Are you trying to decide between the Lelit Bianca and Profitec Pro 800? At a glance, these machines have both a lot in common and much that’s different between them. It can be hard to determine which one is really better for you without taking an in-depth and understandable look at their features.
That’s what we’re here to do in this post. We’ll be comparing these two distinctive espresso machines on multiple different levels, so you understand what you’re getting with either one.
This is what you will learn about them both:
- Features shared by them and what these features mean.
- Which features are specific to either machine in this comparison.
- Information regarding prices.
- Our quick advice on choosing between them.
Let’s take a closer look…
With nothing more than a look, you can tell that the Lelit Bianca really is something. It has a glittering stainless steel case, intriguing wooden accents, and a powerful interior design to match with its exterior. Thanks to its dual boilers and ingenious flow profiling, this is the perfect espresso machine for home baristas and prosumers who are experienced in brewing espresso.
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Profitec Pro 800
Many historical espresso machines were operated by pulling a lever down in order to control brew pressure and start or stop extraction. The Profitec Pro 800 pays loving homage to those predecessor models by bringing back the manual brewing lever in style. This is another great fit for espresso purists or experienced baristas that want a fun and challenging way to make their favorite drinks.
PID Temperature Control
The first thing that can be said about these espresso machines is that both are designed for use by knowledgeable espresso enthusiasts. One quality that proves this is their PID temperature controllers.
Since the Lelit Bianca and Profitec Pro 800 both have PID temperature controllers, you can adjust their internal temperatures by single-degree increments at your leisure. Brewing temperature can make a world of difference when it comes to espresso, so this feature is a gamechanger that gives you even more creative license as you brew your drinks.
Read Also: Best PID Espresso Machines (Superior Temperature Control)
Pour-Over or Direct-Connect Functionality
Do you like when your appliances give you options? Then you’ll love the pour-over and direct-connect functionality offered by the Lelit Bianca and Profitec Pro 800. This essentially means you can choose how their plumbing is set up.
When they’re used in their direct-connect form, they’re hooked up to your water line. As a result, they refill their boilers on their own as necessary. This saves you time you would otherwise have to spend on refilling the machines yourself.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can use them as standalone pour-over machines. In this form, they are not connected to a water line, relying on you to replenish them with water by hand. The biggest advantage to this is increased portability – since they are not hooked up to a water supply, they can be used wherever there’s power.
The bottom line is that the choice is yours. For this reason, these machines are more flexible to accommodate the needs of more espresso enthusiasts.
Stainless Steel Exterior
With just a glance, you can see that both the Bianca and Pro 800 have stainless steel cases. This is a common feature for mid to high-end espresso machines.
Stainless steel cases serve a couple distinct purposes. The first is that these cases just look appealing, and they blend in with many modern kitchens and appliances.
The second purpose is that the stainless steel helps protect the espresso machines from harm. Because their parts are covered in a durable metal shell, their longevity is boosted.
No-Burn Steam Wands
If you think about it, you can see how operating an espresso machine can be rather hazardous. With the pressure and hot water flowing them, you can understand why there could be risk of injury.
This is especially true when it comes to operating the steam wand to froth milk. Hot steam flowing through the attachment causes it to reach scalding temperatures, which can leave your fingers burnt if you handle the wand.
To protect you from these painful burns, the Lelit Bianca and Profitec Pro 800 have special no-burn steam wands. As the name implies, these wands are insulated so they never reach dangerous temperatures doing use.
Aside from the safety aspect of this design, there’s another benefit: the wands don’t get milk burnt onto their ends. You don’t need to spend as much time trying to clean them off.
Cup Warming Shelf
If you’re truly passionate about coffee and espresso, chances are, you’ve got tons of mugs cluttering your cupboards at home. The makers of the Bianca and Profitec Pro 800 considered this when they added cup shelves to the top of either espresso machine.
You may not be able to store all your mugs on top of the machines, but you will be able to keep a few of them on the shelf. And while you keep them on the shelves, the mugs will be gently preheated for you. When you finally add your drink to them, it will be kept warm by the toasty mug.
