Is there no contender to the Slayer espresso machine?

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

#1: Post by klosor5 »

I've tried to look at an espresso machine that allows for precise flow control, but it seems that the company behind the Slayer espresso machine has patented the so called needle valve technology, allowing you to grind much finer than a GS3 MP for instance. If this is the case, then would the Slayer be the uncontested champion, even though most people attribute that rank to the Decent? What I don't like about the Slayer though however is that you can't do any serious profiling. You only have two modes for infusion, so a declining pressure profile for medium roasts would not be possible. I would 100% buy the Slayer if the needle vale didn't have any steps and was more similar to the GS3, but maybe that's not needed with the Slayer?

I have seen people say they tried to recreate the Slayer shot on a Decent Espresso but it resulted in catastrophe because the grinds were too fine. These micro-decisions are making me pretty frustrated as a perfectionist. Please save me from myself before I turn insane.

According to their own words:

"Slayer's flagship product. Uncompromisingly manual and completely focused on extraction. It is the only espresso machine that lets you precisely and consistently control the flow rate of water allowing you to grind coffee finer and develop incredible flavor profiles."

Obvious it's to be taken with a grain of salt when coming from them, but I don't really see anyone on the internet claiming otherwise, so right now I'm kind of forced to assume their claim to be real.

Edit: I am also wondering if the Slayer machine can pull shots other than the Slayer shot, and if so, how?


#2: Post by poison »

A manual lever is actually 'ultimate control'. Everything else is trying to catch up.

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#3: Post by Jake_G »

klosor5 wrote:Please save me from myself before I turn insane.
Hey Adam,

Welcome to HB!
Not sure I can help you here, but assy least you're in good company! :lol:

I think the Dalla Corte Mina is the only other machine that competes with Slayer aside from the plethora of E61 boxes with so-called "flow control" devices installed. The Mina uses what they call a DFR, which is essentially a needle valve attached to an actuator (either stepper motor or servo, I forget which). The Mina uses an app interface to dial in up to 5 different DFR setpoints that can be accessed manually with a sort of steam shovel lever-ish interface on the machine, or they can be programmed into a time-based profile that is automated. Not full analog control, but more flexible than a the binary control on the Slayer.

As for other shot styles on the Slayer, sure. You can do bump shots, where you hit the puck hard and then back off to pre-brew before resuming full flow. You can switch to pre-brew at the tail end of a shot for a ramp down. There are lots of ways to use the two brew modes to coax out different flavors from your coffee.


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LMWDP #704

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#4: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

poison wrote:A manual lever is actually 'ultimate control'. Everything else is trying to catch up.
Maybe a Olympia-Cremina or perhaps a Streitman CT2 might be in your future.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

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#5: Post by Mat-O-Matic »

Hopefully what is emerging here is the notion that perfection and uncontested best designations are highly dependent on what you want--perhaps mainly in how fiddly you actually want to be and what coffee you like. The Decent offers highest fiddly-ability, but not a lot of shot-to-shot advantage over flow control DBs. There are high end machines comparable to the Slayer, each with their advantages, like the Dalla Corte, GS3, Synessos. Newer, high end levers have wide range. Other levers and machines like the LMLM and Micra reliably deliver great espresso with little fuss.

FWIW, the most memorable shots I've had were either on a Slayer or my spring lever.
LMWDP #716: Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.


#6: Post by Primacog »

Of course the quality of the coffee beans and the skill of the barista are relevant also but it may not be a coincidence that the only pump machines that I have found to produce coffee in cafes that can compete with that of spring levers have tended to be the Slayer machines. But the usually far higher price of the Slayer vs the spring levers have tended to usually favour the latter unless one is talking about a LM LEVA X or a idrocompresso slim Jim.
LMWDP #729