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Dren
Jan 5, 2001



Pillbug

Jhet posted:

I think that robot wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea if that's all your wanting. The problem I can see you maybe having is that your grinder isn't going to be consistent enough for espresso grinding and not all burrs are made the same. What would you be grinding with?

I have one of these

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013RGGFZM/

If it doesn't work well I'll get the shop to grind it for me since I've found that I'm not too particular about shop grind vs home grind for my coffee.

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mediaphage
Mar 22, 2007

Excuse me, pardon me, sheer perfection coming through


Dren posted:

I have one of these

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013RGGFZM/

If it doesn't work well I'll get the shop to grind it for me since I've found that I'm not too particular about shop grind vs home grind for my coffee.

the issue is mostly that cheap grinders don't provide much in the way of uniformity, which as a result means that your coffee can be both over- and under-extracted in the same cup. it's more noticeable ime when it comes to espresso than drip. you'll definitely want to keep grinding your coffee fresh, as pre-ground coffee tends to stale either within about a day of grinding or opening, depending on how you purchase it.

with all that said i think you'll probably still enjoy your coffee that you grind just fine and later down the road you'll be able to upgrade your grinder to provide a better, more stable experience. and with something like the robot, you'll have a machine that will still work just fine when you get to that point.

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


Dren posted:

I have one of these

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013RGGFZM/

If it doesn't work well I'll get the shop to grind it for me since I've found that I'm not too particular about shop grind vs home grind for my coffee.

That's going to give you trouble for espresso I would wager. Getting the shop to grind it is a decent stop-gap, but you won't be able to dial it in if it's off just a little bit. It would probably be better than that grinder though. I know there's some good hand grinders out there for espresso, but I believe they're all $100+ and that would be your next immediate increase in quality.

Edit: You'd find a big increase in quality for your pour overs too by replacing that grinder if that impacts your decision making at all. Your grind would be more consistent and you'll pull out flavors differently with less fines.

Jhet fucked around with this message at 15:45 on Apr 12, 2021

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



oh the robot looks cool, i just watched hoffman's video and it seems like it's the one manual espresso machine he doesn't complain about having to spend a good amount of time preheating

BrianBoitano
Nov 15, 2006

this is fine





If you want $300 including the grinder, and you don't need to make 5 shots in a row, this can be cheaper than the robot:
https://flairespresso.com/

$120 NEO + $24 bottomless filter + $56 pressure gauge = $200 --or-- $240 for the Signature which already has those + looks a bit nicer.

Hoffmann thinks they are good for the price as long as you get those accessories and don't mind the process.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZV-tnx6BN8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye5Amz7ddYw

It's what I'm planning to buy myself for my birthday, so I don't have experience with it yet. Looking through the thread Rated PG-34 and AbsoluteLlama seem to like it. Munkaboo didn't, due to the fussiness.

hypnophant
Oct 19, 2012


Dren posted:

I've been doing pour over but I think I would like to switch to espresso. I looked at a few guides to espresso machines but am unclear as to what I'd want to buy. $300 is pushing it for my budget on this. Is that a realistic price point to get a decent result? I know some machines have extra features to make lattes and I do not need to make a latte, I want straight espresso.

The flair neo will give you the best results in that price range with the equipment you already have. Don't bother with the bottomless portafilter accessory for now - you want a pressurized portafilter, like the one the flair neo comes with, to get good results either with the grinder you have or store-ground beans. Later on, if you like, you can upgrade your grinder - the 1zpresso jx-pro is a well-regarded hand grinder for espresso, at around $160 - and then you'd see a benefit from getting the bottomless portafilter.

Alternatively you can try to find a deal on some used gear. $300 is not impossible for a used rancilio silvia or gaggia classic, but you'd need either a pressurized portafilter or, again, a grinder upgrade to go along with it. People in this thread have talked about finding baratza precisos at thrift stores for pennies, so I don't really know what the lower limit is here, but that's the kind of thing you would be looking for.

Any of these options is going to be leaning much more towards the "hobby" side of coffee than the "easy" side. The flair (and the robot) are completely manual machines and you'll have to handle everything from grinding and tamping, heating water and preheating the basket, and providing the pressure to extract your coffee, by hand. The rancilio and gaggia are capable, relatively cheap machines, but both are single boiler machines with temperature stability issues and you'll need a lot of practice to get consistent results with either. They also introduce the possibility of mechanical failures, from pump failure to boiler overheating due to hard water deposits, that you'll need to be aware of, and you'll need to stay on top of cleaning and maintaining them. This is not to scare you off but to make sure you know what you're getting into - if you're the type of person who doesn't want to deal with something fiddly in the morning before you've had coffee there's a chance you will find them frustrating, and it's a lot of money to sink into something you give up in a few months because you find it too fussy.

Dren
Jan 5, 2001



Pillbug

hypnophant posted:

The flair neo will give you the best results in that price range with the equipment you already have. Don't bother with the bottomless portafilter accessory for now - you want a pressurized portafilter, like the one the flair neo comes with, to get good results either with the grinder you have or store-ground beans. Later on, if you like, you can upgrade your grinder - the 1zpresso jx-pro is a well-regarded hand grinder for espresso, at around $160 - and then you'd see a benefit from getting the bottomless portafilter.

Alternatively you can try to find a deal on some used gear. $300 is not impossible for a used rancilio silvia or gaggia classic, but you'd need either a pressurized portafilter or, again, a grinder upgrade to go along with it. People in this thread have talked about finding baratza precisos at thrift stores for pennies, so I don't really know what the lower limit is here, but that's the kind of thing you would be looking for.

Any of these options is going to be leaning much more towards the "hobby" side of coffee than the "easy" side. The flair (and the robot) are completely manual machines and you'll have to handle everything from grinding and tamping, heating water and preheating the basket, and providing the pressure to extract your coffee, by hand. The rancilio and gaggia are capable, relatively cheap machines, but both are single boiler machines with temperature stability issues and you'll need a lot of practice to get consistent results with either. They also introduce the possibility of mechanical failures, from pump failure to boiler overheating due to hard water deposits, that you'll need to be aware of, and you'll need to stay on top of cleaning and maintaining them. This is not to scare you off but to make sure you know what you're getting into - if you're the type of person who doesn't want to deal with something fiddly in the morning before you've had coffee there's a chance you will find them frustrating, and it's a lot of money to sink into something you give up in a few months because you find it too fussy.

Thank you for your thoughts. I'm intrigued by the robot. I watched hoffman's review of it and the process seems pretty easy and not much fussier than what I was doing with pour over. I'll check his review of the flair neo too so I can see what the process looks like for brewing with it. I find a reliable, manual process more appealing than a fussy and inconsistent automatic one so I might not go with the lesser automatic models.

hypnophant
Oct 19, 2012


Dren posted:

Thank you for your thoughts. I'm intrigued by the robot. I watched hoffman's review of it and the process seems pretty easy and not much fussier than what I was doing with pour over. I'll check his review of the flair neo too so I can see what the process looks like for brewing with it. I find a reliable, manual process more appealing than a fussy and inconsistent automatic one so I might not go with the lesser automatic models.

The robot does look appealing, and people on hoffman's discord who have them seem to like them a lot. I didn't discuss it because it's more expensive than the budget you mentioned, and the pressurized portafilter is a separate accessory you'd have to buy, unlike the flair which includes it. If you can stretch or save for it, it's probably what I would pick over the flair.

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



BrianBoitano posted:

If you want $300 including the grinder, and you don't need to make 5 shots in a row, this can be cheaper than the robot:
https://flairespresso.com/

$120 NEO + $24 bottomless filter + $56 pressure gauge = $200 --or-- $240 for the Signature which already has those + looks a bit nicer.

Hoffmann thinks they are good for the price as long as you get those accessories and don't mind the process.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZV-tnx6BN8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye5Amz7ddYw

It's what I'm planning to buy myself for my birthday, so I don't have experience with it yet. Looking through the thread Rated PG-34 and AbsoluteLlama seem to like it. Munkaboo didn't, due to the fussiness.

yeah it seemed like the big difference between his reviews of the robot vs. all the others is that the design didn't require you to run a blank shot through or immerse everything in hot water for a while, which sounds extremely attractive to me in terms of "being able to quickly make a shot right after i wake up"

but the flair is definitely the cheapest one that still can apparently produce very nice espresso and yeah I'm not sure the 'no preheating' convenience is necessarily worth 150-200

edit: looks like people agree you still have to preheat for light roasts but seems like heat retention is better overall

eke out fucked around with this message at 20:57 on Apr 12, 2021

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Mu Zeta
Oct 17, 2002

Me crush ass to dust



I think the pressurized portafilter on the Flair neo is key if you don't have a great grinder. I really like that Flair sells upgrades too for the future.

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