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Thread: Lelit Mara (PL62) Review

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    Lelit Mara (PL62) Review

    I thought I would share with you my initial thoughts on my new Lelit Mara.

    One of the key reasons I purchased this machine was save on bench top space (minimal footprint) without compromising on quality.
    While I have only had this machine for a week now I can say without hesitation I have achieved this. I am extremely impressed with the brewing/extraction quality - very stable temperature and performance and easily on par or better than my previous machine the ECM Giotto. As far as steaming goes I think it is even more powerful than my old Giotto. And the steam quality is very good (not too wet etc just right).

    All in all I can highly recommend this coffee machine.
    Last edited by Javaphile; 8th July 2014 at 05:29 AM. Reason: Removed bad link
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    hi I'm a new member I joined just because I wanted to see the review of this machine, is it at all possible could you post some pictures and video if at all possible.
    thanks again from sunny South Florida

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    Quote Originally Posted by NuBEnFL View Post
    hi I'm a new member I joined just because I wanted to see the review of this machine, is it at all possible could you post some pictures and video if at all possible.
    thanks again from sunny South Florida
    Hi NuBenFL - sorry my pics didn't make but unfortunately I can't post attachments yet as I am a new member too!
    if you send me an email address I can send them through.
    the more I use the new machine the more I am enjoying so I can highly recommend it.

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    ash4889@yahoo.com Thanks.................. I can hardly wait till it arrives over here, one quick question how do you find the quality overall?

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    I just placed my order in for a new Lelit Mara PL62, the model I ordered is the with the PID. It will be delivered in a week, hope its a good decision.
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    Last edited by NuBEnFL; 31st July 2014 at 11:50 AM.

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    Hi ben, congrats! let us know how you goes with your new Mara when you get it

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    Quote Originally Posted by NuBEnFL View Post
    I just placed my order in for a new Lelit Mara PL62, the model I ordered is the with the PID. It will be delivered in a week, hope its a good decision.
    Looks like a nice machine! I have been very happy with my Lelit Mara ( no PID model).
    they are high quality machines and produce an excellent brew!

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    Smile

    Lelit Mara PL62T Slideshow by ash4889 | Photobucket
    I got my espresso machine and a am very happy with my purchase, its all because of you great guy from Australia..........Thanks A Bunch Mates
    PS: here is a link to some pictures of it.
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    Wow - what a truly tiny machine.

    Memo to Charlie at Jetblack - import the PID version. Yes, PID on an HX doesn't add much - but the BLING! factor is cool.

    Sniff
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    No what you should say is: Memo to all Rancilio Silvia owners save your money and get this wonderful machine.

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    Haha yes the PID looks cool. But extra $$$ for no extra performance makes it a tough call. Anyway memo noted

    charlie
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuBEnFL View Post
    No what you should say is: Memo to all Rancilio Silvia owners save your money and get this wonderful machine.
    good idea, but a lot of saving to do !
    you can buy 4 Silvias for the price of one Mara in Australia !

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    WoW.......its less than the price of two overhear...

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    coz we have more selling volume of Silvia here driving down the cost comparing the overcrowded market of HX/DB (from 2k-4k)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
    Haha yes the PID looks cool. But extra $$$ for no extra performance makes it a tough call. Anyway memo noted

    charlie
    +1.
    that's also why you stock Diana PL60PLUST(V2) w/PID instead of PL60, well said
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    Yes it's all about judicious use of technology. A PID on a dual boiler (PL60T) or single boiler/dual mode machine (PL41TEMD) makes sense. Not so much on a HX like the Lelit Mara,

    charlie

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
    Yes it's all about judicious use of technology. A PID on a dual boiler (PL60T) or single boiler/dual mode machine (PL41TEMD) makes sense. Not so much on a HX like the Lelit Mara,

    charlie
    I understand what you're saying Charlie, but my god it looks fantastic on there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NuBEnFL View Post
    I understand what you're saying Charlie, but my god it looks fantastic on there.
    Who doesn't love a bit of bling!!
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    I agree there is not much benefit to having a PID controller on a HX machine, but a digital temperature display is quite appealing !
    Even better if it displays the actual temperature of the brew water (AKA the E61 group temp probe system)
    Much more useful than those unhelpful element indicator lamps when it comes to knowing if you are ready to pull that first rushed shot in the morning. !
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Even better if it displays the actual temperature of the brew water (AKA the E61 group temp probe system)
    Hmmm.... not my Giotto V3 can do this. It displays boiler temperature and working out brew water temperature by using SCASE meter

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    WoW; I truly love this machine, every day I make a better cup than the previous one............Simon you were so right.

