Get started with your Lelit Bianca Espresso Machine. In this manual, you should find everything you need to operate and maintain your dual boiler espresso machine.
Please make sure to read carefully before using your Lelit Bianca. If you have any other questions, be sure to contact us.
- Bottomless walnut portafilter
- Double spouted walnut portafilter
- Lelit stainless steel and aluminum tamper
- Single basket
- Double basket
- Triple basket
- 2-hole and 4-hole Steam Tip
- Microfiber towel
- Braided plumb-in line
- Drip tray drain attachment
- Group head brush
- Backflush blank
- Lelit water softening and filtration cartridge
- Cup Riser
Espresso machines have specific requirements when it comes to water. There are two primary considerations: filtration and hardness.
Filtration gets rid of tiny particles, such as sand or rust, in your water. If these particles were allowed to enter your machine they could cause all manner of trouble, specifically by clogging the small valves and other parts in your espresso machine. Almost any water filter will do the job, whether it’s the one built into your fridge, a Brita, or a whole house filter. Ensuring that this filter is replaced in proper time will be important to ensure machine health.
Water hardness is equally important. First, use the water hardness test strips included with your machine to test the water you plan to use with your machine. Ideally, we want a hardness of between 35-85 ppm (parts per million). Hardness refers to the dissolved solids or mineral content in your water. Common dissolved solids are things like magnesium, calcium, and various forms of sodium. These dissolved solids are what make water, and therefore espresso, taste good. But an excess will result in scale buildup inside your machine. Scale can cause irreparable damage to your machine by clogging and forming a mineralized layer over the surface of metal parts. The process of descaling is even more damaging, eating away at the machine’s metal internals. Luckily, scale can be entirely avoided by keeping your water hardness within the recommended TDS range of 35-85 ppm.
There are numerous methods to soften your water if the mineral content has tested to be too high for your machine. Reverse Osmosis or Distilled Water, Reservoir, or Direct Plumb. We'll go through all three below.
- RO (Reverse Osmosis) or Distilled Water
Taste aside, espresso machines require some mineral content in order to function properly. Their steam boiler fill probes, in particular, use the conductivity of water to detect the water level. With no dissolved solids, they’ll overfill, giving you water instead of steam. You must add some mineral content back in. Our recommendation is Third Wave Water packets which are designed to offer ideal flavor and to be safe for your machine.
- Reservoir Solutions
Our first recommendation is an in-tank water softening pouch. They’re affordable, last 4-6 months, and are very effective. Using RO water purchased by the gallon in combination with Third Wave Water packets is another great option.
The Bianca also includes a proprietary filtration and softening cartridge which can easily be installed into the reservoir. To use the included filter, Immerse the filter in a pitcher of water and allow the filter to soak for 3 minutes. Remove the filter from the water. Remove the small net filter from the water charge hose. Insert the water softener filter into the hose and place the filter in the tank.
- Direct Plumb Solutions
For machines that are plumbed in, we recommend our Water Softening and Filtration kit. It includes everything you’ll need to ensure the water is safe for your machine and delivers the best taste for your espresso.
No matter what solution you pick we recommend testing the water coming from your machine’s group head every few months. City water hardness changes seasonally and softening systems wear out. Quarterly testing will ensure you keep your machine safe.
*Note: Please ensure your machine’s flow control paddle is sitting fully open during your initial setup as pictured below.
First Time Setup with Reservoir
We ship the Bianca with the detachable reservoir installed ready to be used in the reservoir mode. If you are using the machine with its internal reservoir you may simply fill the reservoir with your filtered and softened water, leaving a few inches at the top to prevent spillage. Ensure that you do not spill water on top of the machine when filling, as this may cause electrical damage. When filling the reservoir verify that the rubber/plastic water intake line is arranged such that it is fully submerged and touches the bottom of the reservoir.
Once your reservoir is filled, you can now turn on your machine with the front power button. It’s important to immediately lift the machine’s brew lever to begin filling the brew boiler with water. Return the brew lever to its off position when you begin to see water coming from the group head. The machine will automatically start to heat.
First Time Setup with Water Line
If you plan to direct plumb your machine you’ll need to remove the detachable reservoir. First, remove the screw at the base of the reservoir, followed by these two screws connecting the reservoir to the top of the machine. Next, carefully tilt the machine forward to access the bottom where we’ll then unplug the cable and then pull the tubing off the machine’s water inlet. The reservoir and clear tubing can be set aside. Then, use a wrench to remove the barbed tip currently attached to the water inlet, which you’ll replace with an adapter included with the machine. You’ll find it in a small plastic bag in the accessories box. Thread it on until hand-tight and then give it a solid quarter-turn with the adjustable wrench. Next, you’ll thread on the braided line included with the machine, again getting it hand-tight and then giving a quarter turn with the adjustable wrench. Then, flip open your water line and check for leaks at all of the connection points.
Lelit Flow Control Paddle
One of the most exciting features on the Lelit Bianca is its flow control paddle. It’s a useful tool and we encourage experimenting with it. The flow control paddle can be used for a gentle manual pre-infusion, or for more versatile shots allowing you to play with various profiles.
To reduce the pressure, simply move the paddle to the left. The flow rate will diminish and the pressure gauge on the group head will give you live feedback as you are pulling your shot. To increase the pressure, move the paddle fully to the right. You will see the group head pressure gauge build up to nine bars of pressure.
For more helpful tips about flow control, read more in our blog: Flow Profiling 101
Programming the PID
The Bianca features a PID which allows for exact control over boiler temperature. During the initial bench test process, our techs have programmed your machine to be ready to use, but it is simple to change at home if you choose to. To adjust the brew temperature first press the minus button under the display. You’ll then see a little wrench icon below the temperature. Pressing the plus button allows you to edit this setting. You can now use the plus and minus buttons to adjust the desired brew temperature by one-degree increments. To save the setting, leave the interface alone for a few seconds until the temperature readout stops blinking. Pressing the minus button again will show you the steam boiler temperature. Continuing to press the minus button will allow you to turn on/off the steam boiler, switch between Fahrenheit and Celcius, program preset pre-infusion and access the machine’s standby mode.
For a complete list of technical details, please see the spec table on our product page.
Now you're ready to start pulling shots! Check out our Espresso 101 section to learn about steaming milk, latte art, our suggested starter espresso recipe, grinder dial-in tips and much more.
Manufacturer Manual in PDF
Still have questions? Reach out to our coffee experts and technicians.