Cafelat Robot -- new pressure gauge - Worth waiting? Used Robots? - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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drgary
Team HB

#11: Post by drgary »

@ EspressYourself: DM sent. Check your inbox.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

YeetSkeeterson

#12: Post by YeetSkeeterson »

I will always prefer a gauge because more and easily accessible information > less information. People that say they don't need a gauge might as well get rid of any coffee scales and timers they have as well because I'm sure they can eyeball it all.

It'd be interesting for people that don't use a gauge to attach one and perform blind shots without looking at the gauge and take video. Only then can we verify the claims they make and if they correlate to their assumptions about their technique.

I've been using the Robot Barista and Kinu M47 for over two years now. I use the Kinu specifically for espresso, and Comandante for all other coffee related things. I cannot say how nice of a setup it is. It is in no way "beginner", or a "start there" setup. I've tried La Pavonis, Flair 1, Flair 2, both Flair Pros... The only thing I lust after is an Olympia Cremina if that says anything. I often entertain the idea of getting an electric grinder but I always fall short on motivation. I have not found that perfect electric grinder yet. Ideally it was going to be German made like my Kinu and Comandante but the Mahlkonig home grinder did not impress me. So, I wait until they decide to listen to the market and pump out a true single dose grinder.

These claims of a "new pressure gauge" are a little vague. You ask for someone in the know, but perhaps you are someone in the know...?

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Nate42

#13: Post by Nate42 »

You don't NEED the gauge. You don't need a lot of things in this hobby. But it's nice to have imo. "Feel" can change a lot depending on various variables. The gauge makes it easier to know what's really going on. I wouldn't bother waiting on an update, who knows when or if it will be changed. It's true that it's a little difficult to see while you are actually pulling the shot, but for me at my height and my counter's height, I can see the needle but not the numbers. Which isn't a big deal once you get used to it. And when in doubt you can always squat down briefly for a better look. Not perfect but better than not having it in my mind. And once you get a routine down nothing is stopping you from ignoring it.

Jonk

#14: Post by Jonk »

YeetSkeeterson wrote:People that say they don't need a gauge might as well get rid of any coffee scales and timers they have as well because I'm sure they can eyeball it all.
It's a very tactile device and that is more or less how I used it at first. After starting the pull, I'd glance at the gauge and usually be within 1 bar of the target. Before I had a scale that fit I'd weight the output afterwards and also be close, you can estimate fairly well using the position of the arms. Count in your head and it's really good enough in my book. I switched to using a scale and timer mostly to be able to keep track of the shots and calculate EY out of curiosity.. but doing it with less tools was more fun to be honest - and in the end I'm not convinced that achieving target pressure and time is as important as it would be in a regular pump machine, as long as you're in the wide window of tasty 8)

Edit: after adding the "hands" I'm less accurate because of the extra leverage. Sometimes I hit 10 bars by mistake (it will feel a bit dense) and other times 6 bars when I try not to overdo it. Still acceptable pressure as far as I'm concerned.

YeetSkeeterson

#15: Post by YeetSkeeterson »

Jonk wrote:usually be within 1 bar of the target
This, to me, when utilizing other precision devices, weighing every bean of input, going through the hassle of WDT an even bed, weighing every drop of output, just to eyeball something, is an issue. For repeatability's sake. Your use case is not as bad as not using one at all, you at least hit your target pressure and then look away. I often pull 8 bars for 5 seconds, 7 bars for 10 seconds, then 6.5 bars for the remainder, or whatever I please because I know precisely what is going on. There is absolutely, 100% no way to eyeball and "feel" that no matter what anyone says. Ballpark is not good enough in third wave.

8.75 bars for 5 seconds, 6.6. or maybe 7.2, or maybe 7.5 bars for 10 seconds, then a fluctuating 6.1-6.9 bars for the remainder while the pressure dies down and you can monitor its change, sure... well actually, we couldn't be sure without a gauge!

To each their own but I just don't agree with the logic here. People will jump through hoops to justify one thing in a family but shun something else that's in the same family (data).

Edit: I shouldn't say "shun". I mean claim parts of the data family are necessary, while others aren't.

Jonk

#16: Post by Jonk »

Honestly, I think if you're looking for precision, a spring lever would be a better choice than the Robot. We need to weigh the beans because a gram more or less makes a big difference in resistance. WDT will also ensure consistent resistance and avoid spurts. The pressure is not as critical in my experience at least - I'd be impressed if you could taste much of a difference between the 8->7->6.5 bar shot and say 8.75->7.2->6.1

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drgary
Team HB

#17: Post by drgary »

^ ^ ^

This.

If you have a good grinder and get the dose and temperature right, and if the coffee is high quality and fresh, you'll taste the subtle flavors in your coffee. Small changes in pressure won't make much difference.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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EspressYourself (original poster)

#18: Post by EspressYourself (original poster) »

Well I'm now the proud owner of a Robot, and I sprung for the 1ZPresso J-Max grinder.

The grinder is a tremendous upgrade over anything I've owned (the Virtuoso and the Hario) and although it FEELS like it takes longer, I can crank out 16-19g of espresso fine grind in 30-60s depending on the beans and grind setting. So it hardly takes longer than my electric grinder.

The robot took about 10-20 pulls for me to get the hang of it, but I'm now I'm consistently making drinkable shots, and once I am dialed in on a bean I'm pulling really good (to my taste!) shots that are well balanced and sweet.

I made a WDT tool out of a cork and a paper clip, and the Robot seems to really like that, it makes more a difference, and maybe thats because I am not leveling like I would on my other machines. I'm going to use a scotch tape roll to make an automatically centering tamp since I didn't spring for the extra $50 for that feature.

And since it was the impetus for this post: my initial inexperienced thoughts on the pressure gauge are that I am glad that I got it. I definitely would not need it to make delicious drinkable shots, but it does give me feedback which I like and helps me adjust my grind and dial in a bean quicker than I think I would otherwise be able to, but honestly I haven't pulled many shots without using it, so take that opinion for what it is.

Thanks for all the help and encouragement I am glad I got this setup and decided to make the purchase!

Jeff
Team HB

#19: Post by Jeff »

Congrats! It's a solid setup.

I'd try some 0.4 mm or even 0.3 mm acupuncture needles. They're available as "3D printer cleaning kit" at around US$10. I found paperclip wire to be marginal in improving prep from a reasonably clump-free grinder.

EspressYourself (original poster)

#20: Post by EspressYourself (original poster) »

I have some acupuncture needles, I'll give them a shot.