Decent Espresso news - Page 135

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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1341: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Two years ago, we did a very short test run (10 pieces) of white-painted front panels. We decided not to proceed with that idea, and went with brushed steel instead.

With the "customize your DE1" feature I added a few weeks ago, it's now possible to let people grab the unusual and short run parts that we've made of the years.

We have 9 of these white front panels left. To order a DE1XL with this front panel, add it to your shopping cart and tap the CUSTOMIZE button that appears.

They look pretty neat, but we're not planning on making any more of them for now.

Note that we can glue on a mirror lip to it, if you want that.


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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1342: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Battery-free Android Tablet Modification

Over time, the battery in an Android tablet will degrade if it's plugged into the USB charger all the time. It might lose its capacity or start to swell from the constant charging. We'll show you several ways to fix or prevent this issue. Here is a link to our battery-free Android modification kit:

About 30% of our Decent Espresso customers have had their batteries die.

We have replaced their tablet for free. Or, customers can choose to modify their tablet to be battery-free, if they know how to solder, and we send them this kit.

As to the now-dead tablet: we've been offering a USD$50 gift certificate to our website, to those who post us their dead tablet.

We then recondition those dead tablet with our own battery-free kit, and then sell it back again (at a discounted price). Or, we offer the battery-free tablet as a free replacement to anyone under warranty with a tablet problem, who prefers that.

About 30% of the machines we've sold have had their tablets replaced for free by us.

About 6 months ago, we were able to permanently solve this problem by:
- getting new (custom made) Android tablets that have 'smart charging' built into their firmware, in the same way that iPads and Samsungs Tablets do it.
- releasing a new de1app with 'smart charging' built in, that prevents this problem on all tablets, even older ones

We knew that tablets would like be the first thing to fail on the Decent, which is why we did not physically integrate them. The MTBF for iPads, for instance, is 3 years, with 5 years being the maximum reasonable expectation.

And so, as we have now learned, having a battery-powered device plugged in all the time, can shorten its lifespan, unless 'smart charging' is implemented.

Note we do let people extend their warranties indefinitely in which case we'd keep replacing any tablet, for free, that failed for a customer.


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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1343: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

We're today releasing a new piece of "espresso drinkware", this time, made out of ceramic. We're calling it "Little Tipsy" because my partner Bugs, well, she's British (hence the sense of humor) and she likes her evening drink.

I've made two videos comparing the two approaches. This is a 7 minute one:
and a "just the facts, ma'am" 42 second one:
More info at:



Should I use a glass or ceramic cup for espresso?

Your choice of espresso cup affects the flavor, aroma, and temperature of your coffee. In this video, we discuss two types of drinkware: a double-walled glass cup and a ceramic cup. Each of these cups is designed for different coffee experiences. Learn which one to choose and when in this demo with Paul and John.


Ceramic cups (Little Tipsy)

- Perfect drinking temperature right away: Coffee brews at a high temperature which is often too hot to drink. When you pour an espresso into the Little Tipsy, the temperature drops about 8-14 degrees Celsius. This makes it the perfect drinking temperature right away.

- Best for espresso: For flavor and temperature, the Little Tipsy is ideal if you prefer straight espressos with no milk.

- Aesthetic materials: Matte porcelain on the outside, this cup feels great in your hands and it's easy to hold. Inside the cup, it's glazed and smooth. The smooth glaze allows the espresso oils to slide around and release their aromas.

- "Tipped" design: Our cup angles out on one side, so you can enjoy the aroma of the coffee as you sip it.

- Made for swirling: Do you swirl your coffee like a fine wine? Our Little Tipsy cup curves inwards like a wine glass, which concentrates the aromas and keeps your espresso from spilling out.

- Dishwasher safe: Our ceramic cups can be easily washed in a dishwasher.

- High-quality craftsmanship: We make our cups in Taiwan. The fine craftsmanship of Taiwanese ceramics is similar to Japanese ceramic wares.

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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1344: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Founders getting out of the way, via "in real life" product photos

In the beginning of a company, the talents of the core founders are all important. But as the company matures, the founders need to change their ways, and focus instead on hiring people better than them, and then figuring how to get out of the way.

I'd like to give you two examples.

Alex was our first employee, hired by me because he did a great job 3D printing some objects for me, via an outsource-to-amateurs website I'd found. Over the years he's been involved in almost everything at Decent, and more and more, a designer in his own right.

I taked Alex with using our new laser etching machine to good effect on the DE1. He had to try many designs, prototype them, but also deeply understand the manufacturing techology and how it intersects with the artwork, so make it look its best.

In the end, he settled on two very different designs: a thick, filled latte art pattern, with the laser powered to a cream/yellow color. And an X-Ray drawing of the DE1, with the laser cutting deeply into the chassis to create a 3D effect that changes with the viewing angle.

But.... almost nobody was buying these, and I think it's because I'd limited the visibility of his work, to these tiny photos, which doesn't make his work look terribly good:

Harris comes with a photography and art school background, and has long mentioned wanting to totally revamp our product photography. She recently gave me a set of "in real life" photos of our milk jug, and I agreed with her: we should be doing better.

In the spirit of "getting out of the way" I've programmed our website so that she can now insert multiple photos into our product database, and they'll appear as a "more photos" button on the website.

Clicking on that will get you a scrollable, large format set of photos, such as: ... T_R3-73748 ... Y_R3-73750

Of course, it'll take many months for Harris to take nice photos of our entire product line, but she's now able to do so, and I've told her to set her own priorities. And this will hopefully motivate more of my staff to push forward, doing better work than the founders did.


