MILAN, Italy — During Host 2019, we visited the stand of Iberital and its team which was led by Aurora Farré, Iberital Director & Member of the Board. The highlight of the stand was Vision, an innovative coffee machine, technological and respectful of the environment. Farré gave us this exclusive interview about the machine and the company.
Can you first introduce yourself?
“I am part of a family that owns Iberital, and we run it in coordination with other family members.”
An H2020 European project, thanks to which you have obtained one point six million euros in funding to develop the Vision. What can you tell us about this research and design activity that made your competitors talk about it?
“This is logical: when a non-Italian company, in the coffee sector, manages to achieve such a result, and tries to do something better for the coffee world, competitors react like this.
The project behind the Vision is designed and built in Barcelona by qualified people, a group of engineers from the Polytechnic University of Barcelona together with the Iberital staff. We felt compelled to take a step forward in the sector. And now we have to talk about it, since the project started three years ago. To think about energy savings, a healthier machine, with a futuristic design, in line with the typical Catalan design of the city of Barcelona, also to differentiate us from the Italian look.
Our design is different, it is inspired and is much closer to other styles such as those born in northern European countries, or in Japan, where a different and more essential way of life is sought. With this idea we decided to follow our path to do something that Europe needed in the name of sustainability and for a more sober design, with cleaner lines. We also won the Smart Label award here at HostMilano and other 5 design awards including the renowned A’Design Award. ”
How are the sales are going?
“The sales go on. The machine has been understood, because its technology is very easy to use. Usability was very important to us. No one knows how an iPhone is made, because usually the only thing that is interesting for the user is that it is easy to use. For a long time, all that involved using the coffee machine was complicated. To facilitate the work of the barista, we have decided to put at his disposal a machine that is highly technological and simple at the same time, to allow the barista to enjoy all the functionality without being faced with a technology that is difficult to understand and use. ”
A sustainable, efficient machine connected to the IOT system
“Several telecommunications and electronic engineers have put themselves at the service of our company. The future of the coffee world is this: to hire professionals from various disciplines in our company to be able to offer a powerful technology that is not an obstacle for the barista. We are talking about traditional machines and not super-automatic ones. ”
Some examples: what makes the Vision a different and technologically advanced machine?
“It is the set of various technologies that we have developed that makes VISION a different machine. For example, the Eco energy mode, which determines energy savings. It is not just a temperature control by lowering the group temperature. With a minimal gesture, a process starts depending on the need of the barista who decide how much energy to save and how fast the machine have to work. Or our WaterTech system, which is an independent hot water circuit, never seen before. Usually in traditional machines the water used for teas comes from the boiler, while in VISION it comes directly from the water supply, allowing it to use this water not only for tea, but also for filtered coffee, Aeropress and other methods of extraction.”
The barista almost never buys the coffee machine, but he pays the bill
“All the stakeholders in the coffee value chain -the machine, the roaster or operator, the barista, have an impact on our environment.. We must think about the future; it’s as simple as this: we need to change for a better world.”
How is a factory that has been completely renovated 4 years ago?
“One without the other does not make sense. A brand must be consistent; it’s a matter of values and culture. The coherence is from the beginning to the end. We cannot produce a sustainable machine without having a factory built on the same values. Our whole team must be able to say: here we manufacture the Vision. “
What is the price of the machine?
“The machine is positioned int the high price range. It is a difficult segment because it is for a niche market with many competitors. But VISION has a lot to offer: a tablet with a user-friendly App to change settings, energy efficiency, IoT connectivity.
An idea that was the result of teamwork. It is a family project. We have been working together for 45 years. We have decided together to take this new path. We work a lot and we are good at it. The market was ready to listen to Iberital. A company where people were heard technically. We are an important company in Spain. “
How did Italy respond?
“It is not a target market for us. Italy is the main market for all Italian coffee machine manufacturers and for this reason we have never tried to sell in Italy. We are from Barcelona, in the Mediterranean, where coffee is a culture, a way of life. The world is big, and we must be pragmatic. So, our sales force is oriented towards where we can achieve results. Coffee is for the whole world, and we go where we can get payback. We work in nearly 100 countries in Europe, America, Asia/Australasia and Africa. “