Convince me NOT to buy a La Marzocco Linea Mini - Page 2

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

#11: Post by HH »

If you want one, buy it - it's likely you've chosen it because it is a Linea Mini, and you have decided that that's the only machine for you. No other machine will do in that case!

If you haven't made your mind up yet however, I would strongly suggest getting something else. Ask yourself very carefully why you want this particular machine, and then ask yourself what exactly you are paying for. It's a very expensive dual boiler with minimal features, and you pay a lot for the La Marzocco brand. As long as you know that this is what you are paying for however it's all good.

There are many machines which cost less and do more. The BDB is as temperature stable as the LMLM on SCACE testing and has far more features for a fraction of the price. As mentioned above a DE1 is cheaper and so much more capable then the Linea Mini. You could get a Londinium for a tank-like build with excessive steaming power and the tactility of a lever machine. Both Decent and Londinium can be plumbed in. You may not have the same emotional connection to other machines however, and if you're set on it then nothing else is likely to do! I strongly considered a LMLM before buying my DE1, but after spending a week with one decided it wasn't the right machine for me.

dparrish
Supporter ♡

#12: Post by dparrish »

As mentioned by others, the saturated more temperature-stable group and faster/drier steam are upgrades in quality and consistency in the cup from my previous E61 machine-no comparison.

baristainzmking
Supporter ♡

#13: Post by baristainzmking »

Arafel wrote:I can't talk you out of it, because I have a Specht LMLM with gear pump on order that I'm expecting in June :)
This is my dream machine!
When I am finally ready to pull the trigger (which will not be for a while) that is what I want! LMLM with full gear pump, timer and custom work. You have to post pics when you get it!
Julia

Arafel

#14: Post by Arafel »

HH wrote: There are many machines which cost less and do more. The BDB is as temperature stable as the LMLM on SCACE testing and has far more features for a fraction of the price. As mentioned above a DE1 is cheaper and so much more capable then the Linea Mini. You could get a Londinium for a tank-like build with excessive steaming power and the tactility of a lever machine. Both Decent and Londinium can be plumbed in. You may not have the same emotional connection to other machines however, and if you're set on it then nothing else is likely to do! I strongly considered a LMLM before buying my DE1, but after spending a week with one decided it wasn't the right machine for me.
To give arguments against this point:

For Decent:
1) God-awful ugly
2) Can't steam and pull a shot at the same time
3) loud and god-awful sounding pump

For Breville:
1) god-awful looking
2) build quality is not in the same class as the LMLM
3) can't plumb it in

Arafel

#15: Post by Arafel »

baristainzmking wrote:This is my dream machine!
When I am finally ready to pull the trigger (which will not be for a while) that is what I want! LMLM with full gear pump, timer and custom work. You have to post pics when you get it!
Definitely will post pics. I'm getting more excited by the day

atao

#16: Post by atao »

> The LMLM is a horrible value on paper
> There are many machines which cost less and do more

Undoubtedly, these statements are true.

But the on-paper specs hardly capture the pleasure of using a machine. You can buy a corvette that's 99% the match of a ferarri on paper. But the experience is sure different.

A recent example of this is the Lagom p64 that i just got. Wow what a great workflow. Is my steel burred Forte nearly the equal as far as taste? How about that used ditting 804 sitting in the garage? They're both pretty close to the p64 but wow what a wonderful experience to use the p64, so good tasting and quiet and no retention. Seems worth it to me but YMMV!

fliz

#17: Post by fliz »

here's my stab at talking you out of it:

Straight 9 has a steeper learning curve. It's less forgiving on your puck prep, so you may experience frustration until your skill improves. Pressure/flow profiling used to be extremely expensive when the LMLM was the "cheaper" alternative to their GS3. Profiling is now accessible for less than the LMLM.

If your decision is informed by aesthetics, there's no talking you out of it though.

Ypuh

#18: Post by Ypuh »

atao wrote:> The LMLM is a horrible value on paper
> There are many machines which cost less and do more

Undoubtedly, these statements are true.

But the on-paper specs hardly capture the pleasure of using a machine. You can buy a corvette that's 99% the match of a ferarri on paper. But the experience is sure different.

A recent example of this is the Lagom p64 that i just got. Wow what a great workflow. Is my steel burred Forte nearly the equal as far as taste? How about that used ditting 804 sitting in the garage? They're both pretty close to the p64 but wow what a wonderful experience to use the p64, so good tasting and quiet and no retention. Seems worth it to me but YMMV!
Agreed. It's hard to express on paper because it doesn't translate to bullet points. It usually takes me less than a cup to convince visitors that never seen a La Marzocco in real life (but own an E61 or the like) that it's on another level. The 'faux lever' for example that people often scourge at is to my surprise actually great and very pleasant to use.

Also the lack of features that people often refer to, I don't agree with. The machine is designed to be extremely simple/basic, but the (unique) features do place it above most things else (e.g. saturated group head, HX design dual boiler, commercial grade pump, massive steam boiler, dry and insane steam, very accurate app temp settings, built in timer and shottimer). It's all in there, packaged surprisingly compact, only lots of it is out of sight. You can still easily exterior shottimers or flow control kits, although they do come with a LM pricetag. It's expensive yes, and the actual output of the in-cup quality is not significantly different than what you can make on any other HX E61, but the way you get there is an excellent experience and the machine makes it surprisingly easy and repeatable.

When it comes to upgrades; all mods and upgraderitus died in the days/weeks after I started using it. The machine doesn't need any. I wanted to buy a flow control kit, but now feel I don't need it. Same with the 0.6mm gicleur, IMS screen, alloy bits and pieces etc. I own most of those, but they didn't make the experience better or worse. Instead I'm looking into buying a home roaster.
I don't want a Decent

sluflyer06

#19: Post by sluflyer06 »

Arafel wrote:I can't talk you out of it, because I have a Specht LMLM with gear pump on order that I'm expecting in June. I see some above talk down the LMLM, but it's a saturated brew group that is probably the most temp stable machine in the home market. Someone mentioned the lack of digital control over temp, but it does have an analog wheel, and then if you want more precision you can set the temp in the app to whatever you want.

When I pulled the trigger, I had made the decision that I wanted something I could plumb in. I currently have a Pro 600. The Pro 700 felt like a lateral move i terms of quality, as did the Synchronika, and the latter won't fit my counter space anyway. I considered the GS3 MP, but again, it's too big for my counter. The Slayer was one I was seriously looking at, but you can get a needle valve mod LMLM for a lot less, and the Slayer is a tank anyway, and it's depth was a no-no for my counter space.

I don't think you'll regret an LMLM, and while the E61s can produce great shots, they aren't as temp stable as an LMLM, and the long heat-up times kind of suck, especially if like me you occasionally forget to program your smart plug timer :)
Just a OCD correction, the LMLM is not a saturated group, it's an integrated group+boiler. The boiler sits on top of the 'group' as one casting with the heater cartridges in the casting of the metal itself, there is no saturated aspect of that design. Not a knock, just a different (and good) design.

User avatar
spressomon

#20: Post by spressomon »

sluflyer06: My bad for assuming the LMLM had a group like/similar to its commercial brother. Thanks for setting me, et al, straight.

A little more about the group on the LMLM here: La Marzocco Linea Mini: Integrated Group
No Espresso = Depresso