A perfect machine for someone who likes espressos with occasional milk drink.
Positive Product Points
I was fortunate enough to pick this up during a promotion. This was a fabulous machine in terms of what I got out of this machine vs what I paid for it.
- 3 way solinoid valve - 57mm group (close enough to standard 58mm) - fast heat up - classic look and most importantly,,,, - pulls great shots.
Negative Product Points
Short steam wand is my only complaint. The wand accessory and plastic tamper are useless. Both can be removed with easy. Wand drips water when on (seems to be a common complaint) but not an issue if you place a small cup below. I do not want to "crank" down on the nob since this would wear out any valve over time.
I've had this machine for about 20 months and is my first espresso machine after getting caught up like everyone else on this site with the fascination of espresso making. What I have learned over the daily shots is that the LeLit can pull a quality shot that rivals Miss Silvia. I can say this becuase I have been able to make side by side comparison for the past 6 months after picking up a used Silvia from a fellow CG. Grinder: Pasquini Moka, and Mezzer SJ.
My observations....Because of the 57mm basket, the puck is a bit thicker compared to a 58mm basket which makes sense if you are working with similar volume of grind (double shot). I feel the 57mm is a bit more forgiving from channeling due to a lumpy tamp. (My personal experience, other's may differ.) The fast heat up time saves minutes for my daily fix in the morning. The broiler is usually up to temp by the time I fix my quick egg and toast breakfast. Having a bottomless PF helped tremendously and every beginner should seriously consider this because you can see your tamp and grind issues immediatly and correct from what you can physically see.
The one physical difference between the PL041 and Silvia that give Silvia an edge when it comes to steaming is the broiler size. There is no comparison when it comes to steam volume of the PL041 vs Silvia since one is bigger than the other. I have always felt my PL041 was a bit finicky when it comes to steaming my milk. I did not realize how much faster my milk can froth until Miss Silvia arrived. However, I honestly feel the short comings of the finicky steam of my PL041 helped made me a better user of the Silvia steam. In short, the PL041 was a great starting machine that taught me a lot about espresso. I gravitated towards Silvia over the months only because I like the extra steam for my milk drink. Having the PL041 helped me figure out espresso making is something I look forward to in the morning. I have since moved on to roasting my own beans to fully appreciate the whole "manual" experience. I still pull out my trusted PL041 to run side by side with Miss Silvia when I have guests over to speed up production.
1st-Line was prompt with the shipping notifications. Did not have any issues. I would buy again from 1st-line.