Since Roy started working at Switch Youth Cafe, he used a Fracino Brambino machine. This machine then got moved onto The Cafe at the Free Church so I have been using it the last two years. We have had it serviced once recently, and the engineer said they are a great machine that will last years.
Personally I think it is almost as good as the super expensive machines that Caffé Nero use. We have the semi-automatic version, which is obviously different from a high street store, but in a quieter pop up cafe it is more than sufficient. The espresso looks lovely and the milk froth is great. My only criticism would be that the hot water tap lets out a lot of steam as well as water making it quite hard to see what you are doing.
As we both agreed the Fracino machine is great, and comes at a really good price. We decided to chose this as our machine of choice for any of the projects we are involved in. We contacted the company and were thrilled to be invited up to the factory for a visit.
Fracino are a British company, with their factory and offices in Birmingham. The company was founded in 1960 by Frank Maxwell, who bought a coffee machine on holiday in Italy, stripped it down in his garden shed and started importing and supplying machines to British retail outlets. Since then the company’s manufacturing as grown to a site over 50,000 square foot where almost every single part of the machines are made. In fact they now sell their machines to Italian coffee makers.
When we arrived at the factory, we were greeted by Hayley, who took us to a room filled with all of the coffee machines and grinders and everything else that they make. Hayley gave us a run through of all the machines and we talked about our different needs. She then showed us how machines we haven’t used work. We still love the Bambino, but we also think the Little Gem – which is a manual fill machine – would be great for coffee carts and pop up cafes, where a plumbed in machine would not be practical.
Hayley said the company are aware of the problems with the hot water tap, she said it is something they are working on but due to the engineering of the machine it’s not something that could ever be fully rectified. She suggested an urn for places that make a lot of teas and americana which is exactly what we would suggest.
Hayley then took us down to the actual factory where there were hundreds of machines in various different stages of production and boxes upon boxes of parts. Some bits were familiar to me, and things we would desperately try to get hold of when working at Nero, so it made me laugh to see them in such abundance.
The tour was really helpful and informative. We also became a distributor of Fracino machines, so we can get them for any of the project we work with. We would like to thank Hayley and Fracino for inviting us up. It has helped us a lot with decisions about machines, but also means we have much better knowledge to pass on to our future clients.