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Thread: Decent Espresso Machines (DE1) - Any thoughts?

  1. #1801
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    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Looking forward to seeing the white one on sale. Any idea when that'll be available for the DE1PRO, or will it ever?

  2. #1802
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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post
    Attachment 21538

    It's hard for me to change everything on the machine to white, all at the same time, with the low quantity of machines that we are planning.

    Thus, for now, the group head handle and the portafilter handle and the tablet and the power cable will all still be black. As I reorder and change suppliers, if I am later able to get white versions I will upgrade white DE1XL customers to those whitened components over for free.

    A few minutes ago, we just ordered a sample of white silicone outer tubing for the steam wand. We'll see how it looks.

    Here's a render of the current "whiteness" of the machine.

    ps: thanks everyone for your feedback. We're going the the "whiter white" color, that was on the right.

    -john



    Gosh, beautiful!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by EzLau View Post
    Looking forward to seeing the white one on sale. Any idea when that'll be available for the DE1PRO, or will it ever?
    I don't have any current plans to make a white version of the DE1PRO. We're still making very few machines here (under 1000 per year), so we're at the lower limit of what manufacturers are willing to do at small quantities, at reasonable prices. So, only the DE1XL will be in black or white. The other machines will all be in black.

    -john

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    the natural look

    bubinga.jpg

    Decent Engineer Ben Champion used sandpaper to remove the black paint on our handles. This revealed the quite beautiful bubinga wood underneath. He oiled the wood, and hereís the result.

    Might look very nice on the white DE1XL, but it doesnít look bad on the black chassis either.

    -john
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    Jo„o Tomaz



    Iíve been working closely with Lisbon, Portugal based designer Jo„o Tomaz on every product Decent do.

    Thatís why we have such a strongly consistent design aesthetic, which comes out of the tradition of European Modernism (hello Bauhaus!).

    In this video, Joao shows a bit of his drawing and design skills.

    As our products are now designed, optimized, and shipping, Joao is now part-time with us, as I donít have enough work to keep his fertile mind fully occupied. If you need a bit of design help on your project, you couldnít do better than Joao.

    -john
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    Mice 2019 photos

    mice2019.jpg

    During quiet periods, Ben Champion took a few photos at the MICE 2019 coffee trade show in Melbourne, Australia.

    It's funny: everything looks so calm and quiet in those photos. That was actually true: when Ben could find a pause to take his camera out, things were quiet. Mostly, all 3 Decent locations at MICE were steadily busy. Ben spent all 3 days answering Decent questions at the Zest Specialty Coffee Roasters stand.

    A big thank you to Luca, who isn't a Decent Employee, for helping out on our stand at Veneziano Coffee Roasters. He wanted to get some quality time with the machine to learn about it, taste Scott Rao's roasts, try his hand with our upcoming pour-over basket, and attend Rao's roasting master class.

    -john
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    Natural Wood Handles

    screen 2019-03-11 at 2.23.11 PM.jpg

    I have put the order in with our wood handle supplier, to make a small quantity (250 each) of the portafilter and group head handles, in natural wood finish. The wood used is ash.

    It will take approximately 60 days for these to arrive, but they should look very similar to what Ben made by sanding the paint off and oiling the wood himself.

    If you’d like to order them, you can do so on this new "accessories" page and we will send them out to you when they come in stock.
    https://decentespresso.com/accessories

    These natural wood handles will be standard on the white DE1XL. But anyone can buy them for their machine, if they prefer this look.

    This is not meant to take away from the very creative work that some decent owners are doing in creating custom wood handles.

    W7RjJXa.jpg
    Last edited by decentespresso; 11th March 2019 at 05:59 PM.

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    WechatIMG2447.jpeg

    I just received this photo of the varnished ash that my woodturning company will be using for the natural-wood handles I've asked them to make (for the portafilter and group head). They're posting me this sample for approval.

    -john

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    Cupholder wire idea for DE1XL

    As the DE1XL has a screwed-down tablet stand, it occured to me recently that I could replace the screws with 40mm standoffs, and then use a stainless steel bent wire to hold the cups in place.

    Two years ago, Joao and I made some studies of this idea, but at the time we didn't see how to attach the wires securely, so I didn't make progress on the idea.

    Here is my favorite wire design looked like:
    
    orig.jpg
    
    Here is a rough prototype of the idea, obviously with not the "real" wire shape we'd use. Also, we'd change the standoffs to be round (not hexagonal) and probably chromed.



    It's likely that the wire would bounce a bit as you touched it, but in my quick tests, it came back to rest in its correct location, so this idea might be ok.

