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smite

#11: Post by smite »

decent_espresso wrote:Hi John,

--SNIP---

Sorry I wasn't able to deliver on everything you wanted.

If you're disappointed, I will buy back the machine at the price you paid for it, and pay for shipping to pick it up. Ie, a 100% refund.

-john
John,

Wow! You continue to impress me with everything you do. Yes I am a little bummed about the feature via software but this is truly amazing customer service and I really do appreciate that offer.

John

Stavey

#12: Post by Stavey »

This sort of customer service /customer support is worth the cost of the machine in itself. {I'm currently number #94 in queue for a de1+ Pro} I never thought I would spend this kind of money on a espresso machine, however posts like this are why I ultimately took the plunge. Decent products , customer service , and product support are on another level.
Keep up the good work .

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#13: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Back in April, we shipped a new portafilter basket design, for making V60-style pour overs on the Decent. https://decentespresso.com/basket

The basket had taken about a year and a half to design, as a collaboration between Scott Rao and my engineer Ben Champion (Ben and I FYI met here on HB, when he was a forum member).



Rao worked on the interaction between flow rate, pressure (which causes churning of the coffee bed), volume and temperature until he was happy with the recipe. We manufactured 7 rounds of designs, about 40 variations in total, as part of the R&D.

Rao's Decent Pour-Over recipe is included by default, so you can simply select it without knowing all the complexity behind it:



It includes a fair number of detailed steps, for the more technical/exploratory folk to be able to modify if they choose.



Last week, I added a new Rao-authored "cold brew" recipe, as a recent firmware release now allows cool temperatures (20º to 30º appearing to be ideal for cold brew). We're still dialing in the cold brew recipe, to make it better.

We had ordered 1000pcs of these baskets made, which we thought would hold us for 2 years. To our surprise, we're almost out of stock of them 4 months later, so we're ordering another 2000 baskets to be made.

With each production run, we look to see if there's anything we can do to improve the item.

In this case, it's a small thing, but some people complained about the scratched texture of the bottom of the basket. It's stainless steel, but unlike a normal basket, it's not covered in holes, so it does get scratched up.

So, in this latest iteration, we're now paying a bit more for our supplier to brush the texture of the outside of the basket, so that it looks nice and matte. No effect at all on the functionality. It just looks a bit better.




-john

Stavey

#14: Post by Stavey »

I will definitely be ordering this basket in anticipation of my machine.
I had a question about your newest tamper. Not sure if this is the right area to ask it or not. I was wondering if you planned on selling 30lb springs for the v.3 ? Or if there is just no need to go beyond 15lb.
Thanks in advance.

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#15: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Stavey wrote:I will definitely be ordering this basket in anticipation of my machine.
I had a question about your newest tamper. Not sure if this is the right area to ask it or not. I was wondering if you planned on selling 30lb springs for the v.3 ? Or if there is just no need to go beyond 15lb. Thanks in advance.
I don't think there's a reason to go with a stronger spring.

A stronger spring simply makes it harder to tamp: it does not ensure that you are tamping at that pressure.

We do still make a calibrated pressure tamper, for those who feel that tamping at a specific pressure is important.

Personally, I feel that level tamping is far more important, and that any tamp over about 5lbs is equivalent : at least that's what the research I've read says. It feels like the favorite tampers on HB are all auto-levelling.

I made a video comparing the two approaches to tamping, which might be helpful.

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#16: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »



New vs old: what goes on inside

I'm often asked "what's new improvements are coming to the Decent?" and my reply is "mostly neat things in software and firmware. We took 3 years to design a 'Turing complete espresso machine' that could improved like a computer can be."

Now, of course, we're still improving the inside. But very little of what we do creates new features for customers. Instead, the work we do goes to simplifying and speeding assembly, lowering costs, and decreasing complexity.

First, we had to figure out how to make an espresso machine that did what we wanted. We couldn't focus on that, and also keep it cheap and simple to make. Our current model (V1.3) takes about 16 hours for us to make it. I know the real time, that work is done by our team. On top of that, about 4 hours of work is outsourced. So, figure 20 hours to build a Decent.

In the photos above you can see--on the bottom row--our "manifold". That's the the sort of "train station" where hot and cold water comes in, various sensors check temperature and pressure, and valves decide where the water should go (espresso, flush, steam, etc...).

To make the Decent in small quantities, we mostly make things using a process called CNC. That's where you take a block of material and use a computer controlled drill to remove what you don't need. This is an expensive process, wasteful of material and very time consuming of very expensive machines. However, it's the only way to make complicated parts in small quantities.

Moulds are very expensive (typically tens of thousands of USD$), take a long time (6 month minimum, with 18 months to perfect them being commonplace) and require unchangeable, mature, tested designs. Thus, moulding is not appropriate for a small company, producing small quantities of machines, and where our design is changing quickly.

The "manifold" on the Decent has 3 CNCed parts made of an expensive resin called "ULTEM". We use it because it's incredibly inert: it's used medically for in-body parts and withstands high pressure and temperature. The big manifold, even at the quantities we're buying now (1000 at a time) costs us USD$120. The two smaller parts are cheaper, around USD$35 each. Add valves, sensors, the PCB, and you've got an expensive part. Plus, there are lots of tubes connecting everything. We color code every tube.

It's taking about 3 hours to assemble and test each full manifold.

Ben has been working 2 years on a unified manifold design, that takes all 3 ULTEM pieces, combines them into one, and in the process removes the need for 9 tubes. All the connectors become much easier to access as well.

On the top row of the photo, you can see a 3D printed prototype of his design. In a few months, we'll have small quantities of a CNCed version of this, that we can start testing. Once we get that all working, this manifold will start appearing in v1.5, or perhaps v1.6 Decent machines.

And once this part's design is mature, we'll switch to moulding it. That'll finally allow us to reduce the cost of making this part. But that's probably 18 to 24 months away.

And also note that this part is 100% backward compatible with all Decent machines. If a manifold were to break on an older model, we could install this new version in its place. All mounting point are identical, and the functionality is identical too.

I just wanted to share with you a bit about our longer term projects inside the Decent.

-john

K-Affe

#17: Post by K-Affe »

Not understanding what "Turing complete" really means, I guess the De1+ is a remarkable espresso machine capable to emulate almost any machine within a reasonable margin of error.
Any but a cold press oil machine :D

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Stavey

#18: Post by Stavey »

I'm pretty sure John is working on a program to make cold pressed oil with the de1 as well. Can't wait for mine to arrive......

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#19: Post by jpreiser »

Can't wait for mine to arrive......
Same here. Decided to place the order yesterday and have already moved 1 slot closer to front of the queue. I guess I should limit myself to only checking 1x/day though. :D

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#20: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

K-Affe wrote:Not understanding what "Turing complete" really means, I guess the De1+ is a remarkable espresso machine capable to emulate almost any machine within a reasonable margin of error.
Any but a cold press oil machine :D
Not that far from the truth, actually...

Back in April we released these new "puck simulator" baskets, which have laser-calibrated holes to provide espresso-like flow and pressure, but with any other material you care to put into the basket. They're shaped at 24 grams, so you can put a lot of your ingredient in.

While I wasn't thinking of cold-pressed oil, I was thinking of things like fresh lavender infusion, and other foods that are a mix of water and oil, and so pressure is needed to extract the oil if you're using water as a solvent.

It's a happy accident that ground coffee can both deliver ~9 bar of pressure, and also material to make a pleasant drink. There are other materials that can provide pleasant drinks, but not the same pressure. That's why I made these baskets.