Ascaso Steel Duo Professional Espresso Machine
This is the newest Ascaso espresso machine brought into the United States. One of 1st-line's business partners has thoroughly tested this machine under heavy home use, and it has been given a thumbs up!
This machine offers a 325mL brass coffee boiler for superior espresso extraction, and the there is a button on the lower front panel (hidden behind the steam wand in picture above). This button activates the thermoblock which provides instant steaming/frothing capabilities on demand and at the same time of espresso extraction.
Hence, this machine can be used in espresso only mode to save electricity. The steam boiler button can always remain on so when the power is turned on, the steam boiler will warm up with the coffee boiler. Good warm up time is approximately 15 minutes.
This espresso machine is unlike other machines with a boiler/boiler configuration or a boiler/thermoblock configuration which only have one pump. When there is only one pump, the user can only extract espresso or steam milk. These other machines can not do both at the same time because they only have the one pump which will not create enough pressure for espresso extraction when steaming at the same time. Since the Ascaso Steel Duo has two pumps, one is always devoted to espresso extraction and one is always devoted to steam production.
- NEW! Free aluminum Ascaso tamper included! $59.95 value! Dual-sided polished aluminum tamper for both 53mm and 57mm filter baskets.
- This is the semi-automatic version where the user depresses the coffee brew button to start and stop the espresso extraction.
- Steam pipe protector so one does not burn his/her fingers when touching the steam wand.
- Three way solenoid valve allows the instant removal of the portafilter handle once the coffee button is depressed to the 'off' position.
- Independent steam thermoblock with separate on/off power switch (lower panel) and the steam activation switch is on the top panel, top right.
- Independent water activation switch (lower right of top front panel) which activates a separate valve for hot water through its own water pipe.
- Slides forward for easy cleaning.
- Drip tray cover is not removable.
- Temperature gauge of coffee boiler allows you to hone in on best temperature range for your espresso coffee.
- There is a sensor to monitor low water level in the water reservoir. This helps avoid damage to the heating element in the boiler.
- S-2 Autoprime valve acts as an air release valve to remove air that may be suctioned up with the water from the reservoir.
- Frothing aid on swivel steam pipe helps in creating good froth for cappuccinos.
- Accessories Included: filter handle with dual spouts, 58mm single cup filter basket, 58mm double cup filter basket, plastic tamper (57mm), instruction manual and quick start guide.
- Approximate measurements: 10 5/8" W x 13 1/2" H (in front including bar) x 12 1/4" D (steaming can be performed from the front or the side of the machine as the steam arm swivels).
- Removable water tank: 2 liters (0.53 gallons).
- Bodywork: brushed stainless steel.
- Recommended tamper size: 58mm.
- Weight: 26.5 lbs.
- Power: 1400 Watts, 120 Volts, 60 Hertz.
- Pump Pressure: up to 16 bar (only 9 bar is needed to make espresso).
- Coffee thermostat: 100º.
- Steam thermostat 140º.
- Brass portafilter holder: 60mm.
- Warranty: One year parts and labor limited
to manufacturer's defect and provided by 1st-line Equipment, LLC.
- Made in Spain.
For use with PODS:
- Adjustable Portafilter - The green portafilter handle rotates so the pressure can be adjusted. This is the good news, but the bad news is that the handle can easily rotate when locking in the handle into the group head. We recommend marking the handle where it works best to ensure it lines up prior to the shot.
- Pod Baskets - This is the E.S.E. POD basket recommended by Ascaso, however, depending upon the pod, it may or may not work well. For instance, the pods we used started out a smooth flow for the first 1/2 ounce, then the pump started to struggle with a weaker flow with a dribble of espresso every 1-2 seconds. Results may vary.
- Printable manual can be found here.
- Ascaso parts listed here.
- The instructional manuals for Ascaso are printed for worldwide distribution and covers almost every model produced worldwide. With this in mind, there may be features, accessories, or colors available in Ascaso equipment in other countries, but not available in our models produced for the United States.
- Temperature gauge - the temperature gauge on the front of this machine should be used as a relative guide on how to make the best out of your espresso machine. Since temperature measurement is a science, a comparison with measuring water at the grouphead will definitely yield different results.
- Please note there is no rail across the top rear of the machine as shown in the picture. The reason is that it can impede the opening of the water reservoir cover.
