Upgrading: La Marzocco Linea Mini vs. Victoria Arduino Prima - Page 9

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

#81: Post by RickVanCleef »

I have a new, never used white Linea Mini (with walnut trim) but I am so taken by the aesthetics of the Prima One that I am considering selling the Mini and ordering a white Prima. Am I crazy?

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MTN Gert

#82: Post by MTN Gert »

I think 90% of people on the forum are a little crazy. Spending thousands of hard earned dollars trying to get the seed of a of a coffee cherry to taste just right haha.

Because of the aesthetics of the Eagle one Prima my wife doubled our budget to accommodate it. It has been be amazing from a technical standpoint too with steam quality/power and delicious espressos that are at least on par with the LMLM and GS3av.
"Stop it....it's naughty and wrong" -James Hoffmann

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Boxerdad1

#83: Post by Boxerdad1 »

Are you crazy? Sure, fun isn't it. Sanity is overrated.

111a111sk

#84: Post by 111a111sk »

Also to me VA Prima is stunningly beautiful, an art piece.

LM LM and GS3 designs seem like something industrial from 70s and 80s respectively. (In fact LM is 2015 and GS3 2007 model)

Caffeinarcolepsy

#85: Post by Caffeinarcolepsy »

Hi everyone.
I spent the past few weeks deciding between LM vs Prima, and went with the VA Prima. Like some others here, the final decision was based purely on aesthetics.

I really like how the LM looks. But the Prima is clearly a far more modern design; and that is what won me over.

Features wise, the new LM has a couple of software capabilities that I am confident VA will give to the Prima soon enough. But, if we are honest, neither has a feature that fundamentally raises one over the other. Both can make beautiful coffee with exactly the same control over the same variables as the other. The fundamental difference between the end result of having one or other of these machines in the kitchen, really, is how they look.

My previous machine was a KVDW Speedster (which I deeply regret selling). Prior to that I've had a range of machines including an ECM Giotto, a Bezzera Lever machine, Nemox, Gaggia, 3x La Pavoni's and others. Obviously the Speedster was the "best" machine I've owned. But, really, I pulled equally consistent and delicious espressos from the Giotto too. I've even made beautifully textured milk on my parents old Breville machine with one of those awful pump-powered steam wands. So, IMO, there really is no right or wrong decision to be made in terms of the coffee that could be produced by either the LM or Prima. Both are awesome machines. All else being equal, any difference between the machines will be less than the effect of room humidity or other uncontrollable, minor variables on any given shot.

Now that I've had the Prima for a few days I can confirm that it is an excellent espresso machine; just like the LM is. It is very well made and looks it; just like the LM does. Everything works exactly as you would hope; just like the LM would. You have to follow the instructions because a lot of the setup is not intuitive. But once you learn how it works, it is easy and consistent to pull a shot; just like on the LM.

The Prima does heat up very fast, relative to most high-end machines including the LM. And it responds to programmed temperature adjustments very fast; staggeringly fast; massively faster than my Speedster did. Shot to shot temperature is very consistent and the app shows virtually no temperature movement.

I was curious whether I would miss the pre-infusion control I had with the speedster? But, seeing neither the LM or Prima offer real pre-infusion control, again, it was not a deciding factor.

That said, on the Prima, according to the app, the brew pressure raises quite slowly from 0.3bar to a maximum of 7.8bar (that I've seen) over around 10-15 seconds (depending on bean and grind). I am not sure where the brew pressure is measured or why it gets nowhere near 9 bar, even on much too fine of a grind?

When pulling a "standard" shot, taking ~25-30 seconds, coffee does not reach the cup until around the ~10 second mark, which is about the same as I got on my Speedster with pre-infusion. So, aside from the experimentation fun-factor, VA's claimed 'soft-infusion' appears to be real. The Prima certainly does not "blast" the puck with an instant 9-bar pressure from start to finish. How much this matters, particularly compared to whatever the LM does, is anybody's guess?

I have to say, the most off-putting thing about the Prima, for me, was the nauseating "sustainability" marketing. It stalled my purchase and made me look more seriously at alternatives. The Prima is an expensive, ultra-premium, high-end machine for me to process less than 100ml of liquid per day, for myself alone. Clearly what matters is the uncompromising quality and technology of the machine for making the best coffee possible. I am not saving the planet by buying this machine. Im not spending $1000's more on this machine to save a few cents on electricity. I am certainly not virtue signalling my frugal concern for the planet by showing off 40kg of passionately Italian, polished and powder-coated steel and electronics, that were shipped all over the world for each stage of processing, and then shipped all over the world to end users, all to achieve 10 seconds of pleasure from pushing a thimble of water through the toasted remnant of a fruit shipped from somewhere else in the world. Really, there are few things in the world as ludicrously extravagant and wasteful as a drinking coffee from a commercial espresso machine in an individual's home. So when VA brag that the entire technological focus of this machine was to make an inherently wasteful extravagance microscopically less wasteful, they are also saying that the machine was NOT designed to be as uncompromisingly brilliant as a coffee machine can be. The marketing is not only disingenuous; it infers that questionable compromises were made and, therefore, better value and quality can be found in machines that focus on doing the job uncompromisingly; like the LM.

Rant over. ;-) I hope these thoughts help anybody else deciding between these 2 machines. For making high-end, cafe-quality coffees, both are equally great and you really cannot go wrong with either.

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BaristaBoy E61

#86: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Caffeinarcolepsy wrote:Rant over. ;-) I hope these thoughts help anybody else deciding between these 2 machines. For making high-end, cafe-quality coffees, both are equally great and you really cannot go wrong with either.

Welcome to HB Damon

Thank you for your thoughtful input and analysis - particularly because the 2-machines I would consider would be the VA-E1P and the Speedster Idromatic!

I look forward to further comment from you as you continue to explore and learn about your VA-E1P - Particularly compared to a Speedster!

Did you own the Speedster Idromatic by chance?

Thanks for posting.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

drH
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#87: Post by drH »

Ha! Interesting point of view!p on the environmental impact.

I might be a bit more cynical and say that the environmental marketing may be more targeted to cafe owners and roasters. I don't know how large of a market they are for the Prima but, for a cafe owner, saving a few bucks a month on electricity might just be good business sense without regard to the environment. Maybe they saw a market advantage to building a machine this way.

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Caffeinarcolepsy

#88: Post by Caffeinarcolepsy »

BaristaBoy E61 wrote:Welcome to HB Damon

Thank you for your thoughtful input and analysis - particularly because the 2-machines I would consider would be the VA-E1P and the Speedster Idromatic!

I look forward to further comment from you as you continue to explore and learn about your VA-E1P - Particularly compared to a Speedster!

Did you own the Speedster Idromatic by chance?

Thanks for posting.
Thanks BaristaBoy.

I bought my Speedster before the Idromatic system was invented so I never got to play with that, unfortunately. It looks extremely cool.

For me the only competitor to the Speedster is the Slayer Espresso. Fortunately for my wallet I was unable to find one and I bought the E1P. But then yesterday I stumbled across a Slayer Espresso near to me; and it's in my perfect colour combination too. :( Good thing Im headed overseas for a few weeks. Hopefully somebody else buys it in the mean time. All life on the planet might die in a fire if I was to buy a less "sustainable" coffee machine. :P