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Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Challenge: Build...  
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:32pm
Subject: Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
 

It's commonly accepted that semiautomatic machines and a little elbow grease produce FAR better espresso and lattes than any super automatic, however, is it really impossible to create a machine that replicates a baristas skills? After all, technology is rapidly advancing and robots are gradually taking over the workforce... surely it must be possible to build a "barista in a box".

Here is my personal breakdown of everything a great super automatic espresso machine would need. As of now, I believe it is possible to build a super automatic machine that is both more consistent than any barista and able to produce top notch espresso only surpassed by very experienced baristas. This theoretical machine would dominate the super automatic market and provide quality espresso and convenience without requiring the user to know much about espresso.

I don't know an awful lot about the technicalities of espresso machines, so feel free to add to my list or point out areas of difficulty.



The process starts by loading beans into the back of the machine. The beans then travel down a chute into the grinder.

Grinder:

The machine will have a built in burr grinder, something around the quality of a Rocky or Mazzer. Already I'm not aware of any super automatic machine on the market that actually has a good grinder, and as we all know, quality espresso starts with the ginder.

Tamping

The finely ground coffee is loaded into a portafilter basket and leveled off to produce a flat uncompressed puck of coffee. **There could be some weighing mechanism that weighs coffee and loads the portafiler with more grounds until it meets a certain predetermined weight, but that gets complicated so I'll leave it out.**

Next, a tamper pushed down on the puck with precisely the perfect amount of force, then twists to polish. I think a good force would be 35 lbs, but whatever pressure we chose will not be adjustable by the user.

Brewing

The coffee puck is now loaded into the brewhead, which is heated to an exact temperature set by the user. For example, the machine can be set to 200 degrees.

The machine will now pre-infuse for an adjustable time then brew exactly 2 fl oz (60ml) of espresso.


Trouble Shooting

There are only 3 adjustable settings for brewing: The grind size, the temperature, and the optional pre-infusion time. For the most part, the bean roaster recommends a certain temperature and pre-infusion time, which will produce optimal taste.

The only real variable is the grind. In order to produce 2 fl oz of espresso in 25-28 seconds consistently, the user only has to adjust the grinder. It is very important that this machine has a high end grinder with lots of flexibility, as this will allow the user to perfect the timing of the shot.


Steaming

Now it seems the harder part is to automatically steam milk. Many super automatic machines simply have a wand submerged in milk, however they do not produce good milk, let alone microfoam.

What if the container for the milk is built in at an angle to encourage the whirlpool effect. The user would fill up the desired amount of milk. Then, he/she would pull the wand down and submerge it just a centimeter or so under the surface of the milk to allow for foam. The machine would start steaming the milk, and using sensors placed on the wand, automatically retract as the milk "grows" in order to maintain a centimeter or two below the milk. After a certain temperature, say 100 degrees, the wand would submerge itself deeply into the milk and create a strong whirlpool and rapidly heat up the milk. Finally when this process is done, the user will have a container full of nicely steamed milk.

They simple remove the container and pour.

For clean up, all the user must do is rinse out the container, blast the steam to clear internals(which can be automatic), and wipe off the anti burn steam wand.



So there's my complete walkthrough of the best super automatic machine. I've owned a super automatic machine before my silvia, and this is just my response to what I believe are the failures of superautomatics. Keep in mind that all the internals would be high grade brass, similar to Silvia. Please post any suggestions or criticisms! Happy Brewing!
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,287
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:43pm
Subject: Re: Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
 

I would work on it, but I am finishing a website for a new client and have begun working on a converting a 1957 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Spyder to pull a fifth wheel trailer. The rear view mirrors are the hardest part.

 
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Fred1
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Sep 2004
Posts: 560
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LaSpaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini/NS MCF
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Hottop, FR+8
Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 7:40am
Subject: Re: Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
 

Just buy a Quick Mill Monza.  It has a real grinder, metal brew group and good build quality.  No need to reinvent the wheel.

Fred
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:03am
Subject: Re: Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
 

How good is the grinder? Is it as good as a mazzer or rocky? And you still have to clean the milk manually, or you can use their suction thing which does not produce good milk.


Also, why is it that shots come out in 5-6 seconds on super automatic machines, Monza included? How come they do not follow the standard 25 second procedure?
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,479
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:13am
Subject: Re: Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
 

Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com)
Even this is a long way from perfect and they have a huge r&d department' how big is yours?

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:55am
Subject: Re: Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
 

Other than that machine looking terribly ugly, large, and not home friendly, I can't tell how the steaming works. Also does it have a good grinder?
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Rob989_69
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Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 42
Location: Rochester
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:41am
Subject: Re: Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
 

frcn Said:

I would work on it, but I am finishing a website for a new client and have begun working on a converting a 1957 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Spyder to pull a fifth wheel trailer. The rear view mirrors are the hardest part.

Posted December 26, 2012 link

I'd use duct tape. Just wrap it around the car a few times, those things won't move. Curious how you're going to cut the rear end to weld the hitch in place...
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Senior Member
CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,366
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
 

frcn Said:

I would work on it, but I am finishing a website for a new client and have begun working on a converting a 1957 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Spyder to pull a fifth wheel trailer. The rear view mirrors are the hardest part.

Posted December 26, 2012 link

Randy, easy fix.  Just add a ton to the front of the Spyder and also replace the front shocks with air shocks from an F-350 5.7 liter diesel.   The back end may end up dragging a bit, so also get the helper springs from the F-350 and add them to the Spyders rear suspension.  It won't be independent rear suspension any longer, but at least it won't weave back and forth when at speed (15 MPH?)

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com     www.KaffeeFrisch.com
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 452
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 7:13pm
Subject: Re: Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
 

But you don't even need a super-automatic. They make "Instant Coffee" now.  Just mix it with hot water and blow bubbles into it with your McDonalds straw to simulate the fake crema.  Forget frothing your milk, you can just use actual white paint. It won't make the drink taste any worse and it always has that awesome "Wet Paint" microfoam look.
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Senior Member
CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,366
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 8:49pm
Subject: Re: Challenge: Build the world's best Super automatic
 

SStones Said:

But you don't even need a super-automatic. They make "Instant Coffee" now.  Just mix it with hot water and blow bubbles into it with your McDonalds straw to simulate the fake crema.  Forget frothing your milk, you can just use actual white paint. It won't make the drink taste any worse and it always has that awesome "Wet Paint" microfoam look.

Posted December 27, 2012 link

LOL.  That was good.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com     www.KaffeeFrisch.com
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