Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 20, 2012.

Update #40

“Incredible for a home machine - honestly amazed!” and other great soundbites from our demo with Jason Dominy


Hi Everybody,

We know what you must be thinking: another update so soon? It must be my birthday! Or at least Arbor Day or something!

Well, we have a bit of good news to share with you fine folks...

Check out more pictures in the FB and G+ albums.

This past week we took our pre-production Nocturn to Batdorf & Bronson’s Atlanta roastery for a meeting with Batdorf’s Jason Dominy and Mike Ferguson. For those of you who don’t remember, Jason is former Chair of the Barista Guild of America Executive Council, SCAA Espresso Subject Matter Expert, and current outreach maven for Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters. Early in the project, he reached out to us to see what a few engineering-minded kids thought they knew about good espresso. (It turns out he knows way more.)

We spent much of the afternoon with Jason pulling shots of B&B Guatemala Finca El Valle, and steaming milk. As always, the B&B folks were happy to drop some knowledge on us and give us their opinions.

We’re proud to say that it went swimmingly. “The Best Home Machine Under $1K,” says Jason Dominy. You, too, can quote him on that.

We were consistently getting great complexity and repeatability out of the shots, and the feedback we got was that they were better than those from a Nuovo Simonelli Oscar and even comparable to shots pulled from their PID’d La Marzocco Linea! Wowza!

Hearing such high praise from people who know their stuff and don’t dole out compliments willy-nilly was definitely exciting, encouraging, and humbling for us (and, you know, I guess you guys helped).

Some numbers from the demo:

  • Heat-up time from room temperature to 95˚C: 80 sec
  • Steam time for 8oz milk: ~40 sec
  • Heat-up time from brew temperature to steam temperature: ~40 sec
  • Cool-down time from steam temperature to brew temperature (by purging the group head): ~20 sec

The steam could still use a little refinement, but we’re close to what we expect the final performance to be. While not as powerful as commercial machines with huge boilers, the steam was outperforming common home machines, and totally sufficient to make several tasty cappuccinos.

We pulled all shots using a naked portafilter, which spritzes a bit but definitely lets you know what’s going on with your pull! During the demo Jason posted a flurry of photos and Vines (crazy kids), which we collected here. Be sure to check out the Facebook/G+ albums as well for more salacious eye-candy!

We’re putting the final touches on the app, and will update you on that in a day or two!

Until then, rejoice and be merry, for the golden hour is upon us!

With love from ZPM | Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Site | Forum


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      Creator Gleb Polyakov and Igor Zamlinsky on March 2, 2013

      @Owen UL will definitely be the largest bump - and unfortunately it's the least predictable in terms of how long it will take. We've been using UL components wherever possible (obviously the custom parts aren't UL certified, which includes the t-block and board). We do have some experienced assistance on the UL side of things, which will hopefully help expedite and reduce the chance that we'll have to make changes and go through it again. We've submitted - it's just not possible to know how far along in the process our testing is. We'll keep you updated as we get updates on progress!

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      Creator Owen Chang on February 27, 2013

      It sounds like the UL certification may be the largest bump in road ahead. How far along in the certification process are you? Have you been using UL certified components for the most part? Do you have someone (on your board perhaps) assisting you in the certification process? Is the "UL Certification Complete -- 15-Mar-13" a still a realistic date? What about April 1st?

    3. Zpm_logo-01.small

      Creator Gleb Polyakov and Igor Zamlinsky on February 27, 2013

      @Damian The steps will remain the same as the schedule published in update 36. Right now we've ordered parts for the 50 machines that will go to UL and for internal testing - so that's the step we're on. Subsequent steps depend heavily on the results from UL for these machines (which changes, if any, they require) and whether internal stress-testing reveals anything serious that needs to be reworked. If all goes well, the next step is production.
      @minikar2n Backer updates will go through the app, which we'll update you guys on in a day or two when it's up.

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      Creator minikar2n on February 27, 2013

      Congrats! Thanx for the update. Glad to hear about progress. Also, will we get a chance to update our choices (need to change my t-shirt size) before you ship stuff?

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      Creator Damian Scisci on February 27, 2013

      Awesome update, and congratulations so far on all the praise. Can you maybe let us know, in just a few words, what's left to do before you start production manufacturing? I know you ordered 50 machines for testing/UL, etc. Where are those progress-wise? Getting excited!

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