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9 hours ago, Stephen Prosser said:

So, the 1.42 version will be the higher steam power. Can we pre-order one?

v1.42 is the same as v1.40/v1.41, it does not have more steam power.  It's just hew batch of 2000 machines we are building.

However, in February we will be releasing a new model, the DE1XXL, which has 40% more steam power, and it can be pre-ordered.

https://decentespresso.com/c?filter=de1xxl

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One more thing -- what kills companies most often is money.  So, let me address that separately: We've only ever been self-funded, with money from me, my girlfriend and her mum. As of Januar

The serviceability question is totally fair, and I've tried to reassure people as much as I can, with a set of decision. How do I get parts?  All our parts are available to anyone, not just autho

It’s awesome! First shot blew me away so I can’t wait to see whet it can do.

Posted Images

 

 

R&D fluid dynamic simulation of next-gen mixing chamber

Here is a look into our long-term R&D process.  We've given Ben and Ray a full year (up to 2 years) to work on difficult problems before needing to ship anything new. Our current v1.4 models don't have any major negatives, so instead of tinkering, we want to work on more substantive things.

Ben is working on a new hot water mixing system, planned for release in 2022.  It will not introduce any new features to the DE1, but it does condense 3 separate parts in our current model, into one.  It also removes 8 water tubes, and one of two quite expensive medical-grade flow constrictors.  

This video is a fluid dynamic simulation of hot and cold water mixing. Ben is trying to understand how well the water is mixing.  Turbulence, eddies, and other complicated physical aspects of moving liquids can cause water mixing to be less even, which would then affect our temperature stability.  

Ben's fluid dynamic simulations of water flow onto the coffee puck, 5 years ago, led to a radically different design of how the Decent places water onto a dry puck. We believe it's the main reason why it's so difficult to intentionally cause channeling on the Decent, yet so easy to have that problem on other machines.  

This sort of computerized modelling so much cheaper and faster than physical modelling, which will be done as a later step, once the computer thinks we've got something that might work well.  Then we'll test it in the real world, in an infrared camera, to see how closely the models match reality, and what improvements still need to be made.

-john
 

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On 18/11/2020 at 04:15, decent_espresso said:

xl_build2.thumb.jpg.104ece3d2e0bbbe5fa29881dea532489.jpg

No more waiting for Decent Espresso

Throughout the 3 years we've been making espresso machines, every buyer has had to wait.  It's never been less than a month, frequently 3 months, and some waited much much longer.  In South Korea they called us "the genius machine that nobody can buy".

Finally, FINALLY! this won't be the case.

Even though our monthly sales have been increasing, my team has been getting better and better at their jobs. We did double the staff count in August but this had only a modest effect on machines shipped per month.  

The real shift came from human factors.  I had long ago figured out that Western-style management doesn't work here.  Hong Kongers do not want to be "bossed", and by extension, none of our employees would accept a promotion to be a manager.  What I had learned about Management in California didn't work here.

I tinkered with the workplace culture of the company, and I finally have found a good fit.  

There's an opposing tension between individualism and communal-spirit here.  Some of the workplace experiments I tried, such as having small teams, were actually a productivity and HR disaster, and actually promoted conflict. It's difficult to figure out the right structure and balance.

What has worked best, and REALLY worked, is copying the French restaurant's "battery de cuisine" concept.  In a "battery de cuisine" kitchen, everyone has a speciality, and there's always work to be done in that job. There's no "boss, what should I be working on?"  And when it's mealtime, the pressure is on for each person to produce in their speciality.  Everyone knows how they fit into the whole, when they're expected to perform, and they feel both individual pride in their contribution, as well as in the output of team.

I adapted the "battery de cuisine" system to the Decent factory. 

Keith, for example, is responsible for fully testing every DC PCB (the "computer") that will go inside the espresso machine. Every day, he plugs temperature sensors, LED and motors into a board on his desk, and painstakingly tests it. Each takes about 20 minutes. That's a long time, but thanks to the extensive prep work, when it's time install them, Keith can put 50 computers into 50 espresso machines in just 2 hours.  And rarely do any have problems that need later fixing, when it'd be quite a bit harder to do so.  Like a restaurant dish with a frozen-in-the-middle steak.

Decent Espresso is now run like a professional kitchen. Everyone has their own "prep station".  And when the 50 machines on the line need their part, they're "in the kitchen" installing their part, so they don't slow anyone else down.

Initially I started with 2 lines (a "kitchen") of 50 machines each, with 1 actively being built, and the other being tested. As the testers got faster, after 1 day they finished 25 machines, we squeezed the remaining machines down, and started a 3rd line of the next 50 machines. Thus, most of the time we're actually running 3 "kitchens". 

