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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#1141: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Jonk wrote:Space constraints could prohibit this, but a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_cup with two exits per Ira's suggestion might be a crude solution.
That's a lot of fun, but I wouldn't want to clean it!

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Chert

#1142: Post by Chert »

These images may add very little to the discussion but I took 'em to share and here they are.

For this lungo split, it appears my Rancilio portafilter with this divvy spout does not evenly divide a shot.

But good enough for me. I can adjust milk volume for cortado and it's a bit like a lottery. :D












Looking at this now , I see the two Duraflex glasses aren't same shape which may have skewed my images.
LMWDP #198

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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#1143: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Pitcher rinsers for cocktail bar & and small rinser redesign to prevent clogs

I was talking to Gregoire, in Singapore, about our pitcher rinser. He was asking lots of questions, and I asked him what he was using it for. It turns out he wants to create a coffee bar, and also a cocktail bar prep area, and have them match.

And... that's exactly what I've done for myself. Here are two photos of Bugs' cocktail prep area.






The pitcher rinser we sell is a bit more expensive than most, because I specified all-stainless-steel for all parts. At a recent demo I gave at a London café, I broke their rinser, and it was partially made of plastic (most are) and had to pay to have it repaired.

At any rate, I recently made a cocktail-bar cart for my partner, complete with rinser, glass storage, a knockbox. The knockbox is for banging out ice, mint, fruit slices and other things that get stick in a shaker. There's a "magic bullet" blender under the counter. Four bottles of the most common alcohols she uses (gin, vodka, whisky) are upside down in an automatic shot dispenser.

-john

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Small Rinser Redesign

In other news, at the World of Coffee trade show, I found that my single-dose-bean-weighing was often causing coffee beans to fall into the holes of my pitcher rinser. The beans then float into the drain tube and clog it. Epic failure for a production setting.

So, another "lesson learnt" at the trade show, has us moving to much smaller holes in our pitcher rinser top, to prevent this. We're getting our sample of the new design this week.

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#1144: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »



Decent Suitcase v2 - torture testing

We've started to work on a major revision to the Decent Espresso Machine Suitcase, as part of moving to a new supplier.

We have learned quite a bit over the years, and have a few changes we'd like to make to our suitcase design.

We were happy to find that people who manufacture for Plevo are nearby to us. Plevo is an ultra-high-end suitcase https://www.plevo.co/en-en/cases/plevo-infinite

We've visited this manufacturer. We're impressed by the quality of their work, and we want to collaborate with them.

Some things we want to improve in our suitcase design:
  • removable wheels, so that we don't have "air space" in the cardboard box, which can be easily crumpled.
    • Being mounted on corners, wheels unfortunately also transfer shock into the suitcase itself, and thus increase the damage caused by transport companies throwing your DE1 off a truck.
    • The removable wheel design we most like is similar to the Plevo's, with very thick plastic that serves to greatly strengthen the corners, when the wheels are removed.
    • You'll receive the wheels inside the suitcase and clip them into place. You can then remove the wheels again, if you need to ship the suitcase back to us.
    • the space savings from removing the wheels are significant, removing about 2kg of "volumetric weight", which is about USD$40 in shipping cost, per espresso machine.
  • riveted-in corner protectors. We currently add corner protectors in the packing process, but these are usually discarded by the customer on arrival.
  • top-side-open, for easier packing. The zip in the center of our current suitcase is a bit difficult to close, since we transitioned to much denser foam. The problem is that the foam needs to be compressed as the suitcase closes, which isn't easy. This new design solves that.
  • overall improvement in build quality. While I have no complaints with our current supplier, the Plevo suitcase is *gorgeous* and is a big bump up in quality.
  • Yes, the suitcase will cost us substantially more from this manufacturer, but we have enough profitability that I don't mind spending more, to get something nicer. Plus, we'll be able to much easier control quality and deliveries, by using someone nearby.
  • We're probably 6 months away from moving to a new design, and still in R&D on this. Success is not assured, but I'm hopeful.
  • Note: we won't sell this new suitcase on its own to people, because we ship everything via UPS/Fedex, which means it would cost $300 to ship an empty suitcase to you, which doesn't make financial sense. We'll transition to this new suitcase design, once we run out of the current v1 design, for sending new espresso machines.
ps: If you have a "wishlist" of changes you'd like to see made to our current suitcase design, now would be a great time to voice them. I'm "all ears" !

-john

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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#1145: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »




Low mass portafilter ideas

When I met him in Italy, Jonathan Gagné suggested that a "low mass" portafilter head would be very helpful, as he's currently experimenting with "temperature profiling".

The Decent is able to instantly change the water temperature, by changing the hot/cold mix flow rates, but if that new water encounters a lot of mass that is at the "old temperature", then the water temperature will get dragged back to it. That's one of the reasons why we use teflon water tubes (great insulator) with a very small tube size (2.5mm internal dimension) and also why we're moving off brass for the parts inside our group head.

