La Marzocco has meticulously crafted many espresso machines integral to business internationally. If you’re planning on adding an espresso machine to your establishment, a La Marzocco model is a dependable choice.
The GS3 and Linea PB are two examples of La Marzocco at its finest. Which one should you choose?
In this guide, we’ll answer that question and more by comparing the La Marzocco GS3 vs Linea PB.
- Features the GS3 and Linea PB both have
- Features that are different between these machines
- How you’ll know which one to choose
Let’s dive into the analysis.
La Marzocco GS3 Volumetric
As an optional pour-over or direct-connect machine, the GS3 Volumetric is extremely adaptable. You could easily excel with this machine in a home, small office, or restaurant environment.
Boasting two groups and two gigantic boilers, the Linea PB 2 Group is perfect for booming businesses. This espresso machine is the perfect match for you if you have to support frequent rushes of customers.
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Double Boiler System
These La Marzocco models use a double boiler design.
What does that mean to you? To sum it up, it means speed.
Some espresso machines are unable to simultaneously froth milk and brew espresso. As you can imagine, this can slow down the drink-making process, which can be frustrating for customers.
But because the GS3 and Linea PB have separate boilers for steaming and brewing, they can handle both these functions at the same time. This makes it possible for them to create high-quality drinks in almost no time at all.
Automatic Machine Type
The same basic machine type is shared by the GS3 Volumetric and Linea PB: automatic.
Simply put, they make brewing espresso easier for beginners by automating the duration of the espresso extraction for you. Instead of having to carefully time the length of the brew cycle yourself, the GS3 and Linea PB will end it for you at the right time.
Beginners will be able to master these espresso machines quickly, reducing the time you or your employees need to train on it.
PID Temperature Controllers
The more aspects you can control, the more precise you can be in making the perfect espresso.
That’s why the GS3 and the Linea PB have PID temperature controllers. Predictably, what the temperature controllers do is allow you to make tweaks to the temperature.
Once you’ve chosen a temperature, the controllers will maintain it by making their own automatic adjustments and watching variables.
Your espresso will be shielded from unexpected changes in temperature, leading to a boosted consistency in quality.
A beautiful, crystal-clear LCD display can be found on either the GS3 Volumetric or Linea PB.
You or your employees will have no issues understanding and navigating through these intuitive displays.
There will be no need to hunt through confusing options or squint at a hard-to-read menu here.
Like other commercial-grade appliances, espresso machines can be certified by various agencies for specific reasons.
The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is one example of an agency that does some of these certifications. An espresso machine with an NSF certification signals to you or to health inspectors that your machine meets the standards of a respected agency.
It may not be strictly necessary for you to have these certifications, but they can give you peace of mind.
It’s like an extra guarantee that you’re making a quality investment.
Put the GS3 Volumetric and Linea PB next to each other, and you’ll probably notice one difference right away: their size.
The Linea PB 2 Group is 21 inches high, 28 inches wide, and 23 inches long. In comparison, the GS3 Volumetric is 15 inches high, 16 inches wide, and 21 inches long.
This difference is of the utmost importance in some homes and businesses. If you have many appliances in your kitchen or business, you may not have as much room to work worth.
To prevent you from having to deal with the hassle of completely rearranging your space, make sure you factor in the dimensions of an espresso machine if that’s a concern for you.
If you had these espresso machines beside each other, their boiler capacity isn’t something you’d see right away, but you’d definitely notice it if you were making drinks continuously.
The GS3 has a 1.5-liter coffee boiler and a 3.5-liter steam boiler. Each boiler is a significant size, and won’t run out of energy during heavy use.
But the Linea PB takes that already generous capacity and more than doubles it. With a 3.4-liter coffee boiler and 7-liter steam boiler, it’s an espresso machine that clearly means all business.
Cafes, coffee shops, or restaurants that need to push out a high number of espresso drinks every day will find that the Linea PB can easily keep up with the demand.
