Cafelat Robot User Experience - Page 73

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
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Paul_Pratt

Postby Paul_Pratt » Feb 22, 2019, 5:20 am

baristainzmking wrote:Will there be a yellow robot again?


It is not that popular. We had some requests, so I did some and they stayed up for ages. Happens all the time like that. I think the last went a few weeks ago. There are some yellows in the stock shipment for the Boston SCA show which was already picked up.

hercdeisel

Postby hercdeisel » Feb 27, 2019, 1:11 am

A few thoughts from someone relatively new to espresso and completely new to levers of any form:

1. I'm very glad that I got a barista version for the gauge. As someone completely new to lever machines of any form, I had *no idea* how much effort it takes to exert 6-8bar pressure. The gauge is a really amazing learning tool.

2. I can't overstate how beautiful and well built this machine feels. It's awesome. This thing sparked a ton of interest from my kids. It's a very fun piece to have on the counter!

3. for pulling shots, I was working with a medium-light ethiopian bean when the robot arrived. With a pump machine, I had been grinding this *far* finer than other beans I've been working with, down dosing a 15g VST basket to around 14g, and turning up the temperature on my PID from about 196-198 to 204, with a pre-infusion time of about 9 seconds.

When I started tinkering with the Robot, I was pleasantly surprised that the Robot handled the coffee really well. I did filled a bowl with max-temp faucet water (about 120F) to pre-heat the basket, so not a 'cold' basket but not a real pre-heat in either of the recommended methods but a quick. it's also incredibly low effort. I had read in this thread that Robots like a coarser grind compared to other machines, but I didn't experience that yet. I actually thought the best shots off the robot used the same grind as my pump machine but with a different ratio of beans:coffee. On my pump machine, a standard 2:1 ish ratio worked well (14g in 28g out). On the robot, though, I found that my best shots were either longer brews with fewer beans (my favorite Robot shot was 11g in for about 26g out) or shorter brews with more beans (17g in 28g out). On the robot I generally work with about 10 seconds of preinfusion (putting enough pressure on the levers to make the needle on the gauge just barely budge, beads on bottom of portafilter show up soon thereafter).

Overall, I would say that the absolute best shot I've pulled with this coffee is on my pump machine but the worst shots I've pulled on the robot are middle of the pack shots on the pump machine. Really looking forward to working with some darker beans that are supposed to be more in the wheelhouse for the machine.

4. I absolutely cannot get over how clean the pucks come out of this thing. Half the time they just fall out of the basket before I even hit the knockbox. It's incredible.

5. Last, it's really fun to pull a shot on a manual machine!

Some questions:

1. I'm grinding with a 270wi, which I have come to really really love with my pump machine over the last few months. It's been great! The one thing I find awkward with the Robot is the portafilter doesn't seem to fit in an obvious way with the portafilter holder on the 270wi. As a workaround what I've been doing is putting the robot portafilter in the grind-bin that comes with the 270wi and opening the forks to the bin width (the portafilter actually fits across it just fine so it essentially floats as if it were a normal portafilter in position). Does anyone else have a more elegant solution?

2. I start to get a little nervous as I get to the end of pulling a shot that I'll somehow run the piston into the top of the dispersion screen (the little knob that sticks out of the top of the screen so you can hold the screen easily). Is there any real danger there? I fill the basket to within a few millimeters of the top of the basket each time. If I accidentally pulled a shot that got to the 'hissing' sound you get when clearing the chamber into a waste cup after brewing would that already risk damaging the piston? Or am I okay as long as I stop the moment i heard that hissing sound (I don't plan on pulling that far, I'm just more curious about going too far by accident and damaging the machine).

Otago

Postby Otago » Feb 27, 2019, 6:54 am

In regard to question 2 there should be no concern with the raised centre section of the screen. There is a recess in the piston to accommodate this.

However, there are minimum and maximum dose recommendations. As stated in the manual, "minimum dose is probably around 10g,....it is important not to dose less than 10g otherwise the dispersion screen will not sit correctly and may get damaged." This is because the bottom of the basket is tapered and if the dose does not keep the screen above the tapered area it would be damaged when forced into that area.

The manual also states that the maximum dose is somewhere around 21g. Doses greater than this would raise the screen so high that it would come into contact with the piston and be susceptible to damage.

There is no concern with the hissing sound as the last water is expelled through the puck. This is actually beneficial as it dries the puck and improves its removal. The only concern with hissing would arise if the recommended dosing limits are not followed.

Power Freak

Postby Power Freak » Feb 27, 2019, 7:05 am

hercdeisel wrote:Overall, I would say that the absolute best shot I've pulled with this coffee is on my pump machine but the worst shots I've pulled on the robot are middle of the pack shots on the pump machine. Really looking forward to working with some darker beans that are supposed to be more in the wheelhouse for the machine.

