Lelit Anna 1 gets 9 bar with a blank filter but only 4 bar with coffee

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.

#1: Post by ctrl-alt-mat »

Hi there,

I'm having an issue with my Lelit Anna 1 (PL41LEM), it reaches 9 bar with a blank filter but only 4 bar with coffee, which makes it unusable, what could be the problem?

In the attached video, you'll see eveyrhing in real time. For your information I do have a Gaggia MDF grinder set to the lowest level #1 which makes the finest grind possible and I've used 7 grams of well tampered coffee.
Thank you all for your time and support,



#2: Post by okmed »

How old is your coffee ? If your coffee is less than 2 or 3 weeks old since roasting then look at the shower screen. If some of the holes are caked up with gunk then the velocity will be higher in what remains open and be disturbing the puck. There should be some evidence of that though when you remove the potafilter.

Artisan Plus: complete coffee greens inventory management service
Sponsored by Artisan Plus
ctrl-alt-mat (original poster)

#3: Post by ctrl-alt-mat (original poster) »

Super fresh and results are the same with differents beans


#4: Post by NicoNYC »

Since you say that you are grinding as fine as your MDF will allow, and tamping well, you could try increasing the dose by a gram or 2 if you have space above the puck. Also, sometimes single baskets are tricky because of the angled sides - do you have a double basket you could try an appropriate dose in? Is the coffee fresh, and from a reputable roaster? You may be able to calibrate your grinder to go finer as well, ideally you'd be grinding on a setting that would allow you to go finer as the beans age (and as you try different beans).

Also, there's a possibility that the pressure is escaping elsewhere than through the coffee; a dented rim on your portafilter basket, a worn or stiff group gasket, etc?


#5: Post by JRising »

Okay, So the machine works fine, it's capable of maintining flow at 10 Bar. Your coffee is the likely problem.
Grind finer and/or dose more coffee into the basket. If that MDF can't be properly calibrated, use a different grinder.

Or, start from the far end... Grind too finely and dose what you expect to want, perhaps 9g in a single basket or 18 in the double, to ensure that your grounds can completely choke off the flow. Then adjust back coarser in little steps until you arrive at a good extraction (Looks good coming from the portafilter, shows a pump pressure somewhere in the 8-9 range and pours the shot in around 20 seconds). Once you're that close, just make minor adjustments according to taste.


#6: Post by Pressino »

As others have said (and to summarize in a way that makes the answer very clear)--if your machine can develop 9bar against a blind PF but not against a PF loaded with grinds, then the problem is with the coffee you packed into the PF basket. Provided the distribution and tamping are OK, the most common problem is the grind quality--either not fine or consistent enough. Even very stale coffee can be ground fine enough (on a capable grinder) to choke an espresso machine). If setting your grinder on its finest setting doesn't chokeyour machine (i.e.behave like a blind PF) then your grinder isn't grinding fine enough. I used to have an MDF. It's OK for espresso, but marginal and needs to be kept clean. The burrs could also be wearing out.

Supporter ♡

#7: Post by Nunas » replying to Pressino »

^^^This! The key to discovery is to see if you can choke your machine with the grinder on the finest setting. If you can't, then perhaps you can adjust your grinder to grind finer. The web is full of techniques as to how to do this for various grinders.

Flair Espresso: handcrafted espresso. cafe-quality shots, anytime, anywhere
Sponsored by Flair Espresso
ctrl-alt-mat (original poster)

#8: Post by ctrl-alt-mat (original poster) »

Thanks a bunch all of you coffee geeks, a pro barista came over with his grinds to confirm what you all said, my old school Gaggia MDF grinder needs to be serviced, it no longer grinds fine enough for this type of "picky-but-cool" machine :)

In the meantime, he will grind some beans for me with the proper settings he found (to fit the 18-30-30 rule) until I replace the burrs.

Again, much appreciated,




#9: Post by NicoNYC »

Take a look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50lkQiAd6pk

Looks pretty easy to recalibrate your grinder so that the entire scale is finer - cleaning out the burrs and any internal spaces that have filled with coffee can't hurt either. The Gaggia burrs aren't terribly expensive, but this may save you that expense, and most burrs have a life expectancy of 500+ lbs of coffee, maybe 10-20 years of home use?

User avatar
Team HB

#10: Post by Jeff »

I'd consider replacing the burrs if that grinder has been used most of its life. As I recall, it was a Rocky competitor 10-20 years ago. My guess is they're good for a couple hundred pounds. At two shots a day, that's around 30# a year.