I’m In Linea-Love with You

When Whitney Cornell of La Marzocco first told me about the Linea Love concept that the company was launching to promote the next generation Linea, which will debut at the SCAA show in Boston on April 12, I got all weepy. (Official blog post from La Marzocco HERE)

I’ve had so many conversations over the years with so many coffee professionals who started in this business with a dream… and a La Marzocco Linea. I chatted with my friend, Rita Kaminsky, about it recently—Rita recently left her longtime gig as general manager of the Albina Press in Portland to work in El Salvador training baristas for the national championship—and Rita waxed poetic about how beloved the Albina Presses Lineas are: “They are workhorses but they are works of art, too,” she said. “I’m really going to miss them.”

Rita behind the Albina Press’ first Linea at the North Portland cafe. Courtesy of cafecircuit.com

Rita is just one of countless coffee professionals I know who talk about their La Marzocco Lineas like they do their best friends. They’ve been through good times and hard knocks; they started out together and then wondered why they ever thought they’d break up one day—why would you ever say goodbye to a good thing?

 “For many baristas, the Linea was the first espresso machine they learned on,” says Whitney of La Marzocco. “It’s special, nostalgic, and iconic. We hope to celebrate the addition of the Linea PB to the La Marzocco lineup by capturing people’s fondest memories of the Linea. We’ve already received some really powerful stories – and we can’t wait to hear from the community at large.”

Here’s one of MY most special La Marzocco Linea memories: Ken and I traveled to Nicaragua with a group of baristas from Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, and Denmark, and spent an entire week driving with two Lineas in the back of pick-up trucks from mills to farms to washing stations, where the baristas taught producers how to taste their own coffees as espressos. In this photo, Petra (in pink) of Finland, and Jonina (in blue dress) of Iceland, pull shots of espresso for producers at a remote mill in Ocotal, Nicaragua.

 And truly, even with all the innovations in the specialty coffee industry since 1990, when La Marzocco first released the Linea, the machine stands the test of time. The Linea Classic was the first machine that Piero Bambi, son of Giuseppe Bambi and nephew of Bruno Bambi—the brothers who founded La Marzocco in 1927—ever led the design. Since then, Piero has had a hand in the design and engineering of every La Marzocco espresso machine currently in production. Therefore, La Marzocco has decided that this new generation Linea will be an homage to Piero: it’s official name is the Linea PB, for Piero Bambi.

Back in the day: Michael (Solberg & Hansen), Enrico (La Marzocco) and Klaus (Coffee Collective) play on a Linea.

This will be the first full update to the technical and stylistic workings of the Linea in the nearly 25 years it has been in production. The Linea PB carries the Linea line forward in a way that is familiar, yet also fresh and new, says the press release La Marzocco released this morning. Over the coming months the company will share more news about the Linea PB as it prepares to share the finished machine with the world in Boston in April. In addition to the unveiling at the SCAA Expo, simultaneous remote launch events will be hosted at La Marzocco offices worldwide. (Stay tuned for more information about that)

At Songwa in Tanzania (the coffee farm run by La Marzocco, Probat, and Mahlkönig), the Linea is loaded up to transport to the Visitors Center.

In the weeks until this exciting launch in Boston, here’s how you can celebrate the Linea and tell the world about the part it’s played in your professional development. Today, La Marzocco launches the Linea Love Campaign, which can be found and interacted with at www.linealove.com. The good folks at La Marzocco have invited all you Linea lovers out there to share your story, via video, or text, or drawing, or song — anything and everything is welcome. Submissions will be showcased in social media, and on the linealove.com site, as well as at the SCAA show in Boston.

For information about submitting your cherished Linea memories and stories, write to info@lamarzoccousa.com, or submit directly at linealove.com

And there’s even more incentive, as if you needed it: folks who share about their history with the Linea will receive a gift that commemorates this special milestone in the history of the La Marzocco Linea.

 

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.