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Thread: DE1+ vs Bianca vs Pro 700?

  1. #1
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    DE1+ vs Bianca vs Pro 700?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So my BDB died and I am looking at what to replace it with. I have been through several coffee appliances and more recently have been developing more of an interest in coffee so I wanted to make this upgrade one to really take it up a level. I would be looking to make 2-4 mostly milk based drinks per day up to 8 drinks when entertaining.

    The 3 machines I keep coming back to are: Decent DE1+, Lelit Bianca, Profitec Pro 700

    The DE1+ really intrigues me and plays to my inner geek. But the inability to brew and steam simultaneously feels like a step backwards. It's less time proven than other machines but the transparency that John provides regarding its development puts me at ease with that to a certain extent. This machine has the biggest uncertainty about it, especially because I don't know where I can see one in person.

    The Bianca seems to hold its ground fairly well. I like the flow control paddle and that it appears to be part of the design from the start and I can see myself using it to experiment with. It may not have the reputation of some other machines but I'm confident it would have a good lifespan.

    The Pro 700 gets really good reviews all round and its steaming power is often referenced. I would want to add the flow control device to it if I can find out where to source it in Australia. It doesn't cost much more than the Bianca atm but the flow control feels like an after-thought and it might be a lot more than needed.

    I'm interested to hear opinions and recommendations, especially from anyone who was faced with a similar choice.

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    Some of the Decent users are fairly evangelical about them, possibly if you put your location in your profile you might get some offers to look at one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    Some of the Decent users are fairly evangelical about them, possibly if you put your location in your profile you might get some offers to look at one.
    Thanks for the suggestion. I have updated my profile accordingly.

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    Personally don’t like gauges at the bottom.
    At that price I’d look for somewhere close to you that you can see/feel the machine.
    Lelit, profitec, ECM, rocket amongst others.

    You want dual boiler or HX?

    Sounds like you enjoy playing with stuff so I’d suggest a dual bio with pid so you can change things if you want. Paddle style options are good in this regard also

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    If it's mainly under milk, you'll be wrapped with a good HX machine which will meet your requirements perfectly with far better steam performance. If it ultimately becomes more about espresso, then a dual boiler may help you. I wouldn't worry too much about gauges and their placement as you'll find that you'll be watching the shot rather than needles. Gauges are more useful in those "Did something just go wrong?" moments.

    Decent: I have played with it and I just can't get past the souped up appliance feel of it. This is not to say it won't do really good things, but for coffee predominantly under milk, it's overkill. It's not the machine for me. Not to say it's not a good machine, but it looks, sounds and feels $1k to me, not $5k.

    It's hard to make any recommendations without a budget though. Did you have $2k or $6k in mind?

    How often did you play with temperature on the Breville? Can you pull multiple consistent shots back to back? Have you mastered temperature v roast? If the answer to any of these is no, having multiple variables is likely overkill and will never be mastered. Under milk, you're not going taste anything significant anyway. It covers a multitude of sins.

    FWIW, I have seen a few machines in my time. I'd say that the majority of owners who have the ability to vary even temperature don't bother. A good 90% of DB machines I see are at factory default settings. Sorta says that although many people have intentions of playing, the majority just want a really good coffee.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeinator View Post
    If it's mainly under milk, you'll be wrapped with a good HX machine which will meet your requirements perfectly with far better steam performance. If it ultimately becomes more about espresso, then a dual boiler may help you. I wouldn't worry too much about gauges and their placement as you'll find that you'll be watching the shot rather than needles. Gauges are more useful in those "Did something just go wrong?" moments.
    Personal style of work I guess. I watch the shot and the gauges.

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    Guessing you have a budget of around $4k and your mostly milk-based coffee needs, I would be aiming towards the Profitec. I researched the Bianca and the Profitec Pro (600 and 700) as contenders on my short list of new machines. I settled on the 600. It is upgradable to flow control now via the upgrade kit availble from Jetblack.

    The Decent was outside my budget but, as per Caffeinator, I thought it was a bit beyond my needs

    Any reason you aren't considering the ECM Synchronika?

