Nuova Simonelli releases the Appia Life XT

Nuova Simonelli’s Appia life range has existed for more than a decade. The machines have proved to be versatile and popular across many coffee markets around the world, and now, with its new Appia Life XT, the Italian-based business is offering the most advanced espresso machine in the series to date.

“Appia model machines have become popular around the world. For many people, they are the first machines they use when they enter the coffee industry – it’s like a first love,” says Marco Feliziani, Vice President and Sales Director at Simonelli Group.

“The Appia Life range is made for those who want a trustworthy and straightforward machine,  while making a great drink in total confidence. It is the perfect coffee machine for large companies, coffee shop chains, or wherever there is a need to prepare great coffee and to be cost-effective.”

Appia Life is a medium-range machine which has models designed to fit different coffee markets around the world.

“We decided to enlarge its platform in order to give a valuable coffee machine to different markets. Appia Life standard version, which includes single-group, two-to-three groups, and two-group compact, is the ideal machine for coffee shop chains in emerging markets that are looking for an easy to use, reliable, and cost-effective coffee machine,” Feliziani says.

“Our newly released Appia Life XT version is dedicated to coffee shop chains in mature markets that demand advanced functions, such us more precision and more control.”

Appia Life XT was launched globally at Host Milan in 2019. Its name, XT, acts as an abbreviation of ‘extra technology’ as the machine possesses a raft of new and improved features helping coffee shop chains with average productivity to maximise precision and to have more control of the device.

“It has been built to be energy efficient while optimising functionality, productivity, and consistency,” Feliziani says.

To achieve this consistency, Simonelli Group has implemented several advancements, including the Soft Infusion System (SIS). This hydraulic system progressively increases water pressure on the coffee cake, stabilising and smoothing it, heavily reducing the likelihood of channelling.

“It’s really helpful for baristas because if tamping isn’t perfect, the coffee isn’t evenly distributed, or the ratio is off, SIS will correct it and compensate. New baristas will definitely benefit from SIS, as will established baristas, as these things can still happen, especially during busy periods,” says Lauro Fioretti, Product Manager at Simonelli Group.

“In the Appia Life XT platform, we decided to introduce some technologies we use in the top-of-the range coffee machines such as Aurelia Wave, granting coffee shop chains with medium productivity in mature markets the ability to be more consistent.”

For milk-based beverages, Appia Life XT’s Easy Cream Technology is completely automated and designed to consistently produce creamy milk. Air is premixed with steam and injected into cold milk to create microbubbles, the amount of which is adjusted depending on what style of beverage is being created.

Easy Cream Technology controls the milk’s temperature using a PT1000 sensor, the same technology which is used in professional grade ovens.

“It’s practically automating the process with the same level of accuracy that a professional, competitive barista achieves. The customer will always get the beverage at a temperature they like. The automation doesn’t take away from the barista’s creativity though, they still get to pour the milk and can make wonderful latte art,” Fioretti says.

“An important and unique factor about Easy Cream Technology is that it doesn’t actually hold milk inside it. This provides flexibility for modern cafés who constantly change between animal milks and dairy alternatives. It also means it’s hygienic and easy to clean, saving time.”

Another new technology which increases coffee quality, while simultaneously adding to the machine’s energy efficiency, is its boiler system.

“Simonelli Group is a leader in the development of single-boiler technology. We have invested a lot of effort and research into temperature stability as it contributes to consistent coffee,” Fioretti says.

During research and development, Simonelli Group’s engineers found they could use a type of fabric called DryTech to coat the XT’s boiler. The fabric is often found in sportswear to keep athletes warm in extreme conditions and is extremely effective at trapping heat.

“We are the first to apply this sort of technology in the coffee industry. As the fabric is soft, it can be easily applied without being costly or complicated,” Fioretti says.

As heat dispersion is sharply reduced and the temperature remains stable where it is required, the XT uses less energy to repetitively raise the temperature.

“To use the analogy of a car: cars are being built light, because for every extra kilogram it weighs, it takes more energy to move without providing any extra value. We took the same approach – reaching maximum performance with the minimum amount of energy necessary,” Fioretti says.

Fioretti adds that more and more buildings are aiming to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, part of which involves having all equipment in the building to a certain standard of energy efficiency.

“The XT is dedicated to the modern coffee shop chains where reaching LEED certification is extremely important,” he says.

“Our mission and vision revolve around three pillars: sustainability, education, and innovation. We need to reduce the carbon footprint that is being into the planet.”

Innovation, one of Nuova Simonelli’s key values, is showcased through the entire Appia Life range. All the machines have inbuilt connectivity to some extent, while the XT takes it to an advanced level.

“At Simonelli Group, we believe in the democratisation of technology – so all our machines have connective capabilities. Even the base models have these features. We understand it’s very important for our customers,” Feliziani says.

Appia Life XT’s boiler system and other features can be viewed through its digital display. The functionality allows the operator to control and monitor the pressure on the boiler as well as the shot timer, a feature Fioretti says is usually only available in top-of-the-range machines.

“Controlling and monitoring the shot timer is extremely useful for baristas. If the times are out of the desired parameters, you can identify this and make the necessary adjustments,” Fioretti says.

The display can also be connected to the internet and controlled remotely. This is particularly valuable to collate data and information, which owners can use to better manage the business.

“You can monitor performance of your individual beverages and the overall coffee shop – things like café peak time and most popular drinks ordered – so owners can organise their resources based on data,” Fioretti says.

In addition to having modern technology, Appia Life XT has a contemporary design with ergonomic functionality. It has a low profile and is built to be compact, yet durable.

“Aesthetic is very important for us at Simonelli Group. The design of our machines must be clearly recognisable and unique. We studied the needs of modern coffee shops. Our architects did a great job in making it clean, simplistic, and stylish,” Fioretti says.

Looking to the future, Feliziani says with the addition of the XT into the Appia Life range, the series now has a model fit for every style of coffee shop in different markets around the world.

“Appia Life is a big platform. There are six different models with distinctive features. In emerging markets like India and across Africa, the base models are very popular, whereas in places like France, where cafés are usually restricted for space, the most successful machine is the Appia Life Compact,” he says.

“Now with the XT, customers can get a very advanced machine without having to go into the top price categories. It will be very  popular in new coffee shops and across mature coffee markets demanding more precision and control.”

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