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Thread: Lelit Combi

  1. #1
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    Lelit Combi

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Looking for opinions on this machine please. Thinking about replacing my current machine with a Breville BES870 ($649) and came across the Lelit ($985). Worth the extra? Easy to use? Good grinder? I make two lattes a day and the occasional for drop ins. Cheers.

  2. #2
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    It's a neat little unit. The grinder is basically a 'lux' and has the same internals as the Isomac professionale and a lot of other little conical Burr grinders
    It heats up really quickly and ready to go on a whim.
    My brother has the lelit and it makes great milk based drinks. At work I have a Nemox Napoletana which is basically a re-badged cheaper version and it performs well.
    Cons include noisy grinder, but most grinders are at this price, and grind retention is high due to the chute. The little boiler may not be the best for the subtleties of an espresso lover, but with milk drinks it reliably creates good results.
    Having the grinder internal may have concerns regarding heat stress to the beans in the hopper, but single dosing the grinder can often be inconsistent due to retention.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    There are lots of posts doing reviews and comparisons of this unit on here. A use of the search function on the upper right area of every page will get you answers faster than waiting for people to post them in here.


    Java "Search engines, what a concept! " phile
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  4. #4
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    What machine is this replacing?

    As above, great machines. The following views are based on the Nemox Cafe Del Opera, which is an older version of lelit combi and essentially identical as far as I know, lelit has a few smaller improvements.

    I wouldn't agree with the retention view however, I never measured it but I wouldn't say it is "high", no more (and probably less) than most like k3 etc.

    If I was in the mood I would put small amount of beans in and grind through till empty to purge and a second or two I could see the colour change in the grinds (different beans). The black chute is just a cover over the real chute (that is the same as the one visible on the standalone versions of this grinder) and doesn't retain anything (sided almost vertical).

    Usually I just single dosed. Fill double basket with beans, dump in hopper and grind into basket until all ground. This gave quite consistent dosing. I only did the purge for espresso if I was feeling inclined.

    Yes grinder is a bit noisy, but less so than some (sette for example). It is quite quick.

    Likewise re espresso, I had great results and it is certainly capable of ripper shots with fresh beans and good technique. I tried "temp surfing" but generally just pulled shots and the results were great. Some versions come with PID which would provide more consistency.

    You can force it to heat up in no time, turn on, purge to fill boiler (critical in all single boiler machines) and activate steam. Once steam is to temp, run water back into boiler to flush steam and bring temp down. Wait for introduced water to heat up. Never timed it but at a guess this would be 5 minutes? 10 at the most?

    Although it's a 57mm group, the double basket is nice and big for a proper double shot.

    They are very simple and well built, should last for ages with basic maintenance. Not much to go wrong inside.

    Cons are as per all single boiler machines. Need to manually fill boiler (this become a habit) and need to wait to steam).

    Grinder chute is too far forward, I pressed the grind button with finger and held the PF closer to front. Grinds spray around a bit but most get caught in the grind or brew drip trays, which are large in size.

    Cheers

  5. #5
    338
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmyjj21 View Post
    The little boiler may not be the best for the subtleties of an espresso lover, but with milk drinks it reliably creates good results.
    Hi Timmy, I have the stand alone version of the Lelit and only drink espresso. I am always up to be talked into a bit of upgradeitis, what am I missing with the small boiler of the Lelit? A case of not knowing what you are missing unless I am told. You are right about the size of the boiler, had the cover off and realised it was the size of my fist, no wonder it heats up quickly.

  6. #6
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    I would have thought it would come down to temperature stability. My experience lies with the Gaggia Classics, but any small boiler with have similar issues with cold water entering the boiler during a pour, reducing the boiler temperature and therefore variably altering extraction temperature. It would make the repeatability of shots difficult, as each one is likely to have a different temperature. Having a PID will dramatically improve things as the boiler element will be more responsive than with a simple bi-metallic thermostat with a high histeresis of 10-15 degrees (Google 'temperature surfing')
    So overall, it may come down to how sensitive you are with espresso flavours and taste. I noticed a massive difference installing a PID on my Gaggia Classic.

  7. #7
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    PID will give you brew temp adjustability, plus greater potential to maintain that temp. Maintaining brew temp will still be limited by machine design, element power etc, cant beat laws of physics.

    I mainly drink espressos and enjoyed them out of the non PID lelit style machine. The ones from my Alex duetto are perhaps a little nicer and more consistent but I could easily live with the lelit if needed.

    For me the upgrade path was due to convenience (steam anytime), noise (quiet rotary pump) and of course bling, love the chrome/stainless and E61 group look.

    Use decent fresh beans, great technique and you should be 90% there with almost any machine.

    Cheers
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  8. #8
    338
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    Thanks Timmy, Coffee4me2 and Artman makes total sense. I bought the PID version because of what I read and notice I have to manage boiler size for say a long black. I can see when I eventually upgade a larger boiler will be nice - except for impulse coffees, the little boiler on the group head really is ready to go in ten minutes. Thanks for the information
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