Lagom P64 Flat (Option-O) - Page 8

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
option.o
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#71: Post by option.o » Oct 02, 2019, 7:47 am

Hi all

It's Hayden here! We were pointed to this thread by one of our customers. As the co-founders of Option-O, my business partner Brook and I would like to take this opportunity to officially introduce ourselves to this lovely community! We noticed that there are quite a few incorrect speculations circulating about our company. We think it is only fair that we clarify some of these. What has happened is probably a reflection of us not doing enough groundwork in communicating what we do and we apologise for that.

As a company, our goal is simple and practical - we want to create beautiful, functional and yet affordable grinders for our coffee fellows. Like many of you, we started off as a bunch of coffee-obsessed nerds. As engineers, this is how we see ourselves can use our expertise to contribute while enjoying what we do.

Firstly, about the merger between Option-O and Helor Coffee. The mergence has nothing to do with financial or lack thereof, but rather for improved efficiency. By merging the two companies, there is much more we could do with our combined resources. Many redundant administration and processes that could be consolidated have been streamlined. Contrary to the speculations, the mergence afforded us to have a bigger capital pool for R&D, more staff and we now also have capacity for task delegations etc. For some of you who have dealt with us in the recent years, you may notice our customer service and response time has improved dramatically since the mergence - this is just one example as it is just not possible to do everything with limited hands.

As for our company registration status, Option-O LLC is our registered entity in the US to allow us to deal with businesses more easily, both internationally and in the USA. We have the rights and can still operate as Helor Coffee if we wish to. But registering a LLC in USA makes the most sense because most of our business comes from internationally. We are an online business and have served over hundreds of customers since our mergence this year. To our coffee friends in USA, we have Prima Coffee as our long-time partner and distributor for the USA market if you feel more comfortable with a brick and mortar setup.

About the manufacturing origin, yes, our products are manufactured in China but we have our reasons, and the reason is not for cost. Brook and I are both currently living in Melbourne but we do have our ties in China. We both fell in love with the coffee culture here in Australia - Melbourne for me and Canberra for Brook, separately at different times. Anyway, we digress... We know there is a general bad rep for Chinese-made products - it is not the country of origin that makes a product inferior. But that rep came about because many business owners tried to make a quick buck by trying to do everything as cheaply as possible.

We are going by a completely opposite philosophy; we only work with our own trusted manufacturing partners - inherited from Brook's past experience, and we have always approached new suppliers carefully. In fact, if you look at things objectively, there are countless high-end consumer products today that are also made in China. No doubt, Chinese do have the technology to manufacture high-quality products. The question comes down to whether the company is willing to pay for it, or would they rather do it cheaply for quick profit. We want to create long lasting quality products & business so it is no brainer for us to not skimp to get much better-quality outcomes.

Another big reason for the manufacturing location is the ease of access to various suppliers and manufacturing facilities. We could not believe how much efficiency is gained by just being in close proximity to the heart of manufacturing hotspots. We did look into manufacturing in Australia, but things that would be done in weeks in Australia will only take days instead. This is not a knock on Australia at all, its a country that we love after all! But when you have hundreds, if not thousands of manufacturers and suppliers gathered in one spot, it is an unfair advantage. Shipping cost is another big reason - to ship our HSM for example, it would cost 3 times more than what we charge currently. And of course, all these savings are being passed onto you - our coffee fellows. We maintain a reasonable margin to stay competitive and we grow by optimising the manufacturing process and making the process more efficient, but spend the money where it matters - the end product quality.

That's mainly all there is to know about us. One thing for sure is that we are here to stay and we are not going away anytime soon. In fact, we have more new products in the pipeline that we will be revealing over the next few years. With all these investments and efforts in product design and in business development, we hope it showed that we are keen to establish ourselves and that you can feel our passion through using our products.

As for the Lagom P64, we appreciate the enthusiasm shown here on HB forum. This is the second product that we co-designed together and we thought it's a one-of-its kind, not limited to just its price point, but beyond that. We had the option of choosing the easier route by using yet another bigger flat burrs - we started out with the largest 83m conical burrs after all. But when we found that the brew burrs from SSP makes a huge difference to the coffee that we love despite its size - we love lighter roasts by the way, we were dead set to create a high-end domestic grinder that makes it shine. But of course, as the inventor, we can be biased. We would love to hear what you think about the grinder, especially come this November/December!

We have always wanted to engage but had worried about violating posting rule. We know there is no-commercial rule here - it is a fair rule and we can understand why. But we hope this is OK as we feel there is a need to clarify the facts. But let's not be stranger and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us, whether through our website or email. We hope the above explained where we were from and answered some of the questions here. We are of course also grateful to HB for providing such a platform for all these to be possible.
★★ Quite Helpful

espressoking

#72: Post by espressoking » Oct 02, 2019, 10:02 am

Hayden, thanks a lot for this clarification post! As an owner of the Helor Flux - super happy with it for medium and darker roasts - and one of the folks who pre-ordered the Lagom P64, I am really looking forward to what's coming next 8) .

5280grindz

#73: Post by 5280grindz » Oct 02, 2019, 10:50 am

espressoking wrote:It is actually Helor, not Helior.
Why is a deposit a bad choice? Kafatek follows the same approach ("Non-refundable deposit for the Monolith Flat MAX espresso grinder ...").
Would you say Denis chose the wrong path as well then?
And what about Kickstarter then?
It's a typo. Don't be ridiculous.

Denis has refunded deposits, his products are well known, and he takes care of customers. These guys are a "new" organization, known but unknown, zero reviews and zero Lagom64s shipped. First thing they should've done is get review product out there before opening up preorders. It's a good market development move and establishes credibility. China makes great products, as long as you stay on top of your suppliers with good QC/QA processes, so I don't have any issue with that.

