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The Slayer Steam EP & LP: Redefining Espresso

In 2007, Apple would unveil the very first iteration of the iPhone in Cupertino, California. In Tokyo, James Hoffmann would take first place at the World Barista Championships. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Washington, seasoned coffee experts were working on a revolutionary, new espresso machine that would make its debut two years later at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) exhibition in Atlanta, GA. The name behind the machine was simple, but it would bring an entirely new perspective on what was possible in a commercial cafe setting. And so, the Slayer was born.

The idea behind Slayer was simple: make coffee better. At the time, the team at Slayer felt that the passion and overall craft of creating espresso was stagnant due to a lack of innovation in the coffee industry. Slayer sought to rethink espresso and how to approach extraction from a fresh angle, which was a tremendous undertaking in a world where most espresso machines did, essentially, the same thing in the same way. After modifying multiple machines, pulling countless shots, and thoroughly exploring the theories of flavor extraction, the answer presented itself in the form of flow control. This would allow the user to control the flow and intensity of the water contacting the coffee at various stages of the shot. 

What is Flow Control?

When thinking about flow control, it might be helpful to imagine a camera’s aperture, and how it determines the amount of light that is allowed to enter the camera. This is, in essence, how flow control works. With Slayer’s patented needle valve, the amount of water delivered to the espresso is controlled with the paddle at each group head. When accompanied by resistance from the coffee in the portafilter, this allows for the barista to experiment with pressure and flow rate profiles to extract the very best from the espresso in use. Different solubles are extracted at different times during the duration of a shot, beginning with body and ending with bitterness (also called astringency), with acidity and sweetness falling between the two. Slayer machines simply opened a direct path to controlling which characteristics find their way into your cup with the appropriately named, “Slayer shot”.

The Slayer Steam EP

The Steam EP is Slayer’s perfect marriage of excellence and affordability when it comes to espresso machines. Unlike the other machines in Slayer’s lineup, the Steam EP is solely a volumetric espresso machine, but shot customization is still available in the form of a 0-4 second pre-wet feature. This function allows the user to program the machine to saturate the espresso puck before full, 9 bar pressure infusion begins. By introducing a small amount amount of water, the coffee is given time to expand inside the portafilter before full pressure is achieved, mitigating the chances of channeling and under-extraction of the espresso.

The Slayer Steam LP

For those looking to experiment with different flow rates, pressure profiles, and extraction variables, the Slayer Steam LP is nothing less than a dream machine brought to life. Every shot that is pulled on the Steam LP is recorded by the machine, and can be “played back” at any given time. This means that the barista can set different parameters at each group, save them, then use the machine’s automatic volumetric capability to continue to pull that same shot throughout the day. This makes the Slayer Steam LP an ideal choice for any environment that wishes to serve both a balanced, traditional extraction while also offering a unique, floral or fruit-forward shot for true espresso enthusiasts.

Commercial Features

While Slayer’s machines are capable of creating truly unique espresso, they also include everything needed to keep a high-volume bar running smoothly and efficiently. Both the Steam EP and the Steam LP utilize individual brew boilers for each saturated group and separate steam boilers to ensure optimal thermal stability. Each machine is also built using reliable, electronic solenoid valves that don’t require the same rebuild as the mechanical valves used in other espresso machines. This means less downtime for your machine and lower overall maintenance costs. User-friendly, intuitive interface screens can be found on both the Steam EP and the Steam LP and allow for easy programmability and customizations to the machine.

By implementing one critical change in how espresso is made, Slayer started something that, perhaps, no one expected. They reimagined the espresso machine in their own style and made it something that was both bold and extraordinary. Slayer espresso machines are smart and stunning tools that not only enables professional baristas to make coffee better, but encourages them to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of espresso.

If you have any questions about the Slayer Steam EP or the Steam LP, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to talk all things espresso machines and we would be glad to address any questions or concerns that you may have.

Written by James Baxter

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