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Decent Espresso Machines (DE1) - Any thoughts?

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    New from Decent : the Espresso Tap 1

    We’re super excited to launch our new flagship model: the Decent Espresso Tap 1. Shipping in two weeks! Hopefully, maybe!

    We learned from our customers that that they value speed, silent working and ease of use, far more than quality, and we've listened!

    The DETAP1 delivers espresso on tap. Our DETAP1 model come with a 3 liter container of the highest quality premade espresso, from 50% arabica dark roasted-in-Italy beans.

    "This by far the simplest, most reliable, fastest-to-warmup model that we could imagine" said Decent cofounder John Buckman. "By removing all sources of operator error, such as beans, grinding, extraction, freshness, water, or skill, we are able to deliver you 100% perfectly consistent espresso" he added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The DE1TAP1 features a patented SureToLockYouIn™ DRM locking coffee seal, so that only certified premade-by-Decent-Espresso coffee can be used. For your protection (and those of your children) it cannot be refilled by you.

    The best part? The DE1TAP1 comes with a 2 year premade coffee subscription, and refills can only be purchased online from our web site. A Wifi connection is required so that each drink can be digitally certified coming from us.

    With this innovation, we were able to take your morning coffee experience to the next level by removing all margins of human or machine error: no tablet, no water tank, no grinder and no electricity needed. Just plug in your SureToLockYouIn™ premade espresso tank, and dispense as needed.

    Only the finest coffee (and coffee-like flavors) is used.

    INGREDIENTS: Colombian brewed coffee (filtered water, coffee), sugar, maltodextrin, chicory root fiber, cellulose gel, cocoa (processed with alkali), sodium hydroxide, natural and artificial flavor, cellulose gum, caffeine anhydrous, carrageenan, ascorbic acid, vitamin E dl alpha tocopheryl, vitamin A palmitate.

    It’s gluten free!

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    • Gluten free .... i am in ,, and it looks a bit like ned kelly on a horsey, so what is not to lke !!

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      • Sounds like something from https://www.theshovel.com.au/

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          Locking the tablet?

          We're putting the finishing touches on a new Android tablet stand for the Decent, and I'd like your feedback about something. This tablet stand will start to appear in October 2021.

          The current stand has 3 screws to lock it on, and the stands sits on top of the DE1. It's a simple, secure setup, but it does require a screwdriver to assemble, and is thus not as fast to disassessemble. For people who move their Decent a lot, the 3 screws are a bit of a hassle.

          The new tablet stand slides into a slot directly under the top cover, which has been cut into the chassis. We've designed a spring that guides the stand into the right centered location. A slot in the stand allows the spring to click into the final position.

          The locking spring has four mount mounts, which prevents the stand from bouncing as the tablet is tapped.

          To remove the tablet, you slide it out, toward you.

          FEEDBACK WANTED: in the current tablet stand design, the tablet can be removed at any time. It cannot be locked. In a cafe, or other public situation, would this be a worry? It's not obvious that the tablet can be removed. We're thinking about designing a variation on the locking spring, which makes tablet removal impossible, without taking the main cover off (it's held in place with 8x Torx T10 screws).

          Here is the locking mechanism we're contemplating. 

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          What do you think? Is having a tablet "walk away" a real concern for you, if it's not obviously stealable? I'm trying to gauge whether we're "going overboard" here and overthinking things.

          About backward compatibility: unfortunately, this stand design cannot be retrofit onto earlier DE1 model, as the earlier metal chassis lack the cuts needed to allow the stand to slide in.

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            "Bengle" concept drawing for a 2022 Decent

            Decent mechanical engineer Ben Champion showed me this set of concept drawings for a alternative chassis for the Decent. I'm calling this idea "Bengle" (as in "Ben designs with Angles"). I've made a version without a cup rail or tablet on the top right, to show a possible variation.

            We've been working a while on a few different ideas for a re-skinned Decent Espresso Machine for launching in 2022. I've previously shown renders for Smorg. Bengle is another one we're considering.

            We'd continue to make the current minimalist design v1.4 DE1 (DE1PRO/DE1XL).

            Internally, all our machines would be built on the same chassis, just the "skin" changes, as a final step during assembly.

            For me, the fundamental goals of a redesign is to
            fit into people's existing spaces (both homes and cafes)
            the machine should have a visual personality, and elicit a visceral "wow" reaction.
            but it should avoid making a strong visual statement, which would make it difficult to fit into people's existing spaces.

            For me, the Simonelli Prima One and the La Marzocco Mini, both accomplish this remit brilliantly.
            
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            I feel that current Decent models fit into a kitchen that has Braun kitchen appliances, ie modernist minimalism.
            
