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  • Considering a Linea mini

    Ok so I've finally got the approval to buy a Linea mini, but I just can't quite pull the trigger on it yet. I think it's the price that's stopping me. I want a machine that is going to satisfy me, but is there a noticeable difference from other quality machines like the duetto, r58, synchronika and particularly the profitec 700? It's too much money to not be completely satisfied with the purchase. Are there many people out there that have buyers remorse about not paying a 'little' extra to get the mini or regret that the mini wasn't available when they purchased their machine?

    I've had a small play with one, and it's very nice, yet quite industrial. It's not so much the looks that get me but the almost universal acclaim for superior performance it garners from all sides.

    Previous to this potential acquisition I have upgraded mostly used coffee machines, so this would be my first brand new extreme machine purchase. So for those that have upgraded before and perhaps been here before, what advice do you have?

    Thanks

  • #2
    I never regretted buying mine i just fell in love with the look of it.

    I wouldn't say it's any better than any of the other similarly priced machines and think it just comes down to mainly aesthetics.

    Always loved the look and reputation the Linea PB's have so decided to pay a little extra for it.

    I came from a Breville DB.

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    • #3
      The good thing about machines at this level is that they have been extensively and recently reviewed so it becomes a process for you to determine which of the features matters most to you.

      To give you a headstart:

      Do you want espresso shot performance that is more forgiving of user error? That is a vote for an E61 based machine instead of a standard Linea Mini.

      Do you want extremely powerful steam performance? That is a vote for Linea Mini.

      Do you want the ability to quickly swap between brew temperatures? Another vote for Linea mini

      Do you want to achieve great espresso/milk performance and save some cash? There are certainly other options besides Linea Mini.

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      • #4
        Thanks v1nh and Melbroaster

        The espresso shot more forgiving of user error is interesting. I have vaguely heard of this before. I'm no professional barista so coming from an E61, I wouldn't want to make my life any harder. I imagine this would be overcome with practice though - which I'm more than happy to do. I would prefer the temp stability of the mini vs my HX though. I do predominantly milk drinks but do enjoy espresso when I nail it enough that it would be treasonous to add milk!

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        • #5
          One query I do have concerns maintenance costs. Is the linea mini likely to cost more servicing than a typical E61 style double boiler with rotary pump? Whilst I do like the shot timer feature of many of the pids, I won't be too thrilled if they keep falling over every 3-4 years. From what I understand it's not uncommon for these parts to be replaced.

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          • #6
            When you buy LM, you pay the ransom every time you require parts....They are after all the company of the $30+ o-ring...

            Lovely gear, but the cost of ownership is higher than e-61 machines from all of the majors...

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            • #7
              Servicing and repairing are two different equations.

              Servicing is generally a look over, clean, replace shower screens and seals, temperature pressure adjustment and an overall look.

              Repairing is obviously diagnosing a fault and replacing the faulty parts. In which case general LM parts are a little pricey in comparison to equivalent parts on other machines.

              If you're buying new you really shouldn't be replacing faulty parts within the first 4-5 years, an E61 machine will require a group head rebuild after a few years in service as the pins and seals wear out where a Linea Mini won't require this because it runs a brew solenoid which is cleaned with regular back flushing.

              If you're considering an LMLM you're paying for the look, name, high quality parts and most importantly the engineering. At the end of the day if you're worried about an extra possible $100 for parts in the 3rd or 4th year repair (Fingers crossed no repair is required) that really shouldn't be part of your final decision in purchasing.

              I've just repaired a 2 year old Vibiemme Domobar Super that cost the client $400-$500 because of a faulty control board, plus while it was here he wanted a full service and group rebuild so he didn't have to worry about it for a few more years to come. Moral of the story is you have no idea if you're purchasing a lemon or have a machine that will go 10 years without a fault. It's basically pick a straw and see who gets the short one.

              Make your decision on the machine itself and engineering/design, take repairing out of the equation.

