Shanghaied: Hotelex in Pictures, Words, and Mostly Pictures

Team Slayer just returned from Hotelex – one of the world’s largest hospitality trade shows – and, shoot, we have stories to tell! The Great Firewall kept us quiet while on the inside but now, back in the States, we’re slaphappy to share what we saw. Here’s the best of our week in China.

Our weekend began at Jascaffe, one of China’s most prominent specialty coffee roasters, equipment suppliers, and training tanks. Jason, Dylan, and Chris lent hands at their stellar sales summit.

Dylan from Slayer at Jascaffe

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Posted under Shows & Jams

New Custom Build: Dream Machine for Blue Bottle NYC

Ever seen a Slayer in action? Touched its wooden paddle and pulled a shot? Gripped the steam handle and blasted into a pitcher of cold milk? Then you know: these machines are about more than spec sheets.

Our clients come to us to get the most out of their coffee. But not just that: they want to slay in style. Collaborating on custom designs, we turn a fancy espresso appliance into their dream machine.

Almost half of the Slayers we build come with requests for customization. Some are simple color selections, some weird fantasies (no, we won’t shape your machine into a V12 engine), and some just plain wicked. James Freeman, founder of Blue Bottle Coffee, came to us with a wild vision for his first Slayer. And the result is stunning.

Blue Bottle custom Slayer espresso machine

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Posted under Custom builds

Slayer Single Group

Check out the video of Jason discussing the new Slayer Single Group with Chris from Prima Coffee at Coffee Fest Chicago last weekend

Posted under Equipment, Shows & Jams, Video

SCAA 2013

You want it. We’ve got it. All the espresso you need this SCAA weekend is at Booth 845.

Two Slayers will be dueling all weekend. One will be hosting our kickass featured roasters, while the other will be home to two incredible coffees roasted by Novo, developed by Ninety Plus Coffee. You guys are in for a treat…


  • Taste Profile Category: N2
  • Selection Level: Level 12
  • Taste Profile Notes: juicy, elderberry/blackberry, butterscotch, light jasmine
  • Inspired by Ninety Plus Aricha selections developed with S.A. Bagersh from 2006-2008.
  • Hachira coffees are juicy and floral, commonly with concentrated elderberry to blackberry fruit, sometimes with basil-like herbal notes.


  • Taste Profile Category: N2
  • Selection Level: Level 12
  • Taste Profile Notes: cherries, peaches, thick, creamy, jammy, passion fruit finish
  • Originally named as “Nectar from Shakisso” in 2009, the Nekisse profile is defined by a creamy mouthfeel and heavy berry jam flavor, but layers of citrus and many tropical fruits can be present in some selections.
  • Originally from Shakisso, subsequent Nekisse coffees have been developed in Wellega and Sidama.

SCAA is huge. Don’t get lost!

If you want to explore the Boston coffee scene, check out a map of some of Boston’s must-sees, including 4A Coffee, home of Boston’s first (and beautifully green) Slayer:

Boston Cafe Map

We’ll be at all the most exciting after-show parties this weekend, and we expect to see you there too! Thank you to the magnificent, hardworking team at Sprudge.com (your one-stop party shop) for compiling the ultimate party list: #SCAA2013 Party Preview – Where It’s All Happening In Boston!

Last, but not least, here’s a huge thank you to all the roasters who will be hanging out with us this week. Be sure to stop by and try their coffee on Slayer:

SCAA is going to be incredible. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, visit scaaevent.org. See you there!

Posted under Culture, Marketing/Branding, Shows & Jams

Flavor Profiling

Slayer was conceived and designed from inception with one purpose – getting more from the coffee through flavor profiling.

With Slayer’s unique ability to flavor profile coffee, you can highlight flavor characteristics and make coffee better. Increase mouthfeel & body, acidity, sweetness and overall balance in the cup. As well, you can easily decrease acidity or bitterness and tailor the coffee to your liking.

Slayer – for the coffee aficionado

Posted under About Us, Marketing/Branding, Pressure Profiling, Video

Slayer Custom – Portola Coffee

This video is showing the most recent customizations made to a Slayer 2 group for Portola Coffee in Costa Mesa, California.

We were contacted by Jeff, the owner of Portola, about a new cafe he was building. He had recently purchased a vintage LSM lever machine with hand hammered copper panels and wanted his Slayer to have a similar feel. After seeing images of the lever machine as well as artists renderings of Jeff’s new bar we knew what we needed to do. Borrowing the shape of the tiles on Jeff’s bar, we customized the back panel of his machine – then had them copper plated – then antiqued the copper to have a similar feel to his old lever.

We also designed a new cup rack for Jeff. We wanted to add to Slayer’s already iconic look but wanted the design to have a light and elegant appearance. We came up with the flowing lines and arched back and determined Peruvian walnut was the perfect way to integrate the new cup rack with the existing design of the machine. Stainless steel is inset into the walnut to provide the strength necessary to allow the cup rack to be lifted from the machine when its full of ceramic cups and the two stainless rails hold the cups in place.

We had a great time on this design and fabrication and we’d encourage anyone in the Costa Mesa area to stop into the new cafe called Theorem and see this beautiful creation in person.

Contact us a Slayer for your customization desires

Posted under Coffee Retailing, Equipment, Marketing/Branding, Video

Coffee Fest – Seattle

Just a quick reminder about Coffee Fest Seattle this weekend!!!

