STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 3, Number 5

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42 STiR tea & coffee industry international L ike most inventions, ModBar started with an aha! moment. "I was working as a roaster and a barista and I was really frustrated. There was a physical barrier or a wall between me and the customer," says Corey Wal- dron. "I was frustrated with that barrier and I started visualizing." Waldron, ModBar's co-founder and creative director, started sketching and putting his ideas on paper. "I was always interested in soda fountain taps and art deco so I started running with it," he said. That was 1999. Fifteen years later, ModBar produces a modular espresso machine system that clears the coffee house counter of a large box of boilers and replaces it with soda fountain-style taps that open visual lines between the barista and the customer. "This is a modular brewing system; it allows you to mix and match components," Waldron says. "I call it the open counter design concept. It enhances the (customer) experience, the coffee education, and it opens all that space all up." The modular elements In order to clear that space, most ModBar elements are located under the counter and out of sight. That leaves only three devices on the counter: the steam wand, the espresso group and the coffee pour-over module. Below the counter, each module controls a topside unit. Variable settings allow a manager or barista to customize settings. The dual-boiler espresso module has its own control and group. The vertical steam wand features an ambidextrous lever allowing baristas fingertip control of the steam volume. An optional second steam tab adds versatility. The ModBar's pour-over mod- ule delivers water at precisely managed temperatures to the barista instead of the back counter. The system's software can replicate a shop's pouring techniques, time inter- vals and water volumes. Line of Sight Onyx Coffee Lab, Fayetteville, Ark., USA Percy Compania By Dan Shryock Soda fountain inspired espresso equipment encourages across-the-counter conversations

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