    Ronin's point about the gauges may be important if aesthetics are important to you. The bottom-mounted gauges on my Pro 600 aren't easy to see but I rarely look at them anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    Personal style of work I guess. I watch the shot and the gauges.
    Possibly a topic for another thread but I/we would be interested in how you use your gauges when you are making your shots. On my old Giotto Premium Plus, I used to wait until the manometer reached the peak of its duty cycle before engaging the brew lever but later found this made little if any difference to shot quality, given the thermal stability of the Giotto.
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    Bottom line, if you're looking at machines in that level and with that feature set, the second hand Vesuvius currently for sale on this site, if in good condition, is probably the most suitable thing for you at the $4k or less budget range.

    To show my working out ...

    My machine progression has been Silvia, Maver Marte HX (which, ironically, I lost about a decade ago when I asked a friend to install a needle valve in it for me for profiling), Breville DB, Vesuvius, Decent. I've worked on a bunch of commercial machines, lusted after a GS3 for 15 years and went to check out the paddle GS3 as an alternative before buying the Decent.

    It sounds like you have done a lot of reading, but perhaps have not used a lot of these machines. The coffee internet is great, but it really sucks at two things. First, people tend to assert that X or Y is "good", "better" or "best", but all of those concepts are value judgments and people don't explain why they made those judgments, so you can read until your blue in the face, but if the writer's definition of good is that they happen to like the setup that makes their coffee taste most like whatever; say, popcorn, dingleberries or rotten fish and you prefer coffee that tastes like, say, steak, scrambled eggs and cool ranch doritos, then you're going to be disappointed with the "best" setup. Second, people don't give much of an indication about the extent to which something is better. So, you might agree that machine X is better than machine Y in some aspect, but it's probably going to be hard for you to judge how much bang for your buck you're going to get from that compared with, say, spending the money on a better grinder.

    So, first up, you are looking at pressure profiling machines. Conspicuously absent from most discussions of pressure profiling machines is a discussion of what the heck it's good for, and to what extent. Commercially, manual pressure profiling seems to have been a bit of a fail. There are almost no cafes that you can go to and buy a shot that has been manually pressure profiled. The most that you are likely to see is the three position switch paddle used on, for example, the slayer machines. Now this might be because a cafe's goal isn't actually to produce the best coffee, it is to produce coffee that its customers will regard as good enough to spend the money, whilst keeping the process simple and practical for the staff and for cost perspectives. If you can have a newbie 15 year old trainee barista use your mythos to auto-grind, your puqpress to auto-tamp, your linea pb to auto-extract and then steam the milk and pour at the same time to get an espresso that's maybe a 6.5/10 90% of the time, that's probably a lot better of an outcome than needing an experienced barista to dial in a shot, manually profile it, steam the milk after, create half of the drinks in the same amount of time and deliver an espresso that's maybe a 8/10 90% of the time ... but in actual fact if you have a worse barista it might dip to a 6/10 50% of the time anyway. Add milk to them and, as Caffeinator says, most customers won't notice the difference. So we might not be able to rely on what cafes have and do as best practice to get the best of the best results, but they certainly do underscore the fact that if you're trying to bang out 8 coffees from a home setup, manually pressure profiling each shot is unlikely to happen. So there are two ways you could approach this. You could get a programmable machine that will take care of the pressure profiling for you, or you could get a paddle valve machine and just use whatever built in pressure profiling it has. The Vesuvius has programmable profiling and can brew and steam at the same time, so you can actually get the benefit of pressure profiling without compromising drink building output (and it's a pretty fast and high quality steamer for a domestic machine). The Decent can't brew and steam at the same time, and is a very slow steamer anyway. The e61 needle valve machines will require your attention whilst brewing, so you will probably end up using whatever built in preinfusion they have ... I assume that they don't defeat the preinfusion chamber. The R9 is above the price range, so not worth talking about.

    Next consideration ... probably should have been the first ... is what do you want to get out of the pressure profiling. I don't think there's much good writing around about this, and, frankly, I think most people are still bumbling around a lot with it. The way I think of it at the moment is this: the preinfusion determines the grind size that you can use, the peak pressure sets the aggressiveness of the extraction conditions and the taper at the end allows you to get more flavour for the same amount of acidity. The usefulness of these things depends on what type of coffee you are using. If the roast defects in the coffee you are using are more likely to be baking or over-roasting (eg. darker or standard espresso roasts), then all of this is of limited usefulness, since basically these roasts have been developed to work with regular equipment. You might get a little use out of the pressure taper. If the roast defects in the coffee you are using are more likely to be under-development or grassiness (eg. filter roasts or "nordic" espresso), then the ability to grind finer can be quite useful. On the pressure profiling front, the machines actually have a number of subtle differences in what you can and can't do, but it's quite a lot of typing to explain them. The most important difference is probably that, as far as I can tell, only the Decent can stop the pump without opening the pressure relief valve. I've been experimenting with this stuff for a few years, and I still feel like I've got a lot to learn with it, so this is all subject to revision.

