06 May 2024

Exploring culinary artistry with the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV: a detailed review

Exploring culinary artistry with the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV: a detailed review

Imagine standing behind the counter of a bustling coffee shop, the aroma of freshly roasted beans filling the air. In front of you is the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV, a beautifully crafted coffee machine that promises a perfect blend of sophistication and performance. Intrigued? Well, you're in the right place as this detailed review will walk you through the features, functionalities, and overall craftsmanship of this classic espresso machine from the perspective of a seasoned barista and coffee enthusiast. Whether you're considering this for personal use or for your coffee business, this in-depth review is tailored just for you.

"A good coffee machine is like the heart of the space it occupies - it sets the tone for the quality of the brew and overall experience". - Anonymous Barista

The most important features of the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV

Whether you're a barista establishing a brand new coffee shop or a coffee enthusiast hoping to improve your home brew, the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV offers numerous standout features that help to create barista-grade beverages. 

Size and design
The Linea Classic S AV is not just an espresso machine; it's a statement piece. Its elegant, timeless design and sturdy construction make it a perfect fit for any coffee environment. Whether you opt for the 2 or 3 group configuration, its sleek lines and stainless steel finish ensure it stands out as the centerpiece in cafes, roasteries, and specialty coffee shops alike. With the Linea Classic S AV, you're not just investing in a machine; you're investing in aesthetics and durability.

Semi-automatic controls
You might be wondering what the 'S AV' stands for in the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV. The 'S' indicates that the model has semi-automatic controls. This means the barista will have more hands-on control of the coffee-making process, particularly throughout the extraction phase. Being able to manage this step helps regulate espresso shot quality and consistency, ensuring that each cup meets your set standard. 

On the other hand, 'AV' stands for 'Auto-Volumetric.' With the auto-volumetric function, this machine automates the water volume metering for each shot. It allows you to program the volume of water necessary for your shot, and the machine will stop dispensing once the set volume is attained. This ensures a consistent shot volume, which is crucial in the craft of brewing specialty coffee. It's a smart combination of manual control and automatic precision, giving baristas the best of both worlds.

Dual boiler
Efficiency meets excellence with the Linea Classic S AV's dual boiler brew system. Equipped with two boilers, it allows for optimal temperature control during both espresso extraction and milk steaming. This means no more waiting between shots or steaming sessions, ensuring a seamless workflow without compromising on quality. With the Linea Classic S AV, you can deliver consistently exceptional coffee, shot after shot.

PID controller
The Linea Classic S AV is equipped with a dual PID controller, offering precise digital temperature control over both the coffee and steam boilers. This advanced technology ensures unparalleled thermal stability, resulting in perfectly extracted espresso shots every time. Whether you're pulling a single shot or a double, the Linea Classic S AV empowers you to fine-tune temperature settings to achieve your desired flavor profiles, ensuring customer satisfaction with every sip.

High-performance rotary pump
At the heart of the Linea Classic S AV lies a high-performance rotary pump, delivering consistent water pressure for superior extraction. This ensures even saturation of the coffee grounds, resulting in rich, flavorful espresso shots that tantalize the taste buds. With the Linea Classic S AV, you can be confident that every shot is brewed to perfection, leaving a lasting impression on your customers.

Steam wand
The Linea Classic S AV's pro-touch steam wands are not only functional but also ergonomic. Cool to the touch, they provide a safe and comfortable grip, even during extended use. These high-performing steam wands produce velvety microfoam for perfectly textured milk, allowing baristas to create latte art masterpieces with ease. With the Linea Classic S AV, mastering the art of milk frothing has never been easier.

App integration
Experience the future of coffee service with seamless app integration. The La Marzocco Pro App allows baristas to monitor and control machine settings remotely, ensuring optimal performance at all times. Whether adjusting temperature parameters or accessing real-time diagnostics, the app provides convenience and customization options, empowering you to take your espresso game to the next level. With the Linea Classic S AV, innovation is at your fingertips.

In conclusion, the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV has been thoughtfully designed for manipulation of every aspect of the brewing process, bringing together both form and function to deliver the best possible coffee experience.

Pros and cons

Pros of La Marzocco Linea Classic AV: 

  • The auto-volumetric system enables consistent output and quality in each shot, improving customer satisfaction.
  • The dual boiler system allows for simultaneous espresso brewing and milk steaming, reducing wait times.
  • The PID temperature controller guarantees thermal stability and precise control, ensuring perfect extraction every time.
  • Optional custom color designs and pro app compatibility add a level of personalization and modern convenience to traditional espresso brewing. o Configurations available in 1,2,3, or 4 groups provide flexibility for different operational needs

Cons of La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV: 

  • The machine's size and weight can be substantial, especially in larger group configurations, which may limit placement options in certain spaces.
  • The auto-volumetric function, while helpful, can detract from a fully hands-on brewing experience for those who prefer manual control.
  • Depending on the power capacity of the location, the machine's voltage and amperage ratings might require electrical upgrades.

    The difference between La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV and La Marzocco Linea PB AV

    Seamlessly, the Linea PB model by La Marzocco could be considered as the closest sibling to the Linea Classic S AV. It boasts similar superior features with a subtle upgrade on technology and digital functions. However, the Classic S AV truly maintains its robustness and vintage appeal.

    Running a side-by-side comparison between the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV and the Linea PB model highlights a few noteworthy differences. The most obvious distinction lies in their user interface.

