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Thread: Decent espresso

  1. #1931
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    Default Stating the water level: cast not the first stone

    water_level.jpg

    On our customer forum, Ed rightfully pointed out:
    "One could make a similar argument about the way you report water in the tank. 3mm isn't useful measure of the amount of water, it just happens to be the depth you measure without applying the necessary conversion to get that to a true volume."
    He's right. I can't really go criticizing other manufacturers for using measurement units (ie, "preinfuse at 3 bar") that aren't particularly helpful, and then go ahead do the same thing in my DE1+ app.

    So today, I brought out the postal scale and measured the water level at each 100g increase in weight.

    The caused the attached curve to appear. The spreadsheet can be downloaded at https://decentespresso.com/p/water_levels.xlsx

    My measurements are accurate more or less to a millimeter, as surface tension on my metal ruler was an issue.

    I then went off to read google results about "find a function in excel that fits a curve". I failed out of mathematics in college, so I have no doubt someone else here can fit the curve better than I did.

    Nonetheless, this function worked fairly well (average error = 3%), and it's what I've implemented in the DE1+ GUI for the moment:
    > ml = mm * 22 + (mm ^ 1.52)

    where ml = "millimeters of water in the tank"
    and where mm = "millimeters measured"

    A side effect of my doing this was that I've now verified that the water tank really can take 2 liters of water. Our SolidWorks model said it could, but that's very much not reality (ie, ceramic shrinkage needs to be taken into account).

    If you "App Update" today, you'll get milliliters of water in your tank, as well as millimeters of water measured.

    I couldn't decide whether I should continue to display the millimeters of water depth number, or not. What do you think?

  2. #1932
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    I wouldn't assume that the machine will keel over dead after 10,000 shots. It's a warranty, and it's based on the "mean time between failures" that we've been quoted by our valve/pump maker, ODE.

    However, those MTBF numbers are pessimistic, but perhaps more importantly, they assume full-throttle use. We drive our pumps very lightly, and there are two of them.

    Worst case scenario, with a DE1+ you're looking at a $100 part to replace a valve or pump, and that's after the 2 year warranty.

    The PRO is really if you need (a) to be plumbed in and (b) you need to make > 50 shots per day.

    -john

    John,

    This is pretty much the exact answer I was looking for. I'm likely going to be making a double once or twice a day, tops. If I host, maybe a bit more, but under 25 a week for sure, likely 10. So it seems i'll be fine without going for the PRO (unless i've got cash to burn).

    Thank you

  3. #1933
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    Like also having the (mm) as that is directly related to what you can see.

  4. #1934
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    Hi everyone,
    I have been following this thread for a while. First of all a big thanks to John and his team for the innovative and great product they brought to market and the superb community engagement / customer service. Since almost a year I have been waiting to be able to (pre)order the DE1CAFE. It's available for a couple of weeks now, but I haven't pulled the trigger for one reason: price expectation. With the ability to order the machine the price got bumped up by about 1000EUR, which surprised me quite a bit. I am not saying the machine might not be worth the asking price. All I am saying is that the price increase was not expected and is what keeps me from ordering. As it seems not that many DE1CAFE have been sold in the last weeks, so this might be one reason why.

  5. #1935
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    Quote Originally Posted by ess View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I have been following this thread for a while. First of all a big thanks to John and his team for the innovative and great product they brought to market and the superb community engagement / customer service. Since almost a year I have been waiting to be able to (pre)order the DE1CAFE. It's available for a couple of weeks now, but I haven't pulled the trigger for one reason: price expectation. With the ability to order the machine the price got bumped up by about 1000EUR, which surprised me quite a bit. I am not saying the machine might not be worth the asking price. All I am saying is that the price increase was not expected and is what keeps me from ordering. As it seems not that many DE1CAFE have been sold in the last weeks, so this might be one reason why.
    John has gone over his reasons for price increases in these pages, although it is admittedly a lot to read through. I think perhaps his mistake was setting price expectations before he had fully completed production and knew how much it would end up costing him!

    I agree its pricey, but as a business expense its not crazy money.

