Decent Espresso
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Thread: Decent espresso

  1. #1131
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    A fairly simple rule change, if I do need to stop this, would be discount on individual quantity, rather than cumulative. In other words, buying 80 O-rings would get you 30% off that part, but nothing off the single milk jug. That would bring our discounting more into line with industry practices.
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    Surely it would be simpler to ring-fence parts that are (for example) below £2-5, otherwise your 'honest' customer who wants to order a milk jug, scale and tamper (for example) wouldn't get a discount.

  2. #1132
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    Crickets.

    (I apologize if this doesn't make sense. While I was born in Cambridge, I wasn't there long enough to remember if there are crickets in the country side.)

  3. #1133
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    Price the items fairly forget the discount on smaller one offs , personally discount equals bulk buy , not one of two or three things ( a jug , a basket , a tamper ) . If they are good quality and a good price to start with people shouldn't be moan paying a price for them without haggling .
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  4. #1134
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    The sweetness is from the heavy amount of sugar in the mostly-corn diet fed to cows in the USA. I'm not sure that any other country feeds their cows mostly corn.Here's a lot more on that topic (cows and corn), from author Michael Pollan:http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...ws/pollan.htmlSince I've done a fair amount of travelling and demoing, I usually buy several milks in each area to find the best. In the USA, it's Organic Valley milk, available nationwide from local sources:https://www.organicvalley.coop/products/milk/The UK has great milk even if chain grocery stores, but in the EU the industrial milk in grocery stores is just ok. Get near the mountains (hello Obnic) and drink local, and yeah, you're in bliss. When I lived in Savoie the local raw milk from the cheese coop was a revelation.I'm persuaded that Italian's distaste for cappuccinos is because their milk is mostly watery industrial junk. In July I was there for a few weeks on tour. I bought proper milk from the organic grocery (more and more common there) and 2.5Xed the amount of coffee to milk ratio (they were making cappuccinos with 7g shots) and the Italians were surprised to like the drink. In cafés the cappuccinos were undrinkable.Some UK grocery stores such as Tesco (and M&S) are surprisingly industrial, the closest I've seen to USA grade food. But there's still a lot of really great grocery available in the UK as long as you're either in a poor area (farmer's market) or a rich one (high end grocery).
    Yeah there might be a few countries in the western hemisphere where livestock is mostly feed with local crops, however allot of livestock get supplements, whole food pellets from international food suppliers, these tend to be made off what is cheapest eg. soybean hulls, corn etc. that doesn't result in the best tasting milk. definitely prefer milk from biodynamic/organic fed Jersey cows, where the stock are mostly grass, herb, weed fed. We shouldn't forget that breeds deliver very different tasting milk, and some of the explanation for the difference in taste is also found here.
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  5. #1135
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    Default Report from the Korea Coffee Show

    We're back from the Korea Coffee Show. Our man Shin and his coffee-trainer/engineer friend ran the demos and made 1400 espressos in 4 days. This was a good test of DE1+ reliability under stress.

    IMG_4706.jpg

    Indian National Champion Paras Bindra came by with 2kg his El Salvadorian Geisha (!) and was grinning ear-to-ear an hour later as we'd tuned the DE1+ to extract it at it's best (17s preinfusion at 3.5 ml/s, 8 second hold at 9 bar then decline to 7 bar). Sort of a Slayer-start with a Synesso end. "Wow, that's good coffee," said another SCAA judge, upon tasting it.

    Super fan Chihyun Ahn is in the photo below, along with
    Joe McTaggart of Brew Brothers in Germany, representing Comandante hand grinders. I was super impressed by their grinder, though it took 60s to hand grind the Geisha, made a really an excellent Geisha espresso.


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    A big hello to our new friends Doug and Barb from Orphan Espresso, who we shared coffee, pastries and manufacturing war stories with.

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    I got to spend some quality time with Marco Feliziani of Nuova Simonelli who walked me through the incremental improvements to their Mythos 2 (my favorite coffee grinder).

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    And we were super excited to see my friend Kapo Chiu of HK's The Cupping Room - Roastery make it to the finals and take away 3rd place in the World Barista Championship.

