Choosing a small espresso machine can be difficult. If you don’t need something with the kind of power an espresso machine in a large coffee shop would have, there are a ton of options that would work for you.
The Lelit Bianca and La Marzocco Linea Mini are just two examples of machines that would be excellent in small environments. How do you even begin to determine which one is better for you?
We’ve written this detailed Lelit Bianca vs Linea Mini comparison to help you. These are the topics we’ll be covering here:
- The similarities between the Lelit Bianca and Linea Mini.
- Which features differ between them.
- Pricing information for these machines.
- Guidance on deciding which one is best for your needs.
Keep reading to learn more about these two great espresso machines.
With nothing more than a glance, you can tell that the beautiful Lelit Bianca is a quality espresso machine. Made from glittering stainless steel with down-to-earth walnut accents, this machine is a real sight for sore eyes. Its dual boiler design and innovative flow profiling paddle make it a match made in heaven for expert home baristas who want to be able to experiment with brew pressure.
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La Marzocco Linea Mini
Like its name implies, the La Marzocco Linea Mini is an espresso machine designed for use in compact spaces, such as homes, small coffee shops, or offices. It features the classic La Marzocco design with angled side panels that give it a traditional look. Don’t let its looks fool you, though – the machine has Bluetooth connectivity so you can control it remotely, which is what makes it a great fit for high-tech homes and offices.
One of the most noteworthy features of either espresso machine in this comparison is the fact they have two boilers inside them. To understand completely why this is so important, let’s look at what a dual-boiler system does for you.
If an espresso machine only has a single standard boiler that isn’t specially designed for simultaneous steaming and brewing, you will only be able to steam your milk or brew your espresso at one time. After frothing your milk, for example, you’d have to wait for the espresso machine to reach the correct temperatures for brewing espresso to add a shot to your milk.
This is because the machine only has one boiler, and the ideal temperatures for brewing and steaming are different. Making a drink with milk, like a latte, would take longer because of the wait time in between frothing and brewing.
The Lelit Bianca and Linea Mini won’t make you wait. They have dedicated boilers for both steaming and brewing, so these functions can be performed at the same time.
You Might Also Like: Best Dual Boiler Espresso Machines
Stainless Steel Boilers
The number of boilers isn’t the only thing that’s important about boiler design. What the boilers are made from can also impact the use of your espresso machine.
In this case, the boilers of both machines are made from stainless steel. Nowadays, stainless steel is a common boiler material in both inexpensive and expensive espresso machines.
High-quality machines like the Lelit Bianca and Linea Mini use stainless steel boilers that are thick and insulated to promote temperature stability. Because of this, the machines don’t need to struggle to keep up to temperature, using less energy in the long run.
Another benefit to stainless steel boilers is that they don’t accrue limescale buildup as quickly as the alternatives, like copper boilers. That’s less maintenance for you to perform over the length of the machine’s lifespan.
PID Temperature Control
Both the Linea Mini and Bianca have built-in PID temperature controllers. What does this mean for you?
In short, it means you have complete control over the internal temperatures of the machines. Temperature has a surprisingly huge impact on the taste of your espresso – and not just how likely it is to burn your tongue!
Many advanced baristas will tell you that increasing or decreasing the temperature even slightly can alter the acidity of a roast. Since the espresso machines in this comparison let you easily adjust the temperature, you’re able to play around with flavors until you find one that you like the most.
Read Also: Best PID Espresso Machines (Superior Temperature Control)
If you’ve been to a coffee shop recently, you likely recall how noisy their equipment can be. Grinders and espresso machines going at the same time can produce a loud roar that can be overwhelming or disruptive.
This isn’t something you’ll need to do deal with when you use either the Lelit Bianca or La Marzocco Linea Mini. Both use rotary pumps, which were created to be longer-lasting and quieter than the alternative.
These machines won’t be perfectly silent, but they will still be much quieter than their competitors. That’s what makes them ideal for homes and offices.
There are some small differences between the overall sizes of either espresso machine in this guide, but we feel they’re more alike than different. Let’s look at the specifics.
The La Marzocco Linea Mini is 15 inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 21 inches deep. In comparison, the Lelit Bianca is 15.75 inches tall, 11.4 inches wide, and 19.1 inches deep.
If your counters are more packed, you’ll find that the Lelit Bianca is able to slide in between other appliances a little more easily. In general, though, if you can fit one machine into your space, you can likely fit the other.
Stainless Steel Casing
One immediately noticeable similarity shared by these machines is their stainless steel casing. The exteriors of the Bianca and Linea Mini are covered in quality stainless steel – no flimsy plastic panels here.
