Comments on La Marzocco Linea Micra Espresso Machine Review - Page 19

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HB (original poster)
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#181: Post by HB (original poster) »

Mochajoe wrote:...I was wondering if you had a chance to use the Micra on a daily basis, or was your time with it limited to just testing various features?
I received the evaluation unit before it was announced and have used it just about every day since.

As noted in the video, what really stands out is the compact size, fast startup, and high forgiveness factor. I own a La Marzocco Strada and I've used all of their home models and many of their commercial ones at the Counter Culture Coffee training center (e.g., the Linea PB three group). The Micra is easily the most barista-friendly La Marzocco I've ever used, which is why I said "...you're really given a professional level experience, but one that also doesn't punish beginners" in the video.

My only complaint so far is the LM app: It requires a login to access/change some settings and it requires disabling privacy settings like location. I can appreciate the flexibility of a control application and how it simplifies the machine controls -- there's literally just an on/off switch.

Basic features like temperature can be set via Bluetooth, but I'd prefer that it not require a login at all. For example, I have a cheap bore scope camera and smart outlet that act as Wi-Fi and I can set them simply by connecting my phone to them. That eliminates the need for online connectivity and has all the features/flexibility of an online application.
Mochajoe wrote:I noticed in your video that the water tank cap was missing, maybe it was lost during transport of the Micra from reviewer to reviewer?
Yeah, it got misplaced during the transport to Martin's house. We found it later.
refereedjournal wrote:Any chance we can see how the plumbing bits are connected? How far does the drain line go before sinking through your counter?
I don't have the plumb-in kit yet (Dave/cannonfodder does). As for drain, the standard driptray has a connection point for a wastewater drain (UPDATE: See Dave's photo below).
Dan Kehn

Mochajoe

#182: Post by Mochajoe »

HB wrote:I received the evaluation unit before it was announced and have used it just about every day since.

As noted in the video, what really stands out is the compact size, fast startup, and high forgiveness factor. I own a La Marzocco Strada and I've used all of their home models and many of their commercial ones at the Counter Culture Coffee training center (e.g., the Linea PB three group). The Micra is easily the most barista-friendly La Marzocco I've ever used, which is why I said "...you're really given a professional level experience, but one that also doesn't punish beginners" in the video.

My only complaint so far is the LM app: It requires a login to access/change some settings and it requires disabling privacy settings like location. I can appreciate the flexibility of a control application and how it simplifies the machine controls -- there's literally just an on/off switch.

Basic features like temperature can be set via Bluetooth, but I'd prefer that it not require a login at all. For example, I have a cheap bore scope camera and smart outlet that act as Wi-Fi and I can set them simply by connecting my phone to them. That eliminates the need for online connectivity and has all the features/flexibility of an online application.
Well, I ordered the Stainless Micra a few days ago and am waiting on its arrival. The Micra in your video was stunning and helped to convince me that it could replace the Appartamento as a focal point in my kitchen. That, along with the fact that it has a rotary pump, dual boiler, and a saturated group head. I could not find another machine on the market with those features that fit underneath standard kitchen cabinets without losing the ability to stack a few cups on top.

Lastly, I do not plan to connect it to the internet. According to LM Home, it can be used without internet connection as long as factory settings are maintained. If true, that will work just fine for me.

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HB (original poster)
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#183: Post by HB (original poster) »

Mochajoe wrote:Lastly, I do not plan to connect it to the internet. According to LM Home, it can be used without internet connection as long as factory settings are maintained. If true, that will work just fine for me.
They're correct that it only requires an Internet connection for initial setup and none if you're happy with the factory settings. Once that's done, there's no connection requirement. If the "Big Brother" vibe bothers you, another option is using your router's guest network or a temporary hotspot from your phone -- connect to your phone's hotspot, let LM do their thing, then disable the hotspot/change the password.

