Cafelat Robot Vs Flair Espresso: Which One Of This 2 Is The Best?

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter
Cafelat Robot Vs Flair Espresso

Cafelat Robot Vs Flair Espresso: Despite their distinct appearances, the Flair Pro 2 and the Cafelat Robot share many similarities as espresso makers. Both utilize a manual lever to create pressure and are equipped with a crucial pressure gauge. They are both exceptionally well-constructed and, most importantly, they are renowned for producing excellent espresso, earning them a dedicated fan base.

So, how does a discerning espresso aficionado make a choice between the two? Continue reading as we delve into the specifics of the Flair vs Cafelat Robot, highlighting key differences that will guide you in selecting the one that best suits your needs.

Cafelat Robot vs Flair Espresso: A Brief Comparison

Features Cafelat Robot Flair Espresso
Efficiency More efficient due to fewer parts and steps for brewing and cleaning Less efficient due to more parts and steps for brewing and cleaning
Basket Size Larger 57.5mm basket, which has a lower thermal mass and doesn’t require preheating for medium and dark roasts

Smaller 46mm basket, which requires preheating due to its larger thermal mass
Price More expensive Less expensive
Portability Less portable, designed for countertops More portable, designed for travel and comes with a suitcase
Preheating Doesn’t require preheating unless brewing light roasts Requires preheating regardless of the roast


The Flair Pro 2 Espresso Maker

The Flair Pro 2, the successor to the original Flair manual espresso maker, has come a long way since its Kickstarter debut in 2016. Aimed to simplify the espresso-making process without compromising on quality, the Flair’s initial release was an instant hit, gaining a dedicated following thanks to its affordability and minimalist yet efficient design.

Fast forward nearly half a decade, the Flair product portfolio has grown significantly. The brand now offers a variety of models with different features and price points. The Flair community has also expanded, transforming from a cult classic to a mainstream sensation. Being part of an active and enthusiastic online community of Flair users is a bonus that comes with owning one of these brewers.

Among the five Flair espresso maker variants, we’re focusing on the Flair Pro 2 for this comparison. It aligns closely with the Cafelat Robot in terms of pricing and features. However, the recently launched Flair 58x may be a more suitable comparison in the future.

Constructed from cast aluminum, stainless steel, and silicone, the Flair Pro 2 is known for its compact 46 mm filter basket that can still hold a standard double shot dose of 16 to 24 g. Currently, it is priced roughly three-quarters that of the Cafelat Robot.

– Highly portable with an included carrying case
– Sleek and functional design
– Upgraded bottomless portafilter
– Active online user community

– Mandatory preheating of the brew group
– Slower workflow and clean-up process

The Cafelat Robot Espresso Maker

Cafelat, a coffee brand based in Hong Kong, was established by seasoned coffee connoisseur Paul Pratt. With his journey starting as a barista and eventually landing the role of a technician with the esteemed Italian brand, La Marzocco, Pratt’s knowledge of espresso machines is comprehensive.

Initially, Cafelat aimed to manufacture top-quality barista accessories. However, in 2018, a slight shift in the company’s direction led to the launch of the Cafelat Robot espresso maker. Like the Flair, it was introduced on Kickstarter and swiftly achieved its funding goal.

The Cafelat Robot is available in two variations—either with or without a pressure gauge. It’s recommended to invest a few more dollars for the pressure gauge model for improved and consistent espresso quality. This is the model we will be discussing in this article.

Constructed from stainless steel and die-cast aluminum, the Robot utilizes a 57.5 mm filter basket. This size is slightly smaller than the commercial standard of 58 mm, which is worth considering when purchasing accessories. Nevertheless, the product comes with all necessary items.

– Robust all-metal construction
– No preheating required when using medium to dark roasts
– Efficient workflow and cleaning process
– Engaging and vibrant design

– Fragile dispersion screen
– Insufficient space to accommodate a scale

A Face-To-Face Showdown: Cafelat Robot vs Flair

In many aspects, the Cafelat Robot and the Flair espresso makers share similarities. Therefore, we won’t delve into a detailed comparison where they align. Both machines are considered among the best manual espresso makers and, when used correctly, can produce fantastic shots of espresso. Additionally, they both feature a pressure gauge to monitor the brewing process. Hence, we won’t discuss coffee quality or consistency as distinguishing factors. Instead, we will focus on what sets these machines apart and how those differences impact your purchasing decision. While neither is inherently superior to the other, variations in design, workflow efficiency, and portability make one more suitable for your lifestyle. Let’s dive into the Cafelat Robot vs Flair showdown!


This section will examine functionality, build quality, and aesthetics, making design the primary point of comparison. A well-designed machine should not only look appealing but also provide an enjoyable user experience and long-lasting durability.

Both espresso makers utilize aluminum for the main structure and stainless steel for other components. The Robot, being slightly heavier, has a more robust feel, likely due to its stainless steel arms. However, neither machine is prone to breaking, warping, or sliding during extraction.

Build Quality

A significant difference in build quality lies in the materials used. The Flair incorporates silicone gaskets, while the Robot boasts an all-metal construction. The use of silicone gaskets in the Flair can make assembly a bit finicky, and silicone may not last as long as metal.

On the other hand, the Robot’s dispersion screen, made from thin metal, is known to be fragile. Cafelat even includes an extra screen with each purchase due to its susceptibility to warping or breaking. While replacements are readily available and reasonably priced, this can still be a frustrating aspect.

