Lelit Bianca or Rocket R nine one? - Page 5

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.

#41: Post by Agathorn » Jan 14, 2019, 2:26 am

This weekend I found out that my Lelit Bianca has a leakage. It's not a big one and I'm fairly curtain that it originates from a nut that sits behind the drip tray. Not from the drip tray but behind it, a little further back on the machine then the OPV that lets out steam when steam boiler reaches 100 degree C.

I'll mail Claudette on bellabarista where I bought the machine to see what she has to say about it.


#42: Post by Agathorn » Jan 14, 2019, 2:38 am

Apart from the fact that I just say that my Lelit Bianca has a small leakage I'm super impressed with the machine and I can highly recommend it!

I really love the fact that you can see the pressure at the puck in real time. No other machine on your list has this feature and for me it's a real dealbreaker! It's gives you so much more information when extracting then just knowing the internal pump pressure!

I was also a bit skeptical that the water tank is external but now I see the benefits: The water isn't heating up from the boilers. Its a breeze refilling the water even when the water tank is in place (no real risk of spilling into the machine). Also the tank is easily removed to clean or to refill at the sink. It also has a nice fitting for a filter inside the tank which I like. I'll be getting proper filtration of my water at home but this is a real nice backup as well I think.

The steam is good. Perhaps a tad bit slower then on my old Izzo Alex Duetto mk2 but for me it's easier to get microfoam this way. You also get two steam tips. One with smaller holes for slower steaming which I actually prefer.

You don't get a single spout portafilter though. Not something I care about though but worth mentioning. You do get a naked portafilter.

Also I think the machine is a bargain for what you get. Flow profiling for 1850 punds? Thats a steal!
If you want a more "modern" machine though with programmable profiles maybe this isn't for you. For me I appreciate that I can adjust the flow in real time. If it's a little to fast a adjust the flow accordingly for example.

Thats my 5 cents! Good huntin' !

Henry wrote:Hi,

I find myself in an identical (Sort of) situation. My Alex Duetto II was just serviced and is in excellent condition after a PID replacement and all the rubber changed. But I find myself wanting more. Upgrade-itus? But I'd like to mess with pressure profiling, and must admit I'm a geek at heart and like the idea of a touch screen. It's 2019 afterall and touchscreens are robust.

This is for personal home use, not plumbed (yet), 4-5 shots a day, plus 2x that many weekends. I just upgraded to a Ceado E37S grinder....

So I'm looking at:

1- lelit Bianca - at low cost, offers manual profiling, a pre infusion " preset" which I'd probably not use,and should allow me to create the following profiles easily enough, but perhaps not digitally repeatable... nice portafilter....

2- Andreja Premium Profiles by Quick Mill - programmable, a bit more expensive, and no manual paddles

3- Vesuvius —- yet more expensive but mostly all stainless internals - again no paddle for manual operation

4- Rocket R Nine One - an overall dream? Best of both worlds, but $$$$

Important to me are:

1- ability to use a smart timer on good surge suppressor .. aka, a latching mains power switch
2- easily drainable tanks in case a rescaling is needed ( I use good filtered water, but life happens...)
3- a quiet operating pump
4- overall machine quality and longevity
6-good milk steaming, but generally ny a coupe milk drinks a week and smal 12 oz pitchers. I currently love the 4 hole Alex Duetto tip.... fast yet controllable
7- inclusion of great portafilter.. 1, 2, and naked...
8- tall enough cup clearance to pur a cap directly int a normal American mug
9- easy to add water to the reservoir with an easy enough to remove/clean reservoir. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the external tank from a looks perspective, but I guess it keeps the water from heating too much and has the easy to fill element.
10- unique pid settings for each boiler...???
11- probably mutually exclusive to #8, but a good size drip tray
12- ability to possibly plumb in in the future ( need t get ff my a$$ and just finally do this... hassle running ones through a wall then through a tile backsplash)
13- last, but not least, vaue... cost-performance "sweet spot". I'm willing to stretch some to get top of the line, but no need to over do things either. I just want great espresso, a good point appliance, and a machine for the next 15 years!

I feel like I'd probably use the following profiles most, but will definitely experiment and open to the walk of possibilities:
A. 5-20 sec pre-infusion at 2 Bar, 20 seconds run at 9 bar and stop
B. 5-20 sec pre-infusion at 2 Bar, 10-15 seconds run at 9 bar and lower the pressure to 3 or so gradually or via some program steps.
C. Whatever the mad scientist in me fees like!

