Cafelat Robot User Experience - Page 446

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
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bringyoutomyhell

#4451: Post by bringyoutomyhell »

There's a limit to how much finer you can go. It's called volcano effect. The extraction yield increases as you go finer, but to a point, past that point water can't enter in all coffee grounds and you get channeling, uneven extraction and sourness (often also bitterness) in the cup

Also yeah, ignore 99% of the YouTubers, especially the famous ones. Terrible advice in general. Hoffman is safe-ish, Lance Hedrick too, some other super minor you can also find in espresso discords and forum. But the influencer kind.. avoid at all costs

Kinukcafe

#4452: Post by Kinukcafe » replying to bringyoutomyhell »

This explains the finness leading to channeling all clearly! Thanks.

I tried another shot. It seems I have resolved majority of the channeling issue.
Two changes made:
1/ go even coarser for 4 clicks in JX-pro counter-clockwise
2/ change from 1 toothpick to 2 needles (try to mimic a WDT) for distribution and crumb breaking. Also, instead of just finding and breaking visible crumbs, I stir 20 times.
3/ I add back infusion this time as per the advices i got it here. So, this time, 15s preinfusion + 20s pull time.

I am so happy to see all the golden colour coffee comes out smoothly and evenly. Still unsure whether it was the change in 1/ or 2/ contribution to the improvement.

Taste wise, I was less tasty than the last shot. Again, quite contradictory to what I read: coarser grind adds sourness and finner grind brings bitterness(?) still far from the desire result in taste but I am happy that the channeling was largely improved.

Plan to go even coarser to clear my doubt. Any thoughts will be welcomed.

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bringyoutomyhell

#4453: Post by bringyoutomyhell »

1) and 3) did the most, but I noticed a clear improvement with my WDT tool so 2) helped you too

Your shot did run a little fast after preinfusion. I would go a tad finer. But before doing that, try going coarser as you said, you never know!

Jonk

#4454: Post by Jonk »

Any coarser than that you really need to skip pre-infusion. Just go straight to what feels like full pressure. Refer to the manual for how to approximate pressure with a scale instead of the gauge.

Nwin23

#4455: Post by Nwin23 »

I'm getting extremely frustrated with my Barista version lately.

I've owned it about a year and it's first accident was my own fault-I crimped the tube accidentally while trying to multitask. No big deal/new hose and metal sleeve ordered along with other supplies since this is a machine I figure on having forever.

Replaced the parts and it was leaking out near the gauge. Found out I didn't jam the hose in far enough. Fixed that and it worked beautifully for two days and 5 shots.

This morning, as I pressed the levers they immediately went halfway down and it looks like the tube in the piston wasn't pushed far enough as it seems to have slid out (that's my guess at least-haven't had time to investigate but the internal part of the piston filled with water so that's my guess).

The tube is so short that it's very difficult for me to manipulate both ends and then deal with trying to center the holes of the lever arms up juuuust right to insert the 5mm bolt in the side of the piston.

Considering just removing the gauge and putting in the plug because it's not like I use the gauge 90% of the time.

jpender

#4456: Post by jpender »

Two years ago I was attempting a modification of my Robot that required disconnecting the pressure tube. I found that the Legris push to connect fittings in my Robot were not at all eager to disconnect. After a lot of effort I finally resorted to using heat to get them to let go. One of them was damaged by my efforts and, at the time, sourcing a replacement wasn't feasible.

So overnight I went from a Barista Robot to a non-Barista Robot. And what I found was that it didn't really make much difference as by then I had a pretty good intuitive feel for the pressure. Don't get me wrong, I preferred to have that readout there. But I don't think that its absence affected the quality of my espresso. At all.

I continued to use the metal tube as a conduit for electric wires that connected to a temperature sensor dangling below the piston. After playing with that for a year and half I decided to remove the sensor, the metal tube, and the long since disconnected gauge. Getting rid of all that stuff was like taking off a tuxedo and cummerbund and putting on shorts and T-shirt. Right away I noticed that the arms operated more easily without the tube pushing the piston to one side. For the first time since I bought my Robot I could raise the piston by pulling on just one arm. And the Robot simply looked better. I thought of it as an upgrade.

