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ACS Minina or raid the piggy bank for a Lelit Bianca?

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Started life with a  Gaggia Classic which I modified to death (PID, Pressure modif, Brass Diffuser, Rancilio Wand etc...) on the basis of great advice from the forum and then got a Niche Zero as a solid investment (made a huge difference), before the inevitable onset of upgraditis.

Had my sights set on an ACS minima. While waiting for it to be restocked, I've come across the Lelit Bianca and am thinking of this on the basis that its a machine from which I am unlikely to upgrade  and so might be worth forking out the extra £££ now 😮. I like the idea of fine-tuning the brew pressure but am not sure if the pre-infusion capability is that useful, having read DaveC's very thorough review.

Is the Bianca worth it, or is there a middle ground with another machine to potentially cure my affliction?

What are peoples thoughts?

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Here is a review of the Lelit Mara (similar to the Minima as far as the water path) which has the e61 pre infusion and the reviewer tells you how useful it is.  https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/lelit-mara-pl62s/

The Minima does  away with  the PI bit of the e61 without replacing it with an alternative and the result is a fast pressure ramp up of 2 or 3 seconds. This can be seen on the posted videos - do not get misled by the ramp up against a blind filter which is slower due to air compression. 

The Bianca puts you fully in control  

 

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@DavecUK has done reviews on both of these. The usual suggestion would be to get down to Bella Barista and ask them and also ask if you can have a mess about. You can get Pre Infusion kits to add to E61 groups but they aren't often come by.

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9 hours ago, Beanbrain said:

Started life with a  Gaggia Classic which I modified to death (PID, Pressure modif, Brass Diffuser, Rancilio Wand etc...) on the basis of great advice from the forum and then got a Niche Zero as a solid investment (made a huge difference), before the inevitable onset of upgraditis.

Had my sights set on an ACS minima. While waiting for it to be restocked, I've come across the Lelit Bianca and am thinking of this on the basis that its a machine from which I am unlikely to upgrade  and so might be worth forking out the extra £££ now 😮. I like the idea of fine-tuning the brew pressure but am not sure if the pre-infusion capability is that useful, having read DaveC's very thorough review.

Is the Bianca worth it, or is there a middle ground with another machine to potentially cure my affliction?

What are peoples thoughts?

Have you thought about the Vesuvius over on the for sale section?

Absolutely brilliant bit of kit.

If that’s not for you I’d go for the Bianca, every time. The control over the pressure profile means you can get the best out of every bean. In the short time I’ve had the V I’ve learnt that some beans just taste better extracted at 9 bar, others at 6.

Pressure profiling is far more useful than adjusting temperature.

Now that I’ve got the V the only machine I’d consider changing up to is the Rocket R nine one (£5k!!).

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Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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The Vesuvius in the for sale section is a bargain

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LR, Niche & a steady stream of beans

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Posted (edited)

I have A Niche and Bianca and enjoy my set up very much. Whilst being pedantic the Vesuvius  and the Bianca control things in slightly different ways. The Bianca is allowing you to control flow profile , the vesuvius pressure. Bianca is more of a easily on the fly adjustments machine. 

The ability to grind very fine and set up a long slow flow pre infusion or even do a rao style espresso shot ( pre infuse , allow to bloom for thirty seconds ) with the Bianca, makes a real difference in the cup for me , whether it will for you I am not going to say 100% . It has brought the Slayer style shot to a machine that is a fraction of the price. Personally Id go for it and you will be upgrade free for the time you spend away from the forum. Pre infusion allows for more forgiving shots IMHO as it can help with getting an even flow across the puck and less channelling along with the benefits of grinding finer. 

The Bianca also have some other nice feature compared to the Minima ( moveable water tank - really nice pf and great tamper in the box ) . 

This is pretty subjective and not what you should base you decision on but I much prefer the styling of the Bianca to the Vesuuvius . I think the out of the box wood finishing is nicer on the Bianca. The wood finish on the V out of the box was a bit ugly, alot of USA retailers changed this but it is subjective . 

The V takes up up more counter space but has some other nice feature like timer on and off, of course a Wemo plug or something will fix this for the Bianca. 

