Aguila Barista : An Exact Science
The precision of Nespresso for professionals has a name - Aguila. A Cyber-Barista that filters, heats and foams milk at a startling rate. Find out what the team at the Lausanne Palace think about the new machine. Perfection was already a way of life in this luxury hotel. Now it's automated
AN ASSISTANT BEHIND THE BAR
At the touch of a button, Aguila can prepare a dozen different beverages, from cappuccinos to macchiatos, lattes to espressos and lattinos. With four hot or cold milk and foam nozzles, you can even invent your own customised recipe or tailor-made chocolate drink. Its large milk cooler compartment, cup warmer and big spent capsule bin are also positive features. On the technology front, it boasts an energy-saving mode and a SIM card, which can be activated in order to track maintenance requirements online.
WHY DID YOU SWITCH TO A NEW COFFEE MACHINE?
JEAN-LOUIS FOUCQUETEAU, CATERING MANAGER, LAUSANNE PALACE : One day, a guest at our gastronomic restaurant La Table d’Edgar, came to thank us for the quality of the meal. However, his one disappointment was the finishing touch. The coffee at the end of a dinner is the longest-lasting memory, the freshest imprint left by a meal. It is such a shame if the experience is unsatisfactory, merely because of such an easily perfectible ingredient. It’s a bit like a nice love story that ends with a marital dispute.
WHAT IS SO GOOD ABOUT AGUILA?
J.-L. F. : We were looking for a high-performance system to produce the volumes of quality coffee needed in a hotel with 147 rooms, 4 restaurants and 3 bars. Our previous purchase, a fairly standard percolator, kept causing us problems, mainly due to the irregular quality of the coffee. We’ve never had that kind of issue with Aguila – an outstanding machine. The first impression is of an attractive item, whose gleaming bodywork fits perfectly into a prestigious setting. The coffee is consistently of excellent quality, and the machine can keep supplying a restaurant with a diverse range of cappuccinos, espressos, latte macchiatos and even iced coffee specialities. All it takes is a capsule and one push of the button – the machine takes care of the rest. There is a selection of eight caffeinated or decaffeinated Grands Crus, which is good, because our clients have ever more discerning tastes. The variety of coffee available is impressive these days – and the barista is becoming a genuine career in itself.
DEBORAH GAGLIARDI, LEAD BARMAID AT BAR 1915, LAUSANNE PALACE.
We were always having problems with the old machine. Either the foam was as thin as cigarette paper, or the water was too hot and the coffee too bitter. If ten cappuccinos were ordered, we could never be sure of getting two the same. Nowadays, they come out impeccably, without a single splash on the machine. The latte foam is perfect, with the milk and coffee layers well distinguished and identical in size. They are genuine masterpieces, available at the push of a button.
AND HOW DOES IT COPE AT THE HEIGHT OF THE RUSH
D. G. : It’s very well-equipped with its four spouts, two water taps and two milk taps. And the coffees come out ready-made, meaning that we have more workspace for our cocktails With the old percolator, we had to keep the milk jug moving under the steam nozzle, keep an eye on the foam, pat it down to squeeze out the air bubbles. If you turned away for a moment, it all overflowed. Nowadays, results are perfect. All I have to do is press the button for the required espresso format or another recipe. It all comes out at the right temperature, so no one burns their fingers on a latte macchiato glass. It can also be used for hot or iced chocolate. You simply place a glass with a bit of cocoa powder, and it pours out the milk and a perfect foam at the correct temperature. I hope that no such machine is invented for cocktails, otherwise I’d be out of a job in no time.
IS IT EASY TO USE ?
D. G. : At first it takes a bit of time to find the right button for each order. But it soon becomes very intuitive. It’s like going from a harpsichord to a piano; the bum notes are no longer part of the repertoire. And Aguila even adapts to the size of our cups, glasses and mugs – it really is a universal system.
Production : Sandrine Giacobetti - Text : Julien Bouré - Photography : Jean-Claude Amiel