Koss Senior Member Joined: 31 Oct 2003 Posts: 13 Location: Fairfax, VA Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Capresso Esspresso Pro Grinder: Starbucks (Solis 75?)
Posted Wed Jan 5, 2011, 11:48am Subject: Le'Lit PL41QE Question
After seeing many good recommendations, I went and bought Le'Lit PL41QE from 1st-line (excellent price and service, BTW). I am making decent espresso shots and it makes much hotter shots than before. However, I do have some issues that makes me wonder.
1) The porter filter is VERY tight fitting and doesn't turn much: When I first tried to fit the porterfilter to the machine, after lining it up to its gasket slot and started to turn (initially at 8 o'clock/30 degree). After turning a little, the filter becomes very tight and wouldn't turn much more than 7 o'clock/70 degree ... like "/", where it should be "|" (6 o'clock/90 degree) perpendicular to the back of the machine. I though may be it's because the machine is new and the metal may needs to wear a bit before it can fit properly. After using it for 4-5 days, I still can't turn it full 90 degree "T". I never get any kind of "click" to assure me that it's tight and fully turned. Is it suppose to be like this? I don't see any signs of leak and shots appear to come out all right.
2) More important issue: I am having trouble frothing milk. The steam comes out pretty strong and I bought and mounted the three-hole nozzle. The milk gets pretty hot, but I don't get much foam (not to mention microfoam) at all. I make sure to initially stretch the milk without bubbling up, and swirl it to 150F, but I only get hot milk and no foam at all. I've had much better luck with my previous cheapo Capresso Espresso Pro. I've also tried switching from low-fat to Horizon whole milk, but that didn't make any difference.
Overall, the machine produces nice and very hot shots and we are happy with it, but I'd like to know that I am using it right and would like to be able to make nice latte.
1) My machine was/is similar. It takes time, but the gasket will slowly wear in. Most people complain that the PF turns too much, say to 4 o'clock in some cases. Sounds like you've got a nice thick gasket in there at 7 o'clock so consider yourself lucky:) . After a month or two I'm guessing you will be closer to 6 o'clock. But really, it doesn't matter as long as it's sealing tight with no leaks. Don't worry too much about it.
2) Surprising to hear. Maybe it's the 3-hole..can you go back to the old one to see if it makes a difference? I'm assuming you ditched the frothing aid. If not, do so. Here are some suggestions to help you froth on this machine. I can tell you that I have no problem getting great microfoam with the Lelit using the stock arm:
- Use 1% milk, at least to start with. It froths easier than whole. - Keep your pitcher in the freezer. This keeps things colder longer, giving you a bit more time to stretch/texture your milk. - Temp surf your steam. Here is what I do for max power: Once steam is ready, open the steam valve and then let it release steam slowly. You can use this time to get your pitcher out of the freezer, and fill it with milk. Wait for the heater to switch on again, then close the valve. Now you want to wait...about 8 seconds or so for the boiler to get close to max temp again, but not hot enough to turn off the heater. Start your frothing at this point, with the heater still ON. This is key - time things so that it's close to temp but not hot enough that the heater turns off at any point during your frothing. You want it on the entire time. This ensures max power, and made a huge difference for me.
I just bought a Le'lit PL041EQ as well. I am fairly new to all this. I did have a delongi & it was very easy to get foam. It was not great but at least I got some... I am not getting anything but hot milk & I don't totally understand what you did to solve the problem. "increasing time for skimming & air intake" can you explain in more detail how you solved this challenge? Thanks
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