Counter Culture Coffee Presents: “Under (Manual) Pressure: the La Marzocco Strada EP in Chicago”

Counter Culture Coffee Chicago and La Marzocco are sponsoring a Windy City demo of the new Strada Electric Paddle (EP), the world’s first true pressure profiling espresso machine. The event is to be held tonight, Thursday, 29 September at 6PM, at the Chicago Counter Culture Coffee training center (177 North Ada, Unit 106).

The event will feature a 1-hour EP demonstration by La Marzocco and Counter Culture, followed by two hours of guided espresso “playtime.” The demonstration will focus on areas including:

– Pressure modification and extraction.
– Espresso innovations.
– Single-origin espresso techniques.

For espresso machine gear heads out there (like us), here are some pertinent features of the Strada EP:

• Individual Electronic Gear Pump System
The Strada EP is the first machine that allows for “pressure profiling” (the ability to manipulate the pressure delivered to the coffee over the course of the brew cycle). Some machines allow for staged pre-infusion, using complicated systems of pumps and valves, but the Strada instead uses a pump that allows the barista to control pressure as well as reproduce (exactly) previous extractions. This gear pump was originally used in the medical field.

• Up to 12 Programmable Pressure Profiles
All pressure profiles can be created/edited/viewed using the La Marzocco profile editor software on a computer, which can then be reproduced by just tapping the paddle on (manual control is bypassed in this mode). Also included is one manual “fly by wire” mode per group.

• Individual LCD display per group with real time digital pressure display & timer.

• Variable Solenoid Steam Valve
This is the first machine without a mechanical valve, which from a maintenance perspective means multiple years between check-ups instead of months.


(information courtesy of Counter Culture Coffee, Joshua Dugue, and Richard Futrell)