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I am also thinking about DE1 and which model to go for. I prefer to get a cheaper version provided that it could be upgraded when needed (a kind of a Gaggia Classic route when you can add PID, etc later).

It is a great idea to add a mirror strip to DE1+. Another option which I do not like on DE1+ is the mesh shower screen. I have both for my Gaggia (IMS mesh and "competition"), and seems the competition "taste" better. This is probably because it restricts the water flow less, given that the vibration pump does not provide good flow in the first place.


Gaggia '06 Baby Class (Dimmer / pressure gauge, MrShades PID, IMS shower / brass holder), 18g VST + LevTamp

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1 minute ago, decent_espresso said:

It's made from pre-mirrored stainless steel which we import from Korea. It's 2mm thick, and we get about a 40% quality-control failure rate on it, as they tend to get scratched up before we even receive them.  It's one of the most frustrating parts for us to make. I posted extensively about it last year, as we were (at the time) paying USD$40 each (at quantity) to have them CNCed for us by a specialist.  We tried 3 different Chinese suppliers of mirrored stainless, and found them all to be scratched. The Korean stuff is way more expensive, but much less likely to suffer scratches.

The 40% that are quality-control failed (minor scratches when we peel off the protetive film), we then send to another company in HK, who brush-steel treats the front face, thus removing the mirror finish, and therefore getting it into a state that we can use it.  That way we don't waste any.

So that's why it's an expensive part, and also why the brushed steel appears on the lower-priced DE1+ model.  Really nicely mirrored stainless, that's bent and cut, is hard to do.

-john

Thanks for the explanation John.... can't they leave the angled piece alone - and brush finish just the flat surface, leaving the angled piece as a mirror?


Lots of everything: machines, grinders, roaster, beans, tampers, baskets, blah, blah

However - Too much is never enough!

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40 minutes ago, MrShades said:

 seems odd that the angled section isn't a polished mirror finish on the DE1+.

We tried to do this, but the "parting line" between the brushed and mirrored sections looked terrible.

Note that Lyn Weber just came out with a shot mirror:

https://lynweber.com/product/looking-glass/

IMG_3995-100x100.jpg.e43a9532bebcc2e41d903e670864edf2.jpg

40 minutes ago, MrShades said:

 To help me in my decision making - will ALL features of the forthcoming 1.3 be available as upgrade parts to the current model, at the price delta - or is the touchcontrol group cover the only one?  (so will current model + $300 upgrade = v1.3 spec, or will there be other differences).

The Android 5.1 tablet is about to go out of stock in six weeks, to be replaced with an identical-looking Android 8.1 tablet.  That'll also be available on the web site as a separate purchase, if you want it.

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12 minutes ago, AndyZap said:

I am also thinking about DE1 and which model to go for. I prefer to get a cheaper version provided that it could be upgraded when needed (a kind of a Gaggia Classic route when you can add PID, etc later).

The only "permanent" difference would be the longer warranty (10,000 shots vs 200,000 shots) which really only comes into play if you're making 10+ espressos per day.

12 minutes ago, AndyZap said:

It is a great idea to add a mirror strip to DE1+.

Someone on the user forum did use a "mirror paint" on the bottom brushed lip of their DE1+, and it looked quite good.

12 minutes ago, AndyZap said:

It is a great idea to add a mirror strip to DE1+. Another option which I do not like on DE1+ is the mesh shower screen. I have both for my Gaggia (IMS mesh and "competition"), and seems the competition "taste" better. This is probably because it restricts the water flow less, given that the vibration pump does not provide good flow in the first place.

You're welcome to swap out the filter screen, but my own tests finds no difference in espresso quality between the mesh filter screen, and the IMS screen, when they are both spotlessly clean.  However, the IMS screen is significantly easier to keep clean.

I would disagree with your assessment of vibe pumps not providing good flow. That's likely true with a single pump, at full throttle, but we have two pumps, mixing, and mathematically controlled to run at lower pulse intervals out of phase with each other.  And teflon tubing throughout that is ever so slightly stretchy.

And besides, Home Barista users have had extensive tests on drink quality of different pump types, and didn't find any quality differences (not just for Decent, that applies for other machines too).

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Wire Cup Holder

Two years ago, João Tomaz and I worked on wire cup holder designs for our Decent Espresso machine. We're now trying to make it work "in the real world"

The standoffs are a bit too tall in this prototype; we'll fix that shortly. And there's a bit of movement back-and-forth on the wire, as there's nothing in this design to prevent that.

However, I like the minimalist "wings" aesthetic in Joao's drawings, and so I'm tempted to sacrifice a bit of functionality for beauty.

On idea I have to increase the strength is to put a standoff at the middle-end of the machine, as that would definitely secure everything. We'll be trying that too, and I'll post photos of what that looks like when we've done it.

-john

 

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Color and reflection matching

I've ordered 1000 new tablets, all running Android 8.1.  They'll start shipping with our machines in about 8 weeks. 

