De’Longhi discusses the launch of its new machine, the Eletta Explore, featuring two dedicated frothing technologies for hot and cold milk that encourages users to be creative with their drink preferences.
According to De’Longhi, recent trends in Australia’s coffee landscape indicate that iced coffees are quickly rising in popularity as a year-round favourite. Whether it’s a cold brew, iced oat latte, or Biscoff caramel swirl latte, everybody has a preference.
To cater for this market need, De’Longhi has launched the Eletta Explore, a fully automatic machine with two dedicated frothing technologies for hot and cold milk. “The Eletta Explore is a completely new innovation,” says Cheryl Giles, Product Trainer at De’Longhi Australia. “In short, it is one-touch iced and hot coffee recipes, using the LatteCrema System and our own sweetness formula to achieve the ultimate café experience at home.”
The machine officially launched at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) in September, garnering attention among industry members and baristas of all experience levels.
With the Eletta Explore, hot and iced varieties don’t have to compete for attention.
“What we’ve discovered in our research is that while the popularity of iced coffees is going up, people aren’t actually replacing their morning hot coffee with a cold one – it’s generally an add-on to their routine in the late morning or afternoon,” Giles explains.
This research also indicated that the rise of the at-home-barista during the pandemic has seen people begin to experiment more with different iced drinks, adding flavoured syrups and cream, getting creative in their own kitchen.
These two factors led De’Longhi to conceptualise a fully automatic model, catering to the hybrid tastes of hot espresso and the possibilities around iced coffee making.
The Eletta Explore grinds, doses and brews with accuracy. Once the beans are added, an integrated grinder and brew unit work together to extract the espresso in line with the pre-selected recipe from a choice of 42 customisable recipe options. It features two dedicated carafes, one each for hot and cold milk frothing.
“To switch between, you simply take one carafe out, put the other one in, and the machine will automatically sense which one you’ve chosen. It’s really smart technology, and will even tell you if you’ve placed the incorrect components in for the recipe you’ve selected,” says Giles.
The Eletta Explore is equipped with an automatic frothing jug for silky cold milk foam. This new approach to creating micro foam with cold milk builds on the success of De’Longhi’s signature LatteCrema delivery system.
“Some of our previous machines have been able to generate cold milk foam in a mixed carafe, but this is taking it to the next level with the LatteCrema Cool, which properly textures the milk to give it a full-bodied creaminess,” says Giles. “It also works just as well with plant-based milks like oat, almond and soy.”
She explains that the LatteCrema System uses a technique called the Venturi Effect, bringing in the perfect mixture of steam, milk and aeration to form many tiny microbubbles, to give a dense, velvety texture. In the Eletta Explore, De’Longhi has expanded on this technology to create the LatteCrema Cool carafe.
“Functionally, it works in a similar way, but lowers the temperature of the milk and utilises a slightly different head and stalk shape,” says Giles. “Most impressively, this entire process happens in a matter of seconds, and doesn’t require any refrigeration within the machine itself. Instead, it involves carefully engineered steps that draw out the milk’s sweetness while keeping it cool enough for iced coffee.”
She adds that the De’Longhi team have put a lot of thought into each recipe to achieve the best possible flavour. While the hot coffees are entirely adjustable to the user’s taste, the cold milk options lend themselves to a pre- established formula and single-touch efficiency.
“The sweetness formula works by brewing the coffee at 75°C, then mixing it with the ice. We’ve calculated the exact amount of ice required to bring it down to the perfect cool temperature when combined with milk and the other ingredients.”
According to Giles, while there’s always the option of making iced coffees by pouring hot espresso over ice, this can lead to the ice melting too quickly, consequently diluting the brew and forming a bitter taste.
“A good barista can still make a great iced coffee using this method, but the Eletta Explore allows at-home coffee lovers to achieve spot-on flavour every time,” she says.
The machine can easily switch between regular and on-the-go cup settings, making takeaway coffee simple as well. The To-Go function on the Eletta Explore model enables users to input their cup size and preferences, and it will automate the hot or cold recipe to suit.
“This ties in with the automation design, and our goal to make the process even easier for when you’re rushing out the door or busy doing other things. You’re not standing there going ‘oh, how do I adjust the strength to account for the amount of ice and avoid dilution?’ It just calculates that for you when you select the cup size and recipe,” Giles says.
Each of these components is centralised on a 3.5-inch (8.8 centimetre) thin film transistor (TFT) display, which presents a soft-touch menu to browse and select from. Recipes are grouped by hot, cold, To-Go and favourites, and presented in coloured icon groups.
“The thing I love about the touchscreen is how it visualises the number of choices available with this machine,” Giles says. “It remembers which drinks you love the most, and puts those to the front, so you’re not spending ages scrolling through and trying to find them each time.”
She says that the overall configuration of the Eletta Explore speaks to the user’s desire for convenient, high-quality coffee made to suit individual palates and encourage creativity. Catering to personalised routines, it allows for optimal convenience on-the-go, while also making room for experimentation.
“Design is key for us at De’Longhi, and we aim to make every one of our machines as user- friendly as possible,” Giles says. “The way this system remembers your preferences – it’s like having a personal barista in your own kitchen. There’s a generous amount of guidance as well when it comes to prompting maintenance and choosing the right settings.”
For more information, visit delonghi.com
This article was first published in the November/December 2022 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.