06 May 2024

La Marzocco GB5 X: redefining espresso brilliance with innovation and style, a review

La Marzocco GB5 X: redefining espresso brilliance with innovation and style, a review

Step into the world of fine coffee making with the La Marzocco GB5 X, a machine that's been changing the game in coffee shops across the globe. This modernized model, expertly infused with Luminaire electronics and an eye-catching touch of red, has raised the bar with its redesigned features and premium materials - a testament to its legendary designer, Piero Bambi. As we delve deeper into this review, you will learn just how this machine's unique features, like its dual PIDs, ruby flow restrictors, and proprietary La Marzocco electronics, work in harmony to deliver a consistent shot of espresso that will leave a memorable mark on your taste buds.

The most important features of the La Marzocco GB5 X

Elevate your coffee shop's performance with the La Marzocco GB5 X, a second-generation machine that seamlessly blends classical European design with cutting-edge functionality. Revamped visuals, a water sensor for quality monitoring, and Luminaire electronics bring this iconic espresso machine into the modern era.

Size and design
The GB5 X marries timeless elegance with contemporary aesthetics. Distinguished by its white details, including lilies, logo, and buttons, it offers a fresh take on La Marzocco's iconic design language. Moreover, the machine features dimmable barista lights, allowing for customizable ambiance that lets baristas focus on the extraction process and the quality of the cup.

Saturated groups
Equipped with saturated groups, the GB5 X ensures thermal stability and precise temperature control for each espresso shot, guaranteeing consistent extraction. Available in configurations with 2, 3, or 4 groups, this machine provides a solid foundation for delivering rich, aromatic, and flavorful shots.

Separate saturated group boilers
The GB5 X boasts separate saturated group boilers, with each group head having its dedicated boiler. This setup enhances temperature stability and precision during espresso extraction by isolating the heating system for each group. It minimizes temperature fluctuations, ensures consistent brewing conditions across multiple espresso shots, and enables faster recovery times between shots.

Brew system
Featuring advanced pre-infusion, a ruby flow restrictor, and a performance touch steam wand, the GB5 X ensures superior espresso extraction. Luminaire electronics provide precise control, contributing to an exceptional brewing experience. The easy-rebuild steam valve allows for hassle-free maintenance directly from the front of the machine.

PID controller
Enjoy dual PID control with the GB5 X, allowing baristas to fine-tune both coffee and steam boiler temperatures for optimal brewing conditions and flavor extraction. The machine also features 24v electronics for improved reliability and diagnostics.

Rotary pump
Equipped with a high-performance rotary pump, the GB5 X ensures quiet operation, longevity, and consistent pressure. This professional-grade pump upholds La Marzocco's standards for reliability and performance. The machine also allows for easy firmware updates through the USB port.

Water sensor
The GB5 X is the first series of La Marzocco machines equipped with a water sensor, measuring the conductivity and hardness of water as it enters the machine. This feature allows baristas to monitor water quality and verify filtration performance without the need for additional testing tools.

Pro Touch steam wands
The machine features double-walled, vacuum-sealed steam wands, delivering proper temperature and force while remaining cool to the touch. Create velvety microfoam for lattes and cappuccinos with precision, thanks to the high-performing and cool-to-the-touch Pro Touch steam wands.

The GB5 X comes in both Automatic-Volumetric (AV) and auto brew-ratio (ABR) versions. The AV feature allows baristas to program the amount of time or volume an espresso shot receives, while the ABR version utilizes La Marzocco’s patented Auto Brew Ratio technology and built-in scales for precision brewing based on mass, volume, or brew ratio.

With its blend of classic design and modern features, the La Marzocco GB5 X sets a new standard for espresso machines, delivering professional-grade performance and versatility to coffee shops around the world.

App Integration
Stay connected with the La Marzocco Pro App, providing control over day-to-day functions. Adjust doses, coffee boiler temperature, and access usage statistics for enhanced customization and efficiency.

