From the moment it launched in 2006, coffee geeks have been lusting after the La Marzocco GS/3. This single-group espresso machine manages to pack the technical abilities of a full-sized La Marzocco GB5 professional espresso machine into a much more kitchen-counter friendly footprint. The machines have seen wide use in professional coffee catering and other mobile applications, and though the $6,900 price puts them at the top end of the “prosumer” category, they have also become something of the gold standard for at-home coffee aficionados with a budget.
At the just-completed SCAA 2014 trade show, La Marzocco took that prestige factor to the next level by commissioning a series of customized GS/3s from Pantechnicon, the brand of machine modder, engineer and designer extraordinaire Jacob Ellul-Blake.
The machines on display at the SCAA show floor are prototypes of a line of GS/3 modification options that La Marzocco is going to be rolling out in fall 2014, as part of a larger launch of their La Marzocco At Home project. The mods are being developed by Ellul-Blake, who was one of the main architects of the La Marzocco Strada technology, and is a deeply accomplished designer and fabricator of espresso machine modifications, including the richly-detailed wood and matte-black machines that have gone into the new Stumptown cafes in New York City and Los Angeles.
This line of customizations will be available at time of order, and will run an additional $200 to $1000 depending on the modifications. There will be options for sidepanels, wood accents, paddles and portafilter handles, and different color coatings of the machine body, including an FDA-certified food-safe option for blacked-out portafilter bodies. The volumetric GS/3 “AV” retails for $6,900, with the paddle-group version–which shares the same group-head technology as the La Marzocco Strada MP–retailing for $7,100.
The prototypes on the show floor were not available for sale, but you can expect to see them around coffee events in the American Pacific Northwest. La Marzocco’s new line of customizations launch for public consumption this fall.
All photos by Sprudge Co-Founder Zachary Carlsen (@ZacharyCarlsen).