Reinhard Studer associates typical espresso with Italy. He has roots there, so he and his family are regular visitors. People from the village meet up at the local bar to talk about what’s happening in their lives at home and at work, and to vent their opinions about Formula 1, of course. ‘And there’s always a cup of coffee,’ says the father-of-three. ‘Mostly espresso or ristretto. The dark roast, the correct grain size and the right extraction time give the coffee a strong finish, typically Italian,’ says the technician by training. All this aroused his professional ambition. He made it his goal to develop a system for JURA automatic machines that would coax precisely this intensive aroma out of freshly ground coffee, all at the touch of a button, of course.
Martin Wullschleger has been closely involved with coffee for almost his entire career. After his apprenticeship, he spent several years working with the best-known coffee roaster in Bern. Here, he learned a lot about the provenance and qualities of green coffee, discovered the secrets of roasting and finally surrendered his heart to the world’s favourite beverage. His profound knowledge and love of coffee combined with a natural intelligence virtually predestined him to be a Product Manager with JURA. When he joined the team seven years ago, he wanted to play a part in getting the most out fresh coffee beans. ‘With the short specialities there was still a little air in the flavour towards the top,’ admits the holder of a Certificate of Advanced Studies in The Science and Art of Coffee self-critically. He was suitably impressed by Studer’s project.
Coffee-making as an art form
As a result, the two coffee lovers carefully studied the recipes of the best baristas in the world, while the technician started looking for ways of translating the ‘language of automatic machines’. ‘The biggest challenge was imitating the emotional process of making coffee with the rational possibilities of technology,’ recalls Reinhard Studer. Martin Wullschleger adds: ‘Baristas don’t like you looking over their shoulder.’ A good example of what he means can be observed at barista championships. Participants jealously guard their personal tricks and secrets like great magicians with the mysteries of their illusions. ‘The preparation of coffee is elevated to an art form. External factors such as temperature or relative humidity can affect the final result as much as the fineness of the grains, the pressure and the water quality.’
The long journey to the final goal
Studer launched a series of intensive tests, constantly varying the parameters and verifying his measured results in coffee tastings. ‘In the end, we found the best way of guaranteeing the ideal contact time for the hot water with the freshly ground coffee. That was the moment the pulse extraction process was born,’ explains the head of the laboratory. ‘We force the water at short, precisely measured intervals through the ground coffee and, as a result, extract a maximum of aroma.’ This may sound simple and plausible enough, but it was the result of many months of painstakingly accurate work. Because, as Studer reminds us: ‘The aim is a consistent coffee result at the highest possible level.’ At the end of 2012, the new process was presented to Executive Management. They were bowled over by the flavour and decided that P.E.P.© should be integrated as a revolutionary innovation into the product platform planned for 2015. And now, it is celebrating its debut in the Z6.
In countless blind tastings, both coffee experts and coffee drinkers like us have been unanimous.Thanks to the sophisticated pulse extraction process, the Z6 produces what baristas the world over strive for: the ultimate espresso, brewed freshly from fresh beans, freshly ground, at the touch of a button!
Images: Kurt Pfister