Is Flair 58 a good end game espresso maker?

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#1: Post by Leopoldo95 »

I am currently awaiting the arrival of my Flair 58 lever espresso.

I have previously owned a Flair Pro 2 and a Breville Bambino.

For those of you who own the Flair 58, are you happy with it and are planning to make it your end-game espresso maker?
Or after some time have you thought about making another upgrade in the future?

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#2: Post by coyote-1 »

"End game" depends on many things: your wants/needs, your finances, your susceptibility to marketing, your susceptibility to peer pressure, etc. If you're getting great espresso from your current gear**, then what you have could be end-game.

**And if you're not, is it really a fault in the equipment?

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#3: Post by Gm7dha »

I had a Europiccola and thought I'd go down the Flair 58+ & Bellman steamer route, however, it's now up for sale and have bought an Esperto Abile to replace it along with a Picopresso (to pair with the bellman as a backup)

For me the Flair 58+ is overpriced for what it is but fairly priced for what it provides.

The main thing for me is that it wasn't really bringing anything more to the table. It lacks character and feel, I really do feel quite disconnected from the machine and find it difficult to work out what it's doing. I think the shape and length of the lever arm is really weird, I can't gel with it.

It did produce superb espresso though, and I don't think I've lost a shot with it.

It has its flaws and limitations still. I can think of some updates that would benefit me and my workflow/use case- but we're all different.

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#4: Post by Jonk »

I'm in the same boat. It can be an end-game espresso maker depending on the style of shot you like. The workflow and feel is not, in my opinion. Somehow it's still good value, at least for light roasts.

If you prefer medium or darker roasts, I recommend giving the Cafelat Robot a try.

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#5: Post by MCal2003 »

Not sure what you define as an end game? If meaning no need to upgrade or replace. Then yes. Quality of shots is all that matters for me. For others guessing not. Probably lacking blink, cutting edge design and form, no steamer, not much to tweak or alter.....

Not the "perfect" machine. But good enough. A few niggles, but nothing worth fretting over.

Since '81, the F58 is the 5th machine owned. Gaggia Coffee, Isomac Tea, MCaL, PV Lusso 2 head, and now the Flair 58. Use of the MCal is down to couple days per week. F58 is the most versatile, simplest to maintain, and capable of pulling consistent quality shots of the group. Not into milk drinks. Just ristretto and trad singles or doubles.
LMWDP #151

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#6: Post by Jonk »

I mean the Flair Pro 2 was not a perfect thing either, so if you don't mind the Flair experience you're all good.

Some of my niggles (good word by the way, slight but persistent annoyance - or in this case just reoccurring) might've been solved in newer versions.

For example, I've resorted to push the piston hook in place every pull to stop it from snapping (it is at least more secure in place in new iterations). The silicone funnel is necessary to avoid spillage while maximizing shot volume, but is constantly pushed by the lever and sits awkward* - an eyesore they've fixed by making it part of the sleeve now..

Lots of small details, thankfully we all seem to agree on shot quality. It wouldn't be my pick to pull ristretto with, the brew head moves more at high pressure / low flow rate and it's straining. Recently paired mine with a extra high flow basket that mitigates things.

*eventually it pops off, so water leaks on the outside of the cylinder, soaking my poor scale.. Seems to be a consumable, mine is permanently deformed now after 3 months.

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#7: Post by whatdisay »

I've had my Flair 58+ for several weeks now and I really do not think I would replace it as my primary shot puller even I had no $$ limits on a non-lever machine. Maybe I'm just still in the "honeymoon" phase but testing out the different parameters, pre-infusion, different pressures at different times during the pull--it's simply a blast, and I've had very few "bad" shots. With a new-to-me bag of beans, it usually doesn't take more than 2, maybe 3 shots to feel pretty dialed-in. I was actually quite shocked when I tried some beans at my local favorite espresso joint (where they adjust grind size, take their time with puck prep, etc.), then made a shot with the same beans at home and liked mine more.

But I do understand that some folks simply don't want the hassle of the lever and putting that degree of work in it; or prefer a machine that will keep better control over some of the factors of the shot. I just know that I was ready to shell out the $$ for a Lelit Bianca and decided to try the 58+ after reading some rave reviews online and I couldn't be happier with it.

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#8: Post by Coffeevalley »

I sometimes think about getting a boiler machine but It's just not as practical as the Flair 58. I suppose if I was making dozens of shots a day, or making very large volume shots, I would be motivated to get something different. I don't think I'm missing out on anything that is important to me. Also it's so easy to keep clean and maintain, and you don't have to worry about the water damaging it. It is also really easy to put in a cabinet if it's in the way.

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#9: Post by Tillamook »


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#10: Post by Jonk replying to Tillamook »

Thank you :lol: I'm about ready to give up on mine after 3 months. It can make endgame espresso, but it's not an endgame thing.