The portafilter, however, being relatively heavy, and made of stainless steel, definitely has significant mass. That the portafilter basket is mostly isolated from it, connected mostly by a thin wire, definitely helps.

Nonetheless, I think Jonathan is right: reducing the mass would only help making the Decent more "nimble" at changing temperatures.

So far, we've made two designs:
  • a minimal mass one, that removes 36% of the weight, but means that when you put the portafilter on the table to tamp, you'll be placing the basket on the table, not the portafilter. That'll feel a bit different, that's all.
  • a conservative reduction of 19%, which preserves all the same touch points, and just removes metal that is 'unneeded'
it seems that a lot of the remaining mass is on the "bolt mount", which is likely thicker than it needs to be. The connection between the handle/bolt and the main ring, definitely needs to be strong, but I'm not sure all that metal is needed around the bolt.

We'll be experimenting a bit more, and making one-off prototypes with CNC manufacturing, to test our results.

We've thought about making these from other materials, but we're quite worried about longevity. Aluminum would definitely lower the weight massively, but would not look great, and because it's softer, we're concerned the "wings" would rub off with use.

If you've got any other ideas, I'd love to hear them.

-john

Giampiero

#1146: Post by Giampiero »

Years ago, i made a bottomless portafilter as your "minimal mass one", for me the fact you mentioned about the tamping moment was a bit annoying and if i remember well, few times i even made the coffee filter falling down, maybe i was a bit clumsy, but once you will try it you will get a better scenario.

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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#1147: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

AI Generated espresso machines

I today gained access to Dall-E https://openai.com/dall-e-2/ the AI that can create new images from english descriptions of what you desire.

In that past, I've hired designers to create concept drawings of crazy ideas for an espresso machine. After seeing things like "an armchair shaped like an avocado" (https://tinyurl.com/vocadochair) I thought this new AI could possible have some hilarious (and interesting) ideas.

Here's what my first explorations with Dall-E have created. Note that I'm only showing the best, and have discarded the uninteresting ones.
...

Asking for an espresso machine shaped like a coffee bean gave me some interesting sculptural exercises:






That was me just getting started. I asked for a "espresso machine shaped like a tower pc clone" but it seems that "tower" was meant more literally than I meant.



Still, the result is pretty cool. Kind of a 1950s industrial telephone switchboard meets espresso machine.

My best results came from "pc computer that makes espresso":





I *love* the keyboard/drip tray hybrid concept. The minimalism is striking, but the curve on the bottom stand of the machine is quite attractive. The central mirrored chrome, with the black outer is quite attractive. I thought that the tablet was particularly well integrated into the design.

Another candidate with the same keywords:





The mysterious chromed buttons, jeweled knob and "hal" like chromed display is fantastic. there's a very nice design integrity to this box

Just for fun, I tried ideas around various containers that make espresso, and this below was my favorite. It's a coffee bean bag that magically makes espresso, with a double-spouted espresso tap on the bottom.





I love the metal bracket that the AI added to the portafilter, to hold it onto the bag. One imagines a wire spring mechanism, holding the bag up. Perhaps this "machine" is collapsible, and thus portable?

I do question what is in that portafilter. It looks more like wood chips, or old mushrooms, or ... something else. Best not to ask what the AI is doing.

Just for fun, I made some bottles of espresso perfume bottles. This was my favorite:





Do you have an espresso object you'd like me to try making?

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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#1148: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »




The Faces of Decent Espresso

It's been a few while since I've found the time to redo the "About Us" page at Decent Espresso, writing bios and getting cartoons made of everyone.

Yesterday, Bugs and I got the new page up, which swells it from 15 people to 39! And there are 3 people we recently hired (two machine builders, one digital artist) who aren't on it.

If you're curious to read about the personalities and skills behind the espresso machines we design and make, head over to https://decentespresso.com/about_us

I've been working with the American artist Jim Shaw http://www.artnet.com/artists/jim-shaw/ since the start of Decent. When we first met, he was very much a starving artist (I found him on Fiverr!) but since, he's met with quite a bit of success. He kindly continues to work with us, even as he has much more important uses for him time, and for that I'm very thankful.

Shaw's drawings really do capture the quirkiness and uniqueness of each person in the Big Decent Team, and I feel that's vital, so that all of you understand that Decent is real people, who enjoy helping you start each day off a bit better, thanks to a pleasant cup of coffee each morning.

-john

norir82

#1149: Post by norir82 »

John, are you still on track to ship version 1.44 this fall?

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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#1150: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) » replying to norir82 »

Yes, the parts are arriving now, and no notices at the moment of a supplier unable to ship as promised. Two of the parts (pcb and mixing manifold) are one month delayed, which makes things tight, but hopefully still ok.