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.