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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WOW! found some passionate posts here. Yes Chris Granger your luddite comment is spot on. Baristas want to be involved with their coffee and show their expertise. It's not like bartending in Cocktail with all the flashy moves but we all like being recognized for the valuable service and great drinks we provide.

And Nik Orosi - definitely give us all an update after you visit the la marzocco factory. See if they are willing for you to share some photos or video of your trip so we can all see the machines in action.
hm, shall i uncover slayer on baristaexchange or not?

well, he deserve this all, our attention, our thanks, out love, our 'everything for coffee'...

as for my trip to la mazocco...cant wait anymore
I had the opportunity to spend a good chunk of time on the Slayer at SCAA. To say it simply, it blew me away. The amount of variable control on shots is beyond impressive. At right about the same price as an FB-80 or GB-5 it is a far superior piece of equipment from a barista standpoint. Hands down my choice for future machine purchases.

That said, I would love to get some time behind the new LM concept, see what it's all about, and how they have gone about things. Secondly, while machines like the Slayer are amazing when put into the hands of a skilled professional, I can see this level of barista control and dependence to be an issue if implemented in a shop that does not have a training program in place that prepares baristas for this level of quality control.
Seems like the natural result when you combine the rise of the superauto drive-thru with the rise of the uber-barista. Everyone is looking to differentiate, to be better, to get more. Zander, et al. paved the road for the marketability of a super-expensive high-performance coffee machine. We've demonstrated a commitment to getting the most out of these machines. If you are a manufacturer, why not do one?

My feel is that the end of this road is a lever... all things cyclical, right? After all, what else gives you such control. What is the Slayer but an easier-to-use lever? If pressure profiling continues to fulfill its promise, we'd better learn the Fellini.

I'm watching with great interest.
I think there will always be a place for a traditional machine and the trained barista. The super automatics are already gaining a reputation and "factory line" coffee makers. I believe for very high volume and drive thrus the Super is a good idea, but I still think that the traditional Cafe will not die out. Nobody takes a date to Sbux anymore, you want to go somewhere with a traditional feel with a barista who personalizes your beverage.
get a few phone books under your machine.... Who uses phone books anyway????

paulito said:
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.

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