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#331: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

10m challenge #4: latte, 1x DE1

In this Ten Minute Challenge I makes lattes on a coffee cart with one DE1XL machine, and one Niche grinder. Result: 5 latte drinks in ten minutes.

The big surprise is that I was as fast with one espresso machine, as I was with two espresso machines. With two machines I didn't make any more, and I was more likely to make errors, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJPTzfaP-W0 for me with two machines, making lattes.

The main lesson I learned in this video is that I should start the next espresso brewing before I pour the milk to make the latte art. I only realized this at the last step, and you can see that it'd save a lot of time.

However, in order to start the next espresso then, I'd need to have the next portafilter ready. I'm not sure if I have enough time to do that, with just one Niche grinder. It might be that I need two Niches, in order to have that next portafilter ready to go, after the milk was steamed. But maybe there is enough time... I'll have to try that workflow in the future.

Nonetheless, without rushing or stressing, I was able to make 5 lattes, from double-espressos, poured into 200ml cups, in that ten minutes. That's faster than many cafes I go to.

-john

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#332: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

10m challenge #5: 17 espressos=102 per hour !

In this Ten Minute Challenge John makes espressos on a coffee cart with one DE1XL machine, two Niche grinders, and pre-weighed bean doses in paper cups. Result: 17 espressos in ten minutes, which is equal to 102 espressos per hour (17x6=102).

Lessons learned:
  • for the first few minutes I'm work with both Niche grinders in parallel, preparing two portafilters at a time. This was a big speedup, but I lost that work-flow after a few minutes, and reverted back to one-Niche running at a time. Since I had plenty of spare portafilters, I should have been able to continue with two-at-a-time.
  • 17 espressos were made in 10 minutes, which averages out to 35 seconds per espresso, or 102 espressos per hour. Given that the Londiunum shots run for about 30 seconds normally, it's not likely I can go much faster. Average delay between shots was thus about 5 seconds.
  • I had dialed in the grind in the black Niche, and set the white Niches to the same grind setting, thinking it would be the same. It wasn't: it was coarser, and so my white-Niche shots ran fast for 2 shots until I corrected this. I should independently dial in each grinder so they have the same end-shot time, and not rely on the Niche grind setting number.
  • Pre-weighed doses was a massive speedup, with only 5 seconds of "idle time" between each espresso shot. It's unlikely I'll be able to go any faster, since espresso takes ~30 seconds per shot, unless I bring in another espresso machine.
  • What about lattes? Our next challenge will be with another barista joining me, and she'll be dedicated to steaming and pouring milk. I don't know that she'll be able to keep up with the speed at which I'm putting out espressos (every 35 seconds!).
My speed goal with the DE1 is:
  • 100 espressos/hour with one barista, and one DE1XL. Done!
  • 100 lattes/hour with two baristas, with one DE1XL (for espresso) and one DE1XXL (for milk). Still to be proven.
-john

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#333: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

DE1+ discontinued, DE1PRO delay, DE1XL/DE1XXL new focus

Here at Decent HQ, we've been working 6 day weeks, with double-pay on Saturdays, to try to make enough espresso machines to keep up with orders, and to try to keep our wait time reasonable. We're not succeeding.

We can currently make about 250 espresso machines per month, if we're working 6 days a week. Historically we've managed 200 machines a month. Working saturdays, my staff will burn out in a few months, so I can't ask them to do this permanently.

Last month's DE1 sales (February 2021) were surprisingly strong (248 machines). This was 20% better than the previous best (November 2020) of 207 machines. I thought we might be able to keep up, with our 6 day working week.

Toward the end of February, and now into March, our machine sales are exploding, way beyond what we can fulfill.

The DE1XXL model was released last month, and combined with strong demand for all our models, sales this month are forecast to grow another 46% over last month's record month.

There's absolutely no way we can increase our machine production this fast. Even if we could, we'd run out of parts, because it takes about 5 months these days for us to get a new run from our suppliers.

Here's what our monthly espresso machine sales look like:




Unless we do something to dampen demand, we're going to be taking money for machines that we can't deliver for an ever increasing longer time. That's not the kind of company I want to run.

