Lelit Bianca vs Profitec 700/ECM Synchronika with Flow Profiling

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
brentvdg

#1: Post by brentvdg » Dec 04, 2019, 12:30 pm

Hi All,

I've got upgrade-itis, and I'm very interested in a flow profiling machine. I was originally interested in the Profitec 800, but the lever doesn't work with my kitchen cabinet reality, so I think I'm left deciding between the Lelit and the ECM/Profitec machines.

Can you help me decide?

I like the fit and finish of the ECM/Profitec's, but my sense from all the board messages I've read is that the Lelit may offer a better user experience from the paddle and needle valve perspective. Not sure whether or not the latest improvements on the ECM/Profitec knob are satisfying the users yet? The addition of the flow profiling kit to so many models in the ECM/Profitec lines gives me hope that they have it figured out. Thoughts on that?

Thanks for any insight you can provide!

Nunas
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#2: Post by Nunas » Dec 04, 2019, 5:47 pm

I think I'm left deciding between the Lelit and the ECM/Profitec machines.
You can't go wrong with either. The ECM knob V1 was too long, so it worked like the Bianca does, restricting the range of the needle valve. In practice, this is no biggie, as the knob/lever can be set to a workable range. The ECM V2 knob is very small; this permits using the full range of the needle valve. But, being small your fingers can easily touch the hot bits of the group. One gets used to this and eventually, it works fine. It all depends on your pain threshold and how quickly you learn :wink: The V3 knob, which I've not yet received, is reportedly a bit bigger. Also, on the ECM (and probably the Bianca) you can install a volume control knob such as used on an electric guitar. Not so nice looking but very practical.

The Bianca version changes out the preinfusion spring. So, the control simply controls the flow. The ECM control does not, so initially, it controls the preinfusion time then the flow. The ECM can take the Bianca spring and the Bianca can be converted back to a regular spring if desired. The Bianca also has pump controlled preinfusion; the ECM does not and it can't easily be added. So, either way, you can have what you want.

Only you can decide on the esthetics. I have the Synchronika because I just love the looks. I hated the bat handles at first but am now used to them. The Profitec uses knobs.

For what it's worth, I only use my profiling knob on my Synk about 1/4 the time. Mostly I use the e61 lever to soak before pulling.

Go for it! Profiling adds a new dimension.

brentvdg

#3: Post by brentvdg » Dec 04, 2019, 6:15 pm

Thanks for this note. I wasn't aware of these differences. Seems like the spring cross-compatibility eliminates that as a sticking point.

Can the Synchronika/700 not achieve similar preinfusion to what the Bianca does in a manual fashion using a combo of the handle and/or knob (and a watch)?

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by Nunas » Dec 04, 2019, 8:24 pm

Can the Synchronika/700 not achieve similar preinfusion to what the Bianca does in a manual fashion using a combo of the handle and/or knob (and a watch)?
Well, it depends on what you call preinfusion; for sake of discussion, I'll assume that it is the sort given by the e61 group. On the ECM/Profitec, the e61 head has inherent preinfusion (as I noted, in the Bianca head this is eliminated via the spring change and replaced by messing with the pump). So, both machines have preinfusion, just done in different ways. In the ECM, the needle valve and standard spring give a huge range of preinfusion compared to the stock e61. BTW, turning it open about 1.5 turns is roughly the same as the stock jet; so if you want the machine to operate "normally" just turn it open 1.5 turns. With the needle valve turned wide open, there's virtually no preinfusion; pressure will shoot up to pump pressure (providing the coffee puck is good). Just cracked open, you can pre-infuse for over a minute. Once preinfusion is over, the brewing pressure rises (again assuming a decent puck). If the control is just cracked open then the pressure will not rise to 9-bar. Turning it more open rises the pressure (and flow); turning it down reduces the pressure and flow. You can thus control the flow/pressure by moving the needle valve.

crocs

#5: Post by crocs » Dec 05, 2019, 2:48 am

is this the bianca preinfusion?
[youtube][/youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1k191OFov8
look adjustable
did anyone test it??

crocs

#6: Post by crocs » Dec 05, 2019, 3:03 am

in kaffeenetz people speaks abouth the ecm flow control
threads/ecm-profitec-flow-control.122417
also ecm send the spring to remove the e61 preinfusion, probably in the next kit will be standard

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slybarman

#7: Post by slybarman » Dec 05, 2019, 7:58 am

Bianca also has electronic programmable pre-infusion. Multiple ways to skin the cat.

dak

#8: Post by dak » Dec 05, 2019, 10:40 am

Hi everyone. This is my first post on HB and after receiving so much wonderful guidance on this forum, I felt I had to chime in!

I just went through this exact choice in October. I was back and forth between the Bianca and the pro 700 / ECM Sync. with Flow control. I ended up going with the Bianca for a few reasons but there were things I liked about the Profitec / ECM too. Below are some factors I considered-

Pros for the Bianca
1. Esthetics - obviously a subjective matter, but I prefer the Walnut to the black plastic and the more rounded, less industrial appearance of the Bianca.
2. The modular water tank is absolutely brilliant. I knew that eventually I plan to plumb the machine when I redo my kitchen, so being able to further reduce the footprint at that point is awesome. For now, being able to have the tank on the side helps by allowing the machine sit further back on the counter, providing a cleaner look and more room to work. It also makes filling the reservoir much easier.
3. The paddle is awesome to look at and functions so smooth and effectively in use.
4. Bianca Weight is 20 lb less than the ECM but still very sturdy and solid (~60lb). At 80lb with no water in the tank, the thought of having to shift the ECM on the counter to clean periodically makes my spine tingle! :shock:
5. As mentioned already, the more robust PID functionality allows for a more automated preinfusion and it has a cool energy saver mode
6. Finally, in the US it's about $400 cheaper than the ECM

Perceived (I have not used it) pros for the ECM
1. It's built like a German tank and is probably a little overbuilt, not a bad thing.
2. I prefer the Joystick for steam but the knobs on the Bianca still work just fine and are spring loaded like the Pro 700
3. Very highly regarded manufacturer reputation

One concern for me was a perceived build quality advantage for the ECM, but the Bianca's build quality has been a pleasant surprise. It seems very robust and well thought out especially for a home use case.

Bottom line both are great choices and will likely produce very similar results in the cup. Go with the one that excites you more and never look back!

Cheers

Dimitri

my set up :D

Image

brentvdg

#9: Post by brentvdg » Dec 05, 2019, 10:54 am

slybarman wrote:Bianca also has electronic programmable pre-infusion. Multiple ways to skin the cat.
This does seem like a very convenient feature!

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slybarman

#10: Post by slybarman » replying to brentvdg » Dec 05, 2019, 11:15 am

It is. I use it regularly.