I think a better long-term answer is eliminating the login requirement entirely by using Wi-Fi. That's what a lot of "smart" devices do, including espresso machines like the Quickmill Sorella (i.e., it acts as a Wi-Fi router with a fixed login).
Dan Kehn

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cannonfodder
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#184: Post by cannonfodder »

refereedjournal wrote:Any chance we can see how the plumbing bits are connected? How far does the drain line go before sinking through your counter?
As I noted in my first Blog post on the Micra, I have a plumb-in kit but it is not the production kit. A bespoke kit directly from LM so I can test the preinfusion. Per their request, I am not going into detail on the exact bits, since what I have is part Linea Mini, GS3, and Micra parts and the final Micra plumb in kit will be slightly different.

The drip tray can be plumbed in, just like the Mini and GS3. It is simple, screw out the plug and screw in the drain adapter, and attach the drain line. Obviously, the drain will need a down angle to your plumbing hookup for proper drainage. If you are going to run it along the back of a counter it will need a slope to drain.

Look up the Linea Mini plumb in kit, I am confident what you get for the Micra will be very, very, similar. It took me 30 minutes to hook it all up and set up the preinfusion. However, I already have filtered, regulated, supply lines under my coffee bar. So I simply had to install the internal bits and connect to one of my riser lines and turn on the water valve to it.

Dave Stephens

NewCoffeeGuy1

#185: Post by NewCoffeeGuy1 »

@cannonfodder I completely agree with your sentiment from the review post - the machine recedes in the best way possible. The Micra "just works" and works extremely well.

guiny

#186: Post by guiny »

What makes the micra more forgiving? Does it have better temperature stability? Better pressure stability?

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HB (original poster)
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#187: Post by HB (original poster) »

We've wondered the same thing. I doubt it's pressure or temperature stability, since that's kind of a given for lots of other espresso machines I've tested, including La Marzocco's. My guess, and it's really without any factual basis, is that the initial dispersion and tighter headspace have something to do with it. :?

For what it's worth, I noticed the Linea Micra's high forgiveness factor on day 1 and the subsequent days only confirmed it. I didn't say much about it until other reviewers independently validated the same observation. Whatever the difference, I don't think it's imagined.

I would really like to know what's different, if only to answer my nagging question: What have we been missing all these years?
Dan Kehn

nick_111

#188: Post by nick_111 replying to HB »

If this is the case, is the behavior perhaps similar to using a puck screen ?

guiny

#189: Post by guiny »

Could it be the flow rate?

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AssafL

#190: Post by AssafL »

HB wrote:We've wondered the same thing. I doubt it's pressure or temperature stability, since that's kind of a given for lots of other espresso machines I've tested, including La Marzocco's. My guess, and it's really without any factual basis, is that the initial dispersion and tighter headspace have something to do with it. :?
This in intriguing. So it reminds me of the Basket comparisons done by Jim many years ago and on one graph (How filter baskets affect espresso taste and barista technique) there was the variability of the brew ratio to dose for different baskets. Where some baskets (e.g. VST) were very finicky others were not so much. Obviously, back then the dispersion was the same since it was the same machine. But headspace and hole area and geometry did change.

So an obvious question is whether the Micra is as forgiving with all baskets - or is the forgiveness factor basket dependent?

My usual suspect for forgiveness is always PI (or dwell time). Just because of the effects we discussed on the Long Preinfusion thread. For me giggler and headspace (headspace being the sum of headspace in the basket and headspace above the basket in the machine) have always been a timer of sorts - smaller giggler will take longer to fill a larger headspace).

Since they can't control the basket headspace (that is fixed by the basket manufacturer) they can only limit the machines headspace above it. But that would make the machine more sensitive to dose as any increase would change the headspace by a large percentage.

More intuitive to me would be a far larger headspace - where basket headspace would be only a small % of the total headspace. In that case it would take a long time to fill that extra space and hence require a larger giggler to compensate (keeping the PI/dwell time constant).
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.