It peaks at 6 bar, holds for a bit, then moves slowly down 4 bar. I specifically made it for new users, and for those who are experiencing channeling/splatter.
Let's get you a "no splatter happy place" first. Once you get to that point, you can slowly up the pressure (both held and declined) by 1 bar at a time, to get a more complicated taste extraction until you start to see splatter again. Then, work on small puck prep technique changes (such as homogenizing the grind with a milk jug), when you're right at the splatter/no-splatter point, so you can really see the effect of any changes you make. When things are going to hell, it's very hard to tell if you're improving things or not.
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Anyways, I was lucky that I had dialed the "Default" present previously. It took 4 or 5 shots. To figure it out. So when you posted the recipe I knew what I needed to do and got "lucky" on the first try. I was very excited.
I tried +4C, but didn't adjust the grind (it was over 14 hrs later). I knew I should have, but was unsure of how much. So the next shot was too fine and the recipe finished at ~32g. The grinder could be adjusted by a number or so I think. The bitterness was back, but not in a bad way. Still, I know this could be better. Either way, it was a fun shot to watch.
I'm super happy with this grinder and it will do great while I wait for a Helor Stance Motor.
Mr Jack previously posted all his results here on Coffee Snobs, some loooong time ago, I believe it was on this thread. I've previously found it, but it took 20 minutes.
More importantly, the data I gave Mr Jack was a random assortment of shots that I had done both in the factory, and whilst on the road. I didn't consider the data set to be all that useful (too uncontrolled) but I think Mr Jack's goal was to take a preliminary look.
At any rate, my plan is for next summer to have a cloud service in place, so that people who turn wifi on their Decent Android tablets, will have each espresso stored in the cloud. That shot data will be publicly available, along with everything about that shot (such as the desired shot parameters) so that proper analysis can then happen. I don't feel that Decent's data is at that stage now.
Scott Rao was able to achieve a 24.5% extraction yield with his 1:3 espressos, and a relatively inexpensive Baratza grinder.
Now, new Decent customer Rasmus Oxholm is using Rao's "Blooming Espresso" technique on his DE1PRO + an EK with SSP burrs, with a 1:2.5 shot, and achieving a 27 extraction.
Interesting developments, for those of us who track refractometer results.
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I was optimistic to start making v1.1 espresso machines at the end of September, but 3 suppliers have notified us of delays on their end. The mixing chambers, which have valves molded into them, are 3 weeks delayed, as are all the CNC manufactured parts. That puts is "parts complete" in mid-October, if everyone delivers according to their current promises. So, the first v1.1 machines should start to ship to customers toward the end of October.
Some back story:
Our v1.0 machines were really "from scratch" by us, whereas for v1.1 we're trying to have a few other companies do a bit of prep work for us.
All our cables were hand-made by us for v1.0. I bought the specialist equipment and all the parts. But, it's very time to consuming, especially if a dedicated company can make a cable with even more expensive specialist equipment (or maybe robotically). And, we don't have the same kind of test equipment (or test knowledge) that a specialist would have.
For example, we've had a lot of issues getting all our cables to stay tight (not shake loose) during shipping and that's been the leading cause of "dead on arrival" espresso machines for customers. Luckily, this is usually quickly resolved by opening the case and the customer seeing a disconnected cable, but that's still far from ideal.
With v1.1, we're working with BMA https://www.bma-tech.com/ to make all our cables, but it's taking more time than we'd like. With the samples they made for us, we found a number of issues, from too-short insulation on certain connectors to easy-to-pull-of on others. So, they've made a 2nd attempt, and now a 3rd attempt.
In the meantime, if it turns out that we have everything we need to ship v1.1 espresso machines, we'll simply revert to making small batches of the cables ourselves.
Attached is our GANNT chart, that Fabrice maintains, in order to track all the dependencies.
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I appreciate your honesty.
FWIW I didn't expect my order until mid to late October at the earliest anyway, so no pressure from me in any way.
Murphy's Law no 64 (if memory serves correctly): "Interchangeable parts wont" - like your wiring harness Mk1 and Mk2. Been there too many times to count.
Well I have been 'playing' with my new DE1+ for a couple of weeks now .......this is a whole new experience to the old Via Venezia !
I am a little challenged as I don't yet have a grinder, really wanting a Helor Stance Motor, but have been persisting with a Merlo 3.0 grind and the 'Gentle and Sweet' profile and happy with the results until a grinder arrives.
Had plenty of kind (non judgemental) assistance from the owners forum in getting this working.
But in spite of this limitation and a steep learning curve in good puck preparation, the Decent Tamper MkII is helping me to achieve reasonably consistent results. Just love to be able to watch the extraction, then adjust a little for the next one.