    IMG_7440.JPEG

  6. #1136
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    Default What we learned in Korea

    We didn't have a faultless four days. Four defects/weaknesses made themselves known that we're making sure we rectify.

    a) the biggest problem was that the "catering kit" for the DE1+, which is an external pump that refills our water tank, was accidentally pushed off the back of the table. As it fell, it ripped out the RJ45 phone connector on the PC board that it was tethered to. This "whoops" is likely to occur in the real world, so we're going to heavily reinforce the RJ45/PC board connection.

    b) tilting the DE1+, traveling in a cab to a cafe, and immediately righting the machine left the water level sensor confused, likely because water had dribbled up into the sensor tube. The next day, the water in the tube had dried and all was fine, but the water level sensor was confused and caused spurious "out of water" software reports at the cafe demo. We're going to work around this by optionally ignoring the water level sensor when it does this, as we can believe we can detect this (mis)state on power up. There is a more sophisticated solution possible, which involves using a semi-permeable membrane, but in the past year, we've not been able to reliably mount it without tearing or crinkling it, as it's very delicate stuff.

    c) a screw holding the box around a heater came out. Some "locktite" should fix that.

    d) two rubber feet came out because the holes holding them hadn't been drilled by our fabricator to our tolerances.

    Two reasons I do these trade shows are:

    1) to create deadlines

    2) to real-life test the current state of the machine.

    -john

  7. #1137
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    Default Packing an espresso machine

    We received samples this week of our espresso machine packing system. We're using 3 different pieces of foam to different effect. Rather than using styrofoam, I decided to use the same packing approach for our suitcase as for our cardboard box.

    People who buy an espresso machine from us without a suitcase (the majority) will have this foam holding their espresso machine in a cardboard box, and that box will, in turn, be packed in another box, with an air gap between the boxes.

    To hold parts in place, we're using the same molded EVA foam (spandex covered) technique that's in our Barista Kit. This time we've added a ton of ribbing for extra strength. The center layers are two symmetrically die cut PU foam pieces. Under the molded EVA foam pieces you'll find simple rectangular pieces

    Two years ago, the foam I had made was high density, all glued together. The big problems with that were (a) it smelled terrible, very perfumey (b) the gluing effect was ugly, and (c) the foam weighed 5kg. The total espresso machine weight was 21.3kg, just slightly over most airplane limits, causing me to haggle at the airport every time I flew.

    The new foam comes in at 1.6kg, bringing the "flight weight" of the suitcase and all espresso parts, to just under 18kg, safely well under the airplane limit.

    The one mistake we made with this prototype is to require you to take the layers apart to get the tablet out. We're correcting that design assumption (with a cutout for the tablet stand) so that you can leave all the layers of foam in place as you insert/remove parts.

    IMG_7453.jpg IMG_7456.jpg IMG_7462.jpg IMG_7461.jpg IMG_7452.jpg

  8. #1138
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    ...the biggest problem was that the "catering kit" for the DE1+, which is an external pump that refills our water tank...
    Isn't the catering and plumbing kit only available for the PRO model?

    Related to that, I'm curious if the plumbing kit is failsafe. For instance, if the water valve gets stuck open (or just leaks) does the water go down the drain?

    --
    Jeff

  9. #1139
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtjeffw View Post
    Isn't the catering and plumbing kit only available for the PRO model?
    You're right, and at the Korea coffee show I had one DE1PRO+ and one DE1+ with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by gtjeffw View Post
    Related to that, I'm curious if the plumbing kit is failsafe. For instance, if the water valve gets stuck open (or just leaks) does the water go down the drain?
    It has two fail safes:
    - if water is being added to the tank but we can't sense a water level rise, the kit is disabled
    - there is a timeout to adding water to the tank

    The valve is of the "normally closed" type, so when voltage is no longer applied, water flow will stop. That being said, if the valve (like a water tap) were to become sufficiently calcified then yes, it would leak.

    We have two kits for the pro model, the "catering kit" is a pump, used to suck water out of a water tank. That's what we were using. Pressurized water is (to my knowledge) always at risk of leaks.

  10. #1140
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    Pressurized water is (to my knowledge) always at risk of leaks.
    Just thinking out loud, it might be interesting to see if a future version of your product could switch to a fully watertight pathway from water mains on through the machine. I think this would require some sort of tank instead of the water tray, plus additional heating elements and actuated valve(s). That would probably change the machine design a good bit though.

    Alternatively, with DE2(PRO) you might consider adding some sort of overflow lip or tube to the water tray that spills into the drip tray, which in turn is modified to have an optional drain line. This could provide additional safety redundancy that is (maybe?) not that expensive to implement.

    --
    Jeff

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