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    That's great news NuBEnFL! Glad it's all working out for you.

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    Hi all - just new to the forum and looking to upgrade to an E61 HX machine. I've pretty much narrowed it down to either the Rocket Giotto or the Lelit Mara with the Mara being very appealing due its small footprint. I read an early review on the Mara from a guy in Italy who loved it but said the whole unit gets very hot if left on for a couple of hours due to everything being crammed into such a small chassis with no insulation on the boiler. I mentioned this to a Lelit sales guy in Sydney and he said the Australian spec is different to the Italian and the newer machines have an insulated boiler which means that overheating is no longer a problem.
    I'd be interested to know from anyone who's had one for a while now whether this is an issue. I've only read good things about the quality of the extraction and the steaming so that aspect doesn't concern me. The only other thing I'd be concerned about is the ergonomics of refilling the tank. It looks like you have to pull three tubes out of the hole before lifting the tank out to refill it (or use a funnel to prevent the risk of pouring water inside the back of the machine). I know this doesn't seem like a big deal but if the machine is under an overhanging cupboard it could be a real pain.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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    I've owned the Lelit now for over a month, I'm really happy with my purchase so far. you can get many different type of funnel pitchers on the internet or on eBay, it makes refilling it a lot easier
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    I have the Lelit Diana (PL60T V2) and refilling was a pain
    I bought a plastic oval funnel, and cut it down so it fits neatly under the case flap.
    It now covers almost 2/3 of the reservoir making filling a breeze with your milk jug

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    I leave my Mara on for extended periods and I wouldn't say that it got overly hot. The group head is hot of course, and stays hot a long time after you turn it off. The unit itself gets warm, but I wouldn't say that it gets hot. But as this is my first serious machine I don't have a point of comparison.

    I use a plastic funnel for refilling. Not a big deal. I agree that pulling out the tank is a bit of a hassle because of the tubes, but only a bit.

    I have no regrets about buying this machine over the 7 weeks I've had it. There is a price that you pay for the small footprint of course, and that is that the hot water and steaming wands tend to be used to the side of the machine rather than over the drip tray. Also the small surface area of the drip tray means that I need to use a plastic container under the group head when doing cleaning to avoid making a mess. But I wanted a small footprint machine and I'm happy with it. I wouldn't opt for a larger machine just to address these two minor operational matters. In any case I'm not convinced that I'd completely avoid the need for a plastic container under the group when cleaning a larger machine.

    The Rocket is a fair bit bigger, is it not? I'd have thought that the VBM Dobomar Junior might be an option between the two that you're looking at, and cheaper to boot.

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    I have had mine for just over a couple of months now. Bought from Jet black.

    That Italian review is not accurate to the Australian spec model. Mine has a fully insulated boiler and there is only 2 tubes going into the tank = one for out and one for coming back in (OPV). Like Gunda, Filling is easy with a plastic jug and funnel. I also leave it on for extended periods with no overheating at all. Pressure came set at 1 - 1.2 bar, I upped it to 1.1 - 1.3.

    I found the machine quite noisy so pulled the main panel / housing off and completely covered it with the MOSTLY BLACK dynamat extreme, also did the metal plate between tank and machine innards and in around pump. Machine is now very quiet.

    The stock baskets are ok, but not really a comparison to 18g / 20g VST.

    I found the stock shower screen to be of very poor quality, the water distribution was terrible (mostly single torrent tearing up the top of the puck) and coffee grounds were getting stuck between the mesh and the SS holes of the other side.

