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cold war kid

Londinium reliability problems?

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Hi all.

 

I've been after a Londinium now since they first appeared but I've never really been able to justify the expense, so it's always been on the back burner.

It's got to the point now however, where I need to either start to save or forget about it and stick with what I have long term.

 

My question is, are owners out there happy with the reliability and general fit and finish of these machines?

 

I ask because I own a Fracino Classico and after three years of very light use it's broken down three times. It's been a real Birmingham Friday afternoon lemon so far and whilst I'm hoping I've just been unlucky and I'll have trouble free ownership going forward, the patchy customer service I've received from Fracino in that time has me even more worried. I've had the wrong machine sent, a complete lack of interest from customer service, emails not replied to and been fobbed off with service engineer details of people who aren't willing to come out to me as I live too far away. On other occasions I've been put straight through to the designer of the Cherub/Heavenly/Classico when I've had a small query resulting in a really lengthy and interesting discussion of the ins and outs of the machine and just yesterday had two service engineers ring me at a time of my convenience to talk me through a list of things to try with my latest breakdown that resulted in me being able to get the machine running myself. I've never in my life dealt with a company quite like it, with half the staff seemingly more than happy to help out and the other half blatantly not interested at all, but either way I've had far too much contact with them over that three short years.

 

I know many will say that the Londinium is a completely different beast, but it's made in the same factory, with a lot of the same parts, by the same people and those same people will have the same good or bd attitude to QC as they would with their own products. Often when you design a product and then hand it over to somebody else to build, the "somebody else" becomes at least as important to making sure it goes out at a standard that was originally intended, especially when you live on the other side of the world.

 

I guess part of the problem is I've never seen one in the flesh. I think my mind would be put at ease if I saw one and decided it looked as good as it does in the photos I've seen.

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Good questions @cold war kid

 

Fracino are not the best with their own machines and as an example the lever machine that they produce is not a patch on the Londinium that they produce for someone else! The components have similarities but Reiss has insisted on certain components being put into his machines that are not in the Fracinos.

 

The other thing to consider is the availability of Reiss for problem solving and sorting out issues, unlike fracino he prides himself on being able to sort out problems if they arise, and there have been teething problems along his road, but he has sorted out any issues with the people who have bought the machines.

 

You really need to see one in the flesh, there are plenty of folk up near you that would be more than happy for you to go and have a look and a go on one, used ones tend to be very well looked after and will absolutely last a life time if looked after.

 

Good luck with your hunt and hope you get to have a go on one


AKA Toffee chips

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Thanks for your thoughts. That's good to know.

 

Almost everything I've read on this forum has been positive. The small number of negative threads I've seen all seem to come from Australia for some reason. I glad you've confirmed what has been said before.

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Good post , just thought I would put my experience down ,if it helps answer your post .

 

 

My L1 , roughly owned three years ,used every day left on all weekend .

 

white led needed replacement after first week , apparently faulty batch . Replacement was sent next day by post .

 

changed pressure stat after 2 years , although still working it had stuck once so I decided to change it , relatively easy to do , took about 1/2 hour

 

2 new piston seal sets and various group seals when needed .

 

in my opinion built like a Land Rover , very easy to work on . Plus not much to go wrong .

 

 

The LR is a different kind of beast which has a bit more under the hood , but the components used are commercial grade and used in a domestic environment I would imagine ensure a good longevity .

 

second what CC says Reiss will stand by his machines and gives a personal aftercare service .


¿ ǝsǝɥʇ pɐǝɹ ǝuoʎuɐ sǝop

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@cold war kid I have an original Mk 1 L 1 that I gave to my son. It’s six years old and performs flawlessly. Only maintenance has been changing seals - very simple to do.

 

Also got the LR - takes the Londinium lever to another level if your preference is for lighter roasts. See you’re over in Bolton. If you want to see either in action PM me.


