Franke Coffee Systems discusses how it uses automation to create innovative barista tools that consistently achieve high in-cup quality and the perfect customer experience.
For Mirza Bilalic, Product Marketing Manager of Franke Coffee Systems, the term coffee competence refers to the ability to consistently create an excellent cup of coffee. Having the right machine is intrinsic yet building coffee know-how is the crucial ingredient.
To accomplish this, Franke has a Research & Development team dedicated to designing algorithms and technologies that can reproduce exact parameters for coffee flavour, profile, and aroma.
Once developed, these Franke Coffee Technologies are programmed in Franke’s fully automatic professional coffee machines to ensure the same high standard of coffee is consistently achieved.
Intelligent espresso extraction
Franke’s iQFlow is one such technology to evolve from the R&D team. The fully automatic espresso extraction technology is unique to the industry and proven to produce consistent espresso shots and flavour profiles.
In real time, iQFlow monitors and manages brewing times, correcting fluctuations by adjusting the interaction between control valve, software, and flow meter. The technology is available on Franke’s A600, A800, A1000, Specialty Beverage Station SB1200, and S700 coffee machines.
“Through the automatic adjustment of the needle valve, a consistent, high pressure is maintained across the extraction process, which guarantees that water is distributed evenly over the coffee puck, creating an even extraction,” says Bilalic.
This automatic function means each extraction is less influenced by the natural tolerances of the coffee blend on the system.
“This improves the end-cup quality because it is able to take into account process variables, or changes in pressure, recorrecting them so every cup of coffee meets the exact, pre-determined extraction time, creating that perfect cup of coffee — and moment — every single time,” says Bilalic.
One coffee blend, a variety of aroma profile variations
“Franke machines can re-create several aroma profiles from just one coffee blend, using the iQFlow process to alter the extraction time and amount of coffee added,” Bilalic says. “This is pretty amazing as other manufacturers often mix two coffee blends to create the same variety of coffee profiles that one Franke machine offers.”
With Franke coffee machines able to hold up to three coffee blends in one machine, Bilalic says the variety of specialty coffees and customisable orders are endless.
To create an iQFlow profile for a particular coffee, customers first identify the desired aroma and taste they envision for their business. Franke’s advanced development team then conducts a series of trials to determine which aroma variation will achieve this flavour profile, testing the different blends with varied extraction times.
“Once the perfect profile has been created, we simply program the configuration in combination with iQFlow, and all the customer has to do now is approach the machine, be guided by the easy-to-use, touch-screen display interface, touch the button, and re-create this particular coffee,” says Bilalic. “It’s always a fantastic feeling to experience a coffee roaster’s response when they realise how much aroma a Franke coffee machine is able to extract from just one blend, every time.”
He adds that iQFlow can increase business profit per cup through calculating the exact resources needed to consistently produce a quality cup of coffee. Costs are saved when coffee resources are optimised.
Innovative barista tools
Completing the high in-cup quality coffee profile is Franke’s advanced milk system the FoamMaster, which Bilalic says was born from the desire to replicate “café” quality coffee styles.
Available on Franke’s Specialty Beverage Station (SB1200) and across its entire A-Line, the system uses the brand’s patented Air Pulse Valve to react on different milk foam varieties, from full fat dairy to vegan.
The Air Pulse Valve tailors the milk foam to match the espresso-based beverage profile by controlling the air during the foaming process. The more the valve pulses, the more air is integrated into the milk, increasing the volume, and changing the desired foam texture.
“By learning how to control the variables of air volume independently of milk type, yet in keeping with the espresso profile, we can offer Franke customers a range of unique coffees, all perfectly extracted and foamed, which to me, reflects true coffee competence,” says Bilalic.
Automated machine care
Bilalic says creating coffee competence also relies on machine maintenance. As such, Franke’s professional coffee machines can be integrated with the fully automatic CleanMaster hygiene system that includes a cleaning cartridge designed to pre-dose detergent and hot water through the system.
“A clean machine is crucial for the best in-cup quality, because there is no build-up of oils or coffee residue to influence the taste of the end product,” Bilalic says.
He adds that Franke continually invests in automating innovative barista tools like these to better meet client demands for quality with customisation.
“Baristas need to focus on their customers. Rather than manually performing each step, our Franke Coffee Technologies provide reliable support for the barista. Consistency is ensured, tailored to the exact same brew time, and foam parameters that are met every time, thus reducing and removing external factors that impact end high in-cup quality,” says Bilalic.
Greater remote control with franke telemetry
For businesses which function as a self-service venue or have few or no staff, Franke has developed its own Digital Services telemetry system that supports them in their goals for success through consistent high level in-cup quality.
“Each Franke machine has its own dashboard, which can be accessed through the brand’s platform or phone app. [The operating staff] receives instant notifications if any resources are low, if the milk is outside the temperature range they have set, or if any internal change or ‘event’ is impacting productivity,” says Bilalic.
“These dashboard solutions are all stored in the cloud and provide businesses with assurance that the machine is delivering quality in every cup.”
Bilalic adds that Franke Digital Services enables more than just allowing businesses to stay on top of machine performance. The telemetry system also gives them control to alter the programming on any machine from any remote location.
“With our bi-directional system, business owners can run campaigns, change their menus and beverage offerings, and update their machine to the latest software, all remotely from their phones without any technical support,” says Bilalic.
“Our technicians are an essential part of how we can bring support to partners and customers,” says Bilalic. “They provide training, helping to create recipe or operator menus that support the customer’s business and staff where they need it.”
He adds that Franke Digital Services capabilities, intuitive user-friendly interface, and targeted technical support provides an easy pathway for businesses looking to introduce and manage unmanned coffee bars in a post-COVID era. Together, these services allow greater, faster control of machine function while providing engaging customer service.
“Through continuing to evolve as a business and advance our automation with innovation, we will continue to help our partners stand out from the crowd,” says Bilalic. “Even in the most competitive of environments with to-go coffee increasing in popularity, Franke partners can be sure their customers are receiving the best service and highest in-cup coffee quality possible. And we’re proud of that.”
For more information, visit coffee.franke.com.
This article was first published in the November/December 2021 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.