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Having an espresso machine with a built-in grinder could be extremely handy. (So can saving area and cash.) But not everybody desires to sacrifice all management and get a super-automatic mannequin. For you, there’s the Lelit Kate PL82T.
It’s a compact and well-built semi-automatic prosumer machine with an built-in conical burr grinder. In this assessment, I’ll take a look at the professionals and cons of this mannequin so you’ll be able to determine if it’s simply what you’re on the lookout for.
SUMMARY: The Lelit Kate PL82T
- Semi-automatic single-boiler espresso machine with a built-in burr grinder
- The Lelit Control Center permits for simple programming and tons of options
- Durable construct with brushed stainless-steel casing
It took me a number of goes to get the stability proper, which is regular for any new espresso machine. Once I had all of it discovered, the espresso was spot on.
– David Ludlow, Customer
The Lelit Kate PL82T Review
Let’s dig into the main points of this machine to search out out the place it suits within the Lelit line. More importantly, let’s see the way it can slot in your way of life. From brewing capability and milk steaming to cleansing and upkeep, right here’s all the pieces you should know.
Brewing Capacity – 3/5
The Lelit Kate PL82T is a single-boiler dual-use machine. This implies that it doesn’t have separate boilers for brewing coffee and producing steam. Instead, it has a single 300 mL brass boiler that may do each. The PL82T additionally affords a programmable pre-infusion, which advantages the shot high quality.
The draw back is that you’ll be able to’t do each on the identical time. You’ll want to attend a couple of minutes after pulling an espresso for the boiler to extend steam temperature. If you make quite a lot of milky drinks, this may be irritating. But if pure espresso is your factor, it has some glorious benefits, together with MORE COMPACT and far MORE AFFORDABLE.
The distinctive promoting level of the Kate is its built-in grinder, which saves the price of shopping for a separate one and frees up counter area.
The built-in grinder is a step up from a median low cost burr one, with a micrometric stepless grind adjustment and 38mm conical burrs (1). Still, it’s not fairly on par with one thing just like the Baratza Sette 270. It is nice worth for cash, although, persistently producing fluffy and uniform grounds.
Lelit makes use of a strong 1200 W heating factor within the Kate, so it heats sooner than many comparable fashions. It takes about 3 minutes for the boiler to return to temperature. Then, one other 7 to 10 minutes for the group and portafilter to stabilize.
User-friendliness – 4/5
Like these, all higher-end Lelit espresso machines are outfitted with the Lelit Control Center (LCC), an onboard pc. This provides quite a lot of performance and is straightforward to program. Thus, Lelit espresso machines are extra manageable than common to function.
With the Lelit Kate, you’ll be able to program the temperature for brewing, steaming, and water, the pre-infusion time, and a countdown shot timer. You additionally use the LCC to program the grinding time for a single shot and double shot, because the grinder doses by time moderately than weight.
The grinder is easy to make use of, with a hands-free holder for the portafilter. Simply press the portafilter towards the grinding plate — as soon as for a single shot or twice for a double shot. The grinder will then dose based mostly on the pre-programmed time. Alternatively, maintain the portafilter towards the plate for handbook grinding time.
Pulling a shot is as simple as pushing the backlit stainless-steel button on the entrance panel.
This additionally routinely begins the shot timer, however the shot doesn’t cease when the timer reaches zero. The timer is only a information; you continue to preserve management over shot size.
The entrance panel is supplied with a backlit stress gauge as properly to observe the pump stress vary throughout brewing. This can assist you dial in your grinding, tamping, and dosing.
As with most of Lelit’s VIP Line machines, Kate has quite a lot of clearance between the group head and drip tray. This is nice for brewing into bigger mugs and makes it simpler to work beneath a bunch. For smaller demitasse cups, a riser is included, which slots firmly onto the drip tray.
The least user-friendly side of this machine might be the grind measurement selector, a small knob on the aspect of the machine. It works completely properly, however the knob is unmarked, so it may be difficult to maintain observe of grind settings. And it’s arrange so that you just may want greater than a 360-degree rotation for bigger changes.
As with all new European-made espresso machines of this kind, the Lelit Kate PL82T has a standby mode. Though given its quick heat-up time, it’s hardly obligatory. After half-hour of inactivity, it’ll drop right into a low energy consumption mode. You can flip this characteristic off when you don’t need it (2).
Milk Frothing – 3/5
As with any one-boiler machine, milk frothing isn’t a precedence with the Lelit Kate PL82T. Anyone with a real penchant for milky drinks will probably be extra inclined in direction of a warmth exchanger or twin boiler. That mentioned, the accessible steam energy is greater than sufficient to provide the silky microfoam you want for latte artwork or the ethereal froth that marks a cappuccino. You simply can’t do it whereas additionally brewing coffee. Plus, it would take a number of seconds longer than a machine with extra steam energy.
The steam wand is multidirectional. It comes with two completely different suggestions, a 1-hole, and a 2-hole, which is a pleasing shock at this value. The steam stress is managed utilizing a knob on the aspect of the machine, and it’s responsive and intuitive to make use of.
