We at Flair Espresso are happy, humbled and excited to announce a partnership with Lem Butler as the first Flair Ambassador!
When we at Flair started work on the Signature PRO model in 2018, we knew we had something special. Our experience in the manual espresso market had taught us valuable lessons about what our highest level and most discerning customers desired in a top-of-the-line manual espresso maker. All of our Flairs are extremely capable, able to craft well-balanced shots, but this new model would take the game to the next level, a PRO level. We were adding in key feature enhancements like the ability to use expanded brewing ratios, an updated stainless steel experience that is beautiful while adding functionality, the addition of our custom pressure gauge to maximize the use of profiling while brewing, and our breathtaking bottomless portafilter.
All these enhancements were designed with a professional barista in mind. We wanted to give even the best all the tools they needed to rival and equal shots they brew from their own equipment at their shops and at competitions. At the end of our design phase we were thrilled with the outcome, but we needed verification. We don’t take the term PRO lightly and had to be sure. So, we went to the best. Enter Lem Butler.
For those of you that don’t know, Lem is a giant in the espresso and coffee industry. He’s got years of experience first with Counter Culture Coffee, and now as the co-founder of Black and White Coffee Roasters in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Oh and he just so happens to be the 2016 U.S. Barista Champion and claimed 4th in the World on the Dublin stage that year. We couldn’t have found a better professional to test our machine with if we molded one out of clay.
So we sent Andrew Pernicano, our Director of Support and Social, to New York City to visit Lem during the New York Coffee Festival and introduce him to our humble (but mighty) manual espresso maker and a prototype of the Signature PRO. Long story short, he was impressed, but we won’t ask you to take our word for it, read the below Q & A with Lem to learn more about the PRO, his partnership with us, and his plans for the future as Flair Espresso’s first Ambassador.
Q: What was your first impression of the Flair?
A: I started following Flair on Instagram last year because someone had mentioned it to me. When I first saw it in action, on a live Instagram video, I was super impressed. Look at its mobility. You can take it anywhere. I had some reservations but for the mobility and the price point it was worth a look.
Q: Have those reservations changed now that you’ve been able to brew with a Flair?
A: Andrew brought the Signature to New York. I was super impressed. They had several different grinders on the table and Andrew was trying it with all of them and the coffee just tasted amazing. With all other portable machines I was never impressed with the flavors. But I was stoked on the Flair. It actually got me thinking outside of the box. Time is relative. If you have a minute long shot and it tastes great than go for it.
Q: What is so great about the new Flair Signature PRO?
A: The build quality is great. It’s sleek. It’s sexy. And it packs up into this nice portable kit. But what’s most important is the flavor. Pressurized brewing brings out different ranges of flavors in the coffee. Those first couple of shot from the Signature PRO the florals hit me. The sweetness hit me. And that’s what’s really important. The other stuff is just icing on the cake.
Q: Who would you recommend the Signature PRO to?
A: The main selling point is for those that really enjoy espresso. If you really want to duplicate a shot of espresso that you get from a high-quality espresso maker, the Flair Signature PRO will get you there.
Q: How do you plan to use the Signature PRO in your daily routine?
A: What I want to use it for, for my own personal use, is to travel. But here at Black & White I want to use it in our education program. One of the biggest questions I get is “I want to make a coffee at home but I can’t make it taste like I get at a good shop.” So when I started using with the Flair I was like, “ding-ding!” Because it’s accessible. Anyone can have it. And with the expensive machines it’s not going to translate. Who can buy those for home!? With the Flair Signature PRO we can show the differences in extraction and then people can take it home with them and replicate this.
To learn more about the Flair Signature PRO stayed tuned to our Instagram page and subscribe to our email list. More great things will come from this partnership!