Londinium-R - EKS43 running SSP Silver Knight burrs

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I'm coming at it from your side, though for what it's worth I've had my Classico for 4 years and it's been pretty bulletproof, apart from a slow drip that was a simple matter of tightening a bolt (no involvement from Fracino required)

 

I'll be going for the LR to replace it and the combination of the collective community experience/know-how and how available and willing Reiss is to jump into discussion is a big factor in the choice.


Londinium R | Ceado E37S | Torr Goldfinger

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FWIW my experience is similar to thecatlinux's. I've had my L1 for almost 5 years and am the least practical person in the world. I can wire a plug (useless skill nowadays but that's my limit).

In my time with the L1 I have changed the seals a few times as I wanted to get better at it and now I am getting better at it. Also, when I've har queries (not problems) Reiss has been available right away to deal with them personally. Around 1 year ago I had to replace the pSTAT and Reiss suggested replacing the safety valve at the same time. I bought the parts from his website and when they arrived we used FaceTime with my iPad balanced in a precarious position for him to guide me through the niceties of using a ring spanner and a hammer (!) to replace the items. It took around an hour with me being just the physical arms while Reiss gave instructions. All went back to gather again very easily and my self esteem improved along with my coffee.

Might not be for everyone but I consider myself pleased as punch with my Londinium investment.

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@cold war kid

. See you’re over in Bolton. If you want to see either in action PM me.

 

That's a very kind offer, I've got a long save ahead of me, but I may take you up on that one day.

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Pretty similar story for me too. I bought TSKs 2014 L1 from him just over a year ago. Has worked perfectly apart from a failed pump. Reiss was very helpful and quick in providing expert diagnosis. Pump easy to replace as all of the side and top panels can be removed providing great access to all components. A really nicely thought out well made machine from my experience.

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Really happy with mine, only issue I've had was the white LED failing.


Londinium I / Monolith Conical / Macap MC4 / Gene Cafe Roaster / Cormorant CR600 Roaster

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It's good to hear owners praise of their Londiniums. It's a machine I may buy in the future but I was put off when an engineer who services and repairs coffee machines told me they where made by Fracino and Fracino machines are really badly made. He did say he had never worked on a Londinium he just wouldn't buy or recommend anything from Fracino.

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Fracino does assemble the Londinium at their factory but bare in mind Reise had a lot of input in the design of his machine. I recently had an issue with too much water was coming out of the steam wand but like all Londinium owners before me, Reise was only an email away to discuss, diagnose and then solve the problem. The Londinium are easy to work on to even for a non DIY guy like me.


Hottop roaster, Mazzer Super Jolly Areopress, Clever Coffee Dripper

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Fracino does assemble the Londinium at their factory but bare in mind Reise had a lot of input in the design of his machine. I recently had an issue with too much water was coming out of the steam wand but like all Londinium owners before me, Reise was only an email away to discuss, diagnose and then solve the problem. The Londinium are easy to work on to even for a non DIY guy like me.

 

 

 

So many owners on here , you would soon know if they were poor or had issues as this forum can be quite vocal at times .

.

You will also notice it’s the machine that everyone compares theirs too , a lovely accolade to have for Reiss.


¿ ǝsǝɥʇ pɐǝɹ ǝuoʎuɐ sǝop

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So many owners on here , you would soon know if they were poor or had issues as this forum can be quite vocal at times .

.

You will also notice it’s the machine that everyone compares theirs too , a lovely accolade to have for Reiss.

 

Ditto ^^

 

Apart from a failed Ceme, which was handled in an exemplary manner by Reiss personally, I haven’t had any issues with my L-R.


2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / part-time LSOL participant / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

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Yep only a failed ceme here after about 18m. Fantastic machine and really well put together and I’ve had a good look around it recently. Just remember you’ll want to polish it regularly so you can use it as a mirror as my daughter does nearly every day to do her hair for school!!!


