First Impressions of Decent Espresso DE1+PRO - Page 2

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
wgmcg

#11: Post by wgmcg » Mar 09, 2019, 3:12 am

I still might sell the machine, or not. I guess we'll see.

I picked this machine for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that unlike most e61 machines, it fits under the cabinets in my 1939 kitchen. That counts for a lot. That and though I'm sick of the general lack of human focus of most tech, I'm still a sucker for it.

I'm also fairly experienced with diagnosing software issues, and I have more than a decade of experience making espresso at home so I thought, and still hope I can tame it. There's a lot to like about the machine on paper, and hopefully IRL as well someday. I feel like there are a lot of fan boy type reviews of the DE1Pro as there are with many gadgets. Once you have significant sunk costs, you're highly incentivized to like the device and encourage others to like it as well, so I wanted to share some of my frustrations to provide a bit of balance.

There's a lot to like here but the learning curve with the machine can be quite steep and a bit frustrating, especially as a daily driver with nothing to fall back on when you just want your morning shot. My experience certainly hasn't been that you just tap here and there and get mind blowing espresso. I've burned through pounds of coffee trying to get something good. And while I've learned a fair bit about what I like and don't in the process, I'd prefer predictability.

GAC

#12: Post by GAC » replying to wgmcg » Mar 09, 2019, 3:45 am

I have to agree with this experience. I keep blaming me, my grinder, the garden fairies, puck prep etc., and sometimes come up with a nice coffee. Its fun to experiment with, but as my only daily driver for morning coffee (which it is).....Hmmm. Yet I know others with the DE who have absolutely no problems and pull excellent shots [they say]. The difference between me and them? Is their years of expense on equipment, training and experience. Although before my DE1+ I have happily used a standard HX machine for 15 years. I think part of the difficulty for me is access to training on this machine. Its very hard to get it right on the forums or over the phone. And I am in no way criticising the many skilful and willing helpers in the DE community either. The support is terrific.

JayBeck

#13: Post by JayBeck » Mar 09, 2019, 12:41 pm

I agree with Ryan, John, and Peter. The machine is the simplest and at the same time most complex machine out there. Several questions have gone out and basically no response as to exactly what shot and recipe is being used for "frustrating" results.

Simply put, use the E61 profile set to 9 bar, no preinfusion, standard dose, 1:2 ratio and 30 second shot like you do on whatever machine you currently are using. That "dummy" OG profile is the same as any pump machine you've ever used set to a 9 bar extraction. All espresso machines do 2 things: they pump water at a set flow and they are regulated at whatever pressure limit you have set once back pressure is reached. The only variable (outside of puck prep) is how stable the temperature is in the pull, the amount of headspace, and how accurate the pressure is at the puck.

So I'd love to hear how running the E61 profile works for you. Dose 19-20g in the stock basket (if you have a v1.0 machine), set temp to 200F, and use the standard E61 profile. No way you don't get something familiar doing that.

guydebord

#14: Post by guydebord » Mar 09, 2019, 1:26 pm

wgmcg wrote:
I'm growing weary of this machine. I used to look forward to my wakeup shot, now I have another god damn job, tuning the DE1PRO. Like all software that is eating the world, the promise is that it's going to make your life better, but the reality is that you end up serving the software more than it serves you.
This is exactly my feeling and decided to go full artisanal with the Bianca and couldn't be happier. Perhaps this is the trajectory for you, you definitely not get the perfect repeatability of the de1 but you get direct manual feedback control and I personally love slight variations on my extractions. I guess that for those obsessed with precision over handcraft the de1 has no match.
In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

Davidm

#15: Post by Davidm » Mar 09, 2019, 1:34 pm

Totally agree with Jaybeck's advice.

Also machine has bottomless portafilter and VST equivalent basket, so grind and puck prep is important.

As a total newbie, I took the advice of keeping variables constant and working on consistency. I also started with a decent grinder (kinu m47) and a scale per advice from this forum.

I have no hesitation recommending this machine to newbies. Watch the excellent newbie videos on this site first and then watch the Decent getting started videos. Also follow advice on this site about getting a good grinder.

pcrussell50

#16: Post by pcrussell50 » Mar 09, 2019, 1:43 pm

guydebord wrote:This is exactly my feeling and decided to go full artisanal with the Bianca and couldn't be happier. Perhaps this is the trajectory for you, you definitely not get the perfect repeatability of the de1 but you get direct manual feedback control and I personally love slight variations on my extractions. I guess that for those obsessed with precision over handcraft the de1 has no match.
This ^^^ Is a thing. On a machine like the DE, you pre program your shot and then let it run it's course. On machines like the Bianca, (and Brevilles re routed through it's needle valve), you can adjust on-the-fly, probably at the expense of the n'th degree of repeatability. Maybe the OP would prefer this approach to flow profiling?

