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Video Overview | Slayer Steam Two Group Commercial Espresso Machine
Hey, it's Steve with the Prima Coffee here, today we're gonna take a look at the Slayer Steam Espresso Machine. Now, this is a 2 Group model and it's a commercial espresso machine that's a little bit different from what Slayer's actually been known for to date. If you're familiar with the company you'll know that they're an American espresso machine manufacturer and they've been known mainly for their kind of innovative approach to standard espresso production in a commercial environment. They have a needle valve that can help control flow and profile your flavor through pressure and flow control, and that's very interesting and you can get pretty tasty results with that, but this is actually sort of a departure from that, this is sort of a simpler approach to espresso intended for mainly those higher volume environments where an espresso shot that you might produce on a Slayer could take up 60-90 seconds, might not be practical for when you have a line out the door. So Slayer said, "Okay, let's appeal more to that market of the people who like to have milk and coffee drinks, people who want a quick latte to go." So they've created the Slayer Steam which deemphasizes that kind of fine-tuned approach to espresso and actually adds a little bit more control to the steam side. We'll get a little bit more into those features later, let me just give you the broad overview.
- Slayer Steam Two Group Commercial Espresso Machine
Now the 2 Group model obviously has two group heads, we have a 7.4 litre steam boiler in the back, we also have two 1.7 litre brew boilers, each brew boiler has its own group head and each has its own PID so you can set independent temperatures based on however you want to use your brew boilers. The steam boiler also has digital control over pressure so you can set the steam pressure in the control panel here. Now this is a volumetric machine, you know it has paddles, it may not look like it, but it's a volumetric machine and in fact, each group head has two volumetric settings so overall you have four volumetric settings to choose from. So, if you wanna run different coffees or you wanna have different settings available for different styles of pull, you can set up to four volumetric profiles for those shots. Essentially the way the pedal works is there's a center position and a left position, center position is just preset one, left position is preset two. Very easy so you can set it here and pull a shot or here and pull a shot of a different volume. Now despite being a volumetric machine, the way that the machine actually displays your shot volume is by converting it to weight, it makes this pretty simple conversion using an offset and you can change that offset in the settings here but you'll notice that on my display, I actually have a weight displayed and implied to be in grams. So as you're pulling your shots, the machine is basically thinking, "Okay, the puck is going to retain a little bit of water," there's gonna be a little bit of water stuck in the tubes between the flow meter and the group head so it's subtracting a little bit of information and trying to give you sort of a flexible readout of what the mass in your cup is gonna be like.
So if you don't want to brew on scales, you can dial in with scales and get a decently accurate portrait of what the actual yield in your cup is going to be based on the flow through the puck and as read by the flow meter inside. It's not necessarily the most accurate thing, a scale is still going to be a more accurate measurement but again if you're in a high volume environment, you're probably not going to be using a scale for every single shot so that's a nice convenience feature again. Again, paint you a portrait and get you in the ballpark of what those shot yields are looking like. We also have on our screen will have shot timers so each shot you run will have a time counting up, again just a nice feature to make sure that things are still running pretty well and nice and dialed in. We have 18-gram baskets standard with these porta filters, you can certainly use other 58-millimeter baskets if you like, VST baskets are fairly popular. I'll also show you just as in there are espresso machines the Steam's continued to use Teflon-coated dispersion screens that have this really fantastic and even dispersion shower of water. Now let's talk about steam for a moment, again this machine is known and intended to be known for its steaming capabilities. I've got two steam wands here. Each steam wand head is fitted with one of these sort of actuator paddles. The pedals have three detent positions and then one sort of spring-loaded sensor position. The three positions are off as they are right now we have a setting one and a setting two so those are again two variable preset settings that you can change in the menu and it's two per side, so four total. Up top, we actually just have sort of spring-loaded purge setting which I'll demo here. Very easy to use and very convenient for purging before and after steaming.
Now inside the machine is something pretty remarkable. Slayer has utilized what could basically be called secondary steam boilers which they call vaporizers. There are two little cartridge heater boilers right behind the steam wands, which will super heat the steam just as it's about to exit the steam wand and that's pretty important because it allows Slayer to produce drier steam than most of their competition, and dry steam is perhaps a contentious thing but dry steam does one thing very well and that is add less water to the milk that you're steaming. Now water is more or less flavorless especially if it's coming from steam but it also dilutes flavor, so you will find that if you steam a pitcher of milk on one machine and steam another on another machine and steam them more or less the same temperature, same starting amount of milk and same texture, the pitcher that has more water added will taste less sweet, a little less dilute and less rich... I'm sorry a little more dilute and less rich than the pitcher which has less water added. So Slayer's approach here is 'let's add less water to the pitcher and preserve more of that flavor that you're looking for in milk', so when you're adding milk to coffee you're generally looking for that richness, that sweetness, and a whole host of other flavors that might come with milk especially if you're getting fresh dairy from a local farm or something like that. So adding less water is important because you're deluding that flavor less and what's what Slayer's vaporizer technology allows you to do. You can actually set different power settings and you can set different flow settings so if you only want to steam four ounces of milk, you might set the one setting to 20% power and maybe half of the vaporizer power because you want a little bit more control over that small volume of milk.
