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Thread: Decent coffee accessories

  1. #1
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    Decent coffee accessories

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I've started this new topic, away from our espresso machine http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...ughts-999.html

    This topic is only for discussing our coffee accessories.

    I'm in the process of making videos showing each thing we make. Today, I released two new videos.

    -john





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    the last of the videos.

    This wraps up all the videos I needed to make to describe every espresso accessory I've made in the past 3 years.

    It's a bit strange that I put all this energy into making a new product, and then don't find the time to explain it.

    On a separate topic...

    I have two new accessories currently in development:

    1) a "pour over basket", to help you make V60-style pour-overs with your espresso machine. I'm working with Scott Rao on this. The goal is to create the right spray angle, and the right amount of turbulence. Our current prototype has 11 calibrated holes in a blank portafilter basket.

    preview-lightbox-Basket_Pattern-of-11 hole_DSC_3124.jpg

    2) a puck simulator (essentially, a blind basket with a calibrated laser-cut hole)

    And I'll post news about them here, when I've made progress on them. The "puck simulator" is ready to go, but I don't expect it'll be a "big seller", so I'm waiting until Rao is happy with the "pour over basket" and will make the two of them at the same time, since they're variations on each other.

    -john






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    I'm looking at ordering a Decent Scale shortly; are they still on track for shipping 1st Jan as indicated on the website?

    Also, I see the API is open; are you able to share any information about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    I'm looking at ordering a Decent Scale shortly; are they still on track for shipping 1st Jan as indicated on the website?
    We're going to miss that Jan 1 date, probably by about 2 months. I am receiving beta 1 this week, of the finished scale. This will be my first time using the firmware rewritten from scratch with a new manufacturer I chose. The previous manufacturer I chose had it all done, but their final quoted price to us was crazy (we'd be more expensive than Acaia!), so I had to restart again with another company, hence the long delays.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Also, I see the API is open; are you able to share any information about it?
    The Decent Scale API will be very close to the same API of the Skale 2 that we currently sell. Here is the documentation I wrote:
    https://decentespresso.com/scale_api

    The main thing that will change is that the magic BLE numbers associated with a manufacturer ID will need to be different. And there is a bit more to the API to support the timer I added.

    Nonetheless, it's super trivial to get weight data from this scale. You just subscribe to the characteristic in Bluetooth and weight is streamed to you 10 times per second. No DRM or legal agreements needed. :-)

    Here is a photo of the prototype, partially disassembled. Naturally, the plastic in the final one will not be this ugly cream-colored stuff.

    screen 2018-12-02 at 1.12.44 PM.png

    – John
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    I just bought the Decent thermometer as a Christmas present to me from my wife - but I seem to be using it already!

    The thing I like is the response speed compared with the mechanical thermometers I have been using. They lag almost 10-degrees from the actual temp. (ie: if I want 60-degree milk, stop at an indicated 50) This one is lagging only about two and is more consistent over the range, as compared with my multi-meter.

    The head is much larger than the cheaper mechanical unit, but I’ll get used to it.

    Now maybe I might drill a hole in my jug if I can find a drill bit I don’t mind blunting on the SS.

  6. #6
    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    yep the decent thermometers are the best i've ever used. very small lag behind temperature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve7 View Post
    The head is much larger than the cheaper mechanical unit, but I’ll get used to it.
    The head is indeed larger because this was originally a meat thermometer, where the head size was not as important:

    ET578A.png

    I was able to convince Mingle https://www.mingle-instrument.de/et578a/ to modify this model to become a milk thermometer. But reducing the size would have meant going with a different company, and I knew this German manufacturer's thermometers already because I used their meat thermometers myself in my kitchen.

    if you do put a hole in your milk jug you'll find that the head is no longer in the way like it is if you use a clip. Personally, I think the reason that people rarely use thermometers is because the workflow is tedious. The hole in the milk jug helps a lot.

    I did a lot of experimenting on different hole sizes and found that 5.4mm was ideal. This provides a small amount of grip on the thermometer and keeps it from rotating or falling out as you pour milk out.

    decent_hole_specification.jpg

    You can see how this is supposed to work in the video below:



    -john
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    I did a lot of experimenting on different hole sizes and found that 5.4mm was ideal. This provides a small amount of grip on the thermometer and keeps it from rotating or falling out as you pour milk out.

