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  1. another equally great manual! I’d happily recommend both!
  2. I have to chime in as a long time user of the original Flair. It is dead simple to get a truly excellent espresso. It is compact for travel, and equally great at home. The preheating is dead simple (I prefer using a moka pot base to both steam heat the brewchamber & boil my brew water.) The clean up is dead simple. In less than 5 minutes I have a delicious espresso. Certainly, at the beginning, it seems like there are many things/parts to deal with; but once you develop a routine, it becomes second nature (muscle memory) and I would bet I can deliver an espresso & cleanup in the same time it takes to make espresso on a semi-automatic machine. I don’t use an expensive Stagg (just an instant read thermometer, but temperature strips work well, too). I am amazed at how much better the espresso is from the Flair than espresso I taste from numerous other very expensive espresso machines. I can’t praise it enough. The beauty of this device is that you can control absolutely every aspect of your shot (temperature, pressure, flow, volume, weight, etc) ps I get very consistent & repeatable results!
  3. @Zephyp if you have access to a small gas micro burner (like the Rekrow) or even a standard camping stove with gas flame, you might well find that helps a great deal in giving you more heat/flame control than induction burner. I always felt best brews were made over a small gas flame . Next best was electric coil burner. (Induction & radiant heat, not so great IMO.) Persistence will pay off, in time😉
  4. I’m with you @Mrboots2u! Popcorning high or low, equals same result overall when we drink it, right?!😀
  5. Is it possible some cooked milk residue is stuck further up the steam arm pipe? Have you tried a thin brush & vinegar scrub in that pipe (as well as a good soak for the steam tip itself)? On the other hand, perhaps with unclogged tip, the steam is now much stronger coming out the holes, dissipating more quickly, creating a more powerful and quicker blast, so pressure drops faster... because steam is flying full force through the cleared holes? (You could always try the broken toothpick trick to intentionally block one steam tip hole & see if it gives you any better result or control🤔)
  6. you do need very skinny stir tools, otherwise clumps will form. By skinny, I mean Sewing needle thin, not wooden bamboo skewers or thick paperclips (IMO)
  7. Think I've had similar before but it was a long time ago before I got my Norvin funnel to aid a proper stir with my fruit fork. Don't think there was any evidence of it after tamping compacted the puck though. I was always a bit worried the crack might remain hidden in the bed after tamping, and then cause a substandard extraction, so I never followed it with an extraction. Maybe I should just give it a try! If my coffee bed is not pristine & level, I do another round of WDT.☺️ I use a funnel & 3 prong stirrer, level & tamp...and don't get any channelling.)
  8. @Joe-H The Commandante is known for exceptional clarity with pour over extractions. It's a favourite with the V-60 crowd for good reason. (You would likely want to add the optional Red Clix feature to the commandante if you ever moved into espresso extraction.)
  9. @Joe-H There is a chap in the Phillipines who has almost all the handgrinders known to man😉, including, Commandante, Aergrind, Kinu & Apollo; he has the new Aerspeed. He goes by the handle “Autoexec”. You could search him out for feedback. He really knows his hand grinders inside out & backwards.
  10. @Mrboots2u Before extraction (not after). I see the slight crack open in the coffee bed after a gentle side of palm tap & think, no, this isn't a good idea, so I redistribute and avoid any tapping or shaking... just level & tamp. Strange that no one else encounters this!
  11. Increasing staff would increase the retail price significantly, too. The Aergrind is the most affordable quality hand grinder on the market. Not every business person values (or wants) volume of sales over quality of workmanship, pride & personal satisfaction. This type of business person is perhaps more true craft than business oriented, as defined by our current world. They are in the minority, certainly. And, we are the beneficiaries of their dedication & integrity. This is all pure speculation, as I don’t know the man, but I appreciate what he has made. I am ok with him not following the herd. (Maybe I'd think differently if I wasn’t delighted with his grinder?!)
  12. Two replies!☺️ I think the man makes a superb product (just based on my own use of his grinder), and at an excellent price. I never had any difficulty with the communication, so I have to wonder if there’s a lot of exaggerated reference to his not keeping up with communication.🤔 On the other hand, if he is a one man operation, it is no wonder he can’t (or chooses not to) keep up with all the preliminary emails & futile enquiries that must hit the inbox. I can only imagine that many of us online shoppers are perhaps kicking tires only, when we ask our myriad of questions about a prospective purchase, only to end up not buying, just dreaming or just curious... yet we want detailed communiques from small shops such as his. So, I don’t blame a small business person who “doesn’t do office work” by choice or circumstance. (Am I being too lenient?😉) Perhaps I was simply lucky, but I somehow doubt that.😉☺️
  13. I have tried a gentle “tapping” of the portafilter against the hand, to level the grinds after wdt, but it invariably causes a hairline crack to be created in the bed of coffee. Not sure why others don’t experience this? I stick with the 3-prong WDT approach, to both distribute & level. If using very thin needles or wire, rather than a looped londinium-style tool, the thin wires can be used to virtually level the surface of the coffee bed.
  14. I am another big fan of the Aergrind, and I bought mine direct from the MBK website. No complaints at all (& my followup question by email was responded to promptly by the man himself). Stellar grinder for my espresso & super compact for travel.
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