Recently passionate about the world of coffee, I decided to take my first steps with a manual espresso machine. I automatically excluded any automatic machine because, precisely, it does everything alone and that my only participation in the ritual of coffee preparation is to press a button.
Limited by my budget and after many readings, I compared, weighed and filtered the information to extract a Lelit 41 TEM PID.
According to the description, it seems to correspond to my wishes. What is it really?
The Lelit 41 TEM PID is a manual espresso machine with PID (a temperature control system) and an extraction pressure gauge. It has a 250 ml boiler and a three-way solenoid valve.
A stainless steel body makes it discreet, dimensions goes everywhere, lever switches a little retro, the whole is nice.
Obviously, the aesthetics is subjective but I think that, a little retro a little modern, it has its place in any style of decoration.
The visual is an important parameter but it must especially make a good coffee. This machine has some elements that should help.
This system makes it possible to regulate the temperature correctly in order to maintain it during the extraction. It also allows you to choose the extraction temperature, to the degree, so as to adapt it to the coffee chosen and the result in desired taste.
What is it really?
Selected temperature 95 °C. The water is heated to 100 °C and will have to wait until it stabilizes at 95°C. The waiting time for the temperature to stabilize is not too long.
You have to wait a bit for the temperature to stabilize
Because the water tank of the boiler is small in volume, when pouring a coffee, it can be noted that the temperature indicated with the PID is reduced during the extraction. I do not know if the water that flows into the cup has a temperature that reduces as the extraction takes place or if it is only the tank that is affected.
The extraction manometer
The pressure gauge shows the coffee extraction pressure.
The Lelit 41 TEM PID has an extraction manometer. It gives the pressure in the filter holder during extraction.
For example, for an espresso, if you extract below 9 bar, it may be necessary to review the grind or the amount of coffee in the filter. And then eight to eleven bars to each his experience and tastes. In short, the extraction manometer contributes to the pleasure of the coffee preparation ceremony.
Example of espresso made with a Lelit 41TEM PID
Attention, some machines of the series “41” of Lelit are equipped with a simple thermometer of water temperature in the tank which strangely resembles a pressure gauge.
Elements that are also important
Three-way solenoid valve
Its function is to depressurize the filter when you finish the extraction. This will allow you to remove without waiting the filter holder and to chain on another coffee, waited, impatiently, by your second guest.
The elecro-valve of my Lelit 41 TEM PID fulfills perfectly its mission.
As you can see in the picture. A funnel must be used to fill the tank. Of course, it is also possible to take out the tank.
The recovery bin
It’s a drawer. Of a good volume and easy to leave it brings no particular difficulty.
Recovery tank of the Lelit 41 TEM PID
In the morning, my eyes are barely open, I’ll have a good coffee to wake up.
Some machines, very effective in this area, wake you up even before you have tasted the coffee.
The sound of the pump erases the sweet dream in which you were still plunged.
A good point for the Lelit 41 TEM PID, which is really not too noisy. It is obviously not the level of rotary pump machines but these machines are of another category and have another price.
A pressurized filter
Some suppliers deliver a pressurized filter with the Lelit in order to use already ground coffee. The function of this type of filter is to generate a foam (and not a cream) that should be as smooth and dense as possible. It is used with a larger grain size than espresso.
I tested out of curiosity.
The use of the pressurized filter gives a result far from what is expected of an espresso
At the extraction it makes a sound of steam locomotive badly set and we put everywhere. Taste is good but the foam looks like a foam beer with big bubbles.
No, forget the pressurized. Count on the Lelit 41 TEM only to make a good espresso and lengthen it more or less, according to the taste of each.
The Lelit 41 TEMP PID has only one boiler. So after pouring your coffee, to use the steam nozzle it must be activated by pressing the appropriate button and wait for the boiler to reach about 130 ° C (ie a pressure of approximately 2 bar). The waiting time for the boiler to go from 90 ° C to 130 ° C is about 30 seconds. Then the nozzle reveals effective and powerful to froth the milk.
If you are fond of latte coffee or cappuccino, I recommend instead to think of a machine that has a double boiler (one for coffee, the other for the steam nozzle).
My Lelit 41 TEM PID meets my expectations regarding the aesthetics, the use, the general operation and the quality of the extraction. When at the PID, he certainly has to play his role, but I admit that it is a little disconcerting.
After a few adjustments of degree of grinding, I managed a good espresso in taste. The cream is thick. It could be a little more dense. It’s up to me to find the right coffee, with the good freshness, and to refine the degree of grinding. A whole program, a whole ritual for a great pleasure.