    Now I really am going backwards because now I'm up to discussing the magnitude of the usefulness of all of this and how likely you are to actually use it. I think that temperature adjustment makes more difference than pressure adjustment most of the time. As Caffeinator observes, most people probably don't use temperature adjustment much, so the brew pressure stuff really starts to look like of marginal usefulness to most people. When people do use paddles, you see that they really just do two things; first, they slow down the preinfusion; second, they taper the pressure down to maintain a constant flow rate. As much as I like the idea of the artistry of doing this manually, I was grudgingly forced to concede that these are things that computers can do better than we can. To be super blunt, most people, even if they have super adjustable machines, are just going to gravitate towards buying the coffee that tastes the best on their default setup. This is good news - it means you probably don't need to sweat the differences too hard.

    ... so, basically, once you bumble through all of that, the super cheap second hand vesuvius with great steam and programmable pressure so that you can actually get the benefit of it whilst churning out a bunch of milk drinks probably seems to fit with what you want the most at the price point. That machine is pretty big and it's kind of clunky to program the pressure settings, but otherwise it's pretty great.

    The Decent is its own different mix of plusses and minuses, but probably not the sort of thing I'd want to use to crank out a bunch of milk drinks. I find that some of the features that are unique to it have meaningfully improved the quality of the espresso drinks that I make for me; eg. the graphing and information, the flow profiling and the pause after puck saturation.
    Last edited by luca; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by luca View Post
    Bottom line, if you're looking at machines in that level and with that feature set, the second hand Vesuvius currently for sale on this site, if in good condition, is probably the most suitable thing for you at the $4k or less budget range.
    Yes, I was going to suggest the Vesuvius too but ended up deleting that suggestion as I thought it might be overkill for eiscoffee's stated needs. Can't fault luca's logic. If the Vesuvius had been put up for sale 6 months ago when I was in the market for a new machine, I would have been all over it. A brand new one was well outside my budget.

    luca raised another good point, what grinder do you currently have eis? No point in lashing out on a Vesuvius or Decent if it can't be paired with a quality grinder.
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    I think luca's post is brilliant. If the Vesuvius was up for sale 14 months ago when I got my Bianca it would've been my pick too. However from the machines listed, I do own a Bianca and use the paddle often. Manual control is great, but not always necessary. I find that many a time the coffee isn't dramatically better, just marginally different. My 0.02 would be that temp control can get you great flavour for a specific bean. There on out its all about grind and only then flow/pressure. A good grinder and good grind adjustment is invaluable.
    I have played with the profitec 500 & 700 as well and the 700 was a prime contender for the Bianca.

    My thoughts. The Bianca is great, has been reliable and is well built. The steam falls flat when steaming larger quantities though. I do find myself occasionally wishing it had the steaming power of the profitecs. I also do concede that the profitecs feel better built and more robust. 14 months on with the new paddle system for the profitecs i am not sure which way I'd turn. But the Bianca has been a great companion these past 14 months and am sure will continue to be one for many years to come.

    I did consider the decent briefly, but there's a certain beauty to an analogue setup. I think they're doing a splendid job, but would probably give them a few more years to iron out the kinks of which there have been many.

    To sum up. If you entertain frequently and need a machine from the 3 listed, profited 700 all the way. Feel free to skip the paddle.
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    That’s given me even more to think about

    Thanks for the suggestions of the Synchronika, I had assumed that it was going to be too far out of budget but it turns out that it could work.

    I wasn’t familiar at all with the Vesuvius but it does look really nice and could scratch my itch nicely. I hadn’t been considering used machines so I’ll have to just change my thinking a bit there.

