Matt Kossen is the newly appointed and expertly trained La Marzocco Home Service Manager. As Victoria is beginning to celebrate the ease of restrictions, Victorians can now welcome Matt into their home to install, plumb in and service their machines. He has accrued over six years of experience working with La Marzocco machines and is passionate about embodying the values of the company. I had a chance to sit down with him and pick his brain about all things La Marzocco, and the role that family, community and coffee play in his day to day.
Hi Matt, how are you?
Good, thank you.
That’s good, thank you for meeting with me today.
It’s nice to be here.
Can you tell me what you love about being a technician?
The thing I love about being a technician is that I’m able to go into people’s homes and actually fix an issue or a problem. Every single time you leave, you leave the machine or the situation better than when you got there. I also like being a technician because there’s a lot of forward planning and forecasting that you are able to do to ensure that the machine is going to continue to run.
How important is community to you in your work?
Community is everything within the tech industry. It’s such a tightly knit community and you can’t know everything. To have a community of techs around us that we can rely on for those really curly questions is super important.
Can you tell me a little bit about your childhood and when you first realised that you liked working with machines or working with your hands?
Ever since I can remember! I was always building things, breaking them down, making them better, changing them. From Lego through to playing with cars and motorbikes. Whenever there was an opportunity to be playing with things, that would be me.
Cool, that’s really nice to see the parallels between that and what you do now. That’s really beautiful. How would you describe your daily routine?
The daily routine usually starts at about seven or just before, when my son wakes up, wanting to have breakfast. Then I’ll start to look at the calendar and see what I’ve got booked in. Maybe drop past the workshop to pick up some parts and then on with the rest of the day. I don’t usually have coffee in the morning. Usually it’s sort of around the 11 o’clock time.
Yeah, so that you don’t burn out too early?
What advice would you give to somebody who wanted to explore the art of your particular craft?
I think anyone that is wanting to become a technician needs to be able to do some sort of a trade. Someone who wants to become a technician would want to have a passion for coffee. I think that’s so important. Also you need to have a very inquisitive attitude and perspective.
How do you then bridge that into becoming a technician?
Either working through and working for a technical company or going through a trade route. Those offer opportunities to actually understand how to use tools and understand problem solving.
Do you recall, did you have a mentor when you started?
When I started in the coffee industry I was really lucky to have really strong mentors at La Marzocco. There has always been a strong technical community around the machinery and I’ve definitely relied on that and the rest of the tech community.
Cool, so was that back in Perth that you would have started working with them?
That was in Melbourne!
Yeah, cool. Can you tell me a little bit about how you came to live in Melbourne?
So, my partner and I moved to Melbourne nine years ago when I was an electrician. And at that time I was really looking to change my industry and I’ve always had a really strong passion for coffee. So, I stumbled into a role with a roastery in Melbourne and we worked solely with La Marzocco – which gave me a really great connection with the team. Then, using my electrical skills and my passion for coffee, I sort of put it together pretty quickly and was able to lean on the wider technical community to really upskill in the finer details of coffee machines.
What defines a well crafted coffee machine?
A well crafted machine is a machine that will outlive the customer.
Absolutely, as long as you keep throwing parts at it and servicing it, any machine La Marzocco makes has got that DNA that ensures that it is able to be repaired. It’s not ‘put it together, and if it breaks, throw it away’. It’s something that lasts for life and that can always be repaired by a technician who knows what they’re doing.
Like most crafts, I suppose servicing coffee machines is quite a timely process. Would you mind taking me through that process?
So, once I’ve introduced myself and we jump into the customer’s space, I will always roll out my nice leather mat bench protector and then, depending on what is needed with the machine – let’s say it’s just a normal yearly service – I’ll look at taking the panels off and checking for any steam links. I’ll check all of the threaded connections just to make sure that there’s no scale building up. From there, I will depressurize the machine and rebuild the vacuum breaker and the steam valve. Also, the safety valve will be replaced, and then I’ll check the Autofill Pro. We put all of that back together and then power the machine back up while the cover is off. I will also just check any leaks again and then replace the group seal, the handle spring and the screen. Finally I’ll power it all up and make sure that the coffee is all dialed in and tasting great.
What will you be offering as part of your home service packages, what can a La Marzocco Home customer expect to receive from you for the time that they have you in their home?
We offer a red carpet service, where every one of our service specialists will go above and beyond what customers may have experienced in the past. I consider myself an approachable expert, priding myself on being able to come into someone’s space, respecting what they have and what they’re doing, but then also offer advice when necessary. And of course whilst being very friendly and easy to talk to.
That’s beautiful. What has been your favorite project that you’ve worked on since being a part of the La Marzocco team?
Definitely figuring out how we can best deliver the home service nationally. That’s something that makes me really excited actually; how we can deliver in each state a really inclusive package for La Marzocco Home Service.
What’s your role in that rollout?
I’m the La Marzocco Home service manager, so anything that has to do with home and repairing or servicing a machine will have come across my desk somewhere along the line.
Wonderful, you’re also the face.
At the moment, and that’s great.
When you’re not handling machinery and parts, where could we normally find you? I really love getting home to hang out with my son. That’s like a really big highlight.
How old is your son at the moment?
He’s one year old.
Well, happy birthday to your son.
The big one. Scary stuff.
And one last question. What’s your favorite La Marzocco machine and why?
Out of all of the La Marzocco machines, my favorite is the Linear Classic. The Linear Classic was released in 1993, just when the coffee industry, in the machine sense, changed and leveled up. It took the initiative of the GS1 and 2 and put it into such an approachable machine. I have repaired Linear Classics but I don’t do it anymore, but the engineering and the technology that’s in them is still so relevant. And the Linea Classic is what informed the design of the Linea Mini so that’s pretty cool! Huge fan of the Linear Classic.
I can tell! So across all your facts as well, I’m super impressed. Thank you for your time today!