Knowing The Speedster World's Best Espresso Machine From Kees Van Der Westen

Since it was first invented in 1984, Kees van der Westen's production machines quickly became excellent in the class of professional espresso machines. Dutch production machine is not only popular because of various features the super-sophisticated and automated system it possesses, but also because of its futuristic and fierce, mighty-looking design, and to us, it looks like a bunch of Autobots on a Transformers movie disguised as an espresso machine.

Interestingly, Kees van der Westen divided their espresso machine series based on the group he brought under certain names. (Speedster is a special Kees espresso machine name for the single group.) Mirage is a two-group machine name, and Spirit is a three-group machine name). Although the capacity is only one group, Speedster is called a combination of extreme precision and a stunning pre-infusion system. Suitable for coffee shops that have many customers, or used in coffee events, and also for a coffee geek who always looks for perfection in a work of art on coffee.

Speedster espresso machine consists of two separate boilers, with the arrangement: 1 large steam boiler to produce hot water and steam, then 1 boiler per group which especially heats water for coffee brewing. Each of these boilers has its own electronic regulator system that serves to control the temperature, heating element, and also equipped with safety devices (safety) to ensure a more stable temperature as well as precision. Although it has a large enough capacity, everything is kept safe with steam boiler features are also large. Then there are over-rated heating elements in both boilers and a heat-exchanger inside a steam boiler that has the function of pre-heating water to be used for brewing on a coffee boiler.

For more details, here are reviews about the construction of the Speedster espresso machine.

Steam Boiler
The steam boiler at the rear has a total capacity of 3.5 liters and is made entirely of 316L stainless steel material. The thickness of the boiler wall is about 2 mm, while the flange is 6 mm thick. (To check the steam state of the boiler, a display is mounted on the front of the machine). To set the machine into Eco mode is also easy. The machine will switch to "mode" Eco mode when not in use, or in idle condition for long period of time. In this idle state, the engine will lower the temperature to 70 ° C.

All of the heating elements possessed by this machine can support up to 1,800 watts of power, separated into 2 heating elements each of which has 900 Watt power and is incorporated in a single flange. To enable the feature for hot water is just as easy as pressing a button. While the valve body on the machine is connected between the inner tube and the outer wand, and symmetrical with the steam valve section. Two different temperatures for hot water requirements were also provided in a toggle switch.

In the engine, the hot water will flow through the steam/hot water boiler to the hot water valve by draining it first into the mixed pipe/manifold. In this manifold, there are 2 solenoid valves that are also paired, one for hot water, and another for cold water.

In the initial installation, it is a must to remove all air from the coffee boiler. Because the air can be compressed, while water cannot. When the group lever activates the solenoid valve and valve group at first, the air will automatically be pulled out as the incoming water flow because the pick-up tube section is just below the group cover section. (This is the most important point on Kees van der Westen's machine group system, including Speedster). By the time the heating system has reached and is at a pre-set temperature, this temperature will not be affected by any factor and will remain at such a temperature until the hot water actually touches the coffee powder.

At the time of the brewing process, water will never come out of the coffee water boiler/group during the journey to (powder) coffee. Water will flow through a tube in the group, starting at the bottom of the group cover, then into a three-way solenoid valve made of stainless steel material. From the solenoid valve, the water is then directed toward the other tube at the bottom of the group. Both tubes are mounted horizontally in the group neck where the system will be able to make the temperature more stable.

Infusion System
The importance of a pre-infusion system should not be underestimated. Machines that have variations in brewing temperature are unstable will tend to produce a considerable difference in taste spectrum on the coffee powder. Therefore, it is important for the espresso machine to have the right temperature, stable and "strict" or the machine will not be able to extract the complexities of the whole coffee.

One important factor is that pre-infusion can make the warming process softer that it is good to "soften" the 'fat' and oil levels in coffee before being extracted under high pressure. This process will certainly produce more solids (solids) on espresso, and ultimately produce a softer aroma as well as a more delicious flavor.

§      The pressure gauge is connected to the coffee boiler. This means, once the solenoid valve is opened then at that moment the pressure is "connected" to the coffee puck. The gauge also shows the size of the actual extraction pressure, not just the pressure pump. This system makes the baristas really able to monitor the infusion and extraction processes that are happening.
§      As soon as the lever is moved, the automatic filling system on the steam boiler filling-up system will be disabled to prevent pressure loss that could damage the subsequent extraction process.

Security System
§      The steam boiler section has two probes to keep an eye on the water level in it. Lower probes are mounted just above the heating element. When the engine is switched on and charged for the first time, the controller level will only turn on all temperature controllers, then heating elements if the lower probes detect the flow of water.
§       Both electronic temperature controllers have a maximum programmable temperature limit. By the time the temperature has reached this limit, there will be no signal transmitted to the solid state relay.
§       Each boiler is equipped with an overheating switch feature cut-out. When this switch detects a temperature that is too high, then the system will automatically disconnect power to all elements of the machine.
§       Steam boiler equipped with safety valve. Each coffee boiler system, including a heat exchanger, is also equipped with an expansion valve.
§       Group solenoid valve can serve as an additional valve, with a rate of 15 bar, if the original expansion valve fails.

With all the capabilities, features and super-sophisticated systems it has, it's no wonder that Speedster, although a single group still has a stunning performance and never die-like its slogan.

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