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7 minutes ago, DavecUK said:

@Irisco I suppose it has to handle a fair bit of power and be reliable...I don't think it could be made any smaller.

That's a shame.

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I've been watching this too and whilst it does look quite elegant , the introduction of the switch on a cable to preheat doesn't match the aesthetics they seem to be trying to create. It reminds me of

@IriscoI might add that the baby faema is beautiful. Even if I am biased. I’ve got photos and a video of it in action if you’re interested 😃 https://www.instagram.com/reel/CPViO9aIG76/?utm_medium=copy

I've been thinking of getting a Flair for a while now, not to replace my Mara X, but for a bit of pressure profiling fun at the weekends. Anyway, been holding off, waiting to see if anything came of t

After using the robot for a little while, the 58 is becoming more appealing. Have enquired as to when the UK distributer will have stock.

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6 minutes ago, newdent said:

After using the robot for a little while, the 58 is becoming more appealing. Have enquired as to when the UK distributer will have stock.

Interesting, why so?

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Just now, Chriss29 said:

Interesting, why so?

That's tricky because I'll be wanting to sell my robot and potential buyers might read my reasoning and be put off 😂

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@newdent - Maybe. But what may be a concern or worry to you might not be a concern or worry to someone else. 

For instance, some people would sell the Niche and then buy the Solo. Personally I wouldn't, but doesn't mean that's the general consensus. 🙂 

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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31 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

@newdent - Maybe. But what may be a concern or worry to you might not be a concern or worry to someone else. 

For instance, some people would sell the Niche and then buy the Solo. Personally I wouldn't, but doesn't mean that's the general consensus. 🙂 

Of course, I was just kidding really, I'll say my piece. Various reasons. 

First reason is personal, basically I reported a manufacturing defect to Paul at Cafelat and instead of him offering for me to return it and exchange or for them to repair, he expected me to buy a tap and re-tap a hole. Then when I re-tapped the hole and showed him a photo of swarf that had been cut because he'd refused to accept there was an issue (without even having it back, he claimed it was 'perfect', kind of egotistical, as if he's not capable of making a mistake), he said I'd used a cutting tap instead of a chasing tap (wtf, who does he think I am, a machine builder? He just said to use a tap, no mention of different types) That he would no longer give warranty on parts associated with that threaded hole, even though I followed his instructions. I know that the hole wasn't fully tapped, so can sell with a clear conscience and it's working perfectly and know there is no issue now. Wow, it still makes me furious to discuss weeks on. So yes, every time I use the robot it reminds me of this incident and makes me want to smash it to pieces with a sledge hammer! Ahem.

With that clear bias out in the open, I started to think about all the things I would change about the robot if I could (of which there are many) and the flair 58 would cover most of them, except the limited 'boiler' capacity of the 58, though I rarely drink anything over a 1:2 ratio unless the shot is running fast. I have concerns over the temperature management of the 58 but if it works well then it could really open up long pre-infusions for lighter roasts, which in fairness to Cafelat, was a known limitation of the robot before I bought it. I *thought* I was a medium/dark roast kinda guy but as the weeks pass I'm coming around to lighter roasts when I have them in coffee shops and I'd like to have the potential to brew them if I want to. 

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17 minutes ago, newdent said:

I have concerns over the temperature management of the 58 but if it works well then it could really open up long pre-infusions for lighter roasts, which in fairness to Cafelat, was a known limitation of the robot before I bought it. I *thought* I was a medium/dark roast kinda guy but as the weeks pass I'm coming around to lighter roasts when I have them in coffee shops and I'd like to have the potential to brew them if I want to. 

Ha! I used to be a MediumRoastSteam kind of guy, but nowadays I'm more of a LightRoastSteam person. 🙂 - Funny isn't it how tastebuds change. 

At one point I wanted to buy a Robot... But then I have my current machine... And, for sure, if I buy the Robot, I won't use the Elizabeth as much (and/or vice-versa).

I did hear about the flair temp management before, and the consensus seems to be that the Robot is much, much better on that front. 

It's a shame you had those issues with the Robot and I'm sorry to hear. It's not a great experience after sales, but otherwise it looks like a well built and well respected machine. 

I suppose now that there's a Cafelat UK store, this type of issue. would be much easier to resolve by simply returning it. 

PS: If someone asked me to go and buy a "tap", I'd come back with something totally different... 🙂  - At least you had some idea of what you were doing 🙂 

Thanks for sharing! 👍

 

 

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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21 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

Ha! I used to be a MediumRoastSteam kind of guy, but nowadays I'm more of a LightRoastSteam person. 🙂 - Funny isn't it how tastebuds change. 

