Author Topic: Flair espresso machine- now travelling road show ;)  (Read 6733 times)

Offline Joe

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2018, 09:38:37 AM »
Thanks for the pic. What is between the plastic and the screen. Because when I watched the video it behaved like the pf is aerated.

Offline SpecialReserve

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2018, 10:09:30 AM »
the process follows to prepare and pull shot:(my own version that works)
1. Fill "porta filter" with 15.5 G coffee tamp as in any porta filter (I use the SS tamp they offer)
2. place screen ABOVE the tamped coffee it just fits on lip of porta filter
3. place warmed brew head on porta filter and add 205F water to fill line (fill line is machined into brew head)
4. Put plunger into brew head and compress with handle using even pressure pulling shot


I have found that allowing a 15 second or so pre infusion of water into grounds gives a more consistent mouse tail on your shot... just have to get a feel for it

Joe the screen sits above the coffee bed so from the bottom up its porta filter, coffee bed, screen, plunger the way the back pressure is achieved is by having micro holes (looks like 4) in the bottom screen in the actual porta filter portion on the bottom. I think the upper screen must be to keep a consistent shower of water on the grounds and to keep them from back washing. Im sure their engineer can do a lot better job than me though lol ...

I included the actual process to help give a clear picture of what does what
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Offline Joe

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2018, 10:29:53 AM »
Yes so that sounds like a pressurized Porta filter. Much like a seaco or other such machine. In other words most likely fake/enhanced crema. But if I get a chance to look at it I can definitely tell you. A quick test is to vary the grind size slightly and tamp at a normal 30lbs with a real tamper... If the shot pressure feels the same or clogs with 30lb tamp pressure then it's a pressurized pf.


If there are smaller holes at all past the bottom screen or 4 in the bottom screen that creates an aeration. This could be more sneaky about it since there is plastic on the bottom.

A typical pump machine or lever has 4-5 large holes on top block followed by a dispersion screen that spreads the hot water across the puck, then it passes through the coffee puck and comes out the hundred or so micro holes on the bottom screen into your cup. Pressurized Porta filters are for when grinding isn't as precise so they add a final layer usually plastic/silicone holes that further froths the espresso for crema enhancement. It does nothing for the taste but makes everyone feel like they are pulling perfect shots.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 02:11:45 PM by Joe »

Offline SpecialReserve

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2018, 10:39:01 AM »
Joe it is pressurized if you grind to fine it will shut her down totally...to big a grind and lose crema, oils etc... you have to dial it in just like a powered espresso machine.

I will take a pic of some grind that works perfectly shortly for anyone who wants to dial right in on it ...I had to fiddle with it a while to nail it .. like I said on earlier post on my encore its around 6ish or so I will try to get a pic of the grind next to a dime or something.
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Offline Joe

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2018, 11:00:05 AM »
Pressurized Porta filters clog like crazy on a fine grind. That's not a test at all. Try tamp pressure and a coarser grind. I owned a pressurized pf machine for about 2 years, you can usually tell by the way the espresso comes out of the bottom screen. If you had a naked pf on the bottom you could see for sure.

Just to be clear if it is or isn't a pressurized pf, it's still espresso.

Offline Joe

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2018, 01:17:26 PM »
I did see something suggesting a bottomless PF coming sometime this month. If that is the case, that would be really interesting, If I were a Flair user I would definitely spring for that.

Offline Joe

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2018, 02:38:03 PM »
Sounds like the inventor of the Flair wants me to buy his product so I can review it...hahahaha  ;D ;D ;D :o. Hey Brian can you send me yours for a week? I'll send it back with some nice presents and I will do a review on that bad boy.


I left him a nice email explaining that we don't play that game. But we'll see maybe he realizes that no free lunch is about to happen here.

