Simple Flow Profiling on the La Marzocco Linea Micra

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Jake_G
Team HB
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Joined: 6 years ago

#1: Post by Jake_G »

Hello all!

As most of you know, La Marzocco graciously sent a small army of Micras out to Team HB to facilitate our La Marzocco Linea Micra Espresso Machine Review.
Go check it out - it answers most of the questions folks have about the machine.

I've had the review unit for a few weeks and I have a review of the machine and my experience with it in progress. Bits and pieces of my review will be added to the main review as I get them polished up and ready for public consumption. Being that these are loaner review units, the typical boiler plate "This is as unbiased as I can be, but LM sent me a machine (to review) for free, so take that into consideration." applies :lol:

One of the big questions I had even before the review units started shipping was "How will the Micra be as a platform for upgrades and modifications?". I'll handle that topic specifically in the Micra review, but this is a deep dive into a very specific modification that addresses one of the largest criticisms of the Micra: Lack of Flow Control

I pulled my loaner Micra apart, identified the most logical approach to add functional flow control, made a parts list, and here we are:
The process was quite simple.
  1. Remove the tube from the manifold to the brew group, and cap the port on the manifold.
  2. Remove the pressure gauge fitting from the manifold.
  3. Attach push to connect fittings to the open ports on the brew group, the pressure gauge and the manifold.
  4. Run tubing from the manifold to a needle valve.
  5. Attach a tee to the output of the needle valve.
  6. Run tubing from the tee fitting to the brew group and pressure gauge fittings.
That's it. The Micra now has full manual flow control and behaves like a completely temperature-stable Bianca with a 5 minute warm up time.

Below are a few photos for posterity.

Removal of the Brew Tube:




Installation of the cap, brew group and pressure gauge fittings:

And final shot with it all tied together:


The wheel will be tucked into the case, peeking out like the temperature knob on the LMLM for a truly incognito installation.

Here's an overview of the mod I posted on YouTube:
I share this here to get inout from the population as to what kind of things would interest folks as I pull together the modification-based aspects of my formal review. I'll also be checking Comments on La Marzocco Linea Micra Espresso Machine Review for input on how to best put the machine through its paces.

I welcome all feedback!

Cheers!

- Jake
LMWDP #704
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flyingtoaster
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#2: Post by flyingtoaster »

Wow! Just wow! As somebody who was leaning towards the Micra but on the fence considering more modern options, this seals the deal. Now to decide between blue, gray, yellow and red.

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Jaroslav
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#3: Post by Jaroslav »

Wow, I had a feeling something interesting would happen once you get your review unit Jake. That's crazy, really well done!
Jaroslav

Barriwhite
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Joined: 1 year ago

#4: Post by Barriwhite »

Amazing! I received mine this week, and although I like it, I'm a bit underwhelmed. Seeing this makes me feel better about my purchase.

Ldstern
Posts: 38
Joined: 3 years ago

#5: Post by Ldstern »

Thanks for this. It would be great to have a video of the installation and a detailed parts list. I am not knowledgeable enough to undertake such a project with only the images you posted. I was not sure what exactly was altered.

coyote-1
Posts: 517
Joined: 2 years ago

#6: Post by coyote-1 »

So this $4000 machine finally catches up to my $15 ViaVenezia!

(ducks for cover, laughing)

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Jake_G (original poster)
Team HB
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#7: Post by Jake_G (original poster) replying to coyote-1 »

Nope, it doesnt have a temperature readout! :lol:
LMWDP #704

espressoren
Posts: 471
Joined: 1 year ago

#8: Post by espressoren »

I know it's tongue in cheek but I would count the Micra as pretty advanced based on the rather unique group, and it has all of the smart features.

It isn't less modern, just trade offs. I opted for the Micra because fast warm up and scheduling were more important than profiling. Now it seems there may be fewer trade offs soon.

stephenlthorn
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Joined: 1 year ago

#9: Post by stephenlthorn »

I'd also like to see a detailed explanation of what to buy, where to buy parts, and how to mod.

Thanks for sharing!

NelisB
Posts: 972
Joined: 15 years ago

#10: Post by NelisB »

Jake, did the mod result in a better tasting espresso?