Cafelat Robot preheating workflow

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YeetSkeeterson

#1: Post by YeetSkeeterson »

What preheating workflow works best for the Cafelat Robot? Preheating components can effect taste, as explored in this thread where the current discussion became increasingly focused on preheating routines:

Does preheating the Cafelat Robot affect taste? Please post your experiences here!

I moved the discussion here, so it can be easily found. drgary


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I preheat the basket out of ease, putting it on top of my boiling kettle. When the water is boiling the basket is heated. It works too well. First I add a little hot water to my glass to preheat the glass, then I put the basket on the kettle when it gets to around 200F. Wait for the steam.

I do semi-light, to just before dark, and everything in between. Really I've had more than ever since getting my SR800 roaster. There are so many new flavors to me right now it's hard to even tell what the machine is doing.

I would never, ever spend the extra time pre-heating the piston or anything else though. I'd get a different machine. If you add up all the time you use to do that as an opportunity cost, it'd likely be way more than the cost of a machine with adequate preheating.

Some of these convoluted processes totally sidestep, to me, the purpose of my Robot.

jpender

#2: Post by jpender »

cap2 wrote:Is 6 minutes a long time compared to other machines that can make excellent shots, from a cold start?
I've never owned any other espresso machine but I think I know the answer to your question. For me, it's not just about an extra 3-5 minutes, it's the process, the juggling part of it, that I find unaesthetic. This is particularly true for preheating the piston as there are a number of little steps and it's kind of messy with water dripping after I pull the cup away. Preheating the PF or basket is much simpler.

I'll probably switch over to a non-metal, food safe piston at some point. That will solve most of the preheat problem.

Jonk

#3: Post by Jonk »

Just to answer the question. No, 6 minutes is exceptionally fast. It's about as fast as it gets. Most big machines will land at 20-60 minutes, but it is a fair point that the only thing you have to do with some of those is flip a switch and wait. Having done that, I much prefer the Robot way 8).

Some machines are both quick and easy though, like Aplimont MiniGaggia and probably other open boilers like Strietman. You'll have to spend more time cleaning and maintaining those on the other hand.

jpender

#4: Post by jpender »

How long does it take to pull the first shot from a Decent DE1?

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drgary
Team HB

#5: Post by drgary »

I don't know about the Decent. I do know that with a La Pavoni Europiccola, warmup is fast, especially if you do a heating flush to heat the group after reaching pressure.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

YeetSkeeterson (original poster)

#6: Post by YeetSkeeterson (original poster) »

Based on the temperature chart in the sister-thread, pre-heating does look to be useful for lighter roasts. That does not convince me to make the perfectly stated "juggling" worth it.

There's only a few things I can think of, something as easy as turning on a stove to boil water, or set the portafilter on top of the kettle as it's already boiling.

1. A heating pad. Surely someone has tried a heating pad, no? One with velcro, maybe a high powered one that gets super hot.

Plug it in, turn it on, velcro it around the piston.

2. It'd be interesting to have a closed water loop inside the piston, maybe hollow it out. Use closed loop water like in a computer's liquid cooling system but the opposite, have a heating element heat the closed water loop that circulates through the piston. It would function via a single switch, and there would basically be no maintenance outside of failure because there would never be water loss from evaporation.

Jonk

#7: Post by Jonk »

jpender wrote:How long does it take to pull the first shot from a Decent DE1?
Should be roughly the same as with a Robot, but apparently it won't hit the temperature goal quite as good as it could with a longer warm up.

cap2

#8: Post by cap2 »

jpender wrote:For me, it's not just about an extra 3-5 minutes, it's the process, the juggling part of it, that I find unaesthetic.
Agreed.

jpender

#9: Post by jpender »

Jonk wrote:Should be roughly the same as with a Robot, but apparently it won't hit the temperature goal quite as good as it could with a longer warm up.
Quite as "well" you mean. My partner (she has a masters in English) schools me frequently. :-)

The DE1pro is my dream machine in some ways. It's small, fast, portable, very adaptable, precise, made for test/experiments, quite capable. But the price tag, oh, man, while I could afford it, it is so out of proportion to the goal, at least in my mind. If only it were possible at 1/3 the price...