An Afternoon at the Opera

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Roemer Overdiep made a wonderful video of our visit, see it on Vimeo.

[Text by Jan van der Weel and Frans Goddijn]

The Sanremo “Opera” machine development used the input of an international array of baristas like John Gordon (New Zealand), Serif Basaran (Turkey), Sasa Sestic (Australia) and even Torpong Tantraporn from Thailand.

This “dream machine” is new to The Netherlands so Maarten Meijer of Sanremo Netherlands invited us to come and have a closer look.

The aim in building this model was to use from-scratch design and smart engineering for consistency and a maximum of flexibility in selecting brew ratios and pressure profiles within a range of temperatures. A modern good looking machine to deliver the best coffee as easy as possible.

We were joined by Best Barista Award winner Wouter Andeweg and Viola Lüdemann from Bocca cafe and roastery.

Early sketch by Sanremo, from a booklet about the “Opera”

opera sanremo sketch

Opera ambitions are:

High stability
The heating system has been designed different than most current PID dual boiler systems. The brew boiler is not “cold fed” into the HX and then into the group, but water out of the HX’s enters a small heavy brew boiler on every group before going into the brew part of the massive group body, resulting in a claim of 0.2ºC precision.

An espresso brewers’ toolbox
The Opera comes with a Bluetooth tablet Android app to load and edit espresso recipes. Volume, duration and pressure of the pre-infusion, brew and post-infusion phases can be set. Each of the three brew heads can store and execute 6 unique pre-programmed espresso recipes.

Volumetrics and gravimetrics
Sanremo has improved their volumetrics design by placing the volumetric control device closer to the brew head. Also gravimetrics (brewing by espresso weight) will be incorporated in the Opera in cooperation with Acaia scales.

(video by Frans Goddijn)

Open event
Maarten Meijer will host an event, most likely in April, for baristas to try out the new system “hands on” and provide feedback for further development. If you want to attend, shoot Maarten an e-mail and he will update you as soon as a date has been set.

We edited a short clip out of several hours of material, leaving out many technical details to be able to show a general impression of the engineering architecture of the current Sanremo machines.

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