Goodbye Profitec 800, Make Room For Flair La Petite

BY BORIS POVOLOTSKY - 30 Mar 2024

Ambivalence

Two months ago, I listed my Profitec 800 in Facebook Marketplace and local craiglist-like website. I received several of messages and phone calls from few potential buyers. I was on the edge, I almost sold it. A fellow hobbyist has agreed to meet me half way and drive 2 hours to get the machine, giving up on a thorough check-up of the machine.

I regretted it.

I knew I’d get severe seller’s remorse.

Immediately, I ordered a new bag of coffee and a new digital scale an attempt to make it up to my Profitec 800. I don’t want her to suspect I was about to ditch it, right?

Though, here we are. Again.

This time, I’m determined. If you want to know why I’m selling it, keep reading.

Relax, I’m Still Pulling

As long as I’m in the game, I can’t possibly imagine myself not using a lever machine. So, despite selling the Profitec 800, I plan on purchasing one of the Flair models. If you have read about my experience with Profitec 800, you’d know I’m a fan of lever machines and it has has stayed the same.

I have contemplated the/ possibility of getting a used La Pavoni, or the Cafelat Robot, but figured the Flair would be the best choice for me for the following reasons…

Aesthetics

For me, the Flair has a very elegant and solid looks, and I like having that feeling while preparing a coffee. There’s a reason Nespresso shops look so visually appealing. The obvious contender is the Cafelat Robot which has a distinctive and unique design, although not exclusive (Rok). Having said that, I prefer Flair’s looks.

Take note, there are some very interesting options in the market today, even one featuring a magic rod one has to push through to extract coffee. To me, it’s so bizarre that it’s awesome, I’d be so happy to try pulling an espresso shot with that thing, but purchasing one as my daily driver isn’t going to happen.

Un Espresso Per Favore

At the end of the day, as long as I’m pulling the lever to make myself un espresso, I don’t mind whether it’s a big boiler’ed Profitec 800 or a small Flair. However, if I were drinking milk-based drinks most of the time, the Flair wouldn’t fit my needs. Downgrading from this beast to a Bellman steamer won’t cut it.

I have noticed that lately, me and my wife consume more black coffee than we do cappuccinos. In the mornings we have Americanos and maybe additional espresso for me, no milk. At noon, we usually had a cappuccino, but I prefer a good espresso instead. Now, on occasion, I’d unplug my Smart Wifi Plug and then I’d have to reset the schedule and forget to turn it on automatically at noon. As a result, I miss coffee at noon because waiting 30-45 minutes between the end of work and picking up the kids isn’t always a privilege I have.

See, I just want a good espresso.

All I need is a Flair machine, a kettle, a scale, and some coffee beans.

Money

With all honesty, the Profitec 800 comes with a hefty price tag. One that was beyond my means and not something I could afford to begin with. Or, to be more precise, it was a luxury I simply couldn’t justify. It’s not that I need to sell it to pay off my bills or anything, but I’d like to use the money to get the Flair and the rest of it will be put for a better cause. I have opened my mind to study investing recently, so I’d rather allocate some budget to this path.

The setup I’m considering, is considerably cheaper. Flair espresso machine, a kettle and call it a day.

Curiosity

I’m genuinely curious to explore more paths and see for myself what it’s like to use other machines. I want to get hands-on experience and write about it here in my blog.

I’m vastly more curious about lever machines than automatic in general, so you bet I plan on purchasing a La Pavoni in the future and hopefully modding it to make it bearable and even enjoyable to use.

Other Drawbacks

I have addressed most of the drawbacks of the Profitec 800 in the other post, and most of them are either irrelevant or aren’t solved by the manual Flair approach. For example, PID isn’t entirely solved, because we use a Kettle with the manual approach. However, we can use a kettle in which you, depending on the kettle, may setup the temperature.

Another drawback is the built-in timer that isn’t solved in the Flair.

That being said, we have not preheat time. Depending on the Flair model, we might NOT have to wait for the shot to drip through and mess up your surroundings. I’m pretty positive it isn’t the case. You pour water as needed for the shot. And lastly, price…

Price

The Flair is about 25% of the Profitec 800’s price. It’s a lot cheaper without sacrificing quality. That is, the Flair can make at least as good shots, and even potentially better shots. Because the Flair is a manual espresso machine, you control the pressure and the flow rate.

Summary

I must confess. I’m excited.

It has been more than a year since I have bought the Profitec 800, and I owe it my gratitude. Thanks to its capabilities and the passion it evoked in me, I discovered some great coffees and learned to appreciate pure espresso drinks. I couldn’t stand espresso before. I couldn’t make a drinkable shot with my Gaggia in the past, I was convinced espresso isn’t for me. Using the Profitec’s lever, I could enjoy some of the espresso I ever had.

My next point won’t be a downgrade in experience and taste. It’ll be a change. A change I’d be more than happy to document and share with you.


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