At one point I wanted to buy a Robot... But then I have my current machine... And, for sure, if I buy the Robot, I won't use the Elizabeth as much (and/or vice-versa).

I did hear about the flair temp management before, and the consensus seems to be that the Robot is much, much better on that front. 

It's a shame you had those issues with the Robot and I'm sorry to hear. It's not a great experience after sales, but otherwise it looks like a well built and well respected machine. 

I suppose now that there's a Cafelat UK store, this type of issue. would be much easier to resolve by simply returning it. 

PS: If someone asked me to go and buy a "tap", I'd come back with something totally different... 🙂  - At least you had some idea of what you were doing 🙂 

Thanks for sharing! 👍

 

 

Ha, sounds like you need a username change! I find myself trying my best to pull the interesting flavours out of my medium/dark roast but it's just not what I'm after. I keep ordering light roasts when I'm at nice coffee shops and it's definitely more to my taste right now. 

I think using a robot might be a challenge with lighter roasts. A thick gauge steel has been used for the basket, which isn't an issue with dark roasts but boiling water from the kettle into an unheated basket drops the water temp to 92 ish instantly and it rapidly drops from there. It can make everything feel a bit frantic as you rush to get everything ready to prepare the shot. If the flair 58 can control the temp well then not having to rush will make the experience better and open up long pre infusions as a possibility. 

I would say that I thoroughly enjoy manually pulling the shot. Being able to respond instantly to changes to resistance in the puck has been interesting and resulted in lots of saved shots that probably would have been gushers on a pumped machine. 

Things I would change on the robot were:

- The portafilter. It feels like a heavy measuring cup and it doesn't reassuringly lock into place. It can sit at a slight angle sometimes which means the piston can go in on an angle and just push water over the top of the basket. It mostly happens when I've put too much water in but not always and I've ruined a few shots because of this. 

- As anyone with the robot would admit, the handles are uncomfortable to press. Once you get used to it, you learn ways of reducing the strain but pushing onto thin metal bars is always going to be uncomfortable. Cafelat came up with robot hands that can be purchased and added but to me, this is admission of a design flaw and should come fitted as standard. 

- The base supports are narrow and standard scales do not fit. There's also not much room between the bottom of the PF and base so only small cups can be used in conjunction with a scale. 

- The tamper is sufficient but isn't a pleasure to use by any means. I find it frustrating that the basket is *just* too small to allow use of standard 58mm tampers. My tamper is 58.5mm though, so perhaps this is only my issue. 

- The pressure gauge was a welcomed afterthought but many have issues with the pipe getting crushed between the handle and main body and keeping an eye on it whilst watching your extraction is tricky. 

I do miss being able to use my 58mm accessories for puck prep and the flair 58 resolves this and allows use of the existing equipment I already own. 

I appreciate that flair have looked at all the issues that currently exist with the older versions of the flair and addressed them, whereas I feel like cafelat haven't really innovated much from the baby faema, infact they've definitely gone backwards in some departments (handles, width of base, etc). I want to support a company that listens to its customers and flair certainly seem to be trying unless others know better?

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I feel like I should add that with all the flaws listed, I still prefer to use the robot over my Rancilio Silvia, so take from that what you will!

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On 07/06/2021 at 17:24, newdent said:

Of course, I was just kidding really, I'll say my piece. Various reasons. 

First reason is personal, basically I reported a manufacturing defect to Paul at Cafelat and instead of him offering for me to return it and exchange or for them to repair, he expected me to buy a tap and re-tap a hole. Then when I re-tapped the hole and showed him a photo of swarf that had been cut because he'd refused to accept there was an issue (without even having it back, he claimed it was 'perfect', kind of egotistical, as if he's not capable of making a mistake), he said I'd used a cutting tap instead of a chasing tap (wtf, who does he think I am, a machine builder? He just said to use a tap, no mention of different types) That he would no longer give warranty on parts associated with that threaded hole, even though I followed his instructions. I know that the hole wasn't fully tapped, so can sell with a clear conscience and it's working perfectly and know there is no issue now. Wow, it still makes me furious to discuss weeks on. So yes, every time I use the robot it reminds me of this incident and makes me want to smash it to pieces with a sledge hammer! Ahem.

