Why choose a LONDINIUM?

by Reiss Gunson on Tuesday, 30 July 2019 08:18

i often get asked this question, so the bullet points below should help

- using a thermosiphon and heat exchanger design with variable pre-infusion pressure means that you are able to drastically shift the brew temperature profile without changing the amount of heat in the system: this ensures you do not push the system out of equilibrium (i.e. you preserve the thermal stability of the system; no flushing or thermometers on the group to manually force the system to a non equlibrium temperature)

- with the londinium system you can pull a 'hot shot' immediately followed by a 'cool shot' and then back to a 'hot shot', or vice-versa, as we are not changing the temperature of the group in order to deliver a different brew profile.  This is a significant point of difference

- we control the pressure in the pre-infusion circuit rather than the temperature because it is more accurate.  for example, wherever you measure pressure in a boiler you will obtain the same value whether you measure high, low, left, or right in the boiler

- if you measure temperature in a boiler, regardless of how precise a PID you use, you will obtain a different temperature reading in every different location you place the temperature measuring device in the boiler.  for example, the temperature at the bottom of a boiler might be 85C; at the top of the same boiler it might be close to 130C

- in addition to the stratification of temperature in the boiler, you have thermal turbulence in the boiler and throughout the system, so you will observe constantly changing temperatures at any given point that you place the PID due to the turbulent nature of water when it is heated

- you can observe this thermal turbulence at work in your electric jug/kettle by placing a single droplet of food colouring in and watching how it is carried by the thermal currents in the jug/kettle: the same thing occurs in an espresso machine.  for this reason we measure pressure, not temperature, as it produces significantly more accurate regulation of the system

- higher pre-infusion pressure gives vastly more body and mouth feel to the shot

- variable pre-infusion pressure results in variable shot volume.  this works in harmony as lighter roasts are less soluble so we increase the pre-infusion pressure which elevates body, lifts the brew temperature and pushes more water through the puck to improve the extraction.  shot volumes of 60g or greater are achieved at the higher pre-infusion pressures

- a londinium espresso machine it is designed to be optimised to run any coffee from traditional dark oily italian roasts right through to ultra light nordic roasts that have barely been breathed on by the roaster

- filter roasts can also be turned into pleasing espresso at high pre-infusion pressures: this is a range of versatility that is simply not available on other lever machines, and indeed one of the reasons for their decline in popularity

- a thermosiphon and heat exchanger design ensures that the system does not become hotter and hotter when consecutive shots are pulled, something that is unavoidable with the more common dipper design where the group is mounted directly on the side of the boiler; the result of this is that the boiler is constantly supplying heat to the group

- with a thermosiphon the group is kept at the correct temperature by water flowing by the force of the thermosiphon in a circuit from the heat exchanger (where the water is heated by the boiler) out to and through the group (where it cools) and returns back to the heat exchanger to be heated again.  with a thermosiphon design each time a shot is pulled water rushes up both thermosiphon pipes, killing off the flow in the thermosiphon.  the rush of hot water up both pipes from the heat exchanger to the group produces a brief lift in group temperature, but then it quickly eases back again as the thermosiphon flow has been interrupted.  when a temperature differential is restored between the two thermosiphon pipes the thermosiphon begines to flow again and the group temperature is maintained.  this is a very simple yet highly effective system as it maintaines the group at the correct idle temperature if a coffee is not pulled for a considerable period of time, yet if consecutive coffees need to be pulled indefinitely the group will not become hotter and hotter with each subsequent shot

- a PID added to a dipper configuration is unable to dump heat from the group quickly enough as the group is mounted directly on the side of the boiler so altering the boiler pressure only produces a small movement in temperature

- lever machines are all we do

- most manufacturers view lever machines as a quaint relic from the past and keep them in their product range merely as a sunset product as long as their customer base continue to buy them.  any product changes are focused on stripping cost out of the build, which eventually compromises the user experience and so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; lever machines are rubbish they cry

- we only use DHL Express.  they have never lost a consignment.  we have not experienced any machine damage since we redesigned our chassis in 2013

- we have successfully delivered and support our machines in 64 countries, a number  which continues to climb

- any warranty claims are also met using DHL Express at our cost: we do not send them using a less expensive postal service

- we have all parts in stock

- we run high powered heating elements for rapid steam recovery times - divide the power rating (KW) of our heating elements by the boiler volume (L) to calculate the KW/L value for our machines and compare it with the competiiton

- the factory that produces our machines only closes at the christmas - new year period for about 7 working days

- we have an advanced website that provides multi-currency pricing that updates several times an hour and a very rich owners support forum

- we provide on going support free of charge including high definition video calls using Facetime and WhatsApp

- no one has ever got 'stuck' with a machine that they are uanble to fix

- we provide a 12 month worldwide parts warranty

- our machines have been designed from the ground up to be as reliable as possible, and in the event that something does break or require servicing that they are easy to work on

- no special tools are needed to work on our machines

- they are very forgiving for anyone who has never operated an espresso machine before

- all pipes on our machines are machine shaped and cut precisely to the correct length - many espresso machines have pipes that are hand shaped and cut

- all panel edges are deburred on our machines

- all our machines offer tool free access with pop off panels

- all our machines are mass produced so build quality is consistenly high


having said all of the above our machines are not for everyone.  if you are looking for a machine where if anything goes wrong you want to be able to call a number and a service agent arrives at your door, then we are not the right choice for you

conversely, if you have suffered the indignity of having an espresso machine out of use for weeks, and in some cases months, as a result the parts you need not being held in your country and you are comfortable using basic hand tools then we are the perfect fit for your needs

if you are a cafe you can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of your espresso machines, reducing downtime (with respect to both the number of instances and the duration of each instance) and avoid costly service and maintenance contracts


- as a one-off quirk of BREXIT our products are currently very affordable if you are purchasing in a currency other than GBP.  i would invite you to revisit our pricing as even since last week the GBP has weakened significantly

- i consider the GBP to be significantly oversold, so i would encourage you to evaluate this opportunity as i think it may be fairly short lived.  in any event, if it stays at current levels for an extended period of time it will eventually flow through to higher input costs for us and the GBP price will have to rise, so strike while the iron is hot




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