You have a chance to back out and protections are better with Kickstarter/Indiegogo after some of the debacles. They're going customer direct which is a smart business move but presents different challenges.

I hopped on niche after they started to ship and initial feedback was good. I do think the reviews by some of the thought leaders here and the James Hoffman review pushed Niche Zero sales into overdrive (*hint/nudge Hayden).

I think it's good Hayden dropped in to comment. I prefer med to med light/darker light roasts so the grinder is right up my alley. The design looks truly great, logical and aesthetically pleasing.

espressoking

#74: Post by espressoking » Oct 02, 2019, 12:24 pm

5280grindz wrote: Denis has refunded deposits, his products are well known, and he takes care of customers.
Still it says "non-refundable" on the shop page and you don't know whether Helor / Option-O refunds as well in the unlikely event. So I don't get your argument here. For reputation/credibility, see the following.
5280grindz wrote: These guys are a "new" organization, known but unknown, zero reviews and zero Lagom64s shipped.
I thought we had this discussion already (see Lagom P64 Flat (Option-O)). Helor / Option-O shipped many products already: Helor 101, Helor 106, Helor 108 and the HSM. Most of them are even quite known and discussed / reviewed here and in other international forums:
HSM: Helor Stance Motor - a 83mm conical single dosing grinder - First Look
Flux: The Helor Flux Grinder Review
101: Unofficial technical guide for Helor 101 Hand Grinder [User Manual]
and https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/helor/helor-101 (review video)

So given that track record, engineering experience and network in China, I don't see a credibility issue.
5280grindz wrote: I hopped on niche after they started to ship and initial feedback was good. I do think the reviews by some of the thought leaders here and the James Hoffman review pushed Niche Zero sales into overdrive (*hint/nudge Hayden).
So you are more of an "early adopter/first majority" than an "innovator". Fair enough.

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Jake_G
Team HB

#75: Post by Jake_G » Oct 02, 2019, 12:32 pm

option.o wrote:Hi all

It's Hayden here!
Hayden and Brook,

Welcome to HB!

I appreciate you taking the time to reach out and set the record straight regarding your business model and product lines.

It seems that you have already read and understand the Vendor participation in the forums, but if you have any questions regarding what you can and cannot post in the public forums, please review it again.

If you would like to be able to speak more freely about your products and encourage further conversation, please reach out to Dan about posting in the Marketplace.

Cheers!

- Jake

hnns

#76: Post by hnns » Oct 04, 2019, 6:30 pm

rimblas wrote:Now that's the funnel I wish I had on the HSM.
Absolutely. This is way better. An asymmetrical version of this would be awesome for the HSM.. :shock:

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redbone

#77: Post by redbone » Oct 07, 2019, 2:02 pm

Don't see considerable savings here if any to justify manufacturing in China vs Australia. Similar pricing to what could be purchased from Italy, Germany, Spain, U.S.A. or Taiwan.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

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instantkamera

#78: Post by instantkamera » Oct 08, 2019, 12:17 pm

redbone wrote:Don't see considerable savings here if any to justify manufacturing in China. Similar pricing to what could be purchased from Italy, Germany, U.S.A. or even Taiwan.
Well since they themselves said:

About the manufacturing origin, yes, our products are manufactured in China but we have our reasons, and the reason is not for cost.
And then proceeded to explain what those reasons are, your comment seems unnecessary, unless you have a more clear point to make.

User avatar
redbone

#79: Post by redbone » Oct 08, 2019, 2:31 pm

instantkamera wrote:Well since they themselves said:




And then proceeded to explain what those reasons are, your comment seems unnecessary, unless you have a more clear point to make.
I read their statement differently as it is contradictory considering they mentioned cost and passed on savings statement. Further they are based in Australia "Shipping cost is another big reason - to ship our HSM for example, it would cost 3 times more than what we charge currently. And of course, all these savings are being passed onto you - our coffee......"

China is hardly associated with quality versus other professional or prosumer grinder producing countries. Items are produced in China solely based on price. Company I work for has many items made in China based on costs that we transfer to customers in order to remain competitive. Shipping takes longer, paper work is more complicated, we require a brokerage firm and often we receive skids that fail quality control but the price seems to justify the loss.

At listed price I don't see justification for Chinese production or saving for the consumer. To put things in perspective a Monolith Titan Conical Monolith Conical is $1950 + actual shipping cost and designed and built in Seattle, USA. YMMV.

N.B. as per their website "We are a team of design engineers based in Melbourne, Australia."
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

discsinthesky

#80: Post by discsinthesky » Oct 08, 2019, 3:18 pm

redbone wrote:I read their statement differently as it is contradictory considering they mentioned cost and passed on savings statement "Shipping cost is another big reason - to ship our HSM for example, it would cost 3 times more than what we charge currently. And of course, all these savings are being passed onto you - our coffee......"

China is hardly associated with quality versus other professional or prosumer grinder producing countries. Items are produced in China solely based on price. Company I work for has many items made in China based on costs that we transfer to customers in order to remain competitive. Shipping takes longer, paper work is more complicated and we require a brokerage firm and often we receive skids that fail quality control but the price seems to justify the loss. At listed price I don't see justification for Chinese production or saving for the consumer. To put things in perspective a Monolith Titan Conical Monolith Conical is $1950 + actual shipping cost and designed and built in Seattle, USA. YMMV.
And the Monolith Flat, which is more comparable (at least in the sense that they are both flat burr grinders), is $2450 + shipping and can be difficult to actually purchase.