Last month, in an industrial garage on 11th Avenue, between Pike & Pine on Seattle's teeming Capitol Hill, a new espresso machine company was launched. Dubbed MAVAM Espresso, it's the work of a guy named Michael Gregory Myers, a lifelong espresso machine tinkerer. The project has been developed in partnership with Terry Ziniewicz—who, it should be disclosed, has been a longtime friend and advertising partner of this website and is related to one of its founders by marriage. Ziniewicz is the founder of Espresso Parts; he sold the company in 2012 and has since moved on to a variety of progressive coffee tinkering projects.
Two machines were on display during this private launch event, attended by VIPs from Japan, Europe, and across the United States. The first, a 2-group conventional espresso machine dubbed the Mach 1, has been built with durability, stability, and ease of repair as its operational maxims. A single screw removes its side panel; all components can be easily reached once inside. MAVAM are billing this machine as ideal for busy drive-thru espresso stands and especially high-volume coffee bars. The machine's specs hit a lot of touch points that coffee technology nerds know to look for: stuff like copper steam boilers, heated group heads, and customizable side and body panels.
The factory MAVAM 1 is almost intentionally plain, designed to work well internally with a nigh-endless set of options for custom build-out. A repeated claim from Myers & MAVAM is that this machine will pull a “1st shot that's the same as the 100th shot”, a testament to the machine's purported stability. “Temperature is the most important thing,” Myers told us, adding that the machine was energy efficient at under 30 amps and on its way to receiving an Energy Star certification from the EPA, an American federal regulatory agency.
There was more immediate visceral reaction at the launch event to the MAVAM UCEM, or Under Counter Espresso Machine. The product is visually striking, and backed up an enviable set of claims about durability and stability. Each group has a boiler in the boiler unit, and is serviced by individual pumps. A patent-pending heating house reduces temperature drop up to 8 feet away from the control unit. The entire interface is customizable, and under the hood functions with the same degree of precision and control as the Mach 1. You can read a complete set of technical specs here courtesy of MAVAM.
All of MAVAM's products are hand made in Seattle, Washington, and feel imbued with a kind of outsider ethos that this city used to be known for, a spirit that can still be felt in the smaller towns and hamlets of the American Pacific Northwest. Launching far away from the glitz and pomp of the SCAA Event showfloor was not an accident. This garage used to be a punk rock club, and for a night it was again.