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Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Upgrade Rocky or...  
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 6:55pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
 

Alright looks like I'll get a vario lol

I know this isn't the right forum but what do you think of an Expobar Office Semi Automatic? I can get one for $500 and I'm wondering if it's a good upgrade from my silvia. I'm mainly looking for Temp stability and good steam since I only make lattes.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
 

Well, you're right, in that you should ask in the Espresso Machines forum, but since we're here . . .

Expobar is an interesting company.  Their various models and upgrades (I through, now, IV) of the Brewtus get a lot of love and have a strong following/clientele, but the machines "lower down" in their lineup . . . not so much.  I say this from personal experience, and I am not the only one.  

Now, are their "lesser" machines useless? hopeless? a complete waste of time and money?  No, probably not.  I'm sure some people have had success using them.  But they do suffer (or at least have suffered) from build-quality issues.  So I'd pass . . .

I know you think the Rocky is fine and your problem is with the Silvia -- no matter what the rest of us are telling you.  OK.  Fine.  It is counter-intuitive to think the (relatively inexpensive) grinder is more important than the (relatively expensive) machine . . . after all, grinders top out at (approximately) $3000 for a Mazzer Robur-E 3-phase, while espresso machines can easily exceed $10,000!  But I would urge you to take one step at a time.  Get the Baratza Vario, use it with the Silvia.  You will see a marked improvement in your espresso.  But, yes, eventually you will probably want to upgrade your machine, too.

In the meantime, read this, this, this, and this.  Take your time to truly understand what's going on.  Your espresso will definitely benefit . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 7:16pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
 

Yea I get that the grinder is more important which is why I plan on buying a new grinder first. But either way, I'll have to upgrade my silvia, whether that's now or in 6 months. I don't have a PID, so the temperature flexibility really pisses me off sometimes. I'm just looking for something that can keep it's temperature, and I figure if I pair that with a good grinder like a Vario, I'll be set for a very very long time.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 8:42pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
 

Did you read the referenced material?

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 8:47pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
 

Yes, if you're referring to the 4 M's I understand the espresso machine is the least of my concern. However I'm already upgrading my grinder, I only buy award winning beans roasted 2 days prior, and I use a gram scale and consistent tamping method to minimize personal error. The biggest variable as of right now is the damn temperature. If I do everything right, my shot can still come out sour or bitter depending on a few degrees of temp.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 9:24pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
 

shadowsnuzzy Said:

Yes, if you're referring to the 4 M's I understand the espresso machine is the least of my concern.

Posted January 14, 2013 link

a) that's not true; b) the "Four M's" is but one of some five or six things you're been provide links to.

shadowsnuzzy Said:

However I'm already upgrading my grinder . . .

Posted January 14, 2013 link

Yes.  And if you recall, I recommended -- but it's only a recommendation, mind you -- that you wait to upgrade your machine.

shadowsnuzzy Said:

I only buy award winning beans roasted 2 days prior . . .

Posted January 14, 2013 link

Uh, so -- each and every day, you get a delivery of beans (WTF does "award-winning" mean?) that are two days post-roast?

shadowsnuzzy Said:

. . . and I use a gram scale and consistent tamping method to minimize personal error. The biggest variable as of right now is the damn temperature.

Posted January 14, 2013 link

And it always will be.

You have a serious problem.  Well, at least one serious problem that can be addressed here on CoffeeGeek.  You speak of

shadowsnuzzy Said:

(Even i)f I do everything right, my shot can still come out sour or bitter depending on a few degrees of temp.

Posted January 14, 2013 link

but you also say

shadowsnuzzy Said:

I only make lattes.

Posted January 14, 2013 link

Now, presuming that you are keeping your name but not your age a secret, you are only 17, so there is a part of me that wants to urge patience.  

OTOH, there was a serious reason that I suggested you read THIS was so that you would have an understanding of the various types of machines out there, their strengths and weaknesses.  Because you are/seem to be so focused on the precise temperature -- something I am not -- I would recommend to you that EITHER keep your Silvia (SBDU) and retrofit it with a PID, OR look to buy a PID-equipped DB.  If you have an SBDU w/PID, you can maintain a (relatively) precise temperature.  If you have DB with a PID on the brew boiler, same thing.

Normally I would point out that there is no difference in the cup between an HX and a DB in terms of the quality of espresso, but in your case, I believe you'd be far happier with a DB than anything else.

Start saving.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 9:37pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
 

I skimmed some of the articles, I have finals next week but I bookmarked them and I indent to read them through soon.

I taste all my shots before adding the milk, once in  awhile a perfect espresso comes out. Syrupy, sweet, and balanced. When I add properly steamed milk, it turns into the best latte ever. But when I pull a sour or bitter shot, I can taste it through the milk and it isn't pleasant.

And award wining meaning Vivance, Klatch, Verve, Equator, ect. I freeze my beans asap, and use up every thawed package in 3 days so generally freshness isn't a problem.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,752
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013, 9:37am
Subject: Re: Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
 

Maybe you should be studying for your finals instead of which machine to upgrade to?  I have to second Jason's comments...well, at least the last 4 or 5 posts of his.  What's your rush anyways?  Before you say the water temp is the big problem in your life, why don't you at least try your new grinder before jumping to conclusions?  I mean, now that you've finally grasped the concept everyone has been trying desparately to drive into your head.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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EagleBoy
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Nov 2009
Posts: 14
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jan 16, 2013, 9:07pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
 

As fate would have it, I do have a Rocky and a BV ( Preciso - close??) and a Silvia.  The Bratza is a far better grinder than the Rocky IMHO for much less.   I mean the Rocky is great given its age, but the newer grinders far exceed it.  as for upgrading machines, got that angle covered, too.  :)  My new Brewtus iV just got unboxed.  Have pulled about a dozen shots - all near perfect or perfect.  No temp surfing etc.  I would NEVER buy a non-PID machine again.  Ever. Never ever.
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:46pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Rocky or Silvia?
 

Damn if only I had the budget for a brewtus, I'd be all over that
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