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Video Overview | Slayer Single Group Espresso Machine

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Hey Folks, this is Steve from Prima Coffee and I'm here with Chris from Slayer Espresso. - [Chris] Hey. - [Steve] And today we're going to take a look at the Slayer Single Group Espresso Machine. This guy is one of their newest machines. It's pretty much the same thing as the larger two, three group commercial machines that you see just squeezed down into a much smaller form factor that's great for the home, great for catering, or any low to mid volume application that you might want a really nice Slayer Espresso Machine in.

  • Slayer Single Group Espresso Machine

    Stellar shots in a smaller package - commercial quality parts and high marks for great-tasting shots.

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What we have here is it's a pretty robust machine. It's a dual boiler. It's got a 3.3 liter steam boiler. It's got a 1.1 liter brew boiler with a 60 centimeter pre-heat coil. All the water coming into the brew boiler is passively heated from the steam boiler's heat. It's really temperature stable. The brew boiler does have a PID on it. So you have electronic temperature control and the steam boiler also has a pressure transducer which allows you to electronically control the steam pressure as well. Up front we have the Slayer Version 3 Group Head. It's a three stage group where you have pre-brew in the middle, which is a low flow rate stage, and then full pressure brew over on the left. You can change how much water is actually hitting your puck and at what pressure during your brews.

Let's take a look at that the inside. There's a lot of really fun things that are going on inside the machine including Slayer's patented needle valve. What don't you tell us a little about that? - About the needle valve? - Yeah. - Yeah. For sure. First of all, we're looking at in the back is the steam tank. It's a 3.3 liter steam tank that Steve was talking about. The brew tank is actually tucked underneath this metal hood. But most significantly, for sure, is that blue knob which controls the needle valve. The precision needle valve is used to determine the flow rate during that pre-brew stage. When you're in that middle position moving the actuary to the middle water is actually being directed through that needle valve and that's the restricted flow rate that we're striving for here. What that actually allows us to do, so the purpose of that is to grind coffee really, really fine. By first really slowly and evenly saturating that fine coffee during the pre-brew phase we can later go full flow, full pressure, and there's not as much resistance. We can grind super fine and that's sort of what we're trying to do by including that technology in our machine. - Right. And the needle valve is adjustable to you can set whatever flow rate you desire. If you find that certain coffees like a little bit longer saturation time with a slower build up in pressure you can adjust it. You just take off the top tray here, reach back, give it a little tweak, and you can adjust it from there. - Yeah. It's super easy. It's the sort of thing that you change for coffees based on their density, their age, or all sorts of factors. It's really just as simple as lifting it up and changing it just once for that coffee. You're not manipulating it during the actual brew process or from minute to minute but just based on every coffee that you throw in. - Exactly.

Apart from some of the technical features, the fun stuff under the hood, obviously we have a nice single group head here. We have these beautiful bottomless portafilters with a basket that holds about 18-20 grams. These are 58 millimeter. Can't see it under here but we have the new Teflon coated dispersion screens which should give you a really, really great shower. We also have this barista mirror here so you can watch your shot progress. A lot of really great features, little small things that add up into a really awesome user experience. Obviously, some beautiful wood accents. This is the Peruvian Walnut. You can customize all this kind of stuff. We can get different woods. You can get different paints and finishes. You can really make these machines your own.

We have a nice fully articulating steam wand with a lot of power to it. This will rival pretty much any commercial machine. It's got a four hole steam tip on it. These actuators are a joy to use. They're really easy to use. We also have a hot water wand so you can make your Americanos, make your teas, that sort of thing. It's tapped right into the steam boiler. And again, you have 3.3 liters to work with. You've got a lot steam pressure and you got a pretty sizable amount of hot water to work with as well. It's really going to keep up with the pace of your drink production. Absolutely, easily. The controls of this machine...again, we have a lot of electronic settings that we can use, the temperature, that sort of thing.

