Review of the Decent Espresso DE1+PRO - Page 2

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TomC
Team HB

#11: Post by TomC » Jun 02, 2018, 7:57 pm

So first with the commercial lever...

I used what I have around the last week, which is more developed coffees like Caffe Lusso GMC, LionShare, Duomo from Black Oak. Dragonfly Lean Hammer, and Some Dapper Lion Espresso I had in the deep freezer. All easy to extract coffees with the exception of Lean Hammer being a bit lighter roasted.

Comparisons are not scientific in any way. Both machines require a different grind. Of course, the Leva requires almost a full hour to come up to temp. The DE, about 5, and the portafilter is definitely ready to go by the second shot. The Leva certainly wins in looks and silence, but that's not really what I'm comparing. The time factor will always go in the DE's favor. One morning, without any prompting, my girlfriend went ahead and made her own cappuccino instead of waiting for me to wake up. She worked her way thru the menu intuitively, since I hadn't really gone over it with her in detail. I was rather impressed by that.

Both using the Classic Lever profile and tweaking any of the general flow/pressure profiles to suit, work fine. The results in the cup were very much the same, maybe a bit more crema with the Leva. The Leva leaves a bone dry easy to knock out puck, the DE is soupy and messy. The Leva is also less prone to spatter.

I think when it comes to the lighter roasts, the DE will show more of it's advantages. Because my Leva is a dipper, the pre-infusion pressure is tied to the boiler temp. I can't get a low, slow pre-infusion that I'd use with a light roasted coffee, paired with a higher boiler temp for an extraction that isn't sour. But with the DE, since they're separate functions, I can achieve both.

I have little doubt that the Speedster and the DE with line up similarly. There's not a lot of tweaking available on the Speedster other than controlling line pressure pre-infusion time, it just looks pretty and delivers amazing shots. I'll focus the lighter roasts on those machines.

Prescott CR

#12: Post by Prescott CR » Jun 02, 2018, 8:19 pm

Tom-

A few questions if you don't mind: Do you have a theory why the Decent's puck is soupy? I'm wondering if you end at a very low flow rate (or pressure) maybe there isn't much pressure to evacuate liquid from the puck...

Are you seeing the Decent being a huge leap over what a Vesuvius delivers?

Is the exposed parts of the group too hot to touch on the Decent? I never liked the idea of a large chunk of metal radiating heat, then again I live in Arizona.
-Richard

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TomC
Team HB

#13: Post by TomC » Jun 02, 2018, 8:45 pm

I've never used a Vesuvius, so it wouldn't be fair to compare. But I know the DE is cheaper, smaller and can target actual puck temperatures. Can you adjust the pre-infusion waveform as precisely on a Vesuvius?

You can rest your hand on top of the black group head cover if you choose. It's warm, but won't burn you.

I don't know if it's an issue of a 3 way valve or not, but on the Leva, there's absolutely no place for residual pressure to go except thru the puck. Plus the grind of the Leva is a bit coarser since the puck depth is much deeper.

My routine with the DE is just to flush a bit of water over portafilter, over a small rubbermaid tub. Then when I dump that in the sink, a clean towel dries it out and it's ready for the next shot. Another reason the DE will be so much more awesome with something thin like the Acaia scale, it would make this a bit easier, since as it is, I have to move the bulky Skale out of the way in order to do this first. A proper coffee bar with a plumbed in drain would make this a bit easier just rinsing it under the group or hot water tap and done.

Prescott CR

#14: Post by Prescott CR » Jun 02, 2018, 9:43 pm

Okay, thanks!

I think the V is pretty much best described as an a high end feature phone (Alias II) and the Decent is like the latest 2018 smart phone :) The V has 5 profiles of 7 stages based entirely on pressure.

Sloppy pucks are forgivable if the shots are consistent and excellent.

I'm grateful for all the insight into the Decent machines, I suppose being so open about the whole development is a dual edge sword but I'll say thank you to all those involved.

