In Rocky IV, Rocky trains in the harsh Soviet winter, pulling logs to beef up, while his opponent Ivan Drago relied on soulless machines and chemicals to pump his way to the top – and spoiler alert! Rocky won! However, in 1996, Garry Kasparov battled supercomputer Deep Blue in an epic six-game chess battle – and lost. Paul Bunyan and the Blue Ox went head-to-head against a chainsaw – and lost!

In the battle of man against machine – the machine usually has the upper hand. But what it lacks? Heart. But what if the machine had both? 

Now that the trend is shifting towards espresso parameters based on a fixed ratio for a desired extraction yield, wouldn’t it be easier to leave the machine to dispense a fixed amount of water, rather than relying on a scale in the drip tray? That’s what Matt Perger, Australian barista champion of St. Ali, considered.

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In his study, like Deep Blue and that chainsaw, the machine was superior than man alone. La Marzocco USA wanted to learn more, so they asked specialty coffee gadabout and espresso experimenter Ben Kaminsky to do some more research in their labs in Seattle.

His findings are now available online via the La Marzocco USA blog:

Whether you choose to subscribe to the SCAA’s guidelines on extraction or not, one thing is for sure–whatever you do like, the goal is to repeat it over and over again in order to deliver the same coffee experience to each customer. That, in scientific terms, means repeating every extraction yield, on every espresso brewed and served, potentially hundreds of times in a day in rapid succession.

In his results, in the battle of man versus machine, who was this victor? Find out via the LM Blog.


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