About to buy La Marzocco Linea Mini. Is FOMO on pressure profiling justified?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
stump007

#1: Post by stump007 »

Hi there!

Got a good bonus last month and intend to splurge on a machine upgrade. :D

I currenly have a Oscar 2 and Specialita. I already have a Key grinder on order, hopefully here in a few weeks.
With the Oscar I haven't been able to go below medium-dark roasts, note that it doesn't have the OPV kit and I don't plan to install it as I may soon sell it. But I am keen to go more towards medium roasts and maybe even lighter ones.

I don't pull a lot of shots, maybe 3 to max 4 per day.

I've been eyeing on LMLM for a while and about to pull the trigger, I like the design quite a lot and expect much more versatility than the current machine. Kind of my "end game" machine :)

Now I am just a bit hesitant because, what if I feel the need for pressure profiling in a few months? I see a lot of people rave about it. And particularly could be helpful for lighter roasts. Not really about switching gears to Bianca but happy to hear any views from you guys on this. Hopefully Im not the only one - let me know if you think pressure profiling is now a must have, or just nice to have :D

Some may ask:
- Why not DE: I have personally not much interest in this machine, and frankly hate the noise it makes
- Why not GS3: too big for my countertop :S
- Why not a lever machine: I would love one, but need the steamer to do cappuccinos - edit: I also care about consistency and prefer the PF to remain 58mm
- Why not Slayer/other: not fond of the design of these

Arafel

#2: Post by Arafel »

Order a Specht Design LMLM. The have two mods available:

1) A needle valve to turn the LMLM into a Slayer
2) A gear pump mod to tuurn the LMLM into a Strada EP.

jdrobison

#3: Post by jdrobison »

I added the Grafikus needle valve to mine since I brew almost entirely dense light roasts and the difference was worth it to me. But for only med or med-dark, I'm not sure.

Ypuh

#4: Post by Ypuh »

I guess 99.9% of the world population who drinks their coffee without pressure profiling is perfectly happy with their coffee.

So in Home-Barista the answer should be yes, pressure profiling is absolutely necessary and life-changing. You will be an ordinary coffee drinker and not a real enthusiast if you don't.
I don't want a Decent

User avatar
dominico
Team HB

#5: Post by dominico »

Most lever machines have a pressurized boiler and steam wand.

Only the ones that don't provide their own water source or have an open boiler don't, but they are actually in the minority as far as lever machines available.
http://bit.ly/29dgjDW
Il caffè è un piacere, se non è buono che piacere è?

jdrobison

#6: Post by jdrobison »

Ypuh wrote:I guess 99.9% of the world population who drinks their coffee without pressure profiling is perfectly happy with their coffee.

So in Home-Barista the answer should be yes, pressure profiling is absolutely necessary and life-changing. You will be an ordinary coffee drinker and not a real enthusiast if you don't.
Why the hyperbole? If it's not for you, it's not for you. But 99.9% of the world isn't having coffee discussions on an internet forum in and enjoyable pursuit of the best cup of coffee they can produce.

pcofftenyo
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by pcofftenyo »

Baaaack on topic:

I've bought beans from Slayer and GS3 shops to compare the cups. When temp matched I can tell some differences but to me its not meaningful enough to implement profiling. I don't have to worry about pre-infusion times all the time and enjoy its simplicity.

drH

#8: Post by drH »

I completely get the interest in the Linea. It's such a pretty design and well tested in the market.

My current experience is between the Maximatic (less flexible than the LM) and the Cremina (arguably more flexible with lever preinfusion but less precise on temperature).
I find that I can make great shots with medium and light roasts on either and my lack of an endgame grinder is probably my limiting factor right now. But with preinfusion and pressure profiling shots can have a different character. It's not that the non-profiled shots are bad, just that I have to do different things to make them good (e.g., longer ratios for light roasts and more attention to puck prep to prevent channeling). The result can be some sacrifices in body/mouthfeel for lighter roasts that are not profiled but they still taste good.

I see the benefits of profiling as 1) more forgiving extractions and 2) more options to get higher extractions in lower volume output.

With the Linea Mini I think you'll do even better than I can on the Maximatic because you have pre-wetting and great temperature control. With a high end grinder it should be excellent; a La Marzocco rep once pointed out to me that Tim Wendelboe used the Linea (cafe version) and the Robur in his YouTube videos.

But certainly a full profiling machine will make your life easier and give you more room to explore if light roasts are where you want to experiment.

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jrcdzn

#9: Post by jrcdzn »

I was exactly in the same position last year. Nice bonus, what decision to make.

I pulled the trigger on LMLM, I have no regrets.

I like the simplicity and the built-in capabilities. I have not done any mods other than cosmetic switch out of the handles and other machine interfaces when pulling a shot. A friend made custom wood pieces.

Reasons for my decision:
1. I wanted a classic mouthfeel
2. I did not want to fuss with profiling, it was not important to me. I understand it and won't argue against the flexibility profiling allows. Just not a rabbit hole I am looking to go down.
3. Having the flexibility of changing temps was good enough. In my experience, if you can dial in your grind and keep it simple you can pull repetitive shots and enjoy a range of roast, blends, etc.
4. I pour about 3-4 shots a day.
5. On occasion, we host brunches for Family and Friends and I love being able to pull 10-12 shots/milk drinks in a row without issues.

I am one year in and while I may consider mods, I am always stoked to walk up and pull a shot or make a milk drink.

There are many options, in my opinion, any that allow you to enjoy the process are all equal. Enjoy the journey, enjoy your coffee!

nguye569
Supporter ♡

#10: Post by nguye569 »

If you really want a lever machine, there are both traditional and spring levers that have steam wands. Check out the lever machines subforum for ideas on what's out there.

I have an LMLM and love it. I don't feel the need to play around with profiling. However, I did order the Grafikus needle valve kit so I can pull light roasts better.