06 May 2024

Exploring the cutting-edge features of the La Marzocco Strada AV: an in-depth review

Exploring the cutting-edge features of the La Marzocco Strada AV: an in-depth review

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the La Marzocco Strada, an exceptional player in the world of espresso machines. Whether you are a professional barista or a coffee enthusiast, the Strada is a beacon of quality and performance. In this in-depth look, we journey through the impressive features of the La Marzocco Strada, compare it to another top-tier machine, and help you understand what makes it a star in its field.

"In the world of premium espresso machines, the La Marzocco Strada stands as an unparalleled testament to functionality, quality, and sophistication."

The most important features of the La Marzocco Strada AV

If you're passionate about coffee and crave the unparalleled experience of creating a perfect espresso shot, there's one machine at the pinnacle of excellence – the La Marzocco Strada. Renowned as the 'Ferrari of espresso machines', this masterpiece, seamlessly fusing exceptional craftsmanship and innovative technology, has been thoughtfully designed by baristas, for baristas. Promising to redefine your coffee-making journey with its unparalleled consistency, precision, and state-of-the-art features, the Strada isn't just an espresso machine; it's the key to unlocking an extraordinary coffee experience.

Among the distinctive features that set the Strada aside from other espresso machines in its league include: 

Size and design
The Strada AV is not just a coffee machine; it's a statement piece. Available in 2 or 3 group models, it boasts an iconic Italian design that seamlessly blends aesthetics with functionality. Its low-profile construction ensures visibility and interaction between baristas and customers, enhancing the overall coffee shop experience. The user-friendly digital display provides intuitive access to machine settings, empowering baristas to monitor and adjust parameters such as temperature, pressure, and shot times with ease. Additionally, the machine's internal components are quickly accessible, minimizing downtime and ensuring consistent performance, even during busy service hours.

With its Auto-Volumetric (AV) functionality, the Strada puts control at the barista's fingertips. Baristas can program the time or volume of an espresso shot, and the machine will automatically dispense the predetermined amount of coffee. This feature not only streamlines the brewing process but also ensures consistency across all espresso servings, regardless of the barista's experience level.

Dual boiler brew system
Experience brewing excellence with the Strada's dual boiler system, featuring independent coffee boilers for each group head. This setup allows for precise temperature control, optimizing the brewing conditions for each espresso shot independently. Baristas can fine-tune temperature settings for multiple coffees simultaneously, ensuring optimal flavor extraction. The Strada AV also features a conical valve and paddle system, giving baristas control over water flow and pressure, further enhancing the brewing process. With its thermal stability system, the Strada maintains consistent water temperature for exceptional espresso quality, shot after shot.

PID controller
Enjoy unparalleled temperature control with the Strada's dual PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) controller. This advanced technology offers precise regulation of brewing temperatures, ensuring consistency and accuracy in every cup. Baristas can set different recipes for each boiler, from pre-infusion to brew ratio, providing flexibility to meet diverse preferences and ensuring optimal flavor extraction.

Customizable pre-infusion
Tailor the pre-infusion time to suit your preferences with the Strada's customizable pre-infusion feature. By allowing the coffee puck to saturate evenly before full extraction, this customization contributes to improved flavor development in the final cup, resulting in a more nuanced and balanced espresso experience.

High-performance pump
Equipped with a high-performance pump, the Strada AV ensures progressive water control for the perfect extraction. This pump system, known as the Ferrari of espresso machines, delivers consistent water pressure, contributing to the machine's reputation for exceptional espresso quality.

Pro touch steam wand
The Strada's performance touch steam wands are a game-changer for milk frothing. Double-walled and vacuum-insulated, these steam wands remain cool to the touch, ensuring comfort and safety during prolonged use. Additionally, they provide high-volume, high-quality steam for impeccable milk frothing, with variable flow for precise control over milk texture. The machine also features a proportional steam valve, allowing baristas to adjust steam flow and pressure with precision, resulting in a more controlled and consistent milk frothing process.

App integration
While the Strada AV does not feature direct app integration, its user-friendly interface and programmable settings offer an intuitive experience for baristas. With the ability to adjust parameters and update firmware via USB, the machine provides convenience and customization options, ensuring a seamless espresso-making experience.

Pros and cons

Pros of La Marzocco Strada AV: 

The Strada is renowned for its superior build quality and innovative design, aimed at providing baristas with unparalleled efficiency and consistency. The following points significantly contribute to its desirability

  • Mass-Based Profiling: This feature allows an exceptional control over coffee extraction, enabling baristas to deliver exceptional taste and consistency in every shot.

