The Death Of The Death Of The Barista

November 30, 2015

Super-automatic espresso machines are getting better. I think it’s safe to say that in the not-too-distant future, they’ll be able to make coffee as consistently as a well trained barista. The efficiencies they provide are such a strong argument that their uptake is guaranteed in a significantly large portion of the service industry—both specialty and otherwise.

So where does that leave the Barista?

At La Marzocco’s Out of the Box event in Milan, I presented my argument for why the proliferation of super-automatic machines could be a good thing for the barista profession.

There’s some good questions at the end from an audience that weren’t exactly stoked about my topic choice. I need to repeat my thanks to La Marzocco for letting me talk about this at their event. A lesser company would’ve had me talk about pressure profiling or tamping pressure instead.

For something similar, I highly recommend reading Colin Harmon’s post from 5 years ago (he’s so ahead of his time!!), about weighing shots and the role of the Barista of the future!

I understand that I’m inviting much criticism by posting this video, but please keep these things in mind before raining too much hate:

- This is a think piece. Not a damning of baristas or equipment manufacturers.
- If you don’t think I’m into quality coffee, please read this blog again.
- The machines I’m talking about here would merely replicate given recipes. They won’t be prescient or be able to taste (or maybe they would be?).
- Yes, latte art does matter. There’ll be even more time for that in this future (yay).
- I’m yet to see a super-automatic machine that can replicate the work of a highly skilled barista though I have seen some that come close!

If you have enjoyed reading this and want to enjoy delicious coffee with the rest of the community – register for our monthly Superlatives coffee subscription. Or if you just want to keep up with every thing Barista Hustle - sign up to the Newsletter.

Related Posts

  • How To Serve Addicts
    How To Serve Addicts

      Coffee is a drug, and its service is determined by the habits and rituals of addicts. Some might say food is its ow...

  • Espresso Recipes: Putting It All Together

    It's time for the finale of our series on Espresso Recipes. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend reading over...

  • August Survey Results 2017
    August Survey Results 2017

      In August we posted a survey about the Barista Hustle Facebook group. Along with our community moderators, we were ...

  • Barista Hustle Community Guidelines
    Barista Hustle Community Guidelines

    picture credit:   Welcome to the Barista Hustle Online Universe! We’re a community made up of...

  • Immersion vs Drip Coffee Brewers
    Immersion vs Drip Coffee Brewers

    There are two main types of coffee brewer - drip, and immersion. They each make coffee slightly differently, but one ...

  • Matt Perger
    Matt Perger

    I'm Matt Perger   Barista & Boundary Pusher Everything I do is focused on consistency, accuracy and deliciousness...