Decent vs La Marzocco Linea Micra (or Mini) - Page 4

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

#31: Post by CSME9 »

Micra dual boiler a proven design, repair network and support, good steamer. Decent clicking sound like a thermo block machine, slower steamer, heavy on electronics, can't steam and brew @ same time.

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#32: Post by luca »

A lot of the same comments being repeated here from earlier threads.

There's the repeated false dichotomy that the decent is complicated to use and the LM is simple to use. This isn't true. The complexity is optional on the decent. You can throw the tablet in the bin and never use it. With the LM, you simply don't have all the options that the decent gives you.

I haven't used the Micra, but I'd be staggered if it wasn't miles better for milk steaming. The decent steam is anemic and can't be used simultaneously. It is the thing about the machine that drives me nuts the most.

I use the decent for making espresso from light roasts and also for making filter coffee. I need the flexibility and programmability of the machine for these applications. The LM machines, out of the box, don't have this flexibility. The mods to them make it manual, not automated. I don't know that they can do blooming properly.
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Exam, WBrC #3, Aus Cup Tasting #1 | Insta: @lucacoffeenotes

Ben Z.

#33: Post by Ben Z. »

Interesting thread with lots of good points. I've seen the guy from decent post here starting a long time ago and he seems awesome. Gotta feel good having your machine being discussed as an equal with one of the old kings!


#34: Post by Mochajoe »

StijnL wrote:Well, this was a topic that needed to be started some day, so it might as well be by me.

I have a La Spaziale S1 Dream and want to upgrade. Part of it is the impossibility to get it serviced and self servicing a plumbed in machine is not easy. Another part is that I'm having great trouble getting the flavor outcome that the bar achieves that is attached to my roaster, they are using a commercial multigroup Linea. I'm considering that it might be due to portafilter size (53 mm), some pressure sensor issue,... . Lastly, there is the great upgradeitis.

The machine is paired with an Eureka Atom Specialty 75HS with titanium burrs, which will not be changed. I'm doing one cappuccino and 2-3 espresso's per day. I do not care too much having to wait half a minute between drinks if I would have a lot of visitors, nor about having to steam for 10s more. I care about consistency and flavor.

When the Linea Micra surfaced, I was immediately drawn to it. Having a La Marzocco portafilter in itself would already provide great satisfaction (unexplainable brand effect). The machine will fulfill my consistency requirements as well. If my coffee would be bad, it would be me/water and not the machine. However, I started thinking about the Decent as well. I understand both machines are very different, but both are on my list. The Micra would be about straight-forward espresso making with great, consistent flavor; the Decent about many options and possibilities for experimentation, but also the simple tablet press for straight-forward espresso. Both machines will be plumbed in and out.

The Micra would be 3605 euro for the machine and 150 euro for a plumb kit, i.e. 3755 euro in total. The Decent (DE1XL) would be 4518 euro for the machine, 500 euro for the plumb kit (incl import and VAT) and 145 euro for the tamper, i.e. 5163 euro in total. Price difference of 1400 euro. (Am considering the DE1Pro as well, which would be 400 euro less expensive)

In favor of Decent:
  • Volumetric / Weight based extraction, which makes the machine useable by my wife as well
  • Experimentation possibilities
  • Consistency
  • Power consumption (I'm estimating 100 euro/y and better environmentally)
  • Community forums
  • More space below the portafilter
  • Possibility for tea and hot water (although slow apparently)
  • Would be my end machine, not so sure that that would be the case for Micra
In favor of Linea Micra:
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Better steam (minor thing)
  • Serviceability? (minor thing, because I'm afraid their direct sales model will remove most of the service network)
  • Safer plumb connection (closed circuit, minor thing)
  • Sound
Lifetime of the machine is not on the list, as I'm confident enough in the Decent, so that it is a non-issue to me. Also not concerned about the plastic portafilter of the Micra, as I will always brew with naked portafilter (and will likely buy a nicer LM naked portafilter over time). Having to weigh and pay attention to the Micra during each shot is more negative than having to steam separately from the brewing on the Decent (I tend to do both separately on the La Spaziale anyway, as I'm filling the pitcher during the brew). I am concerned about not being able to fit a scale and a large cup on the Micra.

