Flair 58 vs Cafelat Robot - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Vince_ »

I correct my mistake - Robot's basket is removable, but due to its unique design and size, it cannot be replaced with other standard 58mm baskets, which greatly reduces its playability! As for pressure stability, I have tested the pressure curve with a smart espresso profiler, and Flair58 is more likely to produce a stable pressure curve.


#12: Post by Jonk »

Vince_ wrote:Flair58 is more likely to produce a stable pressure curve.
In what sense? The Robot has a natural decline due to the angle of the levers unless you compensate with increased force.. But a slow decline is usually considered a good thing.

Personally I have a harder time to avoid fluttering with the Flair 58.

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#13: Post by Spitz.me »

I get Vince's feedback on the pressure decline. They're both manual so it's really a user driven decline. But, I imagine he's referring to the use of the one lever over the 2 arms. I definitely found that the cafelat is just not nice to use and keeping pressure steady at any rate is not nearly as easy as using the one lever imho.

Comes down to what you like. 2 arms that aren't great to grab and apply a lot of pressure compared to one arm with a nice handle and just overall better use experience.

Someone mentioned the espresso forge. I think that machine is hilarious for requiring you to gently pour scalding hot water down a one once tube. To each their own!

But, the espressoforge is easier to travel with so that should clearly be a consideration. If it's just going to sit on a bench then get anything you like, but if you need to travel lightly and bring it, then that matters greatly to consider.
LMWDP #670


#14: Post by jpender »

@Leopoldo95: It sounds like you're just going to get a raft of opinions on both sides. Or all three sides if you include the Espresso Forge in your considerations.

For that matter, don't forget about the one where you turn a crank to pull the shot. I forget the name of it (edit: the "Aram"). I think it's made in Brazil? It has at least one fanboy here on HB who I'm certain will tell you it's way better than the other three.

At least you have all of these choices. And any of them will work, it's just a question of which fits you best. Good luck!


#15: Post by Jonk »

Do it the HB way, buy all of them and then report back :wink:

In all seriousness though, I put up with the Flair 58 for now. I like the coffee, just not the experience. If I lived in the US I'd strongly consider an Odyssey Argos instead. Can't say for sure as I haven't used it, but I reckon it's worth $310-370 more.

If you're on a tighter budget, there are more options to consider. Uniterra Nomad. Wacaco Picopresso.. Any machine you buy will have some quirks.


#16: Post by jpender »

Are they actually shipping that thing in quantity yet?

I was originally going to buy a Flair 4-5 years ago. I think it was the "Pro" model I was considering. Then I became aware of the Robot and it seemed like a better machine. So I went with that. And I think it works well for medium to dark roasts. Lighter roasts require annoying preheating. I've never owned any other espresso machine so I can't really compare but workflow matters a lot to me and I find the Robot is just slightly more complicated then brewing with an Aeropress -- except for lighter roasts.

When the Flair 58 came out I thought I might be switching. But watching videos of it in action left me disappointed in the apparent workflow. Maybe it's not as bad as it looked but that's part of why I didn't buy one. The frequency of Flair upgrades is another aspect. Why buy today when there will be an upgraded version in the near future?

Also, for me at least, the compactness of the Robot is an important feature. I don't have counter space for coffee stuff so I put the Robot in a small cupboard after every use. It's easy to lift with one hand and drop in there. Could I do that with the Flair without disassembling it?

So I'm stuck with the Robot for now. It does mean that I either don't buy lighter roasts or I brew them with other methods. But at least now I can own a functioning espresso machine. For many years I felt that that was totally impractical. Not anymore.

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#17: Post by Brewzologist »

Wow. Interesting comments. I guess I must be an outlier. I've been using my F58 daily for 1.5 years and don't find the workflow to be a problem at all. Any machine has its quirks, but I suppose once you get used to them the workflow ceases to be a big deal.


#18: Post by jgood »

Not to beat a dead horse but I usually make 2 caps at a time and found that getting an extra basket (with the top screen) really streamlined the work flow with the Robot.

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#19: Post by Ken5 »

Brewzologist wrote:Wow. Interesting comments. I guess I must be an outlier. I've been using my F58 daily for 1.5 years and don't find the workflow to be a problem at all. Any machine has its quirks, but I suppose once you get used to them the workflow ceases to be a big deal.
Agree 100%

Seems that since the op posted this a week ago he ended up getting the 58 as it is in his profile. Enjoy your new machine Leo!!!


#20: Post by jpender »

Brewzologist wrote:Any machine has its quirks, but I suppose once you get used to them the workflow ceases to be a big deal.
I guess people are different because to me workflow doesn't get better simply by getting used to it. I'm always trying to improve upon it. And some brew methods I tend to avoid because of the workflow.

I remember reading how some people are used to waiting tens of minutes to heat up their espresso machines and I thought: that's not ever going to be for me.

Workflow is more than just how long it takes. I think it includes how it flows or if it's awkward or annoying in some way. But elapsed time is one way to measure it. With my Robot it usually takes me about 7-8 minutes from when I walk into the kitchen to when I have a cup ready to drink. That includes taking everything out of cupboards and drawers, heating the water, and cleaning the basket/screen. When I rush it I can go a little faster. I once timed myself doing this in 4:56. That included putting everything back in the cupboard too. With an Aeropress I've managed to do everything about 1 minute faster.

So the Flair 58 has changed a bit since I first looked at it and IIRC some of those changes I think affect workflow. So how long does it take you to pull a shot from when you first walk into the kitchen? Just curious.