- In the first picture below, you can see the large round brass boiler that adds to temperature stability, and the oval brass thermoblock provides continuous steam and can powered on/off independently of the coffee boiler.
- Draining the boiler and steam thermoblock for shipping: Machine should be fully heated. Keep water tank filled, but the intake hose must be placed on top of reservoir so no more water gets pumped into the machine. Place a cup under the steam wand, and depress the steam button to activate the steam and allow to operate for 2 minutes. Depress the steam button to shut off the steam. Place cup under hot water spigot, and depress the hot water switch. At 30 seconds, depress the hot water switch to shut off the hot water spigot. Immediately, depress the coffee switch and turn off after 20 seconds. Remove water from the reservoir and place back in. When shipping, it is best to make sure no loose items bounce around inside the machine's box. This machine should always be double boxed.
- The DUO uses a thermoblock to produce steam. While this is adequate for foaming milk, it generally does not have enough power to form great micro foam for Latte Art. If you are looking to do Latte Art, consider the UNO, which is a more powerful steamer.
CLICK HERE FOR LED LIGHT REPAIR INSTRUCTIONS
- Q1. Can you confirm that backflushing is possible/desirable for the Ascaso Steel Duo Professional. The unit is about two years old. I see that there is a blind portafilter listed on your site as being suitable for this model, but my owner's manual does not have instructions re backflushing. However, when I downloaded the manual currently on your web site, I noticed that a small section on backflushing has been added, and it looks like they now include a disc intended for that purpose. If backflushing with this unit is appropriate, please recommend the optimal cleaning product from your store (e.g., Ascaso Detergent).
A1. Backflushing can occur on the DUO professional because it has a 3 way solenoid valve on the grouphead. R037, which can be found on www.1st-line.NET can be purchased for backflushing. Ascaso Detergent should also be used for backflushing (but it is not a descaler).
- Q2. Also, please tell me if I should use a de-scaling product (e.g., CleanCaf) occasionally, in addition to the backflushing, and should I backflush with that product also?
A2. CleanCaf, Durgol, or Ascaso Descaler (available on www.1st-line.NET), can be used in all Ascaso machines. In the DUO models, the solution needs to be pushed through the grouphead for 30 seconds, the water spout for 30 seconds, and then the steam wand for 5 minutes. Please be very careful not to get any solution on the finish since it will get destroyed (including any clear coat finishes). In addition, it is always a good idea to run the reservoir with clean water twice through the machine, but be careful to run the pump for one minute, and let rest for two minutes before running the pump again.
- Multi-directional steam wand that has been lengthened compared to the previous Le'lit machines, with a commercial-quality single hole steam tip.
- Pre-installed PID unit.
- Contains the upgrades from the PL041QE model (dispersion screen, pod basket, etc).
The Le'lit has stepped forward as one of the best contenders for home. It's an extrememly capable espresso machine with a PID preinstalled, under the $600 mark! You simply can't find this anywhere else!
Features that customers can't pass up:
- Less than 15 (some customers report less than 10!) minute warm-up time. Faster than the Silvia!
- More constant and powerful steam than a Gaggia Classic!
- Directly connected group and boiler (known as a saturated group) providing beter temperature stability than other home models (Silvia).
- Now features a PID unit! The PID is the newest innovation from Le'lit- it allows the user to change the temperature of the coffee boiler to allow the water temp most closely perform a superior and more consistent espresso extraction.
- Fast transition to steam mode- With its optimally-sized brass boiler, it has less wait time to get to steam mode when compared to larger brass boiler machines, and the steaming performance is quite powerful for this little baby.
- You can also see the water level in the reservoir from the side of the machine - something the more expensive machines do not have. This machine is one of our favorites! Exclusively imported by 1st-line Equipment and available only at select dealers in the USA
- High polish stainless steel body rivals much more expensive machines in looks alone.
- Polished stainless steel body throughout makes this unit a show stopper in your home or office!
- NEW multi-directional steam wand, with extended length from previous PL041 versions.
- 2 thermostat system - one for steam mode, one for element safety.
- Main power switch moved to rear of machine. PID can control element power.
- PID controlled brew temperature.
- The overpressure valve (a.k.a. OPV) is now adjusted to 9-10 bar. The manufacturer does not recommend adjusting the OPV on their machines as Loctite is used to hold the adjustment screw in place.
