Finding the right espresso machine for your home can be overwhelming and confusing. There are countless options out there in a huge range of prices and described with equally as many technical terms.
Have you come across the La Marzocco Linea Mini and wondered if it’s a good fit for your needs? It’s undeniable that it’s an excellent espresso machine, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for everyone.
In this La Marzocco Linea Mini review, we’ll guide you through your decision by diving into these topics:
- The Linea Mini’s key features and what those features mean for you.
- How it holds up when compared to other similar machines.
- What types of situations the machine is best for.
- Some background info on La Marzocco and their reputation.
- Pricing information for the machines mentioned in this review.
La Marzocco Linea Mini
La Marzocco is known for making machines that are veritable workhorses, and the Linea Mini is no exception. This machine is prepared to roll out the espresso red carpet for you at home by granting you total control over its internal temperature and pressure gauges to help you monitor its functionality. This is an excellent choice for home baristas that know their way around an espresso machine.
Key Features and Why They’re Important
Poor lighting conditions can interfere with your work as a barista. Without proper lighting, you can all too easily miss visual cues in the development of your espresso, such as the color and consistency.
With the Linea Mini, lack of light will never get in between you and a quality shot of espresso. Underneath the group head, there are built-in lights that illuminate the area immediately around the machine.
These barista lights are intelligently designed. To ensure that the Linea Mini doesn’t consume more energy than it needs to, the lights will only turn on when the machine’s pump is activated.
Temperature Adjustment Wheel
You might be surprised at the huge number of factors that goes into the taste of each espresso. The internal brewing temperature of your machine is a particularly important quality.
A discerning barista – or even just an espresso lover with a nuanced palate – is likely to notice differences in flavor when various temperatures are used. That’s why the Linea Mini gives you control over the temperature with an integrated adjustment wheel.
On the side of the machine, you can rotate the wheel to raise or lower the temperature anywhere from 185 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This will give you more freedom to experiment with flavor profiles and create something that is truly tailored to your preferences.
Read Also: La Marzocco Linea Mini vs ECM Synchronika
Integrated Brew Group
Once you’ve settled on the temperature that’s best for your tastes, you’re expecting that temperature to stay put. Unfortunately, unexpected temperature fluctuations are a potential issue that some espresso machines face in the course of their regular operation.
This is not so with the La Marzocco Linea Mini. To ensure temperature is as stable as possible, the machine has an integrated brew group that is attached directly to its brew boiler.
Because there isn’t a long distance for the water to travel before it reaches your portafilter, there isn’t a lot of time for the water to cool down during extraction.
Brew Paddle Operation
Turning the Linea Mini on and off to brew is an effortless action. It has a brew paddle attached to the front that you can move left or right to start and end the extraction phase.
This simplicity in operation makes it a pleasure to use. You’ll love not only the taste of the drinks it produces, but the way it feels whenever you make them.
Further Reading: La Marzocco Linea Mini vs Rocket R58
One of your greatest motivations for getting a home espresso machine will undoubtedly be that you want to enjoy café-quality drinks from the comfort of your own kitchen. This La Marzocco machine can easily deliver that to you for plenty of reasons, but one of its most powerful qualities is its automatic pre-infusion.
Right before it pulls any shot of espresso, the Linea Mini will release a gentle stream of water, which seeps into your grounds and settles them. If there were any irregularities in your tamping, this step will erase them so that when the full pressure of the water is applied, it will be able to reach all particles of your espresso.
If you’re wondering why that matters, your question will be answered the moment you take your first sip. The flavor will be much fuller.
Many home espresso machines can only brew espresso or steam milk at one time. That’s because they often only have a single boiler that needs to heat itself to different temperatures to perform either function.
One glaring issue with this design is that it takes a longer time to make drinks with it. You’ll have to wait in between brewing and steaming whenever you want something like a latte.
This is not how the Linea Mini is designed. The Linea Mini has two boilers inside it. One boiler is dedicated to brewing espresso while the other is for steaming your milk.
Thanks to its two boilers, you won’t need to wait long before you get to enjoy your favorite milk-based drinks.
Hot Water Spigot
Espresso drinks aren’t the only thing your espresso machine is useful for, including the La Marzocco Linea Mini. It has a hot water spigot on the side, which you can use to dispense hot water.
The hot water is perfect for topping off an Americano or steeping your favorite tea blends. You could even use it to make instant foods like oatmeal or noodles.
Related Article: Rocket Appartamento vs Linea Mini
The Linea Mini is sold in four different colors: black, red, white, and stainless steel. Initially, these color options may seem unimportant, but for some, they might be a gamechanger.
Many pour their heart into decorating their home. If that sounds like you, then you’ve probably put some effort into designing a color scheme in your kitchen.
Every single appliance you purchase after that point counts towards your decorations. Think about how a kitchen filled with matching stainless steel appliances looks as opposed to one with mismatching appliances that are added piecemeal. With the Linea Mini’s color options, you can ensure everything blends in.
