Struggling to decide if you should get La Marzocco’s GS3 MP or Linea Mini?
We’ll help you make the choice. In this guide, we’ll clarify the similarities and differences when it comes to the La Marzocco GS3 vs Linea Mini.
By the end, you’ll discover:
- Features shared by the GS3 and Linea Mini and what they mean
- Features that are unique to either one in this comparison
- How each of these features and fulfill your requirements
Let’s jump right in.
La Marzocco GS3 Mechanical Paddle Espresso Machine
Robust steam power and a steam wand that stays cool even during heavy use lead to the GS3 MP being great for small businesses. Otherwise, it would also be a tremendous asset for a high-end home coffee bar.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Espresso Machine
This compact espresso machine is well-suited for home use or in places that aren’t focused on large coffee sales, such as office kitchens or hotels. Get this one if you’re looking for top-quality steam power at a more modest price.
Dual Boiler Heating System
There are a few different ways you can keep an espresso machine up to temperature, but the most common ways in commercial-grade espresso machines are dual boilers or heat exchange (hx) boilers.
Both the GS3 and the Linea Mini use a dual boiler system. One of the greatest benefits to this kind of system is the tremendous steam power it gives an espresso machine.
With one boiler dedicated to brew water and the other to steam water, you’ll be able to froth milk for back-to-back drinks on these machines. You won’t find yourself running high and dry in the middle of drink-making with the GS3 or the Linea Mini.
How many groups an espresso machine has directly affects how many drinks it can make at once. In short, the more groups you have, the more shots of espresso you can make at a time.
The GS3 MP and the Linea Mini each have only a single group. There are a few positive aspects to this design.
For example, having only one group allows these espresso machines to be smaller. This could be a vital feature if you’re a small business that has a bunch of other appliances to fit in, or if your home kitchen is cramped.
Additionally, single-group machines let you really focus on every single shot being made. This increases each shot’s quality, and helps beginners learn the ropes.
When quality is a top-priority aspect for you, pre-infusion will be a feature you’ll adore in either one of these machines.
It’s sort of like an insurance policy that safeguards the taste of your espresso. With a gentle stream of water, pre-infusion soaks the puck before the full pressure of extraction, erasing any errors from tamping.
As a result, you get an espresso with an unprecedented depth of flavor.
At the top of the GS3 MP and the Linea Mini, you’ll find paddles that can be pushed back and forth to start and stop the brew cycle.
One of the best parts of these paddles is how vintage they look. If your business or home aspires to call to mind a classic aesthetic, either one of these espresso machines will check that box for you.
Looks aside, the paddles serve to grant baristas maximum control over the development of the espresso. With the slide of a paddle, you get to decide when to start and stop brewing.
It takes a little training to get used to it, but the end result is a drink that was practically made by hand – and you’ll taste the difference.
Optional Plumb-in or Pour-Over Configurations
Both the Linea Mini and the GS3 MP can be either direct-connect or pour-over machines.
What’s the difference? In short, the answer to that question is convenience.
Used as pour-over machines, you’ll have to refill the Linea Mini or GS3 by hand when their water levels run low. The main benefit to this is the mobility.
Since pour-over machines don’t need to be connected to a water line, you can use them from just about anywhere with an outlet. This is ideal for homes with little room, or small businesses that don’t have a fixed location.
But if water refills are inconvenient for you, you can have the Linea Mini and GS3 plumbed in as direct-connect machines.
Instead of refilling the water tanks manually, the espresso machines will then fill themselves. That’s particularly useful when you’ve got a line of customers, and don’t want to interrupt service with an untimely refill.
You’ve likely heard many times that looks shouldn’t matter, but they’re a perfectly valid consideration when it comes to purchasing an appliance.
Especially if you’re a business – businesses carefully curate a look that can be marketed to their customers.
However, décor can also be critical in a home. It’s likely you’ve planned out a decorating scheme in your home that you wouldn’t want to be disrupted by your espresso machine.
