I have been using a LELIT espresso machine for over a year to make my beloved coffee. This machine is interesting for several reasons which have already been mentioned in an article published on this site. I wouldn’t go back. Today I will focus exclusively on the LELIT filter supplied with the machine and the problem it poses due to its design.
- Diameter: 57mm
- Height: 23mm
If you look closely, the bottom of the filter is rounded. The rounding starts from 15 mm deep. It starts with a diameter of 57 mm to arrive at a diameter of 50 mm.
57 mm filter basket dimension (Original Lelit)
And I bought a 57 mm tamper adapted to the diameter of the filter, an essential tool for making a good espresso and adding to the pleasure. You see the problem; impossible to compact the grind well since the tamper is blocked by the curvature of the filter over 15 mm. You can’t press harder.
You will say to me: it is necessary to put more coffee or to use the filter a cup. Yes, but as we know, the two-cup filter is the only one that can be used to obtain good cream. So I only use this filter, even for a cup. And I put 13 to 16 g depending on the coffee. Even with 16 g you can’t get the pressure you need with the tamper. We’re stuck before.
So what to do, buy a 57 mm filter with straight walls and suitable for my Lelit. It’s not easy to find them. From 58 mm that, there are. But 57mm is another story. To believe that it is done on purpose. After a lot of research, several coffees and a lot of patience I found. The IMS brand offers them but around 30 $ if we add the additional costs. At this price, you have to be sure that it will bring a plus.
A temporary solution
I embarked on a small experimental DIY. The idea is to change the shape of my tamper so that it can go further by matching the shape of the filter.
And There you go.
I added a kind of washer made of chipboard, carefully rounded, like the filter. I gain 6 mm deep which is enough to, finally, compact my grind properly. And the result is there, I assure you, same coffee, same grind but more aroma and more subtlety. I rediscover one by one my favorite coffees their perfumes and their specificities. Another world. What a waste of time for a stupid history of filter form.
First image gallery: coffee obtained with the modified tamper. The coffee flows well, is darker (better extraction) and flows less quickly than without modification.
Second image gallery: coffee obtained with the tamper without modification. The coffee flows less well, is lighter (signature of under extraction) and flows faster.
One might wonder why sell semi professional espresso machines with 57mm blocks. Why not offer only 58mm. I do not see any other justification than commercial ends. It turns out that with a 57 mm assembly it is always more difficult and more expensive to obtain items relating to this diameter. By cons we find everything and cheaper in 58 mm, a size that is considered more standard even if it is presented as professional equipment. So beware, I advise you to be very careful when choosing your espresso machine, even if it is more expensive to buy, choose, as far as possible, a machine equipped with a 58 mm block. You will find yourselves there later, in the choice and in the price of the annexed supplies.
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Hi there. I found your article on the Lelit very helpful! Thanks for sharing. But I do have a question: does a 57.5mm tamper fit for the baskets?
I use a 57mm tamper. I don’t have a 57.5mm tamper but they exist :).
I think the 57.5mm tamper is compatible but I am afraid that the problem described in the article remains the same.
the best in my opinion is to replace the lelit filter with an IMS filter to have the vertical edges. at that time, I think the 57.5mm tamper will be suitable.
the edges of the lelit filter are “V” shaped.
I have the same machine and I was wondering what is the correct dose for a 57mm portafilter…
Is 18g too much or should I grind finer and just put 16g in for 32g out of coffee for a 28 sec extraction?
Hi ! I have the same machine and I find that when putting 18g the pressure is too high, around 11 or 12 bars when it should be 9.
I believe those filters are made for 14g of espresso, when I do 14g the pressure is closer to 9 bars.
Hope it helps !
Thank you for your user feedback =)
Update : I’ve since changed the pressure valve of my machine since the previous one was rusty and I couldn’t lower the pressure.
It’s working way better now. I’m also using a 14g ascaso filter that has straighter edges. I haven’t tried going back to the lelit filter with the new pressure valve but I’ve been having great results with this set up.
Hope it helps !
Ho there. With the Ascaso filter, are you able to use the original Lelit tamper (if you’re using one) ?
No I bought the machine second hand, I don’t have a lelit tamper. I use one from Motta, it worked with the lelit filter and still works with the ascaso one.
Ive been playing around with what to do with 18 to 20 g shots in a 14 g basket. Starting with the commonly held view that a shot should take 28-30 seconds and the pressure should be 9 bar.
I wend back to the basic engineering of fluid flow through a porous medium. Darcy’s law tells us that for a uniform porous media the pressure loss is proportional to the flow rate and inversely proportional to the distance. Ie v=C.dp/dx or
dp= v.dx/C. If you are using 18 g then dx is 18/14=1.28 greater. Accordingly for the same flow velocity dp would be 1.28 times greater or 11.57 bar. The pressure gradient through the puck will be the same so you are in no greater danger of the water channeling through. Under these conditions you will have to extract for 28 % longer, 36 seconds to preserve the ratio of coffee to liquid. To shorten this time you will have to play round with the grind size and or tamping. But that will change other stuff. The only ways to fully replicate a 14 g shot with say 21 g would be to have a 71 mm group head. But they do not make them. Otherwise make a 14 g shot then a 7 g shot.
Can you show me what IMS basket fits the Lelit ? I only see 58 MM baskets … is there a model specifically you use ?
It’s IMS b642th22. But it’s very hard to get
I looked for the IMS b642th22 and it seems that it also has the same shape as the Lelit filter. So what will be the difference?