    I got a IMS screen from Talk Coffee and chucked the stock screen in the bin. I now get very pretty and relatively slow water droplets. The other main thing is how much cleaner the machine is staying. A lot less crap going back up into the 3 way and not much grounds sticks to the screen. What does is easily wiped away with microfiber cloth. At $30 the IMS screen represent very good value.

    Overall its a great LITTLE machine, does not impose itself on the bench but still looks slightly pretty and shiny. Packs plenty of punch to pull consistently great shots and steam lots of milk again and again.

    Nice articulation on the cool touch steam / hot water wands.

    Loud beeper to warn of water running out / empty / cut out.

    I also use a small plastic tub most of the time to keep things cleaner and save having to empty the drip tray to often.
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    Thanks guys - all really useful info. The watering can-style jug is a simple solution I hadn't thought of and I like the idea of the cut-down funnel under the flap too.

    Gunda, it sounds from your experience that the overheating is not an issue on the Australian-spec machine. As for the Giotto, yes it is significantly larger but I much prefer its styling to that of the Domobar Jr and the small footprint is not an overriding factor in my decision - just a "nice-to-have". I think the styling of the Mara is much nicer than the Vibiemme too - simple but elegant.

    Interesting comments regarding the shower screen and the noise levels Steve82. At least it seems they can be solved without too much cost and effort.

    I haven't had a chance to try the Mara personally yet but will try to get into Sydney in the next day or two. Our old Sunbeam EM6910 is on its last legs - steam stopped working for good this week and I'm not going to throw any more money at it. Time to upgrade to a more serious machine.

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    I checked my Mara today after 5-6 hours on. The left side only gets warm. The right side gets quite warm, but you're not going to burn yourself on it. I hadn't really noticed this and I don't think it's an issue at all. I wouldn't say that it's overheating.

    I also think that the IMS shower screen is interesting and I'll have to try one of these. When I saw them being discussed recently I wondered why anyone would bother, and now I know. I agree that the flow through the stock screen is not that even, and there's a lot more coffee getting into the system that I'd have expected, so there may be a range of practical benefits to a new screen. (Also, whatever Steve gets I have to get too, or so it seems (only half in jest).) I just need to workout how to replace the screen - do these things unscrew?

    Steve - you didn't happen to take any photos when you did your sound-proofing, did you? Mine is a little noisy, but I don't think it's all that bad, unless you're trying to make coffee at 5:30am without waking the household.

    The Mara is cute, no doubt about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    I also think that the IMS shower screen is interesting and I'll have to try one of these. When I saw them being discussed recently I wondered why anyone would bother, and now I know. I agree that the flow through the stock screen is not that even, and there's a lot more coffee getting into the system that I'd have expected, so there may be a range of practical benefits to a new screen. (Also, whatever Steve gets I have to get too, or so it seems (only half in jest).) I just need to workout how to replace the screen - do these things unscrew?

    Steve - you didn't happen to take any photos when you did your sound-proofing, did you? Mine is a little noisy, but I don't think it's all that bad, unless you're trying to make coffee at 5:30am without waking the household.

    The Mara is cute, no doubt about it.
    Yeah the shower screen exceeded my expectations, just so easy to keep clean. They just pop out holding the group seal. Have a look underneath and you will see a little ridge going around the perimeter of the screen, gently lever it out bit by bit, comes out pretty easy.

    No pics, I went a bit overkill on it because I bought a pretty decent amount (18 X 32inch) sheet on evilbay for $35 . Pretty much covered the back and sides and cut silly little strips and squares and stuck them everywhere else in / around and above the pump. I could take some pics at some stage if need be...its only a few screws.

    I agree the machine is not that noisy stock and its more noticeable when its quiet in morning. But after the applying the dynamat its just sounds so much more solid kinda quiet, very little vibration. Would I do it again? Yes
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    It's always great to see some in depth user reviews of Lelit machines. I have a real soft spot for them having used the pl042TEMD (owned) and the PL60T V2 (tested). Great value for money for machines that have nice styling and make great espresso. I love the pics of the Mara @NuBEnFL
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    I wasn't making brand-specific comments. I've learnt in a range of areas not to be brand loyal - just use what works and what is the best value for money. There are a number of HX E61 machines in this price range and I get the impression that they're all quite good. The Mara isn't the cheapest, but it is the smallest and it works very well and it looks cute to me. (I like the look of the Rocket that Nokka18 was also considering, but it's so much larger, and more expensive to boot.)

