Are flow control espresso machines worth the added cost? - Page 5

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Supporter ♡

#41: Post by Nunas »

Luca, Wow, what a fantastic video. It explains so much. Thanks for sharing. This should be compulsory viewing for all of us here on H-B.
I did not see, except in one run, any significant blooming of the puck, which many (me included) allude to. I did not see any significant compression, again, except for one run where it was noticeable. Yet another myth busted. I never knew that the puck expanded so much and so rapidly once the pressure was removed. I now know why my pucks often have a little cut or fissure on the surface that does not affect the pull...fantastic! I'm going to watch it a few times more for sure. I've learned more in that llittle video that one could imagine. I wonder why I've never seen this video before.


#42: Post by IMAWriter »

lancealot wrote:Flow control seemed pretty complicated and overwhelming to me at first. I modded my Breville dual boiler to give me flow control over the shot. I use medium roast coffees. I have begun to reduce the flow through the puck during the second 1/2 of the shot. I just restrict the flow so that the rate that the espresso comes out of the portafiter at the end of the shot is consistent with the flow during the first 1/2. I have noticed a subtle, but pleasing difference in the quality of the shots. They are softer, with less jaggy bitterness. I only do this for straight shots. For milk drinks I don't bother.

My point is, you don't need to make flow profiling complicated and even if you use traditional or medium espresso roasts, your straight shots might benefit from something as simple as a declining flow profile.
In other words, you're profiling as a spring lever. Less this case flow towards the end. Good stuff!
LMWDP #187


#43: Post by billt »

pcrussell50 wrote:Just remember that with DE you get "program and let it run" type of control. The other side of the coin in flow control is "on-the-fly" control. So with DE you program, pull, taste, change program, pull taste, until you like it. With the other kind, you pull, watch flow, adjust as you go, taste.
That was the case with the earlier DEs, the current V1.3 has a group head controller which allows real time adjustment of the shot, flow or pressure.


#44: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to billt »

I know. I just don't know/not yet convinced how good finger swiping is for fine control. With my needle valve, sometimes I do the tiniest bit of a twist. From the pre release videos I saw from John, that super fine degree of on the fly control did not look feasible. Maybe I need to go back and revisit?

LMWDP #553


#45: Post by billt »

Yes, I have doubts about the usability; it doesn't look comfortable, but we'll only find out when we get a few independent views.

User avatar
Randy G.

#46: Post by Randy G. »

In another thread I just posted, "For touch controls, the top of the group looks interesting, but I would prefer a linear ("touch slider") adjustment across the center with the various selections remaining on the perimeter. That would be more intuitive and make paying attention to the extraction itself easier. I did not find an owners manual to download at DE."
Espresso! My Espresso! -
LMWDP #644


#47: Post by MPantani »

I like being able to program. The profile is repeatable and I can steam milk rather than giving the shot my 100% attention.


#48: Post by splashalot »

I haven't read through all 5 pages of this thread, so apologise if this is a repeat, but I just wanted to add one advantage (to me, anyway) of the flow control.

I use it to rescue the 15 second gushers I sometimes get. I've found that by throttling back the flow to draw out the shot to ~30 seconds I get a good, respectably drinkable shot instead of the usual sour horror with these gushers. Now that my grinds/puck preparation is much better these gushers are rare, but it's nice to be able to save them regardless.

I play around with single dosing all sorts of beans and love the flow control for the extra customisation it affords me. I've had some brilliant results from lighter roasts by throttling back the last 10-15 seconds of the shot. Seems to really bring out the fruit flavours.


#49: Post by pcrussell50 »

MPantani wrote:I like being able to program. The profile is repeatable and I can steam milk rather than giving the shot my 100% attention.
As long as your prep is as repeatable as the the program, this would be a huge step in automation.

As far as steaming milk while not having to pay attention to your shot, DE machines cannot steam at the same time as pulling the shot. At least nobody I know who has one, has one that can. Maybe that capability is something to shoot for in the next generation of programmables?

LMWDP #553


#50: Post by billt »

It's unlikely that they will produce a DE model that can brew and steam at the same time.

The issue is power supply capacity. Water is heated on demand, so you need to be able to heat water for steam at the same time as heating water for brewing. That demand exceeds the supply capacity of a US domestic supply, although it would probably be doable in countries with a 230V supply. Normal boiler machines use the boiler as an energy reservoir so they don't need to heat water continuously.

In practice, lack of simultaneous steaming didn't turn out to be an issue for me. You don't have to supervise either shot pulling or steaming once the machine is set up to your liking, so you can do something else whilst the shot is being made or milk is being steamed, so time is not being wasted.