’re traveling never end? I am, as usual, insanely Jealous.

    I look forward to your inevitable posts when you get back.

  2. hi, James. Just to tell you that I sent you two important/urgent e-mails. Thank you very much. Best regards, Giuliana (from Brazil)

  3. wow! what an opportunity. it’s more than appreciated, you sharing this info. results shall be interesting. will LM continue their roll? does Nuova Simonelli have what it takes? will Synesso contend? Oh my!

  4. That sounds terrific, please open it up and share the experience. The industry will benefit when there is a “transparent” competition and fewer nasty rumors afterwards.

  5. I’m with Andy on the ‘
    transparent’ competition. If I had £5 for every machine manufacturer who tells me that they would be interested in being WBC partner but would not be selected due to politics etc I would buy you all a beer. While I can appreciate that total openeness may be a little insensitive the WBC should publish their exact criteria for selection and then simply declare the winner. Sponsorship fees and other support come into it but should only after the manufacturers who meet the criteria are shortlisted. Maybe this is the case already – then again maybe not.

  6. I believe the WBC has released the selection criteria in the form of technical standards for espresso machines. While I know there’s a lot of Synesso fans out there, I don’t think Synesso has the financial resources to win the WBC position, nor the ability to support the competition.

    And there is, without a doubt, A LOT of politics going on behind the scene with individuals pushing their agendas and deciding who they think is or is not worthy. As a competitor and an observer, I find the level of politics akin to that of academia.

  7. James,
    One of the biggest arguments I’ve encountered in the past year concerning temperature stability in different style machines. On the one end I hear that LM has great stability, but you still have to preheat the group to get to temp and there is the issue of long term inefficiency of a two boiler system in regards to steam pressure.
    I hear that the WBC has a hard time even looking at a heat exchanger because of overheating issues thus the group needing to be bled, yet steam pressure never seems to be a big issue raised. Though I’m sure there are different assessments concerning competition readiness, it should be interesting to see what machine might be both very stable and capable of continuous drink making

  8. Hi James, I hope you have a great time over in Vancouver, remember you are representing all baristas over there. What you are about to do is directly tell the machine manufacturers what we are after in espresso equipment. Over the years the WBC has pushed these manufacturers to making machines with better temp. stability, doserless grinders etc.

    I don’t know what the next big issue will be with equipment but if anyone does you do!!!

  9. enjoy man. all the best to you, give my love to extraordinary john sanders and holly willy hansen, if this two creatures dont know whats good for wbc, than who knows!? so nuova simonelli if not this then next wbc!?! oh, this should be a surprise. sorry

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