With that clear bias out in the open, I started to think about all the things I would change about the robot if I could (of which there are many) and the flair 58 would cover most of them, except the limited 'boiler' capacity of the 58, though I rarely drink anything over a 1:2 ratio unless the shot is running fast. I have concerns over the temperature management of the 58 but if it works well then it could really open up long pre-infusions for lighter roasts, which in fairness to Cafelat, was a known limitation of the robot before I bought it. I *thought* I was a medium/dark roast kinda guy but as the weeks pass I'm coming around to lighter roasts when I have them in coffee shops and I'd like to have the potential to brew them if I want to. 

Hi, thank you for your comments and I am sorry to hear about your bad experience. Please just to be clear for all reading this, you purchased a Regular Robot and used it without incident. 

Sometime later you decided to do a DIY pressure gauge installation. After taking the Robot apart you removed the blanking plug from the piston, tried to install a non standard fitting into the piston and ran into problems. You emailed Cafelat instead of Cafelat UK, where you purchased, Paul helped you, and even gave you the link to RS Components where you can buy the correct fittings all Robot uses. I do not know until I received an email asking for the reimbursement. If I know, I would ask you to return the piston and the fitting then help to test/fix at once.

You then took it to an engineering shop or plumbing shop(?) and they concluded that the piston thread was wrong!   

So Paul is flying blind as he do not know what has happened to the functioning piston after it left his hands and when you took it apart. If the thread was wrong how can he install the blanking plug? It makes zero sense to him. Since you were in contact with this 3rd party expert Paul suggested running a tap through it as there may be dry threadlock or some brass inside causing an issue. In the photo you sent to him of your 3rd party fitting I could clearly see the first few threads were damaged. 

After that you did run a tap through the thread and cleaned it out. You then sent Paul another email asking for reimbursement for a 1/8 BSP Tap which we paid without question. 

We are sorry if you found our emails abrasive but it is very hard not to be so sensitive about each machine. Every machine is really hand built, each and every screw Paul has to install and also tap the threads in the piston and then test with a go no go gauge. He has made thousands of Piston now and never had any single issue with a thread. Anyone who has ever made something and sent it out will understand that there is a horrible feeling of helplessness when there is a problem and you cannot do anything about it but tap away at a keyboard and hope it gets resolved.   

In hindsight it was a mistake on his part to assist you with installing non standard parts. Paul regret this and we have learned from this. We worked for 2 years on testing and sourcing the highest spec fittings we could. We eventually settled on the Parker Legris items which have performed very well and rated up to 20 bar.

So anyway TLDR version is a Regular Robot was ordered and received and used without issue, it was taken apart to install a DIY pressure gauge and ran into problems. Paul did give you advice on how to solve the issue, you bought a tap cleaned out the hole, carried on installing your own parts, and we paid you back.

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21 minutes ago, Cafelat UK said:

Hi, thank you for your comments and I am sorry to hear about your bad experience. Please just to be clear for all reading this, you purchased a Regular Robot and used it without incident. 

Sometime later you decided to do a DIY pressure gauge installation. After taking the Robot apart you removed the blanking plug from the piston, tried to install a non standard fitting into the piston and ran into problems. You emailed Cafelat instead of Cafelat UK, where you purchased, Paul helped you, and even gave you the link to RS Components where you can buy the correct fittings all Robot uses. I do not know until I received an email asking for the reimbursement. If I know, I would ask you to return the piston and the fitting then help to test/fix at once.

You then took it to an engineering shop or plumbing shop(?) and they concluded that the piston thread was wrong!   

So Paul is flying blind as he do not know what has happened to the functioning piston after it left his hands and when you took it apart. If the thread was wrong how can he install the blanking plug? It makes zero sense to him. Since you were in contact with this 3rd party expert Paul suggested running a tap through it as there may be dry threadlock or some brass inside causing an issue. In the photo you sent to him of your 3rd party fitting I could clearly see the first few threads were damaged. 

After that you did run a tap through the thread and cleaned it out. You then sent Paul another email asking for reimbursement for a 1/8 BSP Tap which we paid without question. 

We are sorry if you found our emails abrasive but it is very hard not to be so sensitive about each machine. Every machine is really hand built, each and every screw Paul has to install and also tap the threads in the piston and then test with a go no go gauge. He has made thousands of Piston now and never had any single issue with a thread. Anyone who has ever made something and sent it out will understand that there is a horrible feeling of helplessness when there is a problem and you cannot do anything about it but tap away at a keyboard and hope it gets resolved.   

In hindsight it was a mistake on his part to assist you with installing non standard parts. Paul regret this and we have learned from this. We worked for 2 years on testing and sourcing the highest spec fittings we could. We eventually settled on the Parker Legris items which have performed very well and rated up to 20 bar.