Some questions:

2. I start to get a little nervous as I get to the end of pulling a shot that I'll somehow run the piston into the top of the dispersion screen (the little knob that sticks out of the top of the screen so you can hold the screen easily). Is there any real danger there? I fill the basket to within a few millimeters of the top of the basket each time. If I accidentally pulled a shot that got to the 'hissing' sound you get when clearing the chamber into a waste cup after brewing would that already risk damaging the piston? Or am I okay as long as I stop the moment i heard that hissing sound (I don't plan on pulling that far, I'm just more curious about going too far by accident and damaging the machine).

That's what I really like about the Robot (after a couple of months in) - it's incredibly forgiving. It's pretty hard to make something undrinkable in my experience (and I've used some super light roasts in there).


For your question 2:
The piston has a hole in it for the dispersion screen knob to go into. I think you'd have to have a very wonky tamp for them not to align properly.

The hissing sound is fine, it's just pushing air through the puck. When filling the waste cup I like to pass all the air through the puck at the end as it "sucks" the drops of water out of the tube for the pressure gauge.

Remember the robot is a simple device that has high build quality, there is not much that can really "break" on it.

cherrystonelover

Postby cherrystonelover » Feb 28, 2019, 9:03 am

Just received my robot! For those who asked, here is how it looks with the armoured tubing in the polished aluminium version, its incredible what a gorgeous eye catcher it is. I am also positively surprised how small it is, definitely very user friendly as a travel espresso maker, just pop it in your backpack and off you go! I have never made espresso in my life so very curious how my learning curve will go (actually started drinking coffee only a few months ago):
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Balthazar_B

Postby Balthazar_B » Feb 28, 2019, 10:38 am

cherrystonelover wrote:I have never made espresso in my life so very curious how my learning curve will go (actually started drinking coffee only a few months ago):


There's a lot of experienced wisdom in this thread, and fortunately you're working with what should be a very competent grinder to pair with your Robot (which among other things is a forgiving and therefore a good learning machine). My advice is to find some coffee beans you like and change one variable at a time (e.g., constant 18g in and then just change the grind until you get the extraction time/volume that's best for flavor). Then you should find it becomes stupid easy to pull great shot after great shot. And you'll have the technique down to enable exploring further. Hope this helps!
- John

LMWDP # 577

solesaram

Postby solesaram » Mar 01, 2019, 6:36 am

First time posting but I've been browsing the boards, and in particular this thread, for a few months.

I've been making coffee with a moka pot daily for over 10 years and have wanted to get an espresso machine for ages, but due to space restrictions (Korean apartment kitchens aren't huge) have not been able to convince my wife it was necessary. Luckily, the small footprint of the Robot tipped the balance and I'm so happy to finally have real espresso at home now! I prepare a latte for my wife every morning, and she also agrees the taste is a big improvement over the moka pot version she's used to (not that it was bad, mind you...).

Anyway, this thread was a really useful source of information before purchasing. I'd also been eyeing up the Brewista smart scale for a while, but saw someone mention it was too big to fit between the Robot's legs — saved me some disappointment there. Managed to find a small 0.1g scale with timer that, while not as fancy as the Brewista, does the job well enough.

So far I've really enjoyed playing with the Robot and learning to dial in the grind. First attempt wasn't successful — went far too fine with the grind and blocked the basket, even managing to pull a muscle in my neck pressing down on the levers to no avail. Lesson learned! Thankfully the subsequent attempts were much better and I'm consistently getting good shots now.

I've already ordered some extra baskets to allow me to pull back-to-back shots faster. Currently using the portafilter with the spouts permanently attached as I switch between the pro/pressurized baskets (pressurized is good for weekday mornings when I'm up before everyone and can't grind — the Lido is quiet, but still enough to wake up our baby!). Hoping that portafilters will be available for purchase separately in the future as I'd like to keep one to use bottomless without the spouts attached — far too lazy to switch it out every time.

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Would like to say I was allowed this much space just for coffee stuff.. in reality the toaster was moved out the way for the pic.
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Small, but perfectly adequate! It's made by Joefrex, if anyone is interested.
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Best results so far with these particular beans have been 18g in, 38g out. After pre-infusion, actual pull time was about 30s.
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Definitely need to practice pouring! Doesn't look good, but tasted nice.

baristainzmking

Postby baristainzmking » Mar 01, 2019, 12:07 pm

solesaram wrote:
Managed to find a small 0.1g scale with timer that, while not as fancy as the Brewista, does the job well enough.


Where did you find a small scale with timer? Link please???

TIA,
Julia

solesaram

Postby solesaram » Mar 01, 2019, 9:19 pm

baristainzmking wrote:Where did you find a small scale with timer? Link please???


I'm in Korea and bought it locally, but found the same model on some European sites:

UK: https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/brands/j ... cales.html
DE: http://www.allvendo.de/joe-frex-espress ... -mit-timer

This is a different name, but appears to be the same thing re-branded:

US: https://sproparts.com/en/product/4309-d ... of-e-1000t

greggers89

Postby greggers89 » Mar 03, 2019, 1:53 am

Does anyone know the set screw specifications for the pressure gauge? Mine is badly stripped (not sure how I will remove it yet) and I want to replace it.