Frequenty Asked Questions

													
The espresso process requires a minimum of 6-9 BAR pressure to effect emulsification. This is a key component to production of crema and to extract the necessary amount of dissolved solids to yield the darker colors and mouth feel associated with espresso. Aeropress and other similar small hand brewers are only capable of 1-3 BAR pressure depending on size and strength of operator, far less than what’s required for espresso.
All Flair models are built with the same solid aluminum components as the original Flair. Both the Classic and Signature models utilize our smaller, standard brewing head, but the Signature series comes standard with a bottomless 2-in-1 portafilter. Another difference between the Classic and Signature lines is that the Signature models go through a process of hand polishing due to the Chrome, Cool Black Matte, and Copper finish. The PRO 2 series comes in the same colors as the Signature line, but features our larger PRO 2 brewing head, a pressure gauge and other upgrades! See below for more information.
The coarseness of your grounds will depend on the specific bean and dose you are using. However, beans used in the Flair - and other espresso machines - must be ground more finely than for use in a drip coffee machine. If you do not see any crema when brewing, try to grind your beans increasingly more fine and/or dose higher until you get the taste and flavors you desire. Remember, if you can't lower the lever without struggle, your grind size is too fine.
If there is no pressure or resistance, it is most likely that your grounds are too coarse and/or your dose is too low. Re-grind your beans to be finer and/or dose higher, and ensure you have good distribution of the grounds and an even surface. If you have purchased pre-ground beans, please remember these will not work in the Flair.
You usually know you have the right force when you pull the shot between 35-45 seconds while feeling a moderate amount of resistance in the lever. You can also place the Flair on a bathroom scale and pull a shot as you normally would. A good average is about 30-40 lb of force on the lever sustained for the entire brew period.
Pre-heating the cylinder is essential to temperature stability. Fill the cylinder with boiled water and pre-heat for at least 30-45 seconds before brewing. If you’ve purchased the stainless steel piston, this should also be pre-heated. Finally, pre-heating your cup with hot water can keep your beverage warmer longer!
See the Espresso 101 section of the Brew Guide here.
Pre-ground beans will not be calibrated for use in espresso machines, and the Flair is no exception (your shots will run too fast, or possibly too slow). Beans lose stored CO2 immediately after being ground and dry out at an accelerated rate. Pre-ground coffee is especially bad for pressurized brewing.
We do not have a specific brand recommendation, but it is essential that you use a burr grinder. Stay away from blade grinders; they do not let you control the grind size, which is essential for making espresso. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to produce a good shot of espresso from coffee beans that have been ground in a blade grinder.
Whole beans freshly roasted and ground minutes before brewing. Both blends and single origin work well, medium to dark roast generally are preferred by most. When searching for beans, it is always easiest to first select those designated specifically for espresso by the roaster.
We recommend you extract a standard double and then dilute the shot by adding boiling water to the cup. If you would like to use a lower dose, you will need to grind finer to achieve the same resistance as before to extract within the target 35-45 seconds with at least 30-40 lb of force on the lever.
The typical double shot is traditionally considered to be a 45-60 ml yield, and 60 ml is the capacity of the cylinder when filled to the line. When brewing, there is some water lost due to absorption by the coffee grounds, and some water gets trapped between the portafilter and the piston. When we say “double shot espresso,” we are basing that on the new standards that use brew ratios to describe yields e.g. 32-34 ml of espresso from 16-17 grams of coffee on average.
A bitter or sour flavor is most likely linked to the size of your grounds and the temperature of your water. If your grounds are too coarse (too large), you will not have enough resistance in the puck to slow the flow of water (contact time is too short), you can under-extract your espresso and get a sour taste. But if the grounds are too fine, you will have too much resistance in the puck, slowing the flow of water (contact time is too long), and you can over-extract. This can yield a bitter taste. Similarly, if your water is too far below 200 degrees F, your espresso could become sour, and too far above 200 degrees can turn a shot bitter.
You can remove used grounds, known as the puck, in a few different ways. We recommend knocking the portafilter against the side of a trashcan or knock-box to remove the grinds. You can also invert the portafilter and blow through the opposite end or dig the grinds out with a utensil or your finger.
You don’t need to. When you rinse your portafilter in cool water every time after you pull a shot, the residues of coffee below the basket will be washed away.
The Flair was designed to be used with or without the bolt. You should bolt the main piece to the base only if you do not expect to travel with the Flair often. If you leave the Flair permanently assembled and you want to bolt the base to the main piece, first you need to make sure the bottom tab of the main piece is all the way in the base. You can tap the top of the main piece with something soft (rubber, plastic, wood) to ensure it sticks to the base. Then flip it upside down and insert the bolt. It screws in a bit tilted in the beginning. Again, don’t bother using the bolt if you plan to take the Flair apart frequently. Please see the image below for the appropriate angle for bolt insertion.

Yes, the Flair comes with a limited warranty. Please click here for full details.
It is normal to have a gap between the lever assembly and the base. If it is completely flush, the tab may not be supported on the sides and wobbling may occur. The bolt needs to be inserted at an angle, roughly 30 degrees from parallel, as can be seen below, to the orientation of the tab at the bottom of the Lever Assembly. Please note, the Flair works safely without the little bolt and we only recommend its use only if you plan to keep your Flair permanently assembled.

The gauge is user adjustable. Turn it counter clockwise until it provides a good viewing angle. Do not unscrew the gauge more than a full turn.
It is normal to see the cylinder lifting a small amount towards the end of the shot, especially if you are brewing at higher end of the “Espresso Zone.” The Flair provides manual, pressurized brewing. Once you begin to lower the lever, pressure builds in the chamber, which you can read on your pressure gauge. You should not exceed 10 BAR and never push the needle beyond 12 BAR! The best tasting espresso with the most crema is usually found within the operating range of 6-9 BAR. It is important to never release the lever until the gauge reads zero. This allows all pressure to dissipate naturally.

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