La Marzocco Linea Mini Vs. Breville - Advice Needed

Hey all,

So I had my eyes on the breville barista touch, a step up from my Nespresso machine. I enjoy drinking my choice of coffee being a latte, at least once a day but I know nothing much else about coffee.

So my partner instead wants to get a la marzocco linea mini instead:

Honestly I'm a little worried about how hard this will be to learn and use. I've seen these brands being used in actual cafes so I assume this is as top of the line one can go for home use.

Would appreciate some insights on how hard it is to make a cup of coffee daily with this and obviously the taste difference. I assume it's worth it considering the price difference. Cost isn't a consideration as it's a gift she wants to get for me.


  • Oh my God, get the La Marzocco if you can afford it. I have a Diadema Unico Splendor - middle of the range for Prosumer machines and it’s effen fantastic! Do not get a Breville! For Longevity and build quality. You can learn to use the machine properly no problems. Most important thing is to get a high quality grinder if you don’t do this you will find getting a high end machine to be a waste of money. Second most important thing is fresh quality coffee beans not supermarket beans. If you don’t want to get a very good grinder and beans don’t buy an expensive machine.

  • For $6000 you could do better it’s too overpriced. The Breville will crap out just after the warranty is up. Try something else.

    • I think it is $4,000? Still super expensive.

      But it is absolutely the machine I'd by if I had 4k to splash on a coffee machine.

  • I too suggest the best you can afford. I have an ECM Giotto which has been flawless for 8 years, a few coffee's a day.

  • I was considering the same options. It just felt like too much money to spend $6K. Ended up getting the Barista Touch for $1125 from Good Guys and purchased additional warranty to ensure it will last at least 5 years.

  • In my opinion, I would buy Breville in a range of 800-1000 AUD. La Marzocco Linea Mini is for a more experienced barista and tends to be used in some smaller cafes. Breville would be enough for personal use and it is not as pricey.

  • They are two entirely different machines. If you want to enjoy the process of making a coffee, and are confident in your current or future skills, and coffee is a real passion for you, if all of those are true for you, maybe get the Linea mini. If you're going with the Linea, you also need to consider $$ for a good quality grinder to pair with it — at a minimum a Breville BCG820 Smart Grinder Pro ($200), but perhaps better paired with a Baratza Sett 270 ($500) up to a Niche Zero ($1300).

    If you value convenience highly (which I imagine is true if you started with pods), then the Breville will give you great coffee, at high consistent quality, for a cheaper price, at greater convenience.

    I am the kind of person who likes extended warranties with high value products, if I were you, I would go for the extended warranty with both options, if it's available. Budget some money for future servicing and maintenance too. Personally I use a humble $400 used breville dual boiler (bes900 - released 2011) that I bought second hand and is still going strong.

    • Baratza Sett 270 ($500) up to a Niche Zero ($1300).

      I actually wonder what the real value here is between these two. I mean the Baratza would be fine for someone just wanting to do a few cups of coffee a day.

    • I should have mentioned that we were thinking of getting the matching grinder
      Might be a little too extra for the cost.

      • I would suggest for home use, its worth trying to find a grinder design from the start for home — especially one that will minimise the amount of stale grinds retained in the mechanism. Personally I don't like to leave beans sitting in the hopper, I'd rather leave them in a zip-lock foil bag after squeezing out as much air as possible.

  • OP: The Linea Mini is basically a small form factor commercial quality café machine. You could even sell it to someone who wanted to do a coffee cart style of business at it would be perfect for that. You can bang out endless coffees so if I ever have a gathering and need to do 10 coffees quickly you can do it. The Breville will struggle.

    But lets be honest, that doesn't happen a lot for most people. The Barista touch will be able to bang out a few coffees, but not built for doing 5-6+ in quick succession.

    Personally if money is no object, get the Linea Mini. It is a dream for most people to own that machine and even if it was too much hassle/maintenance to keep and you ended up selling it, you'd easily get 80% of your purchase price back on it.