Although both these machines have a gleaming steel face, there are some differences in their overall style. The Linea Mini, for instance, has angled sides that give it a sleek and trim outline.
With its periscope manometer and slender steam and hot water arms, the GS3 conveys an air of grace.
Basically, because of their drastically different looks, don’t feel as if you need to overlook their appearances when choosing between them.
If you’ve got little room to spare, then you should pay attention to the size of a prospective espresso machine.
As you could imagine, in this comparison, the Linea Mini is a bit smaller. It’s 15 inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 21 inches deep.
The GS3 MP, on the other side, is 17.5 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 21 inches deep.
In all honesty, the couple inches shaved off the Linea Mini might not seem like such a big deal. But in some circumstances, every inch of space needs to be accounted for.
La Marzocco GS3 Mechanical Paddle Cool Touch Steam Wand
The longer you’re going to use an espresso machine, the more comfortable you’ll want it to be. That’s what the GS3’s double-walled cool-touch steam wand is for.
No matter how much rigorous use you put the GS3 through, you’ll be safe to touch the steam wand. You won’t need to worry about stinging steam wand burns again.
Beside the measure of safety it guarantees you, the steam wand also helps shorten the time you’ll need to spend cleaning it. Because it stays cool, milk doesn’t immediately burn onto the end of it, so you won’t need to struggle to clean crusted milk off.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Barista Lights
Visually monitoring your espresso is key to the drink-making process.
You can tell a lot about the quality of your espresso just by looking it. You can tell if it’s coming out too fast, if the body isn’t right, or if something is off about the color.
A barista light located right by the group head on the Linea Mini will make monitoring a dream for you. No need to strain your eyes, no matter the light conditions – the Linea Mini will illuminate the espresso machine for you.
La Marzocco GS3 Mechanical Paddle Periscope Manometer
Just like how keeping an eye on the espresso itself is crucial, so is watching the pressure in your espresso machine’s boilers.
The GS3 MP makes this simple by putting a manometer right at the top, above the paddle. You can easily see the brew pressure at any time.
This will tell you a few things at a glance, including whether the machine is ready to brew, or, if it’s consistently not getting the right pressure, if something needs maintenance.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Stepped Wheel Temperature Adjustment
You’ll have some control over the temperature with either of these espresso machines, but the Linea Mini uses a unique stepped adjustment wheel in this regard.
To make adjustments to the temperature, simply turn the wheel on the left side of the La Marzocco Linea Mini. It’s extremely accurate, and it keeps you from having to fight to find the temperature settings elsewhere.
Which one should you buy?
Now that you know a little bit more about the things the La Marzocco GS3 MP or the Linea Mini can offer to you, you’re probably still wondering which one you should buy.
The answer to that question largely depends on you and what you need from your espresso machine. After all, either one could work in a home or small business.
You can start to find your answer by deliberating on the price. At a more modest cost than the GS3, the Linea Mini may be the pick for you if your budget is a bit stricter.
The Linea Mini is also a wise selection if your space is limited. Just like its name, it’s a bit more petite than the GS3.
However, where comfort is a concern, the GS3 wins here. Its manometer is easy to find to help you watch pressure, and its cool touch steam wand take the risk out of long days of work on it.
This is the bottom line:
Get the Linea Mini if you’re short on space or budget, as it’s especially compact and affordable.
However, pick the GS3 if you’re going to spend long hours making many drinks, due to its low-maintenance cool steam wand and brew pressure gauge.
We do not have the GS3 or Linea Mini in our store currently. If you're interested in either one, though, consider the La Spaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi II as an alternative to the Linea Mini and the La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi II as an alternative to the GS3.
The Vivaldi series provides powerful dual boiler machines that are compact in size. Furthermore, they utilize beginner-friendly automatic dosing that allows you to make consistently delicious espresso.
You can also take a look at our La Marzocco collection for alternative options from the same brand.