La Marzocco explains how its new espresso machine has been engineered to address the needs of the home barista who will become part of the La Marzocco family – for life.
With much anticipation and a countdown clock to the global unveiling, La Marzocco livestreamed the release of its new Linea Micra from Accademia del Caffè Espresso in Florence, on 10 November.
Designed as a scaled-down version of La Marzocco’s Linea Classic S, the new slimline machine joins the manufacturer’s line-up of one-group models, including the GS3, first released in 2008; and the Linea Mini, launched in 2015.
“La Marzocco expects to broaden its consumer reach and share of voice thanks to the launch of the Linea Micra. It will open La Marzocco up to a broader range of spaces, places, and opportunities,” says Nick Mifsud, National Sales Manager for La Marzocco Home.
“The Linea Micra is still handmade in Florence, and still uses much of the same components as our commercial models, but you’re not going to mistake it for a café machine or a small commercial machine in your kitchen. The Micra is the purest form of a domestic machine you would ever want to see from La Marzocco Home.
“The performance output of this machine has been tuned to the needs of a home barista. It’s designed to make coffee at home, and to make a better cup the first time, every time.”
The Linea Micra features new innovations and technologies, including a pre-heater that wraps around the steam boiler to improve temperature stability, and a convertible portafilter. Users can switch between a single and double spout or detach it for a bottomless portafilter. The removable spout attachments are made from a high-tech polymer used in surgical and hospital-grade equipment. It ensures low thermal expansion, temperature stability, and is resistant to moisture absorption, and to aging, corrosion, abrasion, and staining.
“With traditional stainless steel portafilters used in a commercial setting, it takes a little longer to heat the portafilter before a shot can be made, and that time is transferred into energy. Using the high-tech polymer reduces thermal mass so it heats the portafilter quickly. It becomes stable and ready to use in just five minutes, and therefore has a smaller overall energy footprint,” Nick says. “That reduced heating time means you won’t have to throw away that first shot as is commonly done on commercial machines.”
From the chassis up is a completely new engineered and designed machine. The positioning of the dual insulated boilers with PID temperature controls helps to reduce energy waste; the reservoir is forward-facing for easy removal, cleaning or emptying; a paddle brew actuator triggers brewing; and a wastewater level indicator in the drip tray shows the user when it’s time to be emptied.
“The Linea Micra is not just a smaller version of the Mini at a lower price point – in fact it’s 30 per cent smaller than our Linea Mini. It is engineered to best suit the needs of the home barista,” Nick says. “That’s what really separates this machine from everything else on the market.”
The cool-touch steam wand has also been adapted for home use. It produces high-quality steam to create micro foam via one-millimetre holes in the steam tip, opposed to 1.2-millimetre holes in the Linea Mini, and 1.5-millimetre holes in commercial machine.
“This slows down the steam intensity so home baristas can learn to texture properly and aren’t suddenly overwhelmed. Yet, it’s still powerful enough to get amazing café-style milk,” Nick says.
Thanks to the Linea Micra’s new electronic board, it comes with IoT capabilities to control its functionality remotely, and through the new La Marzocco Home App, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The App features temperature management, automatic on-and-off controls, and new steam pressure feature. It allows the user to manage steam pressure to suit their comfort and ability by utilising three pressure levels, in addition to a suite of information and video links with further insights. It also features a shot timer and black flush program with a support system around cleaning.
To explore the Home range in person, La Marzocco Australia has launched dedicated studios in Melbourne and Sydney where customers are invited to book a one-on-one consultation about product exploration, refining or furthering their barista skills, or testing the machines first-hand.
“We really wanted to create an environment that feels familiar. You’re not walking into a commercial showroom, you’re walking into a domestic kitchen and the space has been designed to feel that way,” Nick says.
“For a home barista, you can see the product in-situ, see how it works in line with other appliances and materials, such as beautiful warm timbers, not blacked- out stainless-steel benches. It’s designed to fit into kitchens of all shapes and sizes.”
Nick also wants to find a way to connect the home studios to be more inclusive of La Marzocco’s coffee roaster partners who are also committed to the home journey.
He says while La Marzocco appreciates that the new Linea Micra is, in its eyes, “the most sophisticated, highest quality domestic handcrafted product available to the industry”, what it really wants to accentuate is the value customers receive when connecting with La Marzocco. That extends to the manufacturer’s experience and knowledge, service, education, energy, and passion.
“La Marzocco Home is a team within a team. We’ve got four dedicated people who exclusively work on the home business. That’s not to mention the many behind them who have responsibilities that crossover between home and commercial. We want to make sure our consumers feel that support for life regardless of where you buy your La Marzocco machine. It’s all part of La Marzocco’s commitment and pledge of: ‘built to last and supported for life’. We truly mean it,” Nick says.
“That covers everything from pre- sales investigation around the product and La Marzocco Home as a brand, all the way through to the product being delivered, installed on your bench, tuned-in and serviced, and those after sales questions consumers may have.”
La Marzocco has a dedicated team ready to support and answer any questions home baristas may have, including La Marzocco Home Service technicians who can service machines in the comfort of people’s home.
“That’s the difference between La Marzocco Home and just buying a coffee machine for home,” Nick says.
“We believe that any commercial grade luxury product requires hands-on care. With every technical service also comes the ability to understand any issues people may have on their coffee making journey. Our coffee loving tech’s are always ready to share tips to make a better cup. Our goal is to ensure that the coffee being made is better after every visit.”
The idea to create a dedicated machine to serve the needs of the home barista was initiated pre-pandemic. After years of development and engineering to meet those needs, La Marzocco Australia Managing Director Barry Moore says the time is right to give people an opportunity to connect with La Marzocco a little earlier in their coffee journey.
“It’s an incredible opportunity and privilege. We want home baristas to get the best experience possible out of their machine. We want to take the approach and service we deliver to our commercial customers and apply the same model to the home barista, but personalised for them,” Barry says.
“Home coffee consumption is still showing strong growth and home baristas are increasing their sophistication in origin and flavour profile. It is very similar to the journey of wine over the past 20 years. As a result, there’s still a huge opportunity for the home barista to continue their coffee journey. Whether they started off using a La Marzocco or not, our goal is that they will hopefully fall in love with the passion of making coffee at home, and that we find a way to connect with them in future. We want them to put their trust in us, and to welcome them into the La Marzocco family.”
The Linea Micra is exclusively available through La Marzocco Home.
For more information, visit au.lamarzoccohome.com/home/
This article appears in the December 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.