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Thread: Expobar Minore to La Marzocco Linea Mini

  1. #1
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    Expobar Minore to La Marzocco Linea Mini

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I love the look of the Linea Mini. I have heard great things about it, and I really want one.
    Current set up is a Minore and Kony, which I am happy with, however most of you would know what it feels like when upgrade fever hits.

    I pretty much make exclusively milk based drinks, only on the weekends and about 4 - 6 a day. The Minore is a little weak with its steam, however I can still get nice results.

    I recently upgraded the grinder from a mini e to the Kony and I must say that has made a huge difference in consistently of my pours. I'm now looking at the last upgrade to the Linea Mini.

    If any owners of the Linea Mini who previously had a E61 could comment I would really appreciate it. I have heard that it will produce a different taste to the E61 however will this be noticeable in a milk drink?

    I love the build quality and the look, and if I can now get that extra 2-3% in the cup I would be happy.

    I have yet to see one in the flesh, which I am planning to do this week.

  2. #2
    TC
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    Hi Davie,

    Yes- the LM is a really nice machine. Great steam and temp stable. The biggest differences you're likely to notice are the quality of finish and the fact that once it's up to pressure, it's ready to roll.

    The gotcha with it for me is that the paddle is a con. It's just a switch and there is no preinfusion. Once modded to deliver a true preinfusion, you have a completely different machine which is every bit as good as a GS3. For mine, LM should have delivered that on day one.

    We have a modded black one on our bench and it's for sale if you're in Melbourne.

    Chris

  3. #3
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    Thanks Chris.

    I have read about the "faux" paddle. I think that the preinfussion mod is something that I might look at down the track. I'm pushing the budget at the moment.

    I really have my heart set on the stainless steel version.
    I'm based in Melbourne and going into the La Marzocco showroom later this week, However going forward I would definitely be buying through one of the sponsors.
    I'm not in a position to buy just yet as I am trying to sell one of my cars to offset the cost. Can you also confirm the mini will not go up in price on April 1st.

  4. #4
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davie View Post
    Can you also confirm the mini will not go up in price on April 1st.
    Yes- I have the official pricing sheet for April 01.

    The mini is the only machine in their entire range which has not increased in price..

  5. #5
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    Thanks Chris.
    I was considering a GS3, but I think it is out of my price range now. I have heard very good things about the mini, that it compares very favourably to the full size Linea's.
    I'm also looking forward to having a rotary pump after many years of vibration pumps (Silvia and Minore) and good steaming power.
    Do you know what the lead time is on a stainless steel version?

  6. #6
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davie View Post
    Do you know what the lead time is on a stainless steel version?
    My experience is anywhere from unobtainable to tomorrow it seems. All depends on who I ask...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lukemc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Hi Davie,

    Yes- the LM is a really nice machine. Great steam and temp stable. The biggest differences you're likely to notice are the quality of finish and the fact that once it's up to pressure, it's ready to roll.

    The gotcha with it for me is that the paddle is a con. It's just a switch and there is no preinfusion. Once modded to deliver a true preinfusion, you have a completely different machine which is every bit as good as a GS3. For mine, LM should have delivered that on day one.

    We have a modded black one on our bench and it's for sale if you're in Melbourne.

    Chris
    Modded black one for sale Chris............

    Do I put up my modded Strega for sale? I've always wanted a LM at home.....
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  8. #8
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    I got to have a play with the Linea mini today and I have to say I am impressed. I really want one of these in my kitchen ��. I went down to the La Marzocco show room and they let me pull some shots and steam some milk. It really does have powerful steam, and the taste of the shot was much superior to what I have ever pulled on the Minore, I'm not sure why this would be, however it tasted closer to some of the best cafes I've been too.
    It is such a solid well built price of equipment. The feel of the valves and paddle feel heavy and well weighted. They also look a lot better in the flesh. Im sold��.

  9. #9
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukemc View Post
    Modded black one for sale Chris............

    Do I put up my modded Strega for sale? I've always wanted a LM at home.....
    You're welcome to come have look Luke
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  10. #10
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    LM is great durable machine...no doubt it has a reputed name in the commercials....

