September 7, 2011

Astoria Plus4You

Astoria was founded in 1969 and is the flagship brand of its parent company CMA, based in Treviso, Italy. The new Astoria Plus4You is their latest espresso machine, developed to meet the growing demands of the barista, the roaster and the environment.

Testing the Machine

Habib Maarbani
Is a co-owner of Morgan’s Kitchen in Liverpool, Sydney and has been making coffee for 6 years. He is a well respected competitor on the competition circuit, having won several latte art competitions and most recently taking honours at the Pura/Dairy Farmers Latte Art Competition in Sydney this year. 

Luciano Marcolino
A three time New Zealand Barista Champion, Luciano has represented NZ three times at the WBC, in Berne, Copenhagen and London. He works in his own café, aptly named “Luciano” in Christchurch.

The Results

Clean and classy. Looks sturdy, with solid parts that would work well in a commercial environment.

The feel of the machine’s components is important in ensuring that the barista feels comfortable and enjoys using the machine. The Astoria steam handle shape is easy to grip and quick to turn on and off, as you don’t need to pull too tight before the pressure shuts off.  The button design is practical as it protrudes enough, making it easier to turn on and off. There are a good amount of options, with the second tray and the high and low options being great, using one side for takeaways and the other side for in-house coffee espressos etc.

Smooth, even extraction results with good flavour. The ability to adjust the group head temperature is excellent, as it gives the barista an opportunity to try different temperature profiles from single origins to a blend – perfect.

Milk Texturing
Good pressure. It’s helpful to be able to adjust the pressure, and being able to customise all the features is great for a hands on barista.

Load Test
The machine pressure held up easily and consistently to shots on and off and milk on and off and could quite easily be run in a busy café. Back boiler for steam pressure and hot water gives loads of pressure – very unlikely you would run out.

General Comments

 Depth of basket unique, instant temperature feature is great, energy saving feature incredible – allows you to come in first thing in the morning and you have instant hot water (no heating period), can restrict the usage of energy over night when not in use. Great to be able to restrict one group head when times are quiet. Instant temperature change. Great stability; as the barista is always looking for stable temperature control, the three boilers (2 group) makes this easier.

Best Features
This machine is a step ahead of the conventional coffee machines on the market today. Temperature control of any and every element plus energy savings are very impressive features.

Plus4You – Energy Saver
Plus4You is the first eco-espresso machine in the Astoria Green Line range, a range of energy saving espresso machines which allows you to save up to 47.6% on your power bill, as well as reducing carbon emissions.

Most espresso machines waste enormous amounts of energy during off peak periods and when left on overnight. Plus4You only carries power when and where it is specifically required, thus saving energy. The integrated PID manages the automatic stand-by mode during off peak periods and at night, as well as the intelligent control of temperature settings. Settings can be easily programmed via the arrow keys and LCD display located on the push button panel (no need to open machine). Adjusting the settings takes only seconds.

Plus4You – Fully Satisfies the Barista and the Roaster

Plus4You grants you maximum quality in the cup and flexibility to adjust the machine according to the coffee origin/blend. Different roast profiles require specific extraction temperatures for the best results in the cup. The water reservoirs are dedicated exclusively to coffee. You can regulate the temperature of each group independently, according to the origin/blend. Temperature stability is within one degree. The steam boiler is dedicated exclusively to steam and hot water.

Plus4You intelligent system compares the extractions of every espresso. If coffee extraction is not perfect (e.g. due to incorrect grind/tamping etc.), the barista receives instant detailed information on the coffee he has just prepared.  Plus4You suggests via the LCD display the appropriate corrective actions.

Technical Characteristics

• Steam boiler and one coffee water reservoir for each group
• Electronic temperature control of the coffee water reservoir
• Electronic temp

erature control of the steam boiler
• Electronic temperature control of each group
• Display showing the pressure of volumetric pump
• Display showing the ambient humidity
• Display of water pressure in the hydraulic circuit
• Programming of the washing cycles
• Shot timer
• Auto steamer (optional)
• 2 group (20 amps), 3 group (25 amps), 4 group (32 amps).

Standard Functions and Devices

• Electronic dispensing of servings
• Automatic water refill
• Hot water mixing system
• Electronically controlled cup heater
• RS 232 serial line
• Multifunctional key for guided navigation in the display menus
• Smart card reader

Display Functions:

• Language options
• Counter of selections for each serving type
• Diagnostic messages for easier service
• Settings for manual or automatic energy savings
• Notice of required water softening
• Display of machine parameters

Price Guide
Plus4You – 2 group RRP = $11,250+GST
Plus4You – 3 group RRP = $13,750+GST
Plus4You – 4 group RRP = $16,250+GST


Roastmax Roasters
p: 0404 879 107

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