Innovation in Espresso Machines: The La Marzocco KB90

Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

They may just look like gorgeous hunks of decor to the consumer, but espresso machines are the soul of any cafe. Here's the latest innovation from La Marzocco, one of the best in the business.

Ps. If you're wondering what the big deal about 'straight-in' portafilters is, just think about your barista clanging and locking in the portafilter to the grouphead by swinging it sideways when you're waiting for your morning cup. This is how it has always been done. La Marzocco's new system means the portafilter slides in from the front and no twisting into place is required. SO interested to try this, it changes something that is part of a baristas very core; their flow and rhythm behind the machine. I know for me, the locking in and pressing the go button was ever so satisfying when I was in the groove of a busy morning. The automatic steam wand sounds simply dreamy though.

La Marzocco, world leader in espresso machine innovation since 1927, introduced the KB90. This revolutionary machine named after the former La Marzocco International CEO and now Chairman of the Board, Kent Bakke, is designed for the barista, providing a faster work-flow, easier cleaning and advanced ergonomics. KB90, designed to represent the curves in the shield of the La Marzocco Lion, is the ultimate evolution of the Linea PB. The KB90 has the same interface as the Linea PB which provides familiarity to baristas and will greatly improve work flow and provide upgraded technology around cleaning systems.

The KB90 has two stand out features: the Straight-in-Portafilter and the Steam Flush system. Both new features help the busy barista with speed of execution and ergonomics. In considering the needs of high volume cafes and their baristas, La Marzocco redesigned the portafilter system to reduce wrist strain of the user.  The innovative portafilter insert system eliminates the bayonet-ring twist, greatly improving ergonomics and reduces the risk of wrist injury. By simplifying the fine motions of the barista, the KB90 is able to shave seconds off of the time required to make each drink.

The machine’s Steam Flush system automatically purges the group with water and steam, removing the need for the barista to push another button and increasing the cleanliness of the group over the course of service. It removes coffee residue much more effectively for better tasting espresso. KB90 also comes with Drip Prediction technology, 3-Button User Interface, and Auto-Volumetrics. It features intuitive and reliable electronics developed to provide intuitive feedback over machine parameters. The KB90 is equipped with the trusted and tested components of the Linea PB, making it easier for technicians to perform service without requiring new parts inventory.

“It’s always been a part of La Marzocco’s DNA to focus on the job of the barista. Twenty years ago, we started thinking that espresso machines should be operated with natural movements and motions to increase the enjoyment and speed of use for the barista. With the creation of the Straight-in Portafilter, I feel that we have built a machine that will forever improve the way the barista interacts with our machines,” shares Kent Bakke, Board Chairman, La Marzocco International.

The new machine comes in two-group or three-group option. In true La Marzocco fashion, the outer shell of the machine is designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well. Inspired by fast and iconic cars from the 70s, KB90 has a retro shape and comes in red, a celebratory colour of their recent 90th anniversary.

We're pretty big fans of Mr Chris Baca of Cat & Cloud and while we haven't had a chance to test drive this tech, he's had some time to play, so if you're interested check out his video on his first impressions below:

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