Lelit Bianca vs DE1+

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
juice

Postby juice » Nov 22, 2018, 8:07 am

Hello everyone,

I've been lurking on these forums for a while now doing a lot of research on my next espresso machine. Initially, I was looking at either HX/dual boiler machines( ECM/rocket/bezzera). But after so much reading I got sold on the idea of a profiling machine. It intrigues me so much having the ability to really fine-tune your shots, and it is something that I feel like I would miss if I were to go the traditional route. Currently, I use mostly medium roast beans, which I've read don't have much of a benefit with profiling machine, though I'd love to get into more single origin in the future. For those with experience with both traditional E61 and profiling machines, how big is the in cup difference, there seems to be so many different opinions and having little experience with either it's hard to come to a concrete answer.

For use of the machine, I'd be looking at roughly 6 shots daily, both milk based and regular.

Sorry about the short rant, I'm really curious about is everyone's opinions on both machines. If anyone has other recommendations I'd love to hear them as well.

Thank you for all your time :D

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Nov 22, 2018, 10:38 am

At HB, we're currently reviewing both machines, but not together. :(

But I do have a rather odd word of advice. In my experience, there is no systematic taste difference making straight espresso shots on competent machines. There are systematic differences in what kinds of coffees certain machines can make. With very light roasts, levers or double boiler machines with programmable preinfusion fare better than HX machines, since they can make the finer ground, extended shots require to fully extract these. Based on this, you will find no systematic taste difference between the two machines, which can do all coffees with equal aplomb.

There is a huge ergonomic difference between them. On the the DE1, shots are preprogrammed; on the Bianca, they are made on the fly. There's a review entry on this. As an upshot to this on the fly capacity, the Bianca is more forgiving (if the shot starts channeling, you can slow down the flow and let the puck repair itself). If you are attracted to levers, buy the Bianca; if you want a self restocking fridge with a touch panel, buy the DE1.

If you are truly obsessed with getting the best shot possible; buy neither. You'll end up with the most expensive grinder and machine no matter how you start.
Jim Schulman
★ Helpful

juice

Postby juice » Nov 22, 2018, 11:44 am

Thank you jim, very helpful answer might have turned me full circle and look back into a dual boiler machines.

JayBeck

Postby JayBeck » Nov 23, 2018, 10:35 am

I believe you are looking at the 2 best machines in not only this price point, but in any price point. I would also agree with Jim that once you get to the BDB and compare it with the myriad of machines from $1300-2500, then you are looking at machines that are all very good. But if you want to never feel like you need to 'upgrade' again, then for not much more money then that slew of machines sits the DE1 and Bianca, priced thousands of dollars below competition, both arguably more capable than Slayers or GS3s.

Jim is doing a wonderful job reviewing the Bianca. I would like to add a few things about the DE1 and why I feel that regardless of price, it's the best machine in the world and edges out the Bianca.

I think the first thing you need to consider is aesthetics and ergonomics. Do you want a traditional, shiny looking machine that is very 'hands on' during extraction; or do you want a very modern, high tech machine that allows the barista to be very analytical and 'hands off' (freeing you up to talk with guests, prepare other parts of the drink, or simply watch the beautiful shot develop). Ultimately, I think this is the point of divergence between the two machines. You will be able to make identical espresso from either one so capability is not something you need to worry about. What you need to decide is which ethos speaks to you? If you are neutral, then it will get a lot tougher to decide.

Ultimately, I feel the DE1 has the ability to make someone a better barista and it is nearly alone it this ability. The amount of sensors in the grouphead is unparalleled, allowing you to properly diagnose and dial in the shot. For example, when using a traditional machine like the Bianca, your gauge for when preinfusion is over may be drops from the PF, pressure on the gauge, or simply the overall time since the shot began. The DE1 lets you make that determination from flow calculations: You can see how much water has entered the puck in addition to the pressure; where it gets really cool is that once the puck is compressed and the shot begins, you can see how much water continues to enter the puck as well as how much water went THROUGH the puck (with a scale attached). These gravimetrics are totally unique to the DE1 and ultimately tell you how successful your preinfusion was. Since all coffee is different, this level of detail can be invaluable. If the shot begins to pour and more water is going in the puck than coming out, then that means your puck had some dry spots in it still absorbing water. There is no way of telling this on any other machine. And by having this information, you can then adjust your preinfusion flow and the inflection point (longer / shorter) to dial in this part of the shot.