Starting to venture into new profiles, and just loving the journey, that can only improve with a grinder.
DE is great for Milk frothing, it's almost fool-proof for 2 cups of lovely silky fine milk, still struggling a little to get it right for a single flat white as it is so quick.
For me it was really worth the wait, from an aesthetics perspective, it is nice and compact machine, with a clean design and feels well made, just love the ceramic trays and the shiny front plate.
So much to still understand, learn and explore with this little box ........ one happy punter ..... or is that fanboy.
As an absolute novice with this stuff, the ability to explore with the pre-defined profiles is just sensational.
- less noise on pressure and flow, because of much faster and more accurate flow calculating. That then is causing much smoother driving of the pumps (and it appears: less channeling, and less demanding puck prep from the barista)
- more accurate flow measurements, coming from a new math model for the internals.
- a higher max flow rate (8 ml/s vs 6 ml/s) so that we can more accurately copy La Marzocco's fast-ramp-up shots.
Ray has been 8 months, full time on this, and we were never assured of success (that's R&D, unforunatately) but things are looking positive now.
Here's a before vs after set of shots that John Weiss posted yesterday:
I am trying out the new firmware now and it has made quite a difference. Much smoother shot with less fussy puck prep. Spatter nearly gone too. There may be bugs yet to be discovered, but so far, I think the new firmware has significantly improved the result for me in the cup. Amazing.
Decent customer Brandon posted a message a few days ago that the GFI interrupter on his electric plug was tripping. He noticed a little bit of water coming out the left side of the espresso machine.
I'm glad the GFI was tripping, because that's exactly what the safety systems are supposed to do when there is a leak.
Brandon then opened up the espresso machine, saw that the water drip was due to a small leak when the machine was under pressure, and he followed the water trail through a hole on the bottom of the chassis. That hole is there as part of UL safety compliance.
We specifically made the machine drip water out the sides, instead of on the bottom, so that any water leak like this would be very noticeable by customers. When something fails, a good design is one where it fails extremely visibly.
At any rate, we know what the cause of the problem is. The majority of the machines we have shipped include a 3D printed 180° bend reinforcement. However, I had argued that this was no longer needed because the Teflon tubes, once they have been bent for a long time, stay in shape. My engineer Johnny was not in agreement. A few machines went out without this reinforcement, and one has leaked now. So, Johnny was right.
We are sending Brandon a free replacement assembly, complete with tube, reinforcement and O-rings (photo of care package below). My engineers also extracted the relevant sections from our in-house assembly manual and I posted that to the discussion.
FYI All this discussion happened publicly on our owner's forum, with all 300 other decent espresso customers being able to read everything. The hope is that by being transparent about problems and how we deal with them, that people will have greater trust in us.
General question for mods. Shouldn't this thread be in the Extreme Machines forum given these are $4k+ machines?
I was quite interested in that at the time, but things have changed a LOT since this thread started.
Java "Ah the dangers of an all-in-one thread" phile
Toys! I must have new toys!!!
Aren’t all the DE machines “extreme machines” regardless of price?
I had a laugh, sorry couldn’t help it #fanboy
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Because our espresso machine design has an extra handle on the group head, for me it’s really important that the portafilter lines juuuuuust right on the group head, once it’s locked in.
I’m obviously not the only one who notices this, as photos of this alignment appear frequently on social media (two examples above).
Getting this fit right is really finicky, because it’s down to tenths-of-a-millimeter tolerances, as you’re slowly tightening something against a rubber gasket.
The way we accomplish this perfect alignment is by using precision cut fiberglass insulators. We order them in a variety of thicknesses, and then we figure out—by actually assembling them— which works best. A computer CAD model can’t do the job.
Our v1.1 group head parts have changed, because we removed 4mm of headspace above the basket in an effort to dry the puck to help make it easy to knock out, after an espresso.
So…. in the photo above, you can see the steps my engineers have taken over the past week, to get the alignment just right, again, with this latest espresso machine version that we’re about to ship.
A few weeks ago I put a new system in place for keeping track of each customer who had a problem with one of their espresso machines.
Quite a few people at Decent Espresso get involved when a customer has a problem, so I decided to use the basecamp forum software to manage it. We now make each new customer problem into a Basecamp to-do item, which only gets completed once everything is okay with that customer.
Two recent events precipitated my formalizing how we handle repairs:
1) we now have a special low-cost return rate with UPS, so that we can organize for an espresso machine pick up from the customer's location and send it back to Hong Kong for our cost of only $70. Since we offer a two-year warranty, we pay for this.