    My current grinder is a Sette 270wi. It is adequate for now and I hope it will be sufficient for a little while longer before needing an upgrade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eiscoffee View Post
    So my BDB died and I am looking at what to replace it with. I have been through several coffee appliances and more recently have been developing more of an interest in coffee so I wanted to make this upgrade one to really take it up a level. I would be looking to make 2-4 mostly milk based drinks per day up to 8 drinks when entertaining.

    The 3 machines I keep coming back to are: Decent DE1+, Lelit Bianca, Profitec Pro 700

    The DE1+ really intrigues me and plays to my inner geek. But the inability to brew and steam simultaneously feels like a step backwards. It's less time proven than other machines but the transparency that John provides regarding its development puts me at ease with that to a certain extent. This machine has the biggest uncertainty about it, especially because I don't know where I can see one in person.

    The Bianca seems to hold its ground fairly well. I like the flow control paddle and that it appears to be part of the design from the start and I can see myself using it to experiment with. It may not have the reputation of some other machines but I'm confident it would have a good lifespan.

    The Pro 700 gets really good reviews all round and its steaming power is often referenced. I would want to add the flow control device to it if I can find out where to source it in Australia. It doesn't cost much more than the Bianca atm but the flow control feels like an after-thought and it might be a lot more than needed.

    I'm interested to hear opinions and recommendations, especially from anyone who was faced with a similar choice.
    G'day eiscoffee

    Just to put a couple of things into a better perspective (I hope).

    Firstly, my espresso journey started in 1970 with a 6 group (probably two * 3 groups bolted together - the supplier never let me see the inside) piece of Italian manufactured rubbish (all groups were different temp & pressure, all p/fs were different sizes etc etc). Mercifully times have changed a lot for the better.

    I have used / set up dozens of commercial machines (numerous Lineas / Major combos - my first pick for a cafe) since then. At home I lived with a 2 group La Pavoni for years before crossgrading to a manual lever Electra. I say crossgrading because the Electra made much better coffee for the first two or three shots as long as you did not also steam the milk. It sat next to the La Pav for circa 10 years until I "believed the hype" and bought a Silvia (summary - much over-rated, very quirky, anything you learn is useless in the commercial environment). Hands down the Electra made better coffee so the Silvia become mainly another milk frother. Next crossgrade was to a pair of GS3's (one unacceptable 110V, upgraded almost immediately to the 220V). The Electra still made much better coffee, as did a mate's Cremina I lived with for nearly 18 months. The GS3 became yet another very expensive milk frother... Segue to a bitter divorce, lost both Electra and GS3 and returned to Oz broke. Bought a 6910 / 480 combo as a stopgap. About 18 months later my 17 "inherited" (so say "irreparable ones" from friend's cafes which I fixed) grinders mysteriously returned via an ex-wife's friend so I upgraded to my old trusty Major. I then bought another 2 group La Pav secondhand, only to find out that the 6910 made better coffee... even after I replaced every serviceable part. From there I eventually bought 3 Mahlkonig (not Baratza) Varios and an SB7000 (quieter - domestic harmony rules even if I prefer the 6910). I finally upgraded the espresso machine to a Decent DE1 with the V1.1 grouphead. I say upgraded because the more important grinder (Vario) combined with the DE1 gave me better coffee than my mate's Cremina (using a Major & an EK43, and probably my "lost Electra" as well).

    The DE1: if you are fanatical about getting the best cuppa out of your beans, at this time the DE1 is simply unbeatable. If you just want to press "start", the DE1 has numerous presets plus it remembers the last setting of your last shot. That makes it pretty SWMBO friendly as well as suiting any urge to tinker (temperature, pressure, preinfusion & flow are all adjustable, complete with the timing of any stage). In my case, adding the V1.3 group would massively shorten the time it takes to nail a new roast - especially if you have no idea what the particular coffee should taste like so you are initially "shooting blind". Another DE1 strength - all the internal parts which have water flow through them are either stainless or high quality food grade teflon. Usually when I test a new setup the first thing I do is put some of my "twice filtered" rainwater though the machine, cover the cup and wait for it to cool down. Compare it to the same rainwater from the same container. Whatever the difference is, that is what the coffee from that machine will have as an underlying taste / taint. Most machines are an abject fail - brass boilers usually taste of the dreaded "fish oil taint" to some extent, most cheap stainless boilers taste metallic and any of them tend to have other "interesting" flavours which add to your cuppa at no cost (or possibility of avoidance). From new, the DE1 only tasted a smidgeon different, with no noxious taint at all.