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            I feel that we could do a lot better at eliciting a "Wow" as well as fitting into more existing spaces.

            What do you think?

            -john

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            • Honestly, my instant reaction was eeeewwww...Cheap plastic and Formica.


              Java "Could be just the rendering" phile
              Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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                Smorg + Discommon = Bengle

                Many of you noticed that yesterday's "Bengle" concept drawing had a striking similarity to to the machine designed by Discommon https://www.instagram.com/discommon/ (specifically by Kevin at https://www.instagram.com/kevincossdesigns/) for Matt at https://www.instagram.com/coffeedrunklbc/ - it was made by Jacob at https://www.instagram.com/pantechnicondesign/

                There's a very good reason for the visual similarity.

                Many of you know that we've been working on a "Smorg" design, conceptually based on a leaning dragon shape. I've been posting variations on that idea for quite a while. https://www.instagram.com/p/CGuHaQ4hGOK/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CFtv1LoB5nX/

                What I hadn't shown you is our most recent revision of Smorg, which you can see in the upper left of this image. There's been good progress on that design, but we were interested in pushing this idea into a more abstract direction.

                When we came across Kevin's design for https://www.instagram.com/coffeedrunklbc/ we saw it as a big dragon, leaning on its forward wings, but made abstract with very liberal use of planes.

                What I posted yesterday was Ben's attempt to apply the planar/abstract ideas in Kevin's design, to what we were doing with Smorg. And... I posted that to get feedback.

                Bengle is very much a concept drawing, first draft, and we're still in the ideating stage about what next year's "pretty Decent" should look like. Our Portuguese designer Joao Tomaz https://www.instagram.com/joao_tomaz_design/ is currently working with Ben's draft, to refine it with his modernist touch.

                I do very much want to credit Kevin's fine work for inspiring Ben to try the planar approach. But... I also want to show you where we were coming from.

                I am very much a follower and fan of Austin Kleon's books https://www.instagram.com/austinkleon/ and see the artistic process as borrowing ideas from here and there, merging them to make new things. That's why I started the music service http://magnatune.com/ that features Creative Commons licensing, to enable this sort of remixing. And it's also why I sat on the board of Creative Commons for many years.

                I spoke today with Neil Ferrier, who runs Discommon designs, and besides being ok with what we've done, he'd also like to take a crack at refining our Smorg design. As he's a master of surface, light and reflection, I'm really interested, especially as we're having trouble getting Smorg "over the finish line" into something we are really excited to build. I've put him in touch with Paolo at https://www.instagram.com/regaliacoffee/ in New York, so he can get his hands on a Decent.

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                  • From that angle it looks the best of the three of them.

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                      Hohohk podcast with Decent's John Buckman

                      Standup comedians
                      - Andy Curtain https://www.instagram.com/andycurtain/
                      - and Mohammed Magdi https://www.instagram.com/theothermohammed/
                      - and I

                      had a super-interesting hour long conversation which is today listenable as an audio podcast at:
                      https://hohohk.podbean.com/e/the-man...-john-buckman/

                      It's mostly not at all about coffee geekery, but more about topics around
                      - starting a company in Hong Kong,
                      - getting scammed repeatedly,
                      - the evil music industry (my previous biz "Magnatune")
                      - piracy, getting copied
                      - entrepreneurship
                      - Silicon Valley culture

                      and generally about human topics which people who are "Decent curious" might find interesting.

                      Comment


                      • Andy
                        Andy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Excellent podcast, thanks for sharing John.
                        'twas entertaining, educational, interesting and eclectically fun to listen to while I was working today.

                    • Running our factory as a village of specialists

                      After listening to yesterday's podcast conversation about how I organized the Decent Factory, Home Barista member Mooky asked:

                      "John, some things you said about HK culture "tell us what, don't tell us how" reminded me of Ricardo Semler - have you read any of his stuff?"
                      I didn't know about Semler, but spent an interesting 2 hours reading about his ideas on the web this morning. Thanks for the ref.

                      I'm not sure I'd call my structure a democracy at all. More like a village of specialists.

                      I was very inspired by this in Seoul, Korea, sadly being destroyed:
                      https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2...acturing-heart

                      instead of 'teams' I try to find a way for 1 person to be actually responsible for something (or a group of things), but never is it a team for that 1 thing. Responsibility for quality, speed, reliability is then squarely with that person.

                      For instance, experienced home builder Alfred Nenada built last week a tool for expanding the water filters we buy to a precise size:



                      However, quality checks on the water filters afterwards, and posted to our internal forum, saw about 30% of those expanded now had slight defects and were unuseable.

