Charlatan Lance Hedrick's 'review' of the LONDINIUM Vectis

by Reiss Gunson on Friday, 27 October 2023 21:50

LONDINIUM Espresso has been built brick by brick since 2007 with no assistance from influencers or marketeers

There is no harsher LONDINIUM Espresso critic than I

In some cases it has taken years to get seemingly simple issues resolved, but one by one they all have been with persistance and sheer bloody mindedness.  Valves, seal compounds and greases, screens, tampers, pressure switches, pumps, coding of control boards, packaging, website interfaces and automation; one by one each of these issues has been resolved

Whilst an unfavourable review might not ever be welcome, if it were factually correct we could use it to improve the product

I know the product launch issues of the Vectis in extreme detail yet curiously this review does not raise one of them.  Let's walk through it

All spring lever espresso machines are sold on static spring pressure.  To measure this you must bleed the air from between the bottom of the piston and the top of the brew water, as it has a cushioning effect that results in an under reading of the pressure 

Talking head Lance Hedrick claimed he knew this and that the highest pressure reading he could obtain was 5-6 bar.  He says in his video, oh you can see a tiny leak there, i dont think that would make much of a difference to the pressure reading.  Is this the calibre of expert you are taking your espresso machine advice from?  A professional would have conceded they had made a significant error at this point and reshot their video.  Instead he lazily adds a note saying 'oh yeah, it might be 8.5 bar'

This is me measuring the spring rating of vectis prototype no.2 at 9.0 bar.  We reduced the spring pressure for production units to 8.5 bar as the machine was just starting to lift at the back

Lance says the Vectis is ready to pull shots in 15 minutes.  This accounts for the poor performance he claims he experienced with the Vectis.  If I thought the Vectis were ready in 15 minutes i would be shouting it from the roof tops.  The Vectis requires 20 minutes to heat up, and a slow flush if you are using a light roast

Lance suggests that the industry orphan, a 54mm group, should have been used.  54mm lives on as a legacy group, but it has no future.  This 'advice' simply exposes Lance's associations with ACS who use a 54mm group

Inexperienced home baristas or those with a poor grinder prefer a basket that has a smaller ratio of diameter to depth because they are more forgiving of poor puck preparation than a 58mm group

A deeper puck of smaller diameter will give you a shot with more body, but reduces the separation of flavours in speciality coffee.  58mm gives you a vast array of accessories to play with as it is the commercial standard

Lance omits mentioning the biggest innovation ever introduced on a direct fill lever machine; the Vectis filling valve.  If you have used a direct fill lever machine you will have received a steam burn when removing the boiler cap even if you waited for the boiler to depressurise as you still get steam wisping out of the boiler.  The Vectis eliminates this issue

To say the steam wand lacks power is an outright fib.  No reasonable person could make this statement.  The steam power of the Vectis significantly exceeds all other machines in its class

Failing to mention that the Vectis has the same fully serviceable commercial joystick steam valve as found on all our other models is wilful blindness on Lance's part as it completely eclipses the steam valve on any other machine in this category

The Vectis can be completely disassembled on your kitchen table, without a jig to restrain the spring or a bench vice.  This extreme ease of servicing is not something Lance wants to talk about as it is an industry first

If you observe Lance pulling the shots in his video anyone who has used a spring lever espresso machine will see that the Vectis is being misused.  Lance complains of a lack of body.  Body is a function of pre-infusion pressure in a lever espresso machine.  All dipper designs preinfuse at boiler pressure, which is considered low pressure, so to add body you raise the lever part way up (after about 3 seconds of having the lever pulled right down to fill the brew chamber) until the piston is just exerting spring pressure on the brew water.  On the Vectis this occurs when the top of the yoke is horizontal.  When the first drip falls in the cup take your hand off the lever.  Adjust the flow rate of the cofffee by altering the grind size.  Target an average flow rate of 1g/s to get started (it will start off slow and accelerate as the shot progresses, hence an average, timed from the first drip falling in the cup/lever release), and you will have excellent espresso with exceptional flavour separation

LONDINIUM Espresso was the UK reseller for Olympia espresso machines for 5 years from about 2007, and a number of customers that we sold a Cremina to then now have a Vectis that they are delighted with.  The Vectis has a pronounced sweetness in the cup, flavour separation, shot on shot consistency, steam power, stainless steel panels, stainless steel piston, commerical toggle steam valve, filling valve, and extreme ease of disassembly and servicing that an Olympia Cremina simply does not possess

We have customers who were justifiably upset that the early boilers had stainless steel dust in them from the laser cutter because we didnt ultra sonically clean them a second time when we made a change to the upper boiler mounting for the sight glass.  This took customers a considerable amount of time and effort to brush and flush out, but even they think the taste of the espresso produced by the Vectis is fantastic

All we learnt from Lance Hedrick is that if you build an exceptionally good product that redefines a market segment and is competitively priced you can expect a response from your competitors and their associates: sabotage

You only perjure yourself once Lance.  I hope it was worth it

 

LONDINIUM.  Exceptional espresso without the hobby.  Powerful steam.  No turbos.  No coffee that tastes like tea.  Fully reparable on your kitchen bench.

« Stage one and stage two LR to R24 kits are now available to order in our webstore Vectis group production moved from England to Italy »