It seems that over the last two years espresso machines are either going extremely high tech or totally design oriented. Regardless of which direction that is pursued the price for these radical machines are skyrocketing.

Are we seeing the basic economic principle that it's better to make one sale of $20,000 vs. multiple $800 sales being put into play? Or is it that the demand for these new wonders actually exist during this recession?

I love seeing the new Della Corte yet fear that even KitchenAid is jumping into the market. What does this bode for our future as an industry? Will the McDonaldization of specialty coffee spoil the work of the passionate expert or will we be relegated to a niche professor like status?

What do you think?

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have you seen the slayer espresso machines? im haveing trouble figureing out how much they actually cost but i might be willing to sell a kidney if anyone is interested! gorgeous machines that seem to focus more on a skilled opperator rather that gadgets and fancey computer hubub!
That was the other machine I recently saw and couldn't recall the name. Yes they look pretty amazing but intimidating at the same time. A Slayer espresso machine is exactly what I was referring to - either the espresso world is going way too high tech or McDonalds.

BTW - the Slayer Espresso machine creator can be found on Twitter. Use Tweepsearch and you should be able to find him if you want
thanks for the twitter info! i was stoked on how refreshingly "low tech" that machine seemed. maybe you should check out a lever opperated machine. most high end companies make a good one and they tend to be much less $ than the fancy new stuff and it cant get much lower tech than that!

Eldad Yogev said:
That was the other machine I recently saw and couldn't recall the name. Yes they look pretty amazing but intimidating at the same time. A Slayer espresso machine is exactly what I was referring to - either the espresso world is going way too high tech or McDonalds.

BTW - the Slayer Espresso machine creator can be found on Twitter. Use Tweepsearch and you should be able to find him if you want
I too am curious as to what machines you refer?

I have seen and tryed the slayer and was really impressed with the build quality. absolutely georgeous machines. they really do produce some amazing espresso in the hands of someone who nows what they are doing. don't absolutely quote me on the price but one of their reps told me around 12 for the two group and 14 for the three group. really reasonable considering.

I also had the opportunity to play with the new La Marzocco prototype. AMAZING!

however I Can imagine that when and if tha goes to production in the form that I saw it that it will be pricey. indepentent group boilers all with their own dedicated pumps!!? realy amazing level of manual control. they are even working on a program that lets you designate the pressure profile bell curve and brew repeatably the same profile.

I think things are on track. some people may get a little antsy after the clover debacle. but what you need to remember are the following two things.

1) it's all in the hands, a skilled barista can prepare a high quality espresso on just about any machine.

2) barista's seem to tend towards ludditism. that is we are always looking for more manual, more simple, and more basic tools.

I think that the two examples above highlight some of the best parts of the recent evolution in espresso machines. the future looks caffeinated to me.
I feel like the industry will survive. Just because tthey build Kias doesn't mean that a Porsche is irrelevant. It also doesn't mean that no one will want a Toyota. Each machine has its application, and if not then they won't be made for long.

As for the Slayer, Hydra and the new LM, if the technology truly improves the barista craft then I'm sure a more affordable option will become available. And if the improvements are nominal then I'm sure the technology will fade into the background. I haven't been luck enough to use one of these machines, but the theory seems to make sense. I guess the real question is: Is it worth $18,000?
I don't actually know the price. That is just a random number.
id throw down 18k just so i dont have to bend over or get on my knees to watch the extraction develop!
Jesse -D-> said:
I don't actually know the price. That is just a random number.
:-) I think you could do it cheaper than that!
true, but all kidding aside i think this sort of usefull, practical innovation and attention to detail are greats signs of passion and pride in craftsmanship, i cant wait to get my hands on one for a test drive...maybe vegas?!

Jesse -D-> said:
:-) I think you could do it cheaper than that!
I am with you, can't wait to try it. Not gonna make vegas so I guess I will have to wait.
oh well, perhaps seattle then!!!
Jesse -D-> said:
I am with you, can't wait to try it. Not gonna make vegas so I guess I will have to wait.
im on the way to la marzocco factory next month to test new machine so ill post more about. as i know now about that machine, its a dream...for every barista.
as we talk about money, thats something that i dont understand. i need machine like lm or slayer and ill save money for cos is my tool to make people happy with my coffee and im not account manager, im barista!
...as for creator of slayer, hes barista exchange member for long time!!!

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