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Thread: Discussion on Flair Espresso

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    Discussion on Flair Espresso

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Will post some interesting links for people that want to learn about and discuss its capabilities

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    I own it and love it. Every espresso machine regardless of lever or pump based is simply a way to deliver water at a specified temperature and pressure through a coffee puck and this device strips away all of the automation to allow the user to have full manual control of the shots which taste phenomenal the majority of the time when you use the appropriate technique/beans/grinder. All of you wimps that use machines that spoil you with frivolous luxuries like internally heated brew water should hide in shame....
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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melbroaster View Post
    All of you wimps that use machines that spoil you with frivolous luxuries like internally heated brew water should hide in shame....
    giggled like a schoolgirl! That sounds like a challenge to me. ;-P
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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    It looks capable of pulling a mighty fine shot!

    How can it do that without a power plug

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    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    i have one too. it's amazing. it has stripped my desire to get a home machine. this thing pulls a flavourful and consistent shot.
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    I just received my Flair yesterday afternoon. I was using the same coffee that my preferred local cafe has been using to make my coffees so I would have some sort of baseline to ascertain whether I was even coming close to what I have deemed to be nice coffee. My first shot was rubbish - the grind was too coarse. I took a cursory sip as my wife and kids forced me to I had a laugh. Yuk. Down the sink. The second shot was ground fine with a firm tamp and pulled over 30 seconds. I must say that I wasn't expecting success so soon. This shot was actually better than my local cafe had been making. I realised that this coffee actually had decent dark chocolate tones and fruit tones, with zero bitterness. Just lovely. Not satisfied that I'd hit the nail on the head, I pulled a third shot - it was the same as the previous - YAY. 18g of coffee, firm tamp, preheating the cylinder twice, water at rolling boil immediately prior to use, 30 second pull, fine grind (only 1 click on my "poor"lex). I'm very keen to grab a Helor 101 now, but will have to wait for the GM signed order from my boss for that expenditure I had a laugh. At face value, it seems like an excellent unit for the price. I'll be playing more tonight!
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    Discussion on Flair Espresso

    Its awesome. The inventor continues to develop it and a stainless steel piston and naked pf are going be available soon

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    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    awesome! naked portafiltwr would be sweet!

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    I've been working towards a better shot from my new Flair this last week. It's been a little hit and miss for me - but I'm new to this so am feeling my way through. I retired my Porlex grinder and grabbed a Breville Smart Grinder Pro at a decent price to replace it. This allows me to obtain a MUCH finer grind. So far (as of last night's coffee), the sweet spot seems to be a grind of 18, with a grind time also of 18. Only a moderate tamp and a 30 second pull. I'm using Double Shot Roasters decaf beans currently. The resulting coffee was really nice, with a lot more crema than I've been able to get so far. I'm getting closer to a good extraction!

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    Do they come with a double and a single walled basket? I assume you are using the single? Considering getting one for when we go camping!

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    Quote Originally Posted by latte1978 View Post
    Do they come with a double and a single walled basket? I assume you are using the single? Considering getting one for when we go camping!
    there's only one basket for the flair. depending on the coffee, i can fit in a 14-16g dose.

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    Presume when you ask about "a double and a single walled basket" you are wishing to ascertain whether they are using a pressurised basket. No, there is just the one basket and it is not pressurised. However, the Flair does achieve good extraction, with one component being development of good crema. It will make an excellent espresso machine for camping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Otago View Post
    Presume when you ask about "a double and a single walled basket" you are wishing to ascertain whether they are using a pressurised basket. No, there is just the one basket and it is not pressurised. However, the Flair does achieve good extraction, with one component being development of good crema. It will make an excellent espresso machine for camping.
    Yep that is what I was asking. Flair or ROK would be the question now?

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    I've had both and would recommend the Flair; especially for camping.
    The ROK will deliver an OK espresso, but crema will be more problematic than on the Flair. IMO the Flair has a more robust build quality and will also deliver high pressure much less worryingly than the ROK, which can creak and groan disconcertingly. If there is more than one espresso drinker in camp I would consider getting the extra brew head bundle, which will help speed up the process. The Flair carry case makes this an ideal travel/camping espresso maker and the price, which has now crept down to $200 for the single brew unit, is virtually unchallenged in this market sector. I only bought the Flair as a gap-filler while waiting for the Cafelat Robot to be released, but it has been so impressive it will certainly take something exceptional to be beaten, especially at this price point.
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    I just searched the cafelat robot - there was a mention of getting up to 11 bars of pressure if you really want - but pulling a decent espresso with 6-7 bars - don't you normally need 9 bars at least?