Thanks again,
-Richard

thesheesh

#15: Post by thesheesh » Jun 04, 2018, 2:29 am

Prescott CR wrote:Tom-

A few questions if you don't mind: Do you have a theory why the Decent's puck is soupy? I'm wondering if you end at a very low flow rate (or pressure) maybe there isn't much pressure to evacuate liquid from the puck...

Are you seeing the Decent being a huge leap over what a Vesuvius delivers?

Is the exposed parts of the group too hot to touch on the Decent? I never liked the idea of a large chunk of metal radiating heat, then again I live in Arizona.
The reason for the soupy pucks seems to be because the DE doesn't have a 3 way valve in the classic sense. It has a flush valve that drains to the drip tray, but it is a separate water path from the pump path, which is where most 3 way valves are located. Because this, there isn't a sneeze of pressure vacuuming the puck dry. Still, there might be some room for improvement if Decent plays with the timing for when that flush valve opens. It's something they're aware of, so who knows. Could get better in the future. As Tom said, it's not super annoying, but I'd definitely love to be able to knock out to a cleaner pf.

As for just general thermal mass of the machine, it's really low. It doesn't sit there heating up the kitchen at all, which I'm pretty happy about.

Tonefish

#16: Post by Tonefish » Jun 04, 2018, 7:22 pm

Thinking about sloppy pucks and workarounds, I'm wondering, are the baskets custom or common ones and would you want to put a VST in there anyway (if it is not already)?
LMWDP #581 .......... May your roasts, grinds, and pulls be the best!

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Jake_G
Team HB

#17: Post by Jake_G » Jun 04, 2018, 7:38 pm

Regarding soupy pucks:

From Coffee Forums UK posted a few days ago.
(emphasis added)
decent_espresso wrote:
We today received the group head parts for v1.1 of our Decent Espresso Machine. These parts receive water into the top of the group head, and then evenly distribute the water onto the coffee.

With this new revision, our goals are:

1) to reduce the overall brass mass, so that the espresso machine heats up faster from cold-power on, and also so that temperature profiling during an espresso shot can be easier and faster accomplished (less thermal inertia to battle).

2) slightly better placement of temperature probes for faster and more accurate measurement (especially in quickly measuring the effect of the cartridge heater, that goes in the middle)

3) much easier wiring of the triple safeties (thermostat and two thermal fuses) around

4) use of a different brass material that is less likely to tarnish

5) drier pucks (less headspace above the basket)

6) black anodized aluminum parts, to lengthen life and impede tarnishing

7) a better thermal isolation design, so that the heated group head transfers less heat to the espresso machine. Lowers electrical use and improves espresso temperature stability between shots.

In a few weeks, we'll be opening up orders for 500 more Decent Espresso Machines, and they will be built with this design.
It will be interesting to see what else these changes bring about. Particularly, if there are tuning parameters in the updated firmware that optimize V1.1 temperature response at the expense of V1.0 performance, due to the reduced thermal mass of the new components. Hopefully there will be a check for this and a method of getting updates, while keeping the response in check. I can't imagine not given the incredible transparency of the design process and continued support for early adopters. Continued innovation is good, but the leading edge is also the bleeding edge...

Cheers!

- Jake

Tonefish

#18: Post by Tonefish » Jun 04, 2018, 8:32 pm

Jake_G wrote: From Coffee Forums UK posted a few days ago.
There's a lot more information over there, isn't there. Thanks Jake!
LMWDP #581 .......... May your roasts, grinds, and pulls be the best!

jeffg2020

#19: Post by jeffg2020 » Jun 18, 2018, 7:11 pm

Not really my cup of tea, so to speak. I'm a tech guy -- I spend too much time in front of screens as it is. I'm sure this machine is as wonderful as the review suggests, but I'm not tempted by the idea of a hybrid computer / espresso machine. "Download" this, "upgrade" that - that's exactly what I want to get away from when I make my morning cuppa. Different strokes...

vit

#20: Post by vit » Jun 19, 2018, 1:25 am

+1