High Cost of Coffee Making
Ever since the home-coffee rage has picked up, coffee connoisseurs have been busy researching products, coffee beans, and the best way to process them. The love for experimenting with coffee has also become synonymous with high costs and is usually thought of as a hobby for the rich.
And very rightly so because with basic machines themselves costing nearly $1000 and a full-blown setup that can process, grind and make coffees costing a few thousand dollars, it’s a big investment for some. Even though the costs can be easily recovered in just over a year of regular use, the initial investment keeps a lot of people away.
Coffee is a refreshment that is meant to be for the masses. It is also fairly inexpensive at 2 – 3 dollars a shot or cup. But anything more and will become unaffordable, which is why people invest in home coffee machines. Also, they can have their brew anytime they like.
A lot of people have gone ahead and invested money into machines, you do not have to invest so much upfront for just a cup of coffee. Various products will get you started and also cost close to nothing compared to what’s expected for an automated coffee machine. We are here to show you exactly that. In this article, we will bring you the Flair Espresso series of coffee makers.
Introduction to Flair Espresso Maker
For those who don’t know, Flair started off as a Kickstarter campaign where it got the maximum attention and fan following. Sergio Landau, a mechanical engineer by profession, is the brain behind the project. So Flair is a fairly new company, and the founder used core mechanical skills to develop an easy and relatively cheap espresso maker. It’s the Avant-grade design that took off.
Different Types of Flair Espresso Makers
The Flair espresso maker range has four varieties. The Neo costing $119, Flair Classic costs $159, Flair Signature costing $239, and Flair Pro 2 costing $309. This table below will help you to see the differences between each.
Simple, Affordable Espresso
The Original Flair
A Signature Brewing Upgrade
|FLAIR PRO 2|
The Manual Espresso Flagship
|Standard Brew Head||Standard Brew Head||Standard Brew Head||PRO 2 Brew Head|
|Flow-Control 2 Portafilter||Bottomless 2-in-1 Portafilter||Bottomless 2-in-1 Portafilter||Enhanced Portafilter|
|Mono-Chromatic Styling||Classic Gloss Black & Red Styling||Cooper-Plated Portafilter Base||Stainless Steel Bottomless Portafilter|
|No carrying Case||Must Upgrade to Pressure Gauge||Pressure Gauge Included||Removable Stainless Steel Spout|
|Use Any Grinder||Compatible with PRO 2 Brew Head||Matte Black or white||Pressure Gauge Included|
|Upgrade to Gauge and BPF||–||Compatible with PRO 2 Brew Head||Silicone Handle Grip|
|–||–||Stainless Steel Tamper||Stainless Steel Drip Tray|
|–||–||–||Stainless Steel Tamper|
How to Make Coffee With Flair Espresso?
The below steps will enable you to make the perfect coffee with Flair espresso maker.
Preheat the brew cylinder using hot water between 198-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, insert the piston ring into the brew cylinder just far enough to go inside. Turn over the cylinder and pour hot water into it till the brim and leave it aside. Preheating is essential, and also you will notice the coffee doesn’t turn out right if you do not preheat it.
Grind up the coffee beans to the right levels for the espresso. You can use fresh ground or packed ones, whichever is available, although the fresh ground will give the best results. Use 15-17 grams of coffee, and also remember that you need to experiment to get the right ground setting.
Fill the base with the coffee ground and also use the tamper to evenly press down the coffee and level it off. Place the dispersion screen on top of the coffee ground and put the spout on it. Put this unit in place on the coffee maker unit.
Dispose of the water from the brew cylinder, insert the cylinder on the unit, pour hot water into the cylinder and then fill up to the indicated water level inside the cylinder. Place the piston on top of the brew cylinder.
Place the cup below the spout and pull down the lever all the way down gently and firmly. Go for a 35-40 seconds extraction. Without too much force, you will see the espresso coffee drip into the cup below. If done right, you will see a lot of crema.