    You don't *need* to change anything on the Mara, although my early experience with the IMS shower screen is that Steve is spot-on - it does keep the brew path and the 3-way a lot cleaner, and on this point alone it's worth the small amount of money. It also has a more even distribution of water onto the puck and to my inexperienced taste buds I think I'm getting cleaner tasting extractions. I'll post more comments once I've had more time with it.

    Steve - did you use any of your dynamat xtreme on the drip tray cover, which can tend to rattle a bit?
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    Yeah I get that rattle on the drip tray sometimes to, even after all the dynamatting. I did think about putting some there, but usually all it takes it re adjustment of the drip tray, ie : so its sitting firm on the little rubber guides that are already there and it does not do it again for me for some time.

    Excellent that you are enjoying the new screen!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve82 View Post
    I have had mine for just over a couple of months now. Bought from Jet black. Pressure came set at 1 - 1.2 bar, I upped it to 1.1 - 1.3.
    Pease don't laugh I have two silly questions, why do you need to up the pressure and how is it done?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NuBEnFL View Post
    Pease don't laugh I have two silly questions, why do you need to up the pressure and how is it done?
    For me the machine was running just a touch cool to get the best out of how I like most beans roasted for espresso.

    It was the finest of adjustment needed, literally 1 to 2mm turning clockwise of the adjustment screw for the pressurestat. When looking at the machine front on with the cover off, its right at the top, on left close to the front of the machine. There is little arrows with + and - around a brass flat head screw, in a little black plastic cube.

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    Could you show me where its located?
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by NuBEnFL View Post
    Could you show me where its located?
    Just looked back at your previous posts.....didn't you get the PID model?? In which case you have no pressurestat, the PID replaces it and you adjust your boiler temperature, which results in a certain pressure.

    There are no PID models in Australia, so most talk here will be about machine fitted with a pressurestat.

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    Hi everyone,

    I just ordered Lelit Mara from Jetblack after almost being sold on VBM Junior, Charlie put some things into perspective for me and I decided Mara is probably a better option. Hopefully, it will get delivered early next week and because this is my first "serious" machine, I need some help to get the things right from the start. Jetblack will prime and test the machine before sending but I still need to know if there is anything I could do to ensure long and happy life and many great coffees out of it. Is there a break in period, do I have to calibrate and how, how often the machine requires cleaning, anything else I should be aware of, etc.

    Can't wait...

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    You probably had the same conversation with Charlie that I did. The question I asked was what more am I getting for $200 more (Mara compared to VBM Junior at the time)? My recollection was not a lot, other than size and looks and a more up-to-date design. I think there was also something about ease of servicing. Did he mention anything else? He is a good salesman for the Mara. The looks and compact size were worth $200 to me.

    There's no break-in period for the Mara. If you're getting a grinder then that will take a little while to dial in the right grind. It was my first serious machine too, and there's a learning period but no break-in period.

    Jetblack should send you their standard cleaning instructions with the machine. They're well written and easy to follow. I suggest you get a large container of the chemical cleaning powder, and also a special brush for cleaning in the group head.

    Like a lot of CS sponsors, Jetblack sell a "starter kit". If it's your first serious machine you'll need something like this, but my advice is to assemble your own, since the standard one has been put together to keep the price down and not deter potential buyers. I felt it was a bit under-spec'ed. I bought a large container of cleaning powder rather than small, cleaning brush, a larger knock bin, two milk jugs of different sizes, I didn't get a tamper since the Mara comes with a decent one (but see below), some cups, a tamping mat (although I subsequently bought a tamping stand and I'd recommend one of those rather than a mat). I think that's all.

