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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1401: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Apple Airtag when we ship DE1?

Coming back from Tel Aviv, my DE1 was held back at the airport, and arrived to me two days later, delivered by courier. I think it's because Israel is worried about bombs on airplanes, and the DE1 is "suspicious looking"

I double-suitcase my DE1, with a big suitcase I bought at Target. This keeps it safe from "baggage throwers" (yes, that's their job title)

But possibly this double-suitcasing is what bright suspicion onto my DE1.

Roy Ackerman suggested that I put Apple AirTags in my DE1 suitcase, and I've now done that, snuck inside the lining (which zippers open). I think this is a great idea for anyone traveling with their DE1, as it also handles loss-from-theft. For a one time $30 cost, it's very cheap insurance!

Bugs said "we should include an AirTag for all DE1 shipments!"
- but alas, Apple limits us to 16 AirTags per AppleID, so we couldn't do it for every machine.
- But... we *could* offer it as an option, when you buy your DE1.
- We would pair with your AirTag to make sure you get it,
- and then "forget it" once you confirm you have you DE1, so you can pair your iPhone to it.
- We'd offer this "at cost" of the AirTag, not needing to make a profit from the extra fuss, because it would help us track the occasional "lost in transit" DE1 that appear at Fedex/UPS auctions <cough>.

Just wondering what people think of this idea...



#1402: Post by AnotherADDiction »

That sounds like a great option, but what about people outside of the Apple spere of influence, like androids. Option of tile or similar maybe? It does sound like an increased burden on your workflow (but nice and geeky).

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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1403: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) replying to AnotherADDiction »

I looked at the Samsung/Tile alternativs, but the problem is that those have very poor location tracking, as they only work if the tracker is near a phone that is part of their network. Apple's tracking is orders of magnitude larger.

At any rate, it'd be an option only, not part of our usual process.


#1404: Post by AnotherADDiction »

I totally understand that. I would imagine that most people that will purchase this device have the Apple ecosystem already, or have bolth. I personally have a tile, Android phone, but also have an iPad (and don't use the tile). I would think that doing what works best for location, and the company, is best. This is an added possible feature. Nice to have but not required.
I do applaud you for listening to the people and having the best devices too.

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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1405: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

About the Paris Coffee Festival. ...

It was VERY well attended (8000 people) and mostly local roasters, coffee schools, etc... maybe only 50% non-French manufacturers and their resellers. Of the roasters, 90% were specialty, with most doing light to medium light roasts.

Because "Cafe Richard" is so dominant, and SO BURNT, I think it's created a unique situation in France, for speciality coffee to "bloom", as there's just a huge hole to be filled by "coffee that actually tastes good".

I had many French coffee-fans come by, who could describe the flavors in the espresso I had made, with great ability, but who knew nothing about extraction. These people were a kind of "blank slate" that's actually very, very refreshing, as I don't have to fight all this historical misinformation.

I was very surprised how many people really, really loved the aesthetics of the DE1. Several times people were happily amazed at "software based espresso machine", said so loudly, and started pitching the concept to the people around us.

We made a lot of "El Oregano" from KB Roasters ... -oregano-1 as an Adaptive shot, especially on the first day and morning, as that group was the most advanced (tasting wise) of the 3 days. Super cool how much information they give about the beans, on their website.

In the afternoon I started to get complaints that the coffee was too sour (the KB had no chocolate notes at all) and so switched to a medium-light Brazilian bean from Coutume, that Bugs thought was fantastic for her morning latte. A nice balance of fruity and light chocolate: it pleased both 3rd wave people and traditionalists-who-can-taste, and we stuck with that bean for most of the next two days.

We met Eric from Belgium, who has run a coffee cart at a farmer's market with a DE1, and now has a permanent space. Met the owners of L'Esprit, a new cafe/bistro near the Gare de Lyon, that uses a Decent. And was very happy to meet Hussain, the super-fan on Instagram known as "CoffeeHolic"

On sunday we ran a 2h masterclass at Kabane Cafe featuring beans from new-to-me-but-very-very-clean-roasts Puchero and Brander (from Belgium, who kindly attended). Pierre-Jacques, who runs Kabane, is insanely talented, focussing on so many things (tea ceremony, shots properly extracted, chocolate pairings, and the best cookies & brownies I've had), that I really recommend his place if you come through Paris. Computer not allowed!