    One (whoops!) thing I noticed is that our screws are in a triangle pattern which puts the standoffs further away from the tablet. So, we're going to rotate 180ļ the 3-hole-pattern of the screws, so that two of the standoffs are directly behind the tablet. That will give us more cup space.
    
    newhole.jpg
    
    I'm able to place 4 of the SCA-official specs loveramics latte glasses https://www.loveramics.com/products/...ino-cup-saucer onto the top. Stacking, I could likely get 8 total. More would be risky.
    
    wire.jpg

    -john

    

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    Real-time view of the Decent Backlog

    At https://decentespresso.com/queue you can now see a real-time list of our espresso machine order backlog.

    "How long would I have to wait if I ordered now?" is now estimated live.

    And.... if you have ordered a machine from us, a smiley face appears next to your position in the queue.

    You can reach this "queue" page from the DE1 Overview page https://decentespresso.com/overview

    Until today, we've been managing our order queue by hand. I've also made an internal-use version of this report so that we now automate how we handle the backlog.

    And.... this means no more queue jumping! Sorry!

    -john

    screen 2019-03-20 at 4.56.13 PM copy.jpg

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    The Big Home Barista review of Decent Espresso

    John Weiss' review has now been fully published on Home Barista:
    https://www.home-barista.com/reviews...ew-t57610.html

    As it's an official review, read and vetted by Dan and the admins, it's now on the home page. Given the speed at which HB does these big reviews. I'm hoping that the review will stay on the HB home page for at least a year before being bumped off.

    Public discussion of the review are kept separate, on a different thread on The Bench, here: https://www.home-barista.com/reviews...ew-t57611.html


    -john

    screen 2019-03-21 at 12.12.35 PM.png
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  12. #1812
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    Congratulations John on getting such an expansive and positive review out there. Makes great reading.
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    White DE1XL on a tabletop

    Here is a short movie showing the current White DE1XL prototype.



    Still to do:
    - Ashwood handles for both portafilter and group head
    - Opaque white back panel (should not see through at all)
    - White/silver Android tablet

    The handles and back panel should arrive in the next few weeks. For now, the drip tray water tank is going to stay black. In August, we'll have some white versions of those made, as part of the v1.3 ceramics order. I'll swap White DE1XL customers out for free at that point.

    Our tablet manufacturer can offer us a white/brushed cover, that we'll receive in August as part of the v1.3 tablet order as well. I'll swap White XL customers out with that too if I decide this looks better.

    WechatIMG1937.jpeg

    Do you guys see anything else that needs doing? Maybe a white USB cable?

    -john

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    Things I can see: white USB cable, white silicone grip for steam wand you mentioned a few posts back, white rubber for the feet? white headed screws, or maybe matte finish (would work with the black too)?

  15. #1815
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    Also perhaps white screw heads for the panels? Don't know if that's perhaps overkill, haha

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    White screws, white grip on steam wand, are both in the works. White USB cable... sure, why not.
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    IMG_9963 2.jpg

    500th Decent Espresso Machine Shipped!

    Thanks to Darin Epstein, visiting from Minneapolis, for bringing us a 500th-anniversary cake.

    -john
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    Decent Coffee Stand

    IMG_9980.jpg

    I did a bit of Photoshopping with our "diner" tablet app skin, to turn it into a wrapper for our little IKEA conversion project. Each foam board is held in place with 4 magnets.

    This idea provides a bit of advertising for who-ever might have this stand out, and also hides the tubing and clean/dirty water tanks.

    You might also notice our tinkering with a back-illuminated panel for the DE1XL.

    Thereís an ultra-bright LED in there, under software control (BLINK BLINK BLINK YOU WILL BUY COFFEE) for a "Manchurian Candidate" effect.

    I donít like how the mounting features on the back panel are visible, though, so this idea still needs more work. My goal is for customers to be able to specify their own back-lit logo for their white DE1XL.

    Another improvement to make would be for the front-facing foam board to be a little wider so that it covers up the white edges of the side panels. Also, thinner magnets would help the side panels sit under the bamboo ledge, instead of protruding slightly.

    What do you think of the menu I made: espresso, latte, teaÖ. advice. :-D

    -john
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    Suitcases refreshed

    suitcasev2.jpg

    A bit over two years ago, I took the plunge and ordered 550 suitcases to use in shipping our espresso machines. A year later we finally started shipping, and now, we've finally used up all those suitcases.

    So, it's time to order another 500 suitcases. And since I'm at it, I want to make some improvements.

