Cafelat Robot Barista Vs. Flair Pro 2 Espresso Maker: What’s The Difference?

This Cafelat Robot Barista vs. Flair Pro 2 Espresso Maker guide will help you decide which of these devices is right for you. 

Cafelat Robot Barista Vs. Flair Pro 2 Espresso Maker
A manual espresso maker is lever-operated

A manual espresso maker is lever-operated. You must push and pull it to brew your cup. Water is pushed into a brewing chamber when you raise the lever, which completely saturates the ground coffee. This is called pre-infusion. You then pull the level down, creating pressure, to force water through the coffee to brew it.

The phrase “pulling a shot” originated from this kind of espresso machine.

In the market of manual espresso makers, there is one other machine aside from the Cafelat Robot Barista that has been gaining a lot of popularity in recent years — the Flair Pro 2 espresso maker

You may also be interested in reading our guide on how to use an espresso machine.

Flair Espresso Maker PRO 2
$325.00
  • Manual lever espresso maker
  • Stainless steel brew head and pressure gauge
  • Custom pressure gauge with an Espresso Zone between 6-9 BAR
  • Easy to clean
  • Portable
  • 5-year warranty
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/06/2022 07:41 pm GMT

What Are Cafelat Robot Barista And Flair Pro 2 Espresso Maker?

Cafelat was founded by a coffee expert named Paul Pratt. Pratt started as a barista and progressed through the coffee industry to become a technician in the renowned Italian company La Marzocco.

The original goal was to produce high-quality barista tools and supplies but changed slightly due to the Cafelat Robot espresso maker launch in 2018. It also originated on Kickstarter and was able to secure funding immediately.

Cafelat Robot espresso maker has only two models — the Barista (with a pressure gauge) and the Regular (without a pressure gauge). Cafelat Robot Barista, the one with a pressure gauge, is worth the extra money as it will brew a much more consistent, quality espresso.

On the other hand, the Flair manual espresso maker was the result of a successful 2016 Kickstarter campaign. Their claimed objective was to remove everything from an espresso maker except for what was necessary to brew a quality cup of Joe. The final result was a surprisingly affordable and minimalistic design that did not even compromise on quality.

Since then, the Flair group has expanded significantly. They currently have various models available, each with different price tags and features. Furthermore, their fan base has also expanded — the Flair is now fully established as a mainstream phenomenon.

The Flair espresso machines come in five different models, but for simplicity, we will be focusing on the Flair Pro 2. The Flair Pro 2 most is similar to the Cafelat Robot Barista when it comes to cost and functionality.

Check out our explainer on what is a robot barista.

What Cafelat Robot Barista And Flair Pro 2 Espresso Maker Have In Common

The Cafelat Robot Barista and Flair Pro 2 espresso makers are similar in many ways, even though they look pretty different. These two espresso machines have a manual lever to generate pressure and a pressure gauge. More importantly, both make an excellent espresso, which has gained them a devoted fan base.

a cup of espresso and whole coffee beans - is espresso supposed to be bitter
Both make an excellent espresso

Cafelat Robot Barista Vs. Flair Pro 2 Espresso Maker: The Differences

Cafelat Robot BaristaFlair Pro 2 Espresso Maker
More efficientMore portable
Larger basketRequires preheating
More expensiveLess expensive

What’s Better About Cafelat Robot Barista?

Workflow Efficiency

The temperature stability is a vital factor. When preparing an espresso without a boiler or an electronic heating element, it is easy for the brewing temperature to fall, which means the shot will be bitter and under-extracted.

The Flair Pro 2’s large brew group should be preheated before use with boiling water. Otherwise, your brewing temperature would inevitably drop due to its cold thermal mass.

When it comes to the Cafelat Robot Barista, instead of using a large brew group, brewing occurs inside an extra-large portafilter basket, which has a much lower thermal mass. You should not need to preheat before brewing with medium and dark coffee.

Check out our guide on how much is a coffee robot.

The Amount Of Components

These two machines also do not have the same amount of parts. The Flair Pro 2 requires more assembly and disassembly process for each use. This also makes the cleaning process more tedious.

The additional time preheating, putting the machine together, and cleaning the Flair Pro 2 would not be a big deal if you only pull one or two shots per day. However, if you are in a hurry or are serving several people, you will likely grow frustrated.

So, regarding workflow efficiency and the number of components, the Cafelat Robot Barista is the better option. It takes less time to put together and take apart, making it easier to clean — and if you are brewing with a medium or dark roast, it does not require preheating.

What’s Better About Flair Pro 2 Espresso Maker?

Build Quality

The Flair Pro 2 uses silicone gaskets, unlike the Cafelat Robot Barista, which is metal. Silicone makes it more difficult to fit the components together, not to mention that it is not as durable as metal. 

However, the Cafelat Robot Barista’s metal dispersion screen has many issues. Cafelat even adds a spare one with each purchase since it is easy to accidentally damage it.

The Cafelat Robot Barista has other questionable components. First, the two support base legs are not close together. When accommodating cups, this is not an issue; however, if you want to add a scale, it is somewhat inconvenient.

Second, while the tiny “hands” at the ends of the arms are adorable, they are not useful. Cafelat is now providing “mittens” to go over these. Although this is a fascinating concept, it seems unfair to charge more for something that should be a given.

Aesthetics

Appearance is a huge swaying factor for the Cafelat Robot Barista and Flair Pro 2. Aesthetics should not be a deciding factor since taste is subjective. However, they are still worth mentioning since the aesthetics of these two espresso makers are quite different.

The Flair Pro 2 features a more sophisticated, modern appearance. It is available in black, silver, or white that comes with copper and steel accents.

Truthfully, the Cafelat Robot Barista looks bizarre. It has a robotic look and is available in five colors: blue, red, green, creamy white, and matte black.

Portability

The Flair Pro 2 was intended as a portable coffee machine, and the Cafelat Robot Barista was not. The Flair Pro 2 is made from lightweight aluminum and comes with a suitcase to keep everything safe and organized whenever you travel. It is perfect for car camping, bringing on holidays, or brewing in the office.

Value For Money

Although the Flair Pro 2 is a fraction of the cost of Cafelat Robot Barista, it still makes an equivalently excellent espresso. In that case, the Flair Pro 2 offers better value for money. Consider just how much you value your time when comparing these two espresso makers, as the Flair Pro 2 will require more.

When calculating the exact cost of these two espresso machines, it is also important to consider durability and potential add-ons. Due to its all-metal construction, the Cafelat Robot Barista will have a longer life span than the Flair Pro 2. You should account for a few add-ons with the Cafelat Robot Barista, such as the cost of replacing the dispersion screens and the “mittens.”

So, when it comes to the build quality, aesthetics, portability, and value for money, the Flair Pro 2 is the better option. It was designed to be portable and offers a better value for money since it’s cheaper upfront.

wallet, money, credit card
Flair Pro 2 offers a better value for money

Who Should Get A Cafelat Robot Barista (And Why)?

You should get a Cafelat Robot Barista if:

  • You make a lot of espressos and value workflow efficiency.
  • You do not need an espresso maker as you travel.
  • You prefer a quirky and colorful design.

Who Should Get A Flair Pro 2 Espresso Maker (And Why)?

You should get a Flair Pro 2 espresso maker if:

  • You do not make a lot of espressos or do not mind the less efficient workflow.
  • You want an espresso maker that you can bring whenever you travel.
  • You are looking for a more affordable espresso maker.

You may also be interested in reading our guide on is it worth buying an espresso machine?

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