    You can spend a lot of money on coffee gadgetry. There are two things I have subsequently bought that I recommend you consider in due course. Both Steve82 and I found that the tamper that comes with the Mara is a very loose fit in the Mara's 58mm baskets. I had wondered whether I'd received a 57mm tamper by mistake, since most Lelit machines have a 57mm basket, but I suspect not as Steve had the same experience. A better fitting tamper is a good option - I bought a Pullman. (It's a shame that the otherwise good quality Mara tamper isn't a better fit.)

    The other item is the IMS shower screen from Talk Coffee, which you can read about above. It keeps the machine cleaner and I think it leads to more even extractions compared to the standard Mara screen, which taste a little cleaner.

    You've made a good choice, hasn't he Steve?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabbba View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I just ordered Lelit Mara from Jetblack after almost being sold on VBM Junior, Charlie put some things into perspective for me and I decided Mara is probably a better option. Hopefully, it will get delivered early next week and because this is my first "serious" machine, I need some help to get the things right from the start. Jetblack will prime and test the machine before sending but I still need to know if there is anything I could do to ensure long and happy life and many great coffees out of it. Is there a break in period, do I have to calibrate and how, how often the machine requires cleaning, anything else I should be aware of, etc.

    Can't wait...
    Hi jabba, as you said Jetblack test and prime the machine, so nothing needs breaking in. You just need to fill the tank with decent water and away you go.

    The pressure came set on mine 1 - 1.2bar, which I found perfect for espresso roasts just on second crack and beyond, no cooling flushes needed and plenty of steam.

    Stick about 16 to 17g of coffee in the double basket. I found a good total shot time from pulling the lever around 28 to 32sec, to produce around 30 - 34g of beverage depending on your tastes.

    I like to clear water back flush after every coffee making session, whether that be 1 or 6 shots, so I know things will be left clean for next time.
    Detergent back flush once a week on sundays.

    Its a great little machine straight out of the box and quite forgiving. However if there is ONE thing I can highly recommend changing straight off the bat, it is the shower / dispersion screen. It has very poor water distribution, messy, hard to wipe clean - actually you need a little brush.

    Grab one of these Shower screen IMS competition | Talk Coffee the best $30 you will ever spend.

    Enjoy your new machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    You can spend a lot of money on coffee gadgetry. There are two things I have subsequently bought that I recommend you consider in due course. Both Steve82 and I found that the tamper that comes with the Mara is a very loose fit in the Mara's 58mm baskets. I had wondered whether I'd received a 57mm tamper by mistake, since most Lelit machines have a 57mm basket, but I suspect not as Steve had the same experience. A better fitting tamper is a good option - I bought a Pullman. (It's a shame that the otherwise good quality Mara tamper isn't a better fit.)

    The other item is the IMS shower screen from Talk Coffee, which you can read about above. It keeps the machine cleaner and I think it leads to more even extractions compared to the standard Mara screen, which taste a little cleaner.

    You've made a good choice, hasn't he Steve?
    Yes I believe so! Seems we were both doing the same thing at the same time. heh

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    Hi guys,

    thanks for the responses. I am pretty set with everything (apart from the cleaning detergent), use a Pullman tamper for some time and have all the other gear that I collected during my days with BDB.

    I hope Charlie won't mind me posting the details here, but he sold me on the following and I bet few other potential buyers might find this info useful to make an informed decision:
    ====================
    The Mara is a newer design and incorporates some nice features. Main differences between the two: The Mara -
    Is more compact

    Has anti crush steam/water valves. The junior has crushable seals so more care is needed to prevent premature seal degradation

    Has a higher level of polish on the stainless steel (mirror finish)

    Has more room around the steam and water knobs (less chance of burning your hand on the E61 group head)

    Has electronic water level sensor rather than mechanical switch. The mechanical switch is not as consistent as the electronic switch so the machine may think it is out of water when it isn’t or visa versa

    Warns when water tank is low on water – does not cut out like Junior (you will appreciate this next time the water runs low and your god shot has just started!!)
    =============

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    I think that's a longer list than I heard - Charlie must have been working on his sales pitch, or he has been asked this question more often since I asked.