Pour-Over Water Reservoir
There’s no getting around the fact that your espresso machine needs water in order to function at all. To keep water for brewing on hand, each espresso machine has a water tank which can be one of two types, either a pour-over or direct-connect.
The Linea Mini is a pour-over machine. Just like the name implies, that means that you must add more water yourself as it starts to run low.
That may sound inconvenient, but there’s actually a major benefit to this type of water tank. Since it doesn’t have to be connected to your water line like a direct-connect machine does, you can feasibly put the machine where you want.
Additional Resource: La Marzocco Linea Mini vs Rancilio Silvia
Your espresso machine’s pump will also have a bearing on how it performs regularly. The La Marzocco Linea Mini, for instance, has a rotary pump.
Rotary pumps generate pressure for brewing through a rotating disc that’s subdivided into smaller sections within a larger space. As the disc spins, water is forced through gaps in the larger space and through the pump.
Aside from being efficient, rotary pumps are well-known for being quiet. You’ll be pleased to discover that this machine isn’t as loud as its competitors, and that the pump is long-lasting.
Read Also: Best Large Home Espresso Machines
Semiautomatic Machine Type
Last but certainly not least, we should discuss the type of espresso machine the Linea Mini is. Most espresso machines can be divided into either automatic or semiautomatic categories.
As a semiautomatic machine, the Linea Mini specializes in flexibility. Baristas must both start and stop the machine’s brewing cycle, which allows them to pull shots that are as long or short as they need.
The greatest drawback to semiautomatic machines is that they take some getting used to. If you’re not already an experienced barista, you’ll have to learn how long to pull shots for to avoid over- or under-extraction.
Italian espresso machines are some of the best in the world. It’s only natural that a La Marzocco machine, made by an Italian manufacturer, would be best matched by a machine made by another Italian manufacturer, La Spaziale.
We picked the S1 Mini Vivaldi II in particular because it’s also compact like the Linea Mini. Its small size makes it ideal for home kitchens, where room is often more restrictive than in commercial settings.
Also like the Linea Mini, the S1 Mini Vivaldi II has a powerful dual boiler system. This allows it to steam your milk and brew your espresso quickly.
The S1 Mini Vivaldi II has a whole suite of other amazing features:
- Fault diagnosis alarms that will notify you right away when there’s a problem with the machine.
- Adjustable volumetric dosing to ensure you get consistent shots of espresso.
- Temperature adjustability so you can brew at the ideal temperature.
- Compact size that allows it to fit in anywhere.
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The La Spaziale S1 Dream lives up to its name, making it another excellent alternative to the La Marzocco Linea Mini. For one thing, it’s available in multiple colors, including red, black, and gray with wood accents.
Colors likely aren’t going to be the only reason you pick it, though. You might be drawn to the programmable profiles that allow you to store drink settings in advance.
Or you might be drawn to the built-in barista lights. With the barista lights, the S1 Dream makes it possible to work in any conditions, such as late at night or early in the morning before the sun has fully risen.
Here are some other intriguing S1 Dream features:
- Robust dual boiler design for simultaneous steaming and brewing.
- A built-in clock to time all your shots in one place – no need to get out your smartphone.
- Stainless steel front and back panels to increase the machine’s longevity.
- A shot counter that will help you keep track of how many shots you make.
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About the Brand
So just what kind of company is behind the creation of famous La Marzocco espresso machines? These machines aren’t the Ferraris of the espresso machine world for no reason.
The reputable company was born in Florence, Italy in 1927. Their mission was to create espresso machines that use cutting-edge technology while retaining a classic aesthetic.
Nowadays, you’ll find La Marzocco models in coffee shops all around the world. People love these machines, and they’re well-known for lasting for years and years.
Ideal Machine Applications
The La Marzocco Linea Mini was designed for use in the homes of espresso enthusiasts. Its compact size and easy-to-use brew paddle are proof of its ability to be a good pick for beginning home baristas that want a high-end machine in their homes.
What Customers Say
We’ve gotten quite a lot of feedback regarding the Linea Mini, and we’re proud to say that all of it has been excellent. Our customers who have purchased it have reported that the machine produces tasty espresso and that it’s a reliable machine.
None of this is surprising. La Marzocco is one of the best espresso machine manufacturers in the world, so even if no one had given us any feedback for the Linea Mini, we’d be confident in its quality.
Majesty Coffee understands that the price of a machine is often just as important as how it performs. That’s why we offer the best prices online for the best coffee and espresso gear.
At this point in time, we do not carry the La Marzocco Linea Mini. You will have to check with other online sellers to confirm its availability and price.
However, we do have the La Spaziale S1 Dream for $2,095 and the La Spaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi II for $1,895 as potential alternatives. You can also view our complete La Marzocco collection for other La Marzocco machines.