The process is pretty simple, and also keep in mind that you will have to give it a few tries to get it right. The instructions are straightforward, and only practice will help.
Perfect Espresso With Flair Espresso Maker
You will be glad to know the Flair espresso maker does make genuine espresso coffee as it does not tinker anything with the standard coffee-making process. Also, producing a good 6-9 bars of pressure does produce crema as well.
Also, with so many models, the flavor and quality are the same in any of the models, so even if you choose the most basic one of the lot, you will get the same coffee. The only other investment you will need to make is a proper grinder. The machine relies on the grind levels to extract the best coffee, and you will also experience it yourself.
Ease of Use
You will see that the process itself is easy to follow but will take a few minutes to work out a coffee every time. There are a few parts that have to be put into place and cleaned later on, but that’s the cleaning aspect. The process to make it is easy to master in just a few tries. Do give it a shot!
Why is the Flair Manual Espresso So Heavy?
Due to the lever mechanism that needs to be used and how the coffee is press-made, the Flair espresso maker has to have a certain amount of strength in the design. It takes considerable pressure to be exerted on the coffee to extract that fine taste of coffee.
Technically 9 Bars of pressure that is exerted over the taper are 9 bars that work out to 130 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). So, with this, you can imagine what will happen if you use a light mechanism in the construction. The machine chassis will either fold and collapse or break.
Also, the machine has to have a balance of its own. Unless the machine has a larger base and is balanced, you can imagine what will happen if you press the lever down, applying considerable force and if the balance gives way. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. I hope you now understand why this unit is heavy.
Flair Espresso Maker Pros
- Simplicity and also functionality score higher.
- It looks beautiful on a kitchen top.
- It is very portable and comes with its case.
- The piston creates the right pressure for espresso.
- A good amount of crema, but it will depend on the type of coffee and its ground levels.
- Extremely cheap and reliable.
- Portable and comes with its own case.
- Robust quality means proper use. It will last a lifetime.
- Too many small pieces that need to work together.
- Limited serving size.
- Physical strength is needed to create the required amount of pressure.
- Cleaning and washing are time-consuming.
- Setup is slightly difficult if you want to use it as a portable.
Consider These Things Before You Buy a Manual Espresso Unit
Like every product, even a cheap and also reliable manual espresso maker will have its if’s and but’s. Also, we wanted to make sure of what you are getting into. Even though the Flair espresso maker is cheap, if you are not ready for it in the long run, it’s best to save those few hundred dollars to buy something else that you actually want.
Coffee is all about love and hobby or just a plain beverage for everyone. Which one do you classify yourself as? The machine and also this process of extraction will need some time every time you want to use it. It can be anywhere between 3-5 minutes to make you a cup of coffee. Are you willing to spend so much, especially time every morning, when your mind and also the body is cravings for that urgent coffee shot?
The Effort Required
Spending time is still ok, but the effort required will also drain your energy and appear boring after a week or so because the Flair espresso maker will require cleaning after every shot.
If you are single or even a couple, this can still be done. What if you are a family and there are 4-6 people who all want coffee at the same time and maybe multiple times too? When there are several cups required, the time required will be proportionally longer, and this is therefore not an ideal machine for a family.
Let’s be honest. The Flair espresso maker weighs quite a bit due to its sturdy design. So while it’s extremely good to take it with you on treks, road trips, outings, picnics, camping trips, fishing weekends, do bear in mind the weight, you have to lug around. However, it is a complete no-no when it comes to flights. The product’s weight affects its portability.
Don’t Compare It With Automated Machines
The Flair espresso maker is and will not be comparable with automated machines in a café where baristas can have your shot ready in 60 seconds. This product is meant for home and also local travel purposes. These are the cheapest products out there, while still delivering quite a good quality of coffee.
So if you do not mind spending a few good moments with your machine and coffee every single time, this product is the one for you. Also, I hope the information helped you gain a good understanding of the product and will help you decide on its purchase. Enjoy your Coffee!