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Thread: I find that hard to believe.......

  1. #1
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    I find that hard to believe.......

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight

  2. #2
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    It would be a lot less fun.

  3. #3
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    The article raises some interesting points.

    Improved automation will see a few things happening
    1) large chains that can afford the capital expense will be the first to benefit, and it's not hard to believe that automated machines will outperform minimally trained part time baristas. Average consumer wins in this case (if their beans are up to scratch, which is questionable)
    2) mid sized cafes that rely more on food than their coffee rep might struggle to purchase high end automation. They may find they struggle to compete on price with chains. This is bad news for average consumer, and bad news in Australia where we're not very chsin-focused.
    3) this article raised the idea of high end cafes being able to offer more choice of beans. If you have precise grinding, precise tamping, and measurement of extraction, why couldn't a cafe offer a menu of single origins, knowing they could produce them consistently? Right now it's hard for a cafe to consistently offer more than 2 or 3 beans at a time.

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    The introduction of the fully automatic espresso machine found in pretty much all cafes put baristas on the endangered species list.

    Today's "baristas" are young kids maybe working part time to pay for their schooling, or full-time ones. Both types wouldn't know a bar from a bar from a bar.

    Yet the coffee lattes comes out acceptable (though not so much so the espressos).

    That's because the programmed machine has taken over the barista functions of shot duration and pressure. With capital P precision. Temperature is also automatic.

    Load the basket, lock the portafilter, and press go. See, anyone can do it.

    Every one of these amateur professional baristas can steam milk and even produce latte art.

    Proper tamping is non-existent.

    Micro-adjustment of the grind according to age and humidity is also probably never done because no-one in these cafes would be aware of the concept.

    Yet the lattes come out acceptable.

    Grind on demand is an alien concept to them and perhaps one of the single-biggest shortcomings of the whole cafe culture ethos.
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  5. #5
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    I think it is rather optimistic to suggest that baristas will become "coffeliers" with increasing automation. They will become a largely unnecessary cost.

    There is already a role in cafes for people who serve customers but don't make coffee...

    That said, the current trend seems to be a mix of the artisan with the latest tech, so who knows?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Nice dream Adam.
    There are many different 'models' that exist in relation to Cafes/Bistros/Restaurants.
    Many places that serve coffee are really focused on selling food, where the profit lies.
    Their approach to the coffee shows this. They would welcome full automation.
    Other places believe great coffee gets the customers in the door and gives them the chance to sell them higher margin items.
    A lot of Cafes are not sure what the hell they are trying to do and so do it all badly. Owners who "like a coffee" and so think they are experts.
    There are some (Thank Dog) who are passionate about their coffee and try to do everything well (My life is devoted to seeking them out).
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Nice dream Adam.
    There are many different 'models' that exist in relation to Cafes/Bistros/Restaurants.
    Many places that serve coffee are really focused on selling food, where the profit lies.
    Their approach to the coffee shows this. They would welcome full automation.
    Proof of this is when I went to Vue de Monde a couple of years ago for our 10th wedding anniversary. I ordered a coffee which cost me $10 and I kid you not, it was Nespresso. A very disappointing way to finish an otherwise fantastic meal/experience.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan77 View Post
    Proof of this is when I went to Vue de Monde a couple of years ago for our 10th wedding anniversary. I ordered a coffee which cost me $10 and I kid you not, it was Nespresso. A very disappointing way to finish an otherwise fantastic meal/experience.
    Yeh. I've been there too and didn't risk the coffee. Didn't trust a place that couldn't work out that it should have been 'Vue Du Monde'.

  9. #9
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    /back to topic

    If the machine is automatic and can pull a perfect shot, are the beans going to be fresh? Are the cafes/restaurants going to source good beans or hook up with the machine providers deal on beans? A machine might have great technique but won’t fix bad bean decisions. I don’t see the same future as the article.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    I think it is rather optimistic to suggest that baristas will become "coffeliers" with increasing automation. They will become a largely unnecessary cost.
    I reckon sommeliers are the very definition of a largely unnecessary cost and yet we have a veritable plague of the buggers.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    I reckon sommeliers are the very definition of a largely unnecessary cost and yet we have a veritable plague of the buggers.
    Not many in cafes though, is there?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    It's a flash title but I think most of them would be doing a variety of other fairly mundane (but essential) jobs related to wine around the restaurant.

  13. #13
    Senior Member askthecoffeeguy's Avatar
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    having worked as a sommelier in some of Australia's finest restaurants I used to work 120hrs per week unload up to 100 cartons per day up two flights of stairs work two service shifts plus do admin, run functions, do the ordering, manage the wine list, design degustation menus, organise tastings, train staff, run indsuty events, manage cash off, and stocktake on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, plus micro manage the figures and be responsible for profit and loss ! five jobs combined into one I reckon!
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Lick road clean with tongue.....?
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  15. #15
    Senior Member askthecoffeeguy's Avatar
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    aye! that were luxury!
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by askthecoffeeguy View Post
    having worked as a sommelier in some of Australia's finest restaurants I used to work 120hrs per week
    I find that hard to believe too....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    The introduction of the fully automatic espresso machine found in pretty much all cafes put baristas on the endangered species list.

    Today's "baristas" are young kids maybe working part time to pay for their schooling, or full-time ones. Both types wouldn't know a bar from a bar from a bar.

    Yet the coffee lattes comes out acceptable (though not so much so the espressos).

