It’s slick, it’s shiny, it’s changing the way we drink coffee and tea and this week it’s sitting proud on the granite bench top at Proud Mary in Collingwood. It’s the Über Boiler, developed with input from James Hoffman (of Square Mile Coffee and world barista champ 2007) and by the team at Marco Beveridge Systems. Right now, there’s only one in Australia, and this week the guys at Proud Mary are trialling it before they decide whether or not to get one permanently installed. So far, according to Proud Mary barista Mitch Smith, the word is good.
So what exactly is the Über Boiler and just how does it benefit our coffee? As the name suggests it’s a boiler- but the difference here is that it’s a precision boiler that let’s you program in the exact temperature that water exits the machine, easily heating and cooling a few degrees as required. Using a boosting system the boiler display gives two readings, the temperature of the water in the boiler and the temperature of the water once it’s reached the tap. When the two readings match up, you get the exact temperature of water exiting the spout, without losing anything in the transfer.
“Some coffee’s need 80degrees for the best flavour profile and some need 92degrees” says Smith, advising that until Über Boiler, methods for measuring water temperature were more time consuming and less accurate. The boiler also has a built in scale, allowing precise measurement of water quantity for each coffee ‘recipe’, ideal if you’re filling a French press or drip filter. The idea is that if you can replicate exactly the amount of water and precise temperature required for each particular coffee recipe, you get a more consistent (read better) cup. The aim of the Über Boiler is to stabilise these variables. And it works the same way for specialty teas.