Why an X? Slayer breaks the mold on supporting a machine.
Feb 02, 2009
Okay, I’m going to say it. . . “Slayer combines Art and Technology to create a beautiful, highly functional design.”
The reason I hesitate to state this bluntly is because it seems like this is an over-used marketing catch phrase–a hackneyed bromide, a gimmick. It seems that every company out there lays claim to bringing these two characteristics together in a single enigmatic product. However, most don’t.
If nothing else, the Slayer espresso machine truly is the result of a conscious effort to reassert the importance of the espresso machine as the iconic centerpiece, the focal point and object, of the Third Wave cafe, while at the same time introducing new brewing capabilities, particularly around the concept of leveraging brew pressure deltas, to get more out of the coffee.
Jason, Dan and I really did start out with the intention of creating a Slayer espresso machine that married Art and Technology to achieve a level of look and functionality that is simply not available in the market at this point. The design brief for Slayer called for a product, custom tailored for the boutique coffee category in form and function. To do this we had to push it.
Moving Stuff to the Vertical Plane
One feature of Slayer that stands out (and has received quite a bit of comment already) is the X shaped support system. These X’s are far more than a decorative element. They actually support the entire machine and its key internal components, including tanks and preheater.
By casting a vertical X support system, we were able to escape from the horizontal space trap that plagues almost every machine now made. Most machines are supported by a flat horizontal plate or frame into which four NSF legs are attached.
The Slayer’s spar and Gatling gun-like tank mounting system swings all these support elements to the the sides and to the vertical plane. This means the Slayer’s X’es are functionally the same as the feet and bottom plate of a conventional machine. Only they’re out of the way and in an an area that lends extra rigidity to the steam system.
Slayer’s unique design also liberates tons of space under the machine and allows a low slung profile that keeps electronics and other key components far away from damaging sources of heat and humidity.
This is important for three reasons. First is longevity. This machine is designed to be the last machine anyone will ever need to purchase. Second, is serviceability. Identifying and getting to components is clear and easy for technicians of almost every aptitude. Third, is functionality. The machine is low profile. This helps connect the customer with the barista, emphasizing the performance art aspect of preparing coffee, perhaps the central tenet of Third Wave cafe operations.
I have attached a few pictures above that you may find interesting. First is a computer rendering of one of our original X designs. The other is a photo of the pattern and matchplate for our ultimate X, the one we’re using.