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                      Because Alfred is the one entirely responsible for this task (building the jig, expanding the filters, testing them) it's clearly on him to rectify this, and totally within his power to do so (no approvals or teamwork needed).

                      That's not really a democracy.

                      Literally (pun intended) this looks more like Ayn Rand's ridiculed (and let's face it, ridiculous) village of expert single craftspeople at the end of Atlas Shrugged. But maybe there's something useful in that notion...

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                        Countersunk Decent Scale

                        Decent customs Euan Lake recently posted a design for a drip tray cover that integrates and Acaia scale. He made his design free-to-3D-print yourself, as well as offering his own powder-coated metal one that you can buy from him. Best of both worlds!

                        I wondered if we could pull off the same thing for the about-to-ship Decent Scale.

                        Above is our first attempt at the idea. We make replacement drip tray cover, with bent wires to hold the scale in place. A USB cable to permanently power the scale snakes out the side through a gap in the cover.

                        Why do this?

                        No need with unplumbed setups: at the moment, if your drip tray is not plumbed in, there are excellent scale adaptors that go under the drip tray. These were designed by the Decent Diaspora community. Some are free to print,

                        However, if you plumb in your drip tray, the drainage tube interferes with the scale, and we currently have no good solution to that.

                        The idea above would work for plumbed in setups.

                        I've read about people doing something similar with Acaia scales, and that a common problem is that the drip tray pools water, eventually drowning the scale. I'm hoping to avoid that problem with our design, since no pooling is likely to occur with an all-wires support.

                        With the idea above, the scale is suspended about 7mm above the bottom of the drip tray. Hopefully that will be enough distance to avoid water coming back up into the scale.

                        For now... we need to make one of these, and test test test....

                        -john

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                        • New tablet stand for October 2021, news of upcoming version
                          
                          This is the new slide-in tablet stand we're going to move to, starting with Decent espresso machines made in October 2021 (labelled v1.43). This is the only planned hardware change for that version.

                          Note the slot cut out of the chassis, in order to make this new feature possible. This is cut from the stainless steel of the front face and the aluminum chassis behind it. We weren't able to make this new feature work without modifying the chassis, which unfortunately makes it not backwards compatible to earlier machines.

                          With all other designs we tested (and we took 2 years to design and test this), we found them to wobble when tapped, which was super annoying. You can see in this video that this stand design is quite strong, and doesn't wobble. It appears permanently mounted to the chassis, if you were to guess, as you need to give it a good strong pull to get remove the tablet stand from the chassis.

                          This is the chassis that will start shipping in October, with the DE1 version we are labelling as v1.43. This is the only change in this version, from the DE1 we are currently shipping.

                          I do not yet have pricing for this v1.43, but it is likely that we will be raising prices, perhaps as much as 10%.


                          The Global Supply Chain is currently very Precarious

                          Products that need a lot of different parts are finding it hard to buy everything they need, in time to keep production going. Many car factories have stopped production, but as Ars Technical reports, there are shortages of many high tech products.

                          We are currently buying for this v.143 version, and finding that our parts costs have risen dramatically. Chips are particularly more expensive, with (for example) our Taiwanese-made CPU rising this month from $15 to $25 each.

                          What's causing these price increases? A vicious cycle, I think:
                          • certain product categories, such as ours, have seen huge increases in demand. If it makes your life at home better, chances are that it's selling well, due to COVID-induced lifestyle changes. Decent is ordering larger quantities of parts, but so are all our other supplier's clients. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021...ast-into-2023/
                          • factories were shut down during COVID, so they have to catch up anyway. At the same time, production capacity has gone down, as many factories went permanently out of business during the COVID shutdown.
                          • parts prices have gone up, delivery times have increased (typically, from 60 days now to 6 months)
                          • and so companies are ordering even more, stockpiling parts, to avoid factory shutdowns
                          • we previously were ordering enough for 7 months at a time. We're now buying for 2 years of parts.
                          • I think everyone is doing this, which is further driving up costs and delivery times.
                          • This week, we managed to order parts from the "spot market", at a huge markup, parts that were supposed to be delivered in April, but suddenly were delayed another 6 months. We literally had to pay whatever the sellers wanted to charge, otherwise we'd have to halt production.

                          Our white chassis supplier fired us a few weeks ago, for being too picky, but a few days ago we found a new supplier whose quality looks good. White is a notoriously difficult color to get in high quality, and I'm hoping the new supplier delivers.

                          Last week, things looked grim, like a July/August factory shutdown was inevitable. News this past week was all good, as we paid "whatever it takes" and we think we'll not have to stop producing our espresso machines due to parts lacking.

                          -john

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