Help me sort my life out: manual or decent - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Jeff »

Depending on your patience and how it works out, the Argos is another shiny object out there. Several of us have one ordered, taking a gamble on the idea of a compact lever, direct or spring, with steam, based on contemporary experience. It will probably be six months or so before there are meaningful experiences to share.

Amberale

#12: Post by Amberale » replying to Jeff »

Hey!
That's what I said. :D

TheFury (original poster)

#13: Post by TheFury (original poster) »

NicoNYC wrote:Is there any reason you couldn't get both? The Robot is comparatively inexpensive and looks fantastic perched on a shelf above a coffee bar. It's the perfect thing to pull out when you want a quiet morning without a pump, screen, or gauge, and as close to maintenance-free as possible.
Lol, classic home barista forum advice: A or B? Why not A *AND* B :lol: ? I like the way you think. It's true, I will probably end up with both one day. One day!!
Amberale wrote:If you can wait until the end of the year the Odyessy Argos might fit your bill nicely.
Jeff wrote:Depending on your patience and how it works out, the Argos is another shiny object out there. Several of us have one ordered, taking a gamble on the idea of a compact lever, direct or spring, with steam, based on contemporary experience. It will probably be six months or so before there are meaningful experiences to share.
I saw the Argos and am VERY tempted by it, and if need be I can wait another six months. My only thing about the Argos is:
  • Does this solve my problem about heat-up time? It's a lot smaller than an E61 machine but will it come to temp fast enough and not feel kind of wasteful for small volume use?
  • I believe the boiler on this thing only has capacity for what, 6 shots? And it has to bee cool for you to refill it. I feel like that would get annoying fast, though owners of similar machines -- europiccola? -- don't ever seem to mention that. What do you think?
  • I think it's a bit annoying to have to flip a switch and wait a minute for steam pressure to build up. That's a whole minute that my crema is just sitting there dissipating. I love how the DE1 solves this with a thermoblock steamer. Should I really worry about that?
That aside, it does look like a beautiful machine that checks most if not all of my boxes, for a fair price and a small footprint. I'm just not *totally* sure it'll be a slam dunk for me, but I acknowledge i could be overthinking it.
baldheadracing wrote:While you ponder machines, a quick trick to stop wandering adjustment levers:
That's genius, I'm going to do that right now. Lol.
MNate wrote:I went from large impractical machine to Robot to DE1 and still use the Robot for travel. They are both great and practical for home use. The Robot is more practical from an ownership standpoint (No maintenance) but the DE1 is actually more convenient because of the fast warm up and quick transition to steam. The Robot, with milk, workflow requires some timing to for the hot water, etc. and can get cluttered with parts all around (some sort of water heater, etc).

Yeah, I like them both. But why not try out the Robot for awhile and see how it goes?

We're glad to answer any more questions!
Great perspective--glad I'm not alone in this struggle :) -- thank you!

BlueWater

#14: Post by BlueWater »

TheFury wrote:Lol, classic home barista forum advice: A or B? Why not A *AND* B :lol: ? I like the way you think. It's true, I will probably end up with both one day. One day!!

Great perspective--glad I'm not alone in this struggle :) -- thank you!
I have an E61 and a DE1 and a Robot and a Flair and have ordered an Argos. You see where this is going...resistance is futile! :D

I think the suggestion to use a Robot for a few months is a good one.

TheFury (original poster)

#15: Post by TheFury (original poster) » replying to BlueWater »

If only I had so much room on my coffee bar! I've got a tiny corner of a tiny kitchen in a tiny apartment... no joke my Expobar takes up about 15% of my available counter space just by itself. Ask my wife, who doesn't drink coffee, how she likes my hobby!

Anyway, you have an enviable collection! I'm curious: of all those machines, which do you use the most often and why? And when you decide to use a different machine, what inspires you to do so?

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Jeff
Team HB

#16: Post by Jeff »

On the Argos, a lot of the usability questions will remain questions for a few months after people get them in hand and get over the "Oh, listen to me, I just made the best buying decision possible" phase.

Here's my gut feelings. 45 minutes to an hour for an E61 is too long for a spontaneous cup. 4 minutes on the DE1 is effectively none. I typically don't have my tools out and have made decisions about the next shot before it is ready. I've lost my notes on the VAM, but I think it is 7-10 minutes somewhere. If the Argos is ready to go in 10 minutes, that's fast enough for me.

I seldom make espresso for more than 3-4 people, even when entertaining. Most want milk drinks, so it is a few minutes per person. If I've got that many, I'm making drip. The refill problem, if it is a problem, likely can be handled by drawing off steam through the wand.

A whole minute. Shoot, I don't touch my espresso until I've banged out the basket and rinsed it and the screen. If you want crema, order some Saka. BTW, the DE1 is a painfully slow steamer. My recollection is it is something like 50 seconds for 250 g of milk.

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#17: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Don't forget the Espresso Forge if you go manual. It's part of our travel kit along with the Breville Milk Cafe. On some trips with family I make 8 caps in a morning. Been waiting on my Arco grinder to complete the kit. Myself and a few other Slayer owners like to Forge ahead.
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cebseb

#18: Post by cebseb »

TheFury wrote:
  • Does this solve my problem about heat-up time? It's a lot smaller than an E61 machine but will it come to temp fast enough and not feel kind of wasteful for small volume use?
  • I believe the boiler on this thing only has capacity for what, 6 shots? And it has to bee cool for you to refill it. I feel like that would get annoying fast, though owners of similar machines -- europiccola? -- don't ever seem to mention that. What do you think?

Buy 3 Argos units. One 6 bar spring, one 8 bar spring, and the third being a direct drive. All of them to have Bluetooth transducers. That effectively brings your shot capacity up to 18 and one unit can be used for steaming while one of the other two (or both) are pulling shots. To top it all off, you're still coming in below the price of a Decent DE1 pro.

TheFury (original poster)

#19: Post by TheFury (original poster) »

cebseb wrote: Buy 3 Argos units. One 6 bar spring, one 8 bar spring, and the third being a direct drive. All of them to have Bluetooth transducers. That effectively brings your shot capacity up to 18 and one unit can be used for steaming while one of the other two (or both) are pulling shots. To top it all off, you're still coming in below the price of a Decent DE1 pro.
LOL, I'm not trying to optimize for cost but rather a weird function of number of my use cases served vs the countertop footprint required. I'm ok if one solution costs $1K and the other one costs $3K as long as it gives me the warm and fuzzies when I make my coffee every day. But three Argos would look pretty sweet on a countertop, I must say...

Milligan

#20: Post by Milligan »

I'm on board with, why not both? I'd do the Decent first to get your daily driver and steamer checked off the list and then add a manual down the road if you get an itch.