I’ve been eyeing this machine for a while since my goal is to really control my press just like I have with the Aero Press. Still haven’t decided if this is a worthwhile investment.

  • @themeltingclock
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    2011 months ago

    Hoffman seems to be pretty approving and I’d follow that guy off a cliff.

    • DpwnShift
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      711 months ago

      You really shouldn’t jump off cliffs after coffee gurus.

      You should go first so they can estimate the best brew for the fall!

      • @eramseth
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        211 months ago

        Probably some sort of pumpkin spice situation. Maybe just some nutmeg and cinnamon sprinkled on top of a latte.

  • @notaseraf
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    11 months ago

    I have the signature model and it makes good espresso.

    That said, pre-heating the brew chamber (you’ll also need to pre-heat the portafilter for the pro model) can be quite a pain, and you can’t really skip it cuz otherwise water won’t be hot enough when pulling the shots and you get sour coffee. Juggling the hot chamber is also not a fun thing especially if it’s your first coffee in the day (though it will wake you up way faster than coffee if you messed up :p)

    I’ve since switched to the cafelat robot and the workflow is so much better.

    edit: spelling

    • @eramseth
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      411 months ago

      This is actually one of the reasons I upgraded to the 58. Electrically preheated chamber and portafilter is a game changer.

    • @ColoradoBoy
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      111 months ago

      I’m a Flair user and a little unfamiliar with the Robot. How is the preheating better? Is it in some method of temperature control or a way you don’t have to handle a detached brew chamber?

      • @notaseraf
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        211 months ago

        For medium/dark roast you don’t need to preheat. You pour hot water directly into the deep basket, which has very little thermal mass so the temperature won’t drop much. The basket sits in the portafilter with a handle so your hands are safely away from the heat. Much of the heat loss is to the piston but due to the short contact time (~30s) it’s not much of an issue.

        For light roast you do want to pre-heat the piston…and you’d need to be creative for that (I’ve seen some people use candles…). This is when you’d want a Flair 58 with the electronic temperature control.

  • Big_Boss_77
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    811 months ago

    I apologize, as I’ve wandered in from the wider web… but could someone provide some documentation on these things? Based on your comments, I’m intrigued but I can’t find an indepth description of its function and features beyond the blurbs I’ve found on Google.

    • @[email protected]
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      11 months ago

      Flair is a company that makes manual espresso machines, like the one in this post. In a regular or “semi-automatic” espresso machine like you’d find in a nice cafe, the machine heats the water and pushes the water through the coffee at high pressures. In manual espresso machines, you add the hot water yourself then use the lever to generate the pressure manually. This gives you lots of control over how the espresso is brewed at the cost of more work/effort to make your morning coffee. Some semi automatic machines do also have features to vary temp and pressure, but usually these are much more expensive ~2-3k vs ~$100-500. Another important difference is almost all semi automatic machines have the ability to steam milk, which is important if you plan to make lattes etc

  • Don Beefy
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    811 months ago

    I have the flair neo classic and I absolutely love it. But I will say that it has a steep learning curve out the gate to get things dialed in. You have to really enjoy the process and the workflow, if you want something for a quick shot this coffeemaker is less than ideal. I love the flavors that i get from my coffee and i really enjoy experimenting to see how i can improve my cup.

    • @eramseth
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      411 months ago

      If you mean “quick” as in “how much effort to figure out how to make a good shot” then I definitely agree.

      If by “quick” you mean “how long from zero to espresso” I actually disagree. You can be pulling a shot in 8-10minutes with a flair. Most traditional (boiler, pump, push-button) espresso makers are still warming up in that time frame.

      • dandan
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        611 months ago

        Yeah, a flair or a robot is way quicker than a powered espresso machine.

        I’ve been trying to optimise my workflow using a stopwatch and doing as much in parallel as possible. The key is to have water boiling and beans grinding simultaneously, and then milk heating and espresso extraction simultaneously.

        I can make a flat white and be all cleaned up and packed away withing 4mins.

        Process:

        • add water to kettle and start boiling
        • add beans to grinder and start grinding
        • get robot off shelf and put into position with scale
        • put milk into French press and in the microwave with time set to 1min (but not yet started)
        • grinding has now finished. WDT and tamp.
        • kettle has now boiled, press start on microwave
        • water into portafilter and press (~30sec)
        • empty and clean portafilter
        • remove milk from microwave, froth, pour.
        • put away robot, clean french press.
        • @eramseth
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          211 months ago

          That’s pretty wild.

          I got a bellman steamer for milk. Usually only do lattes when I’m quaking from home or on weekends because it takes a while.

      • Don Beefy
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        111 months ago

        yeah, I was mostly referring to the effort you put into each cup. Some people prefer less of a workflow per cup. I agree with you on the first shot, but if I’m making more than 2 shots I notice myself wishing I had a more traditional machine. I still have not invested in getting a second portafilter and brewchamber, so I lose a lot of time resetting between shots.

