What is Rao's relationship to Decent Espresso? - Page 3

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.

#21: Post by DaveC »

I think someones personal circumstances can genuinely change their views and it's often difficult to step back from that and take a broader view.

I sometimes give coffee roasting training to select people when the mood takes me, and only on a 1kg roaster I had the manufacturer redesign to make it work better. I always give them the same advice. If you're roasting as a business, you have to roast what your customers like, and not the way you like. Be mindful of the preparation methods of the majority of those customers who may have BTC machines, pourover or espresso machines.

Choose coffees that respect certain methods best and roast each coffee to its optimum level, understand the single origins before you create 2 or 3 bean blends. It's not about roasting for espresso, or roasting for pour over...it's where I often think some roasters lose their way. You should never really see a bean with espresso roast or filter roast, as few if any beans can take that sort of variation in roast level, without a negative effect on taste.

If you are only roasting for yourself, then you fine tune the roast and select coffees your equipment likes best. I have a coffee at the moment, it's OK as espresso, better as americano and even better as a pour over (filter). I will still drink it as an espresso because I want to experience the coffee 3 ways. What I will never do is to try and do an "espresso roast with it", or an "omni roast"...that would be the worst of all worlds....I prefer to roast it as the coffee guides me. What I am left with are coffees that are best consumed one way or another...or can be consumed in a number of ways with a varying experience. If you want to combine coffees in a blend, you widen the target at the expense of absolute quality for a specific prep method, you create a blend...jack of all trades, master of none. Or you can accentuate the experience of one specific prep method. This of course always means post blending and I never recommend any other method of blending coffee..

Scotts advice seems tailored to his experiences with decent machines it's a view...not one I teach though.
★ Helpful

User avatar
Supporter ❤

#22: Post by Peppersass »

another_jim wrote:Signing a contract that obligates you not to disclose that you are a paid promoter? Is that supposed to be an excuse or a further condemnation? In any case, is such a contract even legal?
According to this FTC site concerning endorsements, if you endorse a product and don't disclose that you're paid by the company to do that, it's a violation of the Truth in Advertising Act. Here's a link to an FTC document, "Endorsement Guides" that lays out the rules.

I think a contract that obligates someone not to disclose that they're a paid endorser raises complicated legal questions. Sure, if the contract says exactly that, then it's probably an illegal conspiracy to defraud the public, violate the Truth in Advertising Act, etc. But I doubt anyone would be stupid enough to write a contract like that. Instead, I think they would use a general Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that says the signer can't disclose anything about the company's business or the signer's relationship with the company, and then pay the signer to do things other than endorsement, like, say, beta testing the product, and then (nudge-nudge-wink-wink) the signer publicly raves about the product without explicitly being told by the company to do so. Could be very hard for the FTC to bring a violation case in a situation like that.

Weber Workshops: tools for building better coffee
Sponsored by Weber Workshops
User avatar
Team HB

#23: Post by another_jim »

Thanks for the clarification. It doesn't seem likely that Rao and Decent would have that kind of NDA, since he's an acknowledged developer. From the rest of your post, it seems that Rao's blog may be just one more voice coming out of the commercial fog -- advertisers pay for most of the information we get; so it's no surprise that info about advertising relations and influences is mostly biased and incomplete.
Jim Schulman

Supporter ♡

#24: Post by ira »

I'm going to say this with some reservations. I think Scott only says positive things about things he actually thinks are good. I also believe he ended up working for/with Decent because he was pushing edges in brewing with the Decent that hadn't been previously talked about and I believe he has a palate that's good enough to recognize subtle differences and made a good addition to the Decent team. Listening to him talk, it seemed that as a consultant his goal would be to help you be the best at what you needed. I also think he is of the opinion that the Decent has enabled him to learn things about brewing coffee much faster than any other tool he's ever used. As the only negative comments about the Decent seem to revolve around, price, visuals, thermoblocks, noise, the tablet and longevity I do find it hard to discount his fascination with the Decent. Certainly from a capability standpoint, it seems like nothing else out there comes close.

Now, besides that, I agree with about everything that's been said here. He certainly comes across as a know-it-all which works sometimes and not others and he's certainly very opinionated.



#25: Post by ojt »

Please forgive a newbie commenting on these heavy weight topics but my simple (simpleton?) opinion is that no matter how experienced, famous, skilled, knowledgeable etc one is saying that any one machine is the only good one for the job is just too thick. And yeah especially if you happen to work for them.

Not that I care too much what him or others rave about. But it will confuse people.

User avatar
CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster)

#26: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster) »

Peppersass wrote:According to this FTC site concerning endorsements, if you endorse a product and don't disclose that you're paid by the company to do that, it's a violation of the Truth in Advertising Act. Here's a link to an FTC document, "Endorsement Guides" that lays out the rules.....
Interesting reading Dick. Thank you for sharing. Pursuing this with a glass of good Zin. Some of the examples see similar. Confirms my gut reaction that started this thread.
Artisan Quick Start Guide

User avatar
Supporter ♡

#27: Post by Brewzologist »

Lot of interesting comments. In the old-days you'd have infomercials on television which were easy for anyone to spot, but with the internet the lines can become quite blurred. I generally agree with the gist of Rao's post, but as others have said, he is blurring the lines with his comments on the DE1 and his apparent relationship with Decent.

Legalities aside, whether this is a problem in today's world probably depends on who you ask. For me, it's a bit of an ethical problem that Rao doesn't disclose his relationship with Decent in the blog post. It would be an easy thing for him to do, and those who care about this will appreciate the professionalism. But if you ask my kids about it, they'd wonder what the big deal is! They are at once very savvy and naïve users of technology, and would not be concerned about a missing disclosure. In the end, the person hurt most by this omission is likely Rao himself; in that his reputation might take a hit with certain followers.

Full disclosure: I own a DE1 and love it, own many of Rao's books, currently participate in Facsimile tastings, and generally like his videos and posts. 8)

Decent Espresso: espresso equipment for serious baristas
Sponsored by Decent Espresso

#28: Post by mathof »

Over the years, I've come to the opinion that Rao's tastes in espresso are based on how close it gets to what he enjoys about filter coffee. This is particularly evident in his enjoyment of high brew ratios, which by their nature exclude the viscous texture and intensity that I enjoy in espresso. For me, filter coffee pales by comparison with espresso; for Rao, I believe, it's the other way round. I go on reading him out of interest, but I disregard his taste recommendations.
★ Helpful


#29: Post by Phip »

My ancient history is a bit dusty, but it seems some Roman law nailed the issue here a couple of thousand years ago. Caveat emptor.
LMWDP #687

User avatar
CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster)

#30: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster) »

If cafes could brew amazing filter coffee in an espresso machine, it would be the Holy Grail of brewing coffee by the cup.
After almost three decades of tinkering, I have finally found a method to brew extraordinary filter coffee in a (Decent) espresso machine in three minutes or less. I'll call this Filter 2.0 until someone suggests a better name.
(Please do.)

Filter 2.0 is the synthesis of several lessons I've learned over the years, merged with the unique capabilities of the @decentespressomachines. It requires controlled preinfusion, a long(ish) bloom, the "filter sandwich" and the flow control of the DE1. Filter 2.0 tastes like an incredibly-well-made filter coffee, the kind you hope you will get, but rarely do, when you order a pourover.
Sept 30th.

I haven't had a "Decent" filter coffee in a while. Maybe I can now.....hmmm.
Artisan Quick Start Guide