P Pat Cotter

Introducing the Lelit Elizabeth!

Jun 5, 2023 · coffee · espresso · espresso machines · reviews · videos
Introducing the Lelit Elizabeth!

We’ve been really impressed with Lelit’s lineup of espresso machines, and we’re excited to welcome another one to Seattle Coffee Gear! Let’s take a look at the Lelit Elizabeth.

The Basics

The Lelit Elizabeth is an innovative espresso machine from one of our new favorite machine producers. There’s a lot to like with this machine, but the real x-factor is its approach to boiler design. This machine is actually a dual boiler model, which is tough to find for under $2,000, especially if you want a machine with a modicum of quality. The Elizabeth offers this kind of feature without a huge footprint or price by utilizing smaller boilers than what you might find on a more expensive machine. This doesn’t end up being a problem for any normal home user, because the recovery time is still very acceptable and brew/steam performance is absolutely in line with what you’d expect in this price range. How does the machine offer strong steaming performance with a small boiler? It’s all about pressure. By running at two bar of pressure, the Elizabeth is able to output strong steam despite the small boiler. Plus, because it’s separate from the brew boiler, you can easily brew and steam simultaneously without affecting your shot performance in the slightest. It is worth mentioning, though, that there are stronger steamers out there in the price range, it’s just hard to find options that sit so well on both the steam performance and recovery axes.

Build Quality

While the Elizabeth may not have the tanklike build quality of some more expensive options, it still looks and feels both sturdy and premium. We appreciate the case design, and don’t have any concerns about failures or longevity. The PID interface (which we’ll cover more next), case, and buttons are all high quality, and the small footprint and tall cup clearance are really fantastic. If there’s one area this machine could improve on, it’s the accessories, the shot platform is a bit finicky and the plastic portafilter handle could feel nicer, but the rest of the portafilter’s unique design more than makes up for it. We love the way the portafilter rests flat, allowing for tamping without putting pressure on the spouts. It’s a design we’d like to see more manufacturers take note of.

Extra Features

The Elizabeth really shines when you look at the laundry list of extra creature comforts it includes. The aforementioned PID controller allows you to easily adjust temps, and acts as a shot timer. This would be enough to impress, but when combined with automatic backflushing programs, and early low water warnings to ensure that your shots finish before the water’s gone this machine really feels like it’s punching above its weight. Finally, there’s the hot water spout. Instead of directly pulling boiling, sputtery water from the steam boiler, this machine mixes it with cold water to ensure that the resulting water is hot enough for your americano, but still poured without spray or sputters. This is a really fantastic feature for anyone who enjoys tea or americanos, and is usually only found on very high end commercial machines.

Who’s it For?

So who is the Elizabeth for? Really anyone who is interested in being able to brew and steam at the same time, and wants to step up to a “prosumer-lite” machine. The programming options might be a bit overwhelming for a brand new user, and you might like the workflow and feel of a heat exchanger machine more, but we think the Lelit Elizabeth should be on the list for anyone shopping for an espresso machine under $2,000. Want to see this machine in action? Check out our YouTube video below!

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