Lelit Bianca vs VBM Domobar Super Electronic - Page 3

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

#21: Post by nick_111 »

DaveC wrote:I have used a lot of machines and I prefer the way the Bianca works
As far as quality of espresso produced, how would you compare the Bianca to a La Marzocco GS3, which also uses a paddle to control water flow ?


#22: Post by aapowers »

Generally people who have a Bianca won't have a GS3 MP :wink: . However from reading the two machines use different mechanical operations to determine pressure. In the Bianca it's using a needle valve which in my experience is smooth.

The GS3MP uses a different mechanism which depending on the year of production can differ between models in terms of durability. On top of I have seen videos of the GS3MP in operation and the paddle function seems to be not very smooth.


#23: Post by aapowers »

[quote="Capuchin Monk"]I haven't tried any espresso machines with flow profile controller so I'm wondering, when dialing in the coffee grounds, should it be done with full 9 bar pressure (or standard default setting)? Then once that is dialed in, use flow profile to manipulate, no?[/quote]

In short, I believe you should go with whatever your lounge tells you tastes best. There's no right method. It's just what makes your coffee taste great. I used to dial in to 9 bars for a shot then change but later realized that isn't necessary or optimal.

I have used both volumetric machines and the Bianca and would like to say both have their advantages and disadvantages.

In terms of dialing in, the volumetric machine is easier as you know your dispensing and pressure isn't affected each time. You only have to worry about your puck prep and grind size. The next easiest would be the manual pressure profilers like the Bianca or GS3MP. the hardest would be pre programmed machines with profiles.

In terms of manual pressure profile machines, you have the opportunity to express a wider or narrower range of flavours which is great on days that I have more time. My personal routine is to grind finer for a lever style shot which takes 40 seconds ish.

I would like to further add that in the Bianca you can eye ball the shot and take a look at the naked portafilter saturation and flow etc. However on a programmed machine you can't. Eye balling the shot will give more experienced users the ability to tweak the profile on the go which is great if you're brewing in small volumes.

People who buy programmed machines often imagine that the shot will end right at the end of the pressure curve at the same exact recipe say 1:2. However in reality unless you adjust the grind everyday with one or two shots before hand, you either stop the shot early to keep the recipe or go over to keep the profile. This is important to remember instead of considering the romantic notion of a pre programed shot profile. The preprogram shot profile works after you've dialed in your grind size and as we all know the quality of your bean and flow rate changes as your coffee sits in storage necessitating daily changes.

My recommendation is to go manual especially if you are pulling one to two shots a day as you can eye ball the changes instead of pre programing the profile. This is especially so if you're worried about tuning in your grind size.

On days i just want to get the espresso out as fast as possible and get on with life I really appreciate the volumetric machine which is easier but alas I only use that in church for the barista ministry.

Further to this I want to add that my Bianca fan push the pump pressure to 11 bars which is useful when the puck degrades and the flow increases resulting in a loss of pressure. I grind the coffee finer so that when I brew I turn down the flow rate initially to get 9 bars and as my puck falls apart I still have room to increase the pressure to compensate if I want a flat line pressure profile. This is an example of an on the go adjustment you cant make with a pre programmed machine

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#24: Post by pizzaman383 »

Another option is to buy the Vibiemme and later on add the flow control valve (a little modification of the paddle is required).
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

Capuchin Monk

#25: Post by Capuchin Monk »

pizzaman383 wrote:(a little modification of the paddle is required).
That's all it takes? Which brand of flow control valve? I'm asking because I've seen descriptions on those valve retailer sites alerting that it won't fit VBM E61 group head.


#26: Post by Pressino »

pizzaman383 wrote:Another option is to buy the Vibiemme and later on add the flow control valve (a little modification of the paddle is required).
The main problem that I see with that would be the complexity of using the e61 FCD while you are extracting an already programmed shot with the VBM, since you would then be manually adjusting the needle valve at the same time the machine is adjusting the brew pressure supplied by the pump.

Provided the FCD actually would fit into the VBM e61 (I have no idea if they use a standard mushroom/gicleur in the Domobar Super Electronic), I suppose you could use the FCD to manually profile the shot provided you set the program to emulate "normal" pressure during a traditional e61extraction. Then you could have your cake and eat it too.

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#27: Post by pizzaman383 »

The lelit FC valve is purported to fit but I have no first hand knowledge. I don't have any first hand knowledge.
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

4go (original poster)

#28: Post by 4go (original poster) »

Thanks for all of your replies!

I guess, my last question(s) - for now :twisted: -:

-Based on answers even if you prefer the Bianca, or the VBM domobar super digital electronic, any choose will result a goood espresso machine for home, right? (neglect personal preferences)

Im thinking about two things right now:
The manual flow control gives me more control. But the preprogrammed is easier to use (include wife). I guess, this answer/decesion will determine the choosen product. For my nowdays, a preprogrammed profile is a way to go (it gives some control and its repeatable anytime), but i have to think about the future, because i guess this machine will be with me for years.

Last (2nd) quesion: if wife just want an espresso, is it ok for the bianca, if the paddle wwill set to about 9 bars, then brews the coffee? Will it give a good espresso of 9bars of pressure?


#29: Post by nick_111 » replying to 4go »

Yes, any of these two machines should give you really good espresso.

Regarding your 2nd question: yes, you could certainly use the Lelit Bianca as a standard 9bar machine (i.e. without using the paddle). For that you would simply need to set the max pump pressure to 9bar (it is very easy to do). Furthermore, even in this case, you will still have the option of using a pre-programmed preinfusion via the LCC.


#30: Post by aapowers »

Both of them will result in good espresso if you know how to adjust the grind size. The skill of the barista is important. If your wife wants to rely on pre programmed profiles, she likely can't taste the difference between a flat 9 and other styles. The preprogrammed shots aren't the magic bullet. They just make a good coffee potentially great. You can't make bad tasting coffee or badly dialled in coffee good using a pressure profile.

I recommend your wife to get a scale and brew to a consistent 1:2 recipe.

Bianca is ok for daily use. The main determinant of whether the flat 9 can give you a good espresso is the quality of the beans and whether you dialed in the grind size properly.

If you dial in the shot for your wife will be fine.

Teach your wife these skills
1) gravimetric brewing, recipe 1:2.
2) shot timing
3) how to identify stale coffee
4) grind size adjustment

Once she's knows these she will be able to use the Bianca without any difficulty. Even if you get pre programmed profiles, without those skills the coffee will taste like crap all the time.

I think preprogrammed is fine if you're more advanced because you have to take into account the gravimetric profile which is affected by your grind size and roast level intuitively.

Ok in short if I were you, just get the Bianca it's a more forgiving machine. If you're serious about this hobby eventually upgrade to the decent.