IN CONVERSATION: DANIEL CLARKE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, LA CIMBALI
Recently, we partnered with our friends La Cimbali at the European Coffee Expo supplying them with an exclusive coffee to serve at the show. We managed to grab five minutes and chat shop with Dan to find out about what’s next for La Cimbali and how baristas can come into their own.
You’ve got 50 words to describe La Cimbali, go.
La Cimbali is a family owned and managed business with a brand heritage that dates back over 100 years. There’s incredible knowledge within the team that fuels a real passion for coffee and helps shape the technology which is focused on minimising any margin for error whilst making the role of the barista hassle free.
What are you loving in the coffee industry at the moment?
There is a real buzz in the industry and I am loving the ‘can do’ attitude that we are seeing from the groups that are looking to upscale their coffee offer with speciality blends to match what’s on offer from the independents.
There are some amazing, creative barista teams brewing up excellent coffees. Whether using traditional machines or experimenting with pour overs or cold brew, some operators are going to great lengths to really enhance the whole coffee experience much to their advantage. This extends to embracing Cimbali technology as a fail-safe way to deliver the quality that is needed to remain competitive.
What’s getting on your nerves?
Maybe a couple of things…
1: Incorrectly specified equipment which just leads to disappointment. A traditional machine is never going to be the best option in a high-volume application with inexperienced staff and we urge all operators who are looking to buy to call in a machine specialist before making a commitment to avoid costly mistakes.
2: A high volume of machine breakdowns is caused by poorly maintained equipment. It’s a bit like a car. If you forget to put oil in it then at some point it will let you down. It’s just the same with a coffee machine if it’s not looked after according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
So, make sure you negotiate a service agreement on purchase and invest some time maintaining what is probably your greatest profit generator between services to avoid down time.
What’s your top five tips for baristas?
1: Invest in regular staff training so there is always a competent barista available to cover staff absences and holidays.
2: Develop and implement a programme for regular end of day cleaning and machine servicing.
3: Building a dialogue with customers is a great way to create loyalty and grow repeat business. Encourage your barista team to interact with customers and SMILE!
4: Many Cimbali machines come with Turbosteam Milk 4 which creates perfectly foamed milk every time. Investing in this technology gives the barista the confidence to experiment with latte art which is essential for milk-based coffees.
5: Take pride in delivering quality drinks, it’s the attention to detail such as making sure the milk jug is clean and that cups are warmed that makes all the difference to the finished drink.
So, what’s the next big thing for La Cimbali?
Our design team are always working on next generation machines and with every new launch there’s a whole pipeline of new technology in development. There is so much scope in terms of new materials with advanced capabilities and innovative technologies that take automation to the next level and we will have to wait and see what’s in store in terms of new product launches for 2020. For the moment, my lips are sealed.