Lelit Bianca PID Double Boiler Espresso Machine w/ Manual Brew Pressure Profiling

5 out of 5 based on 40 customer ratings
(40 customer reviews )

$2,795.00$2,995.00

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A game-changer in the espresso machine industry! Manual brew pressure profile control during the extraction!

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Lelit Bianca - First Impressions
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Bianca & Sheila - Customer Walkthrough (Pt 1 of 2)
Bianca & Sheila - Customer Walkthrough (Pt 2 of 2)
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Frequently Bought Together

Need to use single dose E.S.E. pods for decaf, then purchase with a pod portafilter
+ Lelit PL71 William Espresso Coffee Grinder +
Price for all three:   $3,363.95

Description

Bianca is beautiful in design and what she produces in the cup! Light roast, no problem! City roast, no problem! Dark roast, definitely not a problem! The paddle on top of the grouphead allows on the fly brew pressure profiling while you are watching the extraction and brew pressure gauge.

With dark roasts, you can smooth out the flavor of a spring piston lever machine that starts off with high brew pressure, then diminishes throughout the shot. With city and full city roasts, use a low pressure profile to extract pure sweetneess. On light roasts,  experiment with any of your imaginary profile to find the best flavor in the cup!

Introducing the PL162T Bianca espresso machine from Lelit, their newest, double boiler machine. With the Bianca, Lelit continues to outdo themselves and now lead the industry with the widest range of prosumer models. It packs some of the best technology that will make any barista jump for joy.

Not only does the machine include a PID double boiler, for those who are looking to experiment with pressure profiling seeking the Holy Grail; but, sitting on top of the legendary E61 grouphead is a wooden paddle that allows the user to manually adjust the brew pressure as the espresso shot is extracting! All under 16″ height! No need to pre-program it with fingers-crossed that your flavor profile will be to your liking. You have the control, right at your fingertips with a brew pressure readout at the group!

The Bianca has a water reservoir that can be re-positioned on either side of the machine to suit your needs and your counter-top.  Don’t want a tank? No worries! The Bianca can be directly plumbed in too (even the drip tray can be drained!) All of these features are encased in a stainless steel body, accented by wooden handles, feet, and lever.

After working with Lelit for two years on features and design, we finally (as of March 2018) have the prototype in our showroom for testing and feedback to the manufacturer. In addition, customers can make an appointment to see the machine in action in our Freehold, NJ location.

Features:

Control Brew Pressure on the Fly!

The wooden paddle and brew pressure gauge mounted on top of the grouphead allows full manual control over the brew pressure as you are pulling your shot of espresso. Play with flavor profiles to your hearts content!

Pick a side, any side!

Have you ever seen an espresso machine that gives you a choice where to put the water reservoir? The Bianca does! Even better, it also has the option to be directly plumbed in, including the drip tray.

Wooden Handled Bottomless Portafilter & Dual Spout Portafilter

3-cup bottomless portafilter with smooth wooden handle included with the machine. The 3 cup baskets can hold up to 22 grams of ground coffee (this depends upon the type of coffee and grind fineness as coarser grinds or lighter density coffees may less the 22 gram capability).

The dual spout portafilter also has a very nice wooden handle and two forward streaming spouts for easier espresso extraction viewing.

E61 Grouphead

The E61 grouphead ensures consistent water stability. Hot water circulates from the boiler through the grouphead and back. The result?  The grouphead and your portafilter stays nice and hot, especially important to get a nice shot of espresso. A lever next to the grouphead easily activates the pump to draw water through the coffee grinds.

Built with Quality Materials

On the outside, the Bianca shines with stainless steel body polished to a mirror finish. And in the inside, it has two insulated stainless steel boilers with copper tubing connecting the boilers to the grouphead or valves.

Wooden Elements

Less plastic is always a bonus in our eyes. In addition to the portafilter handle being crafted out of wood, the Bianca also has wooden accents on steam / hot water knobs, lever, wooden paddle, and feet!

PID and Dual Pressure Gauge

Lelit adds their sophisticated PID system, that allows timed preinfusion, a reference timer, and a low-water level alert. A dual-pressure gauge on the other side of the machine measures both the boiler pressure (0-4 bar) on top and pump pressure (0-16 bar) on the bottom.

Multi Directional Steam and Hot Water Wand

Allows for more flexibility. Rosette-style knobs control the separate steam and hot water wands, which are multi directional. The steam wand comes with a 2 hole steam tip (1.5mm holes). Hidden in the accessory box is a 2 hole tip with 1.0mm holes for those needing to texture less amounts of milk.

The wands are no-burn to the touch. This means they are insulated on the inside and allow you to move the wands easily to find the perfect angle you are seeking.

