Are you searching for an espresso machine that can make barista-level drinks available right at home?
The La Marzocco Linea Mini and Rocket R58 are two examples of espresso machines that make this possible. But how do you choose between them?
We’ll help you decide. In this post, we’ll be comparing and contrasting the La Marzocco Linea Mini vs Rocket R58.
We’ll answer the following questions:
- What aspects are the same between the Linea Mini and R58?
- What’s different between these models, and what do those differences mean?
- How do you decide which one to buy?
Let’s dive right in.
La Marzocco Linea Mini
With its 3.5-liter steam boiler and paddle controls, the Linea Mini is a match for discerning aficionados who want to make the best milk-based drinks at home. If you’re going to frequently make lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, or flat whites, this is the one for you.
Because of its no-burn hot water and steam arms and E-61 commercial group head, even someone learning how to make espresso can make a pretty good drink. Take this one home if you need a machine to learn on, or a machine that can work in small offices with multiple beginners.
If you’re in a rush, you need an espresso machine that can keep up with you – like the Linea Mini and the R58.
Unlike some other home espresso machines, these ones can froth your milk and brew your shot at the same time. That’s because they have two boilers: one for steaming and one for brewing.
Because of their two boilers, you’ll be able to whip up a fresh beverage incredibly fast. No waiting around a slow coffee maker here.
Do you prefer peace and quiet on your mornings?
Then you’ll really enjoy the pumps in the Linea Mini and R58. Because of their rotary pumps, these machines make much less noise during their operation than other models.
Low noise isn’t their only benefit, though. They’re also very durable.
So then you’ll get to relax in undisturbed peace while you make your espresso drinks for a long time to come.
Complimentary Metal Tampers
Along with either the La Marzocco or Rocket models, you’ll receive complimentary metal tampers.
This sets them apart from many other home espresso machines that come with plastic tampers. Why does that matter?
While a plastic tamper is sufficient, they’re not quite as sturdy nor do they have the same polished look as metal ones. For this reason, baristas typically prefer metal tampers.
Additionally, a metal tamper makes it easier to apply the correct pressure needed to properly tamp your espresso grounds.
Single Group Machines
You’ll find a single brew group on either of these machines, which is fairly standard for home models.
The main reason this is useful is because it allows you to focus on every single shot. Because of that, the quality of each drink you make is the highest it can be.
Machines with one group are also a wise choice for beginners. Instead of having to split your attention between two or more groups, you’ll only need to worry about one.
There are two most common types of espresso machine: automatic and semiautomatic.
For the sake of comparison, we’ll cover the basics of these types. To begin with, automatic machines will end the brew cycle for you at a pre-programmed time after you start it.
They’re excellent for beginners, too, but you’ll have less power over the extraction because of the automated aspect.
On the contrary, semiautomatic machines like the Linea Mini and R58 put the power over brewing squarely in your hands. You’ll be able to choose exactly when the brewing starts and stops.
For this reason, semiautomatic machines are typically preferred by experts. You’ll have the final say over the resulting flavor of every single beverage you create on these machines.
Hot Water Spigots
Our cravings aren’t constant – sometimes you might want espresso, and other times you might want tea or hot chocolate.
Likewise, you might have friends or family members who simply aren’t coffee drinks.
With the Linea Mini and R58, you can cater to these preferences because they both have hot water spigots. You can easily dispense water for your non-coffee needs.
Aside from using the hot water for tea and hot chocolate, you can dispense it for instant foods like oatmeal. No matter how you choose to use it, it’s just nice to have the option there.
There’s one obvious difference between the Linea Mini and R58: their style.
When it comes to espresso machines, it’s completely reasonable to factor in the way they look. It’s such an important investment, that it’s valid to consider how it would fit in with your décor scheme.
Rocket machines tend to be chic and upscale in appearance – both of which are traits proudly displayed by the R58. It has a lustrous stainless steel exterior with straight sides and a bold R engraved on one of the valves on the front.
The La Marzocco Linea Mini, on the contrary, has slanted side panels that give it a delicate and slim countenance. Its face and drip tray are comprised of shining steel which, along with its optional black, red, white, or steel accents gives it a striking look.
Either way, these are appealing machines that will look impressive on your counter.
Water Reservoir Capacity
The bigger your water tank is, the less often you’ll need to stop to pour more water in. This is why it’s critical to examine the size of the reservoirs in machines like the Linea Mini and R58 that are pour-over models.
In this comparison, the reservoirs are pretty similar. The Linea Mini has a 2-liter water tank, which means you won’t need to stop for a refill after just a few lattes.
Slightly larger, the R58’s water tank can hold up to 2.5 liters at once. It’s not a stark difference, but it still means that you’ll need to stop to add water even less than on the Linea Mini.
Unless you’re only planning to make drinks here and there, you’ll be interested in the boiler sizes of any espresso machine. That’s because, as a rule of thumb, the bigger the boiler, the more powerful the machine.
For example, it’s clear that the Linea Mini excels at steaming milk for drinks like cappuccinos. Its steam boiler is a stunning 3.5 liters, while its brew boiler is 175 milliliters.
On the contrary, the R58 has a 1.8-liter steam boiler and a .58-liter brew boiler. These are still generous-sized boilers, especially for home use.