I'm making 200 of them in white, to match the white DE1XL model.  I was toying with a black front, white back, but decided all-white looked best.  

My tablet manufacturer sent me various whites, with different textures (plastic, textured plastic, textured rubber). In the end, the textured "oil plastic" is matte, has a nice feel, and color matches well (reflectivity is hard to match).  

Also, I don't have the worries about long term durability which rubber brings (it tends to turn sticky with age).

I have to order 1000 of these white components (sigh) and store them for future orders, even though we're just ordering 200 white tablets for now.

-john

white_tablet.jpg

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On 25/06/2019 at 12:12, decent_espresso said:

You're welcome to swap out the filter screen, but my own tests finds no difference in espresso quality between the mesh filter screen, and the IMS screen, when they are both spotlessly clean.  However, the IMS screen is significantly easier to keep clean.

I would disagree with your assessment of vibe pumps not providing good flow. That's likely true with a single pump, at full throttle, but we have two pumps, mixing, and mathematically controlled to run at lower pulse intervals out of phase with each other.  And teflon tubing throughout that is ever so slightly stretchy.

And besides, Home Barista users have had extensive tests on drink quality of different pump types, and didn't find any quality differences (not just for Decent, that applies for other machines too).

Agree. BTW, very impressed by your solution to use two pumps running out of phase.

I guess we both agree that the IMS screen will not do any harm for DE1+. Would it be better/easier for you to have a single version of the screen for all DE1 versions and simply increase the price of DE1+ by the price difference?


Gaggia '06 Baby Class (Dimmer / pressure gauge, MrShades PID, IMS shower / brass holder), 18g VST + LevTamp

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6 hours ago, AndyZap said:

Agree. BTW, very impressed by your solution to use two pumps running out of phase.

I guess we both agree that the IMS screen will not do any harm for DE1+. Would it be better/easier for you to have a single version of the screen for all DE1 versions and simply increase the price of DE1+ by the price difference?

https://www.theespressoshop.co.uk/en/IMS-Integrated-Shower-Screen-515mm---CI200IM/m-1999.aspx

 


Lots of everything: machines, grinders, roaster, beans, tampers, baskets, blah, blah

However - Too much is never enough!

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12 hours ago, AndyZap said:

Agree. BTW, very impressed by your solution to use two pumps running out of phase.

I guess we both agree that the IMS screen will not do any harm for DE1+. Would it be better/easier for you to have a single version of the screen for all DE1 versions and simply increase the price of DE1+ by the price difference?

You're welcome to buy the IMS screen from us, or someone else if they're less expensive.  But if you get it from us, we do provide a slightly shorter (and different head) screw, that works better with the IMS than the stock screw, which was tailored for the mesh screen.

And yes, we both agree, the IMS is better.

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21023835_20190628-113458-Whitecopy.thumb.jpg.f7ad9b28a66b86081f1ccc89a0f4097c.jpg
 
1105343330_20190628-112250-Whitecopy.thumb.jpg.c5c065e56e936a14ffd9ba4b24b31529.jpg
 
Decent engineer Ben Champion has pimped up his DE1PRO with a few changes:
- white chassis
- white ceramic drip tray
- craquelure group head
Personally, I think the craquelure looks great, and would love to see it on the entire body too.
In November, we’ll have a limited quantity of white drip trays, as part of our new ceramics order, and people with the white DE1XL will get that with their machines (and we’ll send them to those who already received theirs).
A white tablet would also look better here, and that’s been ordered too, coming in August (and we’ll ship those to white DE1XL customers too).
-john
 
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While browsing through all Decent products https://decentespresso.com/cart?show=all  I have come across a refractormeter. Could not find any info on the web site. How does it compare to VST? Would it be a good alternative for a careful home user?


Gaggia '06 Baby Class (Dimmer / pressure gauge, MrShades PID, IMS shower / brass holder), 18g VST + LevTamp

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3 minutes ago, AndyZap said:

While browsing through all Decent products https://decentespresso.com/cart?show=all  I have come across a refractormeter. Could not find any info on the web site. How does it compare to VST? Would it be a good alternative for a careful home user?

Its this one 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/HM-Digital-RCM-1000BT-Refractometer-Bluetooth/dp/B07BFJD2MZ


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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3 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

Thanks for the link! Has anyone compared it to VST? I guess the important question: does it gives the same results?


Gaggia '06 Baby Class (Dimmer / pressure gauge, MrShades PID, IMS shower / brass holder), 18g VST + LevTamp

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8 minutes ago, AndyZap said:

Thanks for the link! Has anyone compared it to VST? I guess the important question: does it gives the same results?

No idea, cant work out if it's calibrated or not from the manufacturer . How it is designed to work, for espresso i still am off the opinion that you need to filter the coffee , if you are coopering like for like results with people . @mwjb come across this one?


