Meet the Seraphim, the new undercounter brewing system from our friends and partners at the Wilbur Curtis Company. Serpahim made its public debut at the 2014 SCAA Symposium, and will be on display this weekend on the 2014 SCAA Event show floor in Seattle, Washington.
Seraphim is the end product of a three year development process, the results of which combine “the brains of a Gold Cup, and the brawn of a hot water tower,” according to Brant Curtis, a fourth generation Wilbur Curtis Company team member. The Gold Cup he's referring to is the existing Curtis specialty brewer, well-regarded in specialty coffee circles and seen behind the counter at top cafes like Blacksmith in Houston, Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz, and Houndstooth in Austin.
Seraphim improves on the Gold Cup by adding considerably more access to hot water, with a full 5 gallon water tower compared to Gold Cup's 1.8 gallon tank. The control system on Seraphim, however, is identical to that on the Gold Cup, featuring a G4 touch screen with icon driven interface–the same physical part across their entire G4 brewer line. Users have the ability to manipulate settings including temperature, pulsing sequence, and how much water is being dispersed throughout each phase of the brew cycle. The machine uses an identical spray head and filter-basket as the existing Gold Cup machine.
So is this just Gold Cup 2.0? In some ways it's fair to think of it that way, although truth be told, some of Seraphim's technical details owe more to Wilbur Curtis Co.'s long history developing products for high-volume office coffee settings. The Seraphim uses the same pump system as their TLP office brewer, and the hot water tanks are the same WB5GT hot water towers, all tied together with a proprietary system in the brew-head, which they claim helps prevent cavitation issues, ensuring static head pressure, and consistent flow rate and dosage.
But those details are for the nerds. Seraphim is a striking leap forward aesthetically for Wilbur Curtis Co., reminiscent of an Arne Jacobsen mid-century modern table lamp. Undercounter is the key here, and the Serpahims on display for SCAA weekend have been built in to striking mobile carts by the designers at Barista Capsule. Five Seraphims were built by hand for Seattle, with a full production offering slated to kick off this fall. The machine is not currently available for purchase, but you can sign up here for monthly updates.
Photography by Zachary Carlsen for Sprudge.com.