Worth also looking a the home barista review of the Bianca , as that also goes into the flexibility of what the machine can do and the different styles of shots. 

Vesuvius owners love the repeatability , me I love the more tactile nature of the Bianca and the paddle and being able to adjust the shot on the fly if my grind is off. 

I have no experience of the Minina . 

https://www.home-barista.com/reviews/lelit-bianca-review-t54489.html

Edited by Mrboots2u
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1 minute ago, Mrboots2u said:

rao style espresso shot ( pre infuse , allow to bloom for thirty seconds )

Oooh this is new, could you explain further?

2 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

I think the out of the box wood finishing is nicer on the Bianca. 

Not wrong there, mainly because the V wood is awful.

4 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

The Bianca is allowing you to control flow profile , the vesuvius pressure. 

I’ve seen this mooted a few times any difference in the cup?

 

Valid points V v Bianca, truthfully don’t think you can go wrong with either.


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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Just now, igm45 said:

Oooh this is new, could you explain further?

Not wrong there, mainly because the V wood is awful.

I’ve seen this mooted a few times any difference in the cup?

 

Valid points V v Bianca, truthfully don’t think you can go wrong with either.

1. Blooming espresso , he devised this using the Decent , you can do this in the bianca as you can divert the flow away from the puck , on the V No. You fill the basket ish , turn off flow , let it bloom for 30 seconds, then add pressure. The decent does a more analytical and repeatable version of this . You can't do this On the V as the only way of stopping the flow is to use the cam lever and that will suck water out the puck and disturb it. 

2. I agree totally , I changed the wood on my V pretty quickish. 

3.  Have not had the V and the Bianca side by side or with the same grinder ( I had the EK when I had the V ) . My best guess is that you can grind alot finer using low flow and or blooming than on the V. This is a guess tho. In the cup? Can't/won't comment other than I enjoy the espresso my machine makes  as do other coffee people. 

You can't go wrong with either, and the main reasons someone would choose one over the other are below . I can't comment on internals , how and what they are made with and longevity etc. Ill leave the to others. 

V- repeatability , functionality out of the box

Bianca - , space,  price, flexibility, potentially more forgiving ( see HB review ) , human input of paddle. 

A person may never go near either and they may be over whelmed with the variables each machine provides. 


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48 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

You can't do this On the V as the only way of stopping the flow is to use the cam lever and that will suck water out the puck and disturb it. 

I will give it a go regardless. On the comment section of the Rao’s website he seems to think that a standard e61 can do it albeit with ‘less finesse’.

I should think the suction of the 3 way at 2 bar is going to be minimal. Will try it now and let you know.


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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Tried it..

No problems re channeling.

Result...

Hugely over extracted mess. Not surprised given the fact it is a steeped espresso.



Sent from my LG-H930 using Tapatalk


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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Oh and fwiw this can be done on a V...

The V has PI disabled at the 45 degree point on the handle.

Therefore PI as usual, return lever to 45 degree position, shot stops but no backflush.

Change pressure profile. Lift lever.

Voila.

Might give it another go but wasn't impressed with the first shot.

Sent from my LG-H930 using Tapatalk


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, igm45 said:

Tried it..

No problems re channeling.

Result...

Hugely over extracted mess. Not surprised given the fact it is a steeped espresso.



Sent from my LG-H930 using Tapatalk
 

What makes you think it's hugely over extracted < are you measuring the extraction yield ?

Roa was pushing eased  extraction yields but that doesnt mean you and me are. 

If it tastes bas then it tastes bad though.

Edited by Mrboots2u

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1 hour ago, igm45 said:

Tried it..

No problems re channeling.

Result...

Hugely over extracted mess. Not surprised given the fact it is a steeped espresso.



Sent from my LG-H930 using Tapatalk
 

Things to think about , whats the flow on the the V at it's lowest pressure ( 10 seconds at 2 bar how much in the cup ) . Think Rao's flow and that of the Bianca would be less. Then after extraction starts what pressure are you hitting it with . 


