Lelit Bianca v2 Espresso Machine- In Depth Review

**Commissioned Review**

Ahh, the Lelit Bianca. It seems like if you start investigating a new espresso machine, the Lelit Bianca pops up as one of the most popular new espresso machines. Whats not to like, you get a dual boiler high end machine for a fairly reasonable price. Let's take a look at this machine, and the brand in general, as this is my first Lelit product.

I had obviously heard of the brand but didn’t really know anything about it, so I decided to go to their website. It appears that they make high end espresso gear as well as ironing equipment. I wanted to find out more about the company, but I couldn’t get their website to work very well. The Lelit brand is headquartered in Italy, so it should be a nice classic espresso machine!

My machine finally arrived, so I set up my camera to do an unboxing. About 5 minutes into the video, I knew something was wrong. The machine had been dropped during shipping and had some damage. Time to call up Espresso Outlet so we could process a claim. Although this is rare, it does happen from time to time. Don't be discouraged as UPS processed the claim and I would be receiving a machine. I recently heard that Lelit has started shipping on pallets instead of in boxes.

Fast forward and I am finally getting to play with this Lelit Bianca. First impressions: I opened the accessories box, and everything inside is very high end and quite impressive. I don't prefer the wooden furniture on espresso machines, but these portafilters were stunning! The next item I pulled out is the tamper. The tamper was amazing looking. It is a polished stainless steel tamper, that kind of reminds me of a Pullman tamper. I was not expecting the accessories to be this nice. Most companies usually give two portafilters, but no one ever uses the single spout. Lelit has a unique spouted portafilter design that not only looks great, but also tends to work great for both one or two cups. The next thing Lelit did right was to provide a bottomless portafilter WITH the machine! Unheard of from my experience. Not all Lelit machines come with the bottomless, but the Bianca does. Kudos!

Now for the main show, lets pull out the espresso machine. I must stress, be careful where you put the machine when you pull it out as, the feet are removed for shipping. When I placed on my table the sharp tabs scratched up my table. There is also some wiring etc that is located on the bottom that might become damaged if you aren’t careful. More on that later.

Taking a step back, the machine is honestly not like any machine I have used before. Many of the E61 machines are very similar. Lelit seems to beat to their own drum, as they have chosen a design which is very unique.

The Lelit Bianca gives you the option to direct plumb the machine, or use a water reservoir. This is where things get interesting. Before I received the machine, I did not realize the water reservoir cradle was removable from the machine. Most machines with a reservoir, the tank itself slides into the body of the machine. On this Lelit, the reservoir holder kind of saddles to the back of the machine. Why is this a big deal? If you want to direct plumb the machine, you can remove the entire water reservoir system, and thus take up much less room on your counter.

Just like the Sham Wow guy said “but that’s not all!!” Not only can the reservoir be removed, you are able to relocate the reservoir to the left or right side of the machine. Again, why is this a big deal? Many reasons. If you have a shallow counter you can easily move the reservoir to one of the sides of the machine and gain some valuable counter space in front of your machine. Another even bigger pro is, if you have ever had to fill your espresso machine under a kitchen cabinet, the reservoir is typically at the back of the machine, so with my old espresso machine I would have to scoot the machine forward so I could fill the tank. If the reservoir is located to the side of the machine, it gives you much easier access. Moving the reservoir takes a bit of juggling, there are aircraft quick fasteners on the top and bottom of the reservoir. Be careful when moving the wires and the water line, as they are clipped to the bottom of the machine. You will need to re-route these.

So already Lelit is breaking the mold by creating a very unique design. It looks like a fairly standard E61 machine, but the company has chosen to do so in an innovative fresh design.

I want to take a minute to look at all of the key features of the machine. The cup warming rack sits on top of the machine. Since the water reservoir mounts to the back or side of the machine (if you choose to leave on the machine), there is no need to remove the cups from the top of the machine to fill the reservoir. Many machines have a small trap door, usually towards the back of the cup tray where you will refill your reservoir. The rack itself seems flimsy but does the job nicely! Also having it be a wire rack prevents the cups from scratching the top of your machine. Many people will see that as a plus.

The Bianca comes standard with group head flow control. Why is this a big deal? Well, normally if you want to add to a machine without flow control it costs $100-300, so having it preinstalled is a huge plus, as you are not going to have to pay extra for the valve, nor will you need to install it yourself. So if you aren’t the DIY type of person, its ready to go straight out of the box. If the flow control scares you, don't let it, it is so easy to use, or even completely ignore. I typically start the shot at full pressure, and after 10-15 seconds taper the pressure off to 7 bar. That leads to another nice feature which comes with the flow control, the group head pressure gauge.