    Needless to say, I would suggest the DE1 for you, however if your current machine still froths milk and simultaneous "shoot and froth" is important for you (it is critical for me) it will save you buying a separate milk frother.

    I also suggest you try the "water test" on any machine you are considering as it may prove decisive in narrowing your choices down.

    Enjoy your cuppa, however you get there.

    TampIt
    PS: Caffeinator's
    "Decent: I have played with it and I just can't get past the souped up appliance feel of it. This is not to say it won't do really good things, but for coffee predominantly under milk, it's overkill. It's not the machine for me. Not to say it's not a good machine, but it looks, sounds and feels $1k to me, not $5k."
    is IMO just plain wrong.

    The DE1 p/f is by far my favourite p/f (even better than any LM I have used) - perfectly balanced. The machine itself is solid and incredibly well made (check out the hose clips!) compared to even the odd $20+K machine I have looked inside first hand. The reason it is so compact is simple - it uses a mixing valve setup not a large boiler. Which do you prefer -
    1) Heating up a huge mass of water (my 2 group La Pav takes 35 minutes @ 240V / 18 Amp to warm up) and paying for the power and the long warmup time? Extra taint in the water is a no cost option.
    2) Using a smaller boiler, having a (say) 5 minute warm up time and losing shot temp & pressure stability as the small boiler runs out of puff?
    or
    3) Heating up just enough water for a shot, having it warm up in three minutes (longer than the 6910's 75 seconds) and then having amazing shot control? For shot after shot after shot.
    I do not care / should not comment about the styling - that is subjective anyway.
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    The Sette should be fine until the upgrade bug bites again.

    Will you be the only user of your new machine? If others will be using it, consider ease of use as a decision criterion.

    How much bench space do you have?
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    On the Decent forum recently, someone posted a comparative review of the DE1+ and the Bianca. Out of respect for the reviewer I won't post the entire review. Below are some (sizeable) extracts which give the key points. Perhaps some will dismiss this as evangelical fervour, but it struck me as an honest perspective. Of course YMMV.

    ~~~~~~

    I'm an overly analytical person and I really wanted to have a side by side with the biggest competitor to the DE1: The Lelit Bianca. So I bought one, honestly with the intention that I would sell my DE1 or move it to work and let Bianca be my main machine.

    Things I thought would make the Bianca a superior machine and a worthwhile 'upgrade' were:


    1. Steaming while brewing
    2. Faster Steaming
    3. Instant Hot Water
    4. Heated Cups
    5. Manual Control (until DE1 gets it with v1.3)
    6. Thicker mouthfeel, better water distribution, and the ability for high flow shots.


    After 30 days with Bianca I have formed the following opinions:

    a. I find the steam experience of Bianca inferior to the DE1. Manually profiling and steaming is neigh impossible. So the ability to do both at the same time is very limited.

    b. I much PREFER steaming on the DE1. With a timer calibrated to your target temperature, I can hands free steam and clean my PF while the magic is happening. To me, the overall time from milk drink to milk drink is similar because of this more efficient, linear progression of the DE1. Time wise, yes, Bianca is faster but since it takes me probably a minute to clean the PF and prep the faster steam doesn't really make me move any faster.

    c. I find getting microfoam that is consistent MUCH harder with Bianca whereas the DE1 is stupid simple to get perfect foam, time and time again. Also, in doing about 5 drinks in a row I found that Bianca began to lag behind in steam staying power. The DE1 is an absolute workhorse that cannot run out of steam and whose thermodynamics do not change under load.

    d. At 2 bar steam, the [Bianca] water is 266-270F. Not only is the dragon noise annoying, but it takes forever for the water to cool enough to a suitable drinking temperature.

    e. I chose Bianca because it can go to a high flow (12ml/s+) and doesn't have the preinfusion chamber of most E61s. In other words, I can do classic 'thick' shots. But after pulling light, medium, and dark espresso blends on the DE1 and the Bianca set to max flow, I cannot tell a difference in mouthfeel. Period. If anything, I might find the DE1's better! All this talk about mouthfeel has been blown way out of proportion IMO.

    f. Automation is amazing. I thought manual control was something I was really missing out on. But I miss the consistency and repeatability of the DE1's profiles when using Bianca.

