another customer writes from the USA...

by Reiss Gunson on Monday, 16 September 2019 21:46

Hi Reiss,

I want you to know my LR made its way through US customs and I received it yesterday evening. Everything was perfect save for two scratches on the drip tray — I’m going to try some jeweler’s polish to see if I can buff them out.

I pulled my first shots this morning, and they were exquisite. I am exceedingly impressed with the design, fit, finish, and quality of espresso the LR produces. Thank you for designing and building such a great product!

I’m really looking forward to the wireless module and app availability.


Sent from my iPhone; please excuse brevity and/or errors.

Say hello to wireless control for your LONDINIUM R

by Reiss Gunson on Tuesday, 10 September 2019 22:22

better late than never, but we are making some good progress on getting this out to you finally

i think we are still on track to get the first of these out the door this month

the hardware is ready, and has been for a few weeks now

we are now at the point where we will print the housings for the wireless module and put the finishing touches on the look and feel of the app screen

the release of this module will allow you to finally experience the full capability of the LR, where you can mode it from a dark roast to an ultra light nordic or a filter roast in a couple of seconds and back again

it takes your LR ownership experience to a whole new level


Happy days: the app for the control of the pressure transducer works perfectly

by Reiss Gunson on Friday, 02 August 2019 14:12

this means we remain on target to launch the wireless module and app this month

the wireless module is a simple plug in to the serial port on your pressure transducer

in line with our previous commitment we will supply the wireless module and app free, the only provisio i will add is that it is provided free with any parts order of any value.  in other words, you pay for the shipping and we will send you the module and access to the app free

i appreciate the support of all the customers that have purchased an LR prior to the wireless connectivity being available, and i never envisaged delays of the extent that we have had in realising this functionality

i will update you again as soon as we get to the next step

*in case you are wondering it also works perfectly with the panels in place too


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




Next month, August, we will have the app for you; iOS & Android

by Reiss Gunson on Tuesday, 16 July 2019 20:54

August is not a holiday month here...

EK43S for sale - New Zealand. Buyer must collect

by Reiss Gunson on Monday, 15 July 2019 06:44

i am selling the Mahlkonig EK43S that i purchased new this year for the sole purpose of benchmarking the Kafatek Max against

happy to meet the market on price

buyer needs to collect

all original packaging and documentation present

feel free to bring your favourite beans along and test it on our LR before deciding if you want to proceed

this grinder has had less than 500g of coffee through it


Up to date with all orders now

by Reiss Gunson on Saturday, 29 June 2019 01:20

its 01:20 here, but we have now booked out all the open orders, including those containing the group seal that we stocked out of

DHL will have them to you on monday

have a good weekend



What's that; playing on the wireless?

by Reiss Gunson on Tuesday, 25 June 2019 22:32

Stool sample

by Reiss Gunson on Thursday, 20 June 2019 23:21

Next week we are going to replace our cheap and cheerful bar stools with something that is a better match with our machines

This guy recommended these;

Cheers Nathan!

Four observations regarding the Kafatek Max

by Reiss Gunson on Thursday, 20 June 2019 22:48

as you may know i am fortunate to have a Kafatek Max, and to assist in benchmarking its performance i purchased a brand new EK43S

when i get inspired i might write a detailed review with some images, but i thought it was worth scribbling these observations down tonight

1.  the Max surpases the EK43/S in every area with one exception: sweetness.  Having owned 3 EK43 some years back i was expecting this but i was slightly surpirsed by how lacking in sweetness the Max was, to the extent that i contacted Denis.  I had always run the grinder at its maximum rpm of 400, not really believing that running slower than that would have a significant difference in the cup.  denis suggested that i try running it at 300rpm in the expectation that it reduce the amount of fines produced to the extent that the cup would be significantly sweeter.  i did as he suggested and his advice was exactly right: it significantly sweetened the taste in the cup by reducing the running speed of the grinder from 400rpm to 300rpm.  i was surprised at how pronounced this improvement was.  the EK43S remains significantly sweeter, but running at 300 rpm significantly reduced the gap.  the price of the extreme sweetness offered by the EK43 is a massive loss in body, which will upset some drinkers more than others

2.  the Max has a digital display for setting the target rpm, but it also displays the actual rpm.  as a result of observing this display when running the grinder i have seen that loading the grinder with beans and then turning the grinder on results in a significant passage of time before the grinder reaches its target speed, in my case 300rpm.  so if you accept that the spin speed of a grinder has a significant impact on the taste in the cup, and in (1) above i have expereinced first hand that it does, then you can improve the quality of the taste in the cup by turning your grinder on and way for it to reach full operating speed before loading the beans into the grinder; this will ensure that your beans are all ground at the same speed for all intents and purposes as the moment in which the beans are tipped onto the spinning burrs only reduces the spin speed of the motor by a few rpm; too few to be trouble with

3.  the Max can grind many orders of magnitude finer than the EK43/S

4.  the most remarkable thing for me about the Max is how quiet it is; it is basically as quiet as a hand grinder - it makes a noise similar to a rumbly wheel bearing on a trailer, it really is that quiet and is an absolute winner if you live in a household where not everyone gets up at the same time each morning; with the Max it is very easy to make yourself a coffee in the early morning without waking the rest of the house

i have taken the EK43S to an engineering wizard i know and he has brought all the tolerances to within 5 microns but i am not entirely happy with where it is at.  I have raised this and he has replied immediately saying he has had some more ideas as to how we can further improve the output so i look forward to taking it back in the next few weeks when he is less busy and trying to wring the absolute best out of the EK43

if you are pondering an EK43S note that the 'S' stands for short, not small or silent.  its 1400rpm spin speed on 98mm burrs means the noise it makes is very brief, but for that brief moment it is not too far off running a band saw in your kitchen which may not win you favour in the early morning.  personally i think the EK43S is a pretty lazy effort by Mahlkonig, who i consider to be the Mercedes Benz of coffee grinders.  the 'S' variant could easily be powered by a motor that was much smaller in size but with the same power output, and indeed mahlkonig have such motors utilised by other models in their product line up already, so why not?  a smaller motor would allow the entire form factor of the grinder to be significantly improved, with a less agricultural appearance, which is what is expected at this price point.  the tall hopper supplied also looks poorly matched and drawn as a parts bin special rather than a ground up design to create a domestic version of the EK43