La Marzocco Linea Mini vs Slayer Espresso: Which is Better?
In this guide, we’ll be comparing the La Marzocco Linea Mini vs Slayer Espresso.
We’ll clear up what’s the same and different between these espresso machines, so that you can decide which one you should get.
This is what we’ll cover along the way:
- What qualities are shared by the Linea Mini and Slayer Espresso
- Which qualities are unique to either machine in this comparison
- Pricing information to aid you in choosing one or the other
- Further guidance on how to decide which one to get
Let’s get started.
La Marzocco Linea Mini
An impressive steam boiler and included La Marzocco-branded milk pitcher makes the Linea Mini perfect for latte lovers. Get this one if you need a more affordable option to make frothy espresso drinks.
With unique needle valve technology that gives you power over the flow of water and a stunningly precise PID temperature controller, it’s clear the Slayer Espresso was built to perfect every shot. Invest in this machine if your goal is to specialize in espresso itself.
Single Group Machines
Both the Linea Mini and the Slayer Espresso are machines with one group. It is possible to get the Slayer Espresso with two or three groups, but for the sake of this comparison, we will be focusing on the one-group configuration.
The group is the part of the machine that the espresso actually comes out of. If you have more groups, you can subsequently make more espresso in one time.
But single-group machines are wonderful for beginners. They allow beginners to meticulously make each drink, rather than splitting their attention between multiple groups.
On the whole, when you have the time to focus on each shot, you’ll find that the overall quality of your espresso increases.
Dual Boiler Systems
Either of these machines utilizes a powerful dual boiler (DB) system.
What this allows them to do is brew your shot and froth your milk at the same time. On other espresso machines, you might need to wait after steaming to brew and vice versa.
But because you can do them together on the Linea Mini and Slayer Espresso, you can build each drink much faster.
Paddle Brew Controls
At tops of the Linea Mini and the Slayer Espresso, you’ll see a paddle.
Different from many other espresso machines that use levers or buttons, these two make use of a paddle to operate.
You can move the paddle from side to side on either of the machines to start and stop brewing. In addition to giving you control over the extraction of your espresso, which is a crucial component of its flavor, the paddles have a fun classical look.
Perhaps the most obvious difference between the Linea Mini and Slayer Espresso is how they look.
The Slayer Espresso has graceful X-shaped legs and wood handles and actuators that give its metallic face a touch of warmth. It simply screams sophistication when you look at it.
Meanwhile, the Linea Mini is a very traditional-looking espresso machine. It has side panels that cut inward to give it a slender appearance, and a paddle on top that looks vintage.
The Linea Mini is also available with black, red, or white side panels, so you can fit it into a range of environments.
Since temperature is also critical to the creation of espresso, if you can control the temperature in your machine, you can influence the flavor of your drink.
You’ll be able to make adjustments to the temperature on either the Slayer Espresso or Linea Mini. However, the way you do so on either one varies between them.
On one hand, the Linea Mini has a stepped adjustment wheel on the left side of the machine. By turning the wheel, you can enhance the flavor profile or draw out other flavors from the same blend.
On the other hand, the Slayer Espresso uses a highly accurate PID temperature controller. Using the PID, you’ll be able to adjust the temperature in amazingly fine 0.1-degree increments.
In short, you’ll be able to play with the temperature on either one. But if accuracy is what you’re looking for, the Slayer Espresso can’t be beat.
Pour-over vs Direct-Connect
Another huge difference between these machines is how they handle their water supplies. Every espresso machine needs water to function, and the Linea Mini and Slayer Espresso display the two main ways you can get water to them: pour-over and direct-connect.
The Linea Mini is a pour-over model. That means you must manually add water to its tank when the levels get too low.
This can be inconvenient if many people are going to be using the espresso machine. However, this design grants increased mobility to the Linea Mini, as it can be used virtually anywhere there’s an outlet as long as you can pour water in.
In comparison, the Slayer Espresso is a direct-connect machine. Rather than pouring in water, you’ll have to connect it to a water line and it will refill itself automatically.
Direct-connect machines are pretty much an absolute requirement in businesses - the time saved from not having to stop to add water can add up quickly, and it allows you to make drinks faster.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Integrated Group Head
Because a cold pocket in your espresso machine can render a beverage undrinkable, most machines implement some kind of temperature protection.
