By Matt Perger
This is Matt Perger writing to you from Melbourne Australia. I’m the brand ambassador for Eversys and founder of Barista Hustle. Each year I help millions of baristas and enthusiasts make better coffee. I’ll be here on the Eversys blog writing articles to help the coffee industry understand and appreciate the incredible potential of automation in our work.
The debate of whether machines can make coffee as well as a Barista continues to grow in popularity and volume. It’s my goal in the first series of posts to convince you that almost everything a Barista does, a machine can do just as well or better.
The “almost” in that sentence refers to the exception of tasting coffee; something humans are infinitely better at than machines. A machine can’t tell you if a coffee tastes perfect. It can however follow your directions for how to make that perfect coffee.
99% of manual, traditional baristas have control over the following when making espresso:
* weight of grinds, or "dose"
* grind size, and hence shot time
* amount of water pushed through the grinds
* the temperature of that water
* tamping pressure
* pre-infusion or dwell time, or lack thereof
* distribution of grinds in the basket
* size of portafilter basket
And for milks:
* amount of air
* speed of air
* when the air is mixed in to the milk
* end temperature
Some baristas would claim that they manipulate other variables according to the coffee, time of day, humidity, etc. but these are arguably edge cases with little relevance and even less evidence.
All of the variables above are quite objective, meaning that they can be measured, and more importantly, controlled.
Over the next few posts I’ll be digging deep into each of these variables and how one could both measure and control it with simple systems. Some of them overlap -like the concepts of dose and grind size and their effects on shot time- but for the most part we’ll be able to dissect them individually. I'll also be briefly explaining how the Eversys engineers chose to tackle each problem and why.
I’m looking forward to sharing these posts with you! Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay in the loop and get new articles first. If you’re attending SCA in Seattle, you can attend a workshop where I’ll explain these concepts in detail while pointing to valves, hoses, and actuators inside the Cameo machine itself. We’ll announce the details of how you can sign up to those workshops soon – so keep your eyes peeled!