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#1071: Post by caeffe »

decent_espresso wrote:image

Beauty in the flaws
As such, I'm a big fan of *character* in wood.
Signs of aging, struggle, natural forces; I love seeing that in the wood.


Look closely at that wood handles above. The one on the right has amazing swirls of dense color variation. There's so much drama in there. The left one looks almost like marble. As long as that natural crack doesn't weaken the wood or feel bad in the hand, I see no problem.

What I'm thinking of doing, is photographing every single handle we get, and letting the buyer pick the exact one they wand. Because this is very old wood, each handle is very much unique, gnarled, defective, twisted, in its own particular way.

What do you think?
There is the concept of Wabi-Sabi - "beauty in the flaws" as you wrote. And there is also the saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
If you can photograph each one for the customer to choose that would be an excellent idea. Where some see beauty in the flaws, some might not quite see it also.
LMWDP #162

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#1072: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Workflow demo: my Weber Key Grinder, Decent DE1 & portafilter stand & funnel, making espresso

I filmed myself making an espresso this morning, to show my workflow with the Key and my Decent & accessories. I'm fairly happy with this now, as it's making consistent coffee and fairly quick to do. I'll be using this setup at the upcoming World of Coffee Trade Show, and we'll see how it goes there, in a high pressure situation.

I glued a magnet to my stand, so that it auto-positions using the Key's magnet hidden under the wood. I'd like to try to make that less ugly, and ideally, offer that as an buyable option for any Key owners who want to try it. More news on that in the future.


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#1073: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Decent Espresso event in London next Saturday (May 21) 6pm to 8pm

Meet John and Bugs, the founders behind the "Decent Espresso" machine as they come to London.

And taste the real drinks that four everyday owners make themselves at home.
  • Four Decent DE1 owners will be bringing their home setup and take a table each on the ground floor, to make you the drink they have at home. There'll be a variety of experience levels (from I've-had-the-DE1-one-week to experienced veterans) making a few different styles of drinks (espresso to lattes).
  • And, John will be downstairs, in the training space, with his home setup, pulling shots and answering questions. If there's a particular coffee bean you'd like to have him make bring it and he'll try to make to make an ok tasting shot with it.
Both the Decent-Curious, and currently-Decent are invited.

No cost.

Saturday, May 21, 6pm->8pm
At the Prufrock Cafe, London.

If you have any questions or comments, you're welcome to reply to this message and I'll answer.

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Team HB

#1074: Post by cannonfodder »

Step away from the mister. That is way, way too much.

The purpose behind the misting beans is to cut down on the static. You need at most one spritz. I use about half a squirt when I do it. However, in the humid spring, I even stop that. Unless you live in a desert all you need is a very tiny amount of moisture to help reduce static. I use the technique mostly in the dry winter months. Too much moisture will have a counter-productive effect causing the damp grounds to stick together and create clumps. The correct amount is as little as possible.
Dave Stephens

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#1075: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) » replying to cannonfodder »

Ok, thanks, I'll give that a try. I haven't had bad clumping, and nice fluffy grounds, so I didn't see a problem :D

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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1076: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Extreme detail about Sale items

I've written before about the ecological cost of the pursuit for perfection in consumer goods. It really bothers me that so many companies discard function-but-imperfect goods.

So with Decent, any good that works-but-is-a-bit-ugly is discounted from 30% to 50% and sold on a dedicated page linked to on the top of our homepage.

I've long wanted to solve two issues with how we do this:
- we don't handle well, cases where only a small number of an discounted item remain
- we should provide precise photos showing you what the defect is.

We're now addressing both those things, by me "getting out of the way" and putting the power over our SALE page in my employee's (Celine is her name) hands.
- I wrote a kind of CMS (content management software) that allows her to:
- precisely indicate how many items were available on a precise stock-counting day
- deduct, in real time, how many items have been sold since that counted day, showing you real stock levels, at that very minute (yes, every page load performs fresh SQL database queries)
- Celine can upload detailed photos of each item, showing the issues with that batch
- this is also enabling us to sell a lot of the "miscellany" we have been stocking, but unable to efficiently/transparently sell to you.
- it also means that there's a lot more items on the SALE page, than there used to be when I (until a few weeks ago) hand-maintained the HTML.

I think of my job description as finding ways to "get the hell out of the way" and I'm happy with this little step.


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#1077: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Types of Olive wood handles

Of the 1000 handles we had made from reclaimed, end-of-life Italian olive trees, we've accepted about 600 of them, and the other 400 will be reworked.

And of those 600 sets (one of each size handle) my head-of-factory manager Nicole separated them into four categories that she made up:
  • DENSE : dark to light color variations, these are our favorite
  • DOTS : which are really small knots, also quite pretty
  • BIRTHMARK : a dark splotch of color, but often the rest of the handle is like the DENSE ones
  • NORMAL : even color all around
We have 1200 total handles, much too many to individually photograph, and it's too complicated to have video chats with people to let them pick them.

What to do?

One possibility is selling these as 4 separate groups. The DENSE and DOTS are the most beautiful, but also the most rare. The NORMAL ones are the most plentiful.

My inclination is to sell the 4 different handles as 4 separate choices, but you don't get to pick exactly the specific one, just the "type". However, I don't want people disappointed and deciding to send the wood back, as that's time consuming and appalling un-ecological.

How would you recommend we "handle" <har har> this?



#1078: Post by jasongcasale »

I heard that 1.4.4 could have more powerful heaters and you may be adjusting the initial pressure and flow to have the ability be inline with the Linea.
Can you tell us any other features for 1.4.4 better thermal stability I am guessing is one.
I am waiting for 1.4.4 and hoping it is still on target for October.
Any other features you could share would be helpful.
Thanks Jason

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#1079: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) » replying to jasongcasale »

I posted and discussed v1.44 changes a few screens ago on HB:
Decent Espresso news
Decent Espresso news

If you want LMLM level steam, get the DE1XXL model. The only way for our DE1 models to have more powerful steam is to use more electric power, with higher wattage heaters. But unless you're a cafe, I don't see the point in saving 10 seconds and having harder to control milk frothing, that comes when you increase steam power. Up to you.

Thermal stability has never been an issue with the Decents, we're 0.3C accurate, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.

Steam currently has as realtime flow rate controller. What's coming as a firmware upgrade, later this year, is the ability to lower the wattage of a heater via the app gui in realtime, so that (for instance) you can use a XXL model to heat a small amount (100ml) of milk, and it does so gently.


#1080: Post by Abecker »

I don't think I saw anything, and I'm assuming the answer is yes, but if a new inner block comes out for 1.44, will that also be compatible with 1.43 units?