The beauty of a dual boiler espresso machine is the power it brings to its users. By having one boiler dedicated to steaming and one to brewing, these machines make it possible for baristas to quickly steam milk and brew espresso so they can whip up drinks even more quickly.
If you think this kind of espresso-making technology is out of reach for the average person, you’re fortunately wrong. There are dual boiler espresso machines created for use at home, such as the Lelit Bianca and ECM Synchronika.
At a glance, these espresso machines can seem quite similar. Our mission in this comparison is to elucidate for you what the differences are between them so you can decide which one will work better for you.
Here is exactly what we’ll be discussing:
- Which qualities the Bianca and Synchronika share.
- The differences between these two espresso machines.
- Information regarding their prices.
- How to decide which machine is better for you.
Let’s take a closer look…
The Lelit Bianca is a machine that melds beauty and power together seamlessly. Its walnut accents and gleaming stainless steel case conceal a robust dual-boiler system that will allow you to craft café-quality drinks effortlessly. We recommend this one for high-tech home baristas who want a machine with almost a commercial-level power.
Get the Lowest Price Here >>
For the most part, the ECM Synchronika is more like the Lelit Bianca than it is different. It even utilizes similar wood-like accents to give it a touch of warmth that you otherwise wouldn’t get in a stainless steel espresso machine. However, there are some small differences, like an increased boiler and water tank size that make it more suitable for homes that will need to make more espresso-based drinks in a row, such as for serving guests and family.
One of the similarities between these two espresso machines is immediately obvious visually: they both have wooden accents on the handles. The Synchronika does take this a step further by incorporating a wood grain pattern on its side panels, but the overall effect is still similar.
Both espresso machines have an earthy look that marries both rusticism and modern design. This makes them stand out from other appliances in your kitchen, so they don’t get drowned out amidst a flood of stainless steel.
We should also point out that the wood on the handles of the Synchronika is bakelite, which isn’t completely the same as the walnut on the handles of the Bianca. However, from a visual standpoint, these wooden accents serve the same purpose.
As we discussed earlier on in this comparison, the point of dual boiler espresso machines like the Synchronika and Bianca is speed. In an espresso machine with only a single standard boiler, there’s a waiting period that must occur between steaming and brewing while the machine adjusts to the appropriate temperatures for either function.
Because these machines have separate boilers for steaming and brewing, they’re able to perform both functions at the same time. As a result, you are able to make espresso drinks with milk in them even faster than before.
This may not mean much to you if you’re the only person who will ever be drinking espresso in your home. In situations where multiple people will be using the machine or you want to serve others, though, this is a gamechanger.
PID Temperature Control
Any experienced barista will tell you that there are tons of factors that go into making a single shot of espresso. Examples include pressure, timing, and of course, temperature. Mess with any of those factors, and you can end up with a shot that has an entirely different flavor from what you were anticipating.
That is exactly why the Synchronika and Bianca have PID temperature controllers. In a nutshell, this simply means that either machine gives you much more precise control over the temperatures of their boilers.
Not only can this help you eliminate unexpected and frustrating temperature fluctuations, but you have much more liberty to experiment with flavor profiles. Feel free to test different temperature points and see which one creates a taste you like the most.
Read Also: Best PID Espresso Machines (Superior Temperature Control)
Stainless Steel Construction
There’s another obvious similarity between the Synchronika and Bianca: they both have a stainless steel construction, including their cases and boilers. Stainless steel construction offers owners a couple benefits.
The first is also apparent: both the machines look good. Their gleaming, polished exteriors will look wonderful on your countertops, and it will also match with other stainless steel appliances.
The second benefit is durability. Stainless steel is tough and long-lasting, which helps protect your investment.
Direct-Connect or Pour-Over
An espresso machine cannot brew espresso or steam milk without reliable access to water. To achieve this end, your espresso machine will have one of two systems: a direct-connect one or a pour-over one. Either method has its own advantages.
Direct-connect machines, for instance, are connected to your water line. They refill their water tanks automatically, which means you spend less of your time refilling them manually. This type of machine is what’s used almost consistently in all espresso-based businesses because the convenience can’t be beat.
Pour-over machines require you to add water manually as their water tank runs low. The drawback is that you’re the one who has to keep track of the water level and correct it. One major advantage of this design is that, since the machine isn’t connected to a water line, it can be moved for cleaning or storage much more easily.
