The hand-built SLAYER is still a very rare espresso machine. We have the 7th one ever built (there are currently just 100 of them in the world) and we were the first to bring SLAYER Espresso to New South Wales.
SLAYER set out to create a machine that was void of any and all unnecessary clutter, preferring a minimalistic approach where only what the barista needed to see and use to make coffee were actually visible on the machine. Therefore switches, gauges, sight glass, etc were eliminated or moved below the drain tray. This puts the baristas focus on the coffee.
Attention was paid to where actuators and levers were located and how the barista interacted with them. Everything needed to flow and be in a position that was natural. Attention was paid to how these levers felt in your hand and how they felt when you moved them. This is why SLAYER chose to work with Peruvian Wallnut which feels great and looks beautiful, rather than inexpensive extruded plastic.
Baristas have for years crouched below machines to watch the espresso form in the bottom of a naked portafilter, so SLAYER added a shot-mirror. This mirror allows the barista to keep an eye on the coffee as it is developing while still being engaged in steaming milk or any other task they need to be involved in.
The SLAYER was always about manually brewing espresso. Yes, they could have designed a machine that was partially computer controlled and ultra complicated - but SLAYER and us believe that a skilled professional barista is far more intelligent and intuitive than any computer when it comes to espresso.
Being a barista is a professional trade. Much like a sommelier, a baristas will hone their palette to detect subtle nuances in bitterness, sweetness, sourness, acidity, and are able to identify a wide range of aromas. Gone are the days of a barista simply pressing a button to extract the shot as is seen in so many cafes. This machine relies on the skill and palette of the barista, meaning that 'man' and 'machine' must work in syncronised harmony in an attempt to produce the unachievable 'perfect espresso'.
The reason espresso geeks are all hyped up about the SLAYER isn't just because of its amazing looks, beautiful and majestic hand crafted wood finishes, and low slung black exterior, but because of its unique manual features, the most exciting of which is pressure profiling.
In the past, baristas had experienced the difference in mouthfeel and body of coffee pulled from manual lever machines. SLAYER set out to determine exactly what is happening in the brewing process on these machines and found that the coffee was ground much finer when pulled on the lever machine and that these machines slowly infused the coffee at low pressure before the spring was released. Also, the spring proved a declining pressure over the extraction. The result was a cup that was thicker or more viscous and often also tasted sweeter. The finer ground coffee has more surface area and more of the oils could be extracted into the cup and these oils go into your tongue and mask bitterness and reveal the sweetness that is already there. The declining pressure also tends to mute the natural acidity in the cup.
For the first time on modern machines, the SLAYER allows barista to control the pressure at the group head and change it while we are extracting the shot. Doing this enables skilled baristas to find the sweet spot in the espresso, and put more desirable flavours in the cup than modern espresso machines have ever been able to achieve.
SLAYER is the machine for the discerning coffee connoisseur. It commands attention when installed in an Espresso Bar due to the beauty and craftsmanship of the machine - but most importantly, the coffee extracted on SLAYER truly tastes different. Many customers say that they have never tasted their coffee like its tasted from SLAYER. I had numerous people tell me that the coffee I just served them was 'the best coffee they've ever had in their life'. What Espresso Bar doesn't want to get those kinds of compliments on their coffee.
SLAYER was created by coffee lovers, operated by coffee lovers, for coffee lovers. This is also why there is no compromise in either the way the SLAYER was built, or the coffee we serve on our SLAYER. This is only something that happens when someone is handcrafting every single espresso because they love it - someone who simply wanted to serve you an espresso would never make the commerical choices we made.
At Bean Drinking, we have been diligently working within the realm of third wave coffee, paying close attention to the sourcing, dosing, distribution, tamp, temperature, timing, and of course grind. As extraction occurs, we look for flow rate, colour, and appropriate volume within approximately a 25 second period. With the SLAYER Espresso machine we now have the ability to enhance and manipulate the flavour of the coffee, and create an entirely new espresso experience for you to enjoy.
The rule book on espresso has just been re-written.