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I'm approaching (rather too fast for my liking) my 30th birthday and, now I have a fairly good grinder, I am considering dipping into espresso again. 

 

The flair has piqued my interest on a few levels:

- the Neo in white is quite attractive. Having a pressurised basket isn't a terrible idea at this stage to get me into good practice in terms of work flow. 

-the signature in white is extremely attractive and has passed the fiancée test. This does not have a pressurised basket - is this available separately just in case? 

- the signature also has a pressure gauge which I like a lot. 

- I use a mbk aergrind which, I believe, with a darker roast a la coffee compass or rave blends, would probably be okay with a non-pressurised portafilter. 

- I don't enjoy light roast espresso *for the most part*. I have had a glorious Ethiopian from Hot Numbers once but most others I find mouth-puckeringly acidic despite underlying fruit sweetness. 

- light roasts will always be French press or V60. 

- while I do love steamed milky drinks I don't have worktop space for a machine and a grinder. The cafelat and flair are both rather diddy! 

- I could consider a small footprint (smaller than a gaggia classic!) machine, but it would need to be quiet and with good temp management. I don't believe this is on the market for a price I can afford. 

- I don't mind faff. I work from home and enjoy coffee as a hobby. I miss my gaggia but it is definitely not ideal for me. 

 

Does anyone have any advice regarding which model I should get? Should I get a cafelat robot for slightly easier work flow? It's more expensive though. If I got the neo I'd also get the stainless tamper as an extra so that sort of makes it a bit more expensive. 

 

Apologies if I'm covering something that has been done a million times before. 

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I got my robot a couple of weeks ago and am really enjoying it. I have to agree with Matted: turning the robot round so the gauge is pointing backwards and standing over it is the way to go for me - m

Ordered a red Robot 🙂 now for the 3 to 4 week wait...

Still in the honeymoon period with this.  Tried the rocko mountain natural process this morning from coffee compass. First attempt, at 1.4 turns (same as mystery 13) and it choked completely - wh

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There are a few comparisons of the two.

https://coffeechronicler.com/cafelat-robot-review/

Hoffman's reviews also.

The flair appears to be considered as slightly more challenging on workflow, there are lots of parts and thermal aspects.

The robot (which I like also) seems to address these better from what I have seen.

In terms of long term owners there is a near 300 page thread on home-barista. 

Disclaimer: I am on the verge of ordering a robot so probably biased towards it presently. Can't decide between white green blue or red. Also if better to order from HK and maybe strike lucky with no or less tax.

feld2 with v60, aeropress, chemex.  aergrind and retro green cafelat robot barista. gone: borked sage DTP

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4 minutes ago, matted said:

There are a few comparisons of the two.

https://coffeechronicler.com/cafelat-robot-review/

Hoffman's reviews also.

The flair appears to be considered as slightly more challenging on workflow, there are lots of parts and thermal aspects.

The robot (which I like also) seems to address these better from what I have seen.

In terms of long term owners there is a near 300 page thread on home-barista. 

Disclaimer: I am on the verge of ordering a robot so probably biased towards it presently. Can't decide between white green blue or red. Also if better to order from HK and maybe strike lucky with no or less tax.

Thanks for responding, that's really helpful!

 

Honestly can't find where to get a cafelat, seems distribution is not something that company presently cares for - I suppose they are a young business. 

 

Thermal management seems fine on both to me - one needs a pre-soak (which I draw an equivalence to a V60, which needs a hot water rinse) and the other doesn't need any, which is nicer. 

 

I actually prefer the cafelat in terms of work flow slightly from James Hoffman's reviews, but the flair is cheaper and (subjectively) a bit nicer looking with the copper accent. 

I'll see if I can find that epic 300 page thread! Any idea whether an aergrind with darker roasts would be suitable for non-pressurised baskets? 

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Grinder will be fine I would expect.

I have a feld2 and would expect the same. I have used the feld2 for espresso no problems.

https://www.home-barista.com/levers/cafelat-robot-user-experience-t54550.html

Buying

From

https://www.cafelatstore.com/

Or

https://coffee24.de/

 

 

.

