Have you ever had to train new employees how to use an espresso machine? On the flipside, do you remember the first time you ever used an espresso machine?
People may not always think about it, but making a single shot of espresso takes a lot of skill. Because of this, there can be a marked difference in drink quality depending on the experience of the barista.
If you want total consistency, you’ll need something like a superautomatic espresso machine to eliminate most areas vulnerable to human error. The La Cimbali S30 is a potential superautomatic option that’s great for businesses.
We’ve written this La Cimbali S30 review to showcase the machine to you and help you figure out if it’s best for your business. This is what we’ll cover:
- An overview of the features the machine has and how they affect you.
- How it holds up against similar superautomatic espresso machines.
- Info about La Cimbali, the manufacturer.
- The situations we feel the S30 would shine in.
- The prices for the machines discussed in this review.
Let’s take a closer look…
When you invest in something like a superautomatic espresso machine, you want the assurance of quality backing your purchase. Fortunately, the La Cimbali S30 was the winner of the Red Dot Award for Product Design in 2016. Not only does it make preparing a wide variety of drinks simple, but you can be certain it’s well-designed.
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Important Features and Why They’re Important
Superautomatic Machine Type
Let’s start with the basics: what does it mean if an espresso machine is superautomatic like the S30 is?
We believe the best way to answer that question is to compare it to the alternatives. Aside from superautomatic, automatic and semiautomatic are the two other main espresso machine types you’ll find on the market today.
A semiautomatic machine is the most difficult to operate. It requires baristas to start the brew cycle and stop it at the right time. While it does take time to master, the result is rewarding, because baristas have the most freedom to experiment with flavor on these machines.
Automatic machines take the reins when it comes to the brew cycle. You start brewing, but the machine itself will decide when to stop. You must still grind your beans and steam your milk.
Superautomatic machines take over even more of the process for you. Not only will they time the brew cycle, but they will grind your beans fresh and steam milk for you. The result is complete consistency; all baristas will be able to make similarly tasty drinks.
Read Also: La Cimbali M1 Review
There are different ways to operate superautomatics. Some have buttons that you can program and press for a more tactile sensation.
The La Cimbali S30, on the other hand, has a touchscreen display. Measuring 10.4 inches wide, the touchscreen is wide and comfortable to navigate.
This is perfect for tech-savvy businesses and beginners alike. If you know how to use a tablet, you know how to control the S30.
If there’s some aspect of the S30’s menu display that you don’t like, chances are, you can change it. The display has a fully customizable interface.
You can change the color of the built-in lighting, the background of the menu, and the way the menu is laid out. This allows you to basically create a machine that’s tailored to your business’s needs.
Further Reading: Best Touch Screen Commercial Espresso Machines
Dual Hoppers and Grinders
The main appeal to a superautomatic espresso machine is that it incorporates all steps of the process when it comes to making espresso drinks. That includes, of course, freshly grinding the beans for you.
At a minimum, your superautomatic machine must have at least one hopper and grinder. The La Cimbali S30 gives you two different hoppers and grinders.
You can take advantage of the extra coffee bean space in a couple different ways. You can use the second hopper to offer even more of a popular type of coffee, making refills few and far between. Alternatively, you can offer a second type of coffee in the other hopper, such as decaf.
Hot and Cold Milk Frothing
All espresso machines allow you to froth milk. As any barista knows, though, the water that pushes through the steam wand is hot, so the milk is heated as it foams.
But what if you’re trying to make an iced or cold drink? Hot milk foam isn’t exactly useful in that situation.
Fortunately, the S30 offers you more variety in this aspect, as well. The machine can make cold or hot milk foam, making it much easier for you to prepare cool or hot drinks for customers.
Everyone has several – if not dozens – of apps on their phones these days. One of the S30’s neatest features is that it has an app, too.
By installing La Cimbali’s Cup4You app, you can control your espresso machine from anywhere. Save popular recipes into your phone, send orders to the machine, or confirm orders.
