Decent Espresso DE1PRO Spotlight

Written by
Chris Caruso
(we're on a mission)

Decent Espresso DE1Pro Machine Review Spotlight (2024)


With its integrated infotainment-like touch screen, boxy futuristic form factor, and firmware upgradable workflow, Decent Espresso’s DE1PRO espresso machine is a techy head-turner that boasts an unrivaled feature set below the five-figure mark.

Now entering its sixth year in prosumer service, The DE1PRO is built and exclusively sold by the Decent Espresso brain trust in Seattle, and if you’ve never imagined seeing the term “open-source API” in an espresso machine review then read on.

Table of Contents

Machine Overview

Decent Espresso DE1Pro Machine Featues

The DE1PRO espresso machine started hitting countertops in 2018 and ushered in the era of data-driven espresso-making for home baristas. While some vendors have expressed interest in building machines that can compete, the DE1PRO remains the tech-espresso flagship and is the smallest sibling to Decent Espresso’s DE1 XL and XXL models.

Beyond the standard offerings, the DE1PRO feature list is long: nine features that are completely new to the espresso machine world, and seven that can’t be had below the $10,000 price point according to Decent. Here’s a glance at what the $3,699 DE1PRO brings to the counter:

Elegant Build and Machine Quality

Nodding toward an almost Apple-inspired aesthetic with its boxy, rounded edges, the DE1PRO pulls off an eye-catching futuristic yet restrained aesthetic. Pop off the included 8” tablet and you’d be forgiven for glancing past its refined form factor; this machine snaps into place wherever it sits.

Decent Espresso claims top-notch internals and a “clean” water path due to the DE1PRO’s unique porcelain reservoir and plastic- and aluminum-free design. Decent freely offers their design CAD files for perusal for the truly curious home baristas.

Extreme Programmability

The DE1PRO is the tinkering (and social!) barista's revolution. There are too many options and details to properly examine here; suffice it to say that pressure, shot time, water volume and temperature, and pre-infusion can be set prior to brewing as well as dynamically changed real-time during extraction. Decent Espresso calls this “profiling”, and the detail of each shot’s profile can be saved, reused, and even shared with other espresso enthusiasts. Dynamic profiling is controlled via the paired tablet.

Dose-by-volume (and -time and -weight!)

The DE1PRO allows home baristas to brew by specific water volume or time. Simply choose the desired method, set the desired value, and the DE1PRO will end brewing automatically once the target is met. This is an excellent feature for baristas chasing the unique flavors of extra-long shots.

The DE1PRO can also dose by weight, allowing home baristas to preset what winds up in the mug regardless of what’s in the basket. 20g in/50g out? Not a problem for the DE1PRO.

Robust Pre-infusion

The DE1PRO’s intelligent and programmable pre-infusion offerings give even more control to espresso enthusiasts than other more expensive machines. Pre-infusion can be set to perform an extended, low-pressure process, mimicking the Slayer pre-infusion method.

For more traditional shots, the DE1PRO automatically senses when the puck is optimally saturated and kicks into full-pressure brewing at the right time. This is quite different from other machines that apply static pressure over a set time period.

More Heat, More Pressure

Decent Espresso claims that the DE1PRO steams milk faster using less water by supplying superheated steam to the wand. The DE1PRO also has an overpressure mode that can apply as much as 13.5bar to the puck.

Unique Heating System

The DE1PRO utilizes a thermocoil and mixing valve to bring water to the desired temperature by combining the right ratio of hot and room-temp water. This two-step process eliminates a traditional boiler from the system while delivering near-perfect temperature accuracy that can sometimes elude even the most expensive espresso machines.

What makes DE1PRO Special?


With so much fine-grain control of so many variables and the ability to make on-the-fly adjustments during brewing, the DE1PRO is a giant leap forward for both the experimental baristas who love to tinker and utilitarians who want a push-button solution for extracting identical shots. Open-source design, compatibility with iOS/Android, integration with most Bluetooth scales, and the ability to share shot profiles with others only sweetens the DE1PROs rich offering.

We hope that other classic espresso machine brands follow Decent Espresso’s approach and drive more innovation in the “techspresso” space.

Engineering Quality

Believing that the most important factor of pulling a shot is water temperature, Decent Espresso optimized the DE1PRO around temperature as measured at the puck itself instead of higher up in the grouphead. As a result, Decent claims to have the tightest temperature tolerances in the espresso machine world, ensuring no more than a 1 degree (celsius) variance every shot.

Value (accessories, warranty, price)

It’s sometimes the case that the super-luxury espresso machine ships with subpar accessories. This isn’t so with the DE1PRO, which includes its own tablet, charger, and–somewhat humorously–padded suitcase. It also includes a bottomless portafilter and 58g basket that Decent claims is engineered from scratch to produce the best extraction at pressure.

The DE1PRO also comes with a solid two-year warranty (which is infinitely renewable and transferable) and a 30-day “happiness” refund guarantee. Given the host of features, included accessories, and comprehensive warranty, we feel the DE1PRO is actually one of the more value-oriented espresso machines in this stratospheric price tier.

What is the DE1PRO Missing?

Because of the DE1PRO’s features and tech-forward sensibility, it may seem to “lack” the simplicity and accessibility traditionalists might prefer, though baristas wanting that classic look and feel likely wouldn’t buy a DE1PRO in the first place. That said, the DE1PRO is not a perfect espresso machine and does have its shortcomings.

