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Decent espresso


Lefteye

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Look like really clever products. Not sure I want to operate my machine with an iPad though.

 

 

Yes I get that this takes the art out but if I can get consistantly good results on a machine that may come in under £850 then that's appealing.

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Yes I get that this takes the art out but if I can get consistantly good results on a machine that may come in under £850 then that's appealing.

 

I agree if it gets results — and at that price — then brilliant. I'm not fussy about the manual process, just give me a good coffee thanks!

 

The thing is though, some things are just best left to hardware/mechanical operation. For example, they have a control on the app for turning on and off the steam — I just really don't want to rely on a tablet for that; tapping away at a screen, or laggy interface, or trying to dismiss a message notification while my milk gets ruined.

 

I also wouldn't want to have to boot up an iPad in order to simply make an espresso. I get that a tablet is good for altering complex settings — it's perfectly appropriate there — open the app to change a profile, or dial in a pressure etc. But once that's done, just give me hardware controls to start and stop the thing.

 

It may be the only way they can get the machine in at that price though: offloading all processing and control to the iPad, but it still comes at a cost to the consumer. On-going reliance on a tablet and software isn't cost free, and obsolescence is a risk.

 

If they do go down that route, I just hope they use open standards/apis so other control options are open to people. 3rd parties/enthusiasts could make hardware controls, or raspberrypi alternatives for example.

 

Jim

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The art? The art of lifting up a little metal lever that actuates a switch?

 

Yeah, it's less about art, and more just tactic-feedback and mechanical operation. Things you can do without looking, and rely on to have immediate effect.

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£850 is that right, considering the strong money for Decent-Doser.

 

Yeah, seems unrealistic to me. I think that will ramp up pretty quickly when they get to full production costs, distribution, middlemen, retailer margins etc. I'd say double that is more like it.

 

I look forward to being wrong though.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Look like really clever products. Not sure I want to operate my machine with an iPad though.

 

The touch tablet shows you what is going on with your shot, namely flow rate, water temperature, current pressure. It also lets you draw (with your finger) the pressure profile you want to use. You can also easily change water temperature, hot water temperature (for Americanos) and steam pressure.

 

For people who really, really hate the idea of a tablet on an espresso machine with a tablet on it, I'm working on a paddle controller, that will let you control real-time pressure and flow, as well as using it to actuate the steam and hot water.

 

I'm attaching an animation of the paddle idea. This design is a work in progress, and definitely not the final shape.

 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-EEiu1O8atrw/Vud2mkYOi5I/AAAAAAAABQs/eG9W5rfLd9oGi_cW7GVfVgTkFOWoN5sdA/w1600-h1148-no/460bbc8e-6f42-4169-84c5-0b30e098dba5.gif

paddle_animation_3.jpg

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Yeah, seems unrealistic to me. I think that will ramp up pretty quickly when they get to full production costs, distribution, middlemen, retailer margins etc. I'd say double that is more like it. I look forward to being wrong though.

 

You're absolutely right, we'd have to charge at least twice that if we were working through resellers and distributors, as each typically takes a 30% to 50% margin.

 

I really hate the idea of making a machine for £150, selling it to a distributor for £250 and the eventual customer paying £899 for it. There's no way to make a decent machine for that little money.

 

That's why we're only selling direct to consumer. That lets us spend £500 to make your machine, sell it to you for £999, and we make enough profit to both make something of quality, and support you in the case where you have any problems.

Edited by decent_espresso
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The thing is though, some things are just best left to hardware/mechanical operation. For example, they have a control on the app for turning on and off the steam — I just really don't want to rely on a tablet for that; tapping away at a screen, or laggy interface, or trying to dismiss a message notification while my milk gets ruined.

 

I also wouldn't want to have to boot up an iPad in order to simply make an espresso. I get that a tablet is good for altering complex settings — it's perfectly appropriate there — open the app to change a profile, or dial in a pressure etc. But once that's done, just give me hardware controls to start and stop the thing.

 

It may be the only way they can get the machine in at that price though: offloading all processing and control to the iPad, but it still comes at a cost to the consumer. On-going reliance on a tablet and software isn't cost free, and obsolescence is a risk.

 

If they do go down that route, I just hope they use open standards/apis so other control options are open to people. 3rd parties/enthusiasts could make hardware controls, or raspberrypi alternatives for example.

 

Jim

 

As I'm the tablet programmer, hopefully I can make the UI not "laggy" and so far that's the case. I'm also playing with the idea of a count down timer on the steam, as well as screaming STOP (ha!) at the tablet to stop the steam (assuming working voice recognition).

 

That being said, I did mention the paddle controller for those that don't want a UI. However, if you don't mind UI, I have one more permutation to offer you: the paddle and a small phone-sized (included) Android device that you use for changing settings, but which otherwise sits in a drawer. You use the manual controls to make coffee.

 

As to open APIs, yes, this machine is specifically targeted at maker-types, both software and hardware hackers. The gui is open source, but there's also an HTTP/REST interface if you want to make your own gui. In principle, it should be "not that hard" to add new bluetooth controls, much like how musicians use MIDI controllers.

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