Any further thoughts? It seems that more people have been moving from GS3 / Linea Mini to Decent than in the other direction. I'm looking forward for the thoughts of this great community, especially from people that have experience with both the Decent and the LM Linea Mini. I do not seek recommendations for other machines.
The Decent is not in the same ball park as the Micra or any other dual boiler machine with a rotary pump. It has a couple of vibration pumps, and a breakable water tray. More of an experiment and not a serious contender for someone who wants a durable, reliable espresso machine.

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#35: Post by replying to Mochajoe »

Edited for clarity.... :roll:

These Decent comparison threads always turn into rage farms for people who don't like the Decent.
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#36: Post by espressoren replying to »

I haven't been around long enough to know, but I can imagine people have their opinions :)

I think it's fair to say that the Decent, equipment wise is more like something you'd get in the $1500 price range as opposed to the price range it plays in where you generally find higher quality pumps, etc.

However, it's obvious that there's more to the DE than just the pumps and heaters, and the tech/data aspect isn't something you find on a rotary machine or any other for that matter. It's easy to discount these things if they don't matter to you. If they do matter, the DE is the thing to have and the price is worth paying.

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#37: Post by luca » wrote:Edited for clarity.... :roll:

These Decent comparison threads always turn into rage farms for people who don't like the Decent.
Pretty much.

Vibratory pumps are much more durable than people give them credit for; people have things like vending machines that use vibratory pumps and cop far more abuse than a domestic espresso machine would.

For the decent, the vibratory pump actually turns out to be pretty much essential to how the machine functions, I gather, since the control system uses the pulses as an integral part of delivering the volumes and pressures that it is supposed to.

I have never had a vibratory pump fail on me, but I have actually had a rotary gear pump (same as on the slayer) fail on me multiple times.

Without question, I hate the sound of the vibe pump compared with the satisfying hum of the rotary gear pump.

Rather than focussing on perceived quality based on some uninformed reaction as to price, or whatever, it would probably be far more useful to have a discussion about what these machines can actually do in the cup. I owned a rotary gear pump dual boiler pressure profiling machine for a few years (a more feature rich and capable machine than the micra seems to be, at least on paper, but also much bigger and clunkier) and sold it to get the decent, I think, four years ago. For me, it was an upgrade, because it allowed me to make much more aromatic coffees and, I later discovered, even to make filter style coffees. I don't really know how the decent goes at making more traditional espresso, mainly because I have no interest in buying or drinking those sorts of coffees. But that discussion is probably of more interest to people considering buying these machines.

One thing that you can't seriously debate is that the decent has more features for tweaking brew parameters than the micra. Whether these are useful to prospective buyers, and whether either machine makes coffees of the sort that a prospective buyer wants, is probably a worthwhile discussion.

Another worthwhile discussion is probably how you go about servicing these machines.
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Exam, WBrC #3, Aus Cup Tasting #1 | Insta: @lucacoffeenotes

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#38: Post by buckersss »

HH wrote:I
Another big selling point for me is the DE1 is so portable. I travel a fair bit, and take my DE1 with me in its flight case. It's very light and easy to travel with, and ensures I have great coffee wherever I end up.
Sorry if this is a stupid question, with the DE1 and the flight case, is it carry on, or do you have to check that as a piece of luggage? If it's the latter aren't you worried it could get damaged in baggage handling?

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#39: Post by B2uatk »

The decent case is not a carry on. The external dimension of the card box box (which the decent ships in) is 26*18*14 inches so reduce the case by an inch in each direction for the actual case - and 45 pounds in weight. This is check in luggage not carry on.


#40: Post by HH »

buckersss wrote:Sorry if this is a stupid question, with the DE1 and the flight case, is it carry on, or do you have to check that as a piece of luggage? If it's the latter aren't you worried it could get damaged in baggage handling?
Not a stupid question at all. I live in the U.K., where flying is less ubiquitous. I usually drive to our holiday home, as it's on the coast and only a couple of hours away, so I sling the DE1 in the boot.

Having said that, I would have no qualms about flying with my DE1. It's very solidly built and the flight case keeps it well protected. John is apparently working on a V2 foam insert which will allow enough room inside the case for accessories as opposed to just the machine, which should make things even easier when travelling.