Flair 58 - Page 44

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
BruceWayne
Supporter ♡

#431: Post by BruceWayne »

I've used my Bianca's bottomless portafilter with an 18 g VST basket in the Flair 58. It worked fine. I didn't see much difference compared to the stock Flair 58 basket. I do prefer ridge-less baskets, so I'll mostly be using my VST baskets.

Pndave19

#432: Post by Pndave19 »

**OCT 2021 UPDATE**NEW DESIGN UPDATE**

Hi all,

As of Oct 2021 Flair will be shipping the latest design rev update to the flair 58 and 58x.

I've read about 30% of this thread and there were some good conversations about the tilting of the the group head from overall flexing, the accuracy of the 3 temperature lvls, and the cost/benefit in upgrading to the 58/58x.

I have not read anyone discuses the fact that the chamber or column's diameter is less that 58mm (watch here @ minute marker 12:45, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UV47f1HtXk). With my flair 58, which was a pre-sale model, this was very noticeable since the flair did not ship with a puck screen and only utilized the show screen at the bottoms. I had subtle to moderate channeling on over 40+ shots pulled. I am sure the puck mesh/screen (which will ship standard with the updated models) will help this a lot. i am only now getting to the point of this post.... Is the flair 58 designed correctly and is it worth the investment??

The new Oct updated models have removed the shower screen, and the pressure gage is directly connected to the piston/plunger so that the user won't have to connect the pressure stem each time. Now with the new updated models, the user pours in the water at the rest position (Handle is down) then raises the arm, allowing the water to be pulled below From the edges before being pressed through the espresso puck.

First, The fact that the chamber/group head is less than 58mm is unacceptable by an engineering/design standpoint. It's tells me from a Manufacture standpoint more time and cost was given to the aesthetics then performance...

Second, With the New Updated Models (OCT 2021), the new method to draw down the water onto the mesh screen and puck is uneven and shows a lack of care for the function of a "dispersion/shower screen" in espresso machines. With the new updated models, the flair 58/58x have changed into a glorified plunger that relys on a ( less than 58mm) opening to correctly disperse water evening on a true (58mm) portafilter while introducing water from an uneven "edge-to-center" approach...

I would love for someone to dispute the engineering point I am making here. If you are going to order a new updated flair 58/58x u you should ask for the shower screen to be included (you can always remove it later easily here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdEqtGLLrew).
In my opinion I think if you were expecting to "beat the system" and produce the best high quality espresso now with the capability to pressure profile and have temp stability, you may not be satisfied with this maker. It feels that Flair should of put some extra time and money in producing a group head that had the same dimensions as a regular prosumer machine, possible even allowing you to swap in a IMS shower screen, then I think the $600 price would be justifiable. the new OCT 2021 update for the flair 58/58x is making the $35 mesh puck the most important part in the entire espresso process which is terrifying. For months now different espresso machine owners have shown how a typical mesh screen has improved quality in shot preparation for them and their machine, this is not a new development.I feel For flair to completely remove the shower/dispersion screen on the new updated models is like removing a very important sub-system to the espresso process. What do y'all think?

Weber Workshops: tools for building better coffee
Sponsored by Weber Workshops
vit

#433: Post by vit »

My first impression from videos was that "shower screen looks small", but in conversation with constructor of the machine (in marketing section I think) he said that it's the same size as on his Decent espresso machine (I think), which I have no reason not to believe
Have in mind that 58mm cylinder and piston would require considerably higher force (so even longer lever) for the same pressure

From my experience on flair classic, using the puck screen is essential in pourover espresso machines, to avoid disturbing the puck - I put a piece of filter paper on the puck and press a shower screen onto it, otherwise extraction is frequently uneven. Maybe it wouldn't be needed with gooseneck kettle, but with my csezve I'm using for heating the water it's needed

Not saying it is an ideal machine however ...