As a side effect removing the tube made reinstalling the bolt in the piston easier. It's still a bit of a bar puzzle sort of thing, getting it lined up and trying to keep it that way. Sometimes it still takes me a while. I recall from a video that Paul posted about assembling Robots that he attaches the piston first and then the arms. So if you're really stuck getting that bolt in you could try taking the top bolt out to remove the arms, attaching the piston, and finally reattaching the arms. The arms are also a little fiddly to get right but easier.

Nwin23

#4457: Post by Nwin23 » replying to jpender »

Thanks! I've read a few of your posts over the past week regarding your issues and I've encountered many of them myself.

I took the gauge off today and the thing works just fine without it. Maybe when my kids aren't taking up all my time I'll try and put the gauge back on....in twenty years.

Nwin23

#4458: Post by Nwin23 »

jpender wrote:Two years ago I was attempting a modification of my Robot that required disconnecting the pressure tube. I found that the Legris push to connect fittings in my Robot were not at all eager to disconnect. After a lot of effort I finally resorted to using heat to get them to let go. One of them was damaged by my efforts and, at the time, sourcing a replacement wasn't feasible.

So overnight I went from a Barista Robot to a non-Barista Robot. And what I found was that it didn't really make much difference as by then I had a pretty good intuitive feel for the pressure. Don't get me wrong, I preferred to have that readout there. But I don't think that its absence affected the quality of my espresso. At all.

I continued to use the metal tube as a conduit for electric wires that connected to a temperature sensor dangling below the piston. After playing with that for a year and half I decided to remove the sensor, the metal tube, and the long since disconnected gauge. Getting rid of all that stuff was like taking off a tuxedo and cummerbund and putting on shorts and T-shirt. Right away I noticed that the arms operated more easily without the tube pushing the piston to one side. For the first time since I bought my Robot I could raise the piston by pulling on just one arm. And the Robot simply looked better. I thought of it as an upgrade.

As a side effect removing the tube made reinstalling the bolt in the piston easier. It's still a bit of a bar puzzle sort of thing, getting it lined up and trying to keep it that way. Sometimes it still takes me a while. I recall from a video that Paul posted about assembling Robots that he attaches the piston first and then the arms. So if you're really stuck getting that bolt in you could try taking the top bolt out to remove the arms, attaching the piston, and finally reattaching the arms. The arms are also a little fiddly to get right but easier.
Thanks! I've read a few of your posts over the past week regarding your issues and I've encountered many of them myself.

I took the gauge off today and the thing works just fine without it. Maybe when my kids aren't taking up all my time I'll try and put the gauge back on....in twenty years.

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bringyoutomyhell

#4459: Post by bringyoutomyhell »

Paul initially designed the Robot without the gauge, which was a later addition, and he always said he prefers it without it

Kinukcafe

#4460: Post by Kinukcafe »

Maybe a bit off topic but still related to the journey of discovering good coffee with robot.

So I visited a nearby cafe today. The barista made me a really nice espresso. It was the best in life with my extremely limited experience. I started to understand all the taste people describe here like sweetness, balanced, .... And the pleasant bitterness and sourness (I hated both before). The best thing is now I know the definition of good. The espresso I made was simply unbalanced and watery. (So, I am gonna grind finner from now on I guess)

I shared with him I am trying on manual lever. He said machine is machine and he can make wonderful Americano with Aeropress. He thought manual lever was too much work. I almost bought a bag of beans from there but there is no brew date on it and he said it is normally 12days old from brew. He also kindly offer to grind it for me with a professional commercial custom grinder. He made one Americano for me with French press to try. It was not as impressive as the espresso. Think it was nice but I now can classify myself is more an espresso guy. Anyway, great guy great experience and I feel I did a great thing to myself visiting a cafe to learn more.

With the comment of "machine is machine", I think believe The robot can achieve something similar and I like the work though even with the manual grind. But I still thinking to get a machine. For those robot owners who also owns or thinking to buy a machine, do you think it is worthwhile to do so (money and counter space) given your robot can produce similar coffee?

Here is the machine in the cafe. The coffee is seriously good!