Londinium R vs Quickmill Achille for Italian Roasts

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Phaedrus

Postby Phaedrus » Oct 08, 2018, 10:26 pm

I didn't want to further derail the "Londinium for Light Roast" thread, so I figured I'd start a new one. Acidity is something I can't deal with in coffee, so I've been rotating the following coffees: Kimbo Superior, Lusso GMC, Mr. Espresso Organic Neo and Vivace Dolce. Since my mind was blown that the LR's preinfusion system is best disabled for medium to dark roast Italian blends, I'm starting to re-evaluate my decision to pick up an LR for Christmas. Since I'm about a 90 minute drive from Chris Coffee, the natural alternative to the LR appears to be the QuickMill Achille. It's similar in many ways to the LR: it uses a pressure stat, simple timeless design, 58mm group head, hx/thermosiphon design (please correct me if the Achille uses something else). Obviously it differs in the sense that the Achille can only do boiler pressure preinfusion and it appears to use a dual spring system, it also has a significantly larger boiler, while being less expensive. However, while I can find tons of praise about the LR on HB and other sites, I've only found two HBers that have (had?) one. So what say you HBers, how should I scratch this lever itch that just won't go away?

RyanP

Postby RyanP » replying to Phaedrus » Oct 08, 2018, 10:29 pm

You wouldn't disable LR's preinfusion for medium to med-dark roasts. You'd just lower the PI pressure so that you can achieve a lower water temp. It'll work just fine.

Paolo

Postby Paolo » Oct 08, 2018, 11:20 pm

Hi Rob,
Regarding the QM Achille....
I have had a QM Achille from new (6 years).
I have had zero experience with a Londinium.

My Achille:-
*came with double springs installed.
*takes 25 minutes to reach group warmup from cold.
*'suffers' from TS stall.
*makes great shots.
*is very noisy when the pump engages to refill the boiler. (I use mine on the tank.)

I have fitted Gabor's fabulous pressure-profiling gauge kit to my machine. (Thanks, Gabor! :D )
When I did this, I removed the inner spring. Its shots now peak around 8.5bar.

The TS stall is observable with a stick-on thermo strip...you need one of these. After a shot you just pull the lever to flush grounds from the screen...this brings the group up to temperature again. No drama involved with the stall at all.

All of the bodywork is heavy grade stainless steel. With the rotary pump for ballast, it weighs a ton!

I can't see myself ever moving this one on.

Let me know if you have any questions.

lordjeebus

Postby lordjeebus » Oct 09, 2018, 5:47 pm

I get great espresso with my LR and Vivace Dolce. I've had no need to adjust the preinfusion pressure from 3 bar. I preinfuse for only a few seconds, compared to 8-20 seconds for light roasts.

Phaedrus

Postby Phaedrus » Oct 09, 2018, 6:32 pm

RyanP wrote:You wouldn't disable LR's preinfusion for medium to med-dark roasts. You'd just lower the PI pressure so that you can achieve a lower water temp. It'll work just fine.


So lowering the preinfusion pressure will in turn lower the brew temp? I didn't realize the LR delivered brew temps much over 200 degrees F.

Phaedrus

Postby Phaedrus » Oct 09, 2018, 6:38 pm

lordjeebus wrote:I get great espresso with my LR and Vivace Dolce. I've had no need to adjust the preinfusion pressure from 3 bar. I preinfuse for only a few seconds, compared to 8-20 seconds for light roasts.


This is what I originally thought, thank you for confirming it. What attracts me to the LR is the dead simple, "walk up and pull" design. After a bad experience with a pressure profiling machine, I realized that I just want to make good espresso with a minimum of fiddling and with the least amount of electronics possible. (that's saying a lot for an IT guy by the way)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to changing the PI pressure, but from what I've read, it involves cracking a plastic seal on the Ceme pressurestat and then adjusting it blind. Without a custom portafilter with a pressure gauge, there's no way to tell what the new PI pressure is. All you have is your taste buds (for better or worse). Thank you again for your response.

Phaedrus

Postby Phaedrus » Oct 09, 2018, 6:45 pm

Paolo wrote:Hi Rob,
Regarding the QM Achille....
I have had a QM Achille from new (6 years).
I have had zero experience with a Londinium.

My Achille:-
*came with double springs installed.
*takes 25 minutes to reach group warmup from cold.
*'suffers' from TS stall.
*makes great shots.
*is very noisy when the pump engages to refill the boiler. (I use mine on the tank.)

I have fitted Gabor's fabulous pressure-profiling gauge kit to my machine. (Thanks, Gabor! :D )
When I did this, I removed the inner spring. Its shots now peak around 8.5bar.

The TS stall is observable with a stick-on thermo strip...you need one of these. After a shot you just pull the lever to flush grounds from the screen...this brings the group up to temperature again. No drama involved with the stall at all.

All of the bodywork is heavy grade stainless steel. With the rotary pump for ballast, it weighs a ton!

I can't see myself ever moving this one on.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Thank you Paolo, the Achille is certainly the less expensive choice (assuming I can still get it) and has local support. Were the shots not up to par when you had the original dual spring setup (12 I imagine)? I'm not sure I want to mess with springs on a brand new machine, but that seems secondary to the TS stall you mentioned. Is it simply a matter of flushing after a shot to avoid the stall? I would imagine the flush would be done after a shot to clear the screen anyway, so when you refer to "no drama" is that what you mean? I certainly want to avoid any machine that will bring any drama to my household. In my Italian household, there's no capacity for any more Italian divas!!

Paolo

Postby Paolo » Oct 09, 2018, 7:06 pm

Yes..just a quick flush to clear away old dregs from the screen and stall is eliminated.

Shots with double springs were great!
It's just that (with Gabor's gauge) it's easier to add a bit of pressure at the beginning of a shot by assisting the lever than retarding the lever for most of it.

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pj.walczak

Postby pj.walczak » Oct 10, 2018, 1:25 am

When you order LR you can ask for pstat that is set up at factory to 1.5 bar.
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Pawel

User avatar
MB

Postby MB » Oct 10, 2018, 2:05 am

I adjusted my LR, and it didn't involve "cracking" as I just turned a slotted head with a screw driver. Yes it was painted, so there was a slight amount of resistance, but very minimal. The angle of the lever catch gives you an idea of what the PI pressure is. At 45 degrees, it's suited to darker roasts. Also, at the lower end, you will eventually observe that the pump is not coming on for the assist, so you can use that and count turns on the adjuster to approximate the pressure. Also, as mentioned you can shorten or lengthen the preinfusion time, since the adjustment screw isn't really meant to be routinely tinkered with. Taste is the ultimate guide.
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