        • @eramseth
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          111 months ago

          Honestly, I’ve been using a traditional espresso machine at work and it also has a lot of steps.

          Esp with the 58 removing variables of a standard style portafilter and heated brew chamber, I prefer the workflow of the 58. The only extra step is pouring water into the brewing chamber.

          By the time you buy a second portafilter and brew chamber you’ll be out almost as much as a 58.

    • Bakkoda
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      411 months ago

      I went from a flair to a Rock to a picopresso. As a person who loves the ritual behind coffee I found that 100% stops when it comes to espresso. It’s just to many variables that are difficult to control for me. Dialing in a grinder, pre infusion, and temp surfing on a GCP are about all I have the patience for and I am already dead set on installing a pid or upgrading to the likes of a Profitec Go.

  • @Anon6317
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    8 months ago

    deleted by creator

    • dandan
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      511 months ago

      I also have a robot and can’t vouch for it highly enough.

      Came from aeropress like OP, and I’ve found it very similar to the aeropress in terms of flexibility.

      The only downside for me is the effort required in temp management to do really light roasts. But I assume this would be the same with the original flair.

      • driftwoodOP
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        311 months ago

        I’m going to have to research Robot. It’s a little out of my price range but I’ll consider it at some point!

  • @eramseth
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    311 months ago

    I had the flair signature that i later upgraded to flair pro2 (with extra “stuff” to minimize how long it would take to make 2 espressos) and I sold it…

    …to buy a flair 58.

    All the flair machines are great. The 58 with the electrical heating element and pressure gauge is the best, of course. It’s also the priciest. The rest are definitely usable.

    Other than using a relatively standard size portafilter and more traditional setup with a handle, the 58 with the electrical heating element also had an easier (and thus more reproducible) workflow. Can go “from zero to espresso” in 8-10 minutes.

    You’re generally going to have to get a capable grinder (read: half decent burr grinder with sufficiently fine adjustments… plan on around $200 for electrical. Less for a manual.)… one of the flair models with a pressurized or flow control basket can probably produce decent results with a lower end burr grinder or even a blade grinder, but it’s not gonna be as good as what you get from a good grinder and non pressurized/straight wall basket.

    You’re also going to need a source of hot water. I assume if you’re currently making aeropress, you have one. Depending on which flair model you’re considering, you may want to preheat the basket… which means immersing it in your hot water source or putting it somehow over top of the hot water to heat up by steam.

    Other than that, the flair comes with usable tools (tamper) but you may eventually want nicer ones. Super recommend getting the pressure gauge for the flair too. It helps a lot in having a repeatable method of pulling a shot.

    As for how good the espresso is? It’s really good. Once you really know what you’re doing, you can absolutely be making the best espresso you’ve ever had with it. The full control over pressure profile, temperature, dose size, basically every variable is make it great. These are the same things that make the aeropress great… except the aeropress can’t hit as high pressures and so can’t actually make espresso.

    Fully recommend, but also fully recommend that you get the most expensive one that fits your budget.

    • @BestBunsInTown_
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      311 months ago

      Really interested in a flair 58 so I’m glad to hear the experience is so good, thank you!

      • @eramseth
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        211 months ago

        Glad I could help!

        I would add one thing to my write up though. It’s not nearly as portable as the pro2, signature, classic, neo, etc.

        Aside from the size, preheating the chamber with hot water doesn’t really work well at all. It’s still possible to pull shots but they come out pretty under extracted.

    • driftwoodOP
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      211 months ago

      Awesome. Yeah what I really like is the portable aspects of it. Since I’m so used to aero press this felt like the next step forward. Does the grind consistency have to be fine grain everytime? I have a grinder that makes it pretty fine but I’m curious if a more expensive grinder have better results.

      • @TheBenCommandments
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        311 months ago

        It’ll depend on your coffee beans nearly entirely. Espresso is way harder to dial in than other types of coffee so having a consistent grinder capable of making very small changes in the grind size makes the process much much easier.

        Try the one you have now, but consider getting something with tiny steps like the 1Zpresso J-Max. I use that with my flair all the time. The learning curve is steep, but worth it.

  • Salamander
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    211 months ago

    I have one and I love it! The first two years I managed with a conical burr hand grinder, but eventually I decided to switch to an electric grinder and it is much less work.

    The silicon O-rigs I’ve had to change after about 3 years because the cylinder became a bit loose and water would leak while de-pressurizing.

    • @theRealBassist
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      211 months ago

      I have one as well! Couldn’t be happier with it!

  • @ColoradoBoy
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    211 months ago

    I love my Flair because each pull is unique and when the pull is great it’s some of the best ever. If you prefer consistency, may not be for you.

    My personality gives me a lot of pleasure in tinkering and control so I love being completely hands on with the Flair. You will pull some of the best shots you’ve ever had when you get it dialed in. You will also have many fails. Although once you get the basic techniques down the fails are not undrinkable.

    But because I enjoy this totally hand-crafted approach I even enjoy my fails. It’s like jazz improvisation.