Home is where the heart (and epic coffee machine) is. Meet three coffee connoisseurs with head turning personal setups.
Expert opinion – Kayne Ensten, Complete Cafe Services
Kayne Ensten’s current coffee machine of choice is the revered Slayer from Seattle. “It’s like a lab machine,” he says. “It has a pump in it that is similar to a [hospital] dialysis machine. It is the third one ever built, and possibly the only in Adelaide. There’s over $15,000 of equipment right there.”
Kayne’s job means he has the pick of the bunch. He is the is the managing director of Complete Café Services which sells, installs and repairs machines for commercial and residential use. “I’ve been in the coffee industry for close to 20 years now, this businesses since 2010. We have two locations and nine vans.”
At home, he tests out the latest and greatest from his showroom, making sure he knows the ins and outs of each and every machine. His showrooms in Glenunga and Unley attract all sorts of clientele, from small business, franchises and home brewers, an area he says is growing.
“People want to get that café experience at home. It’s like cooking a barbecue,” he says. “Coffee was once just a brown hot drink. People respect the beans more now. They respect where they come from and appreciate the flavour you can get out of them.”
Kayne started out in the world of pinball machines. “I had over 300 machines in four states from the age of 18 to 26. Then I took two years off, and someone asked me if I wanted to fix some coffee machines for them and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll give it a shot!’ – seemed easy enough because I had previous studies in electronic engineering.”
Soon after, Kayne started popular coffee roaster La Crema Coffee and later sold it to go back to university to study industrial design. After having children, he turned his focus back to coffee. “I just started tinkering with a few machines in my shed at that point.”
Now, his company supplies and services some of the biggest names in the state including Cibo, Hudsons, Campos, and Home Grain Bakery. It’s the home fanatics who have him hooked now, whether it be a simple home machine or a full set-up. Increasingly, he’s seeing more of the latter.
“Our biggest customer spent over $50,000. I like the people who don’t have budgets. I had a man recently say, ‘I don’t have a budget. I’m building the house around the coffee machine.’ I love this stuff. I’m passionate about making sure people get the right equipment. Being an industrial designer, I am super fussy. It needs to look good, have form and function, be durable and repairable.”
Kayne travels the globe to meet with machine designers, manufacturers, roasters and fellow coffee fanatics. “It was just coffee back in the day. Now we’re drinking coffee like wine. Customers want unique customised machines, so I am enjoying that creativity aspect. I’m designing my own machine currently. It’s been a work in progress for two-to-three years now.”
Kayne’s tip: When you’re looking to buy a machine, think about how you prefer your coffee. “If you just want it quick, I can give you a machine that you can push the button and away you go. But if you want to make something that’s a bit more of the café experience, it’s going to [require] a bit more labour and a bit more mess but the result will be a higher quality drink.”
Ice cold – Paul Pruszinski
Why have just a coffee machine when you can have a specially designed brew bar? When renowned architect Paul Pruszinski designed his home at Henley beach in 2016, his coffee machine took pride of place. He even crafted a separate bar space alongside their kitchen for their very own barista station. It pulls out all the stops: built-in ice machine, double-group machine and cake display fridge. They brought the café to their house. Pure, caffeinated genius.
“It shocks people,” Paul says. “It’s not what you’d expect in any old house, I suppose. We already had a decent coffee setup in our previous home – the traditional approach of building it into the kitchen like another appliance, however we found that to be anti-social, for the same reasons that decent café’s prefer to have the barista facing the customers whilst making coffee.”
Paul is the founder of Pruszinksi Architects, famous for their work on the Conservatory on Hindmarsh Square, Crowne Plaza Adelaide and Ibis Hotel. He recently retired (mostly) with wife Susan (also an architect) and their two daughters, to enjoy more of the slow life in their beach abode with lots of coffee on the side.
It all begun with a love affair with the humble iced coffee 15 years ago. Previously strictly a tea man, Paul now sources his own beans, roasts his own coffee in the garage and has a whizz-bang ice machine sourced on a trip to Melbourne, all to make the perfect iced coffee at home.
