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Thread: Lelit: To PID or not to PID, that is the question!

  1. #1
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    Lelit: To PID or not to PID, that is the question!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello CS'ers

    I'm a newbie, but I have been lurking around here as a "guest" doing research for at least a good month.

    I have decided to join the home barista movement when I found myself plotting how to drop my kids off earlier to their care so that I could get a decent latte and still make it to work on time! I knew that I did not want a pod machine, mainly due to the waste they produce, so a proper espresso machine it is. I also have the added benefit of having a coffee roasting business just two doors down from me, so fresh beans are not a problem at all.

    I was told to get a Silvia by people who know about these things and that is how I ended up here, doing research on them. They have been my main focus until recently when I came across a post here (somewhere!) about Lelit being very similar but a little more forgiving for a beginner. Of course I have done my research into them as well and from what I have found I think that they might be a better option for me, being a complete beginner and all.

    The budget for this is not huge ($1000 max), I will be the only one drinking coffee based drinks (and I love my milk based drinks hence the need for good steaming ability) and the kids will be most chuffed to get some hot chocolates for their breakfast. I am able to get a new rocky grinder with frequent flyer points (so more money for the machine yay!).

    Here is my problem. I have contacted 2 very helpful businesses that retail Lelit and on the option of a PID their advice differs. One advises me to get it as it will help with consistency, and that sounds appealing given that I will be making coffee in the morning in the midst of getting the kids and myself organised to get to work/care, the PID takes care of one of the variables for me. The other recommends forgoing the PID and spending the money on getting some proper training on the machine, which also makes sense to me. Even if I get the PID I would be looking for some proper training which will definitely push the spend to over my limit. I should mention that the limit is self imposed, my husband does not care how much I spend as long as I get a machine that I love and start drinking good coffee in the morning (I am much nicer after a decent coffee in the morning!) His only stipulation is to buy new so as to maximise warranty, though I am happy to consider second hand units if I could find any (which I can't!) so if there is a convincing arguement for the PID then I might spend a bit extra over $1000 .......

    What sayeth you Cs'ers? to PID or not to PID. And be gentle, I am a biologist, how machines work is a complete mystery to me!!

  2. #2
    TC
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    Hello mcbeal,

    I'll out myself as the second businessman

    With your budget, you need the cash for a grinder and training.

    A PID will remove the cooling flush with a Silvia but will not make you a superior coffee. Bottom line? You can't make coffee with steam. Wait until the Silvia comes to top of temperature and the heating light goes off. Flush the group until you hear no more steam as you make coffee with water, not steam. Shoot away and then do your milk.

    All a PID will do is remove the cooling flush. I'd be spending the extra $$$ on the best grinder I could get and perhaps something like an Introduction to espresso course at the Angliss Coffee academy.

    None of this will make me a cent and in fact will possibly lose me a sale. Regardless, I think it's the right advice. Buy the Silvia or a basic Lelit, get the best grinder you can afford and put the rest into training. I'd keep an eye peeled for a good pre-loved kit in the Hardware fo Sale Forum right here. You might save quite some $$$ by purchasing used. I would think that $600 should purchase a Silvia/Rocky combo here given that they're available at $950 new. The Compak K3P is better still and about the same price as a Rocky.

    Good luck whichever way you decide to go!

    Chris

  3. #3
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    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for that and I certainly would not count me out as a client yet!!

    Would a rocky grinder be sufficient (for now, I can always upgrade later on if need be)?

    Second hand lelits seem to be as rare as hens teeth and I am keen to get a machine

  4. #4
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    For some balance I will tell you that a PID will greatly increase your chances of making superior coffee.

    As you mention it eliminates a variable, one less thing you have to think about, while learning.
    My dad is nearly 70, I gave him a PID Classic, it's on a timer, set and forget. Otherwise there would be no way he would have a chance of consistantly producing a good shot.

    As for your situation, there's plenty of great options with your budget. You could look into an entry level HX machine. Configured properly from one of the sponsors like talk
    coffee,you wont need a PID and can steam milk while pulling a shot.

    You could also consider Breville dual boiler, that will do everything you want and more.

    However the lellit single boiler with PID will most likely do the job for you.
    Also you can always get a silvia and if you want PID later on.

    I would recommend compak K3 grinder, my first electric grinder and i love it.

  5. #5
    TC
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    Hi Steve,

    All great advice. Sadly, none of the options allow for a grinder (or much else at all) within the budget of $1k.

    Cheers

    Chris

  6. #6
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    Don't forget guys I can get the Silvia rocky grinder with frequent flyer points, surely that grinder will be a good option for now until I save up enough money to get a K3?
    Last edited by mcbeal; 2nd April 2013 at 06:36 PM. Reason: fixing up my punctuation!

  7. #7
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    Absolutely mcbeal,

    My advice is to use your points. Rick aka coffee machinist (site sponsor) can fit a PID if you decide you need one in the future.

    Chris

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    How about the Lelit Combi they are under 1000 without PID but .

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Hi Steve,

    All great advice. Sadly, none of the options allow for a grinder (or much else at all) within the budget of $1k.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Sorry, yes i should have noted that my advice / opinions were assuming that the "points" were going to be used to get the rocky and the 1K or slightly more if pushed would buy the espresso machine. Also mostly only from my own research into possibly temporarily treating upgraditis.

  10. #10
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    Love my rocky grinder. Love my Lelit with a PID (takes the guesswork out of the brew). Total budget was around $1,100. I can make a great cap with fresh beans - self trained but this stuff is (almost) foolproof if you keep it clean and follow the basic instructions and search this site and youtube for tips and tricks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbeal View Post
    Don't forget guys I can get the Silvia rocky grinder with frequent flyer points, surely that grinder will be a good option for now until I save up enough money to get a K3?
    If you can get the Rocky with frequent flyer points, there's always the option of then selling it in "new unused condition" if you wanted to upgrade!



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