    -john
    That's useful - you don't see many 5.4mm drill bits!! and it falls just under 7/32, so maybe a 13/64 and a very small file!

    But all is saved - apparently I am getting one of your jugs - with the hole - for Christmas from my daughter. You have saved her the stress of working out what to get something for someone "who has everything" apparently.
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  9. #9
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    Progress on the Decent scale

    WechatIMG822.jpeg

    The scale firmware has been written. Now we are waiting for black plastic versions of the parts to test for appropriate transparency, heat resistance, and quality. We still need to write the Bluetooth implementation and then go through beta testing. A few more monthsí work still, sorry!

    -john

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    I was gifted a Decent knockbox for christmas. Loving it so far. Fair bit bigger than my last one but best of all I won't be cleaning coffee mess of the side of my coffee hutch any more. Bigger size means that I can now also knock with the basket basically behind the bar meaning the puck now comes out in one knock. I run a 21g pullman precision basket and used to have problems getting the puck to come out as I had to strike the bar with the middle of the basket

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    WechatIMG822.jpeg

    The scale firmware has been written. Now we are waiting for black plastic versions of the parts to test for appropriate transparency, heat resistance, and quality. We still need to write the Bluetooth implementation and then go through beta testing. A few more months’ work still, sorry!

    -john
    Need any Beta testers John?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mentasm View Post
    I was gifted a Decent knockbox for christmas. Loving it so far. Fair bit bigger than my last one but best of all I won't be cleaning coffee mess of the side of my coffee hutch any more. Bigger size means that I can now also knock with the basket basically behind the bar meaning the puck now comes out in one knock. I run a 21g pullman precision basket and used to have problems getting the puck to come out as I had to strike the bar with the middle of the basket
    I presume this knockbox is Bluetooth enabled and sends back the puck weight to the Decent Espresso machine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by theonetruepath View Post
    I presume this knockbox is Bluetooth enabled and sends back the puck weight to the Decent Espresso machine?
    It measures Extraction Yield (EY%) in cup by calculating total remaining undissolved coffee solids in the spent puck.

    -john

  14. #14
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    That would actually be doable if you measured the weight of the puck and its moisture content, which could be measured by NIR. The difference between initial and final dry mass would give you the extract.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    That would actually be doable if you measured the weight of the puck and its moisture content, which could be measured by NIR. The difference between initial and final dry mass would give you the extract.
    I was planning on asking Google.


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    Iíd always felt that analog thermometers lagged behind digital, but now hereís a video showing the lag while steaming milk. Thanks to Montreal-based Halta Boutique for making this video.

    -john
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  17. #17
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    Countersunk Decent knockbox

    csunkkb.jpg

    Using a 130mm "drill bit"

  18. #18
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    Thanks for this demonstration of lag between analog and digital thermometers, I wonder if you can do a demonstration between digital thermometer and temperature strips that you can stick onto the side of your pitchers?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    This wraps up all the videos I needed to make to describe every espresso accessory I've made in the past 3 years.

    It's a bit strange that I put all this energy into making a new product, and then don't find the time to explain it.

    On a separate topic...

    I have two new accessories currently in development:

    1) a "pour over basket", to help you make V60-style pour-overs with your espresso machine. I'm working with Scott Rao on this. The goal is to create the right spray angle, and the right amount of turbulence. Our current prototype has 11 calibrated holes in a blank portafilter basket.

    preview-lightbox-Basket_Pattern-of-11 hole_DSC_3124.jpg

    2) a puck simulator (essentially, a blind basket with a calibrated laser-cut hole)

    And I'll post news about them here, when I've made progress on them. The "puck simulator" is ready to go, but I don't expect it'll be a "big seller", so I'm waiting until Rao is happy with the "pour over basket" and will make the two of them at the same time, since they're variations on each other.

    -john
    Any updates on when the 'pour over basket' is ready? Looks really interesting!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by EzLau View Post
    Any updates on when the 'pour over basket' is ready? Looks really interesting!
    Just this week we ordered the fifth round of shower basket designs to be manufactured (as prototypes), and I expect this to be the final round. So, hopefully in about a month we will be able to send these to manufacturing for mass production.

    As a side note, though these baskets were made specifically for our espresso machine (Due to our machines' control over flow and also its temperature profiling), they are standard 58mm baskets.

