Why would you not buy a DE1? - Page 11

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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Chert
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#101: Post by Chert »

On flexibility and coffee waste, is Decent geared for updosing? or out of box can one work with traditional 14 g double and good result?
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| LMWDP #198 |

Jeff
Team HB

#102: Post by Jeff »

On coffee waste, mine is significantly down from a well-understood and well-managed E61 HX. I now can dial in faster and 250 g bags are not the challenge they once were, especially for medium-light and lighter beans. Even 4 oz bags (113 g) get me to several good shots after a quick dial-in. A 6-shot bag of medium-light roast would have been "crazy talk" on a typical E61 box, no matter how good your temperature control was (mine was within +/- 1° F). A 250 g bag has plenty in it for initial dial-in and tweak, then being able to try a different profile to see if there is even more I can pull out of the beans.

(@chert I pull medium light and lighter at 17 g nominal now, backing off of 18 g with my move to almost exclusively "un-dark", SO coffees. It works well at 15 g, though I prefer slightly higher doses for lighter roasts. I haven't pulled a 20 g shot in many years.)

With the DE1, at this point (and over the last couple years), the innovations come in firmware that runs on all the machines, as well as extraction approaches that the flexible and repeatable machines makes possible. Ray thankfully designed the hardware and its controllers to be broadly flexible.

Competing against Breville with their volume and its ability to demand more from their suppliers is, in my opinion, unwise. Someone making 1,000 units a year (of anything) can't compete for the attention and pricing that someone making 100,000 units can.

E61 groups seem popular among manufacturers as the parts are commodity (inexpensive compared to anything custom) and no design or test is needed. Throw the same stuff into a box with a Gicar controller and you're done. No real "engineering" there for most, no matter where engineered or manufactured. Innovation among the classic home-intended units is close to non-existent, with Lelit being a rare exception in my mind (Elizabeth, MaraX, Bianca). Look at the forthcoming Crem units, being pitched more as catch-up rather than providing anything better in the cup as, for example, a Bianca.

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VoidedTea

#103: Post by VoidedTea »

DamianWarS wrote:I've recently made the payment for a DE1 and it will be shipped early next month. I have very specific reasons for choosing it that I can't see any reason why I would get another machine. I know why it would work for me but what are some reasons if you were shopping for a new machine why the DE1 is not your choice?
I was seriously considering DE1 when looking for a way to make a very good shot of espresso at home in the simplest way possible, but then I bought the Robot and now I am asking myself why would anybody consider anything else, especially if they don't use milk and don't entertain large gatherings. So, to relate my answer to your question - I dismissed DE1 because I discovered that there is a much less expensive alternative to achieve the same results when it comes to pure espresso in small quantities. And if you consider longer terms, over 5 years, the cost difference will probably grow exponentially because electronics don't last that long and will have to be replaced or expensively serviced after 5 years of daily use. Hope this make sense.

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spressomon
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#104: Post by spressomon »

What a world we live in! The selection of espresso machines aimed at home use, when I started out on this 'make it at home' journey 21-years ago, could be counted on one hand; maybe two if you count the wannabes.

And I thought, after burning through my first, a little Krups machine, buying my then new Livia 90 for $700 was an exorbitant sum only softened by the 12-month ROI compared to going to Charbucks; I was in fat espresso city.

And now we can debate everything from the grain size of fine particles to whether a $5k machine is that much better than a $3k machine and whether or not a $10k machine can be justified only to repeat the process in the grinder arena.

My, how times have changed in the world of espresso making at home!
No Espresso = Depresso

DaveB

#105: Post by DaveB »

spressomon wrote:What a world we live in! The selection of espresso machines aimed at home use, when I started out on this 'make it at home' journey 21-years ago, could be counted on one hand; maybe two if you count the wannabes.
Indeed! I bought a Bunn espresso machine in 1993 for $300 from a local Peet's, along with a Rancilio Rocky grinder on sale for $250. As I recall, the Bunn was a rebranded Baby Gaggia after Bunn bought the company (same internals, different case). I remember thinking this was a great extravagance at the time. I used the setup for a couple years and then got out of the espresso game. Didn't buy my next machine until 25 years later (March 2018), and boy how things had changed! I think I'll stick with it longer this time, as the espresso is markedly better - not to mention the milk drinks. 8)
Von meinem iPhone gesendet

DamianWarS (original poster)
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#106: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) »

spressomon wrote:What a world we live in! The selection of espresso machines aimed at home use, when I started out on this 'make it at home' journey 21-years ago, could be counted on one hand; maybe two if you count the wannabes.