You can get extremely creative with this. In an office setting, employees could download the app and order drinks from the machine without leaving their desks. Guests from hotels could do the same thing from the comfort of their rooms.
The sky is the limit. With the addition of the app, the S30 conveys one clear message: the future is here.
Additional Resource: Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines for Coffee Shops
As you make drinks of different sizes, you have to account for the ability of the cup to fit beneath your machine’s dispenser. On a superautomatic, the dispensers are usually adjustable, so you can typically move them higher or lower as necessary.
Another neat quality the S30 has is a self-adjusting dispenser. Based on the size of the drink you select, the machine’s dispenser will adjust itself. No need to fuss with it.
It’s a small touch. It likely won’t be a dealbreaker (or maker) for you, but it may save your employees a little bit of time.
Telescopic Hot Water Nozzle
Like the drink dispenser, the La Cimbali S30 has an adjustable hot water nozzle. By itself, the nozzle is perfect for making fresh, hot tea or an Americano.
The fact that you can adjust its height is just a bonus. This makes it far easier for you to make hot water-based drinks in a range of sizes.
Please note, however, that the hot water nozzle does not automatically adjust itself like the drink dispenser does.
Touchscreen controls are becoming increasingly common in the espresso machine industry, but nowhere will you see it used to the same degree and beauty as with a superautomatic model. We feel like the A1000 perfectly demonstrates this.
Just like the S30, it has a large touchscreen display panel. It’s a cinch to operate, thanks to the fact that its menu options are displayed with helpful, full-color illustrations.
The Franke A1000 is so simple to use, that you could even set it out for your customers as a self-service kiosk.
Here are some additional benefits offered to you by the A1000:
- A total of three grinders and hoppers.
- Pre-infusion to balance each extraction.
- Two powder containers for drinks like hot chocolate.
- Adjustable beverage spout to brew drinks of all sizes.
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For many, Nuova Simonelli is considered one of the greatest espresso machine manufacturers in the world. They’ve crafted plenty of world-class models, and now they’ve even got technologically stunning superautomatic options.
The Prontobar Touch is an upgrade to the basic Prontobar. It now has a crisp touchscreen panel that also has colorful icons for easy drink-making.
These are a few other Prontobar Touch highlights:
- Thermo-compensated group preserves the internal temperature of the machine.
- Special steel grinding burrs to ensure the grinders last for years to come.
- Automatic washing program that cleans the machine for you.
- Auto-on and off function to protect you from forgetting to turn the machine on or off.
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About the Brand
There are a handful of Italian manufacturers at the top of the food chain in the world of espresso gear. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, since the art of brewing espresso was perfected in Italy.
One of those top companies is La Cimbali. With close to a century of espresso machine knowledge, you can be sure that their machines are always as high-tech and convenient as can be.
What Customers Say
Currently, we’re still awaiting feedback from customers on the La Cimbali S30. Even if we haven’t received feedback for it specifically, though, we’re confident in its quality.
Our customers have loved the La Cimbali machines in our store. These machines are built to last.
Ideal Machine Applications
With a drink output of up to 300 drinks per day, the La Cimbali S30 is easily able to keep up with high espresso and coffee order volume. It’s a great fit for coffee chains, offices, restaurants, and even bakeries.
We think it would work particularly well in businesses that aren’t necessarily focused on coffee alone, such as a restaurant. In these types of establishments, employees don’t have all day to practice using an espresso machine, so they need something they can adapt to quickly.
Before we put a price on a machine in the Majesty Coffee store, we think about it carefully. Our machines are all priced so that they are as competitive as possible.
With that in mind, we offer the La Cimbali S30 for $23,300. We also have the Franke A1000 for $18,899 and the Nuova Simonelli Prontobar Touch for $12,600.
If you’re still unsure which superautomatic is best for your business, give us a call at 888-978-5224 and we’ll be more than happy to help you find the right one.