In classic E61 style, the Bianca offers both steam and hot water wands. Having steam and hot water at your fingertips is much nicer than machines which only offer steam. Most of us will steam milk for an amazing latte, but rinsing a cup, pre-heating a cup, or making an amarcano is as easy as the turn of a knob. While we are talking about steam and hot water, the Bianca is a dual boiler machine. If you are new to the differences in espresso machines, having a dual boiler is just as it sounds. One boiler is used to heat water for the espresso shot, while the second boiler is used to produce steam and hot water. Compared to other styles of espresso machines, the temperature controllers allow you to set the temperature for each boiler independently.

More and more espresso machine manufacturers are offering a single pressure gauge, but if you take a closer look it is actually two gauges combined into one housing, one for the seam boiler pressure, and the second for pump pressure. With the group head pressure gauge, I rarely find myself looking at these dials, but they are nice to have!

The brains behind the Bianca are controlled via the PID controller and its display. What is a PID? It stands for Proportional Intergral derivative, AKA a fancy thermostat of sorts. They have been used for decades in all sorts of situations where temperature control is needed. In our case, the PID controls the temperature for the two boilers. This is a big plus over pressure stat machines which uses boiler pressure to turn on and off the heating elements. Since manufacturers are trying to provide their customers even more features, the PID display has multiple purposes now. Not only does it control and display the temperature, but when you start pulling a shot, it acts as a shot timer.

The drip tray on the Bianca is nice and roomy. This is particularly nice if you backflush your grouphead regularly. The grill for the drip tray is made from bars vs having a flat piece of metal. To me the grill seems flimsy, similar to the cup warming tray. The upside is that the bottom of your cups will not leave visible scratches on the metal. The downside is that it seems kind of springy, and you can see dirty water in the drip tray if you don't do a good job of cleaning it.

The drip tray also gives you a small wire stand. This is a unique feature which I have really only seen offered by Lelit. The purpose is to elevate your cup a bit to prevent splashing. If you use a scale, you can remove the stand and put the scale in its place. What is nice is that there is a lot of space between the bottom of the portafilter and the drip tray. Some machined don't give you enough room to use a scale.

When you remove the drip tray, Lelit gives a couple of nice surprises. The drip tray has a removable plug, if you choose to plumb your drip tray it allows you to drain into a sewer line or bucket. This comes standard with the machine! Another nice surprise is there is a random round cutout in the frame. I wasn’t quite sure why it was there at first, but after thinking a bit, it fits your extra basket or blind basket perfectly! Built in storage!

All this talk about the drip tray brings me to my biggest complaint about the Bianca, and all Lelit products. The sheet metal they use on their machines is extremely thin. When I say thin I mean very thin. It might not be a big deal, but when you spend so much on a machine, you want that premium vibe, and I just do not get that from the sheet metal as compared to other brands. That said, be careful not to bump the machine as I can see it becoming dented quite easily.

Who is this machine for:

  • Serious home espresso machine owner.  This machine comes with all the extras already installed, and no need to buy many accessories other than a great grinder.  If you aren't the DIY type, or even if you are, and don't want to spend extra, the flow control comes pre-installed, and the tamper/portafilters it comes with are fantastic. 
  • Someone that is serious enough about their espresso to want a plumbed dual boiler machine.


  • Innovative design, it looks like a traditional E61 but honestly has a lot of very unique features.
  • Dual boiler
  • Quiet rotary pump with an easily accessible pump pressure adjustment screw.
  • PID temperature control with shot timer
  • Comes standard with a flow control valve
  • Premium wood features (if you don't care for the brown wood, they have just started offering black wood)
  • Includes a matching bottomless portafilter as well as a spouted portafilter which has a unique design that allows you to use the same portafilter for single and double shots.
  • Premium quality tamper
  • Versatile water reservoir system that not only allows you to remove the reservoir completely, but also allows you to mount it on the left or right side.
  • Spare portafilter basket storage under the drip tray


  • Although I think having a removable water reservoir is a fantastic idea, the method of implementing this design is kind of lack luster when you find out it has wiring and plumbing outside of the machine. I am afraid this might get damaged if you are not careful.
  • If you direct plumb the machine, the water reservoir connection is the same connection used for direct plumbing. Many machine manufacturers have a valve and a switch to change from one to the other.
  • I think the build quality is lacking in several aspects. The drip tray and cup rack grills are flimsy. The sheet metal is very thin.
  • The packaging was poor. My first machine came damaged, and the drip tray grill came loose and scratched up the drip tray. Lelit has received a lot of feedback about damaged machines, and has supposedly started shipping them differently.

Parting thoughts:

I was excited to receive this machine. It is definitely at the top of many peoples list and for good reason. Turn key out of the box, I have not seen a manufacturer provide premium portafilters, bottomless portafilter, very nice tamper, wooden accents, and pressure control right out of the box. Most of the time these are adders or purchased from another company. The design is fresh and unique, while keeping the traditional E61 design in mind.

For more information visit Espresso Outlet. Priced at about $3000, you are getting a turn key, dual boiler machine with many premium features right out of the box.


You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post