The Lawful Good is all about making, drinking and experiencing good coffee at home. We're on a mission to show like-minded coffee-lovers how to build affordable home coffee corners to make delicious drinks and experiment with new brews.
When we at TLG first started out on our coffee journeys, we had no access to semi-automatic espresso machines. In order to practice our craft, we looked around in the market and found that many excellent professional-grade semi-automatic machines were available -- brands such as Breville, Gaggia, Rocket, Lelit, La Marzocco etc.
However, we quickly realised that even the most affordable of the genuine espresso machines ran into the thousands of dollars. As beginner baristas, we weren't ready to spend thousands on a new hobby.
Thankfully, a café-owner friend introduced us to the world of Chinese coffee machines -- he had been using a Gemilai (one of the most popular Chinese home espresso machine brands in China) machine at home for over a year making fantastic coffee reliably and consistently, and at a fraction of the price of the S$18,000 machine that he worked with in his café.
We were instantly hooked. We realised that we could set up our own little home espresso corners to practice our craft, using tools similar to those used by professionals (not those electronics store coffee machines) from as little as S$400!
In the more than a year since we bought our machines, we haven't been disappointed. Not one of our machines have required servicing or repairs, and all of them are still putting out great coffee cup after cup, day after day.
We wanted to share the joy of our coffee corners with as many people as people, but after talking to many of our friends and other coffee lovers, we found that many in Singapore are wary of buying electronic appliances directly from China because of concerns over quality and warranty.
This is why we set up TLG. We enable you to build your home coffee corner and purchase one of our espresso machines with peace of mind, knowing that you'll be able to come to us in Singapore if there's a problem with the machine, or if you just need some help. You won't need to worry about dealing with the manufacturer in China many thousands of kilometres away or the costs of shipping your machine back to utilise the manufacturer's warranty (if even) -- we shoulder that burden for you.
Because Gemilai machines are what we ourselves first used, and because Gemilai has impressed with their capability, durability and value, we currently only stock Gemilai machines. That said, we're exploring other brands as well, and will continually look to expand our offerings, but only to include models and brands which we know are reliable and that offer great value.
All this is why we are committed to The TLG Assurance, something which most (if not all) other sellers on various platforms will not undertake. Read more about The TLG Assurance here.
So, are TLG’s espresso machines different from more expensive espresso machines from conventional brands?
Well, that depends on what you’re looking for! For a beginner barista trying to practise skills while making good coffee, you’ll find that the workflow, and the knowledge and skills you’ll practice, are exactly the same. You’ll be able to make café-standard espresso drinks with our machines.
For intermediate baristas, you’ll find the most noticeable improvement comes with investment in a better grinder rather than a more expensive espresso machine. As such, we think that our machines will happily see you through this phase of your coffee journey as well. While we've been testing out grinders from a number of Chinese brands, we haven't found a grinder that we're willing to sell, but keep checking back! In the meantime you may want to check out one of the more conventional grinders (for espresso, you may want to look at Baratza, Niche, Specialita, Wilfa, XeoLeo etc.).
For advanced baristas… where do we begin!! TLG’s (current) machines feature variable brewing pressures (9 to 15 bars) and fixed brewing temperatures (92 degrees Celsius) – you may want to get a machine with adjustable fixed brewing pressure or adjustable temperature. For these machines, you'll probably need to look to one of the more conventional brands. We also only carry thermoblock or single boiler machines at the moment – we think double boilers are overkill for a home setup!
Talk to us
Thank you for reading to the end, and for giving us the chance to share our story with you. We hope that you'll give us a chance and help us continue doing what we do. If you have any coffee-related questions, whether about our products or anything else, just drop us a message and we'll do our best to help you out. :)
The TLG Team