Avg. Customer Review:
Number of Reviews: 1
25 of 56 people found the following review helpful:
PID control is a must!
Richard Gregory (2)
from Prescott, AZ US
Being able to see the temp in real time helps immensely in getting good results consistently. With such a small system there is less mass and therefore less thermal momentum- meaning temp variations are pretty drastic, which will give very different results.
I'm using this system with the Le'Lit grinder to test roasts at home for my business. Being able to try the same coffee at different temps helps me understand what is happening with wholesale customers' equipment.
Even if you are pulling shots only for your own enjoyment, the PID will show its worth. Try lighter roasts with a higher temp, and darker roasts lower. I've gotten excellent results with single origin coffees as weird as Tanzania PeaBerry. It's all good and you can dial in your temps to get the best from your beans.
I've only had this system for a few days so I can not speak to the longevity of it. I suspect if you follow the maintenance schedule it will last a while.
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- Multi-directional steam wand that has been lengthened compared to the previous Le'lit machines, with a commercial-quality single hole steam tip.
- Pre-installed PID unit.
- Contains the upgrades from the PL041QE model (dispersion screen, pod basket, etc).
The Le'lit has stepped forward as one of the best contenders for home. It's an extrememly capable espresso machine with a PID preinstalled, under the $600 mark! You simply can't find this anywhere else!
Features that customers can't pass up:
- Less than 15 (some customers report less than 10!) minute warm-up time. Faster than the Silvia!
- More constant and powerful steam than a Gaggia Classic!
- Directly connected group and boiler (known as a saturated group) providing beter temperature stability than other home models (Silvia).
- Now features a PID unit! The PID is the newest innovation from Le'lit- it allows the user to change the temperature of the coffee boiler to allow the water temp most closely perform a superior and more consistent espresso extraction.
- Fast transition to steam mode- With its optimally-sized brass boiler, it has less wait time to get to steam mode when compared to larger brass boiler machines, and the steaming performance is quite powerful for this little baby.
- You can also see the water level in the reservoir from the side of the machine - something the more expensive machines do not have. This machine is one of our favorites! Exclusively imported by 1st-line Equipment and available only at select dealers in the USA
- High polish stainless steel body rivals much more expensive machines in looks alone.
- Polished stainless steel body throughout makes this unit a show stopper in your home or office!
- NEW multi-directional steam wand, with extended length from previous PL041 versions.
- 2 thermostat system - one for steam mode, one for element safety.
- Main power switch moved to rear of machine. PID can control element power.
- PID controlled brew temperature.
- The overpressure valve (a.k.a. OPV) is now adjusted to 9-10 bar. The manufacturer does not recommend adjusting the OPV on their machines as Loctite is used to hold the adjustment screw in place.
- Heavy-duty, chromed brass filter holder with covered two spouts allows one or two cup espresso extractions - 57mm size - need a quality tamper to boot!
- The brass boiler, found only in the better machines, delivers a tremendous amount of steam power for frothing/steaming milk and unlike the aluminum/stainless steel boilers found in Gaggia machines, the brass boiler does have greater temperature stability for extracting a superior espresso.
- More importantly, the brass boiler is set directly over the grouphead (know as a saturated group)- unlike the Rancilio Silvia which has the boiler offset from the grouphead.
- Removable, large 2 liter (68 oz.) water reservoir with easy-view water level windows on the sides of the machine.
- Pump pressure rating at 15 bar - only 9 bar is need to extract espresso.
- The 3-way solenoid valve allows the operator to remove the coffee filter handle immediately after turning off the coffee switch. Dry pucks!
- Dedicated hot water switch allows hot water dispensing through open steam wand for hot chocolate, tea, and instant soup. The steam knob does need to be turned to open the steam valve.
- Holding guide on steam wand prevents finger burning when moving steam wand.
- Large cup warmer fits up to 6 espresso/demitasse cups.
- Covered dual spout portafilter diminishes water splashing when filter baskets in portafilter do not have coffee.
- Easy-pull, large ABS plastic drip tray with metal drip tray grate.
- Accessories: Instructional manual, 1-cup filter, deep 2-cup filter, pod basket, and measuring spoon.
- Measurements: 13.5" H x 8.5" W x 10.5" D (34cm H x 21cm W x 27cm D).