- Heavy-duty, chromed brass filter holder with covered two spouts allows one or two cup espresso extractions - 57mm size - need a quality tamper to boot!
- The brass boiler, found only in the better machines, delivers a tremendous amount of steam power for frothing/steaming milk and unlike the aluminum/stainless steel boilers found in Gaggia machines, the brass boiler does have greater temperature stability for extracting a superior espresso.
- More importantly, the brass boiler is set directly over the grouphead (know as a saturated group)- unlike the Rancilio Silvia which has the boiler offset from the grouphead.
- Removable, large 2 liter (68 oz.) water reservoir with easy-view water level windows on the sides of the machine.
- Pump pressure rating at 15 bar - only 9 bar is need to extract espresso.
- The 3-way solenoid valve allows the operator to remove the coffee filter handle immediately after turning off the coffee switch. Dry pucks!
- Dedicated hot water switch allows hot water dispensing through open steam wand for hot chocolate, tea, and instant soup. The steam knob does need to be turned to open the steam valve.
- Holding guide on steam wand prevents finger burning when moving steam wand.
- Large cup warmer fits up to 6 espresso/demitasse cups.
- Covered dual spout portafilter diminishes water splashing when filter baskets in portafilter do not have coffee.
- Easy-pull, large ABS plastic drip tray with metal drip tray grate.
- Accessories: Instructional manual, 1-cup filter, deep 2-cup filter, pod basket, and measuring spoon.
- Measurements: 13.5" H x 8.5" W x 10.5" D (34cm H x 21cm W x 27cm D).
- Weight: 17 pounds (7.5 kilograms).
- Max Cup Height: 4.75" (just over 4.75" but under 4.8")
- Total power: 1050 watts, 110 volts only, 60Hz.
- Wattage of heating element: 1000 watts at 110 volts
- Boiler Capacity: 7.43 ounces (0.22 liters).
- Portafilter size: 57mm. 57mm dynamometric tamper also available.
- Water reservoir capacity: 68 oz (2 liters).
- Pump pressure: 15 bar.
- Made in Italy by Le 'Lit.
- Warranty in USA: 1 year parts & labor limited to manufacturer's defect provided by 1st-line Equipment, LLC; no additional paperwork to fill out.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer stated "The Le 'Lit PL041 is a slimmer 18 pounds and less expensive than the Silvia, but its espresso was nearly as impressive - probably the best value choice for a quality machine. It heated up quicker, and also gives the user the option of a frothing aid."
- Quickest warm up time for a brass boiler at ~10 minutes due to the high wattage of the heating element - we found this to be very convenient for morning warm ups, especially when in a rush!
- A good coffee bean grinder is strongly recommended to produce a better cup: Le'Lit PL53
- Cleaning: The best thing is to run CleanCaf like normal through the head as well as through the steam wand. This should be performed once a month. This is the minimum requirement for cleaning the internals of the machine.
- This is a single boiler machine. Machines in this class do not fill the internal boiler from the reservoir automatically. Since the water level drops in the boiler during steaming, you need to replenish this to avoid damage to the heating element. The only way to do this is to run water through the steam wand with the hot water switch. This does not apply when extracting espresso.
- Parts for PL041.
- Other items that customers have inquired to buy with this machine: Tamper, Backflush Insert, and Urnex Cafiza. If you back flush (recommended) using these products once a week, you do not need to remove the dispersion screen.
- Bottomless portafilter? Click here! More info on bottomless portafilters can be read here.
- This machine is pod-capable. Please note though, shots from pods will never be as good as a pod-only machine.
- Just to prevent any possible rumors, we are NOT clearing out any PL041 inventory for the PL051 model made by Le'Lit. We will not be carrying the PL051 machine as we do not like the cheaper switches placed on this machine, plus the fact that there is no three-way solenoid valve (good to have as this allows the user to immediately remove the portafilter right after turning off the coffee switch).
- RESIN WATER SOFTENER NOTE: Please note, item 4009010 - Rechargeable In-tank Water Softener does not fit into the water tank without modification. The "neck" or "lip" on the water tank must be shaved off. This is a simple modification and will allow the water softener to fit into the tank. DO NOT jam the water softener into the "neck" of the tank. It may fit in, but during removal for recharging, it will open, spilling the resin pellets into your water tank.
- (Older) Steam Valve Repair Instructions.
- Solenoid Black Box Replacement Instructions.
- Group cover removal video.