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Le'lit PL53 - Bruce Inscoe's Review
Posted: November 11, 2008, 9:38pm
review rating: 8.5
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Le'Lit PL53 Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Le'lit PL53 has 19 Reviews
Arrow The Le'lit PL53 has been rated 8.74 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since July 25, 2008.
Arrow Le'lit PL53 reviews have been viewed 94,827 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Joshua Wark 10.00
Tim Cashin 9.00
Dawn Lauryn 9.00
Marko Mlinar 9.00
Gary Edmunds 9.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.0
Manufacturer: Unknown Quality: 7
Average Price: $289.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $239.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: 1st Line Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 3 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Excellent, compact, finely adjustable single-purpose grinder for the home.
Positive Product Points

Stepless - extremely fine adjustments
Small footprint on countertop
Stainless steel construction - easy to clean

Negative Product Points

Metal fins for portafilter support just get in the way
Somewhat noisy

Detailed Commentary

I've tried a manual box grinder, and a cheap Melitta to feed my cheap Saeco Classico, but was only rewarded with foul, bitter liquid with no crema.  For months I lurked around on Ebay trying to find a bargain on a nice used grinder with no success.  After reading some scattered reviews on the Le'lit PL53, I called Jim at 1st Line and placed my order.  I missed out on the original batch that sold for $200, so had to wait about 4 months (backordered) and pay a slight increase, but it was well worth it.

The Le'lit was well packaged and arrived unscathed.  There was a miniscule amount of grinds between the burrs and spout, which tells me it was tested and somewhat dialed in at the factory, which is a plus in my book.  I roast my own beans, and only had single origin for trials, but was immediately impressed!  Grind was fluffy, with no clumps, and I got crema on first shot.  Now when I order beans, I include some espresso blend.

Since the grind adjustment is stepless, and infinitely variable,  two turns of the adjustment knob makes about a one second difference in the shot, depending on the beans.  This is VERY fine!  It also makes it an espresso grinder only, and a definite PITA to go back and forth from drip to espresso.  This is not an issue for me, but may be for others.

As for the metal "dog ears" that support the portafilter, at least for me, the grinder dispense spout was below the top of the portafilter (inside the filter basket) and caused the grinds to back up the spout instead of falling out.  Some quick work with a small hand grinder resolved that issue, and now I can adjust the portafilter up and down, as well as side to side.  Now I get a little spillover into the catch basin, but nothing major.  While I haven't measured the distance from the burrs to the spout, I would estimate no more than 15mm, which means very little grinds left in the chute.  The remains in the chute can be mostly expelled by pulling up on the plastic hopper lid, then pushing down, causing the grinder to exhale what's left.  Some examples of the first batch of grinders seemed to have an ill-fitting spout, that required lots of effort to remove, then getting the screw/knob back in place.  My example is easy to remove and reinstall, making clean up a snap.

Buying Experience

After I placed my order, knowing there were none available, I waited patiently.  Months later I got a call from 1st Line informing me their shipment had arrived, and asked if I still wanted my order to go through.  Of course I said yes, and grinder arrived very shortly after that.

Three Month Followup

Actually almost 6 months, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the Le'lit.  CAUTION:  Be careful with the plastic hopper.  I broke mine where the small throat goes into the metal body due to slapping and tapping trying to get oily beans to feed down to the burrs.  Now I've got an aftermarket one on order.  Other than this self-induced faux pas...no problems!

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review rating: 8.5
Posted: November 11, 2008, 9:38pm
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