Offline SpecialReserve

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2018, 03:24:36 PM »
Well shucks Id think they would want to promote their product here. Its a nice little unit! I was going to buy another one for the cart, anyway, and I will have it sent straight to you, Joe, for an official GCBC review. There are lots of really great folks that participate here and it would be nice if they could get an objective look at it where they can also ask questions and participate. Just PM your shipping address Joe and I will have sent straight to you and after the review just send it on down south.
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Offline Joe

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2018, 03:29:56 PM »
Well shucks Id think they would want to promote their product here. Its a nice little unit! I was going to buy another one for the cart, anyway, and I will have it sent straight to you, Joe, for an official GCBC review. There are lots of really great folks that participate here and it would be nice if they could get an objective look at it where they can also ask questions and participate. Just PM your shipping address Joe and I will have sent straight to you and after the review just send it on down south.

Agreed. Nice! Will do.

Offline Joe

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2018, 05:07:21 PM »
Just as an update the 2 individuals involved with the flair would have me worried if I have purchased their product. Obviously the buy in isn't that much so the risk isn't great but between the obvious top reviewer now works at Flair, and the owner providing free samples to Mark Prince and his goofy buddies at home barista, but wants anyone who would give an honest and potentially objectionable review you have to buy the machine. Andrew said he had concerns that basically I might say something negative or just compare this machine to the Rok so he won't send us a sample until we alleviated his concerns. I get sent so many products from "real" coffee companies that the shenanigans from this group of individuals is really stupid to be nice. Andrew from flair signed up at GCBC and Despite my pm to him to not engage in anything regarding the flair, he sent a pm to special reserve for assistance with this thread. I had to permban him for that. The owner of flair further cemented my negative view of their company by endorsing Andrews actions and basically requiring that I purchase a review sample. The funny thing is that I can review anyone this way through the magic of Amazon prime and their return policy. Luckily Brian is going to send me his machine to test anyways, but just to expedite my assumptions I might get a Rok to compare it to and I would be shocked if the Rok didn't wipe the floor of the flair. But one thing is for sure GCBC and our YouTube account will know. Buyer beware until I get back from Thailand around April 1 and get a chance to check it out. John might get the Amazon review going.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 04:09:18 PM by Joe »

Offline Ascholten

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2018, 01:56:51 AM »
I don't know the entire back end of this kerfluffle, and yes it sounds like some histrionics going on :P  but to play devils advocate.

Yes you'd think they would send you a free sample, but then again, how many 'coffee experts' would be drowning them with; 'Hey, where's MY freebie?"

I kind of see their point there.  Then again, if you did give it a good review someone could say, he just said that because they gave him a free one.  Making you buy one takes that off the table.

Aaron
As I have grown older, I have learned that pleasing everybody is impossible, but pissing everybody off is a piece of cake!

Offline SpecialReserve

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2018, 05:32:30 AM »
Aaron im not sure if the convo details either. I could be wrong but I think he (joe) is basing his argument (is that the right word?) On the fact other companies send units for review.

You do have a valid point about buying it taking away the look of trading a freebie for a favorable review. Which is why I'm gonna pay my hard earned $$ for one LOL. I like the little machine it makes a great shot of espresso and is a great way to get into espresso without spending an arm and a leg for all the gizmoids that it usually takes to get one. Maybe they give them free only in exchange for favorable reviews and want to sell to anyone that might say anything percievably negative in an objective review. In all honesty I have so much going on right now i haven't even looked at any reviews on the Flair other than the few I saw before buying it and I'm not sure where they were they were written and not video. *shrugs* scruse me while I  go pull a shot of some really good beans.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 05:34:19 AM by SpecialReserve »
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Offline Joe

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2018, 07:58:40 AM »
my take: We have a targeted 2000+ member audience of extremist coffee users. Our list is culled constantly so that number is pretty close to active members.

on the argument of samples and costs- Actually the argument of freebie samples isn't an issue until it's made an issue i.e.

example 1 most typical - x company says here is my new coffee equipment we are trying to promote. Please look at it for consideration for your members.

