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Lelit PL 041 Espresso - Gary Edmunds's Review
Posted: October 26, 2009, 10:23am
review rating: 9.4
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
Lelit PL 041 Espresso Machine
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More About This Product
Arrow The Lelit PL 041 Espresso has 24 Reviews
Arrow The Lelit PL 041 Espresso has been rated 8.59 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 22, 2007.
Arrow Lelit PL 041 Espresso reviews have been viewed 163,254 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Joshua Boni 10.00
Damon Ho 10.00
Matthew Pecsok 10.00
Gary Edmunds 9.43

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.0
Manufacturer: Le'Lit Quality: 8
Average Price: $460.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $299.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: 1st Line Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 month Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: DeLonghi BAR32
Bottom Line: Easily goes toe to toe with Miss Silvia for an EXCELLENT home machine, for far less money.
Positive Product Points

- Brass boiler
- Three-way solenoid
- Stainless exterior (Looks great on the counter!)
- Removable water tank viewable on both sides
- Simple controls
- Commercial weight portafilter
- Super fast heatup
- Good weight, despite small size
- Excellent steam capacity and pressure

Negative Product Points

- 57mm portafilter size makes accessory shopping tricky (but still doable)
- Built in tamper - why even bother?!
- Short steam wand
- Sharp edges on some of the exterior skin (cut myself twice so far when cleaning it)
- Gasket seems iffy - I get occasional leaks, and I need to crank it past 6 to almost 4 o'clock to tighten enough
- Manual seems incomplete

Detailed Commentary

The time had come for me to up the ante in my home espresso stakes. I'd been using a god-awful DeLonghi BAR32 for a while, which was on it's last legs, but my wife would not let me upgrade. Finally, I took matters into my own hands, threw out the DeLonghi (DAMN that was satisfying!) and demanded a new machine. After doing the research and legwork on the fantastic Coffeegeek forums, it came down to a Silvia or this machine. Then fate stepped in, 1st Line popped this baby on sale for $299, which made the decision a no-brainer. All the features of the Silvia (minus the 58mm portafilter) for half the price? Yes, please!

While I can still look on at Expobars and Quickmills with lust, it's no longer with envy. This little baby, paired with a matching PL053 grinder, delivers shot after shot of outstanding espresso. I generally pull two doubles for a big ol' capp each morning, twice that on the weekends - and while the process takes a little while (quicker than the Silvia, no doubt, thanks to the LeLit's outstanding warmup time), the results are shocking to me. I'd gotten so used to "drinkable" espresso from my DeLonghi (and from Starbucks) that I truly didn't know what quality was (yes, beans and grind have helped a lot, too!) Microfoam is a snap with the outstanding pressure from the steam wand - although like everyone else, I do wish it was an inch or so longer.

The only complaint I've had so far has been the gasket. Despite having my grind dialed in, I get occasional leaking from the grouphead, even when I've got the portafilter cinched in there tight. And tight on this machine often takes me way past the 6 o'clock position. Don't mind having to do that, but the occasional dribbling of water is worrisome, and I think I'll be replacing that gasket sooner rather than later. But beyond that? It's delivered on everything I've wanted. Yes, I wish they used a standard 58mm to make buying naked portafilters, tampers, etc. a bit easier, but in reality it just takes a little extra effort to dig them up. And yes, as I've mentioned, the stubby steam wand (with it's annoying and now discarded frother sleeve) will hopefully be swapped out when 1st Line start selling a replacement - supposedly early next year.

What more can I say? If you've grown tired of your Krups steamtoy that you got as a birthday/wedding present, and are as tired as I am getting shafted for a cappuccino at FiveBucks, this little baby's your gateway drug into goodness. Just bear two things in mind - first, this is only half the battle, don't forget your grinder. Second, once you've dialed in your technique and obtained a steady supply of good beans, you'll never be able to drink espresso anywhere but your kitchen again. And even though the $299 sale is over at 1st Line, you can still get this machine PLUS the PL053 grinder for not much more than a Silvia on it's own.

Buying Experience

Nice big box arrived from 1st Line exactly one week after my wife hit "submit order" on the website (yep, it was a birthday present!) Free shipping was great, and Jim is also extremely responsive after the sale, answering my noob questions with patience and grace!

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review rating: 9.4
Posted: October 26, 2009, 10:23am
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
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