Author Topic: Flair espresso machine  (Read 185 times)

Offline SpecialReserve

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Flair espresso machine
« on: February 07, 2018, 06:30:25 AM »
I have been looking at the Flair espresso machine. It gets really good reviews, even by some of the cafe snobs, at an unmentioned site. Do you have one? Have you had some espresso pulled on one? Whats your thoughts on it? I love to tinker and build things so I had to get one lol. Should arrive in a few days ...let me know what you think. Maybe a review here is I  order?
Everything is better with coffee

Offline ptrmorton

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 07:23:50 AM »
Yes!  Good machine if it is the same one that was promoted on Kickstart.  I don't do espresso at home, but this tempted me at the time.  Compact and well built.  I had two very nice shots from it while CAMPING!  I didn't actually use it, I just watched a friend of a friend crank out shots while I helped hand grind the beans. Just you reminding me that it exists tempts me again. Yes please on the review idea.
Debate in my mind: "I don't need more coffee equipment!!! Well, maybe just for camping .... ::) "
AZ Peter

Offline SpecialReserve

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 09:04:18 AM »
PT I'm not gonna admit how much coffee making gear I have. It would cause others to question my sanity LOL. It's a sickness I have been afflicted with for quite a while  :-\.
I have been. Looking at that thing thinking " I REALLY don't need another piece of coffee hardware". But like every true junkie I justified it LOL. Coffee is really quite simple with only a few variables that need to be met. We shall see. I have even been working on my own lever machine. It helps to have friends who own a machine shop lol. I will report my results here to my fellow coffee "aficionados ". Thanks for weighing in!
Everything is better with coffee

Offline martinwthree

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 11:00:57 AM »
I just purchased one for myself this past week! So far I love it! My first few shots were with Aaron's blueberry offering from early fall, which was SUPER great. I have never owned an espresso machine of any sort before, so I am quite pleased at the quality of shot that a novice like myself can pull. The shots I have pulled are comparable to what I have obtained from the nicer coffee spots in my hood. It certainly helps to have quality temperature control on the water used to preheat the stainless components, which I have courtesy a Fellow Stagg EKG. This allows me to go from cold water in the Stagg to a shot pulled in in the Flair <5 minutes, which is nice. Boiling water on the stove top would take a bit longer I'm sure. All in all I am a BIG fan. For folks that want espresso at home, but don't want a larger machine and the maintenance that comes with it, the flair is a great option.

Offline ptrmorton

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 11:19:32 AM »
Multiple reviews??!
AZ Peter

Offline SpecialReserve

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 12:17:00 PM »
I just purchased one for myself this past week! So far I love it! My first few shots were with Aaron's blueberry offering from early fall, which was SUPER great. I have never owned an espresso machine of any sort before, so I am quite pleased at the quality of shot that a novice like myself can pull. The shots I have pulled are comparable to what I have obtained from the nicer coffee spots in my hood. It certainly helps to have quality temperature control on the water used to preheat the stainless components, which I have courtesy a Fellow Stagg EKG. This allows me to go from cold water in the Stagg to a shot pulled in in the Flair <5 minutes, which is nice. Boiling water on the stove top would take a bit longer I'm sure. All in all I am a BIG fan. For folks that want espresso at home, but don't want a larger machine and the maintenance that comes with it, the flair is a great option.

Martin that's awesome...I'm really looking forward to getting it. I should have it tomorrow according to amazon. Mind if I ask what kind of grind you're using? What grinder are you using? Is there a way to do a preinfusion? Or does the water hit the puck when you pull? How hard are you tamping? I see some reviews that say use a 30 lbs tamp and others say not so much. Sorry for all the questions I'm curious as can be.
Thanks!
Ps I have a piece of a jar left of Aarons blueberry. I will sure put it through there. I'm thinking that natural fugu will be good too.
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Offline SpecialReserve

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2018, 07:30:49 AM »
Flair arrived in good order. My first impression after tearing inot the box. Well built looks and feels like quality. Heavy precision machined brew heads and nice cast frame. Very nice. So I immediately set about practicing with it. Was able to ,after experimenting, pull shots that blow away the local coffee shops. No exggeration. In fact they are on par with any I have had. Beautiful body and crema that honestly blew my mind. I did pull a couple sours and one bitter. But dialed in the grind and surprisingly used my baratza encore (my drip / pour over grinder). Didn't need a high end grinder to get cafe quality yipeeee!  I went through several coffees that I had jarred up grinding and pulling shots like a kid with a new toy. See the coffees I used:
1. Columbian Finca El Placer.     Really smooth peanut brittle
2. Yemen Mocca.   Earthy, leather, slight spice notes
3. Mexico Pluma Los Naranjos ..dark milk chocolate, nuts
4. Ethiopian Fuji. ... berries, cocoa slight bitter bakers chocolate
5. Panama La Esmeralda .... woody , earthy, slight berry

I still need to develop a smooth work flow but it moves along pretty quickly after I got setup. I both the package that includes the two brew heads and tamper (very nice stainless piece)

I'm very happy with it and look forward to getting better with practice even though the results are very satisfying.

On the grind I found around the #6-8 setting on the encore (depending on the coffee) works really good. 15+/- G  Tamp till you feel it pack and seat. 35-45 second pull gives really nice crema and balance to the shot. Makes a really nice Americano...also added a splash of hot water and 2 Oz steamed half and half for a really nice milky double shot.
Setup: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HQsbKFno4i8xTQSZDcoUMxSOe-aRlTPV/view?usp=drivesdk
Shot:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C3XeOqRph2vZE2OhZ-Dzq5Xw32SBiOuH/view?usp=drivesdk
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 07:57:36 AM by SpecialReserve »
Everything is better with coffee

Offline brianmch

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Re: Flair espresso machine
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2018, 08:22:33 PM »
Was wondering about a Flair as a gateway lever machine.  Reports are encouraging.