06 May 2024

Experience effortless brewing: the innovative La Marzocco KB90 espresso machine

Experience effortless brewing: the innovative La Marzocco KB90 espresso machine

Let's introduce you to the La Marzocco KB90, a marvel in the world of espresso machines. Released in 2019, the KB90 is the latest espresso machine introduced by La Marzocco, a renowned name in the coffee industry. Aiming to revolutionize the process of brewing coffee, the KB90 is designed to cater to the needs of high-volume cafes and ambitious baristas, offering exceptional quality with every cup of espresso made.

"Designed with the barista in mind, this machine is every bit as stylish as it is efficient."

The most important features of the La Marzocco KB90

The La Marzocco KB90 espresso machine is an evolution, not just an upgrade, of the ever-popular Linea PB model. La Marzocco has invested over two decades fine-tuning features and technologies, with the goal of shaping a coffee machine that strikes the perfect balance between functionality and style. The result? The La Marzocco KB90, a machine that showcases innovation while acknowledging its predecessor's legacy. 

The KB90 has a lot of features to heighten your coffee-brewing experience. The machine has straight-in portafilters, independent brew boilers, auto brew ratio, steam flush, and pro touch steam wands. Such characteristics aim at optimizing the process of making the perfect cup of coffee, without being too complicated to operate. 

Moreover, La Marzocco has taken great strides in caring for the baristas' health with the KB90. Designed with ergonomics in mind, this machine helps combat frequent issues barista’s face, like carpal tunnel syndrome, often caused by the repetitive behavior required in traditional coffee brewing. With the La Marzocco KB90, the technology works for the barista, maximizing workflow without the physical stress. 

Simply put, the La Marzocco KB90 is an apex of commitment to quality, innovation, and design. It is proof that you don't have to compromise on one for the other. This fabulous espresso machine comes packed with a host of fantastic features, designed to revolutionize the barista experience. Let’s dive deeper into these features.

The KB90 boasts a sleek and modern aesthetic, with clean lines and premium materials that shows sophistication. Its polished stainless steel body is not only visually appealing but also durable, making it a standout addition to any coffee bar.

The digital display offers an intuitive interface that provides real-time performance feedback and system alerts, making it easy even for less experienced baristas to operate the machine.

Available in 2 or 3 group configurations, the KB90 has a distinctive red panel reminiscent of the 70s and with the iconic La Marzocco lilies, the KB90 adds a touch of style to your coffee space. The straight-in portafilter design and overall construction aim to streamline the barista's workflow, ensuring a seamless and efficient operation.

The KB90’s intuitive digital display and programmable settings provide an ergonomic and user-friendly experience. Baristas can easily navigate and adjust parameters, ensuring a seamless workflow without the need for extensive training. The LED lights allow you to focus on your extraction and the cup.

Straight-in portafilters 
High on the list of its impressive features are the straight-in portafilters. This design is unique, providing an easy lock-in system that alleviates the strain usually associated with twisting on traditional machines. This makes the KB90 'the' machine for those concerned with motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Independent brew boilers 
Thanks to independent brew boilers, consistency is the name of the game with the KB90. It provides a separate, dedicated boiler for each brew group. The result? You get to prepare your espresso at a consistent temperature, every single time - ensuring top-notch quality. 

With the KB90's independent brew boilers, you're not just getting exquisite temperature regularity. You're also gaining an exceptional way to unlock the potential in a variety of coffee beans. Maturing from the advanced technology and the bid for uncompromising quality, each brew boiler functions independently. This feature ensures a tailored approach to temperature optimization, translating to incredible consistency in the espresso shots pulled. 

When serving different roast profiles or brewing multiple espresso-based beverages concurrently, the stakes are high. When temperatures sway, even slightly, it can affect your extraction, leading to shifts in flavor. Too hot, and your espresso can taste bitter. Too cold, and you might end up with a sour note. It's all about hitting and maintaining the right temperature for each coffee blend. That's where these independent brew boilers steal the show, designed with the meticulousness that marks La Marzocco's commitment to barista empowerment and advanced coffee-experience creation. Now you can serve diverse coffee flavor profiles, all the while maintaining the desired quality and consistency with the KB90's independent brew boilers.

Dual PID
The separate PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) temperature controllers allow baristas to tweak the water and steam temperatures separately, providing ultimate control over the brewing process and resulting in excellently balanced espresso.

Shared steam boiler
In terms of steaming milk, the KB90 uses a shared steam boiler rather than independent steam boilers for each group head. This shared steam boiler supplies steam to all group heads simultaneously, ensuring consistent steam pressure and temperature for steaming milk across the machine.

