Slayer Steam Espresso Machine

Is the ultra hot steam legit? Does it deliver on the claims?

Also - comments on the design and general machine are welcome.

PS Dear Slayer, thanks for finally including volumetrics!

I tried it and didn’t notice much of a difference, if at all. I sampled 3% fat milk on it’s own - old vs new tech and then also with espresso in a 4oz. It did taste sweet, but I couldn’t honestly differentiate that much. That said, the machine is probably the most beautiful piece of design since kees van der westen. OMG it’s drop dead gorgeous.


I am, politely, skeptical of the science. Note: I didn’t get a chance to taste it at the show.

  1. Caramelisation decreases the perceived sweetness of simple sugars.
  2. While the steam may exit at 170C, I can’t image it stays at that temperature long enough to drive caramelisation reactions. Generally temperatures in excess of 100C are a challenge when water is around. (unless you’re under pressure). Also - high temperatures like this would damage proteins, making the milk foam less stable/less tight knit. I gather this is not the case.
  3. The milk may taste sweeter, but I think they’ve chosen a weird explanation for it. I might suspect that the milk steamed this way will be less dilute from steaming. (Which would make sense when comparing sweetnesses). Typically milk steaming adds about 10% water weight. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was notably less in their system.
  4. It would be fine if they just said it made sweeter milk. I don’t need “science” to help me understand that. I can taste it/experience it or I can’t. I think this sort of innovation is cool.

Yes, we found it did. Not only did the milk taste sweeter on the taste test but the structure lasted for ages. Slayer employed a milk specialist to help develope the new tech, she claimed that as the steam produced much smaller air bubbles there is less space for ‘seepage’. The milk also seemed to have more flavour as well as being sweeter, apparently due to the temperature control and the ability to develop the flavour rather than simply shock heat. Totally agree about the volumetrics, it makes the Slayer Steam a machine that can be used in any business.

Full disclosure - we were so impressed we placed an order at the show & will be distributing from September!


Amazing looking machine. Very ergonomic, it felt so nice to stand behind. Sounds funny, but it did free like every handle and button was in the right place!

Steam? Well, I talked about it with them on two separate occasions, both with different people and slighty different answers.

It was noticeably slower because the steam is so dry it doesn’t conduct heat as well as wetter stream (I suppose). It is a very cool idea but I didn’t get to test it in a controlled environment. Just a quick steam this jug, steam that jug, taste! I would never draw conclusion from that.

To be honest, even it the steam wasn’t better, just the fact that it is a exposed group head/work flow machine that looks amazing with great build quality, and volumetrics!!! it’s total worth it.

This is exactly what I was thinking. Water = no go for those reactions.

Which leads me to call pre-emptive BS (on the science claims. Not the results or machine itself). Which means no one knows what’s actually going on. As per.

I am very pleased to see a drip tray that is on a gradient so it actually uses gravity to push water towards the drain. Maybe I haven’t been on enough machines but my Strada at work and every other La Marzocco I’ve used has had a flat drip tray (under the grate, of course – I want the grate nice and level!) which doesn’t exactly lend itself to drainage and it’s just always frustrated me.

Also – is that a redesigned screen or has it always been like that? I’d love some info on it. Looks amazing in their video but I’m wondering how it works in practice.

Stoked and impressed by the steam wands and overall design. Really interested to see where this might take us.

@Will_Clow The showerscreens look to be the IMS ones.

@tonyhoward I actually thought it was a new Kees when I first saw the picture! It is beautiful.

I am lover of little details so I really enjoy the dots on the drip tray that show the center of the grouphead :slight_smile:

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Something else I was pondering about this new steam set up:

The most important thing about steam isn’t its high temperature. It’s the phase change from steam to liquid that actually transfers most of the heat.

Remember: steaming a jug of milk results in 10% water added. If all of the heating work was being done by that mass of water, it’d have to be at 600C (yes, I just did the maths). Instead, it’s the phase change of steam turning into liquid that releases almost all of the energy into the milk.

If a machine is creating drier steam it’s going to take a lot longer to heat a jug of milk because there’s just so much less potential energy coming out of the tip every second.

(feedback on this is welcome. I’m just beginning to explore phase change and think it’s wonderful!)