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              • #8
                I'm not an early adopter, buying objects utilizing tried and proven technology has served me well over the years, give em time to iron out bugs and let the price stabilise before leaping in.

                Interesting thoughts on the subject here 5 Reasons Why Being An Early Adopter Is A Bad IdeaLots of excellent E61 machines available now at well under $5000, most perform very well straight out of the box.

                Yep! I know Luddite works for me.

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                • #9
                  Hi Pretzal.

                  I sell the LMLM, Profitec Pro 700 and ECM Synchronika, so believe me, my opinion below is unbiased.

                  There are lots of differences between traditional high end DBs and the LMLM.

                  Traditional high end DSs:
                  Ability to use small brew boiler only to save power when using for espresso only.
                  PID brew temp control
                  E61 head
                  Shot timer (some)
                  Classic looks
                  More than enough steam pressure for me.

                  LMLM:
                  Fake paddle is a massive disappointment.
                  LM premium price.
                  Big steam pressure.
                  Fast heat up time.

                  I would say the LMLM is over-rated and over-priced. It's only worth considering if you are going to get Rick's mods. The fact that the factory machine needs after-market mods says a lot.

                  My opinion. Some people love them. I hope this helps a little.
                  I suggest that an absolute tiny percentage of Linea Mini owners have modified them. It is in no way a fact that modification is required.The vast majority of Linea Mini owners are enjoying delicious espresso on standard machines. There are a small number of owners who do choose to enhance for aesthetic reasons, or as 'icing on the cake' for an otherwise great machine.

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                  • #10
                    I was super keen on the Linea Mini too, but in the end I decided to go for a second hand GS3 which has all the benefits of the Linea Mini, but a few extra features that I really think I'd have missed going from an Izzo Alex Duetto 2.

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                    • #11
                      Looks brilliant Jono... Should have the recoated drip tray for you this week to up the stealth quota... I miss that machine...

                      Chris

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                      • #12
                        Just to update this thread, I have now purchased a linea mini and am satisfied that I have bought what I wanted. At this stage, I don't plan on doing any mods to it, but simply trying to enjoy what seems to be a pretty impressive machine as stock. If there is a feature I really miss (eg preinfusion mod) once I've lived with it for a while, at least hopefully I have the option of upgrading it at a later date. I thank everyone for their input and interest - I have enjoyed the discussion.

                        Ultimately it's a personal choice as to what you're looking for when you buy a machine, I'm sure I'll be satisfied with my choice.

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                        • #13
                          Congrats on the Linea mini. Really wonderful machine as standard. Good luck learning to work with 2 bar of steam pressure; there is a learning curve involved. If you find that too much milk ends up on the ceiling Woolworths tends to have good discounts on paper towels...😉 After you are familiar with it you will be regularly spoiled by delicious espresso, and amazing microfoam that you can start steaming 20 seconds after your espresso extraction starts, and have both the espresso and milk finish together 😃.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pretzal View Post
                            Just to update this thread, I have now purchased a linea mini and am satisfied that I have bought what I wanted. At this stage, I don't plan on doing any mods to it, but simply trying to enjoy what seems to be a pretty impressive machine as stock. If there is a feature I really miss (eg preinfusion mod) once I've lived with it for a while, at least hopefully I have the option of upgrading it at a later date. I thank everyone for their input and interest - I have enjoyed the discussion.

                            Ultimately it's a personal choice as to what you're looking for when you buy a machine, I'm sure I'll be satisfied with my choice.
                            Congrats on the purchase mate. If you don't mind me asking, what grinder do/will you have it paired with? Looking at getting a Linea Mini in the future and am not sure what level of grinder I need to get to ensure I'm making the most of the machine.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks. I have a macap m4d. Might have to hit my brother in law up (he's a spray painter) for a custom paint job on it so it rises to the occasion. It seems that adding custom timber mods/powdercoating/anodising adds value and appeal to machines eg GS3, does anyone know if moding grinders with custom paint schemes does the same?? Off topic I know...

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