So anyway TLDR version is a Regular Robot was ordered and received and used without issue, it was taken apart to install a DIY pressure gauge and ran into problems. Paul did give you advice on how to solve the issue, you bought a tap cleaned out the hole, carried on installing your own parts, and we paid you back.

I'll make this brief (ish) as I'm busy today. 

I took the piston to a pneumatics specialist who had stock of pneumatics fittings Paul specified including manufacturers who they said were equal if not better in quality to Parker Legris and none of the 1/8 BSPP fittings would go into the threaded hole in the piston. They are experts in their field and supply pneumatics equipment to many machine builders and their expert opinion was that the thread had not been fully cut to 1/8 BSPP. They suspected that Paul's blanking plug was cut with a much more forgiving thread and because he was securing it with thread lock *and* a nylon washer, that it didn't really matter that thread was a lower tolerance.

As I told Paul, I used two fingers with the lightest of pressure to try and get the fittings started and so did the pneumatics suppliers, so any claims that is caused damage was. him trying to weasel out of responsibility. 

If you want to try shifting blaim around I'm willing to attach screen shots of the emails to this thread so everyone can see just how professionally Paul handled things. I don't think your first suggestion to a customer of a new product should be to run a tap through it!! I thought he was going to suggest returning the robot, I was stunned to be perfectly honest. 

I know he hand makes them and I was trying to save Paul money. What use did I have for a £6 imperial tap? I asked for a £6 reimbursement for the tap, which I thought would save cafelat the cost of two more sets of postage and a robot to repair. Am I glad I tried to help you? No, because Paul came back and said that the piston is now not covered under warranty when he's the one that told me to run a tap through it in the first place!! 

Really just awful experience.

Edited by newdent
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4 hours ago, newdent said:

I'll make this brief (ish) as I'm busy today. 

I took the piston to a pneumatics specialist who had stock of pneumatics fittings Paul specified including manufacturers who they said were equal if not better in quality to Parker Legris and none of the 1/8 BSPP fittings would go into the threaded hole in the piston. They are experts in their field and supply pneumatics equipment to many machine builders and their expert opinion was that the thread had not been fully cut to 1/8 BSPP. They suspected that Paul's blanking plug was cut with a much more forgiving thread and because he was securing it with thread lock *and* a nylon washer, that it didn't really matter that thread was a lower tolerance.

 

Ross the threadlock is to prevent the plug coming undone, the teflon (not nylon) washer does the sealing but is not a good threadlocker.

 

4 hours ago, newdent said:

As I told Paul, I used two fingers with the lightest of pressure to try and get the fittings started and so did the pneumatics suppliers, so any claims that is caused damage was. him trying to weasel out of responsibility. 

If you want to try shifting blaim around I'm willing to attach screen shots of the emails to this thread so everyone can see just how professionally Paul handled things. I don't think your first suggestion to a customer of a new product should be to run a tap through it!! I thought he was going to suggest returning the robot, I was stunned to be perfectly honest. 

 

This was my email to you and I have bolded the part about the tap.  I incorrectly made the assumption that a person who would take apart a functioning brand new product would have access to those things otherwise why not just buy the correct parts from us or return and get the barista version?

Quote

 

That is the exact one I use.  It is odd that the one you have does not fit.  I can see the discoloration on the thread of your fitting so yes I agree it is binding.  If you have a 1/8 BSPP tap handy (!) it would not hurt to clean out the threads.  The other point to note is that the inside of the piston is very cramped for space, the Legris fittings I found just clear the little ridge at the bottom. It could be that the OD of your fitting is touching that ridge.
 
I agree the gauge is good to get a feel of the pressure involved and then after that you just go by eye and touch.  I think I put a rough table of the weights and pressures in the user manual.
 
 
At the end there should be a table.
 
Paul

 

 

4 hours ago, newdent said:

I know he hand makes them and I was trying to save Paul money. What use did I have for a £6 imperial tap? I asked for a £6 reimbursement for the tap, which I thought would save cafelat the cost of two more sets of postage and a robot to repair. Am I glad I tried to help you? No, because Paul came back and said that the piston is now not covered under warranty when he's the one that told me to run a tap through it in the first place!! 

Really just awful experience.

My reply to you cut and paste from my email was:

 

Quote

I believe Kristal will refund you the cost of the tap, but please be aware the warranty does not cover any work you have done to the machine.  Anything else, sure we will stand behind it but not the parts or anything affected by the parts you have installed.   I chose those specific parts for a reason.  