And I thought, after burning through my first, a little Krups machine, buying my then new Livia 90 for $700 was an exorbitant sum only softened by the 12-month ROI compared to going to Charbucks; I was in fat espresso city.

And now we can debate everything from the grain size of fine particles to whether a $5k machine is that much better than a $3k machine and whether or not a $10k machine can be justified only to repeat the process in the grinder arena.

My, how times have changed in the world of espresso making at home!
my first burr grinder I saved up for and it was an investment. it was $100, I still have it but it's more like a toy to me now. My last grinder was 10 times that and it's still a sum of money but it's no longer sticker shock and I know what it takes and I prepared to pay it. I forget what it was like to enter the game as people who ask me to recommend a grinder for them I start with the Baratza Encore as an entry-level for brewing and oftentimes they think the price too high and I keep assuring them that the price is not high at all. After that, I recommend hand grinders.

Jeff
Team HB

#107: Post by Jeff »

I think a lot comes down to
  • Do you need a $3,000 or up machine?
There will always be a group of buyers that rightly enjoy the appearance, feel, or name-recognition of some of the luxury class machines out there. That's a valid choice. The DE1 is unlikely to satisfy that class of buyers.

That group aside, like many things in espresso, a lot depends on roast level.

If you're sticking with medium-dark "espresso" roasts, especially if you enjoy the more classic creaminess and flavor profiles, you might well be very satisfied with "one from column A and one from column B". Then buy better quality coffee (greens and roast both) if you want to spend more.

Column A:
One of the high-end, espresso hand grinders out there
A Niche Zero
A used "titan conical"
(Maybe one of the modestly priced, classic flats, but I found the Compak K10 to be notably superior in the cup to the Mazzer Mini and Vario of the day)

Column B:
Cafelat Robot
Modern, close-coupled (non-E61) SB like the Silvano Evo
Lelit Elizabeth
Breville Dual Boiler
A used E61 HX
Lelit Mara X
A used, commercial-group, spring lever

As VoidedTea mentioned above, the Robot and a solid conical grinder make excellent espresso. Do it with one of the high-end hand grinders and you're in at well under $1,000, even with an electric kettle and some kind of frother. I've got a Robot next to my DE1 and it provides comparably enjoyable, though different, shots from medium and darker roasts.

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luca
Team HB

#108: Post by luca »

Great points, Jeff.

I'll go a little further. Let's say you want to get the absolute best cup of black, non-espresso, coffee possible. Spend circa USD $4,000 on a grinder, $400 on some manual brewing equipment, then double your roasted coffee budget and try out a lot of roasters and coffee. You'll probably exceed the quality of espresso you can get on any espresso machine at a comparable budget.
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Grader Exam, Brewer's Cup #3, Australian Cup Tasting #1

DamianWarS (original poster)
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#109: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) »

Jeff wrote:There will always be a group of buyers that rightly enjoy the appearance, feel, or name-recognition of some of the luxury class machines out there. That's a valid choice. The DE1 is unlikely to satisfy that class of buyers.
I think an argument can be made that decent is already competing or entering in this space.

appfrent

#110: Post by appfrent »

Most people confuse innovation with technology. There is endless list of products that were ruined by stuffing needles/useless technology and were falsely packaged as innovation. Let me make it clear, I am happy that Decent is available as an option and that they are doing well. I know what it takes to build something ground up and applaud John for that. Personally, I have never used Decent machines and has no desire to use one. First, I do not buy into their concept that you need to float every parameter to get a decent espresso. Second, I am skeptical about the execution of the concept. Just because you see some numbers and graph does not mean you have successful physical execution of the same. Third, I am really satisfied by the espresso I am making from machines with 10X less technology, some of which were manufactured before I was born and will outlive me. To me innovation is something like Cafelat Robot that can make espresso rivaling the best without fuss or fumbling and without a piece of wire or silicon. I splurged on Monolith Flat not because it has the best or even most technology. In fact, it has least of the already existing technology. It was because it lets me grind with the least fuss and fumbling. In the chain of coffee/espresso, the factors that provide you most return are (in the order of importance): 1. Quality of the bean. 2. Roasting. 3. Grinding. After this, the challenge is to find/develop the method that will let you screw the flavors least. The differences will be highly subjective and difficult to rank. Some coffee will shine on one, some on other. When there is something fundamentally better than levers and E61, wake me up. Stuffing sensors, graphs, bluetooth, IoT or even AI are not going to cut it for me.
Forget four M's, four S's are more important :-)- see, sniff, sip and savor....