You will find La Marzocco machines in Joe & the Juice spaces across the world; whether that be our beloved GB5, the Linea Classic or the Linea PB. With the launch of the GB5 S and GB5 X, we’ve been looking back at the elegant engineering and eye catching design of the original GB5 and spoke to Joe &the Juice about why they fell in love with the GB5 and what makes the GB5 stand out from our other machine.
We sat down with Marc Munk Simonsen, Senior Associate at Joe & the Juice, who’s job role see’s him overseeing everything coffee related, from product quality to product development, to speak to him about his time working at Joe & the Juice, his memories of using the GB5 and how the GB5 has played a part in Joe & the Juice’s success.
You can read the interview below:
When GB5 selected in 2005, what position was Joe & The Juice in?
In 2005, Joe & the Juice was a relatively small company with a simplified coffee operation as we began our journey 3 years prior in 2002. Back then, we had teamed up with one of Denmark’s more renowned coffee roasteries and with that, it made sense to go for the best of the best when it came to espresso machines and coffee equipment.
For us, consistency is key for every product we make and the GB5, with its unparalleled temperature stability and consistency, made it a key product choice for us.
How did the GB5 signify a change for Joe & The Juice in 2005? How did it stay in line with evolving consumer tastes and Joe & The Juice’s ongoing roadmap?
There was a paradigm shift for us since we teamed up with a renowned roaster as it allowed us to step up every aspect of our game; from machinery through to overall product quality.
Back in 2005, people’s perception of specialty coffee, including traceability and cup quality, was beginning to gain more focus. We were rooted in quality produce already and became excited in seeing a growth in the public’s demand for a more premium style of coffee experience, which matched our premium food and juice offering. This was perfect timing as this evolution in customers tastes coincided with the release of the GB5, providing us with equipment that allowed us to provide the experience our audience was seeking and encouraged growth in the coffee side of our operation.
What were the key features of the GB5 that made it the machine of choice for Joe & The Juice?
The key features for us were twofold. One was the temperature stability, the other being the overall design and aesthetics as it continues to be a unique piece that stands out proudly in each store.
As we continued to focus on quality, we wanted people to see that we have La Marzocco’s on our bars, meaning we take our coffee game seriously.
At the time of its release, we saw it as the future of equipment as it was a safer bet for us focused on expansion across various market places. We wanted a machine series that we could rely on for international consistency, wherever you are in world. Whether that’s Copenhagen Airport or one of our New York sites, we have to match the same offering and quality and the GB5 helped us match this consistency tremendously.
When you think of the GB5 today, what feelings does it evoke for the company?
The GB5 has been a great machine partner for us for over 10 years now. It has been very reliable and consistent and when required, has been easy to maintain via the support from great service partners as the aftersales department at La Marzocco proves to be world class.
When I think of the GB5 I think of consistency, quality and a great machine partner for Joe & The Juice for many years. Being teamed up with the amazing aftersales support that La Marzocco has in all the countries we are present in, we have had very little issues and have been able to run, more or less, none stop without losing customers and revenue.
It’s amazing to think of how little downtime we have across over 300 La Marzocco’s meaning we can always provide our customers with the experience they have come to expect from visiting Joe & The Juice.
This is testament to how connected the company is globally which echoes what we have achieved in Joe & The Juice. No matter what market your based in, your part of the same team, striving to match the same standards, allowing global consistency in both product and community.
How has business changed in the 15 years since the GB5 was released?
Joe & The Juice has changed a lot in the past 15 years. People’s perception of coffee has meant that the bar has had to be raised a lot as the general public continue to demand more from our industry, with regards to their cup quality and hospitality experience. With that in mind, La Marzocco and their new innovations are key and very important in allowing us to stay on top of our own game, as well as current industry trends.
Joe & The Juice has witnessed a change in the role of the barista too. Being a barista continues to be a viable profession and people are proud to have this as their job role, and really care about the overall quality of the experience they provide for the customer. The importance of the barista is evident in machine development too; from the temperature stability of the GB5 through to the ‘straight-in’ portafilter system on the KB90. The more invested the designers and manufacturers are in supporting the needs of the barista, whilst developing the skillset of the barista, the more engaged and incentivized they will become when using the equipment.
Are there any needs that could be matched to serve the industry on future versions of the GB5?
In order to match the industries demands, it would be good to see La Marzocco continue to listen to the feedback from the community they serve. Listening to the industry should help La Marzocco continue to be an industry leader when it comes to espresso machine innovations, especially those that support the ability of the barista in maintaining a high turnover of premium drinks. New technology (like auto flush and straight in) allows the barista to meet their potential whilst serving more drinks per hour than ever before, in an ergonomic fashion.
Has the GB5 allowed consistent training and development for Baristas at Joe & The Juice?
We have a lot of GB5s across the estate but also Linea Classics and Linea PBs too. What’s good about La Marzocco is that the machinery is straight forward and easy to use. This has allowed our team to work on multiple machines, switching from model to model, as the programming is consistent across machines and intuitive to use.
Barista training has been fairly easy to replicate due to the amount of GB5s across our sites. The consistency of the machine and the intuitive nature of the machine makes it easy for all our staff around the world to have consistent machine training.
What do you think when I say the future of hospitality and specialty coffee?
After that past 18 months, we expect an increase in the public investing their time in hospitality spaces with a focus on health and wellness. Beyond this, I think the future for specialty coffee is a continued focus on the increase in demand in cup quality for all our customers. You can see that expectations across the board has increased massively since the start of our journey. We see more questions being asked about the quality of the coffee, for example, the country of origin, it’s traceability and how it’s roasted.
The whole barista game continues to evolve too; you see shops investing in the newest machine technologies but doing so by taking barista feedback on board. I’d like to think that future machine innovations will help us showcase all the qualities in the coffee and make for a more enjoyable experience from customer through to operator. I think with customers having more coffee knowledge, the machine innovations need to help us match the quality of the knowledge our customers continue to learn.
We see ourselves as coffee ‘aficionados’ and want to use coffee to bring a positive and lasting impact on people days, helping us to stick to our central slogan of ‘coffee, juice and much more’