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Thread: Lelit Mara or something else?

  1. #1
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    Lelit Mara or something else?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello all,
    I'm in the process of planning a major upgrade. I currently have a pretty basic Sunbeam, and an old Delonghi grinder. I was looking at a Lelit combo for space saving, but then fell in love with the Lelit Mara! What appeals to me? Compact size, seems to be very well regarded, and I love the look of it! However, given it's price range, are there other options that I should consider, and why? I'm looking for something that will last me a very long time, makes great coffee (obviously!!), is reasonably compact, and also will look great on the benchtop. I will also need a grinder to suit. Total budget for both will probably be around 3k ish, with a little wiggle room for the right combo. I've done a lot of reading lately, and am suffering from some pretty severe information overload, so I thought I'd ask the snobs, and see how I go.

    Thanks in advance,

    Blonk

  2. #2
    TC
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    Welcome Blonk,

    September Special Rocket Espresso Appartamento and Macap M2D | Talk Coffee may be of interest...

    Cheers

    Chris
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  3. #3
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    Vibiemme Domobar Jnr would fit the bill - cheaper than Mara as well

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Herein is the problem! Which one??? Given the 3 machines listed here, am I likely to taste a difference between them? Chris's suggestion is a great deal, but a Mara with the same grinder is pretty close in price anyway. Does the Mara's PID give it an advantage? With these machines, will it ultimately come down to which one I prefer to use or its appearance? It may be difficult to get around to demo them all!

    Blonk

  5. #5
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by blonk View Post
    TGiven the 3 machines listed here, am I likely to taste a difference between them?
    Depends on how strongly you are influenced by placebo effect

    For me, none of the competitors comes close on the design of the Appartamento. Nevertheless anyone who suggests that a PID will make you a better coffee in a HX is pulling your chain. People read about pids in the context of dual boilers and then extrapolate (incorrectly) to HX machines- our buyers guide explains why. A PID in a HX machine is a gimmick- and you're talking to the bloke who sold the pid controlled Izzo Vivi and Alex II- both HX.

    It's not about which produces better coffee. It's pros and cons- ease of fill, steam wands, drip trays. cool touch wands etc...

    Choose the one which rocks your boat!
    Last edited by TC; 9th September 2016 at 03:42 PM. Reason: more info
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    Yes, a PID is definitely an advantage. Note that the Mara PID costs $200 more that a P. Stat Mara.
    How exactly, Paul?

    Mal.
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  7. #7
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    Lelit Mara or something else?

    My understanding was that there is only one model of Mara sold in Australia?

    Anyway, I bought a Mara and love it. Can't make a bad coffee with it

    I think you need to zero in on a couple of "Must Have" features. For me it was size - specifically height. The fact that the Mara seems to also tick all the other boxes for a HX machine is a bonus.

    In use I am enjoying:

    1. The steam and water knobs that just close without any force.

    2. The steam and water wands that are cool touch and articulate to any angle.

    3. The temperature stability. I am sure this is what helps with the margin of error for shot quality.

    4. Can finally do half decent single shots. Yeh!

    I think all machines at this level probably can make great coffee.

    PS. I just pulled my first shot of decaf today. I bought some so I can serve guests coffee at dinner on my new toy. Just ground some beans on the same setting and tried the shot. Result was excellent. Can still fine tune of course but so close already without mucking around.
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  8. #8
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    Good choice Gratulin! I have had my Lelit Mara for two weeks now and I am really happy with it for all the same reasons as you. I am going to try out decaf in it now
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by blonk View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. Herein is the problem! Which one??? Given the 3 machines listed here, am I likely to taste a difference between them? Chris's suggestion is a great deal, but a Mara with the same grinder is pretty close in price anyway. Does the Mara's PID give it an advantage? With these machines, will it ultimately come down to which one I prefer to use or its appearance? It may be difficult to get around to demo them all!

    Blonk
    I'll declare that Jetblack imports and distributes Lelit in Australia. We also retail and service Rocket, Vibiemme and many other brands and have done so for years. We don't believe that there's one perfect machine that will suit everyone and we love that there's more choice than ever. We're also into our machine tech so here is our view on the use of PID in a HX:
    1. Brew water temperature depends on the boiler temperature. So it's important that whatever device is regulating the boiler temperature/pressure does so consistently and at the correct setting - both during the life of the machine and also from machine to machine. Good quality pstats are consistent during the life of the machine but even the best pstats can be inconsistent from machine to machine which is why you'll hear sponsors talk about priming, testing and calibrating a machine before it's delivered. PID controllers are digital. Consistency, precision and accuracy are their hallmarks.
    2. In our experience domestic pstats have a lower life expectancy than PID controllers or Sirai pstats. But, on the flip side, domestic pstats are less expensive to replace than either of the other two solutions.
    3. A PID is silent in operation whereas a pstat makes a click every minute or two. A domestic pstat is pretty quiet and a Sirai pstat click is louder than a domestic pstat.

    I think PID is a good solution for regulating the boiler temperature/pressure in a HX. But I think its more important to consider the model as a whole with respect to the users requirements and constraints. With that in mind, these are some things I like about the Mara which may help blonk and others decide if it is for them:
    1. It is narrow. At 22cm wide it is the narrowest HX/E61 in the world. This does not come at the expense of performance (it has a 1.5l boiler with plenty of steam and is temperature stable).
    2. If it runs low on water in the tank during a shot it will warn you with an audible alarm BUT it will allow you to finish the shot.
    3. It comes with a 58mm stainless steel and wood Lelit tamper (RRP $75) in the box
    4. It has crushless steam/water valves
    5. It has an electronic rather than mechanical water tank level sensor
    6. It has cool touch wands
    7. Given its size, it still has good clearance between the steam and water knob and the E61 group head

    So to answer your question blonk, I'd say that you won't be able to taste the difference between coffee made on the models listed (assuming they're all calibrated properly) and that it will be a question of useability and aesthetics.

    charlie
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  10. #10
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    Decision has been made, and order placed! I would like to thank everyone for their opinions, and the sponsors for their support. The final decision is a Lelit Mara, with a matching Lelit PL44MMT Grinder. I've also included a precision basket and shower screen, and a new milk jug, just because I can! I'll post a photo of the old and new once it's all set up.

    Regards,

    blonk
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