The proportional steam valve technology integrated into the KB90 enables baristas to regulate steam pressure and flow rate with precision, regardless of whether they are steaming milk for one or multiple drinks simultaneously. This feature enhances workflow efficiency and enables baristas to achieve consistent milk texture and quality with ease.

Insulated boilers
The KB90’s boilers are insulated to preserve heat efficiency. This addition not only saves on energy consumption but also improves the stability of shot extraction and steam production.

AV or AV with ABR
Addressing the needs of all coffee enthusiasts and professionals, the KB90 gives you the flexibility of choice by offering two models - the AV or the AV with scales (ABR). Catering to diverse brewing requirements, these two variants provide a unique aesthetic and performance, helping you brew that perfect cup of coffee - every time.

Auto-Volumetric (AV)
Starting with the AV, short for Auto-Volumetric, this model is specific to those who prefer automation in their brewing process. If consistency and hands-off brewing are what you're after, the AV variant of La Marzocco KB90 is your go-to machine. With its auto dosing feature, the KB90 AV ensures you get an even extraction every time. 

Automatic Brew Ratio (ABR) with drip prediction
On the other hand, the AV with scales or ABR, also known as Auto Brew Ratio, and drip prediction is designed for those wanting a deeper engagement with the brewing process. This feature allows you to dial in your espresso recipes with utmost accuracy, by automatically brewing espresso by mass, volume, or brew ratio, without the need for manual intervention.

With the drip prediction system, the KB90 ensures that every shot of espresso is perfect. This feature automatically adjusts the water flow to ensure the ideal extraction of flavors from the coffee beans

With the ABR feature, baristas can program the desired ratio of coffee to water or the desired output volume directly into the espresso machine. Once programmed, the machine will automatically dispense the correct amount of coffee and water to achieve the desired brew ratio or volume. This eliminates the need for baristas to manually weigh or measure coffee for each shot, streamlining the brewing process and ensuring consistency across multiple drinks.

The ABR feature is particularly beneficial in high-volume coffee shops where speed and consistency are essential. It allows baristas to produce consistent, high-quality espresso shots efficiently, even during busy periods. Additionally, ABR can help reduce waste by ensuring that each shot is brewed to the correct specifications every time.

Easy rebuild steam valve
A unique addition to the KB90, this valve is designed to be easy to service, reducing downtime and maintenance costs. It enhances the reliability of the machine with regular maintenance. It can be serviced from the front, without needing to be removed.

Steam flush
Keyboard shortcuts may be a thing on your PC, but with the KB90, it exists for your coffee machine too! The innovative steam flush system automatically purges the group with water and steam after every extraction, negating the need for manual intervention. It's not just about comfort and efficiency – it is also about maintaining high hygiene standards. 

Pro-touch steam wands 
Finally, La Marzocco gives you Pro-Touch steam wands – a feature that lets you steam milk easily without burning your hands. This final touch proves that the KB90 isn’t just about efficiency and minimizing physical strain—it’s also about safety, quality, and user comfort. 

In conclusion, the La Marzocco KB90 isn't just an espresso machine—it's a smart investment that puts the well-being of its users at the forefront.

Pros and cons

Pros of La Marzocco KB90: 

  • Reduces Stress Injuries: The KB90 is designed with baristas in mind. It aims to alleviate physical strain commonly caused by traditional espresso machines, thus reducing cases of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Optimizes Workflow: This espresso machine enhances the speed and efficiency of serving coffee in high volume cafes, significantly improving the barista's workflow.
  • Quality Coffee: Thanks to its innovative features like straight-in portafilters, independent brew boilers, auto brew ratio, steam flush, and pro touch steam wands, the KB90 is able to consistently deliver high-quality coffee.

Cons of La Marzocco KB90: 

  • Price: Quality comes at a price, and the La Marzocco KB90 is not an exception. This espresso machine is pricier compared to other models in the market, making it a significant investment for cafes.
  • Size: The KB90 is a substantial machine, which might make it difficult to fit into smaller spaces.
  • Training: With its numerous features and technologies, the KB90 might require a bit more training for baristas to fully utilize its capabilities.

The difference between La Marzocco KB90 and La Marzocco Linea PB

Let's distinguish the KB90 from its predecessor, the Linea PB. These La Marzocco machines are both champions in world-class coffee brewing, but they have key differences that set them apart. 

Portafilter design
The most striking difference between the La Marzocco KB90 and the Linea PB is their portafilter design. The KB90 stands out with its straight-in portafilter. This innovative feature drastically cuts down physical strain for the barista by reducing the need for twisting and turning. As a result, barista fatigue can be significantly reduced when comparing the KB90 to traditional espresso machines. 

Steam flush
In addition, the KB90 houses a cutting-edge steam flush feature, a move away from the manual option in Linea PB model. This automatic functionality propels a burst of steam and hot water through the group head between shots, ensuring a clean, ready-to-brew environment at all times. This function helps minimize cleaning moments and enhances espresso flavor and consistency. 

