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Thread: Can Autos be Awesome?

  1. #1

    Can Autos be Awesome?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    This is a curly question for all you staunch silvia users. Let me first state that i consider a semi auto machine like the Silvia as the pinnacle of coffee making. And i very much enjoy all the grinding, tamping ect that goes with using such a machine. However i have this thing called WIFE that refuses to uses such a machine, just wants a push button option for both coffee and milk. Thus i have rebuilt a Magnifica that makes pretty decent coffee (great crema!).

    My question is as follows: If there any fundamental reason why a Magnifica cannot make excellent coffee provided all the variables (brew temp, pressure, grind size , tamp preassure ect) are at the correct level.

    you thoughts would be appreciated

    Perfect Pat

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Re: Can Autos be Awesome?

    The problem with superautos Ive found is, they never get the milk frothed right.

    even when theyre the fancy high-end Juras n the like, they still never seem to get the milk right, Way too much bubbles, Temperature kinda a little off, and yeah

    Nevermind the whole long flow-path after the puck and into the cup which steals half the coffee oils (and taste) before it hits the spout.

  3. #3

    Re: Can Autos be Awesome?

    i agree about the milk, too many BIG bubbles, they will never perfect that, but as far as brewing a shot, do you think it is possible to get excellent coffee out of one.

    i know the coffee vending machines in italy made a decent brew

  4. #4

    Re: Can Autos be Awesome?

    Just a question ..
    Why do most autos put the milk into the cup first before the coffee shot ??
    Opposite to normal "barrister" practice ?

  5. #5
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Re: Can Autos be Awesome?

    I got decent coffee out of an auto for a couple of years, but:

    It required a lot of tweaking to get it right--no auto grind, no auto dose, no beans stored hot in the machine.

    It required a manual steam of the milk.

    It required a complete strip down clean every couple of days, and a $140 service two or three times a year.

    It was actually more work than a semi-auto, and much more expensive. there a fundamental reason?--Nope, just practical, implementation reasons.


  6. #6
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Can Autos be Awesome?

    Quote Originally Posted by 39373E353F6E695B0 link=1333581995/3#3 date=1333615570
    Just a question ..
    Why do most autos* put the milk into the cup first before the coffee shot ??
    * *Opposite to normal "barrister" practice ?
    I guess coz barristers are too busy putting on their wig and arguing with the judge and and opposing counsel?

    More seriously, one rough guess is that it might be to reduce the likelihood of burns (particularly in very litigious countries). Assuming the milk is not as hot as the coffee being added, then it is the cooler milk that would leave the cup if there is any splashing. Just guessing though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Re: Can Autos be Awesome?

    Can Autos be Awesome?

    No, they are a legitmate form of CONVENIENCE.

    However, look past what you read in this and other sites and understand that most coffee drinkers are not "CoffeeSnobs" and are not looking for an awesome coffee or dont even know such a thing exists, but they are looking for a palatable coffee and you will get one of those if you adjust your auto well and use good coffee.

    And there are limitations in home use autos, another reason why you cant get an awesome coffee.

    If you care to spend around $12,000.00 I can sell you a commercial use auto that makes very good coffee to the point where if I blindfold you, you wouldnt know it was made with an auto VS a conventional machine.

    The other thing of course, is when you use manual use machines, you are able to tweak your technique much more and therefore will make a better coffee if you are taking great care in the operation. You cant go to those lengths with an auto.

    That doesnt mean that autos dont have their place and they are appropriate in many circumstances including households that are looking for a "convenience" in their coffee making.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Re: Can Autos be Awesome?

    Having previously owned a La Cimbali M52 (A $25,000 super-auto.) and having spent much time fiddling and tweaking it to produce the best espressos possible it was very clear that while it could produce what the average person would consider to be an OK cup it could not produce anywhere near as good an espresso as my La Cimbali M28 (A semi-automatic HX machine.) could. On the milk side things was even a bigger gap between what the super-auto could produce vs what I could produce by manually frothing.

    As much as I wanted the convenience of pushing a button and having a great cup delivered to me the M52, nor any other super-auto Ive tried, has the capabilities to do that. If an average cup (Think along the lines of Maccas and the big chain cafes.) is acceptable then a super-auto can fit the bill. If on the other hand you want to taste the nuances of single origins and high quality bean blends and drink Godshots then forget the super-autos and go the separate grinder and brewer route.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C424B404A1B1C2E0 link=1333581995/3#3 date=1333615570
    Just a question ..
    Why do most autos* put the milk into the cup first before the coffee shot ??
    I suspect that it is done that way so as to shorten the time between cups, there-by increasing the number of cups that can be produced in a given time period. By putting the milk in the cup first the machine can be doing that while the beans are being ground, the basket being moved into the brew position, and then being tamped. By the time the machine has done that the frothing/steaming is all done and it can go straight to brewing with no pause.

    Java "Still loving the M28!" phile

  9. #9

    Re: Can Autos be Awesome?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I suppose anything can make a decent coffee if you think coffee is purely a mechanical process. I also suppose a computer can play a violin technically better than a person, but can a computer express itself with a violin better than a person? Is coffee making any different? Theres getting the job done, and then there is art. The latter requires more than mechanics.

    2 cents

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