“My first roaster was actually just a popcorn machine which spit up the beans. It took three minutes.” He laughs. Roasting for the past nine years, his current roaster supplies enough for their family in a fresh weekly roast.
When it comes to beans, Paul is adventurous. “When I run out, I do a bit of research. At the moment these are Colombian, but there’s some Mexican and some Indian. They come from all over really, and they take just 18 minutes to roast.”
His Expobar machine is his pride and joy, sourced by Kayne at Complete Café Services. “You can do so much more if you get a machine that’s commercial. You can make whatever you want.”
Even their ice machine is impressive. “It’s not just a matter of buying an ice machine – there are different types of ice! The research was crazy. This machine produces chewable ice.” Susan and Paul says a separate ice machine to those in residential fridges means you have fresh ice with none of those nasty fridge smells.
They really have thought of everything, right down to the cake fridge, so you can enjoy your coffee with a bite to eat.
For anyone looking to up their game in the home coffee scene, it’s all about seeking the right advice and increasing your knowledge.
- Buy a grinder. “Pre-ground beans have lost all their flavour, so a grinder is a key thing. You can get some good residential grinders.”
- Get the right advice. “You need a good machine supplier. That’s key. Someone who gives you good, honest advice. There are a lot of really bad machines and the machine makes a massive difference.”
- Invest in education. “The best starting point is going through a little course, which I do. It’s a two-night Barista course in the city with WEA. He goes through and teaches you how to make coffee. You understand the difference in a good coffee and a bad coffee, and even the way it gets poured. Then from there you can understand what you need out of a machine and what your expectations are. You can do your research on the various machines.”
Precision brew – Michael Abbott
Michael treats his coffee machine like he does his medical tools – with care, precision and passion. Michael says making coffee is much like being a in surgery – if you do it right.
“You’re kind of blending science and technology with art and food. During the daytime, I’m an anaesthetist and I’m working with gasses, pipes, fluids and drugs. This is quite similar actually,” he says laughing.
Michael has owned coffee machines for years but his recent purchase is his pride and joy. He’s one of the lucky few to own a Speedster, an aesthetically beautiful machine, designed and made to order in the Netherlands. The 45-kilogram machine has a double boiler for heating water and making steam for speed and quality. You can also adjust the temperature to the degree. “This affects the flavour and extraction of the coffee.”
It’s date-stamped too. “One thing about making coffee and looking at the machine is that you’ve got to be quite obsessive about it. You really have to look after it and to keep it clean.”
He’s committed to the craft. A whole bench in his newly renovated kitchen is devoted to the machine and his two grinders (one for decaf, one for regular) and variety of coffees and cleaning implements. “When the kitchen was remodelled, we built it around the coffee machine.
His passion began 20 years ago while studying medicine. “When I was studying, I used coffee to keep myself awake. Then I got given one of those Melitta drip filter coffee makers from years ago and somewhere along the way, I got a Krups machine.” The rest is history.
His machinery has gone up a notch, but his love for coffee remains driven by necessity. “Coffee keeps me awake, instead of putting people to sleep which I do every day.”
Michael really upped-the-anti on the tech front. He spent the last five years perfecting the setup. He’s even got his machine on a timer, so he can turn it on from his phone at the hospital and be ready for a brew when he arrives home. “My father was sitting at home while we were in France recently and I turned it on for him.” That’s service your local cafe can’t even offer.
- If you’re not up to heavy-machinery, stick to a good quality stovetop boiler. “I’ve still got the old fashioned one for the top of the stove. The coffee that you get from a stovetop machine is a lot better than you can get out of one of those cheaper at-home machines.”
- Latte art doesn’t necessarily make a good coffee. “I won’t be a pretty coffee because I don’t do latte art, but I will make a good coffee.”
- Buy local beans if you’re not prepared to roast your own. “Unless you’re going to invest a lot of money into it and spend an awful lot time on it, you’re going find it very difficult to produce coffee beans that come anywhere near the quality that you can from somebody like Tony D’Angelo (D’Angelo Coffee).