- in this scenario a "favorable" review is probably going to be tried as much as possible subconsciously by someone like me as they sent a unit to review and they are initiating contact. it's a subconscious thing but I still make a pro and con use of the item and try to find it's niche. I have yet to make a puff piece and perhaps some companies deserve that but I think my reviews are actually as honest as it comes compared to the competition. Companies could really hear my cons and make improvements that would work.
companies such as : OXO, Technivorm, baratza, notneutral, etc...

example 2 common- a member buys x company item says it's the best thing, I reach out to the company in order to actually see if it's good and/or see if we have maybe been targeted by agents of that company for free ads. typical responses are: 1. company ignores my request. 2. company responds and sends a unit out to sample and review. less common responses: 1. a company says we can't pass sample units out as we are a small company but we can lend you one for review. - I have only heard this once or twice and typically I don't respond or take them up on it because of several reasons but basically it's not worth my time.

example 3 this case extremely rare, this time only- a member buys x company item and says i like this thing. I reach out to the company in order to see if this is the next best thing and/or to see if we have been targeted by agents of that company for free ads. most rare of all responses the agent of the company states he would love to send me a unit but that he read our thread and thinks i wont give his unit a fair shot among other stuff not really important but basically states he doesn't believe i would give it an honest review based on my earlier comments comparing it to the ROK and that there are several reviews already out there. I washed my hands of it told him; too bad you could have changed my mind assuming I had the decision made- i hadn't. Then he fired back saying he didn't say that he wasn't going to send a sample just that he had "concerns". So i do some digging myself and notice the puff piece youtube ad by the Andrew who states in his review that he is an unbiased reviewer....hahahaha ok. then obviously i point out the irony to him and it goes from there. not to mention i find his handle at H-B where shockingly his comments seem to be 100% for "the flair"....then we see him sign up under the same handle, I get contacted by some members that his is PM'ing them about this thread.....Ok we have an interesting company we are dealing with.

On a side note "the inventor" has been emailing me....same story. he actually stated hey buy this thing we don't want a review. I cc'd all communication from these guys to John and we had quite a few laughs. But long story short, I am not allowing GCBC to be a platform for the flair's sub-ad campaign and I will review their product one way or another at this point for curiosity and to really give it an honest review. Whether it makes the admin official review is another story but as I stated these guys are "different".


bonus points to Aaron for "histrionics". Also I will forward you the emails someday so you can join in the fun....;D
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 08:03:36 AM by Joe »

Offline IMAWriter

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2018, 07:44:31 PM »
"but just to expedite my assumptions I might get a Rok to compare it to and I would be shocked if the Rok didn't wipe the floor of the flair. But one thing is for sure GCBC and or YouTube account will know. Buyer beware...(snipped)
Joe, respectfully, this comment is not exactly a harbinger of a positive review..even assuming you are acquainted with and have used the Rok. I hope I'm incorrect here.

I have no horse in this race. I do not own a Flair, nor a Rok. I have owned multiple levers, everything from a Bezzera Strega down to a Caravel. Seems like however the coffee is produced, it is, as you stated above espresso.
Seems a bit like a Faema Baby Faemina, minus the dual arms, such as Cafelot's forthcoming "Robot." I could be wrong here, but the bottomless Flair PF you mentioned would then eliminate any thought of a pressurized "basket?"
Rob Jason

Offline Joe

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2018, 11:25:17 PM »
Hi Rob Jason,

Long time no hear. I have owned multiple levers myself from the la pavoni to my current Ponte vecchio lusso. I think if you read my statement slowly you might catch the nuance of my wording which says that I want to review the ROK. Seeing as how much they have in common in design. Basically a very primitive lever without a way to make any milk drinks. But for a significant discount you can get a ROK. I think it's odd that a bottomless Porta filter is taking so long to come to market. How hard would it be to cut the bottom off? Maybe the crema argument on the paid staff reviews isn't the same situation on the bottomless pours? Btw the Nomad definitely doesn't have a pressurized pf unless you want one and truly had a unique way of pulling a shot, frankly I like the transparency of that company's business model.

Still there is always people deceived in thinking their able-Kone filter is a good way to make coffee and are willing to pay the premium. I have a feeling the flair is going to be kone part two.

Don't worry Rob Jason, I'll get to the bottom of this in the next month or so after I get back from Thailand and I'll grab a ROK too to compare it to. You can critique my findings when they happen.

So we can see the machine you reference for comparison, i offer this youtube.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 04:32:51 PM by Joe »