But the steam power the Linea Mini brings with it will be apparent from its massive steam boiler. Keep that in mind if your goal is to make beverages that use steamed milk, such as flat whites or lattes.
You can draw out different flavor profiles by making adjustments to the temperature in your espresso machine.
For this purpose, both the La Marzocco and Rocket models come with methods of temperature control. However, the way they work varies between the machines.
On one side, the Linea Mini uses a stepped wheel adjustment system. You just turn the wheel on the left side of the machine to customize the temperature and flavor of your blend.
On the other side, the R58 has a PID temperature controller. It allows you to make tweaks to the temperature in either the steam or brew boiler, so you can cultivate the precise coffee profiles you prefer.
There isn’t necessarily one method that’s better than the other here. Some prefer the stepped wheel of the Linea Mini because they feel it’s easier, while others enjoy the extreme accuracy of the PID temperature controller on the R58.
Group Head Types
The group heads on either of these models also have their own unique benefits due to their different types.
For example, on the Linea Mini, you’ll find an integrated group head. Since it’s attached directly to the brew boiler, the water doesn’t need to go as far to reach the espresso grounds and heat loss is minimized.
With the R58’s E-61 commercial group, you get two benefits: stabilized temperature and automatic pre-infusion.
Automatic pre-infusion erases any channeling caused by improper tamping, while the brewing temperature is kept stable by continuously circulating water from the group head to the boiler.
Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll get remarkable thermal stability on either machine. And on the R58, you get the added bonus of automatic pre-infusion.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Barista Lights
Barista lights are absolutely necessary if you’re ever going to make drinks in low-light settings.
You won’t need to struggle to see what’s going on with your espresso on the Linea Mini, because it has little lights built right in beside the group head. These lights clearly illuminate the machine, so you can use it even when it’s dark.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep the lights dim in the morning or evening to relax, then this is the espresso machine for you. You’ll be able to safely run it at any time because of its lights.
Rocket R58 No-Burn Hot Water and Steam Arms
You’ve likely been burnt in the kitchen at some point before. In the past, the same risk was present in espresso machines because of their steam wands and hot spigots.
Accidentally brushing up on or cleaning the steam wand or hot water tap could lead to a painful burn. However, that’s no problem with the R58.
Its hot water and steam arms stay cool the entire time. There’s no risk of burning yourself here.
As a bonus, since it stays cool, the steam wand on the R58 is quicker to clean. Milk won’t burn onto the end when you steam.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Paddle Brew Controls
One of the things that makes the Linea Mini so unique is its paddle controls.
Rather than being operated with buttons or levers, you push a paddle from side to side to begin and end brewing on the Linea Mini. On top of granting a greater level of precision to you, the paddle looks classic.
You won’t find this type of look on many other espresso machines.
Rocket R58 Plumb-In Convertibility
Most people would agree that the more ways you can use an appliance, the better.
You’ll get even more options with the R58’s plumb-in convertibility. At any time, you have the option of using it as a pour-over or direct-connect machine.
When you need to transport the R58 or use it somewhere without a water line, simply operate it as a pour-over machine with a manually replenished water tank.
On the contrary, you can switch it to a direct-connect machine if you’re only going to use it in one spot or more often. When it’s plumbed in, it will add water automatically as needed, saving you time on refills.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Matching Milk Pitcher
In addition to a high-end espresso machine, you’ll get a matching milk pitcher with the Linea Mini.
The milk pitcher comes branded by La Marzocco, so it pairs beautifully with the espresso machine. It’s a small touch, but gives you one less thing to worry about.
You can’t have a latte, cappuccino, or macchiato without steamed milk, and you’ll get the milk pitcher you need complimentary with the Linea Mini.
Our target at Majesty Coffee is to make sure our customers get the lowest prices online for the best espresso machines.
We’re bringing the Rocket R58 to you for $3,000. Unfortunately, we don't have the La Marzocco Linea Mini in our store at this point in time. If you like the look of it, the La Spaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi II is a great alternative with dual boilers and a consistent automatic design.
Which one should you buy?
The question of the hour here is:
When it comes to the La Marzocco Linea Mini vs the Rocket R58, which one should you buy?
One factor that can help you choose is style. If you’re looking for an espresso machine that will truly pop in any surrounding, the Linea Mini’s variety of color choices make it a strong contender.
However, there are many fans of the classic Rocket flair, and you’ll get beloved features like the R logo and shining stainless steel exterior with the R58.
Next, consider what you want to use it for the most. Fans of milk-based drinks like lattes will love the Linea Mini’s stunning steam power.
But if you’re going to really put your espresso machine through rigorous use, the possibility of using the R58 as a direct-connect machine could make all the difference. This is also particularly useful in small offices where multiple people will use it, because no one will have to worry about water levels.
This is our suggestion:
The La Marzocco Linea Mini is the champion milk steamer, so buy this one if you’re looking to make lattes, cappuccinos, or flat whites at home a lot.
For large homes or small offices where more than one person will use the machine frequently, look into the R58. Because of its no-burn steam wand and optional plumb-in, it’s a bit better for heavy use.
For more information on these espresso machines and the best deals online, check them out here:
As we mentioned earlier, we don't have the Linea Mini in our store. The La Spaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi II is a fantastic alternative, though, with dual boilers and a quiet pump. You can view our La Marzocco collection for other La Marzocco models, too.