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.