And so, effectively immediately:
  • we are temporarily discontinuing the DE1+ model
    the DE1PRO model is still available, and we promise to deliver your order within 6 months
  • we will focus on DE1XL/DE1XXL production, and guarantee delivery of those orders within 4 weeks.
  • If you have already placed an order for a DE1+ or DE1PRO, we will honor the delivery date we stated when you paid.
I'm really sorry to have to drop the DE1+ and delay the DE1PRO, but we have to do something drastic, or otherwise we're going to trash our reputation, by taking money and not delivering as promised.

Here's a chart summarizing all this:


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#334: Post by PIXIllate »

John,

Congratulations on your success. I hope you are able to make a more affordable model again in the future. For now the dream is dead. The price of progress I guess. I'm sure in 10 years the advancements in espresso will have you to thank for a lot of things.

harleyujoe

#335: Post by harleyujoe » replying to PIXIllate »

I have to wonder if it is the White Color of the XL model that most people are asking for over only black of Decent + & Pro ..
Have to wonder if Black Pro should be offered in white even as small additional option fee....
Something for Decent to think upon..
I know it is the only color I would purchase and I am not spending 4400 for white XL..
The other thing Decent could do it team up with Niche and making Zero White and matching Decent and wooden handles to match each other

Alestz

#336: Post by Alestz »

wow, I'm so happy I decided to pull the trigger at the end of January! It is quite amazing how much demand has scaled up as word of how great the DE1+ has got around

jonasbr

#337: Post by jonasbr »

As one of the many that were thinking of pulling the trigger on buying a DE1+ I can't say I'm joyous, but it fits wonderfully in the transparency you have operated with and the more respect to you and the team for it. Not just accepting orders and the not unsubstantial amount of money from them cannot be an easy decision, but focusing on getting it right for those who already have put their order in as well as your employees is absolutely the right decision. Guess I have to try to justify to myself why a DE1XL now would make sense.

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#338: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »




New steam wand tools

When you buy our XL steam wand upgrade kit, we include two wrenches, to help people change between the standard steam wand and the XL one. We also routinely send the wrenches out for free to any owner who indicates that they could use them.

We designed the wrenches ourselves, because our stuff ships air mail, and sending two very heavy, cast-steel wrenches by plane isn't smart. We needed them to be lighter. Our first design (bottom right of the photo) was primitive, and still quite heavy.

We're revising this tool to be both lighter and multipurpose. You can now:
  • change the steam wand (needs two different wrenches)
  • tighten the ball joint on the steam wand (in case it loosens and leaks)
  • remove the steam wand tip (for thorough cleaning, for example)
  • with holes for mounting the tools on a wall.
  • and it's quite a bit lighter, as its being made from stronger metal, which allowed us to go thinner.
When these newly revised tools come in, we'll continue to send it along to customers who might be able to use it. I think we'll have them in about 8 weeks.

-john

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#339: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Reporting back on sales since I announced the big changes:
- DE1+ discontinued
- DE1PRO no longer promising fast delivery
- DE1XL delivers under 4 weeks.

Before the change:
- 11.4 machines sold per day (342/month)
- 27% DE1XL/DE1XXL

After the change:
- 11 machines sold per day (330/month)
- 73% DE1XL/DE1XXL

However, we did sell 15 machines on the first day, and then 9/day afterwards, which skews the 3 day average. Our average going forward might be 9/day.

9/day would be great, actually, as I think a realistic maximum number of machines that we can manufacture each month is 300 machines/month. So... I'm trying to get sales volume into that range. Selling 9/day on average would allow us to send machines out to buyers on a timely basis, with little waiting, which is my goal.

Obviously, I have no idea how these numbers will look in a few months. We managed to ship 161 machines in February, so a goal of 9 machines shipped per day (270/month) is already very ambitious, and I don't dare aim for more than that.

-john


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#340: Post by Haskens »

At what point would you consider bringing the DE1+ back? Or if you don't have that set in stone, when do you expect to start taking orders for those again? And last question on my mind - will you be using this opportunity to release DE1+ v1.5 when it does return?