In the Linea Mini, that protection comes in the form of an integrated group head. The group head is connected directly to the brew boiler.
As a result, the water doesn’t need to travel far before it reaches the group head. Since the distance it needs to go is reduced, little to no heat is lost during brewing, increasing thermal stability.
Slayer Espresso Touchscreen Display
Adding a modern-day twist to a classic-looking appliance, the Slayer Espresso can be operated through a central touchscreen on the front.
Most people are very familiar with touchscreens, especially since almost everyone has a smartphone. If you also have a smartphone you know like the back of your hand, then you’ll appreciate the same touchscreen operation used by the Slayer Espresso.
Rather than search for hidden buttons or levers, you’ll be able to access the settings in the Slayer Espresso with just a few taps or swipes.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Branded Steaming Pitcher
Do you like milk-based espresso drinks like lattes? Then you’ll need a steaming pitcher.
As a small bonus, with your purchase of the Linea Mini, you’ll get a La Marzocco-branded steaming pitcher. It will match with the machine’s sleek metallic appearance, and it will get you one step closer to making your favorite milk-based drinks.
Slayer Espresso Needle Valve
One of the things that makes it clear the Slayer Espresso was designed to perfect each shot is its patented needle valve technology.
What it does is give you complete control over the flow of water to the coffee grounds. As a result, you’ll also have control over the flavor in the cup at the end.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Barista Lights
There’s a lot you can tell just by looking at the espresso coming out of the group. As just one example, you can tell if there was some channeling in the tamp if the espresso is coming down in more than one stream.
Because of all these visual cues you can get from monitoring espresso, the Linea Mini was designed with barista lights right by the group head. These lights clearly brighten the area, so you can see what’s going on with your espresso at all times as it brews.
Furthermore, these lights increase your safety as you work, especially if you’re making drinks in a dim setting. They allow you to see easily, reducing your risk of spills and burns.
Slayer Espresso Shot Mirror
To aid you in keeping an eye on your espresso, the Slayer Espresso has a slanted shot mirror by the drip tray. It gives you a clear view of the bottom of the portafilter.
With a quick glance, you’ll be able to see the stream of espresso as it comes out of the group. This will make it possible to closely watch for any issues with quality and make adjustments accordingly.
Slayer Espresso Non-Slip Feet
Most of us have accidentally bumped into something and sent it crashing to the floor. Since they’re such an important investment, that’s one of the last things you’d ever want to happen to your espresso machine.
The Slayer Espresso is prepared for that possibility. Its non-slip feet keep it in place even after accidental brushes and bumps.
If you’re working in a crowded space, this can be a lifesaver. You won’t need to walk on eggshells around your espresso machine to protect it from being knocked over.
Majesty Coffee’s mission is to provide our customers with the best deals online for some of the best espresso machines.
We offer our Slayer Espresso One Group to you at $9,500. We do not currently have the La Marzocco Linea Mini in our store, so you will need to check with other online sellers.
Which one should you get?
Even one you know more about their features, you might still be wondering:
Which one should you get?
The good thing is, since there are such huge differences between the Linea Mini and Slayer Espresso, it’s obvious that they would excel in different applications.
For example, the Slayer Espresso’s needle valve and shot mirror make it clear that it was a machine designed for crafting exquisite espresso. This is the machine for you if your focus is going to be on the espresso itself.
But on the contrary, if your goal is to make creamy milk-based drinks, you may want to consider the Linea Mini because of its large steam boiler and the milk pitcher that it comes with.
Here’s the bottom line:
The Slayer Espresso is a dream for anyone wanting to focus on their espresso and make it the best it can be. This is because of its precise temperature control and unique needle valve technology.
Those on a budget or those who want to focus on frothing milk for drinks like lattes will find the Linea Mini is suitable, particularly because of its steam boiler and included milk pitcher.
For the best prices online, take a look at the Slayer Espresso One Group here:
We do not currently carry La Marzocco Linea Mini espresso machine in our store. However, if you're interested in similar machines, take a look at our La Spaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi II. It has a similarly compact size and robust dual boiler system.
Additionally, you can check out our La Marzocco collection to see some alternative options from the same brand.