But that does not change anything about going back to the basics if you are having trouble, and then bringing the fancy flow control tools to bear later, if the bean you are using can be made better that way. I feel like I did what Dick did, and after fiddling with some super light beans with looong slow pre infusions of 30 or more seconds to first drops, and/or 30s pump-off blooms, I've gone back to easier beans for the time being, with a soft but more traditional ramp up, and trailing the flow (and thus pressure) back manually during the final third.

David's post above reminds... VST and that ilk are fast and less forgiving. Maybe try one of your Silvia baskets. Or order yourself a Breville basket: high quality, affordable, but with a slower more traditional (forgiving) flow rate, for easier beans. I keep VST, Breville and EPNWs in my barista tool kit for use depending on circumstances.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

JayBeck

#17: Post by JayBeck » Mar 09, 2019, 1:46 pm

guydebord wrote:This is exactly my feeling and decided to go full artisanal with the Bianca and couldn't be happier. Perhaps this is the trajectory for you, you definitely not get the perfect repeatability of the de1 but you get direct manual feedback control and I personally love slight variations on my extractions. I guess that for those obsessed with precision over handcraft the de1 has no match.
The Bianca is the only other pump machine to consider, really. Well, there's the BDB that Peter has revoultionized so if you don't want BDB and are looking for a different machine, these are the two to consider (levers, obviously, equally good if you have the space and/or desire for one).

In fact, I'm considering a second machine for work and am in an internal debate between a second DE1 or a Bianca (for best of both worlds).

Then John announced how the DE1 will handle manual profiling in v1.3 (August '19). It should be at least as responsive and intuitive as the Bianca, with the benefit of still having all the automatic profiling.

Likely going to tip the scales to a second DE1.

https://coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.p ... so/page236

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rimblas
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#18: Post by rimblas » Mar 09, 2019, 2:00 pm

Davidm wrote:Totally agree with Jaybeck's advice.

Also machine has bottomless portafilter and VST equivalent basket, so grind and puck prep is important.

As a total newbie, I took the advice of keeping variables constant and working on consistency. I also started with a decent grinder (kinu m47) and a scale per advice from this forum.

I have no hesitation recommending this machine to newbies. Watch the excellent newbie videos on this site first and then watch the Decent getting started videos. Also follow advice on this site about getting a good grinder.
I've noticed that people with little or no previous experience seem to cope better with the learning curve. Perhaps is due to less preconceptions and assumptions.
I've also noticed that when people don't make many drinks a day, have grinders with retention, and don't realize the effect of retention, get frustrated the most.
Anyways, all machines have their learning curve, it's all pretty normal.

SteveH

#19: Post by SteveH » Mar 09, 2019, 2:38 pm

I guess I'll add my $.02. I ran my DE1Pro side by side with my Slayer single group for a few months before ultimately selling the Slayer. I really don't understand when people can't make good coffee with this machine -- it is as easy as you want it to be. If you're truly dumping 7/10 shots, something is seriously wrong. With my Monolith Flat SSP and careful prep, I'd be surprised if I've dumped 3/100 shots, and those were all just missing my grind guess on a new wacky profile.

Is it "better" than the Slayer? Probably not. I miss the haptics of the Slayer, and made great coffee on the machine. However, when you combine the price, small footprint, ease of use, and fun of tweaking as well as the excellent support from Decent, I truly think it is THE MACHINE TO OWN right now if you're willing to put up with some petty foibles.

FWIW, I mainly use simple pressure profiles with medium/darker "espresso" roasts and my moderately tweaked Blooming Espresso profile with light roasts

RyanP

#20: Post by RyanP » Mar 09, 2019, 3:02 pm

SteveH wrote:. I really don't understand when people can't make good coffee with this machine -- it is as easy as you want it to be. If you're truly dumping 7/10 shots, something is seriously wrong.
I agree. Blowing through pounds of coffee with no success is a problem that doesn't need to exist with the DE1. And blaming it on the tech and hardware which works fine isn't the solution. I do think it's twofold, though. A part of the responsibility needs to fall on the user for not being able to diagnose and fix their own mistakes but I think it definitely highlights a bigger issue with the streamlining and user friendliness of the machine. I think John and the team have some serious work to do in this area.