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

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

Whilst an unfavourable review might not ever be welcome if it were accurate we could use it to improve the product, however showman Lance's stunt is factually incorrect on almost every point.  Lets walk through it

All spring lever espresso machines are sold on rated spring pressure.  To measure this you bleed the air from between the bottom of the piston and the top of the brew water.  Lance said he knew this and the highest pressure reading he could obtain was 5-6 bar

This is me in Auckland, New Zealand measuring the spring rating of a prototype vectis at 9.0 bar, as shown in the videos i have published previously using a calibrated industrial gauge.  For production we reduced the spring pressure to 8.5 bar as the machine was just starting to tip:


Lance says the Vectis is ready to pull shots in 15 minutes.  It is not.  The Vectis requires 20 minutes and a slow short flush for light roasts

Leave your SCA coffee extraction theory (developed for pump driven espresso machines) at the door when dealing with levers Lance and you will get on a lot better

Lance suggests that the industry orphan size, a 54mm group, should have been used.  Sure 54mm lives on as a legacy group, but it has no future

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 the flavours in speciality coffee

58mm gives you a vast array of accessories to play with as it is the commercial standard

Lance conveniently omits mentioning the biggest innovation ever introduced on a direct fill lever machine; the filling valve on the boiler.  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 even if the boiler is not pressurised

To say the steam wand lacks power suggests Lance might have had an Alice in Wonderland moment as the opposite is true; the steam power of the Vectis significantly exceeds all other machines in its class

Failing to mention that it is the same fully serviceable commercial steam valve from the L2 and L3 is wilful blindness

DHL Express delivered Lance's Vectis to him on:

21. August 2023 12:28 Local time, Service Area: OPORTO - PORTUGAL

Lance had a lot of time to connect with the handful of unhappy Vectis customers that didnt come to me and ask for help because they too consider themselves experts, and he has broadcast their experience as being representative

There is no issue with any aspect of the Vectis and there are no plans to change a single dimension.  We failed to ultra sonically clean the boilers a second time after we moved the location of the top pipe for the sight glass, we have no problem admitting our failings Lance

From the very first Vectis we shipped it accomodates an 18g VST, something i think most of us would agree is the industry standard for modern espresso

The Vectis can be completely disassembled on your kitchen table, without a jig to restrain the spring.  This extreme ease of servicing is not something Lance wants to talk about

If you observe Lance pulling the shots in his video anyone who has used a spring lever espresso machine will instantly recognise that the Vectis is being misused.  We have customers who are extremely upset with us that the boilers had muck in them, but all of them think the espresso is exceptionally good.  That instantly makes your review an outlier Lance

Lance complains of a lack of body in the shot.  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, i like about 3 bar.  the position that i like to use on the Vectis for this is 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

You may not know this Lance, but I was the sole UK reseller for Olympia for about 5 years, and I have a number of customers that I sold a Cremina to that now have a Vectis.  They think the Vectis completely eclipses your beloved Cremina in every facet.  The Vectis has a pronounced sweetness in the cup, flavour separation, shot on shot consistency, and steam power that your Cremina can not match

The Vectis delivers the same exquisite taste in consecutive shots, whereas manual levers vary hugely from one shot to the next.  This is why there has never been a manual commercial lever espresso machine Lance; if you want consistency in the cup you need a spring lever

We may not have any social media presence worth mentioning, but we think you may have been rather badly advised for this stunt: people do recognise vandalism when they see it Lance

The only lesson we can take from your 'review' Lance is that if you build an expensive product that performs poorly no one says anything as market forces alone will cause it to wither on the vine, but if you build an exceptionally good product that redefines a market segment and is competitively priced look out

LONDINIUM Vectis.  Exceptional espresso without the hobby.  Powerful steam.  No turbos.  No tea.  Fully reparable on your kitchen bench.

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