2) Back in Hong Kong, We keep a stock of refurbished machines and we send one of these to a customer immediately when there is a problem that requires a repair. It usually takes 48 hours for the replacement machine to arrive with the customer. This way, we don't make the customer wait while the repair happens: ideally, they don't go without caffeine for more than a few days. :-)
For those that are curious, here is a PDF of the complete conversation about Lars' problem and how we resolved it.
In this particular case, a capacitor on the AC power board blew. Ray worried that there might be a design flaw in his schematic, so some extra conversation around that ensued with Parry who had done the repair. In the end, we didn't see a design flaw, and as this is the first time this particular problem has occurred, we will log it and watch to see if it recurs.
There are two positive outcomes to this new approach we are taking to repairs:
1) no matter where you are in the world, we now have an efficient way to swap the machine out and get you a replacement very quickly. We no longer need you to post your machine to a repairman in your country.
2) Each problem that a customer has is now discussed among all of us, including the engineers responsible for the design so that the possibility of improving our design to prevent problems is greatly facilitated. If the same problem occurs several times, that should be very visible to us.
Excellent customer support management John. Some of the best I've seen...
Saw this post on your insta page and also thought what great customer support. Definitely one of the best in the business
A few months ago, decent espresso users with a talent for CAD made a replacement stand for the Bluetooth scale we sell, enabling the scale to fit under the drip tray.
This has a number of benefits:
– the scale is no longer in the way when you are making an espresso shot
– you don't have to worry about getting water on the scale
– you gain about an extra 2 1/2 cm (1") of cup height clearance by not having the scale on the tray
– you don't have to look at the "not very pretty" Atomax Skale as it is now mostly hidden :-)
– you can plug the scale into USB power and the cable doesn't get in the way. No more (re)pairing with the Bluetooth scale each morning, since you powered it off to save the batteries.
I've been working with a friend of Scott Rao named Dan Elis, who owns a small 3D printing business near Scott. Dan has redesigned the scale stand that my customers created so that it is much more economical to produce. It significantly less plastic now. It should also be much less susceptible to warping from heat.
Currently, I've been asking people who want to weigh-under-the-drip tray to download the free CAD file and arrange to have it 3D printed locally to them.
I am making arrangements with Dan to have him print 20 of these, so that I can simply sell them to people who want to do this.
Of course, people who want to do this themselves are welcome to use the free CAD model. As Dan has put a bunch of CAD work into his version, he'd like to charge a little bit for his.
More news soon…
I've received a few emails from people saying they're "quite interested" to hear "how things go wrong" with an espresso machine, so I'm continuing this series of articles.
Decent customer Roger reported he had two problems at once: occasionally out of water and occasional terrible pump noises.
Here's his tech support log:
I decided that we should immediately swap his machine.
Parry indicated that we had no machines ready to send, just two machines in our "hospital". I asked him to pull parts from one bad machine to make another whole. One machine only problem is a sheared screw on the front mirror panel, but it's (sadly) impossible to fix without cosmetic damage.
Powering up Roger's machine, the debug logs showed "0" on two different numbers. Parry concluded that two pins on an internal data cable had an intermittent connection. Replaced the cable, all ok.
For all the v1.0 machines, we've hand-made all cables ourselves. With our v1.1 espresso machines, we're switching to a professional cable manufacturer http://www.bma-tech.com - they've got much more advanced tech than we have, and each cable has been CAD drawn, and had its specs scrutinized. More expensive cable ends are being used now for almost all cables.
Coming soon, this debug log feature will be also available inside the DE1+ Android tablet app. At the moment, a special cable is needed. This will help us diagnose problems remotely, more effectively. Customer will then have the choice of receiving just the replacement part, or a swapped machine.
What I'm calling "refurbished" is a machine that:
1) had a problem
2) we got the machine back to our factory
3 we fixed the problem
4) we cleaned the internals of coffee and calcification
5) that machine now has a new 2 year warranty on it
So how's this different to refurbished? Sounds like you have views, however, there does not appear to be a standard definition for either. And, of course, why would there be?
Yep, we probably all different views on what it means...
Refurbished to me means only a very general going over, make sure it works and then put it back on the shelf.
Then replace any component that is faulty, or out of specification, showing signs of wear, etc.
After that, the machine is fully assembled again (manufactured) with updated (current production) components and tested to as new condition.
Refurbishing is just fixing what is wrong and cleaning the machine
I see topshot's definition of remanufactured is different to Dimal's. Of course it would be, since it is not a standard manufacturing term. So let's not debate this rather trivial subject and let John get on with what he does best - the development of an amazing machine.
