The Lelit Elizabeth PL92T is a compact yet powerful dual boiler espresso machine.
Lelit has gained a strong following particularly due to the popularity of the impressive Lelit Bianca and the innovative Lelit Mara.
However, the Elizabeth has largely flown under the radar. So is the Lelit Elizabeth a good espresso machine? Are there red flags to be aware of? And could it be a good option for you? Read on to find out.
Lelit Elizabeth Overview
The Lelit Elizabeth is a compact yet powerful espresso machine designed by a reputable company. The machine itself is both intuitive and pleasant to use and has much to recommend it. Some of its key features are dual boilers, an OLED screen by which the machine can be customized, a commercial grouphead, and smooth hot water flow.
Lelit Elizabeth Review
The Lelit Elizabeth reminds me of a mix of the Rancilio Silvia and the Breville Dual Boiler. It is a dual boiler but one that operates more like an appliance than an industrial feeling E61 espresso machine. It has high levels of customisation and doesn’t have the same steep learning curve that comes with some other prosumer espresso machines.
Size and Design
One of the most appealing aspects of the Lelit Elizabeth is its compact size, especially for a dual boiler. This is a shallow machine that will take up minimal space on the countertop.
Likewise it has a pleasant aesthetic to it. Fans of the more industrial or commercial look may find this a little too appliance looking. But I think it strikes a nice balance. It does still look prosumer, to my eyes at least, while fitting nicely with any kitchen decor. It is not the statement piece that an E61 would be but that may not be such a bad thing. It’s not the eyesore that some prosumer machines are.
As mentioned this is a very user friendly and intuitive machine to use. There is an on/off switch on the side of the machine, two customisable shot buttons and one hot water button on the left of the front, the OLED screen on right of the front, and then the milk wand knob on the right hand side of the machine.
Both the single and double shot buttons are really just adjustable shot buttons. Both can be set through the LCC to dictate pre infusion time and shot time. Once they are set you can simply push it once and then get onto steaming your milk.
It is also worth mentioning that the hot water tap is rather innovative and brilliant. As you may know most hot water spouts on espresso machines are a bit of a disaster, they are loud, and the water comes out in a very uneven flow. However, the Elizabeth uses a clever hack of drawing a mix of water from both the steam boiler and the brew boiler for quick and smooth flow.
The Lelit Elizabeth’s saturated brew head translates to a quick warm up time. This machine can be fully heated up in as little as 10-15 minutes (which is remarkably quick for a prosumer machine).
Another design decision that adds to enjoyability of use is the size of the drip tray. The Lelit Elizabeth has a seriously large drip tray. As such you don’t need to empty it every second coffee. But it also means there is a fair bit of space at the front of the machine. It is not cramped as some machines are and there is a large clearance between the portafilter spout and even a relatively tall cup. So there is plenty of space to fit a coffee scale or any type of cup you may prefer.
The water reservoir is relatively big at 2.5L. This can only be filled up by opening the hatch at the back of the cup holder. This may be slightly annoying for some as it can mean reaching behind cups or could be quite difficult if there are cabinets above the machine. There is no option for direct plumb in.
This espresso machine also comes with what they call a reserve mode. Basically it means you will never run out of water mid shot (although I can’t say I have ever had an issue with this, I mean it is not that hard to keep some water in a reservoir!).
The portafilter is nice and heavy and feels quality rather than cheap. It slots nicely into the commercial sized grouphead and its unique Lelit slide spout is pretty cool and apparently helps shots.
Prominent Features of the Lelit Elizabeth
Dual boiler Machine
As noted the Lelit Elizabeth is a dual boiler espresso machine which means that you can steam milk and pull a shot simultaneously. Both the brew boiler and steam boiler are fairly small at 300 and 600 ml which allows for the compact footprint. However the boilers are connected to a powerful motor and a boiler can be turned off through the LCC to direct more strength to the other.
Basically the only downside is that the small boilers mean that this machine will struggle to do multiple coffees back to back as for example in a cafe setting. It will have no problem doing a couple but doesn’t have the commercial grunt to keep pulling shots back to back.
This Lelit has two options for producing pre infusion. If the brew boiler is set above 115C the water is drawn from the steam boiler while if the brew boiler is under 115C the pump draws some from the brew boiler then stops before applying full pressure. Either way the option of pre infusion is highly helpful in producing a more even extraction and therefore more delicious coffee.
Pre infusion time can also be determined for both adjustable shot buttons depending on how long you like your pre infusion (I usually sit at around 7 seconds).
The steam wand is anti-burn meaning you can touch it without getting your fingers scalded off. It is also surprisingly powerful given the size of the boilers. It has two bar steaming pressure which is actually more powerful than many other comparable prosumer espresso machines.
Basically it has good and powerful streaming that will have no problem producing the quality microfoam needed for latte art if that happens to be your forte.
The OLED screen on the right front of the machine is called the Lelit Control Centre (LCC). This is an easy to use interface that controls the machine and its relevant settings.
Some of the things the LCC can do include:
The LCC is easy and intuitive to use for its basic operations (its more complex operations take a little more work). It is clear and easy to read and looks quite nice.
Lelit Elizabeth- In Summary
In summary the Lelit Elizabeth is a compact yet powerful dual boiler that is easy to use, produces great coffee, and has a wide range of functionality. While it is certainly at the prosumer level it has more of an appliance look and feel to it than say your typical E61.
Pricewise it sits very similar to the innovative heat exchanger Lelit Mara X. However, the programmable buttons and LCC make it far more user friendly and produce a far smoother workflow.
Due to its smaller brew boiler and steam boiler it will struggle to pull shot on shot indefinitely but will be fine for your average domestic setting. Overall, if you are looking for a compact and affordable double boiler espresso machine that doesn’t skirt on quality then the Lelit Elizabeth is a great option!