 

feld2 with v60, aeropress, chemex.  aergrind and retro green cafelat robot barista. gone: borked sage DTP

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5 hours ago, Morningfuel said:

Thanks for responding, that's really helpful!

 

Honestly can't find where to get a cafelat, seems distribution is not something that company presently cares for - I suppose they are a young business. 

 

Thermal management seems fine on both to me - one needs a pre-soak (which I draw an equivalence to a V60, which needs a hot water rinse) and the other doesn't need any, which is nicer. 

 

I actually prefer the cafelat in terms of work flow slightly from James Hoffman's reviews, but the flair is cheaper and (subjectively) a bit nicer looking with the copper accent. 

I'll see if I can find that epic 300 page thread! Any idea whether an aergrind with darker roasts would be suitable for non-pressurised baskets? 

The Aergrind is, based on my experience, capable with almost any roast (except that light Nicaragua from hasbean 😛 ) 

Cafelat is basically a one man band but well established and reliable, run by Paul Pratt who is a rather experienced bloke in the coffee world. I don't know why he only sells it from his own website but probably wanted to keep the price lower? Or the demand is too high? Judging by his Instagram he still finishes the Robots individually by hand in his workshop, it seems. 

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The peculiarity of espresso beverage is the simultaneous presence of three dispersed phases coexisting within a matrix, namely a concentrated solution of salts, acids, sugars, caffeine and many other hydrophilic substances. These phases are: an emulsion of oil droplets, a suspension of solid particles and an effervescence of gas bubbles, which evolves into a foam.

MildredM's towels, joey24dirt's tamper, MaraXprofitec, Portaspresso Rossa PG Air, Niche Zero, Aergrind, IMS and VST baskets, Hario Syphon TC3, Java Maestro dripper, Chemex, French press, Gnali & Zani moka pot, Bonavita kettle & scales, modded Gene Cafe CBR 101, BWT Bestmax PREMIUM V

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I bought a Cafelat about 2 months ago after lots of agonising on what to get. Couldn't justify an expensive machine so settled on a lever. Cafelat Initially seemed expensive, for what it is, but slightly less than the traditional lever machines. What sealed it for me was the simplicity and the fact you only have to wait for the kettle to boil instead of heating a boiler.

 

So far I’m over the moon and honestly cant see me upgrading. Not had a bad shot yet and its transformed my coffee drinking experience. Previously i had been a cappuccino junky and was worried about the lack of milk frothing. Espresso used to be something just to give me a boost but now am really loving the various tastes and hardly drink milky coffees anymore. Hadn't realised how bad the Costas of this world were!
 

Fully recommend them!

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6 hours ago, Stanic said:

The Aergrind is, based on my experience, capable with almost any roast (except that light Nicaragua from hasbean 😛 ) 

Cafelat is basically a one man band but well established and reliable, run by Paul Pratt who is a rather experienced bloke in the coffee world. I don't know why he only sells it from his own website but probably wanted to keep the price lower? Or the demand is too high? Judging by his Instagram he still finishes the Robots individually by hand in his workshop, it seems. 

This is also another great reason to buy a robot in my view. It is an engineer, hand built labour of love.

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feld2 with v60, aeropress, chemex.  aergrind and retro green cafelat robot barista. gone: borked sage DTP

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I’ve had both. Sold the Flair and still have, and use, the Robot. Workflow, especially for more than one coffee, much better on the Robot. I much preferred the taste from the Robot as well and is a very solid, well engineered piece of kit. The Flair is also well put together  it just more fiddly to use. The two arms are easier to smoothly control pressure for me as well. 

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Espresso : Vesuvius Steel Pipework, Londinium L1, Cafelat Robot  Grinders : Compak R120, Compak E10, Mythos One Clima Pro, Mazzer Royal, Niche Zero Black, Macap MC7 Deli, OE Pharos, Hausgrind, Feldgrind, Feld 47, OE Apex

https://www.kaffeeculture.co.uk

 

 

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1 hour ago, Stevebee said:

I’ve had both. Sold the Flair and still have, and use, the Robot. Workflow, especially for more than one coffee, much better on the Robot. I much preferred the taste from the Robot as well and is a very solid, well engineered piece of kit. The Flair is also well put together  it just more fiddly to use. The two arms are easier to smoothly control pressure for me as well. 