  • Advanced Technology: The Strada boasts cutting-edge features, like Pro Touch steam wands and the Hot Water Economizer, delivering convenience and efficacy that sets it apart.

  • User-Friendly: The Strada has an intuitive interface, making barista training a breeze, and ensuring consistent coffee quality, even in busy environments.

  • Unbeatable Aesthetics: Though more functional than merely visually pleasing, the Strada is undoubtedly a stunner, with its iconic look adding a touch of sophistication to any coffee bar.

Cons of the La Marzocco Strada AV: 

Despite its impressive array of features, there are a few considerations that could potentially detract from the Strada's appeal: 

  • Cost might be an issue for some. As a premium machine, equipped with an overwhelming number of forward-thinking features, the Strada understandably comes with a hefty price tag.
  • Size the size of La Marzocco Strada draws attention too. With the Strada S having options available in 2 or 3 group models, it’s crucial to ensure that you have adequate space to accommodate it without hampering the bar flow.
  • Learning Curve Despite the fact that the Strada makes training new baristas much easier with its advanced features, the complexity of the machine might pose a bit of a learning curve for beginners. 

When evaluating the Strada, you should weigh its high-end capabilities, artisan craftsmanship, and innovative features against these considerations. It might just be the game-changing espresso machine that outshines its competitors and propels your café to new heights of success. 

    The difference between La Marzocco Strada AV and La Marzocco Strada X

    The Strada's fascination goes beyond being a cool-looking espresso machine. Compared to its closest contender, the Linea, the Strada scores significantly with its advanced technology, enhancing baristas' performance. 

    Firstly, the Strada's magnificent mass-based profiling and Smart Saturation make it excel in delivering unparalleled consistency and accuracy in shot preparation. Conversely, the Linea, while providing satisfactory results, doesn't match this superiority in accuracy. 

    Additionally, the Strada comes equipped with straight-in portafilters allowing for a faster workflow and easing strain on baristas, an ergonomic feature not present in the Linea model. The Strada also benefits from an auto steam flush for cleaning groupheads, a feature that is lacking in the Linea. 

    Lastly, the Strada's low profile design stands at 19.7 inches tall, making it a perfect fit for better interaction between the barista and the customer. The Linea, on the other hand, lacks this feature, thus, undermining baristas' ability to deliver top-performance and service. 

    In conclusion, the Strada's advanced technology, ergonomic design, and user-friendly features clearly distinguish it from the Linea, further reinforcing its status as the Ferrari of espresso machines.

    Maintenance and longevity

    Begin with backflushing the group heads daily. This crucial step helps clear out residual coffee oils and particles. La Marzocco recommends using a blind basket and a specifically designed espresso machine cleaner for this procedure. It's simple enough for any barista to pick up quickly, and it doesn’t demand a significant time investment. Don't forget, attention to detail when doing this job will ensure you the longevity of your machine. Moreover, ensuring your group heads are always in the optimum condition will just help your brew tasting better each and every day.

    Next, make use of the auto steam flush feature. The La Marzocco Strada automatically flushes the group heads with hot water after every extraction. This feature maintains cleanliness and temperature stability, ensuring a cleaner cup and consistent flavor. After each extraction, you just have to ensure that you capture the water in a suitable container or have a drip tray put under to avoid making your workspace messy.

    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 Strada AV in top condition and enjoy high-quality espresso for years to come.

    What we at OR coffee Roaster think about the Strada AV

    At OR Coffee Roasters, we believe the La Marzocco Strada AV truly stands out in the realm of professional espresso machines. As avid coffee enthusiasts, we're particularly impressed by the nuanced control the Strada allows, granting us the ability to fine-tune the brewing process for the perfect extraction. Furthermore, we appreciate the multiple models catering to diverse needs - whether it's the two-group model for smaller establishments or the three-group for busier venues. Aside from its impressive technical specs, there's an undeniable charm in the machine's design, tightly aligning with our aesthetics while facilitating a close barista-customer interaction. Indeed, the Strada, in our view, is not just an espresso machine - it is a masterful blend of art and science brewed together.

      Final thoughts on the Strada AV

      Wrapping up, the La Marzocco Strada stands out as a groundbreaking espresso machine, engineered with superior ergonomics and advanced features to embody the true art of coffee making. From its Pro Touch Steam Wands to the Smart Saturation system, every aspect of this machine reflects La Marzocco's commitment to innovation and quality. The sleek digital display not only adds to its aesthetic appeal but also makes it more user-friendly. The added cool touch nozzles ensure safety and cleanliness, making it a worthy investment for coffee aficionados everywhere. So, are you ready to take your coffee brewing experience to the next level with the La Marzocco Strada?