Another noteworthy difference lies in the control interfaces of these models. The KB90 presents users with a digital display that offers performance feedback in real time and allows for easier system navigation, vastly improving the user experience in comparison to Linea PB's more standard operational controls. 

Hot Water Economizer
The La Marzocco KB90 provides the option to set the temperature of the water outlet, an upgraded feature compared with the Linea PB model. This gives baristas more precise control, permitting them to alter the temperature to suit the type of coffee beans and beverage being made.

Ultimately, while both machines deliver high-quality espresso, the La Marzocco KB90 puts a stronger emphasis on workflow optimization and user well-being, advancing the barista experience to new horizons.

La Marzocco KB90:

La Marzocco Linea PB AV:


Work smarter, not harder: the KB90's answer to workflow and well-being 

Forge ahead into a new era of coffee brewing with La Marzocco's KB90 and never look back. Crafted with meticulous thoughtfulness, this state-of-the-art espresso machine champions productivity through its innovative design that promotes smooth workflows. But there's more to it than sheer efficiency: the KB90 takes occupational health seriously, slashing the risk of barista stress injuries through its intelligent layout and operation. 

Say goodbye to the twisting and turning of portafilters- the KB90's 'straight-in' system reduces the physical demand on baristas, minimizing repetitive strain and making your coffee destination a happier and healthier place to work. The KB90's blueprint is firmly grounded in reality: it understands the pressures of a bustling café and delivers a solution that marries ergonomics with productivity in perfect harmony.

Maintenance and longevity

Maintaining the La Marzocco KB90 is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Here are some key maintenance tips:

  1. Daily Cleaning:

    • Wipe down the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth to remove any spills or residue.
    • Flush the group heads with water to remove any coffee grounds or oils.
    • Clean the steam wand with a damp cloth and purge steam to remove any milk residue.

  2. Weekly Maintenance:

    • Remove and clean the portafilters, screens, and baskets with a brush and detergent.
    • Backflush the machine with a cleaning solution to remove any buildup in the group heads and valves.
    • Check and clean the water reservoir and refill as needed.

  3. Monthly Maintenance:

    • Descale the machine to remove mineral buildup in the boilers and plumbing system.
    • Inspect and replace any worn gaskets, seals, or o-rings to prevent leaks and ensure proper sealing.
    • Lubricate moving parts such as hinges and levers to prevent rust and corrosion.

  4. Professional Servicing:

    • Schedule regular maintenance checks with a certified technician to inspect internal components and address any issues.
    • Keep records of maintenance and servicing for reference and warranty purposes.

By following these maintenance guidelines, you can keep your La Marzocco KB90 in top condition and enjoy high-quality espresso for years to come.

What we at OR coffee Roaster think about the KB90

At OR Coffee Roasters we can attest to this machine's unparalleled dedication to performance and user-friendliness. It is an embodiment of innovative technology paired with decades of unmatched expertise in brewing perfect espresso shots. In our experience, the KB90 significantly eases the workflow and reduces the physical strain on busy baristas. This machine truly stands as a revolutionary icon in the world of professional espresso makers. 

With a seamless integration of advanced features including, but not limited to, straight-in portafilters, independent brew boilers, and Pro-Touch steam wands, the KB90 has reinvented the classic art of crafting an unblemished espresso shot. Its Auto Brew Ratio and Steam Flush attributes further ensure accuracy and consistency, paving the way for outstanding coffee, each time. 

Why do we, at OR Coffee Roasters, adore the KB90? Because it handily simplifies complex procedures while never compromising on quality, and because it fully respects the barista's role, emphasizing well-being as much as performance. To sum it up, the La Marzocco KB90 is a dynamic blend of superior reliability, exceptional design, and ultimate convenience.

    Final thoughts on the KB90

    It's clear that the La Marzocco KB90 is more than just an espresso machine; it's a game-changer in the coffee industry. What sets it apart, and understandably so, is not just its intricate craftsmanship but also its commitment to enabling optimum workflow while promoting barista well-being. It seems like every detail has been thoughtfully considered, from the straight-in portafilters to the auto brew ratio, all aimed to make the barista's job easier, and the final result superior. 

    Though it may require an initial investment, both in terms of its cost and the required training for its use, the returns on this investment will likely be witnessed through improved efficiency, reduced physical strain for baristas and an enhanced coffee experience for your customers. The La Marzocco KB90, while larger and pricier than its counterparts, is truly in a league of its own. 

    Given these points, it's safe to say that if you're passionate about coffee and place a high value on quality, efficiency and ergonomics, the La Marzocco KB90 is definitely worth considering for your café or espresso bar.