News

The new design of safety valve has a number of improvements

by Reiss Gunson on Thursday, 19 April 2018 09:49

I had one of the new design safety valves sitting on the shelf here and i could hear the faint whisper of steam escaping from my machine that had the original design of safety valve on it, so yesterday i decided to fit the new one

The first thing that is obvious is the anti-tamper wire retainer is no longer present on the new design - the anti-tamper mechanism is a sealed grub screw instead

The next thing you notice is that the nut is machine much higher on the body of the safety valve; this offers the significant benefit of allowing the wrench you are using to remove or fit the safety valve to clear the top of the anti-vac valve that is right alongside the safety valve

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the new design seals better; my heating element went from a 47 second cycle to a 1 minute 19 second cycle, which is a significant reduction is energy consumption so this valve will quickly pay for itself

If you are working on an LR, which would be unlikely as i think most of them have the new style of safety valve, i recommend removing some of the copper pipes to allow you easier access to swing your wrench

I like this 300g Cafe de Tiamo handle-less milk jug

by Reiss Gunson on Thursday, 19 April 2018 09:18

I enjoy using this milk jug as it puts me in close contact with the temperature of the milk

Obviously it needs to be sold with a silicone rubber sleeve to protect the user from burning themselves, but for my own use i remove the sleeve as i think if it gets too hot to hold you have burnt not only your hand but the milk too

The stainless steel is thin so the heat conducts through the jug without too much delay, and the lack of a handle just makes it easy to grasp

The right tool for the job

by Reiss Gunson on Thursday, 19 April 2018 08:53

As you can see in these two images, i have a hammer that is too light (200g) and another that is too heavy (750g) for striking wrenches on a copper boiler

I have set to put that right ordering a 12oz (450g) hammer with a wooden handle which i will cut down from the standard 300mm length to a more suitable 200mm length

The process of striking a set wrench to free a fitting on a copper boiler, as opposed to simply pulling harder and harder on the wrench by hand, is critically important if the copper boiler is not be twisted

It is the same process when tightening fittings down onto the copper boiler - dont pull harder and harder; plan to strike the wrench 3 times with the hammer as you feel the fitting begin to tighten on the thread

The first strike will be met with almost no resistance from the wrench; with the second strike you will feel the nut tightening on the thread, and then on the third strike the wrench will turn through a very small angle as it comes up tight, less than one eight of a turn; this is an indicator to you that a fourth strike will land you in trouble by tearing out the threads on the fittings

Far better to use a little thread sealant like loxeal 55-03 to ensure a pressure tight seal than overtighten a fitting and run the risk of damage

Delivered duty paid (DDP); what the customer thought

by Reiss Gunson on Friday, 06 April 2018 00:16

As the recipient of the DDP experiment (US delivery), I thought I’d let everyone know how it went. The item shipped out from Birmingham, UK, at 16:04 GMT on Wednesday and showed up at my door with no action on my part Friday at 14:30 PDT. This delivery seems as good as it could possibly get and seems better than most any delivery I could have received from a US local supplier. Total door-to-door transit time was about 54 hours to the US West Coast. Hats off to Londinium Espresso

Mark.

Hand blown glass hoppers made by Torr Toys in Portugal

by Reiss Gunson on Friday, 30 March 2018 15:24

There are just thirteen hand blown glass hoppers made by Torr Toys remaining. This is absolutely a one off project so if you want one this is the only chance

The collar and lid is stainless steel.  The collar fits every model in the Compak essential on demand range of grinders; E5-6-8-10

We are now despatching all machines with the group top attached

by Reiss Gunson on Thursday, 29 March 2018 22:23

A number of you asked me to post when we reached this point, so here it is

Have a pleasant Easter

Next week is shaping up to be a big one already 

Why do I need to create an account to make a purchase?

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 19:33

There are several functional reasons why we have decided to disable the guest checkout:

1) Customers who purchase a machine with an account are automatically given access to the owners' only area of the support form, which is an important post sale support channel

2) Purchases made with an account have an order history

3) It enables us to process orders for customers purchasing with a VAT ID more easily

We were spending an inordinate amount of time manually adding owner access privileges to accounts the moment the machine arrived with the customer as they were unable to access the most recent version of the LR instruction manual, which is held as a PDF in the permanent file

This access is automatically assigned if an account is created at the time of purchasing the machine

Almost all purchasers of machines who checked out as a guest would create an account within 24 hours of purchase and then need owner privileges manually added to their account

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes but our over riding objective is to improve your customer experience

Why there is no substitute for large diameter burrs if you want to single dose

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 15:07

The periennial problem with single dosing is pop corning, that is to say because there is no weight pushing down on the beans that are being ground they are able to bounce away from the cutting face which results in an irregluar grind, which in turn produces a poor extraction

Much resource has been expended on investigating possible solutions but the only one i know of is large diameter flat burrs

In the image above is 19.4g of beans tipped into my Compak R120; see how the entire dose is effectively lying between the upper and lower burr?

When we switch on the grinder almost immediately the entire dose is thrown sideways into the cavernous space that 120mm burrs give you, and the tiny amount of popcorning that occurs for a second or so at startup in no way affects the grind because the beans at the cutting face are so far away from the open space at the spindle with so many beans between them also being thrown outwards with centrifugal force that the beans at the cutting face are unable to bounce and therefore a poor grind does not result

It is true of course that the larger the diameter of the burrs the more any inaccuracies in machining tolerances and alignment are magnified, but this is purely a quality control issue as opposed to a shortcoming of design

I simply do not see how burrs of a conventional diameter can avoid the popcorning that occurs with single dosing, and for this reason i see the forthcoming Kafatek MAX as setting a new standard in single dosing grinders for the home and my name is most certainly on the waiting list

What i've learnt about starting a business

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 13:41

Dont buy anything in high volumes to chase lower unit costs; that is a game for established businesses

A good example is packaging and branded items.  Speaking for myself at least i find it incredibly tempting to order 1000 units of something to get the unit price down

But it is a mistake and a lesson ive had to learn more than once

When you are starting up there is one thing you want above all else; flexibility

Often you will not know in advance what is going to fly and what is going to flop, and speaking for myself i often wake up with a completely new idea and i want to implement it immediately; if youve got 2 years of stock of the item you want to change this really puts a damper on things

Sure, the unit cost is higher when you order low volumes but the total outlay is less and cash conservation is the name of the game as a start-up, at least if its your money on the table

If it doent work as well as you hoped you flog it off or put it in the bin and change tack

If youve bought a container load of widgets with an unbelievably low unit cost and they are non conforming or not well received by the market or you just want to take your business in a different direction you have a bit of a problem

Pilot studies rule.  Yes they have a cost, but it is the least expensive way to learn

Experiment every day, but never go all in until you've proven it works.

 

A customer's thought for the day

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 13:31

I would recommend skipping those and getting a Londinium R. Had there been such a thing at the time, and if I had experienced it, in all honesty I probably would not have or need a Slayer now. Get the 220V version if possible in your home. Spend the extra money on a good grinder and beans.