Decent DE1 vs Lever?

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
Ric858

Postby Ric858 » Aug 08, 2019, 4:06 pm

I've been using a profitec pro 700 for the last several years and I've recently started contemplating a machine upgrade. I find myself torn between getting a DE1 pro vs a nice lever (haven't settled on which one, but Londinium R has me intrigued.) I'm really leaning lever for its simplicity, ease of use, shot quality, etc. However, if I'd be able to create better shots with a DE1 and all it's pressure profiling bells and whistles, then that's the way I'm gonna go. So my question to you, HB'ers, is is there a better tasting shot to be had with a DE1 vs what you can make with a quality lever machine?
"Coffee is the lifeblood that fuels the dreams of champions."

forbeskm

Postby forbeskm » Aug 08, 2019, 5:13 pm

You just stated you want the bells and whistles, a lever is so not for you :). Don't take it the wrong way.

Janika79

Postby Janika79 » Aug 08, 2019, 5:45 pm

Get the flow control upgrade for your pro700 and you can emulate lever shots and don't have to buy a new machine.
★ Helpful

Ric858

Postby Ric858 » Aug 08, 2019, 9:19 pm

forbeskm wrote:You just stated you want the bells and whistles, a lever is so not for you :). Don't take it the wrong way.


Actually, just to clarify, I'd want the extra bells and whistles only if they allowed me to consistently produce tastier shots than what I'd get from a lever. If lever and de1 tie for taste and consistency, then I'm going lever.
"Coffee is the lifeblood that fuels the dreams of champions."

Ric858

Postby Ric858 » Aug 08, 2019, 9:21 pm

Janika79 wrote:Get the flow control upgrade for your pro700 and you can emulate lever shots and don't have to buy a new machine.




I like the flow control idea, but repeatability is very important to me. Do you have one? How consistent are your results?
"Coffee is the lifeblood that fuels the dreams of champions."

User avatar
MB

Postby MB » Aug 08, 2019, 9:59 pm

I purchased a DE1 for use at work and soon sold it, replacing it with a LR. I didn't get better shots on the DE1, but I didn't really give it more than a week or two to figure things out. For me, I enjoyed the simplicity of the L1 I had at home. No back flushing, easy to dial in, forgiving. I think if you put in the effort, the DE1 has more exacting control, so it may be able to eek out more from a coffee once you dial in that bean and find a recipe that suits your desires.

My LR doesn't have the current digital preinfusion pressure upgrade, but I have tweaked it manually to a zone that works for the coffees I use.

So, I don't think I can offer a slam dunk easy answer other than to say, I think it is easier to get there with the lever, but once you are there with the DE1, it can go on auto pilot or super tweak mode if you wish. Not many people have sold theirs as far as I know, so that should tell you something. Plus, it takes up so little space. However, the simplicity of a lever for cleanup and maintenance as well as getting tasty shots one after another is what does it for me.
LMWDP #472

smite

Postby smite » Aug 09, 2019, 2:53 pm

Ric858 wrote:I've been using a profitec pro 700 for the last several years and I've recently started contemplating a machine upgrade. I find myself torn between getting a DE1 pro vs a nice lever (haven't settled on which one, but Londinium R has me intrigued.) I'm really leaning lever for its simplicity, ease of use, shot quality, etc. However, if I'd be able to create better shots with a DE1 and all it's pressure profiling bells and whistles, then that's the way I'm gonna go. So my question to you, HB'ers, is is there a better tasting shot to be had with a DE1 vs what you can make with a quality lever machine?


A few things to consider. Are you consistently able to pull good shots on the pro 700 that you enjoy? If so the DE1 will not produce significantly better shots relative to what you are getting with your pro 700 as it is a great machine. In terms of DE1 or a lever vs Pro 700 the shots will be great but different on any of them once you figure out how to best make use of each respective machine.

Having owned a Pro 700 and several others and now I own a DE1 I would say unless you want to tinker a ton with the infinite level of variability without a guaranty of materially better shots stick with the pro 700 and upgrade it or go with a lever.

The DE1 gives more options in terms of variables to tinker but does not give you a guarantee of better shots than you will get on the Pro 700. Better is relative and subjective to taste preferences.

Can you pull a wide range of different coffees well using the DE1 yes, and you can do the same on any of the other machines mentioned. The main difference with DE1 vs the lever is you cannot adjust pressure or flow in real time. In my higher end machines you have the ability to control both in real-time.