    Scott Rao has told me that he's been able to make acceptable pour-overs with a La Marzocco pro machine using these baskets. Thus, use of these baskets is not limited to our machines.

    -john


    preview-lightbox-Pour over coffee Basketprototype_20190118.jpg

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by EzLau View Post
    Thanks for this demonstration of lag between analog and digital thermometers, I wonder if you can do a demonstration between digital thermometer and temperature strips that you can stick onto the side of your pitchers?
    I would expect the lag would be highly dependent on the thickness of the milk jug. It would be hard to generalize.

    The reason I say this is that our milk jugs are intentionally quite thin walled (0.8mm) so that you can feel the temperature with your palm very quickly. Most jugs are made thicker, so that they are heavier duty, but then there is more heat latency. It's basically a compromise between heat latency and toughness.

    That being said, I would expect heat strips to have similar latency to analog thermometers. I did use one about five years ago, and found it to be a bit slow. The temperature would rise for about 10 seconds after I stopped steaming. Your experience might be different.

    – John

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    I have your Decent Tamper v2 and am enjoying not worrying whether my puck is level! However, I'm still having trouble with applying consistent pressure. I know that I'm applying at least 25 pounds because of the spring, but do you have any plans to introduce an audible or tactile feedback like the Espro Calibrated Tamper?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by EzLau View Post
    I have your Decent Tamper v2 and am enjoying not worrying whether my puck is level! However, I'm still having trouble with applying consistent pressure. I know that I'm applying at least 25 pounds because of the spring, but do you have any plans to introduce an audible or tactile feedback like the Espro Calibrated Tamper?
    Probably not with this v2 tamper design. My focus with that tamper is level tamping, whereas the v1 grooved tamper is about pressure calibration, and in that design I was able to give audible feedback.

    I have an idea for combining the two designs, but it'll make it quite complicated internally (two springs), thus both more expensive, and more prone to failure. Maybe for next year...

    -john

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    Decent Scale update

    Two prototypes (beta 2) arrived yesterday. These thankfully fix all the physical problems I had with beta 1. And, there's mostly-working BLE on these (and some bugs).

    One thing we learned is that if you tightly wrap a scale in bubble wrap and then masking tape, that you'll decalibrate the load cell from that insistent pressure on it.

    So, I learned how to calibrate the scale, and made a video showing how it's done.



    At the moment, all the problems I see are firmware based.

    For instance, if you drop a object (a binder clip, in my case) on the scale, the Decent Scale firmware is currently too fast at deciding on the "final" weight, and the object is still causing vibrations on the platform. This speediness makes the "final" weight fluctuate a bit (by about 1/2 a gram). The brewista scale I'm comparing it to waits about a 1/2 of second longer for the weight to settle before deciding on the final weight, and gives the same weight every time.

    We're going to work on the boxing/packaging next. Not from a marketing perspective, but from a "protect the scale and its calibration" perspective, and how to do so with the least material waste possible. It'll likely all be cleverly folded cardboard.
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  25. #25
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    WBC sighting : Decent Milk Jug

    jug_wbc_2019.jpg

    Super delighted and surprised to see 2x Canadian Barista Champion Cole Torode using our milk jugs at today's World Barista Championship, and scoring #3 in the world.

    Thatís last yearís WBC champion Agnieszka Rojewska peeking in the photo. She used our Decent Funnel in her winning performance.

    -john
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  26. #26
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    A Quick Tour of the Decent Scale



    This is the "beta 0.2" version I've got in my hands. Getting closer to something I'll be happy with. Probably still another 3 months to go, until I have saleable quantities of this new product.

    -john

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    beta 3 decent scale

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Here's a video I just received of the beta three Decent scale. This seems to solve the latency issues with increasing weight, and returns to an acceptable weight quickly as well. Responsiveness looks comparable to Brewista which is my baseline.


    
    David V wrote:
    Will there be any improvement of the user experience or feature set with the Decent Scale compared to the Skale?
    The main advantages of this scale over the Atomax Skale are:

    1. more waterproof design
    2. four AA batteries for longer life
    3. separate LED for timer
    4. wider, narrower design accommodates two lattes at once (i.e., double spouted portafilter)


    Here is the PDF user manual I wrote: https://decentespresso.com/img/decent_scale_manual.pdf
    
    



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