    Steve - do you reckon it needs a weekly detergent / chemical clean, esp with the IMS? I've been doing fortnightly. I quickly clean the screen after each shot and do a water backflush before turning the machine off each day. Normally there's only 2-3 shots per day. If I'm supposed to clean on Sundays perhaps I should take it with me to church so it gets a weekly service?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    I think that's a longer list than I heard - Charlie must have been working on his sales pitch, or he has been asked this question more often since I asked.

    Steve - do you reckon it needs a weekly detergent / chemical clean, esp with the IMS? I've been doing fortnightly. I quickly clean the screen after each shot and do a water backflush before turning the machine off each day. Normally there's only 2-3 shots per day. If I'm supposed to clean on Sundays perhaps I should take it with me to church so it gets a weekly service?
    I would say that what your doing is fine, needs / wants / grey lines. I just like to try and have a weekly routine, although I often forget and 7 days becomes 10 or so. Depends on overall usage as well. But yeah I like to keep things pretty clean, I roast , taste and drink a fair bit of black coffee and this is where I can taste a difference.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    I think that's a longer list than I heard - Charlie must have been working on his sales pitch, or he has been asked this question more often since I asked.
    I honestly think he believes in the product and I fell for it :-)

    The time will tell, but also your experiences are the living proof that he may be onto something :-)

  46. #46
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    Hi guys, I received the machine today (3 hours ago :-)) and didn't wait long to start playing with it., Here is my initial impression:

    Design:

    I'll just say that no picture I have seen so far (including the official ones) is doing it justice. It exceeded my expectations in that department. It is tiny, a lot smaller than Breville Dual Boiler that is replacing but very heavy. No kitchen is too small for this machine, so if that is your excuse not to get it, you are out of luck.

    The important stuff:

    Can it make a good coffee? Well, the first shot was a bit runny, adjusted the grind and almost spot on with a double. Played with the single (one spout) portafilter, and made the best espresso I had in years. I did not realise that my roasts are so tasty :-) Tried to replicate it, second one was just as good, so sweet, almost ristretto like, wow... Looks like I've got some skills (in reality, I think the machine is very forgiving). I went back to the double, about 25s extraction on 9 bar, tasted a bit underextracted (could be my taste), adjusted the grind again, around 27s on 9.5 bar and the result was more to my liking, tight syrupy pour, the taste still lingers in my mouth.

    The most impressive thing was that even the "bad" ones were drinkable. The pucks were extra dark comparing to the bright brown that I've seen from BDB telling me that they extract a lot more out of the coffee. Looking forward to more testing.

    Other notes:

    The included tamper is one of the best ones I've seen. It was hard for me to find a fault with it, the only reason why I will continue to use my Pullman is because of the slightly better balance (or because I am afraid if I change it coffee gods will punish me).

    The water from the backflush pipe (or whatever it is called) is not aligned and water stays on the top of the drip tray. Not sure what is going on there.

    Is there an easy way to take the filter out, looks like the springs are very tight and I didn't want to break it :-)

    Any tips for milk, I tried to steam a couple of jugs and just can't get used to the steaming force. I could make better milk with BDB, probably because I had all the time in the world, this thing is pure evil.

    I used the filters that came included and they did just fine, will eventually play with VSTs but not just yet (when I figure out how to replace them I guess haha).

    I just want to thank Charlie from Jetblack for the support and let's hope the machine will last a long time trouble free.

    Feel free to ask questions
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    gunda likes this.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabbba View Post



    The water from the backflush pipe (or whatever it is called) is not aligned and water stays on the top of the drip tray. Not sure what is going on there.

    Is there an easy way to take the filter out, looks like the springs are very tight and I didn't want to break it :-)

    Any tips for milk, I tried to steam a couple of jugs and just can't get used to the steaming force. I could make better milk with BDB, probably because I had all the time in the world, this thing is pure evil.
    1: Yeah, when the 3 way exhaust dribbles at the end, always dribbles onto the tray and not into the hole. When releasing the actual pressure it fires pretty well into the hole. I have learnt to just ignore it, not much you can really do.

