Lelit Bianca User Experience - Page 220

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
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#2191: Post by BaristaBob »

kmayer wrote:You can't do flow profiling as precise as you can with Decent or some other machines, but you can setup a flow profile that does xx seconds pre infusion followed by xx seconds low flow followed by xx seconds high flow followed by xx seconds low flow and engage that profile by just flipping the lever.
I concur. This is exactly why the Bianca is still on my short list, with the LM gs3 mp. Update me on this after you have had a chance to use this auto setting for a while. I saw Sprometheus do this in his Bianca YouTube video and was amazed. This is only something the v3 has the capability to do. Nice!!!
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"

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#2192: Post by kmayer replying to BaristaBob »

Hi Bob. Yes my short list was the Bianca, LM GS3 MP, LM Micra and that was really about it. I also considered the Slayer, You, Decent, Profitec and a few others.

The comparison that Sprometheus did with the LM as well as the stand alone review are both well done and informative. Lance Hedrick also has a well done deep dive video worth seeing.

I started using the Machine Monday morning, and pull about six shots per day. Obviously you don't expect much to go wrong yet, but I've been completely pleased on every level. I'm using settings that are a bit of a combination between the videos mentioned. I have my brew pressure set to 9 bar (a snap to adjust), and my temp set to 103. I'm using no pre-infusion, the first 10 seconds at low pressure (4 bar), then the next 10 seconds at 9 bar, and then finish off the remainder at 4 bar. Total shot time is about 45 seconds using 18 grams in and about 38'ish out. My primary coffee has been Caffé Lusso ETHIOPIA SIDAMA. There is certainly more tweaking and playing around to be done, but this has immediately produced a wonderfully balanced shot. I love how easy it is to change these settings, and the fact that you just push a few buttons on the control panel vs. using an app or complicated menu structure. So, from a usability and in the cup standpoint, the Bianca has exceeded my lofty expectations.

The biggest surprise to me is the build quality and enjoyment of interacting with the machine. I knew I would get this with the LM and a few of the other machines mentioned, but in all honesty did not expect it with the Bianca. I must say that the Bianca is truly a joy to look at, touch and interact with. Sprometheus and James Hoffman do a very good job of advocating a mindfulness that goes beyond the chore of brewing espresso and frequently talk about the enjoyment and "zen" of it. It truly should be a rewarding and tactile experience, and for me the Bianca has helped move that mindset forward in my kitchen. I look forward to my time spent using it, and I can think of no higher praise.

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#2193: Post by VirTERM replying to kmayer »

Well written, enjoy your machine, Kevin.

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#2194: Post by boren »

another_jim wrote:The finer the grind, the soupier the puck. The Bianca is set up to make flow control shots, and tends to require a finer grind for the same dose in the same basket as a machine without all the flow control hardware. If you want to party like it's 1999, turn the needle valve all the way open by opening the paddle to the right, then removing it and inserting it all the way to the left, and opening it again all the way to the right. You now have the equivalent of a 1990s Linea with no jet.

Now overload a triple basket, make an espresso porn shot that has a dwell time of around 2 seconds, knock out the really pretty bone dry puck ... and then taste it, and count your blessings for soupy pucks.
Are soupy pucks an attribute of all machines with flow-control? For some reason it doesn't get mentioned frequently.

Is there any other upgrade one could implement (e.g. a different three-way solenoid valve) to get drier pucks that knock out more cleanly?

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#2195: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

Soupy pucks are a product of grinding very fine. The relation ot flow control is that it lets you pull really fine grinds.

I am not sure whooshing up the pressure release is worth the trouble (I can see it now .. a nosiy compressor hooked into the exhaust port of the E61). If they really bother you, going to the new, vvery high flow baskets may be a solution. These require finer grinds, but mauy have better drainage after the shot than conventional baskets. I'm not a fan, since they react non-linearly to dose and pressure changes; but I think the majority of HBers use them.
Jim Schulman

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#2196: Post by boren »

I think I might have damaged the gicleur of my Bianca by closing the flow control paddle too strongly. It now takes a lot of time to build up pressure (about 10 seconds with a blind portafilter to get to 9 bar). Is that a symptom of a broken gicleur, or could there be another reason?

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#2197: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

If you can still shut off and regulate the flow, it seems unlikly to be the needle valve. The usual E61 cause for this is scale in the mushroom; but I have no clue whether that still applies to groups with the flow control mod.
Jim Schulman

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#2198: Post by benrudick »

FWIW, I'm 3,000 shots into my 2nd Bianca over about 3 years.

The first machine from 2020 had a defective flow control paddle (brief QC issue due to one particular tech over tightening a piece), but that was quickly resolved and replaced.

The 2nd machine (v2) has been basically flawless. It's now developing a small steam issue likely due to my water being too soft.

While there are many, many things to love about this machine, my favorite is being able to side-mount the water tank. It's a lifesaver with low cabinets.

I honestly can't point to anything I'd improve on this machine. With a smart plug, heat up time isn't really an issue and, while I don't use the flow paddle regularly for profiling, it's amazing for saving shots that are in danger of

Maybe I'd ship it with the 4-hole steam tip?

Oh and I'd strongly recommend buying direct from 1st Line if you're purchasing in the US. They've been excellent, and my understanding is the other retailers are going through them anyway.

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#2199: Post by slybarman »

agree - the design of the water tank never gets enough credit when comparing this machine against it's peers, including how the external design keeps the water cooler and less prone to turning funky.

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#2200: Post by sandhillcrane »

benrudick wrote:Maybe I'd ship it with the 4-hole steam tip?
I believe the v3 ships with the 4-hole steam tip. At least mine did.