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

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1 minute ago, Mrboots2u said:

Things to think about , whats the flow on the the V at it's lowest pressure ( 10 seconds at 2 bar how much in the cup ) . Think Rao's flow and that of the Bianca would be less. Then after extraction starts what pressure are you hitting it with . 

I have not measured extraction yield, no. It tasted wildly overextracted. Very very dry, no acidity and that’s with a fruity Kenyan!

No idea re: flow Rao looks to go up to 4 bar before the bloom, I doubt the V at 2 bar would extract considerably more. My grind setting first drips at 12 seconds so none in the cup at that stage.

Hit with 6 bar until 38g tail off with 2 bar until 45g (15g in).


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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43 minutes ago, igm45 said:

I have not measured extraction yield, no. It tasted wildly overextracted. Very very dry, no acidity and that’s with a fruity Kenyan!

No idea re: flow Rao looks to go up to 4 bar before the bloom, I doubt the V at 2 bar would extract considerably more. My grind setting first drips at 12 seconds so none in the cup at that stage.

Hit with 6 bar until 38g tail off with 2 bar until 45g (15g in).

This all derails the OP thread a bit, but the huge difference with the V is  the dynamic control by the PID.so flow is (within pump max limits) whatever is required to achieve the pressure objective. So 2 bar against a relatively impermeable puck may result in almost zero flow, or as the pressure rises and hits 9 bar, momentarily the pump may have to almost stop flow completely to avoid a high pressure bounce, hence my recommendation for a lowish pump acceleration. This makes it difficult to know what the flow actually is at certain points. In a sense the same problem exists with the Bianca and it's why the MK1 human brain has to try and do what a PID is doing 100s of times per second. For people who purchased the Bianca from BB I did 8 videos showing each different type of shot, with specifically the flow issues in mind.

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ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DB (paddle flow control) BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/

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14 hours ago, igm45 said:

Have you thought about the Vesuvius over on the for sale section?

Absolutely brilliant bit of kit.

If that’s not for you I’d go for the Bianca, every time. The control over the pressure profile means you can get the best out of every bean. In the short time I’ve had the V I’ve learnt that some beans just taste better extracted at 9 bar, others at 6.

Pressure profiling is far more useful than adjusting temperature.

Now that I’ve got the V the only machine I’d consider changing up to is the Rocket R nine one (£5k!!).

Thanks @igm45

Have had a look at the Vesuvius sale post. Tempted ! Seems to have endless profiling potential - maybe too infinite...

The Bianca sounds great as you say and it will have warranty etc.

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23 hours ago, Nikko said:

Here is a review of the Lelit Mara (similar to the Minima as far as the water path) which has the e61 pre infusion and the reviewer tells you how useful it is.  https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/lelit-mara-pl62s/

The Minima does  away with  the PI bit of the e61 without replacing it with an alternative and the result is a fast pressure ramp up of 2 or 3 seconds. This can be seen on the posted videos - do not get misled by the ramp up against a blind filter which is slower due to air compression. 

The Bianca puts you fully in control  

 

Thanks @Nikko

 

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15 hours ago, Cooffe said:

@DavecUK has done reviews on both of these. The usual suggestion would be to get down to Bella Barista and ask them and also ask if you can have a mess about. You can get Pre Infusion kits to add to E61 groups but they aren't often come by.

Thanks @Cooffe

A very sensible suggestion for this kind of dosh.

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14 hours ago, Fez said:

The Vesuvius in the for sale section is a bargain

Certainly is an impressive piece of kit - am looking into it

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Mrboots2u said:

I have A Niche and Bianca and enjoy my set up very much. Whilst being pedantic the Vesuvius  and the Bianca control things in slightly different ways. The Bianca is allowing you to control flow profile , the vesuvius pressure. Bianca is more of a easily on the fly adjustments machine. 

The ability to grind very fine and set up a long slow flow pre infusion or even do a rao style espresso shot ( pre infuse , allow to bloom for thirty seconds ) with the Bianca, makes a real difference in the cup for me , whether it will for you I am not going to say 100% . It has brought the Slayer style shot to a machine that is a fraction of the price. Personally Id go for it and you will be upgrade free for the time you spend away from the forum. Pre infusion allows for more forgiving shots IMHO as it can help with getting an even flow across the puck and less channelling along with the benefits of grinding finer. 