Pros and cons

Pros of La Marzocco GB5 X: 

  • Saturated Group Boilers: The separate saturated group boilers ensure precise temperature control, resulting in consistent extraction and superior espresso quality.

  • Modern Design: The GB5 X features a sophisticated design with white details, dimmable barista lights, and a sleek stainless steel body, making it a stylish addition to any coffee shop.

  • Advanced Brewing Technology: With features like advanced pre-infusion, a ruby flow restrictor, and a performance touch steam wand, the GB5 X offers precise control over the brewing process, allowing baristas to craft perfect espresso shots every time.

  • Dual PID Controller: The dual PID controller enables baristas to fine-tune both coffee and steam boiler temperatures, ensuring optimal brewing conditions and flavor extraction for various coffee profiles.

  • Water Sensor: The inclusion of a water sensor allows baristas to monitor water quality and verify filtration performance without the need for additional testing tools, ensuring consistently high-quality espresso.

  • Versatility: Available in configurations with 2, 3, or 4 groups, the GB5 X offers flexibility to suit the needs of different coffee shops, from small cafes to high-volume establishments.

  • Auto-Volumetrics and ABR Options: The GB5 X is available in both Automatic-Volumetric (AV) and auto brew-ratio (ABR) versions, catering to the preferences and workflow requirements of baristas.

Cons of La Marzocco GB5 X: 

  • While the inclusion of saturated groups largely benefits the brewing process, it does contribute to a more complex machine design. This could potentially lead to higher maintenance needs and technical difficulties for users who lack familiarity with advanced espresso machines.

  • More features often come with a higher price tag. Therefore, the complex design of La Marzocco GB5 X may make it less affordable for small-scale coffee shops.

    The difference between La Marzocco GB5 S and La Marzocco GB5 X

    The La Marzocco GB5 S and GB5 X, while sharing a common lineage, each offer unique features that cater to different preferences and needs. Let's delve into what distinguishes them.

    In terms of design, the GB5 S exudes elegance with its sleek casing and vibrant red accents, embodying a modern aesthetic. On the other hand, the GB5 X presents a more retro appeal with metallic hues and a minimalist design, appealing to those with a penchant for classic aesthetics.

    In terms of technical aspects, the GB5 S boasts Luminaire electronics, providing comprehensive control and streamlined management for baristas. Meanwhile, the GB5 X incorporates the reliable standard La Marzocco electronics, ensuring robust performance without the same level of advanced control as the GB5 S.

    One exclusive feature of the GB5 S is the innovative water sensor, ensuring precision and consistency in brewing. While the GB5 X lacks this particular technology, it still delivers exceptional espresso quality.

    Both machines feature saturated groups, contributing to impeccable temperature stability and consistent espresso extraction. However, the GB5 X offers the option for independent boilers for each group head, providing even greater control over brewing parameters.

    Ultimately, whether you prefer the sophistication of the GB5 S or the intricacies of the GB5 X, both machines promise an exceptional coffee experience. They represent La Marzocco's commitment to excellence in coffee brewing, catering to the diverse preferences of coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

    La Marzocco GB5 X:

    La Marzocco GB5 S:

    Maintenance and longevity

    Maintenance and longevity - that's where the GB5 X really outshines. The unique combination of superior European design and advanced La Marzocco electronics enables this espresso machine to provide a robust performance over the years. This hardy machine holds the fort with a strong resilience to frequent usage, keeping up with your love for consistent, high-quality espresso.

    The machine's design enables easy maintenance. Automatic cleaning cycles ensure that the machine remains in tip-top condition with minimal effort on your part. Moreover, the high-temperature stability, coupled with saturated groups, dual PIDs, and ruby flow restrictors, ensures that the machine does not endure unnecessary strain during the brewing process. These design considerations enhance longevity, allowing the machine to maintain optimal performance even after years of regular use.

