Cafelat Robot User Experience - Page 368

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
nismohks88

#3671: Post by nismohks88 »

Is there any where in the UK I can buy a pressurised basket ? I need one until I get a new grinder. Thanks

cap2

#3672: Post by cap2 »

fabienm wrote:Yes, I ordered mine directly from Cafelat HK:
-order on Dec 10th
-dispatch on Dec 16th
-received (in France) on Dec 18th

Pretty quick process, overall.

I had the same experience getting it shipped to the US in January

Flair Espresso: handcrafted espresso. cafe-quality shots, anytime, anywhere
Sponsored by Flair Espresso
cap2

#3673: Post by cap2 »

sam_d wrote:Hi all, I'm thinking about buying a Robot soon, my original plan was to just purchase a Robot only, before making a second order with any extras (e.g. a 2nd basket) once I'd had some time to get used to making coffee with it.

However with the higher COVID related shipping costs that isn't looking too great at the moment, so... my question to all of you much more experienced users, is what extras to get?
  • 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?
I supposed I should also ask if anyone knows when the cheaper shipping options will return? (I'm fully expecting the answer to this to be 'don't know'?)

Thanks!
This question is clearly just asking for opinions: these are (a very few) of mine:
  • I would def pay for the barista model with pressure gauge. The gauge is very helpful for learning
  • It's anybody's guess when shipping will become normal. I have been getting eBay stuff slow and cheap from China via ChinaPost throughout COVID, and Hong Kong is part of china, but evidently life in HK is not that simple.
  • Two shots is not enough reason for a second basket.
  • Hard to image that you would ruin both gaskets or even one filter screen before normal shipping resumes, but accidents do happen. If you keep the Robot long enough you will eventually need those, so no long term harm in getting them.
  • If you really want to geek out and try everything everyone is talking about on this forum, then get the pressurized basket and filters. You don't need either to pull great shots.
  • I find the ergonomics to be the weak point in the robot design. I built extenders for my the arms to make it more comfortable to press 9 or more bar. I imagine the "hands" would help, but still not enough to make it easy.

Ken5
Supporter ♡

#3674: Post by Ken5 »

Robot does come with an extra gasket.

I use the pressurized basket to preheat the piston since I had to buy it as when I bought the robot the grinder that I wanted was not available anywhere. Glad I have it, maybe not the best way to do it, but it seems to work fine. If I didn't have it I would have probably tried finding a good sized bowl that I could prop up so the tip of the piston could drop into boiled water. If I did that I would try to avoid the gasket, though some here don't avoid it.

3 ways to preheat with the pressurized basket.

1. Attach pressurized basket and let the weight of the levers slowly empty the basket as you prep the coffee. Never timed it, would guess about 40-50 seconds give or take

2. Prep coffee and basket and just before pulling shot attach pressure basket to portafilter and press the water out. Again... never timed it, would guess 10 seconds give or take.

3. Never tried this, but I noticed that if I attach the pressurized basket to the robot and use something to keep the levers up the water won't drip out of the basket, other than a few initial drops.

Never measured the temp of the piston after doing this as I do t have the equipment. It is very hot, can't leave the back of my hand on piston at all. Front of fingers can stay on longer. Maybe it is not as hot as a cup that just had boiling water just dumped out.

Again, not necessary for most coffees. Actually had dark roasts where it was worse with preheating. Beans that I have been using for the last few months recommends 203-205 and since it is so easy to preheat I do it with these beans.

Jonk

#3675: Post by Jonk »

Ken5 wrote: If I didn't have it I would have probably tried finding a good sized bowl that I could prop up so the tip of the piston could drop into boiled water. If I did that I would try to avoid the gasket, though some here don't avoid it.
I don't avoid the gasket, but wish I could easily avoid the screw holes above it. Usually a bit of moisture creeps inside. I have never removed my piston but if I do I think I'll try some PTFE tape in there.

I had trouble with the gasket not sealing properly after pre-heating before I started to wipe it off before pulling the shot. Not wetting it in the first place is perhaps better for longevity.

jpender

#3676: Post by jpender »

Ken5 wrote:I use the pressurized basket to preheat the piston...

...Never measured the temp of the piston after doing this as I do t have the equipment. It is very hot, can't leave the back of my hand on piston at all. Front of fingers can stay on longer. Maybe it is not as hot as a cup that just had boiling water just dumped out.

I did something similar by blocking the holes on the professional basket. So instead it slowly draining the water stayed the whole time. I also tried attaching the double spouts, with the holes blocked, and adding water to just the portafilter (no basket). I measured the effect this had on the temperature decline of the brew water. And from that I would expect that what you're doing makes a significant difference. And yes, it's not as big a difference as actually immersing the piston in a larger volume of hotter water.

jpender

#3677: Post by jpender »

Jonk wrote:I don't avoid the gasket, but wish I could easily avoid the screw holes above it. Usually a bit of moisture creeps inside. I have never removed my piston but if I do I think I'll try some PTFE tape in there.

I had trouble with the gasket not sealing properly after pre-heating before I started to wipe it off before pulling the shot. Not wetting it in the first place is perhaps better for longevity.

The water is probably sneaking in through the bolt head side, not the threads. I'm not sure if teflon tape would work there. You could always slather a bit of food grade silicone over the bolt though.

I thought that water wasn't going to be getting into my piston with my setup. It's not anything fancy, just a plastic measuring cup and a small screw top plastic jar that I use to prop up the cup. It fits really well. But apparently moisture is getting in. I had to replace the piston thermistor and decided not to waterproof the new one. Not long after that the thermistor began reading a few degrees low, a sign of water intrusion.

I've also noticed that preheating sometimes makes the seal less reliable. What's going on there? Water gets behind the seal -- is that it? Or is the seal actually softening appreciably? I don't understand it but it motivates me to find a better way to deal with the cold piston... eventually. :-)

BPlus: turning your coffee spirit
Sponsored by BPlus
Ken5
Supporter ♡

#3678: Post by Ken5 »

Is there an an accurate and cheap way to measure the temperature of the piston? Would be interesting to see how similar the results are of both methods.

Ken

John, didn't see the first post that addressees this issue till just now.

thanks!

jpender

#3679: Post by jpender »

I taped a bead thermistor to the inside face of the piston. It's not really "the temperature" since the piston will be hottest on the outside face, somewhat cooler on the inside face, and cooler still on the sides. Plus how well the thermistor is coupled to the metal will affect how it reads. But even still it acts as a proxy for the amount of heat the piston has absorbed and can be used for relative comparisons.

As for your preheat method it's impossible for me to know how well it's working for you. But these are the piston preheat methods I tried: (1) piston soaking in cup of hot water; (2) portafilter with blocked double spouts; (3) professional basket with blocked holes. What you're doing will fall in there somewhere.

The temperature shown below is the brew water temperature during the shot after preheating.


Ken5
Supporter ♡

#3680: Post by Ken5 »

Wow... I cannot believe the shots I have been getting the last week, and consistently great!!! Just had the best shot I ever had, not only did it taste amazing, but it made my mouth water afterwards like when you eat an amazing artichoke heart. Had that with another shot this week too.

What changed? From the day I got the robot I have been consistently using 18g doses and went for 2 to 1. A few times I did change the ratio. After not liking shots last week I went to a 17g dose. I am hoping it is not just the bag of coffee. I dont think so as the reason I went to 17g is because I was not liking what I was getting and it instantly, and consistently got better with the change.

Ken