So while you have tons of options to tinker on the DE1 there is no real time ability to manually adjust variables as the shot is pouring.

So it really depends on what you want out of the machine. If you want pure convenience, consistency and real-time control the DE1 is probably not the best option. If you want to be able to theory craft with an almost unlimited number of variables around pressure, temp and flow using the convenience of a tablet then go for the DE1.

Whats interesting is with the modification to the pro 700 you can play with some of the variables fairly easily in real time. Its just more by feel vs programmed in. A lever allows this naturally out of the box as well.

Good luck!

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Denis

Postby Denis » Aug 09, 2019, 3:34 pm

I had a few smaller levers (hx, open boiler, dipper) and a few normal machines (hx e61, sbdu) and now I have a modified saturated group with a control software module that works like decent, just it allows you to do more, as you can hump in the back of the software and do everything (flow, pressure profiling in one shot, auto, manual, volumetric, control heat by time stamps).

The problem I have with such a complex machine is the need to experiment and try new ideas, so I throw and kill a lot of coffee doing this. If you are the type that experiments a lot, likes to do tests with w/o carrying about throwing expensive coffee then you might consider a DE1.

But if you are the type that drinks coffee and wants a single profile, and sticks to it, do fewer steps, make is simple and easy, don't like to pull 30 coffee in the weekend for the sake of experimenting, then I would say to stick to a lever.

I get better and faster results with a lever machine, than with my "decent" espresso machine. And in general that works for everyone, a lever machine bring faster better results, specially a spring one where you don't have to regulate the flow/pressure by hand.
With a lever all you need to care is puck preparation and lets the machine do the rest. With the decent espresso/pump machines, you need to focus on the profile, understand what changes in the cup if you do a PI at 1 bar or at 3 bar, if you have a PI of 10 sec or a PI of 30 sec (you will always need to adjust grind/profiles on the pump machine).

Heck, even with profiling machines, we all chase to simulate a lever shot, because in the end that gives the best result. The rest is how you put the water in the coffee when doing Preinfusion.

You can see the lever type pressure profiling in the back (blue line) hits 7.5 bar then goes down slowly.
Image

Janika79

Postby Janika79 » Aug 09, 2019, 6:23 pm

No i have not tried it but people seem to like it. I can't see any reason, why you should not be able to obtain repeatable results.
I would buy the flow control device. It's 300 dollars. If you like it then you save a lot of money by not buying a new machine. If you don't like it it will add value to your current pro700 and you won't lose too much of the invested 300 dollars.

def
Supporter ♡

Postby def » Aug 10, 2019, 8:34 pm

Ric858 wrote:I've been using a profitec pro 700 for the last several years and I've recently started contemplating a machine upgrade. I find myself torn between getting a DE1 pro vs a nice lever (haven't settled on which one, but Londinium R has me intrigued.) I'm really leaning lever for its simplicity, ease of use, shot quality, etc. However, if I'd be able to create better shots with a DE1 and all it's pressure profiling bells and whistles, then that's the way I'm gonna go. So my question to you, HB'ers, is is there a better tasting shot to be had with a DE1 vs what you can make with a quality lever machine?


The ultimate way to decide is to evaluate the machines which you are considering, daily for a month or longer. I actually did that, but I had to be very patient to locate the machine I wanted at a price that essentially allowed me to evaluate it for free. I wrote about it in this thread: ECM Synchronika and Profitec Pro 800 Comparison

You can evaluate any machine by just buying it. If you don't like it, then you can sell it on HB. Of course you will take a loss. I lost $700 when I sold my Ceado E37s, and $700 when I sold my ECM Synchronika. Being patient and buying used equipment can help you get a better price and possibly no loss should you decide to sell it.

For what it is worth, I ended up keeping the lever and I have zero second thoughts about it. I too have a M.Flat SSP. I think a spring lever and a Flat is a the ideal/ultimate home kit. Perhaps in a couple years I will get curious again about what could make my espresso better, but for now I cannot imagine it gets much better than what I already have.

If you cannot afford to evaluate the machines which you are considering, I think the next best substitute is to study reviews; it is important to consider all of the strengths and the weaknesses of the machine you are considering. Everything detail matters -- workflow, temperature stability, steaming power, repeatability/consistency of shots, reliability, warm up time, control lever/knobs, visual indicators, capacity of boilers, noise level, etc.

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