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Le'lit PL53 - Gary Edmunds's Review
Posted: October 26, 2009, 11:01am
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 18 Reviews
Arrow The Le'lit PL53 has been rated 8.78 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 86,840 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: 8.6
Manufacturer: Le'Lit Quality: 8
Average Price: $289.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $269.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: 1st Line Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 month Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Baratza Virtuoso
Bottom Line: You can beat an egg. You can even beat yer meat. But for performance and price, you can't beat this grinder!!!
Positive Product Points

- Lovely consistent grind
- Stepless, baby!!!
- Conical burrs
- Metal chute resists static clumping
- Decent heft, despite relatively thin skin
- Quiet, compared to the other grinders I've used/seen

Negative Product Points

- No doser option, which is surprising for a dedicated espresso grinder
- Bean hopper tends to come off when you tilt the machine to expel grounds still in the chute
- Unscrew the chute for cleaning, prepare to spend a half hour trying to get it back on
- Can get a little messy when the unattached tray starts sliding around and the grind shoots to the left

Detailed Commentary

When shopping for a new espresso machine, the mantra of "don't skimp on the grinder" was pummeled into me by the coffeegeek community. Funds were tight, however, so while people waxed poetic about Mazzer Minis and Macaps, they were out of my price range. I had $300, so outside of hitting the jackpot on Craigslist or ebay, my choice came down to a used Rocky or the Le’Lit.

I couldn’t imagine the difference this made to my shots. I had no idea. I went from the ubiquitous Cuisinart DBM-8 cheapo burr grinder from Costco to a borrowed Baratza Virtuoso, and that was a big step up. But going from the Baratza to this was a huge leap forward. It took a while (and a half a bag of beans from Ritual!!) to get it dialed in. The first shot, no adjustment, choked the machine. Backed it off. Waaaaaay off. Came gushing forth like a geyser. Eeek!

But a half a dozen shots later, ho-lee mo-lee! My stash of freshly roasted High Striker suddenly went from tasting “okay” to tasting like it did at Ritual the day I first tried it. A uniform “coffee taste” suddenly carried the notes of citrus that I remembered. Bitter was transformed into sweet. Beautiful crema suddenly appeared on my shots, as if by magic. The earth moved; the angels wept. Don’t even get me started on how good the Ecco Caffé single origin tastes from this.

Then I tried cleaning the @#$# thing.

A reasonable chunk of grounds gets stuck in the chute. Enough that necessitates a “tilt and tap” when the grind is done. After two weeks of that, I decided to clean it out with some compressed air. I removed the plastic nut (a struggle in itself), cleaned out the exhaust, and tried to replace the chute. Literally a half hour and a socket wrench later, it was back on. Next time I do it, the Dremel’s coming out and I’m lengthening the slot!

Minor inconveniences aside, this grinder does exactly what it says on the tin – delivers phenomenal grinding at a tremendous price. I’m sure a Super Jolly delivers a better grind, but I genuinely can’t imagine it being THAT much better. The PL53 really seems to be at the sweet spot between cost and quality.

Buying Experience

A friend bought this grinder on my behalf through 1st Line, and their policy of ONLY shipping to the credit card's billing address bit us on the backside. 1st Line were responsive though, and we eventually got it done, even though it took an extra week.

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review rating: 9.0
Posted: October 26, 2009, 11:01am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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