    With the GB5 X, you're not just investing in an espresso machine. You're investing in a promise of enduring quality. Whether you're a professional barista or a coffee enthusiast, rest assured that the La Marzocco GB5 X is a purchase that would stand the test of time, providing delightful coffee experiences day after day, year after year.

    1. Daily Cleaning:

      • Wipe down the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth to remove any spills or residue.
      • Flush the group heads with water to remove any coffee grounds or oils.
      • Clean the steam wand with a damp cloth and purge steam to remove any milk residue.

    2. Weekly Maintenance:

      • Remove and clean the portafilters, screens, and baskets with a brush and detergent.
      • Backflush the machine with a cleaning solution to remove any buildup in the group heads and valves.
      • Check and clean the water reservoir and refill as needed.

    3. Monthly Maintenance:

      • Descale the machine to remove mineral buildup in the boilers and plumbing system.
      • Inspect and replace any worn gaskets, seals, or o-rings to prevent leaks and ensure proper sealing.
      • Lubricate moving parts such as hinges and levers to prevent rust and corrosion.

    4. Professional Servicing:

      • Schedule regular maintenance checks with a certified technician to inspect internal components and address any issues.
      • Keep records of maintenance and servicing for reference and warranty purposes.

    With these insightful cleaning techniques, you can effortlessly keep your La Marzocco GB5 X in the best condition, ensuring its performance remains consistent and uncompromised. This way your machine will have a longer life expectancy!

    What we at OR coffee Roaster think about the GB5 X

    ere at OR Coffee Roasters, we are absolutely thrilled with the performance of the La Marzocco GB5 X. It's not just an espresso machine; it's a vital component of our daily operations, setting the standard for delivering exceptional coffee to our customers.

    The GB5 X's retro-inspired design, with its metallic hues and minimalist aesthetic, adds a touch of sophistication to our coffee counter. Its timeless appeal makes it not just a piece of equipment, but a focal point of our workspace. We appreciate the simplicity and elegance of its design.

    The GB5 X's standard La Marzocco electronics ensure reliable performance, while still offering the precision and control necessary for crafting perfect espresso shots. While it may not have all the advanced features of the GB5 S, it delivers consistent results with every extraction.

    What truly impresses us about the GB5 X is its ability to maintain brewing consistency. The saturated groups, dual PID control, and ruby flow restrictors work together seamlessly to ensure that every shot we pull is of the highest quality. Our customers can always count on a delicious and satisfying coffee experience.

    Moreover, the GB5 X is remarkably easy to maintain and repair, allowing us to keep it in peak condition with minimal effort. With La Marzocco's ongoing support, we have peace of mind knowing that our investment is protected and our machine will continue to perform at its best for years to come.

    In conclusion, the La Marzocco GB5 X is an indispensable tool in our pursuit of coffee excellence. Its reliability, consistency, and ease of maintenance make it a top choice for serious coffee enthusiasts and professional baristas alike. We wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is passionate about great coffee.

      Final thoughts on the GB5 S

      In essence, the La Marzocco GB5 X represents a remarkable leap forward in the world of coffee craftsmanship. Its blend of precision, elegance, and adaptability ensures that every cup brewed is not just coffee, but an immersive journey of flavor and aroma. As you explore the artistry of coffee preparation, the GB5 X transitions from mere equipment to a trusted ally, always ready to transform your coffee visions into tangible delights.

      The GB5 X embraces the complexity of the coffee journey, respecting each step with unwavering dedication. With its saturated groups and meticulous temperature control, it coaxes out the nuanced flavors of every coffee variety, melding them into a symphony of taste that captivates the palate. This machine is not just a tool; it's a partner in your quest for coffee perfection.

      In summary, the La Marzocco GB5 X transcends the ordinary, inviting you to reimagine your coffee ritual. It beckons you to delve deeper into the essence of each bean, to engage your senses fully in the brewing process, and to redefine your understanding of what truly exceptional coffee entails. With the GB5 X by your side, every cup becomes a masterpiece, crafted with passion, precision, and a touch of artistry.