Vitro: Coffetek’s Ian Johnston reflects on the story of vending’s favourite coffee machine in advance of the introduction of the Vitro S1 MIA
When Coffetek introduces the Vitro S1 MIA, at Vendex Scotland, it will swell the number of Vitros on offer to fifteen; a testament to the enduring popularity of a machine range that’s won more awards than Ant and Dec.
Whilst it feels as though it’s been around for ever, the first Vitro emerged as recently as 2013 and as Ian Johnston recalls, it caused an immediate stir. ‘There was no single reason for its instant popularity, it was the coming together of a lot of factors in one package that proved to be a game-changer’, he says. ‘Aesthetically, it was striking. It was the first machine to have a smoked glass door!’
You might argue that Vitro was also the first to embrace smart-phone technology, striking a chord with the public. Ian certainly does: ‘It was like using iPad, he says, ‘it brought touch technology into play for the first time and with one-touch selection, it was genuinely intuitive to use.’
Another reason for Vitro’s growing success was the introduction of what Ian describes as ‘the first machine to combine espresso with leaf tea; which proved to be a clincher in the UK.’
‘We aim to provide a range which contains the perfect solution for any location’
Time waits for neither man nor machine, and the entire range was given a comprehensive re-styling in 2017. In the same year, the first of Vitro’s fresh-milk machines came to market. ‘We aim to provide a range which contains the perfect solution for any location’, Ian says. ‘For instance, we have three machines that provide instant coffee; one for locations where 50 cups a day is tops, a mid-range option that can deliver 150 and a high-capacity version that can serve up to 300 drinks. The same applies to our espresso models. The Vitro S1 MIA, which we’ll show at Vendex, is the low-capacity variant of the fresh milk range, it’s perfect for hair salons, small car showrooms and offices, that kind of place’
In common with its larger siblings, the Vitro S1 is equipped with the company’s patented Micro Injected Air technology- MIA. MIA works by injecting high-pressure air into the milk. This process creates ‘millions’ of bubbles coated with casein, which is the most important protein component of fresh milk. The nett result is hot or cold milk with a particularly velvety and consistent texture. MIA is similarly effective when using vegetable-based milks.
‘I think it’s fair to say that the Vitro is vending’s favourite coffee machine range, and the introduction of this great new machine is proof that we’re not resting on our laurels’, Ian says. Speaking of which…
‘More awards than Ant and Dec’? Let’s get ready to rhumble! The latest industry recognition for the Vitro came in June, when AVS members named Vitro as Best Tabletop Coffee System of the year 2022 and for good measure, they recognised Coffetek as Best Machine Manufacturer in the UK. Happy days…
‘Keeping ahead of our customers’ needs and bringing to market products and services that deliver great coffee on the spot.’ That’s how Ian defines his role. ‘It’s a tough job’, he says. ‘but somebody’s got to do it.’
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