    I bought Bianca thinking it was a better profiling machine than the DE1. I came away realizing just how amazing the DE1 is and I will now be selling Bianca because it literally can't do anything better than my DE1 and that's before we get into the amazing things the DE1 does that other machines can't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    PS: Caffeinator's
    "Decent: I have played with it and I just can't get past the souped up appliance feel of it. This is not to say it won't do really good things, but for coffee predominantly under milk, it's overkill. It's not the machine for me. Not to say it's not a good machine, but it looks, sounds and feels $1k to me, not $5k."
    is IMO just plain wrong.
    We shall then agree to disagree again then! Seems we do that a fair bit.

    Like you, I have extensive experience on and in a multitude of machines from Tata through to Ferrari. .

    FWIW, I ditched my DE1+ after 3 weeks. The bloke who purchased it did the same. Just goes to show that others are clearly "just plain wrong" as well.

    Regardless for milky coffee in the main, the Decent is way beyond what our OP will ever require. In addition, the reality that there is no local service nor support (according to their website) will be a dealbreaker for many.

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    I've purposefully tried to avoid commenting on the value offered by the Decent Espresso machine. I think that it's easy for discussions such as this to devolve into fanboys defending their own stuff, so I hope that I've maintained some credibility by pointing out both the good and the bad aspects of machines that I've used.

    There are a number of things that are bad about the DE that are not arguable and that any prospective purchaser will have to make peace with. As Caffeinator says, it's small, lightweight, new, doesn't have a local service network. I also really hate the vibe pump pulse noises, which of course sound similar to other machines that use vibe pumps, which are usually cheaper machines.

    It's easy to understand why the DE is priced like it is. The DE has a lot of stuff in it that has been invented and designed from scratch. For example, even the water path through the group head is made of two intricately engineered and interlocking pieces with a complex water flow pathway that results in an even distribution of water before the shower screen is even screwed in. That water flow pathway is the result of fluid modelling by an engineer. By comparison, most manufacturers of e61 machines simply use the off-the-shelf part that basically uses a screw at the end of a pipe to disperse water. Decent is carrying a lot of R&D costs. Likewise, the DE has a lot of stuff in it full stop. It has a stack of temperature and pressure sensors and multiple heating elements. Instead of having boilers that are just metal tubes with end plates welded onto them, it has custom-designed thermoblocks and an elaborate system of valves and the custom-designed mixing manifold. Setting aside entirely whether the stuff that is in the machine is any good or not, it cannot be argued that the machine lacks work or complexity, which are two reasons that might justify price.

    So what is it that might make someone think that the DE should be cheap? Materials cost might well be one thing. For example, the DE has a lot of circuit boards in it and teflon tubes. But so do high end espresso machines; La Marzocco is using nylon tubes in things like the modbar and most machines have a gicar brain box in them. Weight and heft might be another thing. Of course, the whole point of the DE not using a boiler is that it doesn't need to be big, so whereas a bigger machine might be better when it uses a boiler for thermal stability, that is not an indicator of quality for the DE. The DE actually has better stability by being smaller, since it needs to maintain the water reservoir at a base temperature. Maybe it's materials quality? Many high end machines are using teflon tubing and high end machines have parts that need replacement occasionally, such as elements that burn out and which it is accepted are parts that will need to be replaced from time to time. Most machines have circuit boards in them (and without cooling fans, I might add). So what specific parts in the DE is it that people think aren't high quality? The ultem mixing chamber? The vibe pump? But - as much as I hate vibe pumps with a passion - I'm grudgingly forced to admit that they're used in things like vending machines and the best comparison of vibe vs rotary to date is still Ken Fox and Jim Schulman's thorough shootout between two otherwise identical machines in which they could not pick the difference blind.

    So I struggle to see exactly which components of the DE mean that it should be cheaper, and by how much, compared with an e61 box. Most of the e61 boxes look like they have fairly little R&D in them and they use mainly standard components. Now I'll accept that they probably need a bit of work to tune everything, but nowhere near as much work as has gone into making the DE. To my mind, the question shouldn't be why is the DE so expensive, but, rather, why is any e61 box machine worth any more than, say, the $2k or so that a BDB goes for? They're so drastically much simpler and made from standard parts that it really does feel that anything more than $2k is a bit of a try on. The mass produced metal parts can't be that much more expensive than the components in the DE. I suspect the true answer is probably that labour in Italy simply commands a higher price than labour in Hong Kong (or Shenzen via HK).