    • Thanks for the comment. Yeah I figured even if we were to resell it in the future, it's definitely gonna hold up in value. Thanks!

  • Could I suggest going to speak to someone who deals with prosumer coffee machines before jumping into the la marzocco?

    About 12months ago I bought an Izzo Vivi and Macao grinder. Heat exchange unit as opposed to double boiler (excessive for our use), and had good 'bench look' for Mrs approval. I have never been happier. I use a VBM machine at work and that's what pushed me to find something at this level for home.

    There are numerous places in Melbourne to do this, and I could only speak praises of the supplier we met with. Made an appointment, spent time with him looking through various models etc. He was a no bull guy, and genuinely loves coffee. I feel you'd be in safe hands. I found him via coffeesnobs forum after doing a lot of reading.

    Feel free to PM if you want to speak more.

  • You may as well get something with pressure profiling if you're paying that kind of money for a Linea. That's serious hobbyist territory money.

    You could get a Baratza Forte AP, a pressure profiling crem one, a Puqpress for around $6500. Good espresso is about controlling the variables.

  • Breville is a decent all rounder as i own an oracle touch (3years) with no issues. I only drink espressos so it takes a bit of tweaking to get it how i want it with grind and pour time to match the beans i am using as i generally stick to the same one. barista touch is a single boiler from memory so you cant make the coffee and heat milk at the same time. My biggest gripe with the breville is that it doesnt really heat the cup on the top of the machine like a 'commercial style' one does but adjusted to it

    The Linear would make far better espresso and use less coffee ground than compared to the breville. Just my personal experience comparing my machine to a machine i use at my friends work(Wega machine) and we both use the same beans.

    • one. barista touch is a single boiler from memory

      So what was the attraction for the touch over the cheap dual boiler? Given you drink espresso would the one touch features be not as useful? I forgot that the touch didn't have a dual boiler, puts me off the machine since we'd do a lot of milk coffees. Does the touch have a smaller profile that the dual boiler?

      • touch screen just makes life simpler and easier to change things, especially if you are a person who likes to try a lot of different beans as getting the right extraction is very important. With the non-touch You Will need to read a manual to adjust settings as its just buttons, knobs and flashes with the dual boiler.
        Another benefit would be that you can have multiple 'profile' settings saved, so each person might like a certain extraction of coffee in the cup.
        If you just make esspresso then single boiler or the dual boiler(cheaper) is fine.

        I cant remember, but you would have to go online to check all the dimensions to compare. For the amount of money i spent on it, i should of gotten a 'commercial' machine, but i live in a small place so have very limited bench space (takes up about 1/5 of my bench) so a grinder + machine wouldnt fit where i wanted to put it plus less mess.

  • OP: given price is no object. Maybe you would consider one of these?

    Small, super functional, makes excellent coffee and if you want to experiment with your coffee making the world is your oyster on this one!

  • I own a Linea Mini, and I previously owned a Breville Dual Boiler. Here’s my two cents…

    The Linea Mini is a machine that will last a lifetime, but you’ll need to pay for annual servicing that can cost $350-400. It’s a very simple machine to use, but it doesn’t hold your hand through the process - this is why professionals love it. If you’re not accustomed to weighing your ground coffee and also your liquid espresso (and tweaking recipes), you might feel “in the dark”. You will also need to buy a grinder, and unless you’re willing to spend at least $500 on that, owning a commercial espresso machine is kinda a wast of time. All of that being said, it will make excellent espresso - provided you know what you’re doing.

    The Barista Touch is definitely more friendly to use. Breville will give you two years of free servicing, and there’s lots of information online about how to get the best possible results out of it. It won’t last forever though - a lot of Breville espresso machines have a major part fail within the first four years. A surprising number of them are actually faulty out of the box. But for the money, it does an excellent job and offers a lot of functionality.

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