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#141: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »




"Signature drink" concept brings in the crowds

The annual Coffee Show in Seoul Korea just ended, and it was (as expected) much quieter and smaller than usual.

Not so, for our friends at Fillout Cafe, who were crowded every day while other stands stood empty. They are a roastery who runs a cafe, with hopes of selling their beans to other cafes. They had 5 DE1XL machines on their quad-sized stand.

They were promoting the concept of a "signature drink" that is exclusive to your cafe.

Their proposition: cafes are too interchangeable and undifferentiated.

You might go to a restaurant because they make a dish like nobody else. Why not at a cafe?

Their idea was to run with the flavors of good quality light roasted espresso, and build on it.

They call it a "Salt Creme latte", and they:
  • make espresso from an expensive micro lot specialty bean blend
  • extracted at high pressure (at 11bar) with a low flow rate.
  • Add warm foamed milk.
  • Then put a "secret recipe" creme on top of it.
  • A bit of caramel drizzle on it.
  • Finally, a pinch of pink salt on top.
Whether you like this specific drink idea or not is not my point. My point is: cafes could be more creative, could differentiate more, create customer loyalty, and move beyond "tastes like chocolate" flavor profiles, building on the vastness of flavours that come out of better coffee.

James Hoffmann has made a video about his espresso & custom-made tonic drink, which is much the same idea (working the interesting flavors of a good quality, light roasted bean):
There was always a queue to try Fillout's signature drink.

I don't have a photo of it, but from their Facebook page, I see that they are making drinks that are very much Instagram worthy.




Smart.

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#142: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Brian's video about dialing in using the Decent

Brian Quan works at Coffee Housing, a California based charity that works for "Affordable housing for coffee professionals. Coffee Housing is a Silicon Valley based 501(c)(3) certified non-profit tackling the fundamental problem of housing for coffee industry professionals." https://www.coffeehousing.org/

He recently got a Decent, and has started making videos sharing what he's learning.

In this video from a few days ago, Brian explains how he dials in his grind.

Brian is using a different process than I had envisioned. Because of that, his video has spawned an interesting conversation among Decent owners about how to make his approach easier. We're thinking about having "God shot" templates included with each profile that comes with the Decent. Dialing in would then be a (fairly) simple matter of adjusting your grind and dose to come close to the sample curves that we provide (for pressure and flow, using that profile).

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SpecC
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#143: Post by SpecC »

decent_espresso wrote:Brian's video about dialing in using the Decent

Brian Quan works at Coffee Housing, a California based charity that works for "Affordable housing for coffee professionals. Coffee Housing is a Silicon Valley based 501(c)(3) certified non-profit tackling the fundamental problem of housing for coffee industry professionals." https://www.coffeehousing.org/

He recently got a Decent, and has started making videos sharing what he's learning.

In this video from a few days ago, Brian explains how he dials in his grind.

Brian is using a different process than I had envisioned. Because of that, his video has spawned an interesting conversation among Decent owners about how to make his approach easier. We're thinking about having "God shot" templates included with each profile that comes with the Decent. Dialing in would then be a (fairly) simple matter of adjusting your grind and dose to come close to the sample curves that we provide (for pressure and flow, using that profile).

video
Excellent video by Brian.

As someone with a de1 on order I'd love to hear your differing approach to dialing in. Reading people struggling with monolith flat max + de1's has me nervous for what I'm in for.

Iowa_Boy

#144: Post by Iowa_Boy » replying to SpecC »

Just my two cents:
I was very concerned about all the posts on dialing in a DE1 and a MAX. For reference, I was coming from a Breville Dual Boiler. I have not found it any harder to use the MAX with the DE1 than I did with the BDB. You need good puck prep using the MAX regardless of machine, but I have found it pairs very well with the DE1.

I am using the Londinium profile on the Decent, and aim for a flow rate of around 1.5 g/sec. I think if you start with a profile like the LR one, adjust grind to get the flow rate you are aiming for, and then adjust temperature to your preference, it keeps thing simple as you are getting used to the machine. That is pretty similar to the video approach for dialing in a coffee. I extremely pleased with the DE1PRO and MAX combination - I think you will be very happy with it!

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#145: Post by SpecC » replying to Iowa_Boy »

What are you using for wdt and tamper? Any tips for puck prep?

Iowa_Boy

#146: Post by Iowa_Boy »

Here is my puck prep process:
1 or 2 sprays for RDT using the included spray bottle from Kafetek - this is essential due to static (at least where I am)
Grind into portafilter using MAX and Kafatek funnel.
WDT using the Londinium distribution tool (Funnel is still on portafilter at this point).
After WDT, two vertical taps on the Decent tamping cradle to settle grinds. Then remove funnel.
Level using a wedge distribution tool (Purchased from Amazon. Not sure how much this step really does).
Tamp using the Decent V2 tamper.

Whole process is very fast and consistent!

SpecC
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#147: Post by SpecC » replying to Iowa_Boy »

Thanks. Being in AZ static is always an issue here as well.

Looking forward to getting the decent and getting acquainted with it.

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#148: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

SpecC wrote:Excellent video by Brian.

As someone with a de1 on order I'd love to hear your differing approach to dialing in. Reading people struggling with monolith flat max + de1's has me nervous for what I'm in for.
The main reason I don't follow a process like Brian's is that the flow rate targets are different depending on how roasted your beans are. Light roasts taste best at higher flow rates, generally 1.5 ml/s to 3 ml/s, where as medium to dark roasts are in the 0.5 ml/s to 2.5 ml/s range.

What I'm intending on doing is making two "default" profiles, one for light, and one for medium/dark roasts, and each will have its own "God shot" curves that you can follow.

Here is the video you'll get with your DE1, on dialing in your grind.
Iowa_Boy wrote:I am using the Londinium profile on the Decent, and aim for a flow rate of around 1.5 g/sec
Where would you say your beans are on a roasted scale? (light/medium/dark) ? I'm guessing you're medium to medium dark :D

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#149: Post by SpecC »

decent_espresso wrote:The main reason I don't follow a process like Brian's is that the flow rate targets are different depending on how roasted your beans are. Light roasts taste best at higher flow rates, generally 1.5 ml/s to 3 ml/s, where as medium to dark roasts are in the 0.5 ml/s to 2.5 ml/s range.

What I'm intending on doing is making two "default" profiles, one for light, and one for medium/dark roasts, and each will have its own "God shot" curves that you can follow.

Here is the video you'll get with your DE1, on dialing in your grind.

video

Great thanks. I'll watch that a few dozen times between now and when I get my decent.

So to be clear, your main indicator as to when you stop the machine is the desired output weight? Then you're how long that took and if it fell into the desired time range and flow range?

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#150: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

SpecC wrote:So to be clear, your main indicator as to when you stop the machine is the desired output weight? Then you're how long that took and if it fell into the desired time range and flow range?
Yes, desired output weight in a specified time is general advice on how to dial in a shot, on any espresso machine.

The DE1 also gives you flow rate on screen, which affects "how long will it take to get my desired weight?".

As far as flavor profiles go, if you're going for more "chocolatey and thick" you'll want less weight in the cup. If you want fruity, you'll want more weight in the cup.

You haven't mentioned if you prefer light vs dark roasts (ie, fruity vs chocolatey, broadly speaking), and what flavors you get will also depend on the quality of your grinder and quality of your beans.

At any rate, have no fear, as there are 2000 other DE1 owners on the Diaspora forum who just LOVE to have this conversation, and who'll help you get the most of out your beans and gear. You'll have access to that forum shortly after your DE1 ships.

-john