In addition to giving them an appearance of polished refinement, the stainless steel casing is tough. You can rest assured that the internal components of the machines are well-protected, and that they will stay easy on the eyes for years to come.
Pour-Over or Direct-Connect Plumbing
The Lelit Bianca and La Marzocco Linea Mini are also incredibly flexible machines. Either one can be set up as a pour-over machine or a direct-connect machine depending on your needs and layout.
As pour-over machines, they would need to have water added to their tanks manually. That may be more of a hassle for you if you’re going to use them often enough to require more frequent refills. The advantage to a pour-over design, though, is that you don’t have to connect the machines to a water line, so they can be used pretty much anywhere with power.
If you decide a pour-over machine just isn’t for you, then you can connect either machine directly to your water line. Set up as a direct-connect machine, it will refill its boilers on its own whenever necessary. This saves you time on maintenance and works particularly well in situations where multiple people will be using the machine throughout the day.
Want to see more machines with water line connections? You can view a list of our favorites in our guide to the best plumbed espresso machines.
It’s a small touch, but nonetheless still appreciated that Lelit and La Marzocco chose to include cup shelves on top of the Bianca and Linea Mini. You can save a bit of space in your cupboards that might otherwise need to be used for mugs.
Additionally, these shelves give off heat so any mugs stored on them will be preheated. By brewing espresso and pouring frothed milk into a preheated mug, you ensure that the liquids stay warm even longer. No more having to chug your espresso as quickly as possible so you can enjoy it while it’s still hot.
Water Tank Size
Unless you’re using the machine as a direct-connect that will refill its water supply on its own, the size of the water tank in question is important. When you’re using a pour-over espresso machine, a smaller water tank will mean more breaks in your brewing to add water.
This is one aspect in which the Lelit Bianca is the clear winner. Its water tank holds 2.5 liters of water, which is 25% larger than the Linea Mini’s 2-liter water tank.
In terms of daily use, that means you’ll be able to brew just a couple more drinks in a row on the Lelit Bianca than you would be able to on the Linea Mini. If you’re sharing the machine or often have guests over, that could be a major plus for you.
Like the number of boilers and their material, their capacity is also important. Having larger steam or brew boilers will affect your daily use of the machine.
Between these two machines, the Lelit Bianca has a larger brew boiler that holds just under a liter of water. In short, that means it will be able to brew shots of espresso longer than the Linea Mini, with its .17-liter brew boiler.
But the Linea Mini wins out in terms of steam power with its 3.5-liter boiler. It is more than twice as large as the Bianca’s 1.5-liter steam boiler, so it has much more steam power for making drinks like cappuccinos.
Brew Group Type
Although the brew group on an espresso machine serves one basic function – running water through your portafilter to dispense espresso – there are different types of brew groups that offer their own benefits to baristas. The brew groups on the Lelit Bianca and La Marzocco Linea Mini are excellent examples of two different types.
On the Lelit Bianca, you’ll find an E61 commercial brew group. You’ll get two main benefits from this: increased thermal stability and pre-infusion.
This brew group type continuously circulates water from the group to the brew boiler, smoothing out any dips or bumps in temperature. Additionally, it adds an automatic pre-infusion step to your extraction, which helps eliminate tamping errors.
The La Marzocco Linea Mini has what is called a saturated group head. Basically, they are attached directly to the brew boiler, which means an even greater degree of thermal stability. Furthermore, their warmup time is much shorter than that of E61 brew groups.
Lelit Bianca No-Burn Steam Wand
If you’re going to be frothing a lot of milk, you’ll obviously be handling the machine’s steam wand more often. The problem with this is that steam wands get hot. On some espresso machines, that means handling them can result in burn injuries if you’re not careful.
That’s why Lelit insulated the steam wand on the Bianca. As a result, the steam wand doesn’t overheat, making it easier and safer to handle it for cleaning or frothing.
If you’re a beginning barista, this will be a huge relief for you. You also may feel better about having the machine in your home, where your family won’t need to worry about burning themselves on it.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Paddle Controls
Both the machines have paddles on them, but the paddles serve different functions. On the La Marzocco Linea Mini, the brew paddle is what you use to start and stop the brew cycle.
Some may find this easier than twisting a valve or having to jab a small button. Additionally, it gives the Linea Mini an even classier look that calls to mind old-fashioned appliances.
You can learn more about it in our La Marzocco Linea Mini review.