    Linea Classic S AV interface
    The Linea Classic S AV opts for a more traditional approach with its simple yet effective button interface. While it lacks the LCD screen found on the Linea PB AV, it still offers convenient access to essential functions such as brewing and steaming. Baristas can adjust parameters like shot volume and steam pressure with ease, albeit without the visual feedback provided by a screen. Despite its more basic interface, the Linea Classic S AV's straightforward controls are appreciated by those who prefer a more hands-on approach to espresso making.

    Linea PB AV interface
    In contrast, the Linea PB AV features a sleek, intuitive LCD screen located prominently on the machine's front panel. This screen offers a user-friendly interface for accessing various functions, including shot timers, programming settings, and diagnostic information. Baristas can easily navigate through menus and make adjustments on-the-fly, ensuring precise control over the brewing process. With its modern design and comprehensive display, the Linea PB AV's screen enhances the overall user experience, making it a favorite among coffee professionals.

    Linea PB AV brewing technology
    The Linea PB AV sets the standard for advanced brewing technology in commercial espresso machines. It incorporates cutting-edge features that elevate the espresso-making process to new heights of precision and customization. One standout feature is its precision shot timers, which enable baristas to monitor the duration of each espresso shot with unparalleled accuracy. This level of precision ensures consistency in extraction times, resulting in perfectly balanced and flavorful espresso shots every time.

    In addition to shot timers, the Linea PB AV boasts programmable pre-infusion capabilities. Pre-infusion is the initial stage of the brewing process where hot water is gently introduced to the coffee grounds before full pressure is applied. By programming pre-infusion parameters such as duration and pressure, baristas can tailor the extraction process to optimize flavor extraction and achieve desired taste profiles. This level of control over pre-infusion allows for experimentation and refinement, empowering baristas to unlock the full potential of their coffee beans.

    Linea Classic S AV brewing technology
    While the Linea Classic S AV may not feature the same level of advanced programmability as the Linea PB AV, it still offers reliable and efficient brewing technology suitable for a wide range of coffee environments. With its tried-and-true design, the Linea Classic S AV delivers consistent results without the need for complex adjustments or customization.

    Although lacking programmable pre-infusion, the Linea Classic S AV maintains the fundamental brewing principles that have made La Marzocco a trusted name in the industry for decades. Its robust construction and dual boiler system ensure stable brewing temperatures and simultaneous brewing and steaming capabilities, allowing for efficient workflow in high-volume settings.

    In summary, the choice between the Linea PB AV and the Linea Classic S AV depends on individual preferences.

    La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV:

    La Marzocco Linea PB AV:


    Maintenance and longevity

    Like any mechanical marvel, the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV demands diligent care to maximize its performance and longevity. Its design does simplify this task, sporting a body that's incredibly easy to clean and a parts layout that isn't convoluted. 

    Despite the simplicity, however, you should still establish a consistent cleaning routine. This ought to include regular washing of the machine's exterior, descaling of internal components, and purging of its group heads, steam wands, and water line to keep your Linea Classic performing its very best. In-depth cleaning directions are provided in the user manual.

    Ensuring the longevity of your machine 

    The lifespan of your Linea Classic S AV depends significantly on the regularity and effectiveness of your maintenance. As such, strict adherence to the recommended cleaning process and servicing routines can see this machine delivering consistently incredible espresso shots for years on end. 

    Moreover, considering the Classic S AV is a commercial-grade machine, it is built to withstand heavy usage that comes with a bustling café environment. Indicators of when to service or replace certain parts are built into the machine to aid in longevity. 

    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 S 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 Roasters think about the Classic S AV

    At OR Coffee Roasters, we firmly believe that the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV recognizes and upholds traditional craftsmanship while integrating modern innovations seamlessly. The auto-volumetric aspect of this espresso machine offers unprecedented convenience by guaranteeing consistent shot volumes, ensuring each cup is an accurate representation of our craft. 

    Despite some challenges in navigating the interface of the Classic S, the La Marzocco Pro app adeptly bridges these usability gaps, enabling us to master the machine's controls with ease and efficiency. The dual boilers are an undeniable highlight, allowing for simultaneous and efficient espresso brewing and milk steaming. 

    It redefines the essence of reliability, resilience, and finesse in the coffee industry. In our opinion, the Linea Classic S AV does more than just making a perfect cup of coffee; it creates an elevated, immersive and enduring espresso experience tailored to aspiring and seasoned baristas alike.

      Final thoughts on the Linea Classic S AV

      Having covered every pivotal aspect of the La Marzocco Linea Classic S AV, one point prevails. This espresso machine embodies a monumental blend of style and functionality - an inviting fusion that enriches the tempo of every coffee making session. Its majestic dimensionsare commendably designed to accommodate placement in virtually any commercial environment. 

      The Linea Classic S AV embodies the essence of reliability and simplicity in espresso-making. With its robust construction, dual boiler system, and traditional button interface, it offers a dependable solution for cafes, restaurants, and specialty coffee shops. While lacking some of the advanced features found in newer models, such as programmable pre-infusion and a digital screen, the Linea Classic S AV excels in delivering consistent espresso quality without unnecessary complexity. Its timeless design and proven performance make it a trusted choice for baristas seeking a straightforward yet reliable espresso machine. Overall, the Linea Classic S AV remains a staple in the coffee industry, standing the test of time as a testament to La Marzocco's commitment to craftsmanship and excellence.

      Investing in such a piece is more than just purchasing an appliance; it's about bringing home a legacy of superior Italian craftsmanship. To own a Linea Classic S AV is to cherish an enriched coffee brewing experience, blending tradition with modernity.