    I've written here about how our v1.0 espresso machines sometimes were damaged in shipping. A common problem was the shipper dropping the box on its corner. You can see that in one of the photos. In the new suitcase revision, we've added 1cm to each side so we can slide in a shock absorbing styrofoam corner.

    Inside the suitcase, we've installed a zipper in the fabric. And behind that, a large and thick sheet of styrofoam (same stuff as in bicycle helmets) is put in with double sided tape.

    I'm pretty sure that one flaw with the v1.0 suitcases was that the extensible handle could transmit impacts (since it's metal) directly to the espresso machine. Now, we have foam that is thicker and higher than the handles, to keep that from happening.

    The 4 wheels were also a problem with the old design, as they caught corner-impacts and transferred the shock to the machine. We've now made styrofoam "socks" that fit over each wheel and then nestle into each corner, to try to avoid that.

    Where-ever possible, I've replaced everything with black, black black, and no more silver fabric. I couldn't convince the manufacturer of the telescoping handle to make the telescoping part in black (it's still silver) but on my next order, I'm pretty sure I can wear their resistance down and get everything in black. <grin>

    These slightly improved suitcases will arrive here at our factory in about 10 days, and there'll be a brief couple-of-days pause in shipping as we finish the last 25 v1.0 suitcases we still have here and await their replacements.

    -john
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  20. #1820
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    Nothing of value here....

    WechatIMG465.jpeg

    In February, for the first time ever, we had espresso machines stolen during shipment. All with UPS: two in the USA, one in Canada.

    In the end, UPS paid us back for what we'd insured the machines at (USD$100) and even reimbursed the shipping after some more nudging. The loss rate would have to exceed 1 in 15 shipments, for it to be worth insuring at full value, which is why we only insure at $100.

    Our shipper advised us to not put "espresso" on our boxes.
    They said that thieves could easily "google us" and see that it's a high-value item. I'm dubious of that logic. We're required to include an invoice with each shipment, stating its value, and that's included in the little plastic pouch with each box. I think it's easier for a thief to look at the invoice in the pouch than it is to google us.

    But, no matter.... our new boxes now just say DECENT on them. "Espresso" has been banished. Sigh.

    Next, we have been putting stickers on all our espresso machines, indicating "this side up" and "fragile". Those icons are now pre-printed on the box as well.

    However, given this photo I was just sent of the boxes being loaded up in our container, I'm not sure "this side up" is going to have any effect whatsoever. <grin> Not a single box in this photo is right-side-up. Now, they're just empty suitcases, so maybe this guy doing the loading knows that the direction doesn't matter at the moment.

    We're down to just 8 suitcases here, so I'm happy to see the truck being loaded up with replacements.

    -john

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    What's "This Side Up" in Hanzi?
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    Not sure of the logic of insuring a 3k object for $100. I must be missing something..

  23. #1823
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    Not sure of the logic of insuring a 3k object for $100. I must be missing something..
    One would think that it reflects the relative cost of the insurance and expected loss rate. I know that it sounds like one may as well not insure at all, but I'd imagine that having some insurance on items shipped changes the incentives of, and information flow from, the shipping company (though in my personal experience it can change the incentives of local delivery chaps in the wrong direction).

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    Clutchit stand

    IMG_0054.jpg IMG_0053.jpg

    Just got the Clutchit from Amazon and tried it out today on our espresso machine case, instead of the Steelie Stand we usually use.

    It's USD$25 at Amazon
    https://www.amazon.com/ClutchIt-Orig.../dp/B06XSY13CC

    It's a drop in replacement for our Steelie stand. Even uses the same 3M backed steel plates.

    It does manage to hold the tablet up in mid-air, but the magnetic link is not that strong. If you glue the 3M metal pad on the top of the DE1, it works perfectly, but then it's ugly.

    There are small neatness issues with their approach, namely that the magnets and metal plates don't line up perfectly unless you really fuss at it.

    On the other hand, it's nice to have the tablet angle be adjustable.

    -john

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    No wire hanger

    wire-hanger.jpg

    Iíve been working with my designer Jo„o Tomaz on a (hopefully) elegant (and optional) cup-holding wire for the DE1XL model. Here are yesterdayís renders: I think weíre making progress.

    -john
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  26. #1826
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    I've been lurking around this thread for such a long time, I wonder if anyone in Perth has had one delivered yet that would be willing to show theirs off

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    Quote Originally Posted by lemoo View Post
    I've been lurking around this thread for such a long time, I wonder if anyone in Perth has had one delivered yet that would be willing to show theirs off
    You are welcome to come and play with mine. BYO roast and grinder if you wish, or put up with one of my Mahlkoenig Varios and a light / medium SO roast. Not really into showing anything off. I unpacked it on 10/2/19 and am finally coming to grips with it (family medical issues means that I haven't had a chance to have an uninterrupted play yet). FWIW, I am writing a mini review however the same time issues means it will take a few days / weeks yet I suspect.