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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1345: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Half Decent Scale : first look

We're working on a much-less-tall version of its open-API Decent Scale. Here's a first look at it. It's the same shape as our current model, but now just 14mm tall.

We're hoping to have it available in September 2023. The price will be USD$139.

All apps that work with our current-model scale, will work immediately with this model as well, as the Bluetooth interface is the same. Docs on the current scale, and its open api, are here

ps: I know the new scale is less then half the height but the word-play of "Half Decent" was too good to pass up!


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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1346: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

A new de1app was released today. The previous major release was November 2, 2022, 5 months ago. As with all our app releases, this is free to all Decent owners, and the app works on all models of our espresso machines. Go to Settings->App->Update to get this.

The most important two things in this release are the two new profiles:
  • "80's espresso" is a low temperature profile (80C down to 72C) ristretto, specifically for dark roasted beans, down to medium roasts, meant for drinking neat (no milk). The goal is breadth of flavor, ease of drinking (no unpleasant flavors) and something you could drink several times a day.
  • "Extramundo Dos!" is for light roasts, and is meant to be very easy to pull repeatedly, fast flowing, focussing of flavor, fruitiness, pleasing (but restrained) acidity.
We're definitely in the "fine tuning" stage of this app, as there aren't any significant features missing, nor any major bugs to solve.

Here are all the new features:
  • New 80s Espresso profile added, a low temperature approach specifically optimized for medium to dark roasted beans
  • New Extractamundo Dos! Profile by Joe D Joe added
  • New "Change Beverage Type" feature added to Advanced Profiles
  • Catalan and Austrian German languages added, Hebrew version greatly improved and is now useable (thanks to Roy Ackerman Roy)
  • new Flow Calibrator plugin from Damian Damian helps you easily determine the optimum flow calibration number, if you own a bluetooth scale.
  • Improvements to "Innovative Long Preinfusion" profile (aka "Slayer Shots") to make it easier to dial in, by using a Pressure Limiter setting.
  • Feature: "popup message" in each step of advanced shots, can be text or a variable such as: $weight, $volume, $timer. Five profiles (including Blooming, Adaptive) now use the new "popup message "feature to show "current weight in cup, as dripping ends" (if you have a bluetooth scale attached) as this is quite helpful in dialing in those profiles. Blooming and Adaptive descriptions now mention the optimal amount of dripping.
  • "Eco-steam" option lowers idle power consumption by 20%.
Full details at:


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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1347: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Water pouring test of DE1 water tank cover

We're developing an optional cover for our water tank. One goal is to allow the tank to be refilled by hand, without needing to remove the lid. The final model will be stamped from a thin piece of stainless steel. This iteration is good to go, so we're getting price quotes now.
There's a small gap between the DE1 water tank and the chassis. Some people who live in places with lots of bugs, can get something fly in and die in the water. The goal of this optional cover is to prevent that. Most people don't have a problem, but for those that do, they've been being a 3rd party cover, or 3D printing one themselves from the community-created designs.

We're still a few months away from having these in stock. When they are available, we'll sell them inexpensively on our website, and also offer them as part of the Goodie Pack choices that people with Extended Warranties can get.


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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1348: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Half Decent Scale : weighing tests when USB powered

I today did some weighing tests with the upcoming "Half Decent Scale" while plugged in.

I'm fairly sure that other comapny's available scales don't work when USB plugged in, and this is something I very much wanted. Our current (tall) Decent Scale does work plugged in, and that's often the reason people give for buying it.

With this small design, there was no space to hide the USB cable underneath, like the the tall Decent Scale does. Instead, the USBC plug is on the back-center of the scale.

This does mean that a cable can cause the weight to be inaccurate.

Today's tests, with various cables I bought, was to check out how severe this problem is.

The good news is: with a floppy (not stiff) cable, the Half Decent Scale weighs accurately.

And as I suspect, with a stiff cable, the weight can be made innacurate if you bump into the cable. Here's a video showing the problem caused by a stiff cable:
So: I'm looking to source a "floppy" USBC cable that we'll bundle with the Half Decent Scale.

I'd also like our supply cable to be as small as I can make it, and handled 90º, so that the scale can rest close to the back of the DE1 drip tray.


#1349: Post by NetLawMan »

Hi. I am looking at jumping in for a 1.4, but it sounds like a 1.5 is about a year away. Is there an upgrade path?

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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1350: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) replying to NetLawMan »

There is no DE1 v1.5 currently planned. We're doing small refinements on the v1.4x line, as we feel it's quite mature now.

Current version is 1.44 and in July we'll have v1.45, with only one major change (new water distribution parts inside the group head) which will be available to previous owners at $99.

V1.46 will be June 2024, and will have new (moulded) internal parts, instead of CNC, and that's mostly about cost reductions for us. We'll also be moving to stainless steel instead of brass, for the top of the group head, at that time, and a flat heater on the group head parts to heat, instead of the rounded cartridge heater we now use. That change is to preserve a 4.5 minute heat up despite moving to stainless, which takes longer to heat than brass, which we're managing by removing mass.

Except for the soon-to-arrive group head parts at $99, there's nothing planned for the DE1 hardware that's going to cause a significant improvement.

There are lots of improvements planned for the de1app and the DE1 firmware, but those will be zero cost and available to all Decent owners.