Single Group Brewing
Both machines in this comparison are single-group models. Because they only have one group head, the amount of espresso they can produce at one time is limited. Depending on the type of portafilter and basket you are using, you are likely only able to get a maximum of two shots done at once.
Although there are one-group commercial espresso machines, most businesses will usually use machines with more than a single group to increase output. We don’t think having a single group should be a deterrent for small businesses or prosumers, though.
Single-group machines are often more affordable than those with multiple groups. What’s more, they give you more time to focus on each shot since you don’t have multiple groups to divide your attention between.
They may both be clad in stainless steel cases, but you can’t deny the fact that the Lelit Bianca and Profitec Pro 800 still look immensely different from each other.
The Profitec Pro 800 has a much taller and more imposing profile, thanks to the lever it has sticking up from the top. It also lacks the stylistic wooden accents of the Lelit Bianca.
For that reason, we think the Lelit Bianca is a better visual fit for anyone who wants a unique-looking espresso machine for farmhouse-style settings. The Profitec Pro 800, on the other hand, is great for blending into modern environments.
Given their distinctly different shapes, it’s easy to see why the Lelit Bianca and Profitec Pro 800 would have different overall dimensions. This will be important to consider so you end up with a machine that fits into your environment without having to completely rearrange it.
To put them into perspective, let’s look at hard numbers. The Lelit Bianca is 15.75 inches tall, 11.4 inches wide, and 19.1 inches deep. The Profitec Pro 800 measures at 28.8 inches tall, 13.4 inches wide, and 22.9 inches deep.
In other words, the Pro 800 is significantly larger than the Bianca. You probably will not be able to fit it under a cupboard, and it will stick farther out onto your countertops.
Rotary vs Vibratory Pump
Getting past their superficial differences, let’s take a look at the actual hardware of these espresso machines. One major difference between them is their pumps.
The Lelit Bianca has a rotary pump. Rotary pumps are prized because they are quiet and long-lived. While not totally silent, it will not be as loud as other espresso machines you’ve likely experienced before.
Within the Profitec Pro 800, you’ll find a vibratory pump. Vibratory pumps are louder than rotary ones, but they are still not without their own merits. For instance, they tend to be less expensive than rotary pumps, and they also take up less space.
Heat Exchange vs Dual Boilers
The boiler design used by the Lelit Bianca and the Profitec Pro 800 also differs immensely. Because this will have a huge impact on your daily use of the machines, we feel it’s vital to touch on this topic.
There are two boilers inside the Lelit Bianca. One boiler is for frothing milk and the other is for brewing espresso.
This allows for simultaneous steaming and brewing, so milk-based drinks like lattes can be created quickly. Dual boiler designs can be more expensive and take longer to heat up initially, but they have the benefit of providing a lot of steam power.
The Profitec Pro 800 has a single heat exchange boiler. This doesn’t mean that it can’t brew and steam at the same time like the Lelit Bianca can. In fact, it has no problem with this, thanks to a copper tube running through the boiler that delivers brewing water to the group.
Heat exchange boilers are oftentimes more affordable than dual boilers and they’re more energy-efficient since they don’t have to keep two boilers up to temperature. The drawback is that, depending on the size of the boiler in question, the machine may not offer the same amount of steam power as a dual boiler machine.
Read Also: Best Heat Exchanger Espresso Machines
The number of boilers isn’t all that matters – the material of the boilers is also important. This is another aspect in which these machines differ.
Copper is the material of choice for the Profitec Pro 800’s boiler. This is a very traditional boiler material, and you’ll find it used often in high-end espresso machines today. Copper is excellent at stabilizing temperature, and it is also antimicrobial.
The Lelit Bianca uses stainless steel boilers. Stainless steel is becoming increasingly popular for boiler construction in espresso machines on all ends of the spectrum. It’s more resistant to limescale buildup than copper, and when thickened, can also be thermally stable.
