I pulled a half pound worth of espressos using the Mazzer Mini Electronic Friday and Saturday; yesterday and today I finished the other half using the Le'Lit PL53. In terms of usability, the Mini E is the best doserless I've used; its timer doses are consistent and the large funnel routes all the grounds to a single spot. The coffee grounds from the Mini E are nearly clump free, but the PL53 is even better:
The grounds are noticeably "fluffier" than the Mini E. For the photo above, I held the portafilter straight out, pressing it against the grinder's black momentary-on button. As you can see, unlike the Mini E that drops the grounds dead center, the PL53 throws to the left. This can be corrected by carefully redistributing the grounds after the grinding is finished, or by rotating the portafilter handle while the grinder runs. Rotating the portafilter from the 9 o'clock to 6 o'clock to 3 o'clock position is standard operating procedure for me when using doser grinders, however 9-to-3 o'clock rotation is inhibited by the PL53's portafilter rest "wings". That is, because you must press against the on button with the portafilter to keep the grinder motor engaged, the practical rotation is more like 7-to-5 o'clock (*). In the end, I opted instead to stop mid-grind, jiggle the portafilter gently to topple the left-weighted pile of grounds to the right, then finished with a Stockfleths Move. The result was very
even pours again and again.
Although the tastings were not side-by-side, some general impressions did emerge; I caution you to treat these as preliminary. As noted earlier, dialing in the PL53 was easy and the extractions exhibited good striping throughout the pour. Counter Culture Coffee's Espresso Aficionado pulls rich and creamy; the crema from the Le'Lit PL53 was perceptibly lighter and greater in volume than the Mini E (sorry, I did not measure the brewing ratios). The flavor profile was also slightly different. Espressos from the PL53 were brighter and the nutty flavors transformed from black walnut to cashews. Very good espressos all around from both grinders. If these espressos were served at a barista competition, I would score them in the 3.5 to 4.0 range (explanation
(*) To simplify distribution while dosing, the PL53 may be candidate for modification similar to the Rocky Doserless switch for continuous grind. Of course that would defeat the main switch's role as a safety mechanism and void the warranty.