This is the first time Slayer has exhibited at Coffee Fest and we’re excited and have a number of things going on:

1. We’ll be pulling shots on a custom 2 group Slayer. This machine was commissioned by Jeff Duggan, owner of Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa California. This is Jeff’s 3rd Slayer and he’s gone all out and we’re extremely proud to be showcasing his machine before shipping it to him. If you follow us on Instagram (@slayerespresso) you’ve seen pictures of our progress, as we’ve customized the body panels with copper plating, antiquing and a stainless reveal. We’ve also had requests for a cup tray and went all out designing what we believe is something special – the Peruvian Walnut wrapped cup tray adds another dimension to Slayer’s already iconic look. In addition to this, Jeff added almost every option we have available including wooden portafilter handles and pre-brew timers. Make sure you stop by our booths 317/319 and check this beauty out!

2. We’re thrilled to be pulling shots of Ninety Plus Ethiopian Nekisse N2 and Ethiopian Hachira N2!!! If you’ve never tried this exquisite coffee you’re in for a treat and you’ll want to get to our booth early – and if you can’t find our booth, just follow your nose as the Nekisse is tasting like strawberry, peach, spices with a beautiful delicate acidity and Hachira is currently tasting like blackberry, vanilla, spice and floral. We are lucky enough to have 20 lbs of these coffees (roasted for us by Fratello Coffee – buy coffee from them) but after tasting this it…I’m not sure if it’ll last the entire show. Also, there will be representatives from Ninety Plus at our booth with a few sensory room tables and will conduct a number of tastings. Do NOT miss out on these coffees

3. Americas Best Espresso Competition – Slayer is proud to be one of the four equipment sponsors for this new event where 32 Coffee Roasters will be competing. I’m looking forward to this new event. We’ve had a number of roasters stopping by Studio #238 to dial in their coffee and I’ve got to say I wish I was judging because this is going to be a lot of fun

4. If you’re going to Coffee Fest, use this code and save 50% on your entrance fee: 66559

5. We are hosting a tour of Slayer Studio #238 this Thursday at 3:00, where you can have hands-on time with Slayer and your own coffee. If you’re interested, please contact: molly(at)slayerespresso.com

This Saturday, we’re going to be hanging out at the Barista Jam at Visions Espresso then heading to the party at Victrola.

See you there!!!

Posted under Barista Competition, Direct Trade, Equipment, Marketing/Branding

Australian Cafes – Putting Slayer to the Test

While in Australia I had the pleasure of visiting a lot of amazing cafes. What was immediately apparent to me is how serious they take their coffee and the quality of the cafes in general. What blew me away was how insanely busy some of these places were with the standout being The League of Honest Coffee. These guys are smashing out coffee at volumes I’ve only seen once before, and the quality of the shots and milk drinks were beautiful.

As I sat there and watched the baristas work, it struck me that I needed to shoot a video so that I could share it with everyone for a couple of reasons:

1. I want you to watch the entire video and really pay attention to whats going on. These guys have their systems down and every things moving like clockwork. I’ve watched it several times to notice all the details of how the flow of clients move, how there are two baristas on the customer side of the bar pouring drinks and interacting with clients and even delivering drinks. Pay attention to the sheer volume of shots being pulled and the number of pitchers being steamed. Honesty, I’ve never seen a cafe this busy running this well, its very impressive.

2. Often people feel that Slayer can only be used as a Single Origin machine on a slow bar. Sure, Slayer is the perfect machine for pulling beautiful SO’s…But Slayer was designed to handle the volume of the busiest cafes and we’re starting to see more and more cafes putting Slayer on their main bar. The reason for this is simple: Slayer has unlimited steam, even from a 2 group machine and will never let you down. Slayer’s pre-heat system ensures that you’re always pulling shots at your desired temperature. Slayer is ergonomic meaning that all hand movements are fluid and intuitive. Slayer is void of all unnecessary distractions…buttons, lights, switches, gauges, sight glass, etc and either completely removed or placed out of sight – this means that only what the barista needs to do their work is visible and this helps put the focus back onto the coffee. In short, Slayer is the perfect machine for production environments.

Although this is a longer video, I hope you watch it all and learn something from the way they’re doing things down under and remember, Slayer puts the power into the hands of the barista.



Posted under Cafe Reviews, Coffee Retailing, Culture, Equipment, Marketing/Branding, Professional Techniques, Video


This video is showcasing a custom 3 group we built to 4A Coffee in Boston. The body panels had to be mirror polished, then nickel plated, then painted with Jollypop green to give the machine the reflective finish.

Posted under Equipment, Marketing/Branding, Video

How Fine Can You Go?

I’m often asked about the differences between Slayer and other machines that can manipulate brew pressure. Recently I’ve been emailing back and forth with someone trying to explain the difference and describe how much finer you can grind on Slayer compared to other machines – then I figured it was easier to shoot a quick video for him and thought I’d also post it online.

This specific video shows/demonstrates how much finer you can grind the coffee when you slowly pre brew with a slow flow rate on Slayer. The finer ground coffee results in a (generally) sweeter more balanced coffee with much more body.

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Posted under About Us, Equipment, Experiments & Tests, Marketing/Branding, Pressure Profiling, Professional Techniques, Video