    Feel free to PM me and see if our schedules can align.

    TampIt
    PS: Thinking, thinking, perhaps Grant can have another CS meet at Woodvale and I can show it to interested CS'r's there. This place has such a small kitchen that it is quite difficult to get any idea how to use it.
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    "boy can that machine produce some tasty shots!"

    18270_mvimg_20190406_144359.jpg

    An interesting report from a coffee enthusiast's meetup in Oregon. Tasting comparison between a Slayer a DE1, and looooots of different coffees.

    Read more at:
    https://www.home-barista.com/cafes/c...rt-t58096.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by decentespresso View Post

    An interesting report from a coffee enthusiast's meetup in Oregon. Tasting comparison between a Slayer a DE1, and looooots of different coffees.

    Read more at:
    https://www.home-barista.com/cafes/c...rt-t58096.html

    "boy can that machine produce some tasty shots!"


    I totally agree. I saw a David Walsh talk (on wet grinding, of all things) a while back where he said that coffee had a whole pile of different flavours available, and it may be possible to select which ones to highlight. The DE can do that in spades - different settings can really alter the flavour in the cuppa substantially, including introducing flavours that you have never had from that roast before. Controlling what you get is another issue.

    So far, it is a bit "good news / bad news". Consistency is amazing from shot to shot unless you alter a setting. Then all my bets are off in terms of what you get next in terms of highlighted tastes. Usually tasty, often not what was expected at all.

    My own severe lack of time - the most shots in a day so far would be 5, widely separated in time - means that I am personally finding it hard to tame the beastie as experience is the only answer. I am almost fantasising about sitting down for a few hours and having a "concerted push".

    TampIt

  30. #1830
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    Not sure of the logic of insuring a 3k object for $100. I must be missing something..
    I think the 100 was probably included “for free” in the cost. I run an online store and when I was first starting I spent about 5000 dollars in insurance before making my first claim...a 30 dollar purchase that would have been covered anyway. They denied the claim anyway because they said it showed delivered despite the local office submitting on letterhead that the gps showed the carrier dropped it off at the wrong address...since then quit insuring and not a lost package to date. My biggest fear for him would be if he uses the same offices or passes through the same screening area and someone planned a large lift of multiple units. Even then probably would be less expensive not insuring anyway cameras and other technology have made shipping pretty trustworthy now.

    The real question for me is how the heck are you all deciding between de1 and the pro... I keep putting the pro in my cart but by the time I add my accessories I’m over 3500 and hesitate, then switch to the de1, do the same thing and break 3k...then kick myself saying I don’t want to spend over 3k on the cheap materials...and so I keep waiting, indecisive and just thinking to wait on the new group head at the end of this year and maybe make up my mind then...don’t know how the rest of you are making the decision
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    Quote Originally Posted by day View Post
    I think the 100 was probably included ďfor freeĒ in the cost. I run an online store and when I was first starting I spent about 5000 dollars in insurance before making my first claim...a 30 dollar purchase that would have been covered anyway. They denied the claim anyway because they said it showed delivered despite the local office submitting on letterhead that the gps showed the carrier dropped it off at the wrong address...since then quit insuring and not a lost package to date. My biggest fear for him would be if he uses the same offices or passes through the same screening area and someone planned a large lift of multiple units. Even then probably would be less expensive not insuring anyway cameras and other technology have made shipping pretty trustworthy now.

    The real question for me is how the heck are you all deciding between de1 and the pro... I keep putting the pro in my cart but by the time I add my accessories Iím over 3500 and hesitate, then switch to the de1, do the same thing and break 3k...then kick myself saying I donít want to spend over 3k on the cheap materials...and so I keep waiting, indecisive and just thinking to wait on the new group head at the end of this year and maybe make up my mind then...donít know how the rest of you are making the decision
    G'day day

    Freight: When I had my computer company and we did a lot of commercial machines and WANs I went through the same thing. After two years and $7k in insurance without a claim I dropped out of the insurance racket. After 15 years the one theft after that was covered by the freight company anyway - and I had declared full retail on it, so I actually made a standard margin anyway (plus a "second gross profit" when the client paid for the eventual replacement). You are correct, these days theft is not as much of an issue. Mind you, we always shipped the machines without an operating system so if a thief powered it, it just came up "boot failure" - quite a few cartons had been opened over the years.

