La Marzocco makes top quality equipment for the artisan barista. Despite the company’s history full of traditions, it is at the forefront of technological development. Spark has proudly been asked to collaborate on a revolutionary solution to improve the barista workflow.
A five-finger exercise
The handling of the portafilter, the characteristic ‘powertwist’ is a movement that causes common injuries among professional baristas. This was our starting point.
La Marzocco's question: Can you slide the portafilter into the machine instead of turning it? This sounds deceptively simple. But the straight-in concept had to provide alternative solutions to the force used to tighten the portafilter, which is crucial for sealing at the 10-bar pressure that builds up. In addition, the portafilter must remain exactly at the right temperature, while any change will disturb the heat conduction characteristics.
The Straight-in Portafilter is a clever and successful innovation realized by Spark and has been put into production in La Marzocco's revolutionary KB90 espresso machine. The portafilter can be placed quickly and securely into the machine, seals perfectly and remains at a constant, high temperature. With minimal effort, the barista slides the portafilter into the holder and pops it up. Genius detail: the machine’s water pressure is used to tighten the seal, truly empowering the barista.
In designing the user experience we made a great effort to take into account the rituals, expectations and preferences of the baristas. As if the Straight-in Portafilter has always been there.
The driving force behind this success is above all the close cooperation between La Marzocco and Spark and the mutual trust in each other's knowledge and expertise.
Spark design & innovation