Cafelat Robot User Experience - Page 100

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
AZRich

#991: Post by AZRich »

At first I got shavings of the white fiber spacers coming out the top - the result of a screw extending thru an arm just a tiny bit too far, and easily fixed by removing the arms and backing it out a very small amount. I also got tired of sometimes struggling to lock in the portafilter so I cut off about 1/4" of the square top corners of the aluminum rails that support the portafilter with a dremel type tool. That small 45 degree angle made it easy for the wings on the handle to smoothly lock in. I like that the arms on mine stay up and it seems easy enough to tighten or loosen the top bolt to suit one's preference. After reading the thread about corrosion on the base bolts of the HG-1 I also removed and lubed the bolts of the base of the robot as a precaution and will likely remove and check them a couple time each year. I do not have the pressure gauge and have never had any desire to have one.

My robot has been happily used daily now for about 7 months - it's a great little machine!
cheers, Rich

jpender

#992: Post by jpender »

AZRich wrote:I also got tired of sometimes struggling to lock in the portafilter so I cut off about 1/4" of the square top corners of the aluminum rails that support the portafilter with a dremel type tool. That small 45 degree angle made it easy for the wings on the handle to smoothly lock in.
While your description seems clear enough would it be possible to post a photo of your modification?

Although I dutifully squeeze the two arms together when inserting the portafilter as Paul has described I still sometimes have to struggle a bit to slide it in. Slide isn't really the right word as there is significant friction. It's a minor annoyance but one I would correct if I knew how.

jpender

#993: Post by jpender »

AZRich wrote:I like that the arms on mine stay up and it seems easy enough to tighten or loosen the top bolt to suit one's preference
I was afraid to fiddle with the bolt so I wrapped a thin band of silicone sheeting around the very top of one of the arms. It provides just enough friction when the arms are fully upright to hold them in place but leaves the arms to travel freely when pulling a shot. While I could use the Robot without arms that stay up it I feel it improves the workflow quite a bit.


Image

AZRich

#994: Post by AZRich »

jpender wrote:While your description seems clear enough would it be possible to post a photo of your modification?

Although I dutifully squeeze the two arms together when inserting the portafilter as Paul has described I still sometimes have to struggle a bit to slide it in. Slide isn't really the right word as there is significant friction. It's a minor annoyance but one I would correct if I knew how.
here is a pic of one of the 2 opposite corners I somewhat crudely cut. I always lock in 1 way so only 2 cuts needed. I would not worry about snugging that top bolt just enough to keep the arms up.
Image

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Spitz.me

#995: Post by Spitz.me »

Soooooo am I the only one that has completely failed to regularly maintain constant-to-increasing pressure throughout a shot until I'd like the pressure to decline?

It's really not as easy as it seems because as soon as you shift or anything you reduce pressure. It's definitely something that's not that easy to be mindful of when you've never used a manual lever.
I know I've pulled a great shot when the flavour is 'like a beany taste that tastes like a bean'.

jpender

#996: Post by jpender »

Spitz.me wrote:Soooooo am I the only one that has completely failed to regularly maintain constant-to-increasing pressure throughout a shot until I'd like the pressure to decline?

It's really not as easy as it seems because as soon as you shift or anything you reduce pressure.
The only way I can do it is by keeping my eye glued to the gauge. As soon as I look at the flowing coffee the pressure drops a bit.

But unlike you I'm not laboring under the notion that it's necessary or even optimal. Is it?

samuellaw178
Team HB

#997: Post by samuellaw178 »

Spitz.me wrote:Soooooo am I the only one that has completely failed to regularly maintain constant-to-increasing pressure throughout a shot until I'd like the pressure to decline?
I find it quite easy if I pull the shot by leaning my body over the Robot, no problem with controlling the pressure to wherever direction I want it to be. Maybe it's because my last name is not Armstrong... :lol: If I apply force by staying in front of the Robot (using arm strength only), I have to muster pretty much all my strength to get up to 6 bar. In that state, I definitely don't have a good control over the pressure profile.

jpender

#998: Post by jpender »

AZRich wrote:here is a pic of one of the 2 opposite corners I somewhat crudely cut. I always lock in 1 way so only 2 cuts needed. I would not worry about snugging that top bolt just enough to keep the arms up.
Image
I finally took a closer look at that photo. I had assumed you meant the rails on the portafilter itself but that's a photo of the underside of the Robot body. When I turned my Robot upside down and compared them I couldn't for the life of me figure out what you'd done. For one thing your Robot seems to have paint where mine is clean (I have the polished aluminum model). Second, it looks like you've not only trimmed the rail but actually cut through it. It just makes no sense to me at all.

Here's the underside of my Robot:

Image

cooperpwc

#999: Post by cooperpwc »

jpender wrote:The only way I can do it is by keeping my eye glued to the gauge. As soon as I look at the flowing coffee the pressure drops a bit.

But unlike you I'm not laboring under the notion that it's necessary or even optimal. Is it?
I find the gauge useful for exactly this reason. I do not believe that it is so easy to know you have constant pressure without it.

Necessary? No... Optimal? Well... if I do:
a) a nice 2 bar preinfusion until coffee is dripping evenly from the entire basket bottom (assuming I distributed and tamped well), then
b) ramp up to 8 bars and hold that for 50% of the shot, gradually reducing to 6 bars by 66%, then
c) do a slow smooth reduction from 6 bars through 4 then 2 for the last third of the shot, ending at zero...
...I am blown away by how flavourful a shot the Robot can make.

So it matters IMO.

My gf has become my greatest fan and critic for my flat whites. I know in advance whether I have a done a great shot or not, and her opinion almost always confirms it as I predicted. My grinding is optimised now, so I know my success before she (or I) taste the flat white, based on:
1) how even are the drops from the basket by the time I reach full preinfusion
2) how pretty and centered is the shot from the bottomless portafilter (which can see in a mirror as I watch the gauge), and
3) how clean is my adherence to the desired pressure profile.

I get it right now about 90% of the time. I am still perfecting my process control...

Process Control is Science (...motto for the day...) Sure, the Robot is forgiving. It is also capable of making a truly great espresso shot with correct preheating, WDM, tamping and pressure profiling.

(@jpender, I am preaching to the converted with you. There was otherwise much discussion earlier about the pressure gauge - and I thought that 'unnecessary' was being falsely conflated by some with 'undesirable'. I continue to strongly disagree with this mistake. I feel that people are receiving bad advice when they are contemplating that extra $60. It is money well spent if you might want to make consistent great shots rather than sometimes good, sometimes better, sometimes great.)

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Spitz.me

#1000: Post by Spitz.me »

jpender wrote:The only way I can do it is by keeping my eye glued to the gauge. As soon as I look at the flowing coffee the pressure drops a bit.

But unlike you I'm not laboring under the notion that it's necessary or even optimal. Is it?
I know for certain that one of the best ways to ruin a shot is to Putz with flow or pressure during a shot. Pressure or flow profile has a material effect on your output.

I'll try Sam's method of lumbering over the Cafelat like I'm shielding it from gun fire and see what I can muster. Lol

I think I'll remove the gauge from the arm since it hangs in such a way that I'll be able to see it if I'm in the "Sam strongman" position.
I know I've pulled a great shot when the flavour is 'like a beany taste that tastes like a bean'.