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Tried it. Its legit. Using any of the milks we get in Melbs (pity none of which are here in Dubai), it will only add more sweetness to espresso & milk drinks. Texture is similar to normal steamed milk, but I think it is a tiny bit lighter/airier. Probably make a killer 80’s style Cappuccino…

Hi Matt

You and @James_Hoffmann are both correct. The steam leaves the boiler as normal and then goes through an adjustable flow regulator, it then arrives at some kind of thermo block that nukes all the moisture and controls temperature, the result is totally controllable dry steam. Im no chemist but when it was explained to me it all makes sense & the taste tests backed it up. It allows you not only to develop the milk according to type (full fat, skinny, soya etc) but also allows you to slow down/speed up to suit jug size.

One extra bonus is service free steam taps as they use a 2 step programmable magnetic tap. (not sure of their name for this feature)

Give Sarah a call at Slayer, I’m sure she would be happy to give you that science behind the last 2 years research - she is their Queen of milk!

I tried both milks from traditional wet and the slayer dry steam and again like others found it was definitely sweeter, I didn’t get a chance to taste it in coffee.

The milk they were using is what I use in the shop everyday, and I was really surprised by how sweet it was tbh, however I rarely if ever just taste the steamed milk on its own.

I wasn’t however mind blown by it. I was more mind blown by the fact that it was completely clear coming out of the steam wand haha

I was intrigued by the texture, it seemed to be a lot dryer then usual, texture wise. The exhibitor was quite busy when I was there do I completely missed the science explanation so I’m sorry if that’s common sense obvious ( wet foam = wetter, vice versa) this led me to thinking of day to day use. I think the milk, by looking at it ( in my opinion) looked a little bit tricky to pour nice latte art. I know it’s not the most important thing but I still believe quality presentation is very important… Does anybody know if my assumption is correct, is it harder to pour nice latte art ?

The machine did look beatiful … Nowhere near as sexy as the new spirit by Kees van westen. It is gorgeous and unlike the slayer I got to play around with it at the world of coffee and it was a great machine to use… An absolute pleasure ( added points for looking like a spaceship) it may just win my heart over from la marzocco.

Latte art… hmmmmm great question… They said because of the lack of water in the milk it has an ability to hold the shape/image longer. But - I wonder about the pouring itself, what part does the water play if any at all?

I tried both, 2 times. The new way was more similar to milk with a splash of condensed milk in it. The ‘old way’ had an odd old milk smell to it. So weird, because I love lattes. Very cool to see, I posted a little video on my Instagram if that helps anyone ( - cheers!

It was just a thought, I know it’s not the most important thing but it’s something to keep in mind.

The point about the milk holding texture longer is interesting, it might make for a more consistent cup. Get rid of my need to drink milky coffees quickly to maintain the nice creaminess of freshly steamed milk.

I agree with you comment on condensed milk. I can see the similarities.

Curious, did it seem to take longer, shorter, or about the same time to steam the milk? vs traditional wetter steam that is @Levi_Andersen

It actually seemed to take longer, there was a person steaming both sides and they started around the same time and the wet steam was ready first, quite a few seconds before actually … But I’m not sure how much milk was in each pitcher tbh

It definitely seemed quite long to steam a small 12oz pitcher with the dry steam which I found odd.

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If drier steam means a longer time to reach the target temperature then better texture and flavor would make sense to me.

MattPerger mentioned in a post about milk that bubbles separate flavor from one’s tongue. Therefore, the smallest bubbles possible (the finest microfoam) is desirable. I achieve this on bar by using cold milk, a cold pitcher, aerating as quickly and uniformly as possible, and submerging the tip as little as possible to stop aeration and continue rotation.

Sometimes I show trainees the difference between the milk they steam this way with milk steamed very quickly- submerged as deep as possible after aeration. The latte art falls apart after a short time with this milk compared to the milk that has taken longer to steam.

If the dry air from this steam wand buys the barista another couple seconds of rotation then I would expect the texture to be better and produce more resilient latte art than a conventional wand.

I didn’t notice - but Nelson the Slayer barista said it did take a small amount longer.

I have a more general question: it says “classic 9 bar extraction” on the site.

Does it not have the Slayer preinfusion/pressure control as the regular machine?

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