Jonk

#434: Post by Jonk »

vit wrote:Have in mind that 58mm cylinder and piston would require considerably higher force (so even longer lever) for the same pressure
Exactly, it's clearly not an oversight from Flair - it's designed so it can be used with less effort and it's not the first machine to do so - look at Espresso Forge and Cafflano Kompresso for example.
Pndave19 wrote:I feel For flair to completely remove the shower/dispersion screen on the new updated models is like removing a very important sub-system to the espresso process. What do y'all think?
The shower/dispersion function was just moved to the puck screen to avoid trapped air in the system. Now it works like a Flair 2 or Cafelat Robot*

*an option if you still feel that the cylinder diameter is important.

Pndave19

#435: Post by Pndave19 »

vit wrote: From my experience on flair classic, using the puck screen is essential in pourover espresso machines, to avoid disturbing the puck - I put a piece of filter paper on the puck and press a shower screen onto it, otherwise extraction is frequently uneven. Maybe it wouldn't be needed with gooseneck kettle, but with my csezve I'm using for heating the water it's needed

Not saying it is an ideal machine however ...
Even more so than pouring in hot water, I think the back-pressure that pulls the water down (as you lift the arm/ the new updated method) is going to unevenly wet the puck and thus create channeling in the edges (path of least resistance).

even with professional shower screens the water distribution are droplets that congregate mainly away from the edges on a 58mm, but with the flair, it is more of a flood that comes down unevenly. I don't like relying on the cheapest part of this machine (which is the $35 puck screen) to correct all the design divergents from a normal espresso machine processes.

the reason it is easier to push down the handle on a plunger that is less than 58mm, onto a true 58 mm puck, is because the pressure distribution is uneven and more pressure initially build up around the edge.. channeling will occur often, and repeatability will be hard.

vit

#436: Post by vit »

The reason why it's easier to push down smaller piston for the same pressure is elementary school physics. For 58 mm piston, force needed would be 36% higher than for 49.75mm piston to achieve the same pressure, so you would need even longer lever or two levers (like Robot) for similar force

I'm not sure that there is a conventional espresso machine where the effective area of the shower screen is 58mm, because some space is needed for the seal between the group and basket and there are no holes on the very edge of the shower screen, so I'm quite surprised by that (and some other) strange claim(s) in referenced video from someone who is supposed to be a well know barista ... However, in last version of Flair58, shower screen is omitted anyway

Downside of smaller cylinder/piston diameter is however lower water quantity for the same stroke (not a problem for me, but some people want larger coffee quantity)

renatoa

#437: Post by renatoa »

Want more coffee with smaller piston, no problem, longer cylinder.
Strietman is capable even of 80 ml using a 49 mm Pavoni basket.

Conversely, a smaller basket make much easier the puck preparation, because the thicker bed of coffee.
My very first espresso years ago was awesome on a Pavoni without knowing anything about rdt, wdt, nutation or well done tamping.
Just thrown the coffee from the grinder jar in the basket, did a tamping without any prerequisites, and push the lever.
Reproducing the same success with a 58 in modern times is a nightmare without a double basket with a lot of coffee.

Versalab: maker and supplier of finest espresso equipment
Sponsored by Versalab
vit

#438: Post by vit »

Well, on lever machine, piston stroke is limited by geometry of the lever ...

renatoa

#439: Post by renatoa »

The manual juice press machines have 12 cm of piston stroke with just 90 degrees of lever rotation.
To put things in perspective 7.5 cm is the stroke of a Kompresso to pull 80 ml of water. 9 cm for 100 ml.
The mechanics has more resources than we see on actual coffee machines. Without a necessary price increase.

vit

#440: Post by vit »

You mean Cafflano Kompresso ? Maximum I got from it was about 25ml in the cup (by pouring water well above 60 ml mark, somewhere around 68 ml which seems to be the maximum where water doesn't overflow when starting the extraction) with original shower screen and about 32 ml without the shower screen. Not really a "machine" for lungos ...