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LeLit PL41TQE and Baratza Vario Aesthetics Question
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b12
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Piedmont
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 1:54pm
Subject: LeLit PL41TQE and Baratza Vario Aesthetics Question
 

My wife and I are embarking upon the purchase of a new espresso set up.  Per a number of recommendations, we’ve picked the grinder first – and selected that Baratza Vario.  

For The espresso machines, we’re weighing the LeLit PL41TQE (which is the current leader), the Rancilio Silvia, and the Gaggia Classic.

Both the machine and grinder will be countertop in a recently remodeled kitchen so, here’s my question:

The goal is for the metal on the machine to match with the metal of the grinder as closely as possible.  In photos, the stainless on the Vario seems to be a little yellower than the stainless on the LeLit and the Silvia.  Does anyone have any of these combinations and if so can you share your thoughts (or photos)?

Of course we could always go Silvia and Rocky, or LeLit PL041 and 053, but I would really like to stay with the Vario.

I know, I know, aesthetics shouldn't drive the decision, but my goal, in addition to good espresso, is to stay happily married.  :)

Many thanks for your thoughts!
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 4:58pm
Subject: Re: LeLit PL41TQE and Baratza Vario Aesthetics Question
 

The Rocky is a toy, it will not give you a sufficient grind for espresso. Out of those three machines, the Gaggia will match the finish of the Vario (The Vario is not stainless steel, but black plastic and lacquered brushed aluminum). Does everything have to match exactly? The Lelit is a shiny machine, but not as good as the Silvia or CC1. I would recommend the Vario and Crossland CC1. They both look like they match each other and are, together, an affordable and powerful combo for a beginner.
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jonr
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Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 290
Location: Americas
Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 5:04pm
Subject: Re: LeLit PL41TQE and Baratza Vario Aesthetics Question
 

If you aren't going to add any better controls and don't want to bother with temperature surfing, then the larger boiler of the LeLit is an advantage over the Classic.  Less intra-shot temperature decline.
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b12
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Piedmont
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 5:51pm
Subject: Re: LeLit PL41TQE and Baratza Vario Aesthetics Question
 

Thanks to you both for the thoughts.  This model of the LeLit (PL041TQE) has the PID, which we would like and is why I had the LeLit up there.  I know the CC1 has that feature as well, though not the Classic.  We are also looking at the Mazzer Mini as a grinder option.  I've read the head to head reviews between that and the Vario and it looked like the Vario had the slight edge.  I get that in the end it's all a matter of personal preference, but it's definitely helpful to get the collective wisdom.
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friendlyfoe
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Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 7:11pm
Subject: Re: LeLit PL41TQE and Baratza Vario Aesthetics Question
 

I'm starting to understand why so many people were cringing when i first started asking questions here not that long ago.

There is a lot more to good espresso than having a pid, even if it can be very helpful. There is enough information out there about people either having concerns with the design of the lelit or actually brewing with it to have made me want to stay away from it in my search. I think there may be good reason it doesn't get talked about all that often here on CG.

Another thing to consider is if you plan on attempting to make milk based drinks with it or not? Most of these low end machines are designed with a tiny boiler right on top of the brew group to try and maintain temperature stability. Trying to steam with a tiny little boiler like that is kind of painful. A machine like the CC1 is designed with this kind of boiler for brewing but has a separate thermoblock for brewing steam that from reviews seems to work as well as any thermoblock out there. The CC1 also has a lot of cool little features like a shot timer and pre-infusion which would be great.

I dont know much about the vario, and whether it's better to have your grind adjusted by electronics than doing it by hand, but you can add the Macap m4 and K3 touch to your short list of grinders.

No matter what you buy expect to invest some time in brewing good espresso. You're going to burn through a few pounds of beans just dialing in the grind, measuring the volume of your brewed espresso vs brew time vs taste and so forth. It's actually a quite enjoyable process, just dont have the expectation that you'll be able to turn the machine on, hit a button on your grinder and brew good espresso.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 7:14pm
Subject: Re: LeLit PL41TQE and Baratza Vario Aesthetics Question
 

The Mini is a solid, reliable grinder, but the Vario is much easier to use and they both grind about the same. Given the choice between the two, I would go with a Vario again in a heartbeat. If you're shopping for the Mini, you're in Vario-W territory and having that weight-based dosing is an absolute lifesaver. You'll waste much less coffee with the Vario.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 9:45pm
Subject: Re: LeLit PL41TQE and Baratza Vario Aesthetics Question
 

Vario grind is more along the lines of an SJ or K6, quite better then a Mini. Nothing against the Mini but its kinda the bastard child of these grinders when you get into this price range and the known grinder companies. Poor grind retention, clumpy grind quality etc. Those were pry old reviews years back when they were initially working the Vario quirks out. Doesn't have that heavy metal build but its still solid, and so easy to use and top notch grind quality. I agree with Mak above, for that money no way would I take a Mini over a Vario W or Vario.
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alanfrew
Senior Member
alanfrew
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 640
Location: Melbourne
Expertise: Professional

Posted Thu Oct 31, 2013, 4:03am
Subject: Re: LeLit PL41TQE and Baratza Vario Aesthetics Question
 

Markarian Said:

The Mini is a solid, reliable grinder, but the Vario is much easier to use and they both grind about the same. Given the choice between the two, I would go with a Vario again in a heartbeat. If you're shopping for the Mini, you're in Vario-W territory and having that weight-based dosing is an absolute lifesaver. You'll waste much less coffee with the Vario.

Posted October 30, 2013 link

Given the choice, I'd go for the Mini in a heartbeat, confident that if my heart was still beating in 20 years time (no guarantee there!) the Mini would still be grinding. There is a huge qualitative difference in grinders built for commercial use vs. home use.

Alan
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Oct 31, 2013, 6:17am
Subject: Re: LeLit PL41TQE and Baratza Vario Aesthetics Question
 

Yes the mini is built to last but for ease of use, less waste and looking good in my kitchen I went Vario W.  And the W is totally worth it feature.  I am missing that on the big grinder now.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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