Quick Portafilter Removal

With the lever on the side of the grouphead brought to the down position, the brew pressure is relieved in the portafilter so it can be quickly removed and refilled. The result is a usually a dry puck of coffee to be knocked out. If not, there may be too much space (too little coffee) in the basket, or an inconsistent/too fine a coffee grind.

Rotary Vane Pump and Motor

Produces a quieter extraction than a vibratory vane pump and much quieter than the ‘whiney’ gear driven pumps found on other brew pressure profiling espresso machines.  Adjustments can be made from underneath the espresso machine.

In addition, the rotary vane pump is so much more reliable than gear driven pumps. Gear driven pumps have magnetic drives which tend to fail sometimes in the first 3 months of ownership.

OPV (Overpressure Valve)

The OPV is set by Lelit to open at 11 bar of brew pressure. Although adjustable, it is strongly recommended not to adjust the OPV because the paddle on the grouphead is adjusts the pressure at the grouphead. In addition, it is set at 11 bar so as to not allow the water if the coffee boiler to exit and cause potential damage to the heating element from a lack of water. If the maximum brew pressure needs to be lowered, it is best to adjust the adjustment screw on the rotary vane pump.

Whirlwind of Accessories!

It’s AMAZING how much Lelit packed into their accessory box!

Instructional Manual – please read the manual first!!!
Stainless steel inlet water hose (~4’10” L) with adapter fitting and gasket – if plumbing, please use only cold water with a backflow preventer and pressure regulator set to 35psi
Vinyl waste drain hose (~4’8″ L x 3/4″ OD x 1/2″ ID)
Heavy Stainless Steel Cup Warmer Grate
Rechargeable Water Softener Filter good for up to 70 liters of water before recharge – Replace once a year
Lelit Cleaning Cloth
Stainless Steel Cover for Water Reservoir
Awesome 58mm Stainless Steel Tamper
Extra steam tip with (2) 1.0mm holes
Bottomless Portafilter with Wood Handle and Stainless Steel 3-Cup Basket
Dual Spout Portafilter with Wood Handle and Stainless Steel 1-Cup Basket
Additional Stainless Steel 2-cup Filter Basket and Stainless Steel Blind Filter Basket for Backflushing
Plastic Grouphead Cleaning Brush with Nylon Bristles to Clean Grouphead Gasket
Plastic Scoop
Stainless Grate Platform to place over drip tray grate so your espresso cups or shot glass is elevated for improved pour of extraction

Accessories on machine, steam tip with (2) 1.5mm holes ,2.5 liter removable water reservoir, stainless steel drip tray, and stainless steel drip tray grate.

Additional information

Brand

Lelit

Height (inches)

15.625, approximate

Width (inches)

+3.5 For Movable Tank, 11.5, approximate

Depth (inches)

+3.5 For Movable Tank, 17, approximate

Weight (pounds)

59, approximate

Wattage (watts)

Coffee – 1000, Steam – 1400

Voltage (volts)

120

Boiler capacity (liters)

Coffee – 0.8, Steam – 1.5

Portafilter size (mm)

58

Tank capacity (liters)

2.5

Country of manufacture

Italy

Notes

  1. Direct Connection Mode – There is a small plug underneath the machine that needs to be disconnected. This plug has the other wire going to the reservoir.
    In the machine accessories, there will be included a fitting cod. n.1600064 and gasket 8700013, which one needs to  screw on the machine water inlet fitting to connect the machine to the mains water.
  2. The Bianca final version will be in production in June, 2018.
  3. In the Bianca machine the pre-infusion works by programming the “Time ON: Xx S.” and “Time OFF: Xx S.” of the water pump. If Time ON is zero seconds, then pre-infusion is off and can be managed with the manual paddle.
  4. Once the pre-infusion times (both “time ON” and “time OFF”) have been programmed, the coffee dispensing begins: the pump will be activated for the previously programmed “time ON” in order to wet the coffee puck. Once the “time ON” has elapsed, the pump will stop working for the previously programmed “time OFF”. Terminating the “time OFF”, the pump will start working again.
  5. The pump is a standard rotary pump, with the screw on the bottom body to adjust the pressure.
  6. When extracting the espresso with the pre-infusion programmed, we recommend leaving the paddle, positioned completely to the right (maximum water flow) until the end of the pre-infusion time.
  7. The internal parts of the E61 brewer have been modified to eliminate the mechanical pre-infusion normally present in the standard E61 brewers.
  8. When the paddle is completely in the left position, the water flow is totally closed.So, by moving the paddle we move up and down a needle which goes into the restrictor/gicleur by decreasing or increasing the water flow and the pressure on the coffee puck.
  9. It’s a simple system and our idea was to realize a machine with E61 brewer (retro style), with a manual paddle that  allows the users to play with the brew pressure as they wish.
  10. The construction is robust and the machine is really heavy. The tubing is a traditional all copper tube construction, it has great component quality and the excellent boilers are in stainless steel.
  11. It’s a well-built machine and “feels” as well as looks extremely good value for money.

