Watch an ultra-high-end automated cappuccino maker brew up a latte


#1

[Read the post]


#2

these are not new at all… my girlfriend has had a saeco super automatic for at least 7 years. although now they’re owned by phillips, so they may suck.


#3

The $1K-ish price tag may be a little rich for my budget today…

Unitasker. How many lattes would you have to drink before you saved money over Starbuck’s?


#4

That is the worst looking latte I have ever seen, I imagine it would taste even worse…


#5

They do make real steamed, not merely foamed, milk. They are expensive, and if you use it in an office, it will probably have to go back for service at least once a year, but they (well, an s9) make a tolerable cappuccino. I’ll stick to my aeropress, but I’ve worked in two places that had bigger ones, and they are nice.


#6

I heartily agree that an $object that brings you joy is worth it. We are on this pale blue dot once, why not have fun?

(Unfortunately I have room for almost exactly one mug and a teabag at the moment :D)


#7

Jura coffee machines are one more reason to be proud to be Swiss. Now give me that latte after a plate of Valaisan cured meats and some Gruyere from the field behind my house, and next to a square of Callier chocolate and I’m in heaven.

-jeff


#8

Does the logistics of going to Starbucks or having it delivered from there, and the associated delays vs the on-site production, count into the cost of that option?


#9

I am tempted but the reviews on the German Amazon side aren´t very good, many complains about the machine breaking often and the cappuccinos being not hot enough.


#10

I purchased a fully-automatic espresso maker, years ago, that did cost over $1K. My reasoning was that when relatives would visit in the summer (I live on the coast, eh), they could make their cuppa themselves. I was surprised as to how good the espresso was.

Then, a year and a half later, its motherboard died. And I found out that the manufacturer decided to get out of the espresso business. Parts were expensive and rare. I’m back to the usual counter-top maker.

If I were you, I’d spend that money on a good coffee roaster. And whisky.


#11

How difficult would it be to make an Arduino or Raspi-based retrofit? I assume it won’t be anything else than a fairly simple sequencer, maybe with some feedbacks. With Raspi, you could even have it network-connected. (With Arduino and an ethernet or wifi interface too but the effort needed to putz with the protocols is more than just use an overkill of a controller and script it in python.)


#12

Not long. The home cost for a double latte is around 50 cents in ingredients (depending on local milk prices; you can get pretty good roasted coffee in bulk for around $10/pound, roughly $0.30/double shot), this doesn’t count energy cost. I don’t know what *$ charges these days for a double latte, but if it is over $3.50 and you drink one every day then the machine has paid for itself in a year.

That said, I would never buy a superauto for home use; they are not a good value compared to a conventional espresso machine + grinder which can make superior espresso, and the extra convenience is marginal.


#13

Yeah…
Having worked for a number of years at what I guess you would call nice coffee shops, this does not look good at all. I mean, I’m sure it taste like steamed milk, which has a naturally sweet taste, and I’m sure it taste like some sort of coffee (though I doubt it taste anything like real espresso) so I suppose if you enjoy the act of coffee, and the buzz–over actual coffee taste–this would be a fine $1k investment :smiley:


#14

For $1K-ish I would expect it to be happy to see me and provide a little pleasant conversation while it’s brewing up and delivering the coffee. Heck, for that price as soon as I walk in the room it should say, “Hey, how’s it going? You timed it perfectly–I was just about to play Word Of Mouth.”

On the other hand I wouldn’t feel guilty about not giving it a tip.


#15

But no latte art?


#16

I have an E61 heat exchanger espresso machine and a Baratza Vario grinder. The setup cost me around $1800 and I’ve had it for 4 or 5 years now and am thinking about what to get next. I’m leaning very heavily towards something like the Jura or maybe even a Nespresso machine. Maybe the grass is always greener over there, but I’m willing to sacrifice a bit of quality for massive convenience.

The only thing that concerns me about a super-auto is cleaning it. What’s the descale procedure like? How do you purge all the milk out of the machine when you are done with it? How do you disassemble the grinder to clear the dust?


#17

I have a basic Delonghi Bean to cup machine. No automatic milk heating or LCD, but it’s the same coffee making parts as the more expensive machines. I imagine the milk parts add to cleaning hassle. Cleaning is simple, put some descaler in the water tank and run it through the built in cleaning cycle. I haven’t found dust build up in the grinder to be much of a problem. You could hit it with some compressed air if it does build up. The internal parts unclip from the inside for additional cleaning, which doesn’t need doing that often.

The descaler the delonghi is a liquid based one, my old Krups machine used a tablet and had more cleaning cycles. The Delonghi seems to do more self rinsing- every time it’s turned on and off.

Mine’s in the office, mostly just for me and some customers but seems to be holding up well for a £250 machine. One button coffee is very convenient.


#18

We’ve been looking at high-end superautos for the office, and they don’t seem much more convenient than my home setup, a Reneka Techno and a Mazzer Super Jolly grinder. The Techno has volumetric auto water dosing, which isn’t perfect and I don’t rely on it for espresso, but it is fine for milk drinks, which are almost as much a matter of simple button-pushing as on a super. Cleaning the milk on my home machine is a quick wipe with a wet rag, on supers in a climate like mine you evidently have to watch the milk plumbing all the time or else end up with cottage cheese in the lines.

My Techno has been running for 13 years now, I can’t imagine most supers lasting anywhere near that long.


#19

The analog/linear part of the circuitry was the problem, the heating circuit. As far as I could guess, the digital part was working. I live in the boonies, and it’s not so easy to source parts.

An Arduino could have been used, but I’d have to build a heater control circuit capable of controlling a 1,500W heater. The Arduino and the motors would need power supplies. I’d have to house it all in a separate box - probably almost the same size as the espresso maker itself. And who knows what else might break - did I mention that the parts were hard to get?

It’d take months, no, years!

I haven’t had much of spare time this last decade or so, fixing other people’s machines. I make enough money doing this that it’s much, much easier to get another, different brand’s maker. And the spare parts ARE available for that one, for a reasonable delay and price.


#20

13 years!?! Wow. Your machine must be built a lot better than mine. Mine has plastic water lines and a mechanical relay. There’s no way parts like that could last that long and I think I want to replace my machine before it dies a messy death. I was pretty happy that it lasted 5 years which means the equipment only cost me about $1 / day and I’m pretty happy with that.