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    might be down on quoted pressure but you will find the Flair operates effectively with relatively low lever pressure, so the actual operating pressures will actually be fairly similar. The Robot might not deliver very high pressure but Paul Pratt's reputation for delivering well researched products gives me enough confidence to wait for the Robot. The Robot is effectively a modern adaptation of the Baby Faemina with contemporary materials. The Robot's portafilter basket design will also mean a relatively simple clean up which, for me, will give it an advantage over the Flair.
    ROK, Flair or Robot, they'll all give an espresso that you will be drinking while you would otherwise still be waiting for an electric machine to warm up.
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    Oops, missed "The Robot" at start of first sentence

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    I love the simplicity of this machine. Does anyone have any solution for milk for latte/cappuccino? Are there any manual frothers that actually work?

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    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavelnedobity View Post
    I love the simplicity of this machine. Does anyone have any solution for milk for latte/cappuccino? Are there any manual frothers that actually work?
    my bodum french press does a great job of frothing milk for a cap. check out dritan alsela’s latte art training video - he’s a gun at this method.
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    You could use a plunger to create microfoam once you've heated the milk. https://youtu.be/c2Bjs5g6n2w not in English but you get the idea.

    Edit: Dritan Alsela video mentioned above: https://youtu.be/hywbrms5B1k
    Last edited by level3ninja; 20th October 2017 at 12:03 PM.
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    Update on pressurised basket question

    Sorry, lattee1978, on closer inspection of the filter basket my statement that this is not a pressurised basket may need more explanation.

    Having looked more closely at the filter basket it is apparent that the base is only a few mill below the filter screen and that only the 5 central holes line up with the 3mm outlet hole in the base of the basket.

    However, this differs from what I think is the usual pressurised basket construction where the extraction flows through all of the holes in the filter basket, but then has to pass through a very limited number of holes in the center of the basket floor.

    At least on the Flair the exit hole is unrestricted and its 3mm diameter would easily exceed the total area of the restricted number of exit holes in most pressurised baskets.

    The Flair might be a bit of a hybrid that takes some of the pressurised basket principles but as usual the proof is in the cup. I still think you need to use good quality fresh roasted beans to get a good extraction. I haven't tried supermarket beans to see whether faux crema can be created ( which is what the pressurised basket is designed to do) .

    To be fair to Flair they make it clear that, to achieve good results, amongst the inputs needed are "...coffee beans, freshly roasted within a few weeks of using." They are discouraging use of supermarket beans and therefore, presumably, would not have to incorporate a pressurised basket principle into their design.

    The limited space below the screen and the basket floor raises the issue of effective cleaning and I will now be giving my filter basket a regular soak in Caffetto to avoid any rancid build up of oils.
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Loving my Flair...

    Mal.
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    Got my flair delivered today along with a porex mini. Still working the variables but it seems click 2 to 3 on the mini does the best job. Been playing with 17-18grams but finding that it makes a very strong dose of coffee. Will try again tomorrow with a smaller ddose (12-14g). Does anybody have experience with smaller doses? Or with the porlex mini?
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Have settled on 15g with mine...
    Works for every roast batch I've tried so far.
    Just adjust the grind as the beans age.

    Mal.

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    Thanks Dimal thoughts on the pairing with the Porlex? I've got the two for 2-3 camping trips a year but one day in I'm starting to think I need to upgrade to the Lido.
    Last edited by nickm; 4th January 2018 at 08:34 AM.

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    Sounds like you are already doubting the adequacy of the Porlex.

    Along with the Lido (a Lido E or ET would be best for espresso duties) other compact espresso capable hand grinders that would fit with the Flair's compactness and portability would be the Helor, Comandante or Aergrind.

    Good luck with the Flair.
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    Correct upgrade-itis has hit me after 1 day.

    Does anyone know where I could pick up a spare brew head for the unit? When I bought mine I didnt appreciate how time consuming it was making a shot and now I think i need at least 2 to keep 2 camping clients happy at a time

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    Your vendor can't supply you with one?
    Maybe contact Flair direct...

    Mal.

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    Looks like the Cafelat Robot is now on Kickstarter... Thoughts

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...o-coffee-maker
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickm View Post
    Looks like the Cafelat Robot is now on Kickstarter... Thoughts

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...o-coffee-maker
    my only complaint with the flair is taking apart the hot brewhead, cleaning it, and reloading it - making back-to-back shots a pain...this doesn't seem to solve that problem. so, pass.

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    Hi Woodhouse

    The excess liquid used to annoy me too, but I found recently that if you increase the dose (top of grounds to bottom of dispersion screen when it is seated) that there is no liquid residue and the puck will be dry and knock out easily. A trick with the Flair is to tap the portafilter to dislodge the puck and to then blow it out.