    Pro vs +: You asked how I made my decision, so here goes. I eventually chose the Pro (with the optional brushed steel front panel, a needed spare naked p/f and unused Skale - my Bonavita is more convenient until a scale is integrated into the tablet software) simply because there are three main locations it will be used in (tried two so far) and the Pro had all three plumbing options covered. My original intention was to leave the two kits in their respective spots - and like all plan A's it changed... I also hesitated because the Decent DExxx cannot shot and froth at the same time (see far below). Eventually curiosity won over patience.

    One is my daily "micro kitchen". I expected it to be standalone there using my "double filtered" rainwater. Then I worked out a way of using the catering kit from a temporary plastic bottle (rear right, until I sort something more permanent out in glass). I cannot use the plumbed drip tray there as it simply cannot fit. See the photo. The catering kit fits (just) behind the Pro, as does the 5 powerpoints on the wall (4 in use). If there is an award for space utilisation of coffee gear I may get a prize... Whole area is 903mm (w), 450(d), 503(h), induction stove to the left, single sink to the front right, cleaning fluids and guest's demerara sugar rear right. Don't forget the critical 3mm's at the end of two of the measurements! Weighing the 250ml dual wall glasses is tricky - too far to the right and it hits the hanging utensils.
    Attachment 21827

    The second venue uses the same rainwater, however there is about 5 or 6 times the space (bliss). That uses the catering kit and plumbed in drip tray. BTW, the Pro actually leaves very little fluid in the drip tray anyway, so emptying it is not often or onerous. The third venue has "mains pressure" (via a farm pump) RO filtered water - I will use the (mains) plumbing kit & plumbed drip tray there. If I don't like the water's flavour (coffee from most RO setups tastes dead to me) I can use the catering kit and my rainwater instead.

    Whether the heavier duty parts are worth the extra outlay is open to debate. I can only say that the Pro rivals the Linea for the solid feel - a pleasant unexpected surprise. I presume the + would give a similar impression, however I have not seen / felt one on the flesh yet. Oh, and I really like the Decent p/f's - really, really nice feel - and unlike the LMs, they are horizontal, which I vastly prefer to the point I converted the GS3's to horizontal. Personal preference only, I guess.

    The catering kit is brilliant at giving an "out of water" message just after warm up (i.e. when you touch the screen to start the shot process), however it only takes a few seconds and is quiet enough to not be irritating. Compared to the standard shallow (by crazy UL regulations) tank which is a PITA to refill*, I now regard it as essential.

    Very happy camper with the Pro, even though I now suspect I would be just as happy with the + and the catering kit.

    I hope this helps.


    TampIt
    Standard tank refill*: I have to lift the front of the machine up to clear the lip of the sink in this kitchen. Even more of a PITA here. Not all bad, it prompted me to install the catering kit.
    PS: When the Pro "mk whatever" can shoot and froth at the same time I will upgrade and stop using my 7000 as a milk frother / cup warmer / p/f & basket / tamper holder. It is in august historical company - I used to use my manual lever Electra for coffee and my Miss S for 9 years, then my 220V GS3 for milk and warming tray for over a year (until ex2 got them both via evil divorce). Having the extra space (i.e. minus the 7000) will be so nice when Decent fix that issue...
    PPS: Just to make it clear, I paid for all the Decent gear myself, this is not sponsored in any way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Whether the heavier duty parts are worth the extra outlay is open to debate. I can only say that the Pro rivals the Linea for the solid feel - a pleasant unexpected surprise. I presume the + would give a similar impression, however I have not seen / felt one on the flesh yet. .
    The DE1+ and DE1PRO are really, really similar. The main difference is that we pay a lot more for the valves and pumps from ODE (the Italian manufacturer) for the PRO, to get a 20x "expected lifetime" from those parts.

    I think there's some sort of materials magic in there, that ODE won't go into any detail about (competitive intelligence, one supposes). But from the outside, the valves and pumps are identical.

    And the DE1+ has a brushed steel front panel, because the mirror finish PRO front panel has an almost 50% reject rate, and that's after we ship mirrored stainless steel from South Korea, because all the Chinese mirror panels are badly stored, and have scratches (it took a lot to figure that one out). All the mirror finish front panels for the PRO that get rejected get sent to another company to be converted into brushed, which removes the scratches (and the mirroring, obviously).

    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Oh, and I really like the Decent p/f's - really, really nice feel - and unlike the LMs, they are horizontal, which I vastly prefer to the point I converted the GS3's to horizontal. Personal preference only, I guess.
    An interesting topic, that...

