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Coffee machine for a coffee cart

Greetings everybody,

I've been lurking about on these boards for some time now, familiarizing myself with what can at times feel like a daunting level of knowledge, but still very fun to learn about.

Right now, I'm putting together a business plan to open what will hopefully be the first of one fine fleet of cafe trikes in Puerto Rico. Neither my partner nor I are forum-level experts in the gustation of coffee, but we've both worked with automatic machines, we're quick studies, we love coffee, and we have a lot of confidence in the model we are designing.

I've more or less concretized the trike infrastructure save for the obvious centerpiece (the lever machine) where I am still vacillating a bit. Puerto Rico is 120v, as are just about all the quiet, 100lbs or less generators I've been researching, which means my options are more or less limited to the Londinium 1 or what are known as 'dual-fuel' models that run directly hosed to propane tanks. In an ideal world, the L1-P would offer a pilot-light propane version (What do you think, Reiss?) directly geared to the mobile market, which I expect will only continue to grow, especially in the warmer regions of the world, but I say all this with a pretty high level of ignorance regarding the engineering of said machines and with absolutely zero knowledge of how consistent/reliable these 'dual-fuel' options really are. WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY QUESTIONS:

Of the 'dual-fuel' models, the 1 and 2 group lever Fracinos seem the most promising. From what I've gathered through this forum and others, there is some overlap/collaboration between Fracino and Londinium but to what degree they are engineered/outfitted similarly I don't know. The impression I get is that Reiss' design is ground-up idiosyncratic to which I am left wondering about Fracino's design if Reiss saw the necessity to launch his own models. Can anyone here speak to Fracino's quality in relation to Londinium, understanding that both are high-quality works of real dedication?

Since I'm okay limiting doses below 18g and since I don't mind the intimate size of the L1 (it will be on an equally intimately-scaled trike after all), my only real concerns about the Londinium 1 are what I have read re. it giving less body than the L 2 3 design (espresso body is something I hold dear) and how it will hold up in a commercial environment where I'm calculating to pull generally 10-20 shots an hour, but where I'd like to feel comfortable doing a lot of consecutive shots at peak times. I've read Reiss mention that the L1 can rip 12 consecutive shots with no problem (which is awesome), but I'd love to hear any words of wisdom about the capacity of the boiler to stay temperature and pressure stabilized in a commercial environment (albeit a relaxed, tropical one in a shady park). The ~15 minute warm-up period, among many other advantages, has me more or less zeroed-in on the Londinium 1, but I'm really open to whatever knowledge you guys are willing to share with a young gun looking to gain some traction in this slippery world.


  • hey man

    thanks for the enquiry

    i was going to do a dual fuel machine but i decided against it for two reasons

    1. they are trickier to support at a distance - there are a lot more sub systems and peripheral devices that can cause issues and this can make it very time consuming to resolve remotely

    2. i was concerned as to whether a thermosiphon group would get hot enough outside in a northern european winter

    so i shelved those plans

    i think you are correct in identifying Fracino's dual fuel offering as one of the best available. It is a dipper system, not thermosiphon, so it is more likely to cope with outdoor winter temperatures

    if you want cool, an end to end system right out of the box, you should also consider Velopresso, a cycle powered solution
  • very cool--thanks Reiss,

    Out of curiosity, would an exclusively propane-fueled machine have the same issue with overcomplexity of sub systems/peripheral devices or is it the dual-fuel option that creates that messiness?

    Also, I read in the forums that you described the Londinium 1 as low pressure, high flow in comparison to the inverse for the L1-P/2/3 and I was wondering how either the plumb-in (w/flojet) or reservoir model (w/ standard pump) influence that dynamic and whether either one is more suited to consecutive shot work.

    The Velopresso is a pretty wild design (the pedal-powered grinder in particular is something else). Certainly something to study...
  • my comments didn't relate to the dual fuel aspect, or anything to do with 'the bit' we would be selling

    my concern lies with the third party systems, and possibly the use of it outside in extreme weather conditions and then owners getting unexpected results and me being called upon to solve them

    i just don't have the bandwidth to deal with that level of complexity

    i need our machines to be in a stable environment with a limited number of variables

    additionally i am comfortable working with electricity, but i have no experience of using gas, the effect of different delivery pressures, different mixtures of gas (i.e. differing calorific content), machines being run off flojets, etc, etc

    its just a lot of additional complexity which would most likely consume 80% of my resources for 20% of the reward

    it is very important that i do not take on any additional activities that have the potential to compromise my core business. so you will see us get even more into coffee roasting and you will see us release additional lever machines next year, but very closely related to our current offering

    larger enterprises, or small enterprises dedicated to this kind of activity (as Velopresso are) are much better placed to look after your needs i think
  • word up, thank ya Reiss!
  • Thats an old post, which machine is best now a days.
  • hi michael

    is your question which machine is best to run on a coffee cart?

    kind regards

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