With the Synchronika or the Bianca, you don’t necessarily have to choose between either a direct-connect or pour-over design. Either machine can be plumbed-in or used as a standalone model that you add water to by hand. You’re getting the best of both worlds here.
Low Water Sensor
Should you choose to use the machines as pour-overs, you don’t have to worry about accidentally forgetting to refill them. They both come with a built-in low water sensor.
When either machine needs more water, they’ll notify you when the sensor comes on. That way, you’ll never accidentally run your machine while it’s dry, which can be risky for the machines’ boilers.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “location, location, location” when it comes to real estate. In the world of espresso, you could turn that saying into something similar: “timing, timing, timing.”
Timing is vital when it comes to making espresso. The length of the brew cycle is crucial to nail. Fortunately, the espresso machines in this comparison are ready to help you nail the timing consistently, thanks to their built-in shot timers.
No more needing to keep your smartphone out on the counter to time the brew cycle. You can simply use the shot timers instead to guarantee consistency.
No-Burn Steam Wands
There are actually quite a few workplace hazards that baristas need to contend with. One common barista injury is the burns that overheated steam wands can give to those who handle them.
This isn’t an issue you’ll need worry about with the Lelit Bianca or ECM Synchronika. Both have insulated no-burn steam wands that remain cool even after long days of frothing milk.
In a home setting, this is incredibly important. You might have pets or unknowing children who might accidentally touch the steam wand on your machine, even if you’re not worried about burning yourself. With a no-burn steam wand, you won’t need to be concerned about you or your loved ones burning themselves.
Brew and Steam Pressure Gauges
In addition to timing, you’ll want to pay attention to the pressure levels inside your espresso machine. If it’s not generating enough pressure, you’ll discover that the water has a much more difficult time making it through even the most perfectly tamped espresso pucks.
On the flipside, too much pressure will blast right through your puck and leave you with something weak-tasting. Neither situation is desirable.
Most espresso is brewed at a pressure of nine bars. Thanks to pressure gauges on the Bianca and Synchronika, it’s a simple matter for you to keep track of where the pressure is at.
Related Article: Best Commercial Espresso Machines with Pressure Gauges
Semiautomatic Machine Type
Another extremely important feature of espresso machines is their basic type. An espresso machine can be one of a few types: manual, semiautomatic, automatic, and super automatic. The difference is the degree of automation involved in the brew cycle.
Both the Bianca and Synchronika are semiautomatic models. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it means that you’ll be in full control of the brew cycle’s duration. You will start and end the extraction.
This is why timing is important. You can’t rely on semiautomatic models to stop for you at the right time, but the timers built into these machines will make that easier for you.
The best thing about semiautomatic models is their incredible flexibility. Unlike automatic or super automatic machines, you have the ability to pull shots for as long or short a time as you prefer. This makes pulling extra-long ristretto shots a cinch.
Do you hate when your comfortingly warm coffee gets cool far too quickly? There’s an easy solution to this problem: pouring your drinks into preheated cups.
It’s easy to see why this helps. Ice-cold cups will quickly sap the warmth from your espresso. A toasty preheated mug, on the other hand, won’t drop the temperature of your lattes as quickly.
To ensure that your mugs are preheated, either machine in this comparison has an integrated cup warmer on top. Simply store your mugs on the flat space atop the machines, and the mugs will be kept warm for you until you’re ready to drink.
Don’t lose sight of logistics when you purchase an espresso machine. You wouldn’t want to get a machine that’s so large, you’re forced to totally rearrange your kitchen. For that reason, we almost always suggest comparing the dimensions of any espresso machine you’re interested in purchasing.
In this comparison, the ECM Synchronika is just a little bit larger. Its measurements are 16.53 inches tall, 13.2 inches wide, and 18.7 inches deep.
Let’s look at the Lelit Bianca. Its measurements are 15.75 inches tall, 11.4 inches wide, and 19.1 inches deep. It’s a little shorter and narrower than the Synchronika.
This might not matter to you if you’ve got plenty of room in your kitchen. In more cramped kitchens, however, every inch can matter, and that’s one reason why you might choose the Bianca over the Synchronika.
Water Tank Capacity
If you’re using the machine as a pour-over, you probably don’t want to have to stop very often to add more water. Those pauses for refills can take up time, and that time adds up.