  11. #11
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    I placed an order for one this week through Rick Bond of the Coffee_Machinist. It's around a 4 week wait for stock to come in. I feel like a young kid waiting for his/her Christmas present.
    After reading Ricks comments on his web page about the Mini and the mod that he does to add preinfussion I couldn't resist.
    At this stage I am not going for the mod, however it's good to know Rick can perform this later down the track if needed.
    I'll post some photos of my set up once I receive it.

  12. #12
    TC
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    They really are terrific when souped up...

    Call it LM Slayer

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    My Linea Mini arrived this week. I set it up and this morning and finally got to pull some shots.
    It took a while for me to dial in the grind (250 grams) and the last one I just had was the best I have ever made at home.
    Thanks to Rick Bond the Coffee Machinist for getting this awesome machine to me.
    First impressions are that this really is a scaled down version of a commercial machine. Everything feels so solid and it is so quiet. Steam power is unbelievable, and the end result is perfectly steamed silky milk. The stainless steel is has an exceptional mirror finish. La Marzocco have changed the wheel slightly from previous models in that it has only 96 degrees marked on it then plus or minus as per the attached picture. It also came with some really nice LM branded cups.
    I honestly couldn't be happier with the machine.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Junior Member v1nh's Avatar
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    Beautiful machine there Davie! Does the Kony pair well with this machine?

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    The Kony is a fantastic grinder. I upgraded to the Kony early this year from a Mazzer Mini. Compared to the Mini the Kony produces a different taste and mouth feel (I even notice the difference in milk based drinks). The only downside is the amount of grind retention. When trying to dial in a new grind setting you then have to purge a fair amount of ground coffee to get to the new setting.
    I'm still getting used to the Linea Mini. As I said above, I pulled a great shot on Saturday, then on Sunday I struggled to repeat the same result (not bad, just not the same as I prepared the day before).
    I'm looking forward to this weekend when I will have some time to pull some more shots, and play with shot times etc.
    It's strange coming for the Minore which had a really long pre-infusion time, up to 8 seconds before anything appeared from the portafilter (using the naked), to the LMLM where the pour appears after about 2 - 3 seconds. I am going to try slowing the grind and see what difference that has on the taste.

  16. #16
    Junior Member v1nh's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Davie, seeing if the Kony is worth it over a Super Jolly...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davie View Post
    the LMLM where the pour appears after about 2 - 3 seconds.
    (LM)2
    Could even be expressed this way...

    Mal.
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  18. #18
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    (LM)2
    Could even be expressed this way...

    Mal.
    Love it Mal.

    Yes dodgy x, it was a pleasure to deal with Rick.
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  19. #19
    Junior Member Mania's Avatar
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    Super Nice !

    Congrats on the new Mini

  20. #20
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    Thanks for your support Davie, was a pleasure to supply that beauty for you! The coachwork really was stunning - best example I have seen to date. It's a shame about the temperature wheel - workable as long as you know that one interval equals approx. 0.5 degrees C, but I can't fathom LM's decision there. Seems like another move to differentiate the machine from the GS/3 to make it seem less 'precise', which is demonstrably untrue from an engineering point of view. Oh well, c'est la vie. At least the new dial looks nice enough.

    Interesting point you make about the pre-infusion as compared to the E61, I suspect by nature the rapid infusion of the stock LMLM might be slightly less forgiving to small variances in technique or grind/dose. Your E61 naked will fit the LMLM if you want to have a closer look, you could also go back to an old faithful basket as opposed to the supplied VST manufactured ones, and see how that goes.


    Cheers, Rick
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  21. #21
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    You'll also find that the pump of an Expobar Minore with a Vibratory pump is your reason for longer pre infusion (PI) times. The rotary pump is up to 9 bar almost instantly, where the vibratory pumps can take up to 6-7 seconds to come up to full pressure. The E61 jet and brew chamber is also contributing to the PI on a rotary pump model.