Hello, IMS filters have better quality holes. however if the filter has the same shape as the original filter, you will have the same problem. And I can confirm it because my father who has this machine bought an IMS filter and the problem continues to persist.
I meant basket , Sorry 🙂
I looked for the IMS b642th22 basket but its shape is similar to the Lelit basket. So what is the difference?
It doesn’t solve the problem of this post.
hi – i cant seem to find any other 57 mm baskets to try on my lelit
do you have a link to any ?
I’ve never found a replacement filter. Sorry
I have not tried it but it would seem that the Ascaso precision baskets (currently out of stock) fit on the Lelit Anna/PL41 (see the reviews).
I bought this filter and I couldn’t be happier ! It’s really the only thing that you need to be able to make great expresso with the pl81t.
Hi, First, i agree its a pain, however, i came across this that might help Lelit 57 mm bottomless portafilter. The NEW DESIGN Lelit professional 57mm Bottomless Portafilter (wIth new handle design) holder allows the use of higher cups
Sure you have to shell out $100 but it might be worth it.
I’m still on the fence regarding this or the Gaggia Classic. The Gaggic Classic has 58 mm. However, the Gaggia doesn’t let you adjust temp and it doesn’t provide a pressure gauge so I’m not sure.
If i get the lelit ana 2 I will probably purchase this so i can swap out the one that comes with it.
Thanks for your research. Unfortunately I did not purchase it so I cannot confirm that this filter fixes the problem I have described.
Anyway, I strongly recommend when buying a 58mm machine. Because it is the standard diameter and there are a lot of accessories cheaper than for the 57mm.
see you soon 🙂
There is a simple reason for this. Lelit do this purposely to get people to upgrade. You would think paying more ( getting the GRACE) would give you a 58mm. Nope. You have to go up to a Victoria to nab the 58mm. Paying around $1595 canadian. Yes you heard that right.
When gaggia classic pro has 58 and is only 595 (sure it has no PID or gauge) but it gives people what they wants.
Lelit KNOWS this and PURPOSELY does this thats why their higher end machines $1595 and above have 58mm and don’t have 57mm. I’ve called them out for this via email but they refuse to reply. They are cowards and criminals.
To the owner of coffee greek, given second thought to what I said under https://coffeegeek.co/en/problem-with-the-lelit-57mm-filter-basket/
I wonder if you can edit my comment and remove just the line about “They are cowards and criminals.” That was a little harsh and uncalled for by me and on second thoughts i would prefer not to say that about Lelit.
Thanks kindly. ( oh an you don’t need to keep this as a comment either) I would have contacted you via a contact page to request but couldn’t find it.
i realized if i dont use at least 18g in the double cup – my espressos dont come out good at all – its too fast and watered down – i usually get about 11 to 12 bar this way – i dont follow the bar much – 9 etc, i watch the coffee – speed and color – and then taste – if it needs 18 – then use 18g – if it needs 19g or 17g – then use that – will be different with different beans – i use 18g and then ajust grind leaving it at 18g
So you grind the coffee so that you have a good coffee with always 18 grams in the basket. But do you have “dry” pancakes? Or do they stick in the shower?
that depends on a few factors – beans is one of them for sure – i am always trying different beans and even with the same beans that worked fine before can not work as good next time – but for the most part – mines are dry when done – some will say its too much in there and too close to the screen etc, BUT again unless i do it that way – the end result for me is not as good if i get a wet puck – i always clean my machine after each use – and backflush every week or few weeks – clean the water bottle also and wipe down the hoses that sit in the water bottle. i have two grinders – one is a breville that has a timer in Sec. not grams – with some beans i can get away with a 20 sec. grind on number 6 with the breville – as long as coffee comes out creamy and not fast – nice color and taste in the end – i leave it alone – some beans dont work with the breville – i then use a stepless grinder and use a scale with that one at 18g – with the breville i dont use a scale – i was curious once before to know how many grams i get when i use the breville at 20 secs – turns out – even more than 18g and it depends on the grind size also – change the grind and leave it at 20 sec timer – i noticed that when it was too tight to fit the portafilter on the machine – it was way too much in there – of if you get a too tight grind and if the coffee comes out so thick like a tar and oily bubbles on top – if you see that – you have to loosened that grind alot – some beans need a looser grind to get that cream – bottomline for me is if that cup is not full of grinds – its usually weak and watered when it comes out – doing 18g seems to be a good base line to start with. this is my 2nd lelit machine – first one was handed down to family and still being used going on past 5 years easy maybe 7 –
I have been leaning towards purchasing the same machine, but this article has me wondering if I need to just deal with the additional cost and look at models in the price range of the Victoria. Was your tamper initially convex? I’m wondering if a convex tamper would have worked and done exactly what you seem to have done to modify your tamper.
Lelit has two 57mm portafileters: standard and VIP. What are the differences ?
Hi – where did you see those two different ones ? anyone have a link to this IMS basket that works better ?
i get a good shot but need to use 18g in the double basket only – and depends on the beans used
one is for one cup and the other is for two cups.
Hi, I have both the standard and VIP portafilters and the VIP is heavier 408g vs. 474g and the handle is angled. I bought the VIP because it shipped with a cleaning filter and the 2+ cups filter. I have not used the standard portafilter at all but I am thinking about drilling the bottom of it.
If you’re tamping down to where the filter basket start to narrow, you’re tamping too far. The issue isn’t the filter basket. You can use a 57.55mm tamper in the standard Lelit 57mm filter baskets and as long as the dose is in the “normal” range, there won’t be any issues.