Londinium R, Hg-one, button tamper, vst,ims,V60,siphon,aeropress...and still no idea

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Same here, very happy owner. I've had my L1 nearly 5 years and have only had to change the anti-vac valve in addition to seals. No quibble with build quality or QC. If you have a problem you can get in touch direct with Reiss who designed the machine and knows it inside out, rather than getting bounced around customer service.

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Replace the piston seals from time to time , applying a thin layer of loxeal between times, the odd group gasket and that really is the extent of general maintenance. Filter the water and you shouldn't even need to descale for a while. Admittedly the LII has no pump but it does have double most items (bar boilers etc).

Biggest issue for me is as above keeping shiny for daughter to use as a mirror...(fresh microcloths are your friend for this )

Joy to use

John


Roasters: BB Dalian Amazon 1kg -Power contolled GeneCafe 101- 113Kg of greens - Tonino

Espresso: Londinium L2 - Gaggia G105 - Silvia v3 Mr.Shades PID'-d - Faema E92a2 (Project) - MyPressi Twist - VST baskets / Motta Europa (350/500/750ml) - Torr Ti 58.55 & Goldfinger flat 58.4 TiBlack, Pullman 51.4 - Acaia x2

Grinders: Flats: Compak R120 - NS Mythos plus Conics: Compak K10PB - Lido 3

Brewed: Behmor Brazen - Moccamaster KBGT471 - Aeropress - V60 - Cona model D - Clever - Mizudashi - 8-10 + 6 cup Chemex

Water: BWT Bestmax V Refrac: VST III

and a Puq Press not in a pear tree..

 

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At the risk of being repetitive, I've had both L1 and LR and the build quality is super.

The Ceme pressure switch was a weak link on the original LR but that is now resolved.

Such easy machines to use and maintain and not bad coffee to boot!


Londinium - R, Monolith MC3, Two Jugs, One TempTag, Nine Assorted And Much Sought After MildredM Bar Towels

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Nothing has gone wrong in 14months of daily home use.

It goes on at 5.00am

Off at 5.30 pm

I replaced the seals etc once and Reiss seems to be available whenever you need him, email or facetime.

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I love my LR. It produces best espresso in town :)

But to be fair and not a fan boy, the pump driven pre/infusion is a great idea but not perfectly executed from the beginning. First with Ceme, which was able to handle 4 bars, when it should handle 12. Meter was step up, but still under specified as it can handle 6,5 bars. Ceme can fail in months, Mater probably will last 2-3 years. Finally the digital preinfussion is over spec, as it can handle up to 30 bars. So as long electronic circuits can handle high temperature this should raise the reliability of the machine to highest level. Time will show, but even with bit higher price now I would buy LR again. Highly recommend.

Another thing is the support from Reiss. With how many other espresso vendors you can upgrade or fix your machine having designer of the machine on the video conference? This is great value. Also direct sales model, I really like it.


Londinium R, Mythos 1, Comandante

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I've had my L1 since 2013. The only thing that has failed is the pump, which went just out of warranty. I was the first person this happened to, and Reiss was kind enough to send me a replacement part for free despite being out of warranty, and then FaceTime me through the installation.

 

Any other issues have been solved by replacing seals and re-greasing the bore.

 

It's been a fantastically reliable machine with superb service whenever I have needed it. I don't think I can think of another company whose product and service have been better.


Londinium L1 | Compak E8

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I've got a late 2012 L1 (I think it was the second production run).

 

The pump died a year or two ago after years of daily use, it was fairly cheap and very easy to replace. Other than that as everyone else says just few new seals on the piston as needed, machine is still rock solid and very happy with it.


Londinium I, Mahlkönig Vario, Hario Skerton, Chemex 1-3 Cup.

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Only my red LED still works, can't be bothered to fix yet, but other than that all good after a couple of years (and a year prior I believe with another forumite).

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Good to hear all the positive comments, just ordered myself a Londinium R to replace my ageing Izzo Alex. Can't wait....

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