Number of Groups
Beyond boiler capacity, the number of groups an espresso machine has affects its speed. Espresso comes from the group, so the more you have, the more espresso can brew at once.
In this comparison, the Linea PB 2 Group is being used. It has twice the groups of the GS3’s single-group design, which allows you to whip through twice as many drinks.
However, it is possible to get the Linea PB in 3- or even 4-group configurations, too. At the end of the day, this is a machine clearly designed for speed.
You’ll be able to fly through lines of orders on the La Marzocco Linea PB.
Number of Steam Wands
Whether you’re going to be creating creamy lattes or cappuccinos from home or for customers, you’re going to need frothed milk.
Steam wands on either the GS3 or Linea PB make generating foamed milk simple. In this comparison, however, the Linea PB steps it up a bit by having two different steam wands.
Just as how two groups lets you brew double the espresso, two steam wands lets you steam twice as much milk. You could even comfortably have two baristas working at the machine at the same time.
La Marzocco GS3 Optional Plumb-in or Pour-Over
Usually, more choices tends to be better. With the GS3, you get another choice: using the machine as a direct-connect or pour-over configuration.
This adaptability puts the mobility of pour-over machines and the convenience of direct-connect machines within your grasp.
If you’re a mobile business like a coffee cart, or if you can’t attach it to a water line at home, then you can use it as a pour-over machine that you refill by hand.
But if you’re using it in a stationary establishment, then you can use it as a direct-connect machine hooked up to a water line. Then it will refill itself automatically, letting your employees focus on customer service.
La Marzocco Linea PB Barista Lights
Don’t let low-light conditions prevent you or your employees from making tasty beverages.
Beautifully illuminating the Linea PB is a set of barista lights right by the group head. No matter how dim the background is, you’ll always be able to see what you’re doing.
Beyond making it possible to make top-notch drinks in dark environments, the lights promote safety. It would otherwise be risky to brew hot espresso in a low-light setting.
But with the Linea PB, dimming the lights doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or safety.
La Marzocco GS3 Cool Touch Steam Wand
If you have a lot of experience with espresso machines, you’ll probably be familiar with painful steam wand burns.
Because steam wands traditionally get hot during use, users all over the world learned to fear cleaning or using them. The answer to this dilemma is the GS3’s cool touch steam wand design.
Your or your employees will never need to fear using this espresso machine. Even during your most intense periods of use, you’ll be able to comfortably froth milk and clean the steam wand.
La Marzocco Linea PB Eco Mode
Unlike some appliances, the Linea PB’s environmentally friendly nature won’t increase your utility bills.
An eco mode in the Linea PB reduces the boiler temperatures when the machine is idle for an extended period of time. Since it doesn’t have to constantly maintain temperature, its energy consumption is dropped.
Basically, the Linea PB works smarter, not harder.
Which one should you choose?
When it comes to deciding between the GS3 and Linea PB, there are some stark differences between them that make the choice pretty straightforward.
For example, business with a high volume of espresso orders will likely prefer the Linea PB. With extra anywhere from 2-4 groups and a drastically increased boiler size, this model can handle crowds without breaking a sweat.
The GS3 Volumetric would be the better choice in a home, smaller business, or a mobile company. This is because of its adaptable plumb-in or pour-over design that will allow you to move the machine wherever you need.
It also costs significantly less than the Linea PB. If you need a more affordable model and don’t require the advanced extras of the Linea PB, than the GS3 is a wise selection.
The bottom line is:
Both of these are high-end espresso machines that will make accordingly top-quality espresso.
The reason one or the other may be right for you will be because of your budget, the size of your business, how many drinks you’ll be making on average, and whether you could use the portability of a pour-over machine.
If you're interested in the La Marzocco Linea PB, we're pleased to offer the two-group configuration in our store for $16,300.
Unfortunately, we do not currently carry the GS3 Volumetric in our store. If you like the look of the GS3 Volumetric, though, the La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi II is an excellent dual boiler alternative.
Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team
Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.