Cafelat Robot User Experience - Page 366

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
mikelipino

#3651: Post by mikelipino »

As a Robot user for a few months, I'd echo what ojaw said, with only a few changes.
- I'd probably not go for the second basket. The workflow is similar to a semiautomatic in that after a shot you can quickly knock out a puck and give the basket a wipedown. Depending on your grinder, this can be done while waiting on the grind, so no lost time.
- I'd probably say yes to a self-leveling tamper. I don't have the official, but I did 3D print a self leveling tamper. And while it certainly isn't difficult to center and thumb press the original tamper, I find a lot more consistency with an automatic self level and the ability to press with my palm. Much quicker too.
- Maybe on the spare filter screen. I have had no issues with my original screen, but it is a thinner gauge metal. And since the screen is a durable, you can keep a spare pretty much indefinitely if you have no issues. The same can't be said for gaskets, which will age in storage. Better to get those as you need them.
- Robot hands, an interesting question. My take is that if you are espresso old guard, and if espresso needs to be at 9 bar or nothing, it might be worthwhile. If you follow the designer Paul's recommendation for the Robot and instead pull at around 6 bar, and if you don't have any hand or arm injuries, I'd say not needed. I've found my sweet spot at 6-7 bars pressure, and the force on the arms is pretty easy. I've tried some 9 bar shots for kicks, and things end up fairly bitter due to the finer grind, and the stress on your hands is much greater.

Most of all, I'd say don't overthink it. The Robot is very forgiving of technique and equipment (grinder specifically), and you'll quickly figure out how to get good shots after the first few and great shots as you learn and play with different equipment. And welcome aboard!

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jpender

#3652: Post by jpender »

Nobody can say what is best for you, one can only offer their own opinion. Mine is that one basket is sufficient, the stock tamper works fine, and the hands don't really help. I have a pair of Robot hands gathering dust. I would focus on parts that can wear out or break and that's the piston seal and the screen. A few extra of the former and one of the latter is what I'd get.

Prima Coffee has carried all of those items in the past and likely will again. So you may be able to buy accessories without paying a lot for shipping, eventually.

Bluenoser
Supporter ♡

#3653: Post by Bluenoser »

Yes.. I also find one basket is enough and I don't think I need the 'hands'.. Actually using one basket for multiple shots means the basket is hot for the next shot.. But I would get about 2 more of the piston seals.. and maybe one more screen.. I have my original Robot screen and it really is fine. I think it will last a very long time as long as you are somewhat careful making sure your tamp is level. I don't think I have any need for the levelling tamper.. I do use a cork with 4 thin "ink jet cleaner" needles taped to it for stirring and then raking the top level.. That seems to be all I need.

One note about the red piston seal.. It will "leak" at times.. you'll notice that when you push down you hear a "whoosh" as it slips and maybe some water drops out .. but that is likely just some coffee grit that works its way between the gasket and the piston. Take the gasket off carefully (and make sure you know its orientation) and clean both it and the piston groove well. I then rub some Molykote on its outside and it is good for another few weeks to a month. After 1.5 years, I'm still using my original red gasket and screen.. which speaks to the quality of build. ( and I estimate I use all of 9 bar at times.. (no gauge) ). It's a great device.

Ad-85
Supporter ♡

#3654: Post by Ad-85 »

Grinder : Monolith MAX SLM
Device : Robot
Beans : Vivace Dolce
Recipe : 19.3g in 43g out in 43-47s (pre-infuse till drops hit 0.8g in the cup then start the timer - I have no idea for how many seconds)
Pressure: 6 bars
Add 150 ml of hot water and enjoy.

This is the second time I try this and for two nights in a row and it's been amazing. I highly recommend trying it.
LMWDB #691

Jonk

#3655: Post by Jonk »

sam_d wrote:
  • Mostly I will be making 2 espressos at a time, is it worth owning a 2nd basket to make the workflow easier?
  • Anyone own the self-levelling tamper? Would you recommend it over the normal one? Somehow I find it to not be that aesthetically pleasing, but if it helps...
  • Should I buy a spare filter screen? Or maybe even more than one?
  • Robot hands, are they purely cosmetic, or do they make a big difference to the ergonomics?
We all have different opinions 8) and it depends on how you use your Robot.

A second basket is very much worthwhile for me. You can prep both in advance and save a couple of minutes between shots - or just always have a clean basket available if you're lazy like me and often postpone cleanup. The holes in the basket also wear out eventually so if you alternate that will be further away in the future.

I make do with the regular tamper but if I was ordering now I'd deem it worth to upgrade.

One screen per basket isn't a bad idea, but if you use paper filters underneath the screen there's really only need for one, if any.

The "hands" provide extra leverage and comfort. If you pick the Robot with a gauge I'd say go for it. If you're not interested in the gauge then it's better to skip the hands or you can easily push too hard on the levers.

jpender

#3656: Post by jpender »

Jonk wrote:The holes in the basket also wear out eventually so if you alternate that will be further away in the future.

Really?

How does that manifest itself?

What's the time scale / number of shots?

Jonk

#3657: Post by Jonk »

jpender wrote:How does that manifest itself?

What's the time scale / number of shots?
Hole enlargement. Perhaps not a big deal. In a home environment, the rating should be basically a lifetime.. but there can be signs of wear a lot earlier Basket Wear Trivia

Imagine you pick up a second basket after a few years, perhaps it will pull a little different than your original one.

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nismohks88

#3658: Post by nismohks88 »

Hi I have just received my green robot.
I am new to manual espresso and looking to gain more advice on the forum.
How hard do I need to tamp ? roughly how much force ?

I am in the UK, Newcastle under lyme. any local robot users here ?
thanks

jpender

#3659: Post by jpender »

Jonk wrote:Hole enlargement. Perhaps not a big deal. In a home environment, the rating should be basically a lifetime.. but there can be signs of wear a lot earlier Basket Wear Trivia

Imagine you pick up a second basket after a few years, perhaps it will pull a little different than your original one.

Interesting. Assuming that guy's measurements were reliable it would mean the total hole area would have increased by something between 1/7 and 2/3. And yet it made zero discernible difference.

I wonder if they wore evenly? A lot is made about precision holes in baskets.

jpender

#3660: Post by jpender »

nismohks88 wrote: How hard do I need to tamp ? roughly how much force ?

Some people barely press at all, some don't even tamp. On the other extreme some press with 30lbs or more force.

I think you don't have to press that hard to compress the puck nearly as far as is possible by hand. You can feel it, the puck compressing and then that's about it, pushing harder doesn't change things noticeably. I don't know how many pounds that is but it's not much.

This is worth reading: https://www.baristahustle.com/blog/how-hard-should-you-tamp/