Video Overview | Flair Pro 2 Manual Espresso Maker

Video Overview | Flair Pro 2 Manual Espresso Maker

May 14th 2020 Written by meredithlangley

Flair's manual espresso makers are smartly designed to be super functional as well as travel-friendly. The Signature Pro 2 offers true 9-bar espresso, lots of high quality metal parts, and it can even fit an Acaia Lunar scale! Watch our full overview to see what this fun little espresso maker is capable of.


Hey folks, it's Steve with Prima Coffee here. Today we are taking a look at the Flair Signature Pro 2 Manual Espresso Maker. This is a really lovely and well-crafted manual espresso maker. It breaks down flat and packs into its own padded carrying case so it's travel friendly. It's capable of true nine bar lever espresso, it can pull some really great shots and it's got metal in all the right places. So it's just this overly high quality, small format, manual espresso maker. Really, really well made and we're so glad to have it in right now. So let me talk you through how this works. If you're not familiar with a Flair or a lever machine in general, again, it's designed to be travel friendly. It's fairly compact, molded metal pieces. Again, it does break down to pack away and everything here is designed more or less for an optimized user experience in terms of making espresso.

Flair Pro 2 Manual Espresso Maker

Convenient and portable espresso maker

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With the Signature Pro 2, we have lots of metal parts, we have this pressure gauge to tell you how much pressure you're extracting your espresso with. And then we have a lot of really cool neat features and accessories in the form of a dosing funnel, a dosing cup that also doubles as a little piston that I'll show you in a little bit. We have an Included tamper, it's got a metal handle and a nice steel base. And this little cover which not only covers the sort of accessory kit here but also serves as a preheating cap for your brew reservoir. So to look at the actual pieces here, obviously, we have the lever arm. Now I'll take this whole brewing assembly out, we have an optional spout, it just clips right on to the bottom of the portafilter brew basket there. You can set this aside, I'm actually going to pull a shot without it today. We obviously have this pressure gauge which is attached to its own little piston. It's got a nice little rubber cover.

The dial is adjustable if you want to sort of change the position, you can give it a little bit of a twist one way or another. So that helps you know for me I'm a little bit taller. I like to kind of tilt it upwards so I can see it nicely. The actual two-piece brewing assembly includes this sort of upper reservoir piece. There's the bottom brew basket which has a nice sort of stainless steel perforation inside. Really, really well machined and feels nice and solid. You have a distribution sort of shower screen that you put on top of your grounds. And then inside the actual upper reservoir piece is the piston itself which is this big piece of steel with a couple of seals on it. To move it up and down, normally you would use you know, the lever and the sort of driving piston to push it down and then to push it back up, you can use the included, it's a dosing cup, but it also is designed to push that piece back up to sort of reset and reload. Again, we have this cover, this preheat cap that you can use. Snap right on the bottom.

You can fill this up with boiling water, it is nice and watertight and that'll help to preheat that metal and kind of maintain more temperature for your extraction. Overall, really really well made and a high build quality in the Flair 2. So let me kind of show you what it's like to go ahead and pull a shot of espresso here. I'm not going to preheat this. Normally I would, there is definitely a benefit to that you see some, probably about 10 degrees Fahrenheit drop in temperature if you haven't preheated it. Mine is still warm from the last shot that I pulled, but it could probably benefit from a little bit higher temperature. I've got my basket on my scale here, I'm going to use my dosing funnel and tare that out. The basket holds about 16 to 18 grams of ground coffee. There is also I think, really the only constraint here on the low end is that there's a taper about halfway up the basket and you need to make sure that you're hitting that taper.

That's just because the tamper doesn't actually compress past that taper. Eighteen grams is a nice little dose in here. I'm just going to kind of groom this a little bit before I tamp. The tamper is a nice and snug fit, it's a 45.5-millimeter basket. So you don't really have many options in terms of tampers and it's really nice that it includes one. Again, on top of my ground coffee goes this little distribution screen and then I can snap these two pieces together and then load it up with water. So I'm going to use fully boiling water. And I'm going to load up all the way to the top actually. I find that my best results come from filling the reservoir pretty much completely just to the inside of the inner piece here. So I will actually stop my shot short when I get to that. Finally, I just need to insert my pressure gauge onto the piston. I'm going to rotate this slightly here. What's really nice is the drip tray here, it's a two-piece drip tray which is really handy and it also accommodates a lunar scale. It's got just the right size for it.

So I can put my shot scale right on top and I'm going to go ahead and start this extraction. I usually aim for a little bit lower pressure with my lever extractions usually between six and eight bars rather than nine. You can absolutely hit nine bars with the Flair and can see I got some really nice drips going already. So sometimes I stretch my shots out to maybe 60 seconds or so at a lower pressure. You have quite a lot of leeway in terms of how you pull shots. It's not quite as unforgiving as a straight nine-bar extraction might be and you can also manually taper the extraction pressure as you go. Obviously, you can see at my gauge here I'm not quite hitting nine bars and kind of keeping it a little bit on the lower end. The coffee that I'm using actually I quite enjoy closer to six bars but whatever coffees you choose, you have the freedom to play with pressure as part of your extraction profile and that's really nice as far as you know, an espresso enthusiast, you know, you might have quite a good deal of range with coffees that you wouldn't necessarily have with mechanical pump machines just because they aren't capable of playing with the pressure quite so much.

I'm stopping my shot short right around 40 grams. With this coffee, that's kind of the sweet spot. See I got some really nice mottling on top of that crema. Shots on the Flair can be really really nice. Really nice high body, great aromatics. Again, you have a lot of freedom in terms of playing with that pressure. This one is really rich, it's got a great body to it. A really nice sort of cooked fruit sort of flavor that I haven't been getting with this coffee on some of the pump machines that we have. So again, you have a lot of freedom in terms of the actual lever action of the Flair in pulling shots. So overall, again, that build quality is really superb. It is fairly travel-friendly. It's got that padded case, it weighs less than six pounds when it's all packed away even though you have these steel heavy components. So it's a really nice travel-friendly espresso maker, you can pair it up with a hand grinder and something like a Bellman steamer.

You do still need to have a source for hot water. Obviously, it's unpowered. It doesn't have a way to heat its own water for brewing or steaming so that is a consideration to keep in mind. But once you have hot water, you have a capable grinder and you can pull some really fantastic shots. And overall, we're really really happy with how it works and the espresso quality that it produces. And having something like this pressure gauge as part of the package is really nice as well because it helps with consistency, it helps sort of learn how to pull shots with a lever machine so you don't have to go just by feel. You will get a feel for how much pressure is sort of correlated to that display on the dial. But overall, it's just a really superb manual espresso maker. That is the Flair Signature Pro 2. Thanks for watching.

May 14th 2020 meredithlangley

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