Londinium 1

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Londinium 1

Postby daveyb » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:23 pm

Hi
has anyone any experience of these new lever machines please?
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Postby daveyb » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:07 pm

No one has any thoughts? here is the link
http://londiniumespresso.com/products/londinium-i

Whilst I am on, how about the HG One hand grinder?
http://hg-one.com/
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Postby JohnYossarian » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:25 pm

I think they are made by Fracino in Birmingham. There is some discussion on the homebarista forum and pretty heated one at coffeesnobs.
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Postby dwalsh1 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:04 pm

Heated! it was near on fire on HB. The thread was locked for a while because of a dispute between 2 members.
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Postby CakeBoy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:43 pm

What was the dispute about?
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Postby daveyb » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:52 pm

Well, you know how our American friends like to xray everything. It seems that one or two were simply coming up with really obscure comments to contiually knock the machine. The designer and owner, tried to answer posts that needed answering, but inevitably it was seen as commercial intererence. It got pretty heated!
here is the link but there is 74 pages to wade through! Despite that, it looks a very interesting bit of kit!
http://www.home-barista.com/levers/owne ... 23770.html
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Postby CakeBoy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:22 am

Thanks, shall have a peep :)
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Postby CakeBoy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:33 pm

Yes indeed Davey, it does look like a decent bit of kit. There has definately been a gap in the lever market for something like this for ages. There is a very technical bias in the American forums. You have to feel for anyone launching a complex new machine to the enthusiast market as it is bound to be scrutinised massively and any teething problems magnified. Hopefully the good points and level of service will be equally considered.

Anyone here had sight or hands on? I think both Londinium and Fracino people are TMC members. Any observations welcome.
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Postby RoloD » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:46 pm

I have a Londinium I - it's an excellent machine. Basically it is a commercial lever group (same as you get on a Bosco or an Idocompresso) on a machine built by Fracino in Birminham using an open thermo-siphon system. Boiler is the same size as Fracino's Cherub. Very straightfoward machine really, very well made, can run from a reservoir (which tops up the boiler via a vibratory pump) or plumbed in (which is what I've done) and then becomes pump-less.

It does what is says it does - great thermal stability, great tasting shots.

The fracas on H-B seemed mostly to do with critical comments (before the machine was even out), some of which came from people who actually imported and sold rival machines. Reiss from Londinium who designed the machine and who was very open about the whole design process, understandably got a bit upset (he's not the most diplomatic guy, but he goes out of his way to help customers).
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Postby dwalsh1 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:25 pm

The row was between Reiss and an Aussie guy on coffeesnobs. The posts have been deleted by a moderator. It was proper nasty.
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Postby RoloD » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:30 pm

dwalsh1 wrote:The row was between Reiss and an Aussie guy on coffeesnobs. The posts have been deleted by a moderator. It was proper nasty.
Yeah, the Aussies were even worse. They were going on about how ugly the machine was before it was even on sale. I think it looks great.
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Postby dwalsh1 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:58 pm

I used to like Aussies but that was before I worked on Wembley stadium and an Aussie building firm was running the job but that's another story.
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Postby daveyb » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:01 pm

It will be interesting to see how many units Londinium sell in their first year. the advantage they have is that they are sole agents for their own machine. Doing it this way, presumably helps to keep the price down as there are fewer people to add layers to the cost. This might cause problems for some distance purchasers, but I think if you are an open minded true enthusiast, the machine will win through.
I too, will be the proud owner of one when the next batch is released.
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Postby dr.chris » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:06 am

Part of me always feels happy seeing good coffee machine engineering coming out of countries other than italy.

Looks like a fantastic machine - but musn't talk too loud or else Anna will get jealous.
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Postby RoloD » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:18 am

dr.chris wrote:Part of me always feels happy seeing good coffee machine engineering coming out of countries other than italy.
True. And Italian engineering standards are, shall we say, variable. A lot of Italian engineering comes out of tiny back-street workshops and finish can also leave a lot to be desired. Fracino, although they do not make the prettiest of machines, are a very solid company - the quality on the Londinium is superb.

As far as servicing goes, the seals on the group are very easy to replace and the group itself will outlast all of us. The other components are either very simple - a thermosiphon is basically copper piping - or standard comercial parts (pressurestat, solenoid valves, control box).

It also has great steaming power (although I only drink espresso myself).
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