The Robot has a couple of design quirks that may or may not be problematic, depending on your brewing process. Firstly, the two support legs at the base are relatively close together, which can be inconvenient if you want to add a scale, a common practice in coffee brewing. Secondly, the small “hands” at the end of the arms, while cute, may not be practical for gripping, especially when applying enough force to brew a finely ground light roast. Cafelat now offers “mittens” to cover the hands, but it may seem unfair to pay extra for something that should be standard.


Lastly, let’s discuss the aesthetics of the Cafelat Robot vs Flair. While aesthetics are subjective and not necessarily a deciding factor, they are worth mentioning as the two machines have distinct appearances.

The Flair boasts a refined, sleek, and elegant look, available in white, black, or silver with copper and steel accents. On the other hand, the Robot exudes a quirky and fun vibe, resembling an actual robot and wouldn’t be out of place on the set of Doctor Who. It comes in shiny aluminum and vibrant colors like blue, red, retro green, and cream.

Both machines are relatively compact, so neither will dominate your kitchen space. However, you may want to choose the design that aligns with the overall aesthetic of your home.

Winner: The Flair Pro 2 takes the lead in this round. While the Robot impresses with its all-metal construction, its inability to accommodate a scale, less comfortable lever arms, and fragile dispersion screen place it in second position.

Workflow Efficiency

When using a manual espresso machine, maintaining temperature stability is crucial. Without an electronic heating element or boiler, it’s easy for the brew temperature to drop, resulting in under-extracted and sour shots. With the Flair espresso maker, its large brew group requires preheating to prevent this issue. Before each use, you need to warm it with boiling water to avoid the cold thermal mass from decreasing the brew temperature, especially when brewing light roasts.

However, for those who prefer light roasts, it may be worth considering adding a preheating step. This is not necessary with the Cafelat Robot since it doesn’t use a brew group. Instead, brewing takes place inside the extra-large portafilter basket, which has a lower thermal mass. In fact, if you’re brewing with a medium or dark roast, which is common for espresso blends, preheating is not required. Many users find this to be a significant advantage of the Cafelat Robot.

Number of Components

Another notable difference between these two espresso makers is the number of components involved. The Flair has more parts that need to be assembled and disassembled for each brewing session, making it a slower and more involved process when it comes to cleaning. If you only make a shot or two per day, the extra time spent on heating, assembling, disassembling, and cleaning may not be a major concern. However, if you’re in a rush in the mornings or need to pull multiple shots consecutively, the workflow with the Flair could become frustrating.

Portafilter Basket Sizes

It’s also worth mentioning the difference in portafilter basket sizes between these two machines. The Flair utilizes a relatively small 46 mm basket, while the Robot uses a larger basket that is close to the commercial standard of 58 mm. Both baskets can hold the correct dose for a double shot, but those with larger hands may find the Flair’s smaller basket a bit tricky to work with.

If you appreciate the Flair but prefer a larger basket, the newly released Flair 58x might be a suitable option. Priced slightly higher, it features a 58 mm portafilter basket, as the name suggests.

Winner: In terms of workflow efficiency, the Cafelat Robot takes the lead. It is quicker to assemble and disassemble, easier to clean, and doesn’t require preheating as long as you’re brewing with a medium to dark roast.


Portability is a significant differentiating factor between the two espresso makers. While it may not be a direct competition, it’s worth considering as it can play a role in your purchasing decision.

The Flair espresso maker was specifically designed with portability in mind, whereas the Cafelat Robot was not.

The Flair features a lightweight aluminum construction, making it easy to transport. Additionally, each Flair machine comes with a sturdy suitcase to keep all the components organized and protected during travel. While it may not be the ideal espresso maker for a hiking trip, it is perfect for RVs, car camping, hotel rooms, or even for use in the office.

On the other hand, the Cafelat Robot is relatively heavier and primarily designed to be stationary on a countertop. While it is possible to travel with the Robot, it does not break down as neatly as the Flair. If you choose to travel with the Robot, you would need to devise your own carrying case.

It’s worth noting that both espresso makers do not require electricity, as long as you have a means of boiling water. This makes them portable in terms of not relying on a power source. So even if you’re spending a weekend in a rustic cottage with only a wood stove, you can still enjoy amazing espresso.

Winner: The Flair takes the lead in this round without any competition because it is the only one designed with portability in mind. Just remember to keep track of all the parts when you’re on the go.

Value for Money

The Flair is priced at approximately three-quarters of the cost of the Cafelat Robot, yet it delivers equally impressive espresso quality. Based on this metric, the Flair offers better value for money. However, it’s important to consider how you value your time when comparing the two, as the Flair requires more time and effort to use.

Additionally, when assessing the true cost of these espresso machines, durability and additional components should be taken into account. The Robot, being constructed entirely of metal, is likely to have a longer lifespan compared to the Flair. However, it’s worth considering the cost of replacement dispersion screens and “mittens” for the Robot as potential extras.

Winner: This is a close call, but the Flair takes the lead due to its significantly lower upfront cost. Although the Flair may not theoretically last as long as the Robot, in practice, all models of the Flair have proven to be exceptionally durable.

The Verdict:

Choose the Flair Pro 2 if:
– You desire a portable espresso maker for traveling.
– You prefer a more affordable option among manual espresso makers.
– You don’t make a large volume of espresso or are comfortable with a less efficient workflow.

Use the Cafelat Robot if:
– You make a significant amount of espresso and prioritize efficiency.
– You don’t intend to travel with your manual espresso machine.
– You appreciate the quirky and colorful design of the Cafelat Robot.