Lelit Bianca Shot Timer
Brewing a shot of espresso takes careful timing. You don’t want to brew it for too long or too short a time. It’s even more important on semiautomatic machines like the Lelit Bianca and La Marzocco Linea Mini, as they will not time the extraction for you.
The integration of a shot timer in the Lelit Bianca simplifies this. Because it has a timer right there to help you keep track, you won’t need to worry about purchasing a separate timer or using your phone.
La Marzocco Linea Mini Bluetooth Connectivity
Without a doubt, one of the neatest features the Linea Mini has is its Bluetooth connectivity. Using Bluetooth, you can control various aspects of the machine from a distance.
For example, you could be sitting down and use Bluetooth to turn your machine on or off from wherever you’re sitting. You could turn it on right when you wake up in the morning, so it’s warmed up by the time you head to your kitchen for your morning espresso.
You can also set on and off schedules through Bluetooth. That way, the machine will turn on and off at predesignated times, ensuring you never forget. Welcome to the 21st century in the world of espresso machines!
Lelit Bianca Flow Profile Paddle
As we said before, both machines have paddles on top, but those paddles perform different functions. The Lelit Bianca’s walnut paddle controls its unique flow profiling system.
By moving the paddle, you can adjust the pressure applied to your espresso during brewing. Because of this, you have even more control over the outcome and flavor.
That’s why we recommend the Lelit Bianca for particularly experienced or curious baristas. You’ll get to more finely tweak every single shot you pull.
La Marzocco Possible Color Options
This may vary depending on the seller you purchase from, but there’s a possibility your La Marzocco Linea Mini may be available in different colors. If this is the case with the seller you are looking at, then that opens up the options even more for you.
Most people spend a lot of money, time, and thought building an ideal environment in home kitchens or businesses. There’s no reason why this couldn’t apply to your espresso machine, too.
If you’re concerned about matching your espresso machine with an existing décor theme or appliances, be sure to check if it’s available in other colors wherever you’re looking.
Lelit Bianca Group Head Pressure Gauge
Both espresso machines in this guide will give you access to pressure readouts for their steam and brew boilers. The Lelit Bianca really goes the extra mile, though, with the addition of a third pressure gauge right on the group head.
There’s a good reason to have this extra pressure gauge. Since the Bianca makes it possible for you to make adjustments to pressure on the fly while you’re brewing espresso, you’ll need to be able to determine exactly what the pressure is like in the group. If you find a pressure that works best for you, you’ll be able to easily tell what it is just by looking at the gauge on the group head.
Looking for the best prices for the best coffee and espresso gear online? Then you’re already in the right place by checking out the Majesty Coffee store.
We’re proud to offer our customers the Lelit Bianca for a competitive price of $2,979. Unfortunately, we do not have the La Marzocco Linea Mini in our store right now, but you may find it online with other sellers. Majesty Coffee also does have a collection of La Marzocco machines for sale, we just don’t have the Linea Mini at this point in time.
Which Machine Should You Get?
Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of the guide: which espresso machine should you get? Is the Lelit Bianca or the La Marzocco Linea Mini better for you? To answer that question, we’ll examine a few different situations that may lead to one machine being more beneficial for you than another.
Start by looking at aesthetics. Remember, getting an espresso machine can be a real investment – don’t feel guilty for taking superficial aspects like looks into consideration.
If you have a countryside or earthy design in your home or business, we think the Lelit Bianca would be an especially good match, thanks to its walnut accents. With its possible wide range of color options, though, the La Marzocco Linea Mini can also blend into a plethora of environments.
A vitally important consideration is the type of drinks you’ll be making most often, and how often you’ll be making them. One huge benefit the La Marzocco Linea Mini has over the Lelit Bianca is a significantly larger steam boiler. That makes it a workhorse when it comes to whipping up milk-based drinks like the ever-popular flat white.
But for those who are most concerned with having control over the taste of the espresso itself, the Lelit Bianca has one irresistible trick up its sleeve: a flow control paddle. Using the paddle, you can finely tweak the pressure of the extraction on the fly and try out different flavor profiles.
Here is our suggestion:
Experienced or creative baristas should consider the Lelit Bianca. Its flow control paddle will give them all the power they need to experiment with alternative ways of brewing espresso. It’s also a great fit for rustic-themed décor, given its warm walnut components.
The La Marzocco Linea Mini is a great fit for places where milk-based drinks will be made frequently, due to its larger steam boiler.
If you’re still unsure about which espresso machine you should buy, we’re ready to help you further. Simply give us a call at 888-978-5224, and our expert team will help you find the perfect espresso machine for your unique situation.
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