When you take the best parts of the words quality and best performance and merge them together, you get Egro’s new QuBe fully automatic coffee machine for the hospitality and office coffee service sector.
Anticipation is a heightened state of emotion when awaiting the release of a new iPhone, expecting new music to drop from a favourite artist, or the unveiling of a new Netflix series.
Egro Export Sales Director Andrea Lucchini says this is the same feeling partners the world over shared while waiting for the release of Egro’s new fully automatic coffee machine.
“QuBe is something the market has been demanding. Our partners have been continuously asking when it would be in production after viewing it at Host Milano 2021. They see it as a solution to market needs, so we have made a really big effort to have it ready by June 2022, which is a short two-and-a-half-year turnaround,” Lucchini says.
“The conditions during the pandemic were extremely tough, but we wanted to keep going and keep developing this product for the Ho.Re.Ca industry, one of the most impacted sectors during the pandemic.”
The new Egro QuBe is a fully automatic coffee machine designed to offer customers the best milk and coffee experience within a compact unit. It is best suited to offices, coffee corners, and establishments that cater for an average consumption of 80 to 120 cups of coffee per day, and require a varied coffee menu.
“QuBe completes the Egro range. It’s much more compact compared to other fully automatic machines in our range, but more and more, we can see that consumers have an expectation for increasingly good quality coffee anytime, anywhere,” Lucchini says.
“QuBe is the answer to this need, allowing business operators with limited space, such as small restaurants, bakeries, pastry or ice cream shops, and convenience outlets where coffee is not the main focus, to still assure customers a high standard of coffee quality.”
Rather than promote the Egro Next top-end machine for high volume espresso and milk-based coffee consumption, Lucchini says the company decided to approach the market in a different way, and reduce the size capacity of the machine and thereby price point, without risking the quality of coffee output.
“The key was to provide a machine with flexibility. In this way, we can give the user different options according to their needs, keeping in mind that quality drives choice,” Lucchini says.
As such, QuBe is available in three versions – Pure Coffee, Quick Milk, and Pro Milk – and a total amount of seven configurations. Pure Coffee is suited to volumes of 80 cups per day, Quick Milk to 100 cups per day, and Pro Milk to 120 cups per day. With the Pro Milk version, users can select milk temperature and texture for every dose, Lucchini’s favourite feature, he says.
QuBe features up to two coffee grinders, up to two built-in powder hoppers for chocolate or powder milk, and an optional external fridge for fresh milk.
Egro QuBe’s adjustable brewing chamber from nine- to 16-gram capacity allows users to customise each coffee recipe during programming.
The seven-inch touchscreen makes it easy to select the drink to be dispensed and navigate the screens. Through the interface users can program up to 27 drinks, adjust the dosage and temperature, and set more than three water doses.
To execute the cube-looking design and its modular internal components, Egro partnered with one of its Switzerland-based labs, developing what Rancilio Group Marketing and Communication Manager Simona Sordelli describes as “Italian soul mixed with Swiss technology”.
“The biggest challenge was to adapt our renowned extraction technology from our high-end machines into a small, compact model that gives very similar results. Lower volume production and a smaller machine does not mean lower quality. Egro has been part of Rancilio Group for almost 15 years and as a company, we’ve shared the same philosophy for quality since 1927,” Sordelli says.
The machine boiler, thermoblock, water tank and waste basket all fit into the compact space, which is 58.5 centimetres tall. With carefully placed internal components and up to two built-in bean or powder hoppers, the QuBe’s compact size is ideal for fitting in most commercial kitchens or under kitchen cupboards with minimal workspace required.
Just as QuBe is a size solution, it’s also a solution for venues without an experienced barista with minimal training required.
“During COVID, for example, Egro implemented online training and scheduled webinars to keep our customers informed and connected without travelling,” says Sordelli. “We even ran digital tutorials for our technicians to better understand the machine. We will continue offering our training services online and in-person to accommodate everyone’s needs.”
During installation, customers can choose to have the machine connected directly to a mains water supply, or can simply use the optional four-litre water tank inside the machine.
The QuBe interface is designed with three different menus depending on the operational role as a manager, barista/operator or technician. In the tech menu, all the different parameters can be set. In Manager mode, users can modify menu recipes, and in barista/operator view is the list of products to be selected.
“When we develop a machine, we really think about everyone in the chain – our technicians, engineers and designers – to see how we can develop a solution that is really accessible, easy to maintain, and makes an overall improvement for our users,” Lucchini says.
The QuBe also connects to Rancilio Group’s Connect telemetry system. As a powerful IoT solution, Sordelli says the Connect system helps customers gather and easily analyse value-relevant data and key performance parameters.
“Users can track and measure consumption of the machine, its performance at various stores within a group, and be notified should an element not be working and is need of attention, further preventing lost downtime and anticipating the need of spare parts if required,” Sordelli says.
The arrangement of QuBe’s internal components, assembled in modules, is designed to speed up maintenance and cleaning operations.
The front panel of the machine allows easy access to QuBe’s internal components, including group head and circuits, for maintenance, while intuitive, easy-step instructions guide users to clean the machine properly with pre-dosed cleaning detergent for the brewing unit and 10-gram tablets for the milk system. Once the cycle is complete, all the user needs to do is empty the container of waste and refill with fresh water.
Sordelli says the QuBe is testament to Egro’s commitment to excellence. In October 2021, the company presented a new logo with a fresh, dynamic look, and is passionate about communicating its commitment to excellence with every machine it delivers.
“We’re proud of what we’ve achieved during the past two years and the QuBe is a big part of our effort in order to be close to the people who are working and using our range of machines, both domestically and professionally,” Sordelli says.
“We will never stop investing, we will never stop developing, and we will never stop talking with our customers and partners all over the world to understand what they need and how we can provide solutions.”
For more information, visit www.ranciliogroup.com/egro/qube