The Dalla Corte Mina is the product of good design and better science, resulting in the most meticulously engineered cup of espresso. With this machine, every espresso has the opportunity to become a science project with every variable controlled and defined. To do this, the Mina introduces something completely new and exciting: a Bluetooth-controlled iris diaphragm, capable of adjusting the flow of water with incredible precision.
This will serve as a landing page for the whats, whys, and hows of the Dalla Corte Mina. To start we will explain the the functionality of the iris diaphragm and the Mina App.
While this is the first time iris diaphragms have been used in espresso, they aren't new. Iris diaphragms are most commonly used to change aperture of camera lenses.
In cameras, the aperture of a lens will dictate the amount of light hitting the film. By adjusting the aperture, a photographer is able to allow more or less light in to the camera, making it easier to get the right exposure in high or low light situations.
In the Mina, the iris is used to adjust the aperture of water line to the group head. To better understand the impact on your espresso, think about an empty bucket. Now imagine trying to fill the bucket with water using your kitchen faucet. Now, imagine trying to fill the bucket with a fire hose. While both sources have the same pressure, the fire hose has a much higher flow rate.
With the Mina, you are able to program and adjust the flow by the Mina App by Dalla Corte. Flow control is not a new idea in espresso extraction, see spring lever machines and needle valves, but this iris style offers unparalleled variability and control.
The Mina App, currently available for Android with the IOS app in development, gives full access to controlling the flow of water to the coffee bed in five stages for two different profiles at a time.
The five stages allow for adjustment of aperture of the iris and how long it is held in this position with the fifth stage just running at a set aperture until the flowmeter reads that the shot has pulled to completion.
What this means is that throughout the course of a shot you can have five stages of flow, allowing for any combination of styles of infusion. This gives the user the ability to manipulate the shot in a multitude of ways and to highlight different notes in the coffee depending on the aperture settings throughout the duration of the shot. The Mina comes with two separate profiles in the one cup and two cup setting and the ability to manually move between the five stages with the manual lever mode. In the manual setting, you have real-time control of the aperture using the machines lever. When pulling a shot, you can see which stage the shot is by the five lights that illuminate throughout a shot.
In the Mina App Manual attachment below, there is in-depth information on the rest of the app functionality including temperature settings and different programming options. There are other notable features on the Mina: the hot water tap mechanics, the ability to brew a pour over coffee, the highly upgraded flowmeter and more. With all of this functionality, its easy to see why we are so excited to offer the Mina, and we know, after a little practice, you'll be in love too.