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Long before we started manufacturing, my plan was to diverge the Pro and plus models, so as to achieve cost savings. However, diving into this further I found that the increased complexity of having two models actually cost more than the cost savings of divergence.
So, in the end, all the espresso machines that we have made are identical except that the pro models have longer life pumps and valves in them. The functionality is identical.
Every machine we have sold is capable of being plumbed in.
We are about to take delivery of the catering kits, which will automatically refill the water tank from an unpressurized water source such as a 10 L water jug.
We are still working out the exact fittings for a plumbed drip tray, but we have finalized the ceramic design and received samples, so that is going to manufacturing shortly. It will take about two months for us to receive the ceramic drip trays that have the built-in plumbing.
The plumbing kits, which will automatically refill the water tank from a pressurized water source, are still being finalized. We are sourcing the correct fittings (photo below)so that they will work both in Europe and America, ideally so that customers will have a quick connect and not need to talk to a plumber at all.
These three parts will all be available to plus customers, to purchase if they want. Pro customers will receive these three parts in the mail as soon as we have them in stock. These three parts are what we collectively referred to as the "refill kit"
The prices will be (USD$):
- plumbing kit $400
- catering kit $400
- plumbed drip tray and tubing $200
as stated above, Pro customers will receive these items at no additional cost soon.
The design of all this is such that you can choose to be plumbed in or not and switch back-and-forth at any time.
You will have a plumbed drip tray and a normal one. And the refill kits can be attached or not as you wish.
You can also do whatever hybrid you prefer, such as having the water tank automatically refill but not plumbing in the drip tray. You might want to do this if you want the scale to sit underneath the drip tray but still get most of the benefits of being plumbed in.
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With our DE1+/DE1PRO espresso machines, we know precisely how much energy is going into the steam.
So, it should be a straightforward calculation for the tablet app to know when the steam should stop: no thermometer required.
We will need to know:
- the starting temperature (presumably out of the refrigerator, so fairly constant)
- the desired end temperature
- the amount of milk
I made a simple Excel spreadsheet to test this out and found that the numbers it yielded were correct when I actually tried to steam these volumes of milk. http://magnatune.com/p/milk_calcs.xlsx
I also mocked up a GUI with quick buttons for goal temperatures and milk volumes. The idea being that a café would be making a few different kinds of milky drinks in a definite range of temperatures. I would probably need to make these buttons configurable to different volumes and temperatures.
This feature is fairly straightforward for me to implement as a calculator button on the tablet app. Tap it to calculate the steam timeout that is appropriate.
This feature becomes a little bit more complicated in about six months when we start having 8% more powerful steam heaters in our standard machines (1350W vs 1500W), and a lot more complicated in our café model which will have variable power steam.
- The first problem is fairly easily solved with a serial number indicating the power of these steam heater.
- The second problem is solvable if instead of calculating a steam timeout, I tell the espresso machine how many joules of power is desired, and this becomes something the espresso machine calculates and uses to stop the steam as appropriate.
Attached above are two screen mockups I did in Excel.
I very much like the idea of being able to steam to a known goal temperature without needing to use a thermometer.
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Hello everyone, I suppose this is my first post here on coffee snobs.
I am not one to restrain myself from sharing my thoughts, but I always take my own ideas with a big grain of salt, and trust everyone else would do the same...it's not like I have any particular expertise in most areas, so just throwing out my nickel and adding a few quarters in for good measure.
1. Great Idea:
I think the idea sounds great. The first thought that jumped to my mind was that it would be desirable in that situation to actually have a stand that holds the pitcher for the user, especially if there was simultaneous steaming and brewing. Then it could free up the Barista's hands to do other tasks. Kind of kills the magic I guess but then again it sounds fantastic also. (and anyone looking into these machines is obviously not going for the "magic" of nostalgia, but rather the "magic" of science., so it's probably a winner conceptually amongst potential buyers)
In fact, as I thought on it I decided that this was really the single most important element to tie it together. If the Barista has to stand there and hold the milk, then the single fastest and easiest thing for him/her to do will be to cut the steam when he sees the temp hit the target temperature. Any other steps will only make the process longer and more obtuse since he has to hold the pitcher anyway--and many Barista probably do it based on sound and feel after years of experience (as I did with my La Pavoni after a while), so the other steps will only be counter productive if he is still standing there holding the pitcher. If the plan is for the Barista to hold then pitcher then I think the idea is dead before it starts, to be honest.
2. Incorporate the Bluetooth scale:
Then I thought, you already have a Bluetooth scale. You could potentially remove the step of entering the weight of the milk thereby stream lining the process and removing user error if the wrong weight were entered. If all the user had to do was push a dedicated button (or hold down a couple buttons that had been updated to signal a "milk tare") then the computer could automatically enter the weight itself.
