Introducing Wally Milk, La Marzocco's automatic milk steaming machine for commercial coffee bars.
La Marzocco first revealed the hands-free milk frothing machine in 2019 at the HOST Milano trade show. Sales have since launched in the US, though pricing is not public.
With proprietary software, a custom vortex steam wand tip and sensors for both temperature and volume, the Wally aerates dairy and non-dairy milk to preprogrammed specifications, with different profiles stored for different types of drinks or milk.
La Marzocco's global product manager Scott Guglielmino said the Wally Milk could draw its steam from any commercial espresso machine, including under-counter systems.
As cute and helpful as the robot may be, its name is derived from British slang.
Guglielmino said it's like that friend that does the boring but necessary job so you can do something else. The point is not to replace baristas but to redirect their work.
As milk is added to the pitcher, Wally guides the barista to the proper volume. After Wally heats and texturises the milk, human hands are still required for the pour.
Wally measures the amount and temperature of the milk before steaming and tells the barista if the pitcher is overfilled.
Users can programme up to 20 temperature and volume profiles. The machine automatically identifies the pitchers based on height, but it only works with non-reflective pitchers due to infrared temperature detection. The Wally Milk package comes with three pitchers.
La Marzocco said that future products in the Wally range might include accessories and other barista solutions, such as grinding and brewing.
Guglielmino said Wally would be a standalone brand that offers products not directly espresso equipment.