When you flip off the steam, it routinely vents and returns to brewing temperature, a sensible characteristic you’ll positively admire.
The Lelit Kate PL82T doesn’t have a separate sizzling water wand, however you’ll be able to dispense sizzling water from the steam wand. In truth, you’ll be able to even set the temperature of the new water utilizing the LCC, a rarity even amongst costlier fashions.
Build Quality – 4/5
The construct high quality is a standout characteristic.
The brushed stainless-steel casing offers it a sublime look and ensures that it’s ultra-durable and straightforward to wash. The brushed stainless doesn’t present scratches or filth, and a easy wipe with a moist microfiber material will maintain it wanting shiny and new.
Some different stainless-steel options, just like the hopper lid, drip tray, portafilter, and baskets, reveal that Lelit has constructed this machine to final. Though I want they’d opted to incorporate a chrome steel tamper rather than the plastic one.
The portafilter is a HIGHLIGHT of this machine. It’s a regular business measurement 58 mm portafilter, making it simple and cost-effective to buy equipment (like that tamper I simply talked about you’ll want). The deal with is ergonomic and slanted in order that the portafilter lies flat for tamping, saving you need to purchase a separate tamping station.
You solely get a dual-spout portafilter, but it surely options Lelit’s revolutionary Coffee Slide design. The Coffee Slide is aesthetically stunning, but, it additionally serves a goal. The espresso comes out extra easily with much less sputtering, guaranteeing your layer of crema stays intact.
According to barista and cafe supervisor Tyler Hickmott, sustaining the crema till you’re able to drink improves the tasting expertise by enhancing the espresso’s aroma (3).
When you break the crema, you enable the aroma to return out all [at once].
Three baskets are included, a single shot, double shot, and a blind filter for backflushing.
Bear in thoughts that this machine is fairly TALL because of the additional top of the bean hopper. At 16 inches excessive, it received’t match comfortably beneath all cabinets, particularly if you need easy accessibility to the bean hopper or water tank on the again. However, at simply 10 inches deep and 12 inches large, its footprint is sufficiently small that discovering the fitting area shouldn’t be too arduous.
Cleaning and upkeep – 4/5
Keeping the Lelit Kate up and working may be very simple. That is undoubtedly one of many benefits of a machine with just one boiler. Yes, you have to to do a bit of additional cleansing relating to the grinder, considerably when you’re altering beans usually, however this is able to be true of any grinder.
The 3-way solenoid valve is anticipated in a machine at this value vary, so I’m completely happy to see it right here. This releases extra water and stress from the group into the drip tray. As a outcome, your used coffee puck will probably be dry sufficient to simply knock into the rubbish, simplifying clean-up after every shot.
The 2.5-liter water tank is within the again, and it’s a bit finicky to fill. It lacks a deal with and has a number of tubes that you should take away. The easiest way is to make use of a water jug to fill the water tank with out eradicating it. There’s additionally no approach to gauge the water degree from the skin, which is a bit irritating. But the LCC will warn you when it’s getting low.
Keeping the inner gear in good working situation is a bit of cake. Use the blind disc to frequently backflush and swap out the water filter each six months. Brass boilers are extra vulnerable to scale build-up than stainless-steel boilers, so think about using a water softener when you stay in a area with arduous water.
Don’t Buy the Lelit Kate PL82T If…
- You have already got a grinder: If you have already got a very good espresso grinder, there’s no purpose to pay for an additional. Instead, save your cash and get the Lelit Victoria, which is almost the identical mannequin with out built-in grinding.
- You get pleasure from milky drinks: If you drink quite a lot of lattes or cappuccinos, you’ll profit from a machine that may froth milk and make espresso on the identical time. Sure, it’ll value a bit extra upfront, however you’ll admire the time saved in the long term. Try the warmth exchanger Lelit Mara espresso machine or the twin boiler Lelit Elizabeth. For one thing much more spectacular, check out the Lelit Bianca. This model permits move profiling so you’ll be able to actually optimize your espresso.
- You’re on a good finances: If you need an espresso maker with an built-in grinder however can’t justify the worth of a Lelit, try the best-selling Breville Barista Express. This fashionable machine doesn’t fairly have the consumer management or construct high quality of the Lelit Kate, however it’s nice worth at lower than half the worth.
If you’re able to dip your toes within the water of semi-automatic prosumer espresso machines, the Lelit Kate PL82T is a improbable first step. With its stainless-steel construct and 58 mm portafilter, it’s a giant step up from an equipment degree machine. It affords a good looking stability between comfort and management.
- Petrich, I.L. (2020, May 12). Coffee grinders: What’s the distinction between conical & flat burr grinders. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/05/conical-vs-flat-burr-coffee-grinders-difference/
- Ransome-Croker, L. (2015, January 5). EU guidelines power coffee machines to change off. Retrieved from https://www.which.co.uk/information/2015/01/eu-rules-force-coffee-machines-to-switch-off-391073/
- Yew, S. (2021, April 12). Aroma, physique, taste & end: A newbie’s information to tasting espresso. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2021/04/aroma-body-flavour-finish-a-beginners-guide-to-tasting-espresso/