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Le'lit PL53 - Tim Cashin's Review
Posted: June 12, 2011, 11:40am
review rating: 9.0
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 94,248 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: 9.0
Manufacturer: Le'Lit Quality: 9
Average Price: $289.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $330.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: IDrinkCoffee.com Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 1 year Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Capresso Infinity
Bottom Line: Looks sleek and lets you dial-in to make great shots without breaking the bank
Positive Product Points

Stepless, allows tiny adjustments, good grind consistency, aesthetically pleasing, heavy and durable, doserless with minimal grinds retention

Negative Product Points

Espresso only, uneven grind distribution,

Detailed Commentary

If you're looking to start making espresso, this is a great entry level machine at a solid price. Nothing feels cheap on this product. Its body is solid polished stainless steel, with a hard plastic hopper.
The best part of this product is the most important: It grinds your coffee well!
You don't buy the PL53 for it's frills and features. It is a pretty workhorse, durable and made of high-quality parts. It can be adjusted by such tiny increments, to dial in any espresso bean to the perfect grind. Once dialed in, the grind size will not waver. It holds its ground and keeps a very good level of particle consistency, until you choose to turn the firm dial again.
There is no doser, just a steel chute that directs the grinds directly into your portafilter. This is quite convenient and works quite well for the most part. Sometimes grinds will get stuck on the chute and the static will flick grinds out and over the side of the portafilter, but I've found that this depends on the bean. In most cases "static flicking" isn't at all an issue. The chute does a decent job of piling the grinds into your portafilter, but my machine tends to distribute the grinds more to one side than the other. The distribution bias is only slight, it is still generally distributing grinds into the center of the portafilter.
Grounds retention in the burr chamber and chute is very minor, never more than a couple beans worth of coffee. Also worth mentioning is that grinds clumping is very minor. It does occur but only on a small scale, and depends on the bean naturally. I suspect it causes less clumping than many grinders in its class.

A couple odd issues to mention with this product:
One is that the hopper doesn't really connect to the body in any neat and "proper" fashion. You basically have to jam it into the area above the burrs. This has never caused me any issue, the hopper does jam into the grinder firmly and stays in place until you want to take it off. I figured it was worth mentioning though because it seems possible that if you tried to jam the hopper into the grinder too far it could plausibly break. Nothing that should affect 99% of users, but just something to be conscious of.
A second odd issue is the placement of the ON button. The portafilter is placed on the holding arms below the grind chute and pushed lightly in towards the On button on the body of the grinder. This works just fine most of the time, but if you aren't grinding into a portafilter, you might need to awkwardly reach a finger behind whatever you're grinding into and hold down (it needs to be held) the on button. This all depends on the shape and dimensions of whatever you're trying to grind the coffee into. If it's a Silvia portafilter, it works just great.

Small issues aside, this is an amazing product that does what it's meant for and does it well!
Would definitely recommend this grinder, however the Baratza Virtuoso Preciso now occupies the same price range, slightly hindering the value of the Lelit PL53. If you're looking for neat features in the $250-300 price range, go for the Preciso. If you want amazing worksmanship, aesthetics, durability, adjustability and consistency, the LeLit PL53 is still a force to be reckoned with.

Buying Experience

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review rating: 9.0
Posted: June 12, 2011, 11:40am
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