Useful to read, found I was looking at flairs again after a couple of years and with the neo out (not for me, but interesting to see the product and reviews)

feld2 with v60, aeropress, chemex.  aergrind and retro green cafelat robot barista. gone: borked sage DTP

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Having done more research, the flair is probably still my preference for looks but the faff in pre-heating is less than ideal, and would probably annoy me slightly. 

 

It's still a bit of a tie though. The flair is a fair bit cheaper, beautiful looking and looks like it produces great coffee. I seem to see more people go from flair to robot than vice-versa though, and that tallies with the easier thermal management and cleanup. 

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I also agonized for a while on this and ended up going for the flair Pro. I absolutely love it. I also have an HX machine and a couple of la Pavonis so I have some comparison. The workflow is fine once you get your system. I have a stovetop kettle with holes in the top (from coffee gator) and steam the brew chamber while getting everything else ready. By the time I’m ready to go the brew chamber is very hot - use a cloth to pick it up and transfer to the flair. I then pour in my boiling water and wait a few seconds til I hit my desired temp. I can measure this using a cheap meat thermometer or just estimate it pretty closely from experience. The shots are best pulled a little longer than other espresso machines and tend to bring out the fruitier side of coffees in comparison to my HX and la Pavonis. I’ve never used the robot so I can’t compare the two but my thinking is that the very heavy and solid brew chamber holds the heat better throughout the shot than the thinner robot chamber. Also there is a very active FB flair group although no doubt this is the same for the robot. Either machine would work well with the aergrind I’m sure. I was pairing my flair with my aergrind for much of lockdown as I didn’t have my kinu grinder with me. 
 

Edited by Mike B
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The grind needed on the Flair is 4 or 5 marks coarser on the Niche than the one on the Robot. The Robot grind is virtually the same as the one I use for the Londinium 1. This probably has an impact on taste. Can’t say I found the heft of the Flair brewing chamber better than the Robot tbh, probably the other way. The Flair is beautiful though and as I’ve I said before both can produce excellent espresso. If I haven’t fired up either of my machines in the morning (should get a Wemo) I don’t feel as though I’m comprising on taste when Robbie comes out.

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Espresso : Vesuvius Steel Pipework, Londinium L1, Cafelat Robot  Grinders : Compak R120, Compak E10, Mythos One Clima Pro, Mazzer Royal, Niche Zero Black, Macap MC7 Deli, OE Pharos, Hausgrind, Feldgrind, Feld 47, OE Apex

https://www.kaffeeculture.co.uk

 

 

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Ordered a red Robot 🙂 now for the 3 to 4 week wait...

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feld2 with v60, aeropress, chemex.  aergrind and retro green cafelat robot barista. gone: borked sage DTP

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2 hours ago, matted said:

now for the 3 to 4 week wait...

You're not waiting in vain :) I actually waited 2 long months for my red Robot (the colour hadn't been launched at time I ordered it) to arrive, and after having it around for a month now, sipping shots, I'm simply a fan of the thing :D 

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10 minutes ago, a_aa said:

You're not waiting in vain :) I actually waited 2 long months for my red Robot (the colour hadn't been launched at time I ordered it) to arrive, and after having it around for a month now, sipping shots, I'm simply a fan of the thing :D 

Red No1?

Get some pics up 😉

Edited by matted

feld2 with v60, aeropress, chemex.  aergrind and retro green cafelat robot barista. gone: borked sage DTP

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53 minutes ago, matted said:

Get some pics up 😉

Sorry, not been taking much pics of it, actually. But I did put an unboxing pic in the postie-thread: https://coffeeforums.co.uk/topic/9978-what-did-the-postie-bring-you-today/?do=findComment&comment=776990 :)

I also made 45 seconds of extraction porn with my old mobile phone a week ago, mainly because I want to learn how to determine when to end the shot by colour and shape, instead of counting seconds and grams. I'm going to end them earlier, I think. In the last 6-7 seconds of my shot, the "cone" had completely collapsed, and the colour was light and translucent. Dilutes more than adding new flavour. The shot was tasting good, though, a natural Ethiopian :)  Anyway, the clip is to big to upload here, so here's a snap from 18 seconds into it:

VID_20201008_161233832_Moment.thumb.jpg.0e332cfdd7423923acb3c553379b7ab3.jpg

 

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8 hours ago, a_aa said:

Sorry, not been taking much pics of it, actually. But I did put an unboxing pic in the postie-thread: https://coffeeforums.co.uk/topic/9978-what-did-the-postie-bring-you-today/?do=findComment&comment=776990 :)

I also made 45 seconds of extraction porn with my old mobile phone a week ago, mainly because I want to learn how to determine when to end the shot by colour and shape, instead of counting seconds and grams. I'm going to end them earlier, I think. In the last 6-7 seconds of my shot, the "cone" had completely collapsed, and the colour was light and translucent. Dilutes more than adding new flavour. The shot was tasting good, though, a natural Ethiopian :)  Anyway, the clip is to big to upload here, so here's a snap from 18 seconds into it:

VID_20201008_161233832_Moment.thumb.jpg.0e332cfdd7423923acb3c553379b7ab3.jpg

 

There might still be good stuff coming out at the point it's less concentrated - worth watching James Hoffman's vid on why modern espresso is ugly :)

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On 14/10/2020 at 17:11, matted said:

Ordered a red Robot 🙂 now for the 3 to 4 week wait...

Happy stuff! Would you mind letting me know the "landed in the UK" cost? I'm going for a barista version for the pressure gauge... But won't be able to order until payday. Interested to know whether it's October payday or November payday I need to wait for! 

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1 hour ago, Morningfuel said:

Happy stuff! Would you mind letting me know the "landed in the UK" cost? I'm going for a barista version for the pressure gauge... But won't be able to order until payday. Interested to know whether it's October payday or November payday I need to wait for! 

sure.

costwise - I ordered a few extras after dropping an email to Paul Pratt at Cafelat, which he quickly responded to.  extra screen, 2 x seals, extra papers, robot hands.  He did recommend the new tamper too, but more than I wanted to spend.

Paying - i used a fee free card to pay in dollars.  Made a 20 quid saving doing it this way rather than allowing paypal to do the currency exchange.  I am assuming that VAT and some customs charges (perhaps 2.7% based on EU regs) will be due on the machine and accessories (link) Shipped via fedex std.

ps I did order red, but have switched to green, after an intervention from my daughter.

Edited by matted
looked up eu import cost regs
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feld2 with v60, aeropress, chemex.  aergrind and retro green cafelat robot barista. gone: borked sage DTP

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On 16/10/2020 at 13:50, Morningfuel said:

Happy stuff! Would you mind letting me know the "landed in the UK" cost? I'm going for a barista version for the pressure gauge... But won't be able to order until payday. Interested to know whether it's October payday or November payday I need to wait for! 

Hi, my FedEx parcel dues today. Just got a text from FedEx which points to an estimated charge of 31 pounds to pay.

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feld2 with v60, aeropress, chemex.  aergrind and retro green cafelat robot barista. gone: borked sage DTP

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58 minutes ago, matted said:

Hi, my FedEx parcel dues today. Just got a text from FedEx which points to an estimated charge of 31 pounds to pay.

Thanks for letting me know. That pushes the landed cost a fair bit above the flair Pro 2, which also looks rather excellent but requires a bit more thermal management - I can steam it on top of my kettle as an initial preheat though, so I may now lean toward that. 

 

When it arrives, if you're based near me we can have a comparison of the two. 

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7 hours ago, Morningfuel said:

Thanks for letting me know. That pushes the landed cost a fair bit above the flair Pro 2, which also looks rather excellent but requires a bit more thermal management - I can steam it on top of my kettle as an initial preheat though, so I may now lean toward that. 

 

When it arrives, if you're based near me we can have a comparison of the two. 

i make it about 50 quid or so more expensive.  I ordered the barista version, plus a few spares too. (hands, two extra seals, extra filter papers, extra screen) so the customs charge should reflect those extra items too.

presently tier 3 and my work puts me in CV19 harms way presently, so a meet up not possible, but happy to compare notes!

did you see this back to back video from an AUS supplier?  

 

feld2 with v60, aeropress, chemex.  aergrind and retro green cafelat robot barista. gone: borked sage DTP

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