cuban coffee in stock

by Reiss Gunson on Saturday, 16 May 2009 07:14

now we just have to learn how to roast it!

give us a week or so to get it right


We ship worldwide at cost.

by Reiss Gunson on Friday, 15 May 2009 07:43

Every bag of Londinium coffee declares the roast date.

To enjoy our coffee at its optimum we recommend that you do not open the bag for 7-10 days after the roast date.

This works well for our international customers as the coffee improves on the journey, arriving in places as far away as New Zealand 7-10 days after roasting in peak condition.

If you are looking for a particular coffee get in touch & we will endeavour to locate it for you.

a little monsooned malabar is rolling in on friday

by Reiss Gunson on Thursday, 14 May 2009 12:49

no idea what we’ll find with this coffee, but a customer has asked for it, so we’ll just get on with the job.

very much looking forward to working with a more distinctive coffee, outside of the central americans that we have spent so much time developing


ahhh... the cuban coffee arrives on friday

by Reiss Gunson on Thursday, 14 May 2009 09:54

high expectations for this coffee. elusive and difficult to obtain at any price. we look forward to having a play with it this weekend if time permits. we expect to test for at least a week before we agree on the roast profile as we like to let the roast settle for at least a couple of days before testing it.

i expect i am being daft when i dream of it bearing any resemblence to cuba’s most famous export… anyone out there who has tasted cuban coffee & able to describe the experience in vivid detail????

btw… don’t make the mistake of confusing ‘cuban coffee’ (a style of coffee), with coffee beans from cuba. we are very much talking about the later.

as i understand it because cuban coffee beans are so difficult to obtain the ‘cuban coffee’ that is ubiquitous in the south eastern coastal areas of the US is coffee of various origins (not cuban), roasted in a manner suitable for espresso. the portafilter is then loaded with the ground coffee as normal & a teaspoon of sugar is added to the top of the coffee puck. it is very popular in the region.

i imagine the sugar does wonders wonders for the espresso machine… what a mess to clean up, surely? again, very interested to hear of anyone’s experiences of this style of coffee… variety is the spice of life.


Apologies for the broken page link today

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 07:21

Apologies for the broken page link today

In my haste to clean up the back end of the website I accidentally deleted a reference page

We appreciate there is still quite a lot of scruffy ‘space filler’ text on the site & we will replace this with genuine content in the next day or so

Kind regards


New! Olympia steaming jug

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 03:12

Ahh! This jug makes life easy. A recent addition to the Olympia product line, this milk frothing jug is more appropriate for home use, having a capacity of just 500mL.

Furthermore it is tapered, such that the top of the jug is narrower than the base.

The outside of the jug is polished, while the inside has a satin finish.

I wasn’t too taken with the shape of the handle, until I picked it up. It is shaped so that it fits very snugly in your hand and doesn’t wobble around. Some thought has gone into this.

Finally it is made of very heavy gauge stainless steel. The downside is this drives the price up considerably. Just how much additional material has been used in the manufacture of the jug becomes evident as soon as you lift it… it is heavy! Heavier than jugs with a much larger capacity.

The payback is the thick walls of this jug act as a heat sink, keeping the milk cooler for much longer whilst you stretch the milk. Personally I found this a massive advantage & am now knocking out great frothy milk with ease for all those who insist on corrupting their coffee with it.

Visit to Olympia Express, Switzerland

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 02:53

I havent time to write a meaningful report right now, but I will at least make a start and post some images…

A flight to Milan & an extremely pleasant trip by car up into southern Switzerland where the people bring a winning combination of Swiss precision & Italian flair. No surprise then to find a large number of successful manufacturing companies based here.

The purpose of the images below is to demonstrate that the Cremina is a domestic machine built to a commercial standard. This is not the consumer grade junk that proliferates today, where you throw it away and buy another if something breaks. No, the simple sturdy Swiss engineering means these machines are easy and cost effective to service.

A relatively recent change in ownership of Olympia has seen heavy investment in developing the engineering excellence of the machine even further. A more precise thermostatic switch has been developed, along with a new pressure guage without a stop pin to ensure the needle of the gauge is not damaged under the vacuum that occurs when the machine is turned off. Olympia have also changed the press tool for the top cowling on the boiler to allow you to warm your espresso cups on the top of the machine. In addition the piston has been changed to a twin seal design. Quality control programs have also been embedded in the production process to ensure all components meet the design specifications provided by Olympia. The design of the drainage tray has also been refined, and the pins on the lever are have reverted from machine screws with grub screw retainers to circlip retainers on each end to assist ease of correct reassembly when servicing the machine.

