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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#1151: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »




Low cost & free shipping from Decent, comes back to US, AU, NZ, FR, CA.

Low cost airmail shipping from Decent Espresso, has always depended on Hong Kong being a place that people fly to. With a modern airport, tourism, and a large expat population, we at Decent enjoyed relatively inexpensive airmail shipping to the rest of the world.

COVID killed all that.

Hong Kong has had a very strict COVID policy. The worst for us, was the HK government punishing airlines that brought too many COVID-positive people in. They would cancel the entire airline's permission to fly here, for weeks. Virgin Airlines decided to pull out entirely.

And with the two week quarantine on arrival (at one point, 3 weeks), and only HK-id allowed in, tourism disappeared.

Without passenger flights, cheap airmail went away.

For the past two years, we've needed to use UPS and Fedex to send packages. It costs us $45 to send something to the USA, which doesn't make a lot of sense when you sell coffee accessories that often cost less than that.

In order to not "go bust" shipping accessories at a massive loss, we asked our customers to pay $30 for "expedited shipping" to the USA, and we paid the remaining $15. Our accessory sales to the USA dropped 50% because of this. Worldwide the drop was about a third. It's been a big hit. especially because so many people who buy an espresso machine from us, first "tested us" or "learned about us" by buying a coffee accessory.

A few weeks ago, HK announced that they were no longer going to ban airlines for bringing COVID-positive in.

Today, the two week quarantine on arrival, was shortened to just spending 3 days in a hotel, and then 4 days of "don't go to restaurants and take daily tests".

And a few hours later, we find that normal air mail services have resumed to some of our biggest clients: Australia, USA, New Zealand, France and Canada. Most of Europe had already resumed.

This means that for most accessory purchases from us, cheap shipping is available. And, if you buy 3 items, we cover the shipping costs, it's free for you.

It's nice to see the world moving back to a kind of normality.

-john

caeffe

#1152: Post by caeffe »

decent_espresso wrote:image


Low cost & free shipping from Decent, comes back to US, AU, NZ, FR, CA.

.......
This means that for most accessory purchases from us, cheap shipping is available. And, if you buy 3 items, we cover the shipping costs, it's free for you.

It's nice to see the world moving back to a kind of normality.

-john
This is great news.
Is this going to also impact shipment (ie lower cost) of machines?
LMWDP #162

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#1153: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) » replying to caeffe »

It is not. We have always sent espresso machines via express courier (UPS or FEDEX, usually) so that they get there in two days. We don't use the Postal Service for espresso machines, it's too risky and slow, and also, they don't do customs clearance.

UPS rates have more-or-less doubled since COVID. UPS tripled in Europe, but then competition came in that underpriced them.

I don't know when/if express courier prices will ever come down. ecommerce delivery volume has hugely expanded, so they seem to have huge demand for their services, and not much incentive to lower prices.

However, over the next year, we'll be trimming weight off the DE1 in various ways:
- a suitcase with removable wheels (lower volumetric weight)
- enameled water vessels, instead of solid ceramic
- moulded foam that is lighter, but stronger
- and other, smaller things

Overall, I think we can drop 10% off the weight of the DE1 shipment, maybe even 20%, and that translates 1:1 to shipping cost reductions, which will get passed onto buyers.

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#1154: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »




Southern France Decent Coffee Stand & Roastery - Mary & Marc

Several years ago, I got to meet Mary & Marc, a young couple moving to rural France, intent on setting up their own speciality roasting business, and coffee cart. Marc was the roaster and lead barista for years, at Playground Coffee in Hamburg. However, he says that that it was Scott Rao's roasting books that taught him speciality, and he wanted to bring high end light roasts to France.

They were "cash constrained" (as the expression goes) but luckily had an early model white DE1XL that I'd used at trade shows, that I could sell them at a low price, and that (along with a used roaster) got them started. Several years later, they're now up and running and building up their business.

Four days a week you'll find their coffee stand at the markets around the Cevennes mountains area, which is about an hour north of Nimes. They don't have a website, but are happy to correspond via email at bruleriehankou@gmail.com (they speak German, English, French). The fabulous coffee geekery t-shirt that Mary is wearing came from Playground Coffee, but is unfortunately discontinued.

They dropped by for the day last week. Between canoeing and playing petanque (they're the village champions) we pulled shots with the various beans Marc brought. I was quite happy with the shots we pulled, though Marc--ever the perfectionist--kept pointing out the small defects to me. That's no bad trait in someone learning to master their craft!

-john

Ken5
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#1155: Post by Ken5 »

They certainly look very happy to see you!!! :)

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#1156: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »




Results of (evenly) splitting shots with two 3rd party portafilters

PF1:
coffee error: 19.4g (8.2% error)
water error: 1.8g

PF2:
coffee error: 10.1g ( 4.2% error)
water error: 7.4g


Our initial tests of two competing split-shot portafilters, find that the other two models do not do a great job of evenly splitting slow-starting shots. Note that the split error was greater for coffee than water, which I think is because coffee is more viscous than water.

I think the problem with spitting shots evenly, is simply that the "surface tension" initially breaks on one side of the split.
With slow water flow (such as the start of a thick espresso) the espresso continues to preferentially flow in that initial direction.
Once flow gets fast enough, the surface tension is broken in the other direction as well.

I've had perfectly even split shits when I put the thermometer probe inside the splitting chamber as the shot starts, and I move the probe in and out. The shot then starts on both sides and is evenly split.

I haven't yet found a better solution. Perhaps a hydrophobic coating on the split point, would help, by removing surface tension?

ira
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#1157: Post by ira »

Unless you can get the coffee to take exactly the same path every time, I don't think it's possible to solve the very low flow problem without flow restrictors. If you had some height, I assume it could be done, but with exactly one inflection point, I'm not sure it's possible.

Ok, so consider what might happen if there was a ring around the exit with a single small gap that fed to a splitter of some sort. As long as the flow is low enough, all the flow will be from one spot and it might be possible to split it evenly. Then as the flow picks up it will flow over the top of the ring and act like a normal portafilter. Wouldn't be hard to 3d print a prototype to test the idea.

krmkrx

#1158: Post by krmkrx »

Are there any news to share with regard to v1.44 which ought to be released by October (and the price increase that this'll entail)?

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#1159: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) » replying to krmkrx »

Here are links to what I previously posted about v1.44:

Planned hardware updates at Decent for the October v1.44 DE1 version

FAQ on v1.44 DE1 machines and other Decent hardware improvements

Amount of price increase is not yet decided. We just found out that two microchips, supposed to be delivered this month, are six months delayed, so we have to buy them at super-high prices on the "spot market" in order to build our PCBs and thus keep shipping machines.

So, we won't know the price of v1.44 until all the parts have actually arrived.

jasongcasale

#1160: Post by jasongcasale »

Hi John did these features make it into 1.4.4

Fast Start Mentioned here
fast start. We're currently peaking around 8 to 9ml/s during preinfusion, but a software update is coming shortly that brings that up to 10 to 12 ml/s. As 12 ml/s is what I measured commercial LM machines as doing, I think this issue will shortly be moot.

New stainless steel group head with decreased e61 spacing mentioned here.

I'm going to be interested in the v1.44 model. I was just hoping to confirm that model DE1 will have the decreased headspace. And I'd like to know the the status of the software update for the 10-12ml/s. Thanks!

Will you have pre orders for 1.4.4 as well.
I have been waiting for the 1.4.4 machine for many months now so I can get those new features.

Thanks Jason