Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Le'Lit PL041 milk steaming question
Find the Right Machine...
Package deals on the best machines from Izzo, Quick Mill, Rocket, La Marzocco & more.
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Le'Lit PL041...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Author Messages
Senior Member

Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Jul 20, 2009, 5:25pm
Subject: Le'Lit PL041 milk steaming question

I've got a new PL041 from the phenomenal sale.  It makes a great espresso, but I've got a question about steaming milk.

There's a handy thermostat light that goes off when the machine is hot enough to make steam for foaming.  However, while I'm steaming the milk, usually a little more than halfway through the process, the light comes back on.  Does this mean the machine isn't hot enough or that I need to stop steaming until the light goes back off?

The milk still heats up to the 140-150 degree mark while the light's on, but the foam isn't terrific.  I'm certainly not getting lush layers of microfoam.  

Anyone have any experience/tips?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Senior Member

Joined: 27 Jan 2009
Posts: 81
Location: MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Le'Lit Pl53
Posted Mon Jul 20, 2009, 6:03pm
Subject: Re: Le'Lit PL041 milk steaming question

Hi zozo,

I've got the same machine. First, the light turning on is fine, and actually good since it indicates that the machine is actively producing steam so you don't run out! As for results, it's all about practice practice and more practice. I've had the machine for a little over a month and have been reading a lot of how to's and watching a lot of youtube vids as a guide. It definitely has the steaming power to achieve great results.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Senior Member
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,120
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Mon Jul 20, 2009, 6:10pm
Subject: Re: Le'Lit PL041 milk steaming question

The 'steam ready' light is actually telling you when the heating element turns on and off. The ideal/maximum steaming will actually be to start steaming shortly before the heater element turns off.  Time how long it takes for the 'steam ready' light to be 'ready'....  Start your steaming 5 seconds before this. Ideally the heater should stay on for the entire steaming. This will give you maximum steaming power.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Senior Member
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,151
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Tue Jul 21, 2009, 12:47pm
Subject: Re: Le'Lit PL041 milk steaming question

What Frost said..

Thats how you will get the best steam power.  You're probably not noticing it as easily, because you have the wand immersed in the milk, but, when you turn the machine to steam mode, wait for the light to indicate its ready and then start steaming, what happens, is as you are steaming, you're losing steam power, and its progressivly getting weaker and weaker, until the machine thinks you should have more steam.

What you want to do, is let the machine heat up and be ready to steam.  But instead of then starting to steam, try this.

  1. First, bleed off any condensation in the wand.  Just put a container under the wand, and open her up all the way until no more water comes out, and leave it open until the light comes on, plus, say, 10 seconds.*

  2. After ~10 seconds, close the steam wand.  Time how many seconds it takes for the light to turn back off.  Let say, FOR EXAMPLE, it takes 1 minute* to turn back off.  What is happening, is once the light came on, the heating element kicked on, to heat the water in the boiler to produce steam.  It takes(for example) one minute, because thats the amount of time it takes for the boiler to be "full" of steam.

  3.  When you want to froth your milk, follow step 1 the same.  Then, once you close the steam wand, instead of waiting for the light to come back on(1 minute), only wait 40-45 seconds*, THEN open the wand with the light still on.  Why?  Because the pressure in the boiler will drop, and cause the heating element to remain on the entire time you are steaming, allowing you to steam your milk the whole time with 100% of the machines steam power.

It might sound like a little more work then is neccesary, but on a single boiler machine like the Lelit(or a silvia, or Gaggia) its almost required to achieve microfoam.  After one or two times doing it, you will see a big difference in the pitcher, and it will just become part of your routine.  

I also HIGHLY suggest you read the article on this website about Milk Frothing.  Its got a bunch of sections, from the very simple "how to froth", to a pretty geeky article on the different characteristics of milk fat, and how it relates to frothing, as well as some helpful hints on pouring latte art.  Heres is a Link to the Article.  Make a presspot of your favorite brew, sit down, and read the whole thing through.  Afterwards, if you're not absolutley dieing to blast through a couple gallons of milk and hone your technique, head on over to YouTube and check out the plethora of milk frothing videos and latte art videos.. Namely, This Video.  That video right there helped me a great deal when I upgraded to my current machine, as I had trouble adjusting to the much more powerful steam then a single boiler.  Dont worry, soon you'll be pouring a double rosetta on every drink, and you'll be bored doing so :)

Good Luck, and let us know how it goes!

*All the numbers and times in this post are purely for an example only.  It may take more or less time then I noted for the light to go on/off, you'll just have to experiment and see.  The article I linked you to explains how to temp surf the steam mode as well, I believe.

Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Link to this post
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Le'Lit PL041...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Demitasse Spoons
Elegant demitasse spoons for special occasions and everyday use.
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2015 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.419763088226)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+