First Espresso Adventure - Flair 58? - Page 2

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

#11: Post by mikelipino »

Evan, I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Robot - df64 combo. Fortunately you like darker roasts (for now :D ), and those are both more forgiving on the grind and do not require preheating. In fact you may find yourself only partially filling the basket with water to keep temps and extractions down. But I agree with Jonas, the time between wanting an espresso and having one (thought to shot) is very fast on a Robot as there's no turning on a machine and waiting for it to stabilize. Factor in cleanup, maintenance, and descaling and you might actually save time depending on how many shots you pull daily (for me, multiple shots are when semi autos start to be more efficient -- good thing I'm not a cafe!).

Elemsee (original poster)

#12: Post by Elemsee (original poster) »

That's a great idea also! I'm partially afraid I'll love both of them or just struggle making espresso on two machines at once (lol) but my indecisiveness might still make trying both my choice

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#13: Post by CharacterZero »

The Flair is fun since it has a lot of parts and pieces to fumble around with.


#14: Post by Nwin23 »

I tried a Flair Pro and quickly returned it. The amount of pieces to fiddle around with were too many when you involved preheating. The 58 model helps reduce the process, for sure.

I got a Robot, using a Kinu m47 hand grinder. The process is incredibly easy and I don't mind it at all.

If you're into lighter roasts and don't mind remembering to turn the Flair 58 on prior to making a shot, then I think it would be great. If you just want an immediate shot with medium to darker roasts-Robot wins all the way.

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#15: Post by baristainzmking »

Yet another vote for the Robot. The process is quick, simple and it produces excellent espresso. My husband likes his small lattes from the Robot better than from my Bianca. He says it's something about the taste....

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#16: Post by Ken5 »

I have the Robot and a kinu m47 classic. When someone announced the flair 58 months ago here at HB I was looking forward to seeing the reviews start rolling in, especially if there were any thoughts from someone that switched from the Robot as I was sure some would try it. Looks like a nice unit.

I am surprised at the lack of reviews and discussion actually. Seems there were reviews on YouTube immediately after it came out, but mostly unboxing and first impressions.


Elemsee (original poster)

#17: Post by Elemsee (original poster) »

Sheesh, LOTS of love for the Robot! I feel like that's pretty consistent - I've seen nothing but glowing reviews about the Robot.

@ken5 - I agree! Maybe it would be fun to start a thread comparing the two on HB!

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#18: Post by mdmvrockford »

Elemsee wrote:That's a great idea also! I'm partially afraid I'll love both of them or just struggle making espresso on two machines at once (lol) but my indecisiveness might still make trying both my choice
To the OP "Elemsee", if you have not made decision yet on espresso brewer, then I suspect you are in realm of analysis paralysis.

My suggestions:
* Please just buy Flair 58 (which I have never used by seen videos such as this one ) ) or the Cafelat Robot barista (which I own). The differences will not be night and day in the cup. In fact I will guess in blinded testing even uber palates like TeamHB "another_jim" will struggle to tell difference.

* Please spend more time considering the beans you feed the brewer and the grinder. As head HB (Dan Kehn) states for the 4 M's of exceptional espresso : the machine/brewer is last in importance.

* If choosing the Robot then please do get barista model with pressure gauge. Yes the senior HB members will disagree with this suggestion but they are experts. For less experienced home-baristas like me, it provides another data point. As you improve your skill you can later choose to ignore the gauge. As for me, once I know a bean and get taste I like, I still look at pre-infusion pressure and initial peak pressure. Thereafter it is look at size/shape of flow with look at gauge in my peripheral vision.

* If choosing Cafelat Robot then I strongly recommend Robot hands: ... obot-hands (Hong Kong authorized retailer) and ... s-cafel-sp (USA authorized retailer)
Please position hands like Paul Pratt is doing at 2 min 54 seconds in this video The person in above video has his hands in the wrong position.
This is WRONG hand position for Robot Cafelat Robot User Experience

* If choosing Cafelat Robot Barista then I strongly recommend adding this ridiculously cheap mod from fellow HB forum member: this eases viewing angle of pressure gauge dial Cafelat Robot User Experience

I have no clue about your Commodore C40 grinder in-the-cup quality. On my espresso journey my flat burr grinders have been : Rancilio Rocky (doserless, 50mm) then Mazzer Super Jolly (then aligned and SSP Red Speed burr high uniformity 64mm) then Mazzer Major (has SSP Red Speed and alignment yet to be checked).

My conical burr grinders have been: Orphan Espresso Pharos version 1.1 (68mm Italmill) then Helor 106 (Mazzer 0186 71mm conical) The latter is in-the-cup equivalent of Monolith Conical version 1 to 3 and has gear reduction that Pharos lacks.

My prior manual espresso brewer was Olympia Express Cremina (1990) with naked-portafilter's pressure gauge and various other mods. But this was gifted away. And I am too impatient to hunt for another quality used Cremina and to repurchase all the mods for it.

My sole pump espresso brewer is QuickMill Alexia PID. Last week I added flow control to get the "lever-like" in-the-cup profile. I have tried flow control on prior Bianca and Profitec 700 and to be honest sucked at it. But I will get hang of this. This is not rocket science.

Since getting the Robot from the official Hong Kong store (took 5 days from order placement to arrival at my door?!) in May 2021, it has essentially been my sole daily espresso brewer. It produces espresso as good as Cremina. It also produces lungos that Cremina struggles with (at least for me as latter needs Fellini maneuver that fractures puck in my novice hands). And the Robot can produce 22 grams bean and 22 grams drink that Cremina cannot make as Cremina's portafilter basket is smaller.

I have pitted the Robot (barista) & Helor 106 against above prior two machines and also a Decent machine. No differences. Again it's the bean and grinder that matter far, far more than the machine/brewer. I make at most 4 straight espresso/day (never drink milk) and I enjoy the process of making the espresso. So it is manual all-the-way for me. My planned travel espresso brewer is Portaspresso HC-P that is fraternal twin to the Helor 106 (w.r.t. shape and size). The Robot (even with base plate unscrewed) is not a portable as the Flair (any model).

There are exponentially more Robot posts on vs. Flair 58. Why? Who knows. I have my own theories but that is irrelevant to above.
LMWDP #568


#19: Post by luvmy40 »

mdmvrockford wrote:There are exponentially more Robot posts on vs. Flair 58. Why? Who knows. I have my own theories but that is irrelevant to above.
Could it be that the Flare 58 has only been available for a few months now? :D