In that case, you’ll be concerned about the size of your espresso machine’s water tank. The Synchronika’s is, again, just a little bit larger at 3 liters. The water tank in the Bianca holds slightly less at 2.5 liters.
There are a few situations where this may not be as important. For example, if you’re the only who’s going to use the machine or you’ll only use it once or twice a day, you won’t go through all the water in the tank often enough to make refilling it a hassle. But if you’ve got multiple coffee lovers in your household or you’ll make espresso frequently throughout the day, the larger water tank in the Synchronika could sway you in its favor.
Steam Boiler Size
Overall dimensions and water tank size aren’t the only areas in which these machines differ by size. Their boilers are also important to consider.
The ECM Synchronika’s steam boiler can hold an impressive two liters. On the other hand, the Lelit Bianca’s steam boiler holds up to 1.5 liters.
The size of the steam boiler matters particularly for those who will want to make milk-based drinks frequently. A larger steam boiler can steam milk for longer periods of time.
In other words, the increased steam boiler in the Synchronika makes it perfect for those who want to make lots of lattes and cappuccinos.
Lelit Bianca Flow Profiling
The Lelit Bianca has one extremely innovative feature you won’t find in many other places: a flow control paddle. If you’re looking at a picture of the machine, the paddle is located on the top in the middle.
While the machine is brewing, you can move the paddle to increase or decrease the brew pressure by altering the water’s flow. This ensures you have even more control over the flavor profile of each shot you make. That’s more than enough to excite any seasoned or picky home barista.
Lelit Bianca Group Head Pressure Gauge
While both machines have more than one pressure gauge, the Lelit Bianca has an extra gauge that the ECM Synchronika lacks. This third pressure gauge rests on top of the brew head.
The benefit to having an extra pressure gauge is simple. You’re able to monitor your espresso machines on more levels, using the pressure gauges as a sort of diagnostic tool. For instance, if your boilers are consistently getting up to pressure but the pressure in the brew group is lacking, you’ll be able to narrow down where the problem is.
Additionally, the brew group-mounted pressure gauge lets you keep an eye on where the pressure is at as you use the flow control paddle. If there’s a specific range you enjoy most, you’ll know where it is on the gauge so you can achieve the same results more consistently.
One of the top considerations on your list will probably be how much either machine costs. If you’re looking for the best espresso machines for the best prices, you’re in the right place – Majesty Coffee works hard to price our options competitively.
That’s why we offer our Lelit Bianca for $2,979. On the other hand, we do not currently offer the ECM Synchronika in our store. You may find it online through other sellers.
Which One should You Pick?
Now for the most important question: which espresso machine should you pick? Unfortunately, this decision might be difficult. If you haven’t made up your mind already, the issue will be that both machines offer many of the same benefits.
There are, however, still a few key differences that will make one of them a better fit for you than the other. Let’s highlight some of those differences briefly again.
One thing to think about is how much espresso you will be preparing regularly. If you will often be making drinks multiple times a day or serving groups of people, you’ll want a machine with a great water tank and boiler capacity. This is where the ECM Synchronika excels.
But what if your top concern is space? If you want an espresso machine that’s more compact, the Lelit Bianca is the machine for you. It’s a little bit shorter and narrower than the Synchronika, so it will be slightly easier to find space for on your counters.
Looking for a machine that will give you the highest degree of control over the development of every shot? Then we’d recommend the Lelit Bianca again. Its flow paddle will give you complete power over brewing pressure, allowing you to experiment even more with flavors.
That’s why this our bottom line:
Get the Lelit Bianca if you’re a more experienced barista or you want more power to experiment with flavor profiles. The flow paddle on the Lelit Bianca makes this possible.
But we’d recommend the ECM Synchronika for households that need to make espressos frequently throughout the day or those who want to make more milk-based drinks. The increased water tank size and steam boiler capacity will allow it to go a bit longer than the Lelit Bianca.
Lelit Bianca vs Profitec Pro 700
Lelit Bianca vs Rocket R58
Lelit Bianca vs Linea Mini
Lelit Bianca vs Rocket Appartamento
Lelit Bianca vs Breville Dual Boiler
Lelit Bianca vs Rocket Cinquantotto
Lelit Bianca vs Profitec Pro 800
Lelit Bianca vs GS3
Lelit Bianca vs Decent