Franke SB1200 combines creativity with coffee trends

franke sb1200

The Specialty Beverage Station (SB1200) from Franke Coffee Systems provides coffee businesses with a versatile platform to share their creativity and keep on top of the latest coffee trends.

There are dozens of ways to make a coffee, and regardless of the size or type of venue, if it sells coffee, customers expect their drink of choice to be available. Cold coffees in particular are a growing worldwide trend, especially in the United States and Asia.

With the goal of equipping its customers with a solution that can offer the widest variety of coffees possible, Franke Coffee Systems unveiled the Specialty Beverage Station (SB1200) last year at Host Milano.

“Hot coffee beverages, served with milk and foam, are standard. But cold coffee options are increasing in popularity. The SB1200 combines these options, and the true advantage to its users is the differentiation this offers in the market,” Franke’s Head Coffee Competence Inga Schäper says.

“Trends towards coffee will definitely continue to grow, as people want to explore something new. That also applies for countries which are not so familiar with coffee yet. Through cold beverages, they have another entry to this coffee world.”

From the one station, the flexible SB1200 allows a venue – including petrol stations, convenience stores, hotels, coffee shops, bakeries, and at self-service areas – to serve a variety of hot and cold coffees without needing additional add-on units. Either hot or cold coffee can also be combined with hot or cold milk and milk foam for a variety of beverage drinks.

“People want to enjoy their cappuccino, cold coffee, or whatever their creation. But the customer experience while making it is also very important, especially in the self-service environment,” Schäper says.

“This is possible through an attractive, intuitive user interface that guides the consumer through different choices to create the beverage.” 

The SB1200 is a modular system that can be customised to each operator. The station is equipped with a fully automatic coffee machine to produce traditional espresso and milk-based coffees. Franke’s patented iQFlow coffee extraction ensures uniform pressure as water passes through the coffee grounds for maximum flavour, aroma, and consistency. The machine can feature up to three bean hoppers, meaning three different choices of coffee beans.

To offer iced coffee drinks, the machine features optionally Franke’s new Iced Coffee Module, which uses an internal heat exchange system to instantly chill freshly brewed espresso. 

Iced coffee is only one way cold coffee can be prepared. Schäper says others, like cold brew, can offer a completely different flavour experience. 

“Iced coffee comes from freshly ground and brewed beans and is chilled and served immediately, sometimes over ice or in combination with cold milk. Cold brew, on the other hand, is a cold-extracted and pre-prepared coffee,” she says. 

“Cold brew makes the beverage sweeter and less bitter due to the cold extraction. Whereas the iced coffee has also lots of flavour and aroma, but due to the hot extraction process, contains more bitterness and acidity.”

An integrated media pump module in the SB1200 makes it possible to plug in ready-to-drink bag-in-box cold brew under the counter to be poured out as the customer demands. This same pump module system can be used for different milks, seasonal beverages, or other pre-made drinks popular with customers.

Thanks to patented Franke technology, cold brew beverages can be easily created without additional nitrogen equipment or a gas cylinder, both with or without foam topping and with cascading effect. 

“This creates an even smoother beverage that is high in texture, so it’s kind of creamy. It’s the right beverage for people not so used to the taste of coffee but like that creamy feel,” Schäper says.

The differences in these styles of coffee becomes particularly important when considering the tastes and preferences of the local market. Schäper says this should influence how a business markets these coffee options. 

“In some countries, people are used to more bitter tastes than acidic notes and prefer those in their coffees. For example, I know from experience the Thai and Taiwanese markets have very different perceptions of bitterness and acidity. The Thai prefer bitter notes in coffee. Whereas Taiwanese people prefer a softer touch and acidity in coffee,” she says.

“There is not just one flavour of cold coffee, and that needs to be highlighted so people can understand how to promote those beverages.”

The versatility of the SB1200 doesn’t end at the coffee itself. Thanks to the number of coffees available, combined with different options for milk and foam, additional powder like chocolate or chai, and up to six types of syrups thanks to the Flavour Station, customers can choose their beverage from a wide menu or even create their own.

“Some consumers will drink the same thing each and every day, but others like to experiment and try something new,” Schäper says. “This willingness to experiment also applies to beverage developers. Beside cold brew, the SB1200 offers the possibility to prepare all kinds of beverages. You can creatively develop something extraordinary and new. This can also be done, for example, in combination with a strong beverage brand.

“Beverage variety is part of the development of the industry, and it’s a path we and coffee places must continue to follow.”

All of the beverage’s ingredients – whether syrup, milk foam, hot water, or iced coffee – are dispensed centrally from a single spout with an automatic height adjustment. The spout requires no disassembly, making daily cleaning significantly easier.

Franke’s CleanMaster cleaning function takes care of maintaining the rest of the machine, with minimal effort on behalf of the operator. Schäper says this fully automatic cleaning process is unique in this market segment and ensures that the highest levels of hygiene can be achieved. 

Simplicity is just as important in operation as it is in cleaning, and an intuitive 12.1-inch touch display screen guides users through this process.

Payment has also been streamlined. The station offers several on-the-spot options, such as cash and tap-and-go.

And like all of Franke’s machines, the SB1200 can connect to Franke Digital Services, providing valuable insight into coffee machine operation and sales figures, as well as allowing remote management and access. Schäper says this kind of information is one of the benefits of a fully automated coffee system like Franke’s.

“Fully automatics provide the same quality and beverage consistency cup by cup. This is especially important in venues with frequent turnover and untrained staff, which can cause differences in quality. Within self-service environments they furthermore provide inspiring customer experiences and take into account COVID-19 sanitary and health concerns,” Schäper says.

In order to eliminate the need to touch the coffee machine display, Franke developed a touchless solution. By reading the QR code displayed on the coffee machine screen, with their personal mobile device, the coffee consumer is enabled to proceed with the beverage selection without touching the coffee machine.

With so much versatility and utility, Schäper is excited for the wider coffee community to embrace the SB1200.

“This setup allows for so much creativity, and I’m looking forward to seeing what people come up with,” she says.

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This article appears in the November/December 2020 edition of Global Coffee Report. Subscribe HERE.

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