News

The Vectis river flows again: the same but different

by Reiss Gunson on Tuesday, 11 June 2024 14:19

These ten Vectis leave today, the first with the Italian forged group

Vectis group production moved from England to Italy

by Reiss Gunson on Thursday, 06 June 2024 19:24

Of the first 200 Vectis groups that were forged in the UK only 113 were usable

This is unacceptbale so we moved the production of the lever groups to Italy

This demanded a high five figure investment in new tooling and a total loss on the old tooling

Not a single dimension has changed.

So, did the Vectis have serious issues at launch?

Yes, but not one of them was identified by the jester Lance Hedrick

Funny old world.

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

by Reiss Gunson on Friday, 21 October 2022 08:36

pleased to announce that the stage one and stage two kits to upgrade your LR into an R24 are now available

note that the stage one kit can only be fitted without the stage two kit to an LR the uses the mechanical pressure switch (Mater or Ceme)  to regulate the pre-infusion pressure

if you fit the stage one kit only to an LR that has digital preinfusion the higher current draw of the 24VDC pump will burn out the control board you have

so for LR with digital pre-infusion the stage one AND stage two kits must be purchaed and fitted at the same time

Copper, the perfect boiler material

by Reiss Gunson on Friday, 05 August 2022 12:59

Sometimes i read of people expressing a view that stainless is a vastly preferrable material for an espresso machine boiler, or even more oddly a group

Copper is hihgly malleable, ductile, and most importantly has unmatcheed electrical and thermal conductivity (unlike stainless which performs very poorly in this regard)

Additonally it does not suffer from metal fatigue from the repeated heating and cooling cycle that a boiler is subject to

Critically copper will not rust as stainless will if you end up with less than 12% chromium anywhere in the stainless as a result of fabrication, for example stamping the stainless where you create the mounting face for the heating element on the boiler (warranty claims arising from just this is i understand how the original Faema firm went out of business)

Stainless is thought by some to be more hygenic than copper, but that is not the case either

I saw this article on copper and thought you might find it interesting, so here it is; https://theconversation.com/amp/copper-is-great-at-killing-superbugs-so-why-dont-hospitals-use-it-73103

Copper is wonderful, but it has become expensive and for that reason we will not be using it on the boiler of the forthcoming Vectis model

& for the record copper does not have any lead in it, it is not an alloy, it is a pure metal that you can find on the periodic table at number 29

Vectis

by Reiss Gunson on Friday, 08 July 2022 23:57

At last, a small 58mm spring lever group.  Direct fill, no pump, dipper fed, steam wand.  20cm wide, 30cm deep

LONDINIUM no grease piston & group seals are coming

by Reiss Gunson on Friday, 08 July 2022 21:50

Whilst waiting for the Vectis group to be forged i have busied myself developing piston seals for the modern lever group that do not need any grease whatsoever

It has taken a few iterations, but i have now ironed out the material and the design and i am waiting for the first run of 30 sets

If they are well received we will then get dies made and make them in volume

I expect the set of 30 to arrive in a couple of weeks from now; they are being manufactured here in Auckland where i reside so it is a simple matter of driving across town when they are ready and we will have them the same day

These seals will last much longer than 12 months, you will not get any grease trapped in the shower screen causing channelling, you will never need to regrease the seals, and coffee residue will not adhere in the grease in the mesh of the shower screen in the way that it currently does

So the benefits are vastly longer seal life, avoid the need to use expensive silicone grease, vastly increase service life for the shower screen (especially the fine 35 micron screen) and fewer hours servicing the machine and more time drinking coffee

These seals will only be available as an post purchase upgrade to the machines

These seals will transform your user experience whatever brand of lever machine you have if it uses the modern lever group; KVDW, Bosco, Quickmill, Profitec, etc, etc - this is the small insignificant upgrade that will transform your lever life

To fit the piston seals soak them in water and a drop of dishwashing detergent and also wet the piston in the same solution before you fit each piston seal; this will ensure the seals do not grab and tear as you work them onto the piston

Pleased to announce that we have sold our first LONDINIUM II to Croatia

by Reiss Gunson on Thursday, 02 June 2022 08:48

73 countries in all

Today, Thursday 2 June and Friday 3 June are public holidays in the UK but I am still available online to take your questions

Next week should be interesting when we receive the Vectis group back from the electroplaters, chromed, and from there we can assemble the group and see how it looks

The only two deliverables we are working on for 2022 is the Vectis and a new website that works properly on mobile devices as that is how most of your are accessing our website these days, a far cry from 2012 when we first laid the current website down

We might add a 58.55mm tamper for VST baskets and a couple of other tweaks, but that's it

There are no other changes planned

kind regards

 

reiss

Price increases of 10% on 1 May 2022

by Reiss Gunson on Tuesday, 29 March 2022 22:46

as is the fashion this year we find ourselves passing on cost increases

cost push inflation is back with a bang after a long absence

IMS 35 micron shower screens expected back in stock this week

by Reiss Gunson on Sunday, 13 February 2022 14:19

i know there are a number of you with items orders on this part that stretch back to december

the best information i have is that they will arrive this week

these orders are my top priority for getting out the door

as soon as i book them out you will receive DHL confirmation emails in the normal way

kind regards

reiss.

 

UPDATE: 17FEB22 - 35 micron screens have arrived.  the back orders are being filled today.  when i wake up in the morning, friday in new zealand, i will be booking them out thursday evening UK time, to leave on friday uk time