This puts more stress on good prep. But as each person is totally responsible for their part, they know what is expected of them, but also they are empowered to improve how they work.

And that's how we managed to go from 23 machines per month, to 69, to 108, to 213 and this month: to 291 machines in one month!

I had the "talk radio show" turned off, and it's quiet in the factory, except for power tools pulsing. There's an intense concentration on people's faces. And come Friday, they're mentally drained, but happy, because everyone can see the success of the week.

Tomorrow we're testing 50 DE1XL 220V machines, and in a few days we'll have the same quantity of 110V DE1XL done.  That has us almost wiping out the queue that has been a weight around our neck:

backlog.thumb.jpg.6908907509934630e8bde286ebf6470b.jpg

 

I had hoped (dreamt!) to be at this point before Christmas, but it looks like we'll be there by the end of November, a month early.

sold_vs_shipped.thumb.gif.7afcaf762ac90343226976e564122a49.gif

That also means that if you buy a DE1 before mid-December, there's a good chance we can get it to you in time for Christmas.

. . . 

Am I worried that we're now building much much faster than we're selling?

Yes, of course I am.

However, I'm also aware of just how many people have said "no thanks" to a Decent Espresso Machine, because they didn't want to wait.  

People are used to getting instant satisfaction from their purchases, and a several-months-long wait doesn't cut it.  So I'm hoping that "ships within 24h" will have a positive effect.

And finally, we're getting a tremendous number of inquiries from small cafes.  I think that now that the COVID vaccine is in sight, planning has started on the orgy of travel, restaurant, and entertainment spending that is likely to follow.

-john
 

It seems things didn't work out as you planned. What happened?

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1 hour ago, canuck10 said:

It seems things didn't work out as you planned. What happened?

When I wrote "no more waiting" I didn't anticipate a 35% increase in month-to-month sales.

DE1 sales rose quickly when we had stock, peaking in November and December, selling out of whatever machines we had built:

1877922673_ScreenShot2021-01-13at12_21_43PM.thumb.jpg.b100dc2e8029419046d46706dde9437c.jpg

We closed for 10 days during Christmas, to have a holiday, and we also changed over from the v1.40 line to the v1.42 line, and have some parts shortages during the change-over as all the new parts arrive.

At any rate, the wait is only 4 weeks right now, and likely to get reduced to 2 weeks in about 10 days, we we've just finished 127 machines (current queue is 152 machines) and are another week out from finishing another 100 machines. And all parts for the next 2000 machines, are set to arrive in the next 2 weeks.

However, the DE1 queue will be shortly back to under 2 weeks, and in february I hope we can keep up with sales to start to have stock again, shipping next-day.

Here's a view from my desk:

IMG_3585 2.jpeg

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A coffee cart for the office

We've built a two-DE1 IKEA coffee stand for staff use. There are about 30 people here, making coffee in their-own-preferred way.

The image above is the sign I posted above the cart, for my staff to read (and hopefully, follow),

Previously, we used a large bamboo IKEA table, that let us get away with being messy.  However, that bamboo table isn't anything I'd recommend to our clients, as it was a huge pain in the neck to cut out (due to strengthening cross ribs) and to clean.

The two-DE1 stand is something I developed for tight-on-space coffee carts, as it does give you steam-during brew, or the ability to make two coffees at once.  

But, space is tight, so you have to be disciplined about what you have on the table top, and to have a workflow which manages to work efficiently in a tight space.  

I've got my preferred workflow, which is circular: grind->WDT->tamp->mount portafilter->make espresso->steam milk->pour->serve cup on right->knock out spent puck->rinse portafilter in pitcher rinser->dry basket->grind

Notably, this workflow requires you to be partially ambidextrous, but the benefit is that there is no passing objects between your hands.  It's quite efficient.

I've made the poster above and over the next few weeks I'll be observing how well this works at Decent, with a group of people who are decidedly not baristas (they build our espresso machines).

And I've love to hear your feedback on any experience you've had in trying to get your coworkers to maintain a coffee-making area, and to follow a demonstrably-workable way of making drinks.

Note that this cart is completely self-sufficient, with clean and dirty water handled on the cart.  It's also heavy-load, with those water containers not needing emptying (or filling) often at all.  This is my first time splitting clean water into "espresso water" and "pitcher rinser water" so as to economize.

-john
 

 

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ama_decent.thumb.jpg.4d0a5ce6e0a835a82f4b39f67ae4b2e5.jpg

Reddit "Ask me Anything" (AMA) for Decent / john

In 2 days' time I'll be doing a "Ask me Anything" on Reddit.