    The handle angle on the LM bottomless portafilter, I always thought was a bit of a small judgment call in the wrong direction on their part, but I understand why they did it, and it's because they're trying to solve two irreconcilable problems.

    LM's double-spouted portafilter has an angled handle, so that you can set the portafilter on a table, and the basket is then perfectly level. That's *really* cool.

    However, with a bottomless portafilter, you don't want the angled handle.

    But .... you also want the "feel" of the portafilters (bottomless vs spouted) to match (ie, the handles to land in the same place when locked in),

    and so LM decided to angle all their portafilters.

    I suspect the real difference is that for LM users (cafes, mostly), spouted portafilters are the norm, so that's what sets the standard. For Decent users, bottomless is the norm, so that's why I made a different decision.

    -john

  33. #1833
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    Shocking Pink ?

    pink.jpg

    Shin and his team are exhibiting in Seoul, South Korea, this week.

    And Shin is in big trouble: he didn't tell me he repainted one of his machines into shocking pink!
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  34. #1834
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    You must admit though, it does draw the eye!

  35. #1835
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    John he's just taken your banner of "who said coffee machines have to look a certain way" and run with it. Run off a cliff maybe, but run with it nonetheless.

  36. #1836
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    Pink Kitty is all the rage in South Korea, he may be onto something.


    Java "Puts his shades on" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  37. #1837
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    parry_test.jpg

    "Question: All DEs have their temperature offset individually set before being shipped, is that correct?"

    Yes.

    Parry (pictured here) personally burns, tests, safety tests, and calibrates every machine. He's no "test monkey", he's a proper electrical engineer. Every machine we ship goes through Parry.

    This checklist accompanies every machine until the last moment when it's boxed.

    Whoops, looks like we forgot to checkbox "cleaning" on Martin's machine. 冷

    -john

  38. #1838
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    I lost my sole to UL compliance

    sole.jpg

    Weíre just about to submit our upcoming v1.3 espresso machine to Intertek, to finally get UL certification. Obviously, Iím a bit nervous about it

    So when the local boss at Intertek asked me to "please attend a cocktail reception" for the "Intertek Group CEO" who is coming to town, I thought itíd be a wise precaution to play nice and attend.

    The invitation arrives in my inbox, and I see these dreaded words: "Dress code: business formal."

    Sigh.

    I pull my only suit out of the back of the closet and pack it in a bag. I plan to change in the bathroom at the factory at the end of the day.

    A worry: when I google "business formal" itís clear that a tie is part of the definition. I hope Iíll get in despite not owning one, as that would be embarrassing. When someone goes to the trouble to type "dress code", I assume theyíre serious about it.

    Bugs and I arrive at the reception. Lots of blue suits.

    I have an odd feeling that my left toe is dragging on something.

    I look down: notice a coffee stain on my right cuff.

    Then I lift my left foot. My well-worn-out dress shoes have completely fallen apart. Whoops.

    For the next hour, I affect a gammy leg, as if an old war injury required me to slide my foot forward, instead of lifting it with each step, like a normal person.

    Bugs is wearing heels, so that allows us to walk slowly around the evening, with me feigning a gentlemanly tolerance for the ladyís footwear choice.

    I return home and read an email from Intertek:
    "After reviewing your design with our engineers, we generally agree that the current design is close to cETLus requirement."

    Nice.

    -john
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  39. #1839
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    Why wasn't Decent Espresso at the SCA/Boston Show?

    For years, Decent has had a big problem: our machines have been much discussed, but unavailable.

    In Korea they even created a slogan about us that was much used in Korea social media: "the genius machine that no-one can buy".

    So.... Bugs and I decided that the focus from January to June was to get our act together and learn how to reliably ship machines at a pace of 1000 machines per year (20/week, 80/month).

    But we're not there yet.

    Below is how many machines we've shipper per month, since inception. We're on track to have shipped 267 machines at the end of April, which is 67 machines per month.

    We're still running a backlog (19 machines, at the moment, about a week's work), whereas I'd hoped we'd have machines in stock by now.

    So... this is the big reason we weren't at the Boston SCA show.

    We're still attracting orders faster than we can make machines. It would be irresponsible for us to focus on marketing before we improve our ability to deliver.

    Once this situation reverses, you'll start seeing Bugs, Shin, Hannifa and myself exhibiting at trade shows around the world.

    -john

    screen 2019-04-16 at 2.04.52 PM.png
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  40. #1840
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    Turn Junk Into Art

    screen 2019-04-20 at 2.01.31 PM.jpg IMG_0113.jpg

    More than a few Decent customers are crafty and do things like 3D printing, wood turning, and painting.

