interseismic wrote:I think that it's pretty short-sighted to assume that there will be no major improvements to espresso technology in the future. If anything I would argue we should expect major improvements to future espresso machines because of the amount of information that is available now. New information and understanding tends to result in rapid progress rather than incremental.
On top of that, can you name a single software-based device that you've had over 10 years that you would re-purchase brand new today, without any changes, to keep for another 10 years? I can't. We all love tech that is software-based, but I would argue that these devices tend to have even shorter life cycles than purely mechanical or electronic devices.
The whole point of my argument is that people should just enjoy their purchases rather than worry about whether it is going to be superseded by something better. At some point, it will.
Over the last 10 years or so it seems, the trend in espresso has been improved temperature control and pressure / flow control. In other words, taking the same 3 variables an espresso machine does (send stable hot water to a coffee cake with flow and pressure at the proper parameters) and give more precise control over them. There's really not some new way of extracting. It's been about having more control. The Decent does all that in V1.0 form; in fact, better than others that cost quite a bit more.
It seems to me that because it's clear pressure / flow profiling is here to stay on pump machines, the next 10 years are going to be about how to best profile coffees. In other words, while other machines are trying to update to give the control the DE1 had in 2018, most folks will start better understanding the nuance of profiling and sharing detailed recipes.
I would expect more bling in future models but nothing game changing (at least on 110V machines where everything is pretty much maxed out in terms of performance).
While the DE1 is a software and firmware driven machine, it's not like it's a processor intensive set up like a lot of technology is. So to your point, because espresso itself hasnt changed in the last 100 years (outside of major control and consistency improvements) there is no reason to believe it will going forward. It is what it is. I believe it was James Hoffman who recently said the next big leap in espresso will be on the roasting side of things.
Case in point: there is a reason that a vintage lever in the hands of a skilled user can pull shots as good as the DE1, Slayer, etc even though it's using 100+ year old technology. The problem is being a "skilled user" is not easy. This is where technology can help even beginners accelerate training and make unbelievable coffee.