    I only brew for one so back to back brews have not been an issue for me, but a second brew head would be very helpful.

    Their naked portafilter was to be released end of April so may not be far away. That might be a good excuse to get that second brew head! Not sure whether it will work on current Flair or whether the holder has to be larger for the naked portafilter.
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    I've just nabbed myself a second hand Flair off ebay for a great price. Only problem is that I spotted it at the last minute and didn't have time to ask questions before I bid. So I am just wondering if there are any variations from earlier Flairs to later model ones? Anything I may need to upgrade? It is a double head one with the stainless steel tamper... just curious. No buyers remorse at all, it was a great way for me to save a little money and if that money is spent buying additional parts that have since been upgraded then so be it. So excited to give it a shot 😊

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    There are two notable upgrades. 1. The top of the plastic piston has been changed as some people broke the top part (original design). 2. Now portfilter base has much larger hole, to accomodate the bottomless portafilter. So if you want bottomless portafilter you might need a new base as well. https://www.flairespresso.com/produc...rtafilter-base
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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Picked up a Flair a few weeks ago and have been trying it out on weekends. Quite impressive. Needs a coarser grind than my spring lever machine (partly because I use VSTs, partly because my machine has a strong double spring). But haven't pulled a bad shot on the Flair thus far. Can't quite replicate the quality of coffee produced by my Bacchi, but the Flair is half the price and much easier to fit in a suitcase.
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    With our Flair, I haven't had to adjust the grinder one notch away from where it stood for our recent dual boiler machine. Shots are great and probably sweeter than with the pump machine...

    Mal.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    With our Flair, I haven't had to adjust the grinder one notch away from where it stood for our recent dual boiler machine. Shots are great and probably sweeter than with the pump machine...

    Mal.
    You've piqued my interest Mal, sounds like an ideal device for the motor home.

    Did you opt for the package with the two brew heads?

  41. #41
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    With our Flair, I haven't had to adjust the grinder one notch away from where it stood for our recent dual boiler machine. Shots are great and probably sweeter than with the pump machine...

    Mal.
    Yeh, I'd say that would be about the same if I was comparing it to the grind for (and sweetness from) my old Diadema.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yes Yelta, we opted for the dual brew-head version.
    Makes it simple when preparing two espressos one straight after the other...
    Additional brew-heads aren't all that expensive either if there was a need for one or two more.

    Mal.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Yeh, I'd say that would be about the same if I was comparing it to the grind for (and sweetness from) my old Diadema.
    Got the same results from other pump machines I used/tested/repaired too.
    9.0 BAR pressure delivered to the top of the puck in a 58mm basket (a couple of different types) didn't require any changes to grind setting.

    Not sure what you're getting at really...

    Mal.

  44. #44
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Got the same results from other pump machines I used/tested/repaired too.
    9.0 BAR pressure delivered to the top of the puck in a 58mm basket (a couple of different types) didn't require any changes to grind setting.

    Not sure what you're getting at really...

    Mal.

    I don't understand? Not getting at anything.

    As I said in my OP, I just grind coarser as I use VSTs in my lever machine. The shots from the Flair are sweeter than those I recall from my Diadema, but not than those from my spring lever machine (though they are not less sweet).

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Ah Ok...

    It's just me mate, didn't realise you were comparing it to the Spring Lever. I need to go to bed...

    Mal.
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  46. #46
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Ah Ok...

    It's just me mate, didn't realise you were comparing it to the Spring Lever. I need to go to bed...

    Mal.
    No worries Mal. It's a great piece of kit.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    So! here I am, the owner of a brand new Flair, and must say I'm quite impressed with the device.

    A couple of quick observations.

    As others have remarked, it certainly does produce excellent shots. (the equal of my Bezzera)

    Takes a little bit of getting used to, until I got a bit of a work flow figured out I found it a bit fiddly.

    I'm wondering about cleaning the portafilter? it doesn't come apart, can imagine the build up after a few months use.

    Certainly don't regret buying it, can see it getting a lot of use on the road.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I'm wondering about cleaning the portafilter? it doesn't come apart, can imagine the build up after a few months use.
    Just give ours a soak once per week in Cafetto and then vigorously flush it out and allow to dry.
    Seems to keep oils buildup to a minimum as I haven't noticed any off tastes as such...

    Mal.
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    As well as Caffeto bath have found (on a 35micron Aeropress filter that really blocks up with residues) a steam cleaner will shift even more of what can remain after the Cafetto treatment.
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  50. #50
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Could well be true.
    Have found that after Cafetto, just flushing hot water through the group without coffee works pretty well.
    Never an off smell or anything after the group has dried out...

    Mal.



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