First machine for espresso newbie: Flair 58, Profitec Pro 300, Silvia Pro, Lelit Elizabeth or... ? - Page 3

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

#21: Post by Bluenoser »

Brien wrote:Is the knock against the Bambino(s) the lack of adjustable temp/flow? Or is it just not very good at what it does in general?
No.. nothing against the bambino as I have never used it.. I bought a Dedica (Deloghi) and they are both in the same price category.. but both use pressurized baskets.. the Bambino uses a PID that is non adjustable and a thermoJet system.. mine a ThermoBlock system.. not sure how different they are.. My intention was to note that often the machines that are only a couple hundred dollars with pumps, steam wands and pressurized baskets will disappoint after a short period of time, if you are going to continue in espresso as a hobby and want to try various beans at various roast levels. Where the manuals give you a lot of control and quality at only a slightly higher price point and can last you forever. I thought, starting out, that an electric machine was the only serious way to make espresso. 3 years in, my expensive HX is only used for steaming milk, and my Robot makes all the espresso.


#22: Post by anewguy »

Hi all, I've had an account for a long time, but lost my email, so I'm a new guy now.. I just had to add.. Espresso Forge. I got one from Andre years ago (2016-17?), and with a good grinder (I use the HG One) I don't see how you can go wrong - especially if you are considering the Flair and Argos (interesting machines I didn't know about). The EF is cheaper and imo outperforms almost any machine as you have absolute control of all variables. There's some learning curve of course and I think it leans toward darker beans bc of temperature. You mentioned maintenance, and that is seriously one of the best things about the EF. Everything is stainless or silicone, comes apart in seconds and is easy to keep sparking clean - a major contrast to most espresso machines. The more I use it, the more I honestly think it's the perfect machine. The one thing I like about those other 2 manual machines is the 58mm portafilter with handle - that would be nice. But, the EF is a 58mm, it's just the basket however. I maintain it's one of the best if not the best designs out there. Good luck-

Brien (original poster)

#23: Post by Brien (original poster) »

Just to close this out - I decided to grab a Flair 58. I feel like I'd regret the Bambino/GCP/etc. as soon as I figured out how to tamp, dial in, etc. - the basics - and would end up upgrading anyway. I just couldn't find anything else at this price that is fairly maintenance free, and allows me to control temp and pressure (needed for the lighter roasts I enjoy at third wave shops).

Now, even if I do upgrade, I can keep the lever for... lever stuff, or sell it and recoup 90% of my cost as these seem to be in demand. Nanofoamer for milk drinks.


#24: Post by malling »

Flair58 can rival machines costing many x it's price, there are even some who got just as good shots from it as Decent, Mina etc.

You can use all the same accessory as any other 58mm machine, this is a massive advantage over every other home lever on the market, it means you can use VST basket, get the same tamper and distribution tools that you don't have to replace if you one day decide to move on

It's by far the easiest home lever to get good shots on I ever used and by far the most consistent too. Yes like all other manual levers there is bound to be some more variance then a pump, but you do gain flexibility, the chance to easily play with profiling, something you cannot easily achieve unless going out and paying many more the price. A Flair58 easily beat any stock E61 consistently simple because your not bound to a specific profile. If your just into comfort shot and milk based drink an E-61 will serve you well, but if you shoot allot of different beans in succession your going to run into issues. With a Flair58 you can change to your hearts content in designing the shot, you don't have to wait until the machine temperature settles at the new temperature, you don't have to potentially open it op to change pressure with a screwdriver.

To get that sort of flexibility you need to install the flow kit and it still doesn't work nearly as well as a lever to be frankly, because you don't have the feedback of a lever.

A pump and a Flair58 are very different beasts that cater very different needs and desires. The Flair58 allow for tinkering and exploration you can add a logger so you can both see the pressure live as well as log it, if that is what you want... The Flair58 has a very high sealing in the right hands, But for comfort shot and milky drinks definitely choose something else!

A Flair58 is not your ordinary home lever as it removed allot of the issues and is by far more user friendly simply because it uses traditional parts, like a real portafilter of a pro group seize.