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

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Whilst they don't actually know whether the VST "undershot" the TDS readings (moisture balance used was no more precise than the VST refractometer & there was no dehydration datum for accuracy), the HM had the widest spread of readings & average was different to VST & Atago by a fair margin.

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“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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The methodology and conclusion on the socratic post look shonky to say the least ( and not for the first time )  . Reading of instant coffee to benchmark setting in different refractomereter . 

 


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Well, they filtered the instant, probably safer than them brewing it.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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2 hours ago, Mrboots2u said:

I bought 4 of those HM Digital refractometer, as they were kind enough to share their Bluetooth spec with me, and give me permission to integrate the DE1+ app with their refractometer. The idea is for refractometry readings to be as easy as possible to be data-entered with your shot data.

However, I've had other tasks grabbing my attention, and have sold the few samples I bought to other people.  I'm not sure when I'll have the time to do the refractometry integration, as it doesn't seem to be at the top of anyone's wishlist.

As far as the quality goes, the price is VERY good (a fraction of the VST) and it's what Rao used at the Berlin SCA show. He told me the readings were very consistent, so he didn't have any worries about it.

-john

 

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"Turn Junk Into Art" Sighting: Walnut and Green paint

Decent owner Chris applied a walnut veneer to his espresso machine body and tablet, and painted his machine green.  He also chose a custom skin on the tablet to match better.
Beautiful, or hideous?

Chris did this with the 80% discounted body part "cosmetic rejects" I'm selling.  I was hoping people would re-paint these and thus bring them back to life. 

-john

 

walnut_green.jpg

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DE1XL Conversion Kit - Just about ready to ship

We have all the parts in to ship the kit that lets people change their DE1PRO espresso machines into DE1XL models.  

I've made a video, showing the process (it took me 14 minutes to do the conversion, babbling away all the time).  We provide the Torx T10 screwdriver (for the chassis conversion) and two wrenches (for the steam wand conversion)

Because there are lots of parts involved, I asked Fabrice to make an IKEA style drawing of the parts, their name, and the quantity they should have.

I'm hoping that in the next 48h we'll get everything right (3rd draft, at the moment) and ship out the black DE1XL kits.  About 10 days later, we should be able to ship the white DE1XL kits.  

I negotiated to have the wood-turning company redo the "natural wood" handles with sharper tooling, so as to avoid the (light, but still visible) scratches they had on their first run.  That's caused a bit of a delay in shipping the white kit, but we're almost there.

-john

xl_docs_2b.jpg

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I also had one of the “cosmetic rejects” painted. I took the body and group head covers to a body shop and the painted the parts with clear coat treatment and all. I’m very happy with the results.  The red matches the red tiles and accents in my kitchen  

 

9A5E12F6-5482-4D8F-A991-B3FED354E7F7.jpeg

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Change the Steam Wand 

I’ve made a video showing how to change the steam wand on a Decent Espresso machine.  The most common reason for this would be that you want to use the PRO steam wand, which is longer, and more suited for steaming larger quantities of milk.

I’ve started reading Steve Stockman’s book “How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck”

and this is my first attempt to edit video, using some of the lessons in the book.

Specifically, Stockman recommends that no scene should last more than 5 seconds. There are many frequent edits in this version.  Mostly “zooming in on the action” as well as “fast forward” whenever I can, to speed up things that’d be tedious to watch (such as screwing things in).  

I’m curious as to whether all this editing is noticeably distracting, or if it feels natural.

My model for this is Epicurious’ excellent video series “Which is more expensive” about different foods.  It’s just a guy talking and pointing at stuff, so very similar to my video situation. I’ve been studying their editing and camera use, as it’s very natural feeling.  The condiments episode is brilliant:

-john
 

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On 01/07/2019 at 15:49, decent_espresso said:

"Turn Junk Into Art" Sighting: Walnut and Green paint

Decent owner Chris applied a walnut veneer to his espresso machine body and tablet, and painted his machine green.  He also chose a custom skin on the tablet to match better.
Beautiful, or hideous?

Hideous. Absolutely hideous. 

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1973 La Pavoni ++ Niche Zero ++ Aeropress ++ V60

Coffee by the Casuals

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1787725795_IMG_0407copy.thumb.jpg.917984f2a15a1b676b35c543dd525768.jpg

William from Loveramics was kind enough to give us a set of his new Dale Harris signature mugs.  In the photo that’s Scott Rao making James Hoffmann one of his recently-invented 28% extraction coffees, footage of which ended up in James’ video

Bugs and I have fallen in love with these 150ml  mugs, which are perfectly sized for a potent latte or flat white (a bit less milk). It’s been our new morning mug since coming back from Berlin.

More info on these mugs:
https://www.loveramics.com/collections/dale-harris

Loveramics, like us, is based on Hong Kong. We’re mutual fans of each other’s work, and always chatting about doing some interesting work together.  Maybe you’ll see the fruits of those talks next year…

-john

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