Decent Espresso DE1Pro Machine Missing Featues (2024)

Plumbing (and Color) at a Premium

The DE1PRO comes with a standard reservoir. If you want to plumb fresh water in or move dirty water out, you’ll pay for it: the complete in/out plumbing system add-on is $500. If you want your DE1PRO espresso machine in any color besides black, you’ll pay another premium–almost $700.

Lacks dedicated steam boiler

Perhaps the espresso machine’s most glaring weakness is its inability to steam and extract simultaneously. The DE1PRO’s unique water mixing system provides extremely accurate brew temperatures but sacrifices steaming flexibility, and it’s tough to give up this feature at such a high price point even considering the DE1PRO’s other unique advantages.

Long-term Support

More of a cautionary flag than a missing feature, it’s important to note the costly long tail of properly supporting software and creating delightful applications. Though Decent Espresso’s tech genes run deep, we’ve seen beloved espresso machine vendors release frankly terrible applications and integrations with no real plan to support them (or even acknowledge that something is wrong). Buying a machine as tech-forward as the DE1PRO certainly comes with the risk of poor ongoing maintenance and support.

Comparison: DE1PRO vs Meticulous Espresso Machine

To make a comparison against a peerless machine we’ve made a unique selection in the Meticulous espresso robotic lever-action brewer, which isn’t commercially available. That's right: a face-off between the machine you can’t afford and the machine you can’t own.

And while it uses a completely different extraction mechanism and exists more in Meticulous marketing media and test benches than barista countertops, it purports to offer the same tinker-focused programmability as the DE1PRO at a softer $2,000 (MSRP) price tag. Note that the Meticulous steam wand is sold separately for $396 (full MSRP), bringing the combined cost to $2,396.

Reader beware: This is an apple-to-orangish comparison and because the Meticulous project is crowdfunded there are virtually no guarantees as to the machine’s looks, features, cost, and support model when (and if) it goes to market.

Decent Espresso DE1Pro vs Meticulous Espresso Machine

Machine Overview

Semi-automatic machines like the DE1PRO simplify the process of brewing espresso by moving the work that was once done by a kettle, a lever, and a barista’s arm elsewhere. And they do it well: Modern espresso powered by semi- and super-automatic machines has created massive, trade- and labor-altering economies, and has left lever machines to niche brewers and hobbyists.

So why does the world need a lever machine that trades the human arm for a robotic one? Why revive and iterate on a bygone technology? Why toss an electric motor and Apple CarPlay into a Model T? Meticulous has a bold answer: semis and supers got it wrong. They are antiquated, overly complex, and prohibitively expensive according to the Meticulous website. This claim alone warrants its own article, but for now we’ll focus on a few key points.


The Meticulous espresso machine also boasts a futuristic aesthetic, but unlike the DE1PRO that might sit handsomely on the bridge of the starship Enterprise, the Meticulous feels more at home on a Borg cube. It is tall and narrow, and at first pass it’s easy to think the minimalist chassis was sculpted from a single block of metal. Its buttons blend into its austere facade so well that we struggled to see them in pictures.

Because of the brew chamber’s flared conical design, the Meticulous looks more like a drip machine when its 58mm portafilter isn’t present. A small LED pressure display in the top-right corner is the other hint of the Meticulous’s true purpose.

Meticulous claims it uses 75% fewer parts than most semi-automatic machines, the implication being few parts means a better appliance. As mentioned above, we cannot verify any of these details at this time. Interestingly, the Meticulous espresso machine is a tiny bit more complex than some semi-autos because of its fully integrated scale.

Pulling the Shot

Like the DE1PRO, the Meticulous espresso machine is almost fully controlled through an app and brews based on static presets and dynamic, real-time brewing adjustments made with your fingertip. These extraction profiles can be saved, loaded, modified, and shared with others.

Unlike the DE1PRO, the Meticulous derives extraction pressure from a piston, but unlike manual lever-action machines, it is driven by a robotic motor that continuously checks and adjusts extraction data sent to it from a number of integrated sensors. However you refer to this mechanism–perhaps “manu-matic” is appropriate–it is the heart of the Meticulous espresso machine and what gives the Meticulous its robust adjustability that smart machines–even the cutting-edge DE1PRO–can’t match.

Lever machine enthusiasts often cite control and flexibility as the defining strength of the format. Time will tell if the Meticulous bears this out.

Finally, we couldn’t confirm if the software powering the Meticulous is open-source like the DE1PRO’s. We will update if we find out.

(Note: For the non-computer folks, “open-source” means the actual code–the instructions that tell the machine how to work–is freely viewable and editable by anybody. “Closed-source” or “proprietary” means only the product’s creator is allowed to see and/or change it.)


Some big “ifs” here: If the Meticulous espresso machine makes it to market (now delayed seven months as of this article’s publish date), and if it arrives with the promised feature set, and if it produces great espresso as quickly and consistently as a semi-auto, then we’re cautiously inclined to say that the Meticulous espresso machine is a good value.

One more “if”, one that is becoming exceedingly important as we enter the era of connected espresso machines: if the software running the machine is well-developed and supported. Meticulous takes issue with the complexity and cost of semi-auto machines. Developing and maintaining great software and delightful applications is extremely complex and costly. It demands constant attention and investment. We hope the attention to their connected experience is as meticulous as the promises of their machine.

Pricing and Availability

The DE1PRO is available exclusively from Decent Espresso and starts at $3,699. We’ve heard demand can sometimes outstrip supply, so be prepared for a wait.

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