Left end elevation: Olympia Cremina with boiler housing & group removed. Old style thermostatic pressure switch clearly visible in brass housing. Now replaced with a much smaller & more accurate design.

Main elevation: group removed.

Right end elevation with group removed. Clearly visible mounted to the top of the boiler are the over pressure release valve (mounted vertically), the feed for the pressure gauge, the outlet pipe from the base of the boiler to feed water to the sight glass water level indicator, and the return feed from the sight glass to the boiler (top)

A new design of bronze piston with marine grade (316) stainless shaft with the two seal seats clearly visible

A collection of pistons fitted to shafts and ready for installation.

Externally I thought the shower screen was in good condition…

...but it wasn’t! Coffee oils had formed a hard residue on the inside.

The key to staying young is to stay flexible! Both seals under pressure between forefinger and thumb; old seal (top), new seal (bottom). A new generation of silicone seals are currently under development.

What’s the collective noun for espresso machines? A hiss of espresso machines, perhaps? Olympia Maximatic model almost ready to go to their new owners. These are selling like hot cakes.

Moca grinder showing off the engineering excellence for which it is renown. It took me a while to come around to agreeing with the design of this grinder, in particular the fixed box for the collection of grinds, but I am now an advocate.

This is due to the quality of the grind, the quiet operation, its very small footprint, and the fact the I no longer spread coffee grinds all over the kitchen as they are captured in the box very effectively.

And far too quickly it is time to make the return journey to Milan.

All in all a great day with great people. I personally learnt a lot about how the machines were manufactured, the history of the company, and the plans that the [relatively] new owners have for the company. In all aspects they are seeking to build on the fine history of Olympia, and expect to see some exciting new machines from Olympia in the not too distant future.

If you can appreciate the value in an espresso machine that will deliver espresso that is superior to what you will receive in any retail establishment, can be readily serviced, and will be in a fit condition to pass on to your children, then there really is only one choice. Olympia of Switzerland.

Fresh is best

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 02:33

it will seem obvious when it is pointed out, but people fail to make the connection that coffee is essentially a fruit, or at least the seed of a fruit. as a result it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that fresh is best, just like any fruit.

next time you buy a bag of coffee have a look for the ‘best before’ date. in almost all cases it will be 12mths after the roast date. while it is true that coffee does go ‘off’ in the sense of making you ill, this practice is misleading and we have a problem with it. perhaps less so if it is an inexpensive coffee, but a huge objection if you are buying a gourmet or premium coffee.

if you are buying pre-ground coffee it will be stale every time. the information on the packet may try to persuade you that it is fresh as a result of some magical process, but this is at odds with reality, unfortunately.

one of the things you are paying for at Londinium Espresso is our commitment to stamp the roast date on every pack. usually, but not always, this will be after you have placed your order. we are not apologetic that we will sometimes ship coffee that was roasted a few days before your order as we are now firmly of the view that coffee needs at least 10 days in our unopened bags to reach its optimum, and seems to remain in such a condition until at least 3 weeks after roasting. in our experience there is no significant drop off in quality until 6 to 8 weeks after roasting, assuming the bag remains unopened. once opened the oxidation process accelerates rapidly and the coffee needs to be consumed in 7-10 days to be enjoyed in peak condition. for this reason we sell our coffee in 250g bags. in our experience 250g is about the amount of coffee that a moderate coffee drinker can get through in 7-10 days.

as always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask without obligating yourself in any way. if we don’t know the answer we will say so & endeavour to go away & find it & get back to you.

Daterra 3 weeks after roasting

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 02:33

just discovered a bag of Daterra in the pyramid of coffee that dominates the landscape here. roasted 3 weeks ago to the day on 7 march 2009. ran it through the machine & i must emphasise that it has improved further with a little time. the flavours are smoother, rounder, and more full in the mouth. still has the same basic profile as you would expect, but much more refined & enjoyable. if you want to lower the cost i recommend you buy 5×250g bags at a time & enjoy the 20% discount. only open one bag at a time and i think you’ll find the last bag you have is more refined and enjoyable than the first bag you open only a few days after roasting.

New in: Hawaiian Kona Extra Fancy

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 02:32

roasted a couple of days ago. tried it this morning as an espresso & through the swissgold. have to admit we have under-roasted this and as a result it tastes a little wooden. we’ll roast again this afternoon, this time a little darker. all coffee produced in Hawaii is fairly traded, though not certified as such, as the US labour/employment laws are in effect.