Plumbing/Spacing

Connecting: The Lelit Bianca can be plumbed only into a cold water line. There is an included stainless steel hose and adapter. It is really easy as the water tank hose slides off and the black wire from under the reservoir can be disconnected under the machine. Then you can connect the included stainless steel braided hose. The water reservoir can be completely removed when plumbing directly to save counter space.

Water pressure: The range in water pressure to avoid issues is 35-40 psi. The line should have a backflow preventer and separate shut-off valve, and it should be 3/8th preferable to avoid water line or mechanical vibrations.

Water treatment: We strongly suggest purchasing our BWT water treatment system for optimal protection. Size S, M, or V is good for the home. Larger sizes for office use. If you do not use BWT, please do not cry to us when you have costly limescale damage issues with your Bianca. The BWT system was designed for espresso machines! There is a flush valve so the paper sediment from filter manufacturing does not clog your Bianca’s internal valves, and the meter can be programmed to measure the amount of water you use so you can change the cartridge. Try to select the cartridge that will be changed about every 6 months as you want to avoid mold build up that can start at the 6-month mark.

Draining: For draining the drip tray, the drain hose needs to drop 1 inch for every 12 inches it moves horizontally. If not, there will be constant back up from the coffee grinds settling in the hose.

Additional dimensions: Below is a dimensional drawing of the Bianca which shows all the measures of the height including the wood feet, the brew paddle, and the top cover. We don’t suggest to use smaller feet, because on the bottom of the machine there is the elbow fitting which is already at 5mm from the counter.


Lelit PL162T Bianca diagram

Customer reviews

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40 reviews for Lelit Bianca PID Double Boiler Espresso Machine w/ Manual Brew Pressure Profiling

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Questions and Answers - Please ask follow up questions as a new question. Thank you

  1. 0 votes
    A

    Sorry, from a technical perspective, this is too difficult to answer for ANY espresso machine, including competitive models we do not carry.

    The reason is based on the following:

    a) What is the actual voltage of the 110-120 volt outlet? Is it 108 volts, 110 volts, 115 volts, or 124 volts?
    b) What are the sized espresso extractions?
    c) How much milk is ounces is being steamed?
    d) Which material is the steaming vessel being used as ceramic and stainless steel require different warm up times and have different heat retention levels?
    d) What is the ambient temperature that affects heat dissipation from the machine?
    e) What is the room temperature of the water?

    Back to back espresso extractions we do not see a problem. These variables are more important in steaming and frothing.

    About 12 years ago, we did extensive testing for temperature stability at various points within and outside the double boiler espresso machine. There are many environmental variables that can affect performance, and this is a reason why we do not publish any data as many users would be unable to replicate results. Plus, most end users do not have the proper portafilter to measure temperature.

    The Bianca has replaced some of the lower priced dual boiler espresso machine you mention. In these cases, we have beard feedback that the Bianca wins in the steaming department. You can review one such case.

    "I am blown away by the steam power. I'm at 266 degrees and almost 2 bar. It is obscene compared to the BDB. It could (and probably should) be turned down, buts it's WAY too much fun steaming at Mach 6. What took a minute in the breville takes 12 seconds in the Bianca. It's harder to get good micro foam though. I need to practice. It's also a weird change learning to steam on the left side of the machine instead of the right."

    With respect to the 20-30 espresso shots, the Bianca we had at Coffeefest NYC 2019 was waiting more for the Eureka grinder! However, we did not steam any milk as we wanted to exemplify changing the flavor profiles in the espresso with the paddle.

  2. 0 votes
    A

    Sorry, this one slipped through the cracks.

    The pre-infusion pressure is controlled by the paddle with a programmable time for pump pressure then soak time. It should not matter if plumbed in or direct water connection/plumbed-in mode. However, we will double check with Lelit.

  3. 0 votes
    A

    Great question! We never backflush our prototype Lelit Bianca! Kidding!!!!

    Others may recommend differently, but we have our own favorite back flush / back wash routine every 50 extractions. We even created two videos!

  4. 0 votes
    A

    Unfortunately, the feet can not be shortened as the machine has its direct water connection underneath and shorter feet will not provide enough clearance.

    The back of the machine should fit under 16" and you can situate the reservoir to either side of the Bianca espresso machine. It is the paddle that is higher.

  5. 0 votes
    A

    Sorry, there is not one available at this time. Please note a 4 hole tip would need to have smaller holes as the thoroughput of steam with 4 larger holes "may not" allow the Bianca nor any other 110 volt double machine to properly maintain steam pressure or enough capacity for larger amounts (33-50 ounce) of milk.

