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Cat Cafe with some questions about LI vs LI-P


My name is Ben, and we're opening a cat cafe in the midwest United States (St. Louis to be exact). A cat cafe is obviously quite unique (yes live cats will be hanging out with you while you sip your coffee) and so we have tried to make many aspects of the cafe unique to match. Now I'm no espresso aficionado, but I do have an appreciation for something that is handcrafted with care and that goes for both machines and what they produce. I decided we had to have a lever machine. After much research I landed on Londinium and I'm glad to say I feel quite confident that I'm buying the best, and I'm committed to learning (and teaching) the skill.

Now my questions have to do with the LI vs the LI-P in a commercial settings. I'm afraid our budget dictates that we will be buying the LI, but I'm curious, what exactly makes the LI-P better and how sorely we will be missing those features? For context, we are not an espresso bar that will be pulling shots all day long. We are a boutique cafe that offers espresso drinks alongside a wide variety of other international beverages (vietnamese iced coffee, thai tea, indian badam drink, etc).

Other questions include:
Can the LI be plumbed?
Can the 220v with UK plug be adapted for 220v U.S.? (I've heard that 220v boilers are faster and more efficient, so I'm fine putting in the 220v line)
Have other U.S. buyers had to pay tariff or customs?
Is there anything I'm forgetting to ask?

Getting very excited to take the next step and make a purchase!


  • hi ben

    I'm just rushing out the door, so i apologise for my brevity in advance

    1. yes the L1 can be plumbed and you will find the kit in the accessories area of our store

    2. yes, you chop the UK plug off and wire on a NEMA6-15 plug, which is the one for the USA that is intended for 240V appliances up to 15A. if your local regulations demand that a registered electrician perform such a task, please comply

    3. yes, absolutely, but unlike south america, south africa, and places like malaysia and thailand the rate of tariff and tax into the US is light

    4. how hard is your water/ what is its source and composition?


  • Thanks Reiss!

    St. Louis water is quite excellent! It's actually won Best Tasting City Water in America.

    As far as composition, it is city water sourced from local rivers and treated. It tends to be a little on the hard side due to an abundance of limestone in the area. I haven't done a test myself, but here is some data I found for St. Louis water:

    Numbers are parts per million
    Mg 7.15 Ca 29.50 Na 19.50 K 5.75

    More extensive mineral data can be found here:

    Thanks for your help!
  • I think we're pretty much ready to pull the trigger on the LI (or lever as it were). I guess I just want to know if there are any concerns with using the LI in a cafe setting as described. Again, it won't be pulling 100 shots a day, not even close, but it will see pretty consistent daily use.

    I'm also wondering if our water will need to be filtered. I guess maybe I should have a test run. Is there a certain threshold of specific minerals to look for?

    Thanks again for all the help!
  • hi ben

    i did click on the link to that pdf you included in your previous post, but it seems that it is not accessible to the public - you will need to copy and paste the pdf into this forum i think so it is a standalone file

    if you can show me the composition for your water i will do my best to answer your question

    kind regards

  • If I edit the link to change "https" into "http" it works but the forum software re-inserts the "https" so that does not solve it.

    I attach the PDF

    Attached files

    ccr.pdf (287.8 KB) 
  • Cheers Frans!

    Based on that data I'd say you will need to soften your water

    A good rule of thumb is to look for limescale deposits on your hot taps, shower rose, and electric jug

    If deposits are visible there then you know you will need to soften your water

    If not, you're all good!

  • Thanks Reiss, and much thanks Frans for helping with the link!

    I do see some limescale on fixtures, so it would probably be safest to soften the water a bit. I think we're going to hold off on plumbing the unit to see how much volume we do with it, so in the meantime I might try a handheld filter/pitcher. Can I add the in-tank filtering system at any time?

    I think we'll be placing our order this afternoon. Is there anything else I should know about the LI?
    Planning on buying the LI, a full service kit, and a tamp.

    Thanks again for taking the time to answer these questions!
  • hi ben

    we supply every L1 with a BestWater M softening and filtering cartridge which fits right into the water box

    extra cartridges are available in our webstore here

    the cartridge needs to be changed at least once a year (i have had owners contact me advising that they have had their L1 for 3 years, but why has their coffee has a developed a funny taste lately? half joking i asked if they had changed the BestWater cartridge that we supplied the machine with and they informed me that they were still running the original cartridge)

    when i lived in london the water was about 250ppm temporary (calcite) hardness from memory and i had to change the cartridge every month

    so a water hardness test kit can be a useful tool for the first few months whilst you gauge how much time passes before the cartridge is exhausted (at which point it needs to be changed as it ceases to offer any softening of the water and you are exposed to limescale formation)

    in time you will want to move to a larger under bench water treatment unit, as whilst the fixed setup costs are obviously greater the ongoing variable cost is much less than the small in tank cartridges which are relatively expensive

    kind regards

  • Order placed! Thank you Reiss! We can't wait! =^.^=
  • hi ben

    yes, thank you for your order which i have placed with the factory just now

    kind regards

  • Thanks Reiss!

    Will I be sent a tracking number once the order has shipped? Is it being built in the factory, or is it off the shelf?

  • hi ben

    yes, absolutely - two in fact; one from our system and another from DHL

    we have this item in stock

    kind regards

  • Hey Reiss,

    Sorry to bother, but it seems our order hasn't shipped yet. Is this normal? When you said it was in stock I figured it might take a day or two for packaging, but it's been a full week so I just thought I'd check in.

    Again, sorry to bother, just anxious to get our machine!

  • hi ben

    i will make enquiry about your order with the factory when they come online later today (friday)

    our despatch guy is on leave this week, but that should not have prevented us getting your machine despatched as there are others who can cover for him

    kind regards

  • Sorted. You will correspondence to explain in your mailbox. Ships today.
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