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La Marzocco Linea Mini - Unboxing & First Impressions

I just won my brand new espresso machine, the La Marzocco Linea Mini, for just $21.25 from an Instagram raffle held by Sprudge.

Not too long ago they made an Instagram post promoting their new book, But First, Coffee: A Guide to Brewing from the Kitchen to the Bar. And I participated in this contest because A) I like interesting cookbooks or coffee books and B) chance for a free Linea Mini.

Never did I imagine I’d actually win it. So, short story short, that’s how a $20 book purchase won me this $7,000 machine.

I’m going to break down the unboxing experience, my first impressions, the customizations and mods I'm planning to do, and where do we go from here.



Starting with the unboxing experience. The freight forwarding company called me about a day in advance to schedule a drop off time slot, and on the day of, I got a call about 30 minutes prior to drop off to ensure I was around to pick it up.

From there I wheeled it up into my apartment and unboxing this was very smooth. The entire box came on a mini wood pallet and you just gotta cut some straps and lift the top off to reveal the machine and accessories.

The machine was very well packaged with plenty of cardboard components protecting it. The machine itself is very heavy, I think it's about 60-70lbs, so I would recommend having help here just to be on the safe side.

And you know I immediately went to remove those heat warning stickers on the machine. Unfortunately, the back sticker left a ton of residue.

Setting it up was very straightforward. Basically plug and play. I downloaded the La Marzocco Home app and it fairly quickly found my machine. From there I was able to set things up like auto on and off and standby schedules, and even have control over the Acaia Brew by Weight scale. But more on the scale in a separate video.

In the accessories box I did find the stock components that come with the machine including an interestingly convex tamper.

Now, let’s talk about customizations.



From LaMarzocco I opted for the Mini with the white panels for a modern look that blends in with my overall setup. I also opted in for the performance touch steam wand, walnut accents, the Acaia Brew by Weight scale, and was even graciously offered the new LaMarzocco Pico which isn’t here quite yet.

This machine is absolutely stunning. It really is unlike any other of those chrome box espresso machines out there. The smooth gloss white panels make it feel understated and fits better into a home environment than any chrome box could.

There’s not a lot that I can complain about visually here. I love the machine I received with all these accents, but there are still just a few more things I’m going to modify or potentially replace.

First, I’ll be picking up the drain tray modified for an integrated Acaia Lunar. This should allow me to fit larger mugs in what is already a relatively confined space under the group.

Combined with the La Marzocco edition of the Acaia Lunar which now can communicate with the Mini itself for gravimetric measuring output, and you’ve now got functionality of something like the GS3 AV but even more accurate since it's not measuring in volume.

And don’t worry, I will have a separate review of the Brew by Weight Acaia Lunar.

Obviously, I love wood accents. But I’ve got a few too many different types of wood materials and want to start to simplify this.

And because I’ve already got this big oak wood Husky top and this new lighter wood veneer shelf unit from Ikea, I’ve been looking around at the oak timber kit with the brass accents from Specht Designs.

Specht makes some incredibly beautiful machines but with that comes a not so beautiful price tag, so opting for their timber kit may, at the very least, be a nice way to customize my machine further. This is certainly a future consideration item and for now, I’ll stick to the gorgeous walnut pieces.

And this is really just the beginning of cosmetic customizations for this machine. There are mods from integrated shot timers on the paddle, moving the knobs to become levers on the sides, needle valve mods for better pre-infusion performance, and more.

Will I end up doing some of these more complex functional mods? Maybe. But for now, I’m going to stick with the base functionality.



Beyond the cosmetics, this machine has certainly had a little bit of a learning curve to it that I’ve had to adjust for.

Firstly, steam power is absolutely insane. Like within seconds I’ve gone from cold milk to thick frothy foam. It’s definitely going to take some practice to get back to steaming for latte art quality.

Second, this machine is big but not like outrageously so. I guess, suiting of the Mini name. It’s actually deeper than any machine I’ve tried to date, so if you are in the market for a machine like this, just be sure your countertop or bar is deep enough to account for it.

Finally, the machine brews excellent espresso, as you’d expect. It’s quite a different profile from what I’ve grown accustomed to with the lever profile of the Profitec Pro 800 or even the flow controllable profiling with the Lelit Bianca.

It almost feels like this kind of machine is built to do one thing and do it excellently and that's to pull a fantastic traditional 9-bar style shot of espresso. Perfect for milky drinks, but for straight espresso, I’ve found more leeway with the lever machine and profile for my preferences.

But maybe that’s just a matter of time, as this is of course just a first impressions video. You expect a full review once I get a little more time with this Italian machine.



So now let’s talk about cost. Yeah, I know I got this for free as I mentioned at the start, but I have to consider this machine for what its price would be otherwise. For the base machine from LaMarzocco the Mini would be about $6,000. With the upgraded steam wand and walnut accents I’ve got here, you’re looking at a $7,300 configuration.

Not to mention the new version of the Acaia Lunar, which is kind of weird that despite all the app connectivity the old models have, they couldn’t simply give it a firmware update, and that would run you an additional $400.

In total, this current set up would cost, I imagine, close to $8,000 after shipping and taxes. Which is a lot of money.

Whether or not it’s worth that amount, I’ll save for my full review in the future.

Now what I will be more interested in is the cost of ownership over the course of the next year and beyond which is something I’ll be sure to update here on the channel.



So, what’s next? For my morning ritual of brewing a rich chocolatey and nutty shot of espresso to blend with beautifully silky sweet milk, I’m looking no further than a classic La Marzocco Linea Mini.

But that’s certainly not the end of machine reviews here on the channel and that’s certainly not to say that there are possibly better machines for lesser or equal money than a machine like this.

All that to say, you can continue to expect plenty of coffee and espresso machines, grinders, and gadget reviews from me!


For more about the coffee and other equipment I personally use today, check out my brew gear or storefront!

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