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Lelit PL 51 - Marco Redaelli's Review
Posted: August 13, 2009, 11:25am
review rating: 8.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Lelit PL 51 Compact Classic Espresso
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Arrow The Lelit PL 51 has 1 Reviews
Arrow The Lelit PL 51 has been rated 7.80 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since April 3, 2008.
Arrow Lelit PL 51 reviews have been viewed 8,467 times (updated hourly).

Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.8
Manufacturer: Lelit Quality: 7
Average Price: $419.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $415.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Euronics Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 2 years Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Lelit Pl043
Bottom Line: Optimal quality/price ratio machine. Great for espresso, not so good for latte. Want a Silvia? Try Lelit first.
Positive Product Points

-Small form factor
-Nice look
-Extremely good quality/price ratio
-Brass boiler
-Huge water reservoir
-Full-metal body

Negative Product Points

-No 3-way valve
-Extremely small community
-Bad steam wand

Detailed Commentary

I choose this machine after long search. Silvia looked really good, but was too costly for me. Lelit was the next best one, expecially for it's competitive price tag (like all the Lelit line-up: I also own a pl043 grinder). It has a brass boiler, a huge water tank, a decent drip tray. It lacks (and I miss it) a 3-way valve, which I think is not really necessary for the kind of use I make, but it would be very welcomed. Make 2 or 3 coffees in a row can take a few minutes because you have to wait for the pressure to fade.
The machine reaches the right temp quite fast (3 minutes, if you believe the instructions manual), but it's always better to wait half an hour to get the best out of it. You always have to temp surf, however, like any single boiler, I think.
Aside from the lack of 3-way valve, the other problem for me is the steam wand: it has only one hole and I can't decently mount milk. It may be me, I don't know.
I also would like to have a naked portafilter, but it's hard to find one, it may be necessary to take a normal one and cut it off.
Here a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeeRlwh-jH0 and another one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUBhzr79tqs

Buying Experience

Bought at Euronics in Italy. It's self service, so I had no problems. If I remember right, I had a guarantee extention for something like 40.

Three Month Followup

I've been very happy with the Lelit and still would recommend to anyone interested in starting with coffee. You get less that what you may get with a Silvia (I tried it, in the meanwhile), but for the price you pay, it's totally worth.

One Year Followup

I upgraded to a Vibiemme Domobar (someday I'll write a review) 6 months ago, so no followup for the Lelit (although I still think it's a very good deal)

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review rating: 8.0
Posted: August 13, 2009, 11:25am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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