  6. #1936
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    Quote Originally Posted by ess View Post
    As it seems not that many DE1CAFE have been sold in the last weeks, so this might be one reason why.
    My feeling is that very few cafes are willing to bet their business moving to a model of an espresso machine that:
    (a) no other cafe is currently using
    (b) is not yet shipping
    (c) has not yet had its R&D phase finished.

    And I think they are wise.

    Nonetheless, we're going to finish the R&D on the DE1CAFE, make 200 of them, and see who wants to take the plunge first.

    I get a *TON* of emails about a cafe model (probably half my email) so I know there's plenty of interest.

    I don't think price is the problem with the cafe model, because:
    (a) per group head, we're less expensive than other commercial machines
    (b) the emails I get

    My preference for cafes, so that I can sleep well at night, is for them to buy one machine from us, and test it on the line, next to their regular machines. If it does well, then they can slowly increase the number of Decent group heads, until the day where they no longer need their traditional boiler machines.

    The first 3 months of the DE1+ uncovered a lot of problems, now since fixed. I think that a cautious person could assume the same will be true of the upcoming cafe model.

    Once a dozen cafes are running their business on nothing-but-Decent, and doing so successfully, I think we'll see purchases pick up.

    -john

  7. #1937
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    Default Progress on plumbing

    plumbing.jpg

    We're not yet shipping the plumbing kits for our DE1PRO customers, because I haven't yet been satisfied with our designs. Here's an update.

    DRAINING THE MUCK
    For the past two years, we've been drilling a hole in our ceramic drip trays and attaching a fitting to drain the mucky water out. This has worked "fairly well". By that, I mean that it works, but the fitting tends to leak. The basic problem is that the fitting is above the bottom the of the drip tray, so there's always "standing water", which eventually seeps through the fitting.

    Someone pointed me to this "drip pan" design, which seems to solve this problem. https://www.chriscoffee.com/Drain-Kit-Alex-p/adrkt.htm

    The top two photos show our design to try this idea out. We'll still drill a hole into our ceramic tray, but there will be no fitting. Instead, the mucky water drains into a drip pan, which has a tube fitted to it. I do still have a concern about leaking on the new fitting leaking, but sealing metal-against-metal is a lot easier than sealing metal-against-ceramic.


    PLUMBING KIT TO GO
    A not insignificant number of DE1PRO users want to travel, and if they're cafes doing catering, they want to be able to "plumb in" when they get there. So... we're going to repurpose the Tamping Kit suitcases that we have way too many of and use that to ship the plumbing kits to customers.

    That way, you'll have 3 suitcases you can bring everything in:
    - your DE1PRO suitcase
    - your Barista Kit suitcase
    - your Plumbing Kit suitcase

    The Tamping Kit https://decentespresso.com/tamper has been a bit of a dud because most people opt to pay a bit more and get the way-more-functional Barista Kit https://decentespresso.com/barista_kit ... So I have a warehouse full of tamping kit suitcases that I don't know what to do with. They'll now get repurposed as "Plumbing Kit To Go"

    One note on the photo: we're including tubing made from surgical silicone. Clear tubing for the "clean water in" path, and black tubing for the "dirty water out". That way, while setting up your DE1PRO at a gig, you won't accidentally hook them up backward and dirty your clean water tank. But I've never made that mistake, of course. Cough.

    -john

  8. #1938
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    My feeling is that very few cafes are willing to bet their business moving to a model of an espresso machine that:
    (a) no other cafe is currently using
    (b) is not yet shipping
    (c) has not yet had its R&D phase finished.

    And I think they are wise.

    Nonetheless, we're going to finish the R&D on the DE1CAFE, make 200 of them, and see who wants to take the plunge first.

    I get a *TON* of emails about a cafe model (probably half my email) so I know there's plenty of interest.

    I don't think price is the problem with the cafe model, because:
    (a) per group head, we're less expensive than other commercial machines
    (b) the emails I get

    My preference for cafes, so that I can sleep well at night, is for them to buy one machine from us, and test it on the line, next to their regular machines. If it does well, then they can slowly increase the number of Decent group heads, until the day where they no longer need their traditional boiler machines.