    2: Stock filters go in very tight, just lever it out out gently with a butter knife. should get easier after a while.

    3: I also had a BDB prior to this machine. To be honest i miss the steaming on BDB in some ways. So much more time to get things right and i could steam very small amounts of milk to perfection for piccolos. Sooo comes down to lots of practice.
    Larger amounts are easier to get right. For smaller jugs really need to put some crazy angles on the get a spin going and gently BUT quickly stretch before its hot. The holes on the tip are very big and if you try to stretch to quick it just makes large bubbles that are near impossible to get rid of. I have been thinking about looking around for a tip with slightly smaller holes, see if that might help make it a but easier. But overall if you have to do a large amount of milk its great, easily 2.5 times faster than BDB.

  48. #48
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    2,239
    Sounds like this is a great machine with a very small foot print.

    Re the steaming, if you change the tip to the same number and diameter of holes as the BDB you will get similar/exact steaming. Coffee parts sells blank tips you can drill yourself.

    Unless the steam holes are very big you should be getting great milk texture with some practice, just need to get used to it. It's easy to get great milk on the BDB but it's quite slow I have found. You can practice using water with a drop of dish washing liquid to save wasting milk.

    Cheers

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabbba View Post
    Hi guys, I received the machine today (3 hours ago :-)) and didn't wait long to start playing with it., Here is my initial impression:

    Design:

    I'll just say that no picture I have seen so far (including the official ones) is doing it justice. It exceeded my expectations in that department. It is tiny, a lot smaller than Breville Dual Boiler that is replacing but very heavy. No kitchen is too small for this machine, so if that is your excuse not to get it, you are out of luck.

    The important stuff:

    Can it make a good coffee? Well, the first shot was a bit runny, adjusted the grind and almost spot on with a double. Played with the single (one spout) portafilter, and made the best espresso I had in years. I did not realise that my roasts are so tasty :-) Tried to replicate it, second one was just as good, so sweet, almost ristretto like, wow... Looks like I've got some skills (in reality, I think the machine is very forgiving). I went back to the double, about 25s extraction on 9 bar, tasted a bit underextracted (could be my taste), adjusted the grind again, around 27s on 9.5 bar and the result was more to my liking, tight syrupy pour, the taste still lingers in my mouth.

    The most impressive thing was that even the "bad" ones were drinkable. The pucks were extra dark comparing to the bright brown that I've seen from BDB telling me that they extract a lot more out of the coffee. Looking forward to more testing.

    Other notes:

    The included tamper is one of the best ones I've seen. It was hard for me to find a fault with it, the only reason why I will continue to use my Pullman is because of the slightly better balance (or because I am afraid if I change it coffee gods will punish me).

    The water from the backflush pipe (or whatever it is called) is not aligned and water stays on the top of the drip tray. Not sure what is going on there.

    Is there an easy way to take the filter out, looks like the springs are very tight and I didn't want to break it :-)

    Any tips for milk, I tried to steam a couple of jugs and just can't get used to the steaming force. I could make better milk with BDB, probably because I had all the time in the world, this thing is pure evil.

    I used the filters that came included and they did just fine, will eventually play with VSTs but not just yet (when I figure out how to replace them I guess haha).

    I just want to thank Charlie from Jetblack for the support and let's hope the machine will last a long time trouble free.
    You're welcome jabbba. Enjoy!

    charlie

  50. #50
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    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    BNE
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    84
    I had another day to play with it. I was a bit wired yesterday, I can tell you that. Apart from this machine, I have zero experience with machines in this price range and I can only say that it is amazing.

    All my coffees were, regardless how I made them were ranging from good -> perfect, most being in a "very good" range. I played with different doses and pulled consistently decent shots.

    I did notice that it likes a lot of coffee. I am using around 22g in a double most of the time, and one of my requirements was that I was hoping to get a good double from 15-16 grams. Do you think I should try a "single" basket to try to achieve that? I really don't have time to roast every few days and this would be a tremendous help. I am trying to avoid going back to VSTs and introduce another unknown until I have a bit more confidence with the included baskets.

    Any tips...

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