DaveC wrote:I really think the concept of a type of flip down, or removable stand for smaller cups would be a good idea. I don't like the idea of the coffee descending that distance through the air to "splash" into the cup below and feel it can't improve the flavour of the shot....just the reverse in fact.
FYI - They have/will have a shot "riser" to accommodate smaller cups, this was indicated in the CG thread and via e-mails. Pictures may be added.
It was also indicated that locations of machines would be added to their website, if you wanted to go see one at somepoint. Of course, I don't think anyone has one yet.
Company past performance history not withstanding (and making a huge leap that this machine pulls a sublime shot), the machine design looks like it might justify its' cost. They are probably one-offs and there are no economies of scale with no preexisting customer base or pre-orders.
While I think that the group height is crazy for someone like you and me, I do think it makes sense for a commercial shop. A local shop here really encourages its' customers to use their own cups... in fact they give a 5% discount for folks who bring their own cup/travel mug or reuse a paper cup. Folks who order in or bring their own to go cup also get a different customer loyalty card, but only to "feel" better about their choice to be "greener". For a shop, having that sort of height would allow drinks to be built right in the patrons travel mug du jour, and not just 20 oz. to go cups.
Multi-group machines make sense to me, but they can also be the Achille's heel... potentially one point of failure and you might be making drip brew for a day or more. Having two or more single-group (or multi-group) machines, makes a lot of sense from a redundancy standpoint, and potentially from an ergonomic standpoint depending on how you lay out your shop and the numbers of baristas on staff. But multiple machines translates to greater initial purchase and installation costs, and greater preventative maintenance costs.
Personally (and I'm not bragging), I think I could easily work a two-group by myself in a busy commercial setting, and with practice, maybe even a three-group, if all I had to do was build drinks. IMO, a good shop will know their regulars and start building their drink as they come in the door, and the PBTC should be taking orders 3 customers deep in the queue.