The Bianca also have some other nice feature compared to the Minima ( moveable water tank - really nice pf and great tamper in the box ) . 

This is pretty subjective and not what you should base you decision on but I much prefer the styling of the Bianca to the Vesuuvius . I think the out of the box wood finishing is nicer on the Bianca. The wood finish on the V out of the box was a bit ugly, alot of USA retailers changed this but it is subjective . 

The V takes up up more counter space but has some other nice feature like timer on and off, of course a Wemo plug or something will fix this for the Bianca. 

Worth also looking a the home barista review of the Bianca , as that also goes into the flexibility of what the machine can do and the different styles of shots. 

Vesuvius owners love the repeatability , me I love the more tactile nature of the Bianca and the paddle and being able to adjust the shot on the fly if my grind is off. 

I have no experience of the Minina . 

https://www.home-barista.com/reviews/lelit-bianca-review-t54489.html

Thanks @Mrboots2u

Yes, the Bianca looks more intuitive to adjust on-the-fly, but might not have the same repeatability as you say.

Very helpful to know that the Bianca works well with the Niche! Wondered if it ground fine enough to exploit the versatility of the Vesuvius. 

The Wemo plug is a great idea - thanks!

Edited by Beanbrain
typo!

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10 hours ago, DavecUK said:

This all derails the OP thread a bit, but the huge difference with the V is  the dynamic control by the PID.so flow is (within pump max limits) whatever is required to achieve the pressure objective. So 2 bar against a relatively impermeable puck may result in almost zero flow, or as the pressure rises and hits 9 bar, momentarily the pump may have to almost stop flow completely to avoid a high pressure bounce, hence my recommendation for a lowish pump acceleration. This makes it difficult to know what the flow actually is at certain points. In a sense the same problem exists with the Bianca and it's why the MK1 human brain has to try and do what a PID is doing 100s of times per second. For people who purchased the Bianca from BB I did 8 videos showing each different type of shot, with specifically the flow issues in mind.

Thanks @DavecUK

Will look over those videos again.

Temperature aside, I'm simplistically assuming that the flow profile through a maximally/adequately compressed puck is the critical parameter, but pressure is more easily measured automatically and is therefore used to determine a flow profile. The superior feedback control of the V therefore gives very repeatable shots, although you may have to do some considerable tweaking of the profiles to get there, while the Bianca is a bit more forgiving for the on-the-fly carbon-based MK1 controller at the cost of poorer repeatability?

Are there machines that can measure the realtime flow out of the puck, adjusting the pressure accordingly to generate a flow profile rather than a pressure one?

Sorry - I'm rambling now.... just trying to get what's left of my head around what's important...

At the end of the day its the personal taste that really counts but one pays ££ for the control and reproducibility to get there I suppose.

 

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1 minute ago, Beanbrain said:

Are there machines that can measure the realtime flow out of the puck, adjusting the pressure accordingly to generate a flow profile rather than a pressure one?

This is what decent de1+ does. Allows control of flow and pressure.

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Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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21 minutes ago, igm45 said:

This is what decent de1+ does. Allows control of flow and pressure. 

Impressive kit - not a thing of beauty though....

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Very helpful to know that the Bianca works well with the Niche! Wondered if it ground fine enough to exploit the versatility of the Vesuvius. 

 

It does.

 

Ps: beauty is subjective.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, igm45 said:

This is what decent de1+ does. Allows control of flow and pressure.

The DE1+ is a brilliant bit of kit, but if I had one I’d always worry that something would just go wrong on it. I know it was developed really well etc. But there’s just something about having a tablet mounted to the top of an espresso machine that makes me uneasy.

That being said, the fact that it uses a water reservoir and has the ability to be plumbed in, whilst offering everything it does (flow/pressure profiling as you say), makes me tempted to drop the £2.5k and be set up for life.

 

Edited by Cooffe
DE1 doesn’t have e61 group!

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