And all of these controls are done through a touch screen on the back panel here. We have a nice blue read-out and three touch zones. I'll let Chris explain what sort of settings we have here. So why don't you take us briefly through and walk us through. - Just on the idle screen, before you even jump into what the menu can do, you're seeing a few things: brew temperature, steam tank pressure, time and day. As you start to brew, you also see some timers kick in. Pre-brew timer begins once you're in that middle position or restricted flow rate position. That timer pauses and a new one starts once you increase the flow-rate for the full extraction phase. And they both pause and hold on for a 30 seconds or so afterwards just to keep your memory there. You can also dive into this menu and make some pretty cool changes. That's done first by tapping just in the circle right there. It'll tell you to swipe below. Everything from here is controlled just by swiping like that. I can tap in. I can adjust the brew tank temperature up in tenth degree increments. Save it just like that. I can swipe to the next thing, your pump pressure. All sorts of stuff. A few other really cool things we have in there are automated back flush cycles. I can tell the machine to do the full cleaning process itself. Just put the soap in and it runs those cycles over and over again. There's also a power-up schedule. So you can tell the machine when to be on, when to be off, based on the day of the week. And there's a couple schedule within that just to make sure that's really optimized for your own use. That's all controlled right there in the menu which is with that screen interface with sensors underneath the screen for swiping, the circle button right here, obviously arrows illuminate when you need them to make those little adjustments. You can save all that and kick out of the menu by moving the actuator. It just bumps you right out and you can get down to what you were doing.

- Another nice feature that you will find in those settings is the pre-brew timer which allows you to, rather than manually control your pre-brew by just sliding the peddle to the middle position, instead you can throw it all the way over to the left and the machine will take care of the rest. You can program in the pre-brew time that you want for your desired shots. Let's say you're dialing in a coffee manually by you're doing fully manual paddle movement yourself but then you want your staff or your baristas or your wife or something to be able to brew the exact same coffee that you just did. You can program that into the pre-brew timer and then just have them throw the actuator all the way over to the left. It will run through the pre-brew cycle, then into the brew cycle, and then all you have to do is move the paddle back to the right when your shot is done.

Getting down to the real issue here is what is a Slayer shot like? What makes this a unique brewing experience that other machines can't really come close to at this point. Obviously, we have the pre-brew setting and the brew setting. That's a little bit like pre-infusion in other machines except that with the needle valve we're restricting the flow-rate which gives a really soft saturation of your puck. As Chris stated, that allows you to use a lot finer grinds and get a lot higher extraction without running into over-extraction territory. You can get some really full, well-rounded extractions, really great flavors, where normally you'd have to wrestle with getting good flavor while getting the highest extraction you can. This makes it a little bit easier to get into that high extraction territory with really good, tasty shots. To do that you don't have to just go pre-brew, brew, and shut it off. You can actually play with the two different brewing settings here. Let's say we want a little more acidity in our shot. We can kick it right over to full pressure at the very beginning, then back down to the low flow in the pre-brew mode which allows the pressure in the puck to taper off a little bit. And then after a few seconds you can kick it back up to full pressure, finish your shot, and you should have a little more acidity because you accentuated the extraction right at the beginning of the process when those acids are coming out. You can modulate back and forth to play with the pressure to play with the pressure that's in your puck to get different flavors and to highlight what you're looking for out of your blend or your particular coffee.

All in all, this is really an excellent commercial quality machine. It's perfect at a high-end home setting if you really want to treat yourself to a great espresso every day. It's perfect for those low to mid-volume cafe settings as well. It's going to brew like a champ. It's a plumbed-in machine. It has it's own internal gear pump, a good quality drip tray with tons of capacity, and a plumbed-in line. This is a fantastic commercial style machine. It's going to change a lot of the ways that people think of espresso extractions. Thanks to the technology that's built in. That is the Slayer Single Group Espresso Machine, a brand new product here on Prima Coffee, and one of the newest products from Slayer Espresso. Hand-made right here in Seattle, Washington. Thank you very much for watching.

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