I hope that example shows you a bit of what I mean in what I mean by 'high tech' as well as how valuable this is. It's not a gimmick and it's very well polished for a v1.0 machine. What's more, via the beauty of software, it will get better over time. Yesterday I took my DE1 to Thanksgiving and had a blast making drinks for everyone. I was able to dial in the shot so that all I needed to do was prepare pucks and press ' go.' This beautiful design allowed me to be able to multi-task and still be a part of the conversation. Everyone was very fascinated with the machine so of course a lot of it was discussing what it was, what made it special, etc. But it was a TON of fun. So portability is something else worth considering if you want to be able to take your barista skills with you to events / functions and really enjoy this hobby.

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spressomon

Postby spressomon » Nov 23, 2018, 11:33 am

What grinder do you have/going with?
No Espresso = Depresso

juice

Postby juice » Nov 23, 2018, 12:09 pm

For grinders, I am planning on getting the sette 270Wi as it will be easiest for everyone in the house, although I am also looking at the niche zero. (sold out atm)

As of now, I think if I were to go with a standard dual boiler, it would be the BDB, as it seems to do everything at a fraction of cost (people here even starting to mod it with valves to get a 'slayer shot').

As for the bianca and DE1+, I think I'm leaning towards to bianca, The DE1+ seems amazing with quick startup time and all the customization, though I think I really love the manual feature set of the Bianca.

My decision now comes down to BDB and bianca.

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spressomon

Postby spressomon » Nov 23, 2018, 1:11 pm

^ I'm not in shopping mode and don't foresee being in espresso machine shopping mode for a long time, if ever again (strong statement for sure but I'm loving my Slayer). But the detractor for me, regarding the DE1 machine, is its inability to brew and steam at the same time. We drink morning small cappuccinos and having said that I don't want to wait to steam even small volume of milk...its an application and personal thing. Also, admittedly down on the list of things that bug me, is the sound of the DE1+.

The Lelit seems very appealing...
No Espresso = Depresso

Beaniac

Postby Beaniac » Nov 23, 2018, 1:40 pm

Sleep mode on Bianca allows you to make a cappuccino within 10 minutes after waking "her" up. One of my absolute favorites features. Good for your wallet, the environment and your morning mood I mean rush... Morning rush!

juice

Postby juice » Nov 23, 2018, 1:52 pm

spressomon wrote:^ I'm not in shopping mode and don't foresee being in espresso machine shopping mode for a long time, if ever again (strong statement for sure but I'm loving my Slayer). But the detractor for me, regarding the DE1 machine, is its inability to brew and steam at the same time. We drink morning small cappuccinos and having said that I don't want to wait to steam even small volume of milk...its an application and personal thing. Also, admittedly down on the list of things that bug me, is the sound of the DE1+.

The Lelit seems very appealing...


I totally agree about the sound, that is a huge turn-off.

I'm quite jealous of your slayer though :shock: That machine is a piece of art

Beaniac wrote:Sleepmode on Bianca allows you to make a cappuccino within 10 minutes after waking "her" up. One of my absolute favorites features. Good for your wallet, the environment and your morning mood I mean rush... Morning rush!


I wasn't aware of that, that is a huge advantage. Will you have your machine on 'slee

Beaniac

Postby Beaniac » Nov 23, 2018, 2:14 pm

Yes, when set, after 30 minutes inactivity the steam boiler powers off and brew circuit halves its temperature automatically.
You can select 30-60-90-120-150 minutes inactivity for the sleep mode to engage. It can also be done with the steam boiler off, but the group + brew boiler will still take about ten minutes to raise to and stabilize at brew temp.