I said I will not warranty any pressure gauge system you would put together, everything else we stand behind. I do not know any company that would give you a warranty after installing 3rd party parts they are not familiar with. 

We will update our warranty page to make it clear that any alterations using non standard parts will void the warranty.  

 

 

 

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Oh we're doing quotes now. Apart from expecting your customer to perform manufacturing operations on their brand new product, this is my favourite:

Quote

Just to be clear, because I have seen the email you sent to Kristal, the Robot you purchased was perfect. It was your choice to take it apart and try to add non standard parts. I have personally made several thousand Robots now and I have never, not once, had an issue with a fitting not threading in.  

The absolute arrogance, as if you're incapable of making a mistake. I'm impressed that you can deduce the robot is perfect without taking one look at it. 

You sell the parts to upgrade to the pressure gauge with video instructions on how to do it, you sell the parts to upgrade to a barista version, so what have I done wrong? I've used the Legris fittings you recommended so why:

Quote

I believe Kristal will refund you the cost of the tap, but please be aware the warranty does not cover any work you have done to the machine.  Anything else, sure we will stand behind it but not the parts or anything affected by the parts you have installed.   

What does this even mean? I have Legris fittings but I'm using a gauge I had handy from a portafilter pressure gauge kit. What exactly do you envision will be a problem regarding warranty. How is a 'non-standard' gauge, that's exterior to the robot going to cause any issues that would invalid date your warranty on the piston. You were extremely vague on what's not covered.

I'd have happy bought the fittings from you if you hadn't marked them up so much. You can buy a 5 pack from RS for £2.50 ( https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/pneumatic-fittings/4454350/?sra=pstk ), let's say it costs you £0.50 per fitting (but I assume you buy in bulk and get a better deal than that) and you're selling them for £13.19 each ( https://www.cafelat.co.uk/collections/robot-spares/products/robot-fitting ). That's a mark-up of 2600%. At my old company, we marked-up stock by 30%. Then there's the gauge bracket that you admitted on video that you massively overengineered by accident because you didn't check the drawing before sending it off to be manufactured. Now you're passing that mistake onto the customer. £36 for a bracket and a gauge https://www.cafelat.co.uk/collections/robot-spares/products/robot-gauge when the gauge must cost no more than a few pounds (I found a 3 pack for £10). Talking about passing mistakes onto the customer - there's the hands that are solving an issue with your poor design but you're passing the cost on to the customer for the tune of £18.59. I can go on and on, but there's no point.

@DavecUK I'm bringing this to your attention as I am disappointed a manufacturer that treats their customers this way can advertise on your website.

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1 hour ago, newdent said:

@DavecUK I'm bringing this to your attention as I am disappointed a manufacturer that treats their customers this way can advertise on your website.

Firstly, this isn't my website...although I do control advertising. I've known Paul many years and I am not aware he is in the habit of treating his customers badly. I certainly can't see any reason why the UK firm that sells his products shouldn't be allowed on the website...

Cafelat UK is the official and authorised webshop in the United Kingdom of Cafelat. We are not the same company, but we buy directly from Cafelat and carry the entire range of their products. (quote from announcement).

I'm not taking sides here, but I think a better outcome could have been obtained had the emotions and certain words, been left beside the keyboard. Trying to resolve it on an open forum this way was always going to make things worse..Just because Cafelat UK is an advertiser doesn't mean they shouldn't get fair and respectful treatment, the same as any member.

Most companies I know, and Cafelat won't be any different, want their customers to have a good experience, not a bad one.

 

I don’t like – Sticks and Stones, beans that are sour, green…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until you roast them, then they scream out at you in the cooling tray, pick em out and flick them in the bin.. Lifes too short for bad coffee!

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Kristal from Cafelat has asked for the following clarification to be included.

2 hours ago, newdent said:

I'd have happy bought the fittings from you if you hadn't marked them up so much. You can buy a 5 pack from RS for £2.50 ( https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/pneumatic-fittings/4454350/?sra=pstk ), let's say it costs you £0.50 per fitting (but I assume you buy in bulk and get a better deal than that) and you're selling them for £13.19 each ( https://www.cafelat.co.uk/collections/robot-spares/products/robot-fitting ).

The prices he mentioned £13.19 included the selling VAT. I did not make any profit on these items. The information on the gauge he mentioned is absolutely incorrect. Our gauge is custom made in 25mm diameter with 16 bar. I wish I can find the one he said - pack of 3 in £10.

Screenshot 2021-04-29 at 17.29.11.png

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