#1406: Post by markpermann »

Thanks for sharing the Paris notes. I last visited long before I was into espresso and it was fascinating to hear about the different state of the market and tastes there

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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1407: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

A barista suitcase for everything else

This weekend Paul is staffing a Decent cart at the "Coffee Journey at K11 Musea" in Hong Kong ... k11-musea/

The last coffee festival we did was Christmas time, and setup/teardown was from hell. We only had a few Decent suitcases of stuff, but like all shows, access to the loading dock is highly limited. It's common that, if you're paying the union to do it, you'll need to wait 2 hours.

So, for this show, I asked Alex to design custom-cut foam for a DE1 suitcase, that (along with a DE1) would give Paul everything he'd need for his stand. He could take the subway there, roll in with two suitcases, unpack them himself and be done in 15 minutes.

The photos above show what we've done. A Niche (with portafilter stand mod) a large knockbox, and 14 other items, all fit in there.

The foam can be sold to Decent owners as a retrofit, and (more importantly) posted inexpensively, as we bought a vacpack machine to collapse the foam, and can send it via Postal Mail.

My question: would you find this suitcase useful?

It wouldn't be just for Decent folks: everything here is an item that we use to make and serve coffee drinks, and then your bring the espresso machine separately.

Here's a link to all the items that fit inside (in addition to a Niche) ... 23+1+409+1

I haven't yet figured out how to inexpensively post a suitcase, however, so that's a sticking point, if you don't own one of our suitcases already.

Some people have indicated they'd like to buy our upcoming "v2 Decent Suitcase" for their DE1, and getting new foam for accessories would give their previous suitcase a new life.


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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1408: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

First look at "The Tipsy Mug"

Our ceramics factory sent us this photo of their first attempt at making a latte-sized version of my "Little Tipsy" cup.

This larger model will simply be called "The Tipsy Mug". It's sized to make an 8oz/200ml latte.

I really like the Dale Harris cups that Loveramics makes, but I wanted something that felt more delicate in the hand and with a more modern/minimalist aesthetic.

One important thing we'll have to test, is whether this larger shape makes the tipped-shape unstable. "Tipsy" is fun, but "tipped" is less so.

The Little Tipsy cup, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, was for drinking espresso, and not for milk-based drinks. The focus is on smelling the drink. More info and explanation of my ideas behind this design, at

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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1409: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Our mobile countersink test

We were invited to have a stand at a local coffee-fair ... k11-musea/

and I suggested to Alex (engineer) and Paul (barista) that we could try out two product ideas, as part of this:
  • custom DE1 suitcase foam for holding everything you need for the show (Niche grinder, knockbox, etc...)
  • foam that allows you to countersink the DE1 and the pitcher rinser. Having clean water and a wet cleanup method is really, really helpful when making lots of coffee.
The idea was successful in that we were able to prototype it, see it work... and see the problems with this approach. The biggest issue is that the countersink is large. On a limited countertop space, this pushed the grinder far to the right, causing an awkward workflow. The knockbox on top of the rinser becomes HUGE, almost as big as the DE1 back panel. I did like my crew's idea of packing clean and dirty water bottles into a rolling box, making it easy to move and invisible.

In seeing this test, I feel the "mobile countersink" idea is not a good one. We're going to push the other direction now, swapping our countersunk pitcher rinser, for a all-in-one countertop rinsers I've seen on the Internet. We'll aim to hide the pump and dirty/clean water tanks in a rolling suitcase below (I liked that idea).

The DE1, will sit on the countertop. I don't think much was added by countersinking it, except that the clean/dirty water tubes became completely hidden. That's nice, but I think we can achieve a similar result by snaking those tubes under the DE1, and draining out the front.

However, one thing came out of this that I really like, and that's custom foam for holding the Niche, knockbox, tamper, and more. I posted about this elsewhere, and I still think that idea is a good one.

We regularly get invited to events, and occasionally do them so that we can experience the reality that our mobile customers experience every day.

We'll keep iterating on these ideas, and I'll report back here, what we're learning, what works well, and where we're stuck.