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Video Overview | La Marzocco Linea Mini Home Espresso Machine

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Transcript

Hey, folks. It's Steve with Prima Coffee here. Today we're going to take a look at the La Marzocco Linea Mini Home Espresso machine. This is La Marzocco's flagship machine for their La Marzocco Home program. And it's basically the first machine that they've designed from the ground up to be used as a home machine. Now of course, we've had like the GS3 in the past, which a lot of people have decided to use in their home, but this is the first time that La Marzocco has really kind of opened up and said, "Let's make something for those home coffee enthusiasts." Obviously, this machine takes a ton of design inspiration from the Linea Classic. It's a, kind of, time honored machine. It really became quite a notable design, as specialty coffee became more popular in the United States, so La Marzocco kind of honored that and kind of shrunk it down and made it a more home-friendly package. We got a whole ton of really great features here.

  • La Marzocco Linea Mini Home Espresso Machine

    Dual boilers with PID brew temperature control

    Featured Product

Up front, we've got a couple of different knobs and a big paddle. Our paddle group is actually not a manual paddle. It's an electronic paddle. It does not have flow control or pressure profiling or anything like that. It's a two-stage paddle, just on and off, and really this is more of an aesthetic feature that just makes it a really nice user experience. It's a really great-feeling,paddle to swing back and forth. It has a great, smooth action to it, just a really nice design feature to add. We got a couple of LEDs right here. This red one up top is our, sort of power temperature LED. A steady red light means that you're on, you're hot, and you're ready to brew. If it's blinking red, it just means that it's still heating up. Our blue light down here, is the water LED. So if it's blinking, same sort of thing, it just means that you need to actually refill the reservoir, if you're running it on reservoir. This machine can be plugged in. However, we're running it on the reservoir now. But with a steady blue light, that means that your water is all set and ready to go. On the left, I've got a knob for my hot water wand. So that's really nice if you want to do Americanos or make some tea.

On the right, I've got a steam wand, with my steam knob there. This steam wand isn't fully articulated, but it does have a fairly good range of motion. We have a front-to-back tilt and a swivel, just like the Linea Classic. Unfortunately, that means that the total range of motion is a little bit limited, and it can be somewhat hard to get in the right position for steaming. But you do still have a pretty good range of positions to put your steam wand in while you're steaming your milk. Down below we have a fully commercial size 58 millimeter portafilter and basket. This is actually the same stainless steel portafilter that you would see on your commercial Linea machines. Really a great product, solid portafilter. We've got the double spout on it right now. It comes with a single spout, so you can just pop this spout off. There's just an o-ring on there, so all you have to do is pull. And then you can swap in the single spout, if you don't want to split your shots. And of course, you can use it without spouts, if you like as well. It comes with a couple different size baskets. Two singles, a couple of different doubles, as well as a blind back flushing basket. So you've got a whole variety of basket sizes to use. We also have this really neat feature, they call the barista light.

There's a couple of LEDs on the underside here, so it will illuminate your shot as you're brewing, like so. So those lights turn on during brewing to illuminate everything, make sure you get a nice good view, peak at your espresso while it's pulling. Kind of acts as a little bit of a flash, we even take some pictures, too. Now down down below, we've got this really nice, big drip tray. Has a very large volume, so you can put a lot of water in it or just, you know, you're like rinsing your portafilter or any extra drops from your espresso. It has a couple of magnets that hold it in place on some stainless steel rails. So it's very, very sturdy and held in place quite well, and it takes a little tiny bit of force to remove. So you want to make sure that this isn't too full when you go to take it off, and I can slide it right out. And here's our reservoir that I mentioned earlier. It's a 3.5 liter reservoir. Like I said, this machine can be plumbed in if you like. There's a conversion kit to set it up to hook up to your water line, and you can plumb in the drip tray as well, for a drain line. So that means that it's going to be really good for catering or even small commercial environments with lower volume as well. Anywhere that you might have use for a single group machine, the Linea Mini can really excel. We've heard really great stories of people using them at trade shows or for catering set-ups, and the feedback has been super positive. It's a great fit for that, if you're not looking for something exclusively for home use.

Inside the machine, we've got some pretty cool internals. We've got a great big three-liter steam boiler, but the brew boiler is really where things get interesting. Because the brew boiler and the brew group are integrated. They're actually... It's a brand new design for the Linea Mini. So that keeps things nice and saturated, lots of hot water running through to keep everything nice and warm. The brew boiler itself, is a little bit on the small side, which is surprising. It's a six-fluid-ounce boiler, and that might sound like it's sort of critically small, like way too small for something like this. However, La Marzocco was sure to make sure to take care of that with some new, sort of, technological advancements. Now they have a PID temperature controller built in. On the side here, we have an adjustment dial, so it's actually an analog dial for a digital temperature controller, which is interesting and a little bit out of the ordinary. Usually you would have like a digital screen or digital output to control this, but the analog dial works just the same. You can adjust it by a couple of degrees here or there. It's got a range of 185 to about 221 degrees. So you got quite a big range to set your temperature, and it's really, really easy to make a couple of quick adjustments on the fly as well. Now, because of that small boiler size, that means that temperature changes are actually quick to take place.

There is a very large pre-heat coil that warms the water running into the brew boiler, so that makes sure that you're not cooling down your boiler too much as the new fresh water comes in. And it also means that you can actually heat up that water a little extra and very quickly. So if you are making an adjustment, let's say you're changing your temperature up by a couple of degrees, the very next shot you make is pretty much going to be at that desired temperature. Going down a couple of degrees, it might take another shot or two to really settle in place, but it's really very quick, much quicker than a full two or three-liter brew boiler, even with a PID would take to settle in. So you have really great temperature control, and actually that small boiler size becomes an advantage when you need to change your temperatures, such as when you're dialing in a new coffee. Now, let's take a look at pulling a shot. Like I said, this is a commercial size portafilter, so you're going to be talking about, pretty much commercial size doses and yields.

So I'm going to tear out my portafilter here. I'm going to weigh out some coffee actually, real quick. That'll be first. So I'm just going to grab about eighteen and a half grams here. So a nice-sized dose for a double shot of espresso. I'm going to give myself just a little extra, just to account for the grinder holding on to a little bit extra fines and things. Turn on my portafilter again. And here we go. All right, just check that dose. It's a little high. I'm going to take a couple tenths of a gram off, and eighteen and a half is right where I want to be. Let's groom this real quick. Tamp it. So because it's a full commercial size portafilter, I'm actually using a VST basket here, which is great. A lot of professionals and home users alike really love these baskets for their consistency, their hole pattern, and generally, you get a little bit higher extraction as well, which is always great. I'm going to lock in here. My scale's set up. And I'm just going to throw it right over. So like I said, it's a two-stage switch. It's got a one-second pre-infusion, factory standard. You can not adjust that, but it is just enough to kind of saturate the puck and get a little water going before it hits that full extraction. Cut that real quick. So hopefully...just over one to two there. And I've got a beautiful little shot of espresso.

So again, pretty much a commercial machine, shrunk down into this home-friendly package. So, so many features to love. It's the sort of machine that really takes what home espresso can be and knocks it up a couple notches, which is... Leave it to La Marzocco to do just that, bring you a really solid home espresso machine that could really, truly be used in a lot of low-volume commercial environments as well. So it's really at home in either place. And again, you can plumb it in if you need to, or leave it on the reservoir if you're using it at home. Just a beautifully-crafted machine, tons of value here. A lot to love. That's the Linea Mini by La Marzocco. Thanks for watching.

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