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Design | Kaffee Partner

The taste of Italian coffee in offices

sieger design develops cutting-edge Ultima Duo coffee brewing machine for Kaffee Partner

Modern coffee machines are all pretty much alike and hardly any of them can truly boast a unique selling point. sieger design developed a new generation of machines for Kaffee Partner that really stand out from anything else on the market. The Ultima Duo from 2010 fully automatic speciality coffee brewing machine features an elegant design and innovative touch-screen technology.

When it comes to coffee, the last few years have been marked by incredible rejuvenation and huge diversification. People no longer think of coffee mornings and filter coffee you have to brew yourself. In times of various coffee houses and the frequent mediatisation, coffee has gained a new image. It has become a fashionable beverage and is the expression of a new awareness of life. It has to be hot, strong and dark like in an Italian espresso bar but also full-bodied and sophisticated with a creamy froth like that of Wiener melange. The world of coffee is seemingly full of contradictions – relaxation meets dynamism and it’s a drink that’s savoured on the go – but it’s loaded with real social and communicative importance. And let’s not forget that coffee is now a status symbol, something that’s especially evident in the ever increasing demand for high-quality coffee and espresso machines – for both homes and offices. Especially in offices with coffee kitchens, conference rooms, law firms, doctors’ surgeries or in hairdressing salons, more often the trend for freshly brewed specialities instead of the common filter coffee has become apparent.

So when sieger design was tasked with developing a new generation of coffee brewing machines for Kaffee Partner, the agency was required to not only fulfil the promise of quality, but also produce something that would appeal to the lifestyle of a demanding, design-conscious target group. Because also resellers (gas stations, bakeries, etc.) and new target groups like hotels and caterers, who for example would like to offer their guests self-service coffee at the breakfast buffet, should be affected by the new Ultima Duo.

sieger design developed a cutting-edge, minimalist design for the machine. The use of black and materials such as glass and robust galvanised stainless steel give the Ultima Duo a sophisticated, high-tech appearance. The individual elements – bean container, display and optically accentuated coffee outlet – are clearly separated and arranged vertically to reflect the brewing process from bean to steaming, hot coffee. The real challenge for the designers was to give the Ultima Duo an elegant, lateral design to visually set it apart from other coffee machines currently on the market. sieger design achieved this through a closed front with a large, side-opening cup tray that can also hold a saucer. In keeping with the minimalist approach, the curved front of the forerunner product has given way to the flat design of the Ultima Duo. All modules are the same height, resulting in a coherent, compact appearance. Special elements such as the bean container break with this uniform upper line to form a visual point of contrast.

Working closely with the German manufacturer’s own team of engineers, the agency designed a range of innovative features for the Ultima Duo. The coffee outlet, for instance, can be height-adjusted to cater for everything from a small espresso cup to a latte macchiato glass, and the external door slides upwards to facilitate cleaning and repair. A particularly exciting feature is the inclusion of touch-screen technology – a first for a coffee brewing machine – an idea that sieger design devised for a similar project in the early nineties. Although the client back then declined to adopt the technology, it now graces the Ultima Duo in all its brilliance and clarity. sieger design also designed the entire interface including the new icons, which are a prime example of how the machine’s look and feel has been thought through down to the smallest detail. sieger design’s interdisciplinary approach enabled a close relationship between industrial and communication design from the outset, something that can be seen in the buttons with a slight 3D effect that people feel comfortable pressing, the large, clear typography and the classic design of icons to make choosing the right coffee a doddle. All the user has to do is choose from 50 possible coffees at the touch of a button.

sieger design’s brief was to develop a whole new generation of fully automatic coffee brewing machines. The result: Ultima Duo, a prestigous object, which enhances every room and appeals to different target groups. The shape, visual design and features of the Ultima Duo leave you in no doubt that you’ll be served with delicious, authentic coffee – a coffee whose taste you can rely on thanks to the use of pure glass and steel to ensure there is no contamination of the flavour. Although the basic machine comes in black, the glass front panel can be customised to make it your own. The Ultima Duo can therefore be supplied with the client’s logo or in their corporate colours on request. It can also be expanded with a range of individual modules, including coffee pot, cup warmer and milk frother. A coin mechanism, drink key and key holder can also be integrated into the machine itself.

The design of the Ultima Duo has been awarded the iF product design award 2011, the red dot product design award 2011 and the German Plus X Award.