Announcement:
https://www.reddit.com/r/espresso/comments/kvpt4r/ama_w_john_buckman_founder_of_decent_espresso/

Which will be visible here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/espresso/

it will be at this time/date:
https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html?iso=20210115T010000&p1=tz_hkt&p2=224&p3=179&p4=152

Thanks to Andrew Levenson (/r/espresso moderator) for proposing and organizing this.


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4 hours ago, decent_espresso said:

reset-stand.thumb.jpg.c3d3e802639608f7789955de26c97b72.jpg

A coffee cart for the office

We've built a two-DE1 IKEA coffee stand for staff use. There are about 30 people here, making coffee in their-own-preferred way.

The image above is the sign I posted above the cart, for my staff to read (and hopefully, follow),

Previously, we used a large bamboo IKEA table, that let us get away with being messy.  However, that bamboo table isn't anything I'd recommend to our clients, as it was a huge pain in the neck to cut out (due to strengthening cross ribs) and to clean.

The two-DE1 stand is something I developed for tight-on-space coffee carts, as it does give you steam-during brew, or the ability to make two coffees at once.  

But, space is tight, so you have to be disciplined about what you have on the table top, and to have a workflow which manages to work efficiently in a tight space.  

I've got my preferred workflow, which is circular: grind->WDT->tamp->mount portafilter->make espresso->steam milk->pour->serve cup on right->knock out spent puck->rinse portafilter in pitcher rinser->dry basket->grind

Notably, this workflow requires you to be partially ambidextrous, but the benefit is that there is no passing objects between your hands.  It's quite efficient.

I've made the poster above and over the next few weeks I'll be observing how well this works at Decent, with a group of people who are decidedly not baristas (they build our espresso machines).

And I've love to hear your feedback on any experience you've had in trying to get your coworkers to maintain a coffee-making area, and to follow a demonstrably-workable way of making drinks.

Note that this cart is completely self-sufficient, with clean and dirty water handled on the cart.  It's also heavy-load, with those water containers not needing emptying (or filling) often at all.  This is my first time splitting clean water into "espresso water" and "pitcher rinser water" so as to economize.

-john
 

 

can i ask why you wouldnt have the machines on the outside of the unit with the cleaning/grinding section in the middle shared between the two machines. To me it makes more sense from a people workflow, now if 2 people are making coffee there is a risk that person at DE1 turns around and into someone crossing over the back of them

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On Home Barista there was recently a conversation about or XL (aka "Pro") steam wand, and how it doesn't bend far enough.  https://www.home-barista.com/advice/decent-de1-last-questions-before-pressing-submit-payment-button-t70457.html#p768986

One person wrote:

Quote

Note that the pro wand is too long to be able to purge into the drip tray.

I haven't yet announced it publicly until right now, but we have a new XL (aka "pro") steam wand design coming, that resolves that issue.  

Here is a photo comparing the two models

compare.thumb.jpg.79db1d84d4027b7bb597a910451af419.jpg

the gooseneck bend is a different shape, and the wand now angles into the drip tray.  

include.jpg.daa0ae69fbe477d738d84104192e29fc.jpg

It also makes it easier to "ghost steam" (hands free) since the tip goes much deeper into the milk jug. 

deep.jpg.e848cd8f039651f8fec55c21b0e160a4.jpg

 We've also revisited the silicone sleeve that goes over the wand, and the clip connector is now integrated into the steam wand instead of requiring a longer adaptor.

The bad news: due to COVID induced delays, our steam wand supplier is hugely backed up, and we are completely out of any XL steam wands (old or new design) until mid-April, when the new design arrives.  

Until then, we'll be shipping XL models with the standard steam wand, and then following up a few months later with the XL steam wand in the mail.  Swapping the steam wands yourself is not difficult, and there's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RPBf_wp2Io - you will of course be able to keep the standard wand, and the XL wand as well, no need to return anything.

-john
 

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17 hours ago, spasypaddy said:

can i ask why you wouldnt have the machines on the outside of the unit with the cleaning/grinding section in the middle shared between the two machines. To me it makes more sense from a people workflow, now if 2 people are making coffee there is a risk that person at DE1 turns around and into someone crossing over the back of them

The IKEA BROR cart is much smaller than it looks in that photo.  It's only 109cm wide, which is really not wide enough for two people.

920918078_ScreenShot2021-01-14at12_42_17PM.thumb.jpg.9cccc842159049663f532e295758aaad.jpg

So, short answer: I never considered that one cart would be used by two people.  

Another reason is that the workflow I intended was to brew the espresso on the left machine, while you steam milk on the right machine, and then leave the drink for customer pick up to the right of the right machine, in that gulley.

Here's a video of this cart setup being used at a trade show, and you can see the intended workflow in action:

Note that in this video, the cart is made from the IKEA "Rimforsa" table, which is 120cm wide -- slightly more than the BROR that we have now settled on.

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