If you're steaming 20 ounces of milk, you can set it to 100 percent and full on with the vaporizer, full heat so you're really blasting that milk you're gonna get a lot of speed in your steam, but you're also going to add less water to that large volume of milk and that's really where the concern comes in, you add more and more water the longer that you steam on a traditional machine. So between the vaporizer and the adjustable flow rate on the steam wands, you have a lot of control over what comes out of the steam wand and thus have a lot of control over how you steam milk for your guests, so that's a very interesting technology and we found that it's pretty remarkable, it's easy to catch on to, it's easy to pick up how to use, and it's easy to figure out how to tailor it for different size milk drinks. So let's look at some of the other features that the machine has. Down below we've got a drip tray with adjustable positions so you'll notice that there's two pins on either side of the tray and those can be pulled out and the tray can be adjusted to four different heights. So again if you're running a high volume shop and you're doing a lot of lattes, let's say you're doing 16 and 20-ounce drinks, you can set it to the lowest position so you can get more clearance underneath the portafilters for larger cups. If you are actually doing a lot of straight espressos or cappuccinos, you can send it to a higher position to accommodate more for demitasse and cappuccino cups so you have less time to fall for the espresso to hit the cup, that's a really great feature to have. It also comes with one little caveat and that is the way the machine is built and in order to have an adjustable drip tray, you now have two drain hoses to run. One comes from the drain box inside the machine and one comes from the drip tray itself. The machine does not drain including through the valves do not drain into the drip tray but rather into their own dedicated drain box inside the machine, so that is a consideration for installation. You will have to drill perhaps another hole to run everything and you'll just wanna make sure that you're taking that into account before you install the machine.
Another sort of interesting feature is that rather than use wood, Slayer has used the material they call DuraTex which seems to be some kind of composite. It is a little bit more resilient than wood but like wood, it also has some kind of care features you should keep in mind. Over time we found that the Dura-Tex material can start to go a little hazy or fade slightly. It's actually really easy to bring that factory sheen back, however, and very inexpensively by using just a drop of mineral oil on a paper towel and you just rub it in, let it sit in the wood and then wipe off any excess... I'm sorry not the wood but the DuraTex and you just wipe off the excess. Very easy to do, it only takes a few minutes and you could do that once every couple of months if you notice that with the heat of the machine you know the moisture that it's starting to change its appearance a little bit. Now let's take a look at the Steam once again and just talk about one feature that impacts actually steaming. Now I've mentioned that you have flow rate settings built into the steam wands which is a very intriguing feature that is controlled through what's called a proportional valve so the signal inside the computer tells the valve to open a certain amount and that's what controls the flow rate. Now because of the way that valve is built and just basically intrinsic to a proportional valve that means that the steam does not shut off instantly, instead there's maybe two-second taper off, so you have to keep that in mind when you're steaming milk you'll wanna cut it just a little bit early. Let's say you're steaming by feel and you're feeling the temperature in your hand, you're gonna wanna cut it a little bit before and kind of anticipate the fact that once the steam takes a couple seconds to shut down that's when you're gonna hit the temperature that you're looking for, just something you take in mind also again very, very easy to get used to once you work it into your routine.
Okay, let's make some coffee, let's steam some milk. I'm just gonna purge my group head back here, just a couple of seconds throw it back over. Now the interesting thing about using volumetrics on a pedal group is that once the volumetrics are done dispensing, the machine and pump shut off but you have to reset the paddle, again it's just one of those features that you get pretty used to very quickly. I'm going to grab some coffee here. Okay, now I'm just going to set up a cappuccino cup and a demitasse and I'll steam a little bit milk for the cappuccino, set up on my scale. All right now I've just thrown it over the second position which is going to be kind of a long shot would be good for a single shot split over here and then that cappuccino with a little bit more milk to kind of balance that milk flavor. Again, once this is done the pedal isn't going to switch over automatically it'll have to be done manually but still very easy to get used to. I'm also going to purge my steam wand while I have a moment. Again I'm using that top most position it is spring-loaded just to purge a bit. I've got a pitcher prepared to steam some milk, Once again you just wanna anticipate a little bit. One of the interesting things is that because the steam on the Slayer Steam is drier than other machines, it actually takes a little bit longer to steam. You get none the less good texture but it takes slightly longer to get the amount and temperature or the amount of foam and temperature that you're looking for in your drink. But still very very capable machine, it's got some fantastic features especially in high volume environments, you've got those two volumetric settings per group, four total, two flow rates per steam wand, four total, and just a very kind of high quality and very precisely-made machine that's going to stand up to your high volume cafe and give your customers the best drinks you can offer. So that is the Slayer Steam 2 Group. Thanks so much for watching.