This is Mr. Toast. Love him? Buy him via Big Cartel.
You know what's hot right now? Toast. At cafes like The Mill or Trouble Coffee & Coconut Club in San Francisco, Heart Coffee Roasters in Portland, Toby's Estate in Brooklyn, and Cognoscenti Coffee in Los Angeles, delicious slices of toast are being served up alongside world-class espresso and brewed coffee. When it comes to offering toast in a fine cafe setting, the jam may not be currant, but the choice itself is au courant.
Toast is so trendy right now, we even featured it on the most recent cover of Sprudge Sunday Magazine. But like all things in this crazy artisanal world of ours, the devil is in the details. Imagine yourself as a budding toast concierge: right this very moment you're wondering, “what's the best toasting implement for me?” That's why we've reached out to America's foremost shortform toast writer, Scott Guglielmino of La Marzocco USA. Mr. Guglielmino has put together a list of 4 do's and 1 big don't for the toast-inclined, a sort of user's bible for this brave new world of toast trending.
Turns out the Maillard reaction loves company. Take it away, Scott
1. Black & Decker 2 Slice – $24.29 – For the toast-master beginner. I think this entry-level Black & Decker doozy is a great pick for your brand-new pop-up, and will look great sharing counter space with a jet-black Hario V60. However, this toaster's inability to handle long toast slices is a big negative. Combine that with a small 850 watt element and you will have customers waiting far too long for their toast…plus it only has 6 settings! Shop for Black & Decker toasters
2. Dualit 2 Slot NewGen – $259.95 – For the classic European cafe. The Dualit 2 Slot offers some impressive features and is sure to please the Euro-style café outfitter. With a suggested output of 65 slices per hour and beefy elements at 1200 watts, this machine will hold up to a midsized rush. My only hesitation for recommending this toaster is the mechanical timer mechanism, because timers break when repeatedly forced on and off. Shop for Dualit 2 Slot NewGens
3. Holman Pop-Up – $430.00 – For the true 4th wave café. Only one toaster on this list has a true commercial build. Rated at 150 slices per hour, with 1100 watt elements and an extra wide 1-1/8 inch opening, this toaster can handle even the busiest of lines, plus it's got independent thermostats and color controls. You can count on the Holman Pop-Up to provide great toast…until the 5th wave arrives. Shop for Holman Pop-Ups
4. Magimix by Robot-Coupe Vision – $249.95 – For the wild card cafe. Clear view toast sides? Consider this the naked portafilter of the toaster world. Having earned a solid reputation in commercial kitchens with their power mixer and combination food processors, I was personally overjoyed to see the manufacturers at Magimix venture into the toaster world. Boasting a robust 1500 watts, this is one powerful toaster. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and my test toasts with the Magimix were riddled with browning evenability issues. If your cafe is style-first, give the Magimix a whirl, but if you're looking for consistent toasthorse, I wouldn't recommend this admittedly innovative product. Shop for Magimixes
5. Conveyor Style Toasters – ??? – Not recommended. These toasters are the super-autos of the toast world. No self-respecting 4th wave toast concierge/barista would be willing to use one of these, unless it is located in his or her college cafeteria.
Are you serving fine toaststuffs in a quality-focused cafe setting? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop off in the comments below!