3. Dedicated holder, built in scale, auto tare with instant connection to setting prompts on tablet:
Then I thought, if you really wanted to optimize conditions, you could just build a dedicated pitcher holder WITH built in scale positioned under the steam wand to allow the pitcher to simply be placed-auto tare- milk poured, button pushed from series of preset temperatures that show up when it detects a pitcher is placed, and then the Barista would freed to do whatever else was needed.
(A manual mode should of course be available at all times in case of tablet connectivity issues etc.)
4. Safety issues:
I think the idea of going without a thermometer might be impossible for this reason. What if there is some sort of lag in the system that causes for an over heat. What if the Barista entered the wrong weight or the starting temperature of the milk was incorrectly entered? Could this result in the Barista serving dangerously hot milk to a customer? I think the answer has to be yes, there are risks. A temperature should be seen to verify safety. If not, who is going to be in jeopardy if someone gets seriously burned?
However, in case 3 above the process is all hands free apart from pouring milk ant at most selected a temperature (which might not be necessary anyway). All it would take is a thermometer in the pitcher to allow the barista to visually check it as he poured, and ensure safety, giving one the best of both worlds.
You could also build a dedicated pitcher with a built in thermometer. Running the steaming by the thermometer would probably require a very expensive thermometer, but using a basic model with a Bluetooth connection to verify temperatures and signal if something is way out of tolerance is probably easy enough.
Imagine the dedicated pitcher stand, automatically weighing and then initializing the steaming to a set temperature that also had a built in thermometer that conveyed the temperature on the screen as well as on the top flat section of the pitcher handle so that the computer could verify the temperature when finishing and the Barista could easily verify the appropriate temperature had been reached and the milk was ready and safe to serve. Sounds great to me
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I have made a world map of half our customers.
You can see that most of our clients are in America, German-speaking Europe, and Australia.
I occasionally get requests from people asking if there is a decent espresso machine at a home near where they live. I'm not willing to disclose anyone's address without their permission. However, we're going to trial an idea I have of emailing the existing customer personally to see if they are interested in making contact with the other person. If it turns out that people find this annoying, we'll stop. :-)
Why only half our customers?
About half the customers would not import, due to https://www.mapcustomizer.com not recognizing the address. I could not figure out what the problem was. Here are two typical addresses that would not import even though they appear perfectly normal and can be read by Google maps, in case you can advise me as to what the problem is.
6205 Martha Oak Lane, Knoxville TN, 37918, US
1030 S Trenton Ave, Pittsburgh PA, 15221
Also, this idea requires you to move the scale to the right. Or, if you have the scale underneath the drip tray, the problem I have seen is that this much weight on the corner of the drip tray causes it to then touch the legs of the espresso machine, giving it a incorrect weight reading. The scale underneath the drip tray works well when the weight is centered on the drip tray, but not so well when it is far to the right.
Also, I think you should be measuring your milk volume anyway in order to make an appropriately diluted latte. Our milk jugs have measurement lines inside, so going to a scale is perhaps over complicating things.
In general, the design aesthetic here has been more pro-oriented, with less mechanical complexity, instead of more of a home user approach like the one that Breville takes. Both are completely reasonable approaches, but in general I'm trying to find approaches that are unlikely to fail. A steam timer is very clear in how it works, whereas a Bluetooth scale and a noise filtering algorithm is less likely to be 100% reliable.
However, a few days ago I actually had this exact discussion with Ray about weighing the milk jug. It might be something that works more reliably on the café model since were trying to make the entire drip tray into a weighing platform, with load sensors on all four corners. In that scenario, you could put the milk jug on the far right and it would still way correctly. The turbulence and weighing noise issues are still there, however.
However isn't that an issue at 90% of the cafés that steam milk with no thermometer at all? It's not unusual for me to get a latte that is much too hot from a café.
At the moment, what I am doing is using the steam timeout and a milk thermometer as well. That way I can verify that the milk is indeed the temperature I wanted but I don't have to be around to stop it. As you indicate, that dual set up might be the appropriate way for a café to run.
I hope you don't think I'm being negative about all your ideas. It's great to bat this around, but I am also a programmer and know that I am very fallible. Whatever I do put in place needs to be clear how it works and quite reliable.
A thermometer in the steam wand tip would be perfect, no need for weight, volume or start temp
That usually means that the steam wand is quite thick in order to provide the thermal isolation.
Breville has done the best job of this that I've seen, but I still think it's pretty unacceptable to advanced users.