    In spite of all of this, I'm the first to admit that I hate the light weight of the DE and its size and vibe pump noise make it feel cheap. This was the emotional response that I had to confront when buying the DE. Frankly, I really think that they ought to have made the machine a little bigger, put it in a chassis with a thick metal frame in it, put a lot of acoustic insulation around the vibe pumps and put a lead plate in the bottom of it. Then they could have put a few nice heavy clicky switches on the front and the whole thing would have seemed much more satisfactory.

    I don't know ... I come away from all of this thinking what is a reasonable price for any espresso machine?
    Dimal, justacuppa, AlexG and 2 others like this.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeinator View Post
    We shall then agree to disagree again then! Seems we do that a fair bit.

    Like you, I have extensive experience on and in a multitude of machines from Tata through to Ferrari. .

    FWIW, I ditched my DE1+ after 3 weeks. The bloke who purchased it did the same. Just goes to show that others are clearly "just plain wrong" as well.

    Regardless for milky coffee in the main, the Decent is way beyond what our OP will ever require. In addition, the reality that there is no local service nor support (according to their website) will be a dealbreaker for many.
    G'day Caffeinator

    It took me 4 1/2 months to tame a Strada, which is far less complex than the DE1. Getting a DE1 to dance in three weeks would be too tall a mountain for me to climb (other than using presets). Anyone who wants instant gratification from their DE1 will probably be disappointed and "move it on up the road". Having said that, I would still like to know what egregious fault annoyed you and your mate so much?

    My own clearly stated main "DE1 issue" is that it does not shoot and froth simultaneously - and I am back to having an extra machine on the bench as a milk frother after a few years of a lowly (very underrated) 6910 being capable of both. FWIW, in 10 months I have only steamed one lot of milk in the DE1 to test it worked (it did).

    My other annoyance is more general but minor (until you have 40+ people cuing for a cuppa) - like far too many other "new tech machines (including digital cameras and DVR recorders)" there is a delay between hitting "start" and getting action. With my La Pav and most earlier commercial machines there is no delay. The DE1 is about middle in terms of that delay - and being "old school" those delays still drive me mental. FYI, the 6910 is just over 1 second. As a result, I am highly likely to get the DE1Cafe simply to fix those issues - it will shoot and froth, the delay is down to 2 seconds (still 1.5 seconds too long in my view). It will also save some needed bench space.

    Moving on: The OP was looking at the DE1 / Bianca range or I would not have taken the time to comment. No way is it "way beyond what our OP will ever require" unless you are assuming he is unwilling / unable to tinker and / or the OP does not care what his cuppa tastes like. Fairly specious either way.

    Local service: your call. Perth has only one repairer I would trust and numerous cowboys - look up my own experience with 5 Senses on Journeyman's epic "my new machine" thread https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...tml#post507869 - they actually replaced the collar on my 6910 by forcing an ill fitting (by design) 6900 one and bending the frame to fit! Some guys should not be trusted with a cheap pod machine repair. Several of my friends have had botched repairs from other servicing guys over here - and almost all of them I ended up fixing myself, often with no parts needed (unless, like three other machines from other "repair cowboys", the idiot used the wrong part in the repair).

    Over to the DE1 service: Twice now John at Decent has sent me upgraded (minor) parts for my DE1 on the basis that some of them have failed in other machines. All my original parts are still fine, these were unannounced free "replacements" off his own bat. I cannot fault that level of service. Perhaps that is why the DE1 is a relatively expensive machine - you actually get good service with it (sigh, why is that unusual?).

    A brief comment from Luca's post about rotary vs vibratory pumps - my La Pav (rotary) makes worse coffee than my 6910 (vibe) for two pump related reasons
    1) The rotary pumps is about the size (and probably power) of an old Holden starter motor.
    2) It is an instant start pump (like 90+% of rotaries in espresso machines).
    As a result of all that power it cannot even be easily fooled into doing preinfusion (i.e. flicking it on briefly). Any light to medium roast needs some preinfusion to really shine and the La Pav simply cannot deliver.

    Enjoy your cuppa


    TampIt
    Last edited by TampIt; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:03 PM.



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