- Weight: 17 pounds (7.5 kilograms).
- Max Cup Height: 4.75" (just over 4.75" but under 4.8")
- Total power: 1050 watts, 110 volts only, 60Hz.
- Wattage of heating element: 1000 watts at 110 volts
- Boiler Capacity: 7.43 ounces (0.22 liters).
- Portafilter size: 57mm. 57mm dynamometric tamper also available.
- Water reservoir capacity: 68 oz (2 liters).
- Pump pressure: 15 bar.
- Made in Italy by Le 'Lit.
- Warranty in USA: 1 year parts & labor limited to manufacturer's defect provided by 1st-line Equipment, LLC; no additional paperwork to fill out.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer stated "The Le 'Lit PL041 is a slimmer 18 pounds and less expensive than the Silvia, but its espresso was nearly as impressive - probably the best value choice for a quality machine. It heated up quicker, and also gives the user the option of a frothing aid."
- Quickest warm up time for a brass boiler at ~10 minutes due to the high wattage of the heating element - we found this to be very convenient for morning warm ups, especially when in a rush!
- A good coffee bean grinder is strongly recommended to produce a better cup: Le'Lit PL53
- Cleaning: The best thing is to run CleanCaf like normal through the head as well as through the steam wand. This should be performed once a month. This is the minimum requirement for cleaning the internals of the machine.
- This is a single boiler machine. Machines in this class do not fill the internal boiler from the reservoir automatically. Since the water level drops in the boiler during steaming, you need to replenish this to avoid damage to the heating element. The only way to do this is to run water through the steam wand with the hot water switch. This does not apply when extracting espresso.
- Parts for PL041.
- Other items that customers have inquired to buy with this machine: Tamper, Backflush Insert, and Urnex Cafiza. If you back flush (recommended) using these products once a week, you do not need to remove the dispersion screen.
- Bottomless portafilter? Click here! More info on bottomless portafilters can be read here.
- This machine is pod-capable. Please note though, shots from pods will never be as good as a pod-only machine.
- Just to prevent any possible rumors, we are NOT clearing out any PL041 inventory for the PL051 model made by Le'Lit. We will not be carrying the PL051 machine as we do not like the cheaper switches placed on this machine, plus the fact that there is no three-way solenoid valve (good to have as this allows the user to immediately remove the portafilter right after turning off the coffee switch).
- RESIN WATER SOFTENER NOTE: Please note, item 4009010 - Rechargeable In-tank Water Softener does not fit into the water tank without modification. The "neck" or "lip" on the water tank must be shaved off. This is a simple modification and will allow the water softener to fit into the tank. DO NOT jam the water softener into the "neck" of the tank. It may fit in, but during removal for recharging, it will open, spilling the resin pellets into your water tank.
Q1.Is it normal to get over 15 F overheat in the PID model after pulling a shot? E.g. if I set the temperature to 200 F and pull a shot the temperature might go as far as 217 F after the shot before slowly falling back to 200 F as set in the PID.
A1. There is a temperature variation in ALL espresso machines with a PID. Ascaso and other manufacturers could have easily designed the PID only to show the program temperature, but we asked them to show actual temp so you know when the machine was at that desired temperature at the boiler.
It is a law of physics that when cold water enters the boiler with hot water, the temperature will decrease. The D setting on the PID control the aggressiveness to reach and maintain the desired temperature. The PID needs to be aggressive so as soon as cold water enters the boiler, it can maximize performance of electricity to the desired programmed temperature. The PID aggressiveness is maintained after the shot, and this is why you see a temperature over the desired temperature (this is called overshoot). If the PID was programmed to be less aggressive to lower the overshoot, the temperature during the extraction will decrease as we have seen in other makes/models. To battle this law of physics, it becomes a choice in the aggressiveness of the PID.
You can either wait for the temperature to decrease gradually, or you can run some water through the steam wand to bring it down faster. However, be ready for a quick upshoot. Therefore, you should prepare the portafilter while running water through. Also, if you extract espresso back to back, it can become aggressive and go over 217.
You can change the aggressiveness of the machine by changing the D of the PID to a lower number. The instructions are here.
- (Older) Steam Valve Repair Instructions.
- Solenoid Black Box Replacement Instructions.
- Group cover removal video.