Another Lelit decision making process
long time lurker, first time poster (mainly because almost all of my questions have been answered with little research here!).
Boring preamble to my reasoning: I'm another upgrader from the Breville/Sunbeam etc. I grew up (almost literally) with (lots of) stovetop moka coffee in an Italian family. My original Breville Cafe Aroma from a good 10 years ago was bought just to get coffee at work at least as good as the moka, because the cafe at work made the milk in lattes so hot it burned my fingers holding the cardboard cup! I abused the original machine with too fine a grind but it worked for years before dying. Fast forward, bought another breville cheap machine a few months ago and I can't use as fine a grind-water spurts out the sides of the filter etc. I recently bought a Smart grinder pro to see if I could fix the situation, but no dice. Enough mucking about!
So research suggests the Lelit Combi. I can really use the space and I'm happy to take a bath on the smart grinder pro and get something to last the next 5-10 years that gives me proper coffee. ON here it seems most feel the grinder is up to snuff. QUESTION 1: Am I likely to see a difference between the Lelit built in grinder and the smart grinder pro? I'm thinking yes, but what do you folks think?
I drink at least one espresso (no sugar, no milk) every day in the morning and more if I'm at home. No one else in my family (kids too young) drinks coffee but they'd all like "latte caldo" or hot chocolates from time to time. I favour very dark, Italian style roasts. The big QUESTION 2: this suggests that I might actually get some use out of the PID version (the PL042TEMD) vs the standard (i.e., the PL042EMI). Again, what do people think. I spent years with the thermoblock machines letting out the hottest water and then pulling the shot so I know it's possible, but I wouldn't mind some precision.
Happy to hear all thoughts
Re the grinder, I would say grind quality between the inbuilt and smart grinder would be similar. The smart grinder is far less messy and more user friendly ( timed etc). I would expect the built in to last longer though.
Don't forget if you get a combi upgrading a grinder later will leave the built in one obsolete and taking up space.
The PID will make it easier for you to be more consistent and give you repeatable tweakability.
Don't forget the importance of priming the boiler after steaming on a single boiler machine. Also if you are doing lots of hot chocolates you will more than likely need to recharge the boiler after steaming milk for two (at a stretch 3) cups.
Not sure how much the Combi is these days, have you seen the lelit dual boiler for sale here, looks great value and your smart grinder will suffice while you wait for upgradeitis to hit on the grinder.
I loved my old nemox (lelit) combi, built to last and capable of great shots. It was my first "real" machine that got me hooked!
Thanks for the input guys. I have seen that machine. I should have mentioned, I'm in Brisbane. It looks like BlakeM84 is in Sydney but he'll post. Hmm... I might need to consider this too, though the combi with PID is about $1250 advertised (new, I can get from dealer here in Brisbane, or Jetblack with free shipping) and the dual boiler is PIDless.