    My GS3 AV comes up to 9 bar in about 3 seconds when I haven't got PI selected. It's very frustrating that they didn't program the firmware to only activate the brew solenoid for PI which would give mains pressure [like the paddle version] as PI rather than the pump on/off/on. This is on my 'to do' list, I want to mod it so the pump doesn't engage during PI unfortunately it's more of a firmware issue rather than mechanical modification.

  22. #22
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    The Minore has an exceptionally long pre-infusion time. It can be 6-9 second between switching the pump on and getting the first droplets squeezing out. The reason for this is in Expobar's design on the E61 head. They use an insert that extends the length of the water path.
    I thought that a 6-9 sec 'pre-infusion' was pretty normal for a vibratory pump in any e61 machine with this type of pump fitted.

    The 2 Isomacs that I owned generally took about 8 seconds to come up to pressure and start to pour (20+gm dose).
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    The Minore has an exceptionally long pre-infusion time. It can be 6-9 second between switching the pump on and getting the first droplets squeezing out. The reason for this is in Expobar's design on the E61 head. They use an insert that extends the length of the water path.
    Morning Paul,

    Pre-infusion on a well set up E61 machine is approx 7 seconds, this means that with a properly dosed basket at around 7 seconds after the pump is activated the coffee will start to flow, six seconds may be a little short and 9 seconds a bit long, 7 or 8 seconds is not exceptionally long, in fact pretty normal.

    Expobar may well use an insert (perhaps a jet) to achieve the goal, others do similar things.

    This quote from the Five Senses write up may enlighten.

    "The E61 group head uses a jet and a special chamber for its method of pre-infusion. In the first stage, the pump is activated and water flows through a jet into a small cavity (#14, Fig 1), which is connected to the space above the coffee basket (#4, Fig 1). During this time, water fills the cavity and flows into the coffee basket. As the pressure in the cavity rises, a spring loaded valve (#8, Fig 1) opens to allow water to also flow into the special pre-infusion chamber (#9, Fig 1). Only when the pre-infusion chamber is full can the brew pressure rise to the ultimate brewing pressure. The time it takes these chambers to fill gives rise to a low pressure, passive pre-infusion stage."
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  24. #24
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    Pretty much every e61 with a vibration pump is 6-9 seconds PI. I've tested many E61 machines with rotary pumps fitted and both they generally have up to 4-6 seconds PI before 9 bar is read at the group, depending on the jet fitted to the mushroom.

    PS, just got off the phone to Marzocco. I've put in a request for the GS3 AV firmware to be upgraded to have PI without pump and only open the brew solenoid before activating the pump. I asked why other Marzocco models have the option for pump on or off in PI and the GS3 doesn't have it. He said it's a good chance I can see it added to the next firmware update.

    Imagine this conversation just revolutionised the GS/3 AV.

    PS, sorry for hijacking the thread.
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  25. #25
    Junior Member Mania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    I haven't had the timer out but compared to other E61s the Expobars take approx 4-5 seconds longer. I always wondered why until I found out about the insert.
    I'm not saying this makes any difference to the coffee but it's a fact. I'll post a YouTube clip that explains it.
    I am no expert & do not own an expobar...But I think your talking about that chamber cut into the Expobars chamber
    I would guess that filling that would account for a sec or two also as you said

    Here is a vid that shows that additional space

  26. #26
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    Quite a few posts I have read indicated that the Minore had a long pre-infussion time, and I believe the vibe pump does take longer to build pressure.

    I tried the naked port a filter with the Mini however it doesn't fit, the body of the portafilter will not fit into the group head, I may look into getting one at a later date, however I now love watching the gorgeous stream of espresso running off the spouts . I am using the 18 g VST that I used to use in the Minore (I dose to 19.5g should I be using a 20 g basket)

    Another question I have is in regards to the dial. It seems if you look at the dial it has large and small markings (I'm guessing the small indicate approx. .5 degree C increments and the large the 1.0 degree mark) It takes 2 clicks to go between the full degree and the half, so does that mean that one click = .25 of a degree?

    I know the temp doesn't really matter to much and I should just adjust to taste, however it would be nice to know



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