  6. 0 votes
    A

    Bella Barista has paid dearly to have this manual produced as their proprietary documentation. Unfortunately, we are certain they will not share this information However, there are a lot of Bianca machines sold in the USA, and there is a pretty good thread on home-barista.com where you can post your questions and share information.

  7. 0 votes
    A

    Our recommendation starts with 3/8" or larger. The reason, as some of our customers have experienced before on a wide variety of espresso machines)  is that 1/4" or 1/8" can cause rattling inside the machine.

  8. 0 votes
    A

    Thank you for your strong interest. The machine is well designed and well thought out. If it wasn't we would carry it like us not carrying other brands. In other words, we henpeck the best brands, and then henpeck the best models, so to speak.

    We have discussed with Lelit about extending warranties, but they are pretty firm on one year for their entire line. Keep in mind, other manufacturers also do NOT give extended warranties. They are offered by the dealer you purchase from. And, as many folks are not aware, if you purchase a double boiler from any of the dealers, the warranty of 1 year or extended warranty is still handled and performed by the dealer you purchased from - not the manufacturer or another dealer.

    Based on customer feedback, we have been discussing extended warranties for a few weeks, and actually yesterday, we have a drop down for purchasing an extended warranty of an additional 1 or 2 years to make the ultimate total up to 3 years.

    As with other brands, shipping is not included in the warranty for pallet shipment. In fact, most other dealers will charge to ship the parts under warranty to you and in most cases, shipping the parts back to them. We onyl ask customers to ship back select parts if the manufacturer wants it back.

    As usual, we will work with customers to perform diagnosis and self-repair at home. The good news, of all the machines shipped since September, we only had 2 small issues (water tank sensor and tiny leak at connection to tank hose - both easily resolved without any shipping of the machine) - a very good track record compared to some of the previous double boilers that we have carried in the past.

    In fact, one reason why we like the Bianca so much... is the included water treatment which reduces 90% of the potential issues that occur from the water.

  9. 0 votes
    A

    The frame and body are all stainless steel. The top panel is held in with 12 screws, one of which secures the external reservoir assembly. To remove the stainless steel unibody, there are 5 screws on the bottom plus the one screw for the reservoir assembly. There is no black enamel painted steel frames that can peel and rust.

    There are two access ports on the bottom for the heating elements.

     

  10. 0 votes
    A

    Descaling an espresso machine is no longer desired on an espresso machine, unless to correct another issue. The two main reasons are

    a) the descaler speeds up the wear and tear on an espresso machine - eating away at the metals and gaskets, and/or

    b) the descaler eats up the protective finishes on the internal copper pipes and brass fittings.

    Hence, preventative measures through water treatment are highly desirable for espresso machines. Water treatmment not only means filtering the water, but softening the water. Most filters do not soften water. Most filters only remove bad taste, foul odors, carbon, and sediment from the water. Water softeners remove the lime scale causing minerals that filters do NOT remove. Hence, water softeners are super important. The Bianca already includes an in tank water softener. For direct plumbing, the BWT kit is strongly recommended.

  11. 0 votes
    A

    Thanks for asking and more importantly,protection your machine that most espresso machine owners do not do.

    It really depends upon the outlet. If you have a 20 amp outlet (usually with one terminal having a T shape), get the 20 amp surge suppressor. If a 15 amp outlet, then the 15 amp surge suppressor should be acquired.

  12. 0 votes
    A

    Great questions! Technically... Warm up time depends upon the room ambient temperature. If outside in the winter or a room temp of 60 d F in air conditioning will result in a longer warm up time then in 80 d F southern USA temperature zones. Also, small impacts are made if the outlet is 110 volts of actual electrical voltage or 124 volts actually in the outlet. Hence, the average range for warm up time is about 30-60 minutes with a general average of 45 minutes for both boilers.

    If the steam boiler is turned off, then the warm up time of the coffee boiler is about 15-30 minutes.

    Although the machine has an economy mode to save energy, the Bianca does not have a built in timer for powering the machine on/off. However, the machine can be used with an external timer as long as a surge suppressor (1080 joules or higher) protects the machine from the timer AND the economy mode is turned off.

    If the machine is in economy mode, then the warm up time is about 25 minutes average (timer can not be used as the machine needs power to maintain economy mode).

     

  13. 0 votes
    A

    There is no need for 20 amp mode any longer. 20 amp mode existed in the beginning of prosumer double machines when the technology was not as good. Most prosumer double machines now are designed to work effectively in 15 amp mode by redesigning other components as well as the electronics that manage electrical power.

    We just updated our web page for the Lelit Bianca espresso machine with an alternate foot available. Shorter feet are not possible as there is hardware under the frame for direct plumbing.

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