    The first 3 months of the DE1+ uncovered a lot of problems, now since fixed. I think that a cautious person could assume the same will be true of the upcoming cafe model.

    Once a dozen cafes are running their business on nothing-but-Decent, and doing so successfully, I think we'll see purchases pick up.

    -john
    What is it you think Cafes are looking for out from an Espresso machine?
    ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DB (paddle flow control) BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/

  9. #1939
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    My feeling is that very few cafes are willing to bet their business moving to a model of an espresso machine that:
    (a) no other cafe is currently using
    (b) is not yet shipping
    (c) has not yet had its R&D phase finished.

    And I think they are wise.

    Nonetheless, we're going to finish the R&D on the DE1CAFE, make 200 of them, and see who wants to take the plunge first.

    I get a *TON* of emails about a cafe model (probably half my email) so I know there's plenty of interest.

    I don't think price is the problem with the cafe model, because:
    (a) per group head, we're less expensive than other commercial machines
    (b) the emails I get

    My preference for cafes, so that I can sleep well at night, is for them to buy one machine from us, and test it on the line, next to their regular machines. If it does well, then they can slowly increase the number of Decent group heads, until the day where they no longer need their traditional boiler machines.

    The first 3 months of the DE1+ uncovered a lot of problems, now since fixed. I think that a cautious person could assume the same will be true of the upcoming cafe model.

    Once a dozen cafes are running their business on nothing-but-Decent, and doing so successfully, I think we'll see purchases pick up.

    -john
    Have you thought about starting a DE ambassador program?
    For example, we know that most cafes are open to outside baristas comin in and showcasing their products/abilities, and we also know the DE1 is quite portable. Maybe you could start a program for people who already preordered that have interest in helping you out in exchange for some benefit, ask them for their regional area, how many cafes they have close by, etc... Then they can go to their local or regional cafes and showcase your products. Kind of like having sales reps but taking advantage of something I believe is quite common in the coffee world?

  10. #1940
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavecUK View Post
    What is it you think Cafes are looking for out from an Espresso machine?
    PRIMARILY:
    What gets mentioned the most by cafes is "making better tasting drinks" thanks to the feedback from the tablet (easier to dial in, easier to notice bad shots on-screen without tasting them) and either the pressure profiling (9 bar to 6 bar shots) or flow profiling (they've been following Perger or Hoffmann on flow).

    SECONDARILY:
    A year ago, cafes felt that my approach of not making 2 and 3 group machines was a problem, but suprisingly that never comes up now. Instead, a major benefit that gets mentioned a lot is the modularity of keeping each group totally separate. If one espresso machine breaks, you're down one group head, instead of completely down.

    THIRDLY:
    The price per group head is also popular (it's lower), and the ability to move each group where you want to optimize your cafes workflow. That flexibility is quite appealing, as cafes struggle to get the most drinks out during peak times, and the idea of adding more groups (4 or 5, even) if business warrants, is appealing.

    FINALLY:
    A much smaller number of cafes are driven by how it looks. There's a current trend in the industry to smaller machines (Mavam and Modbar) and Baristas having eye contact. I don't know if this is a long-lasting shift or if it will last a few years and then be just an interesting curiosity.



    Quote Originally Posted by Andreugv View Post
    Have you thought about starting a DE ambassador program?
    For example, we know that most cafes are open to outside baristas comin in and showcasing their products/abilities, and we also know the DE1 is quite portable. Maybe you could start a program for people who already preordered that have interest in helping you out in exchange for some benefit, ask them for their regional area, how many cafes they have close by, etc... Then they can go to their local or regional cafes and showcase your products. Kind of like having sales reps but taking advantage of something I believe is quite common in the coffee world?
    As cafes put our DE1PRO machines out in public view, I will absolutely be promoting those cafes and trying to drive customers their way. Eventually, there will be a DECENT CAFÉ mobile phone app, to help you find those cafes. And yes, a few cafes have volunteered to be local ambassadors.

    Not quite the same topic, but Mat North has two DE1PRO machines he's repairing, and once he's done with that, we've discussed lending them out in the UK (not just to cafes, but to anyone interested).

    -john

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