Today I got a Flair manual espresso maker, and I found that the manual that came with it was a little hard to follow, and the official “how to use Flair” videos were all about the higher-end models and also not that great to follow, and I couldn’t find any useful videos from reviewers on how to actually use the darn thing.
So after I played with it a bunch I figured out how to use it and drew a few shots (which all came out excellent! Espresso Vivace knows how to roast.). So I decided I’d share how I do it, which might be helpful for someone else.
- Grind your beans; I’ve been doing 15-16 grams with a fairly fine grind,
using my Hario grinder (that Krups in the background isn’t consistent enough)UPDATE: Turns out the Krups is consistent enough at the finer end of the scale and so I’ve been using that after all.
- Preheat the brewing chamber; do this by having the piston in it most of the way down, inverting it, and filling it with just-boiled water for at least 30 seconds
- Put your ground beans into the portafilter using the filling funnel, tap it on the counter or (preferably) a silicone mat or wooden block or something (UPDATE: I’ve been using a ½" thick cork trivet) to break up any clumps and gaps, then use the bottom of the dosing cup as a tamper (if you didn’t spring for the $25 official tamper); it helps to keep the funnel on.
- Remove the funnel and put the dispersion screen on top of the portafilter, and put the portafilter into the Flair.
- Invert the dosing cup and use it to push the piston out from the brewing chamber
- Put the brewing chamber onto the portafilter, and fill it up to the line inside with water, which has probably cooled to the perfect temperature by now
- Put the piston on top, and slowly but firmly pull the handle down
- Enjoy your espresso
When you take the brewing chamber and portafilter apart, rinse it in cold water to make it easier to handle, and don’t remove the piston from the brewing chamber — this leaves it in just the right position to preheat it the next time!
With this method, the Flair is no more annoying to use than an Aeropress.
Amazon affiliate product links for items used in the above video: