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Legend Espresso News

Number One Twenty Four

Hey everyone, it’s been quite a ride since our last update, and we’re eager to share the latest with you. Below, we’ve broken down the highlights into easy-to-follow sections. One thing’s for sure: we’re currently writing a new chapter in the history of Legend Espresso in many respects.

Frankenstein two

One of the key players in this new chapter is our completely rebuilt prototype – ‘Frankenstein Two’. We’ve been working on it for quite some time, and to be honest, our goal was to have it fully functional by the end of October for the Festival. We didn’t quite make it to the finish line, but we were still able to showcase it. Now, it’s up and running, fully immersed in the testing process.

Since then, the machine has already prepared over 750 (seven hundred and fifty) espressos, americanos, and café crèmes in numerous test runs – under test conditions, of course, meaning we’re not pouring hundreds of coffee drinks down the drain. Instead, we’re using a specially prepared portafilter equipped with multiple sensors, mimicking the behavior of one filled with ground espresso. This allows us to automatically pull, for example, 50 americanos consecutively at different time intervals under real conditions. This entails dispensing 150ml of hot water from the tea spout each time, followed by a group head flush and subsequent espresso extraction.

This method enables us to systematically push the system’s limits and make adjustments as needed.

And these tests are quite encouraging, as it seems theoretically possible to work with two portafilters simultaneously for espresso extraction – always having one in use while filling the other – and our “Frankenstein Two” would consistently deliver espresso with the precision and temperature stability of a high-end commercial machine. Apologies for the casual vibe, guys, but this is seriously awesome!!

Of course, we haven’t just simulated coffee drinks; we’ve also treated ourselves to the occasional espresso or cappuccino because our second prototype now excels in steaming as well. We’ve devised a functional principle that allows us to achieve extraordinary steam power in a very compact space. One of the levers enables us to adjust steam extraction continuously.

That all sounds very promising – and it is, in principle. But there’s still a lot of work ahead of us. With “Frankenstein Two,” we’ve built another prototype – the first one that can technically do pretty much everything our Legend is supposed to do. But it’s still a Frankenstein, both in terms of technical construction and appearance, and not yet a Legend.

We’ve proven that we can build a machine capable of producing top-notch espresso and milk foam with minimal hot water volumes. There are still dozens of tests ahead, and the results will need to clarify an incredible number of details. (If you follow us on Instagram, you might have seen that we’ve even developed a prototype lever mechanism to adjust the feel and functionality of the steam and extraction levers exactly to our expectations).

The culmination of this process will be seen in our Prototype III – the functional prototype.

And one more thing: This will be the first “Legend.” A machine that will not primarily be built directly on the workbench, but will instead be fully developed in CAD beforehand.

Based on our engineers’ experience, there will still be a lot of adjustments, fine-tuning, and testing needed for this prototype before we can move towards production readiness and eventually realize our pre-production prototype with Prototype IV (or prototype series). These machines will already be manufactured in the series process and will serve as the basis for extensive durability tests and the necessary certifications for market approval.

the financing

To be able to take these steps, additional resources are needed initially, and later on, the necessary capital will be required, among other things, to manufacture tools for the series (e.g., molds for the brew head, portafilter, etc.) and to cover the costs of certifications.

For this purpose, there will be two rounds of financing – the first has already started, and the second will follow in 2025.

Before diving into the details, we’d like to highlight once again that with only €24,371 (net), which we were able to generate thanks to the pre-orders from our “Family & Friends” round (#youarethebest), we managed to build two fully functional prototypes! Those of you with a rough idea of product development will surely understand that even ten times this amount is usually considered a conservative estimate for such a project.

Essentially, all of this has only been possible due to the unwavering commitment of the Legend team, who have invested 100% of their efforts into the project because they believe in it.

To convincingly convey all the relevant facts, motivations, as well as our perspective and the potential of our project to potential investors, we have developed a pitch deck that presents all the necessary information in a compact manner. Here’s a brief overview (German):

As mentioned earlier, we are planning two rounds of financing, with the first one currently being the focus. Why two rounds? The first round mainly focuses on the development and associated costs of the aforementioned functional prototype, while the second round concerns the transition to series production and the development of pre-production prototypes.

For the first round, we have set a target amount of €55,000, of which we have already secured nearly half!

the perspective

What’s next? What are the next steps?

As mentioned above, we are still in the midst of the initial testing phase with “Frankenstein Two,” which means there are still several trials ahead. Johannes is programming the test sequences, which will be sent to the machine and allow automated processes to be executed at the push of a button. One of these test protocols, for example, is the “SCA Test,” a routine used by the Specialty Coffee Association to test the performance of high-end espresso machines (among others, for the World Barista Championships). The results also serve as a reference for our system. After completing this initial phase, we will make gradual adjustments and can precisely define the optimizations achieved after each step.

In parallel, the groundwork for Version 2 of our Legend brew group has already been laid out in CAD, and simulations for its thermodynamic behavior are being prepared. Once the above-mentioned tests are fully completed, all relevant results will be incorporated into the design, and the development will continue.

Furthermore, during this time, Version 1 of the Legend user interface will be integrated into the machine. This means that our prototype should not only be capable of everything the finished Legend will be able to do but all controls and displays should also be present and usable.

On the second weekend of March, a large part of the team will gather again in Tübingen. Among other things, discussions will focus on project planning for 2024 and the aforementioned integration of the user interface concept. Additionally, we want to take the opportunity to create new video content showcasing the current prototype – so stay tuned for the first material that shows “Frankenstein Two” in action!

On our Instagram channel, you’ll regularly get insights into the development process in the form of snapshots and short video clips. If you’re on Instagram and haven’t followed us yet – it’s worth it:

To wrap it up, we’ve compiled a few impressive snapshots taken during the construction and initial tests of “Frankenstein Two.

Your Legend Espressionists