Are today's small batch roasters too inconsistent? - Page 16

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
Marcelnl

Postby Marcelnl » Sep 16, 2018, 12:49 pm

mathof wrote:It depends. I remember BMW saying that the fitting tolerances on their car doors improved when they went over to using robots to mount them.


if fitting tolerances on doors are key quality drivers you'd be right, talk to some folks that bought a BMW if they cared for tighter door tolerances or would have liked their cars not going up in flames due to EGR issues. Or those with an N47 engine known for timing chain issues...that said, Robots and automation adds precision to some processes, but IMO not where many nuances need to be evaluated in the process.
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Rush

Postby Rush » Sep 16, 2018, 3:04 pm

MaKoMo wrote:Very good point. I like the idea to use an array of BT sensors to get smoother readings faster. Nice!


Yeah Marko! Please build that into Artisan! Phidgets preferably!

DaveC

Postby DaveC » Sep 16, 2018, 7:01 pm

mathof wrote:It depends. I remember BMW saying that the fitting tolerances on their car doors improved when they went over to using robots to mount them.


so let me get this right, you would rather go to a restaurant and pay top end prices for food cooked in automatic machines by guys who load ingredients in a press a button? A top class chef would just deliver food prone to errors and you want consistency....Mc Donalds must love you!

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Almico

Postby Almico » replying to DaveC » Sep 16, 2018, 7:51 pm

Why are you comparing food to a car. That's just silly.

Yes, I'd rather buy a Honda than a hand-built, one-off car built by a guy in his garage.

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AssafL

Postby AssafL » Sep 17, 2018, 1:59 am

DaveC wrote:so let me get this right, you would rather go to a restaurant and pay top end prices for food cooked in automatic machines by guys who load ingredients in a press a button? A top class chef would just deliver food prone to errors and you want consistency....Mc Donalds must love you!


When you go to a restaurant that is exactly what you pay for. The chef (and the sous) may design the dish and the cooking process - but the complexity of a 3* restaurant is such that everything is mis-en-place and everything is cooked in sous vide and combi steamers to exact standards. They run a meticulous process - just like McDonalds. (But, more complex with better ingredients and sometimes get better results at higher cost).

Cooking is rarely "by hand". Ever since the first bison (or other animal) was dropped in a fire and cooked - it has been a process; one can argue to what level is this controlled but most are okay with a toaster oven, electric thermostat, thermometer, etc. Sous vide and com is are the next step forward (especially combis).

Automating much of roasting and espresso pulling doesn't make the hobby less interesting. It just transfers the experience to where it matters most: selecting greens and deciding the processsing. Why should we care if the rest is done by machine?
Caution! Water, heat, pressure and electricity don't mix! I want an espresso.

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drgary
Team HB

Postby drgary » Sep 17, 2018, 2:20 am

I've liked the conversation about what could be done to refine instrumentation and to insist on quality control in roaster manufacture. This business about automation or not, not so much. I hope we'll keep this an interesting read by that kind of exploration.
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

ira

Postby ira » Sep 17, 2018, 2:47 am

I find the anti automation viewpoint so interesting. I would have thought that the goal is just the best possible coffee. It's certainly easier today than 10 years ago when I first came here. If someone comes up with a fully automated roaster that makes the best coffee you've ever had, are you going to not drink it because it's automated. If the goal is the best coffee possible, does how you get there really matter?

If a Decent turns out to be the way to make the best espresso possible, will you got that path or will you stay with manual levers and try to learn how to better use them by reading what the Decent owners are doing.

Ira

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drgary
Team HB

Postby drgary » Sep 17, 2018, 3:02 am

Whether it's a roaster or an espresso machine or anything else, you'll be figuring out what best pleases your taste buds. What's fine-tuned for my taste may not be what you like because we don't sense things exactly the same. Coffee itself is so complex and variable that it invites you to coax out the best. At most a pre-programmed profile gets you in the ballpark so you can tune in from there. If that is more consistent, great.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

ira

Postby ira » Sep 17, 2018, 12:51 pm

drgary wrote: At most a pre-programmed profile gets you in the ballpark so you can tune in from there. If that is more consistent, great.


Pre-programmed and automation have nothing in common or require nothing in common. You're responding like automation will not allow freedom and I don't think anyone has suggested that. Certainly the Decent automates the pulling of a shot but attempts to have no limits in how it does that and while it comes with pre-programmed profiles, considering only those as what the machine can do severely undermines the capabilities of the machine.

Do you not think the same thing can be done for a roaster? And do you not think roasting would improve just as fast as pulling espresso has?

Ira

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drgary
Team HB

Postby drgary » Sep 17, 2018, 1:24 pm

Ira,

I think you're misunderstanding me. I have no beef with automation. I see it in operation every time I visit Mike McGinnis at his roastery and watch him run his automated 3 Kg USRC roaster. I also have no problem with pre-programming. I use it often with my Brazen brewer and adjust the parameters as needed for the given coffee. I think that pre-programming is what you do with a device capable of automation and this allows you more freedom. I can see downloading a brew profile for a Decent espresso machine for a specific coffee. I would then probably tweak it -- or I may not.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!