    I have an idea that will help the painters among them flex their creative muscles, and in the process, I can get rid of some cosmetically-imperfect parts which are gathering dust.

    Chassis parts that have a defect in their paint can't be used. But, they're perfect if you want to paint your own chassis.

    I have a few boxes of this stuff, so I'm selling it at 60% to 80% off to people who want to repaint them. Some of the leg bases need a bit of (re)bending, which causes cracks in the paint. No problem, if you're planning on repainting anyway.

    As part of this effort, anyone who wants to "commercialize" their artistic brilliance is encouraged to open a store on Etsy.com. I've started a list https://www.etsy.com/hk-en/people/sg...-espresso-mods and will be adding to it as Decent mods appear on Etsy. My intention is to promote these artists to future and current customers, as it helps everyone out.

    As an aside, I've recently had 100 right-angled cables made for us, for the DE1XL model. However, they're also potentially useful to DE1+/DE1PRO users who want to push their espresso machine as far back against their kitchen wall as possible.

    All the above are available at this growing "Accessories" page: https://decentespresso.com/accessories

    -john
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  41. #1841
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    Raoís Decent V60 basket

    IMG_0139 copy.jpg

    Iíve been working with Scott Rao for quite a long time, to develop a V60 portafilter basket.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BtHXGdml-6f/

    This upcoming basket converts our espresso machine in an automated pour-over machine. One which has control over the grounds agitation created, and thatís pretty interesting.

    The controlled water pressure creates vortex *just* deep enough to circulate, but not so deep that the water channels through filter. The spacing of each water stream is calibrated to be just the width of each separate coffee ground vortex.

    The end result is low-channeling/high-extraction-rate pour over coffees, totally automated and dependable. With an espresso machine.

    Today I received what I hope is the final iteration of our work together. Weíre trying to decide on 0.4mm or 0.5mm holes, 11 or 12 of them, and two different inside hole distances. Iím UPSing them right now to Scott in California for evaluation.

    -john
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  42. #1842
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    Ultrasonic cleaner with Cafiza



    Just arrived in our repair shop: an ultrasonic cleaner, which we've filled with "Cafiza" espresso machine cleaning liquid.

    When customers send their machines to us for repair, as part of the process we'll put all removable brass and metal parts into this bath for 24h.

    -john
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  43. #1843
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    John

    If your ultrasonic cleaner isn't removing everything you need in 15 minutes yer doin' it wrong.

    Cafiza is the same basic chemistry as beerline cleaner, if it isn't cutting the mustard (or in this case the polymerised fatty acids), increase the pH. Metasilicate is the first port of call, if that's not sufficient use hydroxide.

    Get a pH meter*, use it to determine the pH you need to achieve an adequate clean then periodically check that the cleaning solution is at this level. You'll do less damage to the brass with shorter term exposure to a more alkaline cleaner (acid cleaners are another story).

    *I'll recommend a Hanna, their new meters are excellent and very good value. If you just want to try this I have a spare I can send you.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:45 PM.
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  44. #1844
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    If your ultrasonic cleaner isn't removing everything you need in 15 minutes yer doin' it wrong.
    Cafiza is the same basic chemistry as beerline cleaner, if it isn't cutting the mustard (or in this case the polymerised fatty acids), increase the pH. Metasilicate is the first port of call, if that's not sufficient use hydroxide. Get a pH meter*, determine the pH you need to achieve an adequate clean then use it the meter to check that the cleaning solution is at this level. You'll do less damage to the brass with shorter term exposure to a highly alkaline cleaner (acid cleaners are another story).

    I'll recommend a Hanna, their new meters are excellent and very good value. If you just want to try this I have a spare I can send you.
    Very good feedback, quite helpful, thank you.

    Parry and I both googled to try to figure out what liquid to put in the bath, and came up empty.

    -john

  45. #1845
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    I probably should have added that if your raise the pH to the point that the parts are clean in a much shorter period of time then the rest of the time will be spent attacking the zinc in the brass. It's a matter of balance, you want to get to a pH that cleans reliably in a reasonable time but not too much higher. If the brass goes pink you've gone too high.

    Also: I saw the machine at MICE (and had a very enjoyable chat to you and Bugs (I hope I got that right)) but I cannot remember whether any of the parts are chrome plated. If they are, do a test run on something you can afford to scrap, ultrasonic energy can cause tiny pinholes in chrome plate which will then degrade far more quickly than you want it too.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:43 PM.
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  46. #1846
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    Also: I saw the machine at MICE (and had a very enjoyable chat to you and Bugs (I hope I got that right)) but I cannot remember whether any of the parts are chrome plated. If they are, do a test run on something you can afford to scrap, ultrasonic energy can cause tiny pinholes in chrome plate which will then degrade far more quickly than you want it too.
    Only the drip tray cover is chrome plated, and I keep that away from acids.