So, what are everyone's thoughts?

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#43: Post by another_jim » Jan 14, 2019, 2:43 am

This is not hard. The Bianca is old tech, forgiving, easy to use, easy to maintain. But it is not ultra precise like the DE1 or R nine one. Do you like to work fast and spontaneous, or dial in super methodical and precise?

At this level of quality, it's fairly ridiculous to worry about which one pulls the hairline better shots. It's more important to get something that suits your workflow and personality.
Jim Schulman

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#44: Post by Denis » Jan 14, 2019, 2:51 am

I don't have time to read all the topic but I will just say that Bianca is an ok machine for the budget. Quality and overall is good, just one tiny tiny mention:

-because the conical needle valve that controls the debit is made out of steel/or a material that responds to heat the flow is downgrading while pulling the shot. This was meassured by me and other that have the machine and it occurs in all machines. I guess they forgot about this. Maybe next time.

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#45: Post by another_jim » Jan 14, 2019, 12:34 pm

This is a good example of the kind of over-precision that doesn't make for a happy Bianca owner.

Yes, the heat expansion in the valve may reduce the orifice size. But first, the puck is loosening throughout the shot, so flow tends to increase, not decrease. Second, the valve (and flow) are visually controlled; if you aren't eyeballing and moving it, it's just extra plumbing responding to ambient conditions.
Jim Schulman

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#46: Post by Denis » Jan 14, 2019, 1:06 pm

The flow is reduced in a few seconds after the water hits the needle valve, not at the end of the shot when you have more flow. So this doesn't work exactly to help you.

From my perspective it is better if we find out everything that is not perfect with a device/item because this means we know good/bad= real review. We don't focus only on + to sell machines, or to do marketing.

LM has the same conical valve on GS3 and it is made out of PEEK, a material that is inert to temperature, used in guns, and used in KWDW machines as well (dispersion plate).

Lelit Bianca machines didn't came out of the factory with the flow (min-max paddle) adjusted, so each individual machine is different from min to max flow.

These are not so important, these can be fixed by anticipation or calibration. Still the machine is best buy for the money atm. Nothing else does close to it. Where there is evil there is good. There must be a balance in reviews.


#47: Post by Henry » Jan 14, 2019, 1:11 pm

All good stuff!

Any comments on the Andreas Premium profiles or Vesuvius? I realize it's a different animal with automation vs. manual, but I'd love to get opinions ... less my "desired workflow".

Much thanks


#48: Post by Henry » Jan 14, 2019, 4:42 pm

I guess the appropriate question now is asking the experts to chime in on their favorite profiling profiles, and do your best to express what the profiling does to the bean/grind you're starting with. My initial (zero profile experience, too much reading) is that I really think We'd want to start with a long pre-infusion then run at 9 bar to stop. Next long pre-infusion, 9 bar, then 8, 7,6,5,4,3.... to emulate a spring lever. If I understand correctly, the sweetness comes from the later extraction stages as long as the puck isn't depleted. If the puck get's depleted, then the shot sours.

So bring on your favorite profiling recipes and let us know what you get as compared to a straight double boiler machine.

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#49: Post by Denis » Jan 14, 2019, 4:50 pm

Here is a example of my shot (you need light roast coffee+ unimodal grinder (flat max, ek43, pkr, or something similar):

S1- 0-12 sec= preinfusion
S2- 12-22 sec= ramp from 0 to 6 bar
S3- 22 sec - 42 sec= bloom at 6 bar - pump off no more water income-
S4- 42 sec- 67 sec - pull at 9 bar
S5- 67 sec- 75 sec- drop at 6 bar.

Espresso/medium roast coffee or normal/traditional grinder will not be good with this kind of shot.


#50: Post by Henry » Jan 14, 2019, 5:01 pm

Makes me want to expedite getting a profile machine!

still noodling on Lelit Bianca v. Andreja Premium Profiles v. Vesuvius .. all are in-budget (sort of)... manual flow control v. automated pressure control.

And yes flow~pressure analogy to photographic aperture/shutter time conversation - they are intermingled, except of course in photography we have the depth of field... but I wonder if in espresso there is an equivalent.... hummm... so much to ponder.