    That's because the programmed machine has taken over the barista functions of shot duration and pressure. With capital P precision. Temperature is also automatic.

    Load the basket, lock the portafilter, and press go. See, anyone can do it.

    Every one of these amateur professional baristas can steam milk and even produce latte art.

    Proper tamping is non-existent.

    Micro-adjustment of the grind according to age and humidity is also probably never done because no-one in these cafes would be aware of the concept.

    Yet the lattes come out acceptable.

    Grind on demand is an alien concept to them and perhaps one of the single-biggest shortcomings of the whole cafe culture ethos.
    Ouch! As a Barista I have to take offence to this gross generalisation. There are good and bad operators in every "profession". Everyone knows its not hard to make a cup of coffee, the skill of a good barista is to be able to do it consistently and quickly 400 times a day. Not to mention everything else we are expected to do on a daily basis. I'm glad your Lattes are acceptable though.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan77 View Post
    Proof of this is when I went to Vue de Monde a couple of years ago for our 10th wedding anniversary. I ordered a coffee which cost me $10 and I kid you not, it was Nespresso. A very disappointing way to finish an otherwise fantastic meal/experience.
    Well you should have just refused it and gone elsewhere for coffee. And not before letting them know that in their type of establishment that what they were serving to pass as coffee was a profiteering disgrace.
    Last edited by Erimus; 1st October 2018 at 03:21 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan77 View Post
    Proof of this is when I went to Vue de Monde a couple of years ago for our 10th wedding anniversary. I ordered a coffee which cost me $10 and I kid you not, it was Nespresso. A very disappointing way to finish an otherwise fantastic meal/experience.
    Never trust a restaurant the gives itself a French name, and can't get the French correct.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Never trust a restaurant the gives itself a French name, and can't get the French correct.
    If you want espresso one would think a French restaurant might be the last place to expect to get a good one.

    Should possibly have looked for "La Visione del Mondo"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdoug View Post
    If you want espresso one would think a French restaurant might be the last place to expect to get a good one.

    Should possibly have looked for "La Visione del Mondo"
    French restaurant and good coffee = contradictory terms.
    gordons likes this.

  22. #22
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    When I first read this I thought "90% tosser" except for the second last paragraph.

    "The best of these coffeliers (sic) will understand coffee flavour as a function of roast level, regionality, plant varietal and processing method. They will be able to translate these understandings into recommendations for the cafe customer, which in turn will help grow connection between the cup and the farm, and eventually, a greater understanding of provenance."

    Any person interested in coffee does the above anyway to some degree - including the guys who trained me in 1979 and already had a few years experience in coffee (and certainly not just espresso coffees!). Nothing new there except perhaps the average person in the street being a little more informed these days (and that is certainly arguable given the continuing high sales of instant and stale pods).

    I have seen a few issues in the US with fully auto machines / large chains.

    Crap roasts = crap coffee (think most US "burnt bonanza at no extra cost" chains - and not just the ones starting with "S").
    Stale roasts = crap coffee.
    Coffee sitting for over 12 hours in an auto machine getting overheated = totally devoid of flavour = crap coffee.
    Milk sitting for over 12 hours in an auto machine (unless it is separately & correctly refrigerated) = sour milk = crap milky coffee.
    Machine not being scrupulously clean in the coffee path = crap coffee.
    Machine not being scrupulously clean in the milk path = listeria at no extra fee or scalded / broken down milk = crap milky coffee.

    So unless these incredibly expensive (see full article comments) auto machines are fully refrigerated for the milk(s), cooled with little light, no humidity and / or airflow for the whole coffee beans (with storage for several types of beans at the same time - think updated Cafebar...), have very low grind retention AND can keep themselves pristine then they have little to no advantage over a semi auto setup run by a moderately talented & caring barista.

    Knowing the customer's favourite roast level also implies having a few different roasts on hand. It then gets a little worse - can you offer multiple beans? Say 2 or 3 SOs, a dark roast blend and a decaf? Sounds like a normal "coffee cafe" wins again to me.

    What about milks? HiLo / full cream / skim / soy are pretty ubiquitous these days. Can this magnificent machine handle a range of different milks? Or does it run on powdered milks? Yum.

    One of the better cafes I know also offer a range of sugars and sweeteners (raw / brown / Demerara / white sugar plus stevia and nutrisweet / aspartame and a couple of others if memory serves correctly - I don't use any of them except Demerara sugar for some guests). Does the auto machine handle that range? Or after going to all the trouble to make a custom coffee* for that particular customer (just like any decent cafe) you just have a bowl of sweetener choices in the middle of the tables? Although practical, it kinda lowers the image a tad.

    One small chain I know couldn't even get consistent quality from the same roasts at their (half a dozen) different branches by sending a USB drive with "correct parameters" accompanying the days chosen roast to their Stradas located at each branch. Yep, grinders make a difference - even if they are the same brand and model they have different wear patterns after a while...

    I summarised the article in my head as "this guy thinks an average pod coffee is an acceptable cuppa". Needless to say, I disagree - even if I don't have any tattoos and do not have a "barista certificate" on the wall either (a 3 week, full time "intensive coffee course" in 1979 did not come with any nice piece of paper back then).

    Just my vent after a bad day dealing with far too many idiots on the road, not helped by the latest roadworks on the "freeway car park" in Perth.


    TampIt
    custom coffee* - i.e. espresso = Italian for "expressly for you" (i.e. the customer) since the 1950's. Not a very new concept is it?



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