    Nothing else inside the machine is "plated" with anything. I dislike plating, as it wears off and generally doesn't do well with thermal cycling. That's fairly vital for a home espresso machine that gets warmed and cooled all the time.

    -john

  47. #1847
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    DE1XL Coffee Cart Upcoming Movies

    de1xl_newcart.jpg

    We're just about finished building two variations on the same coffee cart: a two grinder/one DE1XL table (you've seen that one already in my posts) and a one grinder/two DE1XL table. Both use a $450 bamboo table from IKEA.

    I've filmed Fabrice during the measuring, cutting and building of these carts, and we'll soon have a video series of all the steps, along with 2D drawings and templates, so you can do this yourself (or get a local handyman to do it).

    I've also recorded a bunch of footage explaining the DE1XL model, used both countersunk or tabletop. That's what you can see in the photo above.

    The DE1XL model is just about ready to start shipping and will be our latest model. We're expecting the metal parts to arrive in the next two weeks. The only final details we're still nailing down is the opacity and material of the white model's back cover.

    As I find time to do some video editing, these movies will get posted, hopefully over the next 2 weeks.

    -john
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  48. #1848
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    A bit of weight looks good on you

    xl_kitchen_side.jpg

    Here is a render of the new DE1XL model we've been working on, when you use it as a tabletop machine.

    Ben has made a lot of subtle changes here, enlarging some things, which changes the proportions of the shapes. I feel like these add up to a profile that has good visual integrity.

    Here's a quick summary:
    - the legs are a bit taller, and the thin section of the legs is quite a bit thicker. This hides the water tank much more than the DE1+/DE1PRO does.
    - the legs are 6cm longer, to hide the tubing and wiring
    - the tablet has a bespoke stand (Jo„o Tomaz's work), which moves the tablet forward and floating in the air.

    Up until recently, I've only been showing the DE1XL when it's countersunk, but I think it looks acceptable on a table as well, which was my hope.

    -john
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  49. #1849
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Your acceptable is other people's lovely. Nice design work.
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  50. #1850
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    Too close for comfort

    too close for comfort.jpg

    My engineer Fabrice has just finished making a two-group DE1XL tablet, on a 1.2-meter long bamboo IKEA table.

    We did a lot of modeling of scenarios of this in Solidworks, to try to get a good workflow.

    This design tries to minimize left/right-hand movement. Because portafilters lock-in from the left side, there is a lot of left-hand movement.

    Here's the coffee making workflow:
    1) you lock the portafilter in with your left hand,
    2) after the shot completes, remove it with your left hand again.
    3) Knock the puck out (still with your left hand)
    4) put the portafilter into the pitcher rinser to clean out any remaining coffee grounds
    5) then put the portafilter (still left hand) onto the portafilter stand of the grinder
    6) and then use your right hand to put the funnel on and turn the grinder on.
    7) remove the portafilter from the grinder with your left hand
    8) tap (or groom) the grounds with your right hand
    9) and tamp the portafilter, using your right hand to hold the portafilter
    10) lock the portafilter back into the (left side) group, with your left hand
    11) tap the START button with your right hand

    If making a milk drink:
    1) pour milk into a Decent milk jug, to 200ml (for a typical "cap")
    2) use the right-side group to steam milk, while your shot is being made
    3) keep a small cloth, wet with the pitcher rinser, to wipe down your steam wand

    Yes, I know this is an obsessive analysis. But a coffee cart is going to do this 500 times a day, so I think this analysis needs doing.

    I found the middle steam wand to be a bit cramped. It's not in constant use, but it'd be nice if it were easier to access. Locking the portafilter into the right side group tends to bang into the left side portafilter.

    To help relieve the "crammed in middle steam wand" issue, I have now:
    1) swapped the portafilter handles with the smaller group head hands, thus making shorter portafilters
    2) will be swapping out the middle steam wand from our large "pro" DE1XL steam wand to our smaller DE1+/DE1PRO steam wand

    This "coffee cart" is going into live testing on Monday, as it will be pulling shots at the "HOFEX" trade show http://hofex.com at Australian/Hong-Kong Redback Coffee roasters https://redbackcoffee.com.hk

    My lead barista Hannifa will make hundreds of drinks over a few days' time at the Redback stand. Afterward, we'll then have a better understanding of how to improve this stand design further.

    -john
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