Caffe Culture Exhibition News
On our visit to the Café Culture show at Olympia last week we saw a number of interesting and innovative products, displays and pieces of catering equipment, the best of which we would like to share with you here.
Barista quality coffee without the barista?
In terms of catering equipment, the standout for us was the TopBrewer from Scanomat: an iPhone or iPad controlled coffee maker. The only visible part of the machine is the stainless steel tap; the workings are hidden away under the counter. It is designed to be built into any tabletop or counter, but can be supplied as a mobile standalone unit if required, ideal for external use or for events and functions.
In essence it is a button to cup machine, albeit one with extremely innovative design and a barista quality coffee. The coffee settings, milk froth etc. can be adjusted in exactly the same way as a traditional espresso machine and for that reason the quality of the end product is very good. Although an element of theatre is lost the machine allows the server to be customer facing at all times without the physical barrier which a traditional machine creates when it is on the front counter. For that reason it is a great space saver.
The TopBrewer is currently being used in company offices where staff can programme their iPhone with their favourite coffee settings then use it to order their coffee, in car dealer showrooms and in hotels. It is understood that next month John Lewis will be installing them into their refurbished store in Milton Keynes. We can see a number of operators who might be interested in the machine and further details can be found on their website (http://www.scanomat.com/coffee-brewers/topbrewer).
Delicious Cakes- as good as mother makes!
There were a large number of cake and biscuit makers exhibiting at the show but we were particularly impressed by the quality of the products on The Exploding Bakery stand. Crafted in Devon and supplied frozen these will be of great interest to operators with a low level of cake sales who wish to build their trade without incurring wastage, or those whose equipment does not allow a home-baked offer. The quality of the products was superb and could easily compete with a quality homemade product. We especially liked the Passion Fruit and Coconut Cake and Belgium Almond Brownie.(www.explodingbakery.com). And anyone who knows our Director Fiona will know it takes a lot to gain her seal of approval when it comes to cake products!!
The self-levelling table
What a godsend to many operators and we found one at the show! The StableTable claims to have solved the age-old problem of stopping tables from wobbling on uneven floors (and without the aid of wads of napkins or beermats!). We saw the product demonstrated and were very impressed. Its so easy; no fiddling with adjustable feet, simply set it down and it levels itself! The company supply the self-adjusting table base in a range of sizes to attach to any table top up to 1200mm in diameter and at a range of heights. Whilst the cost may be prohibitive in some operations we expect that cafes with external seating or internal spaces with uneven, historic flooring will find this of interest. (www.stabletable.se)
Eye catching displays
The prize for the most eye catching display had to go to Jeeves and Jericho, a leaf tea company based in Oxford who describe themselves as 'The Jolly Good Tea Company'. Not only fabulous teas, but great merchandising materials. (http://www.jeevesandjericho.com/)
And more coffee machines -of the more traditional variety
Finally we wanted to share this eye-catching coffee machine we spotted as we wandered around the exhibition. It reminded us that they need not be purely functional!