Lelit Bianca E61 Brew Group
When you go to your favorite coffee shop, you probably demand the same level of quality from your drinks regardless of who’s working that day. Even if you’re making an espresso at home, there are features an espresso machine can incorporate so you can also demand unwavering quality.
An example of one such feature is the Lelit Bianca’s E61 brew group. It’s a special group head design that helps guarantee consistency in flavor through a couple different means.
First, it has built-in pre-infusion. Before each extraction, the machine will automatically run a small amount of water through your espresso to settle the grounds and eliminate any unevenness or fissures in the puck.
Second, the brew group increases the stability of your brewing temperatures. It does this by constantly circulating water between the group and the boiler, reducing the risk for unexpected fluctuations in heat.
Profitec Pro 800 Lever Controls
Manual lever-operated espresso machines aren’t just relics of the past. These days, especially skilled baristas who want to truly challenge themselves can still find lever machines out there.
The Profitec Pro 800 is an example of a lever-operated machine. To pull a shot of espresso, you must pull the lever down and hold it to generate pressure.
Frankly, these types of machines are tricky to use. However, once you get the hang of it, pulling a shot of espresso becomes a much more hands-on experience. It also looks more impressive than just pushing a button or flicking a switch.
You May Also Like: Best Manual Commercial Espresso Machines
Lelit Bianca Flow Profiling Paddle
The Profitec Pro 800 isn’t the only machine that offers users a unique brewing experience. Thanks to its flow profiling paddle, the Lelit Bianca also does the same.
You can move the paddle while brewing a shot of espresso to control the flow of water. As water pressure is one of the greatest influencing factors on flavor, this puts more control over the result into your hands.
Lelit Bianca Group Pressure Gauge
If all the Lelit Bianca gave you was the flow profiling paddle, you might struggle to use it. When you found a position that produced your favorite flavor, you’d have to try and remember exactly where that position was.
To make matters simpler, the Bianca has a pressure gauge built right into the group head. As you adjust the paddle, you can confirm what the pressure level is simply by looking at the gauge. That way, if you wanted to repeat a previous shot, all you need to do is confirm what the pressure is with the gauge.
Cost will probably be one of the definitive factors in your decision here, so let’s take a look at the price of the machines.
Unfortunately, we do not have the Profitec Pro 800 in our store. You may find it online through other sellers.
However, we do have the Lelit Bianca in our store, and we are pleased to say that we offer our machines for the best prices online. That’s why we have the Lelit Bianca available for $2,979.
Which is Right for You?
You now know about several different features of both these outstanding espresso machines. Even so, you may still be struggling to decide which one is right for you, so we’ll be help answer that question now by looking at reasons to choose either one.
One reason might be their sizes. Due to its lever, the Profitec Pro 800 is significantly taller than the Lelit Bianca, so it’s not likely it will fit underneath a cupboard or cabinet. We’d recommend the Bianca, then, if you’re looking for something a little more compact.
Because they have such different appearances, you can also factor in their aesthetics. The Pro 800 has a much more traditional, classic stainless steel countenance with a tall and elegant lever. With its walnut accents, the Lelit Bianca has a down-to-earth style that would blend in well with rustic kitchens.
Think about your experience when it comes to espresso machines, as well. Have you used one before, or will this be your first-ever espresso machine? If you’re a beginner, lever machines like the Profitec Pro 800 may be a little advanced – unless you’re specifically looking for something that’s a challenge.
The Lelit Bianca won’t rely on you to generate pressure for brewing, which makes it a bit easier to operate than the Pro 800. Furthermore, its E61 commercial brew group will help guarantee some consistency with its automatic pre-infusion.
Here is our advice:
Buy the Lelit Bianca if you want a unique-looking and compact espresso machine. It’s also a great pick for home baristas who want a lot of control over their espresso, but also still want guaranteed consistency, thanks to the machine’s E61 brew group.
The Profitec Pro 800 is a truly advanced espresso machine. Because it is lever-operated, we recommend it for veteran baristas who want a traditional espresso-making experience.
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