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Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Grinder...  
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LJSquishy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Spokane, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Oct 4, 2013, 11:39am
Subject: Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
 

Hi there! I've been browsing for reviews & info for a long time on which grinder will pair well with the Rancilio Silvia machine. I'll be buying the Silvia in a couple of weeks and will need a grinder right away, but I'm on a budget (of course). We are new to the "quality" espresso world. We are coming from a Mr. Coffee ECMP50 that we were mildly to moderately happy with so we are by no means experts nor do we have discerning tastes.

The grinders I'm looking at are:
-Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
-Gaggia MDF
-Rocky Doser/Doserless (maybe in the budget)
-Ascaso I-Steel Conical Burr/Flat Burr (not familiar at all with this one)

Those are the machines in my budget, and I absolutely cannot spend any more than that. It's just my husband and I in our house and we only make about 5-10 beverages per week total between both of us. We're not so worried about the taste/quality of the espresso as I'm sure anything is better than what we were using before. I can't forsee us ever really getting hardcore into espresso. We just want a few decent drinks here and there. :)

So, are any of these grinders equally fine choices to pair with the Rancilio Silvia? I think as long as one of these machines can do a consistent grind it should be fine since it will get such light use (grind 5-10 double shots per week max). I'd appreciate input on which of these would suit us best considering we are on a budget and can't swing for a Mazzer or Vario.
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EarlGray
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 2
Location: East
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Oct 4, 2013, 1:43pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
 

If you will only use the grinder for espresso, take a look at the Lelit - offered at 1st-Line equipment.

If you buy the Silvia and the Lelit at the same time, the price of the Lelit will be $194 - a pretty attractive package to my eyes and the one that I bought.

The Lelit is a perfectly competent grinder for espresso and I find it quite compatible with my Silvia. The Lelit would be somewhat awkward to use if you plan to frequently go between an espresso grind and a coarser grind for, say, drip coffee. There are a number of favorable reviews of the Lelit on this website
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LJSquishy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Spokane, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Oct 4, 2013, 2:11pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
 

EarlGray Said:

If you will only use the grinder for espresso, take a look at the Lelit - offered at 1st-Line equipment.

If you buy the Silvia and the Lelit at the same time, the price of the Lelit will be $194 - a pretty attractive package to my eyes and the one that I bought.

The Lelit is a perfectly competent grinder for espresso and I find it quite compatible with my Silvia. The Lelit would be somewhat awkward to use if you plan to frequently go between an espresso grind and a coarser grind for, say, drip coffee. There are a number of favorable reviews of the Lelit on this website

Posted October 4, 2013 link

Thank you, we will only be grinding for espresso. I'm not familiar with the Lelit so I will research it a bit. I've noticed a lot of the package deals through all of the different sites are quite attractive, saving $100+ usually so I'll definitely go the package route when I decide on a grinder. Really I'm just looking for something that will please the Silvia and will last at least a few years.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,375
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Oct 4, 2013, 2:54pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
 

Any reason your buying the Silva? It's an out of date machine you'll have to learn to temp surf which is annoying since it doesn't have a PID (which you can add but that increases the cost). There are other machines for cheaper/same price range that offer more capability and features (Le'Lit even has a cheaper PID'd machine). PID will let you set the exact temp vs temp surfing all the time. My CC1 is about the same price as a Silvia new but has a PID built in with full control of everything from temp to preinfusion and dwell time, and blows it away in performance as far as repeated shots and milk drinks (has a separate thermoblock for steaming). Just say'in, there are other better machines out there now. At one time the Silva and Rocky grinder were the go to start package years and years ago, out of date though now. Personally I'd buy a Gaggia Classic over the Silva, basically same performance for far cheaper $ (and you can mod it to put on the Silva steam wand).

Don't bother with the Rocky grinder, wide steps will leave you frustrated trying to dial in beans. I have the Preciso and like it. You can also keep on eye on Baratza's site, on Thursdays they update it with refurbs and you may snag a deal on a Vario for not much more money (Vario will kill any of the grinders you listed for taste in cup), some resellers on Ebay have an "best offer" option, you can make an offer and see what they say, people have gotten killer deals on them doing so.
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SJM
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1,719
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SAMA (2), Maximatic, Cremina...
Grinder: K-10PB, Rancilio MD-50
Vac Pot: no like
Drip: no like
Roaster: HotTop   Huky en route
Posted Fri Oct 4, 2013, 3:05pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
 

You can't do any better than the Cunill Tranquilo to pair with a Gaggia Classic, so I would guess that would also apply to the Silvia (about which I know exactly nothing).  
http://sovranastore.com/esgrin.html
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LJSquishy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Spokane, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Oct 4, 2013, 4:29pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
 

CMIN Said:

Any reason your buying the Silva? It's an out of date machine you'll have to learn to temp surf which is annoying since it doesn't have a PID (which you can add but that increases the cost). There are other machines for cheaper/same price range that offer more capability and features (Le'Lit even has a cheaper PID'd machine). PID will let you set the exact temp vs temp surfing all the time. My CC1 is about the same price as a Silvia new but has a PID built in with full control of everything from temp to preinfusion and dwell time, and blows it away in performance as far as repeated shots and milk drinks (has a separate thermoblock for steaming). Just say'in, there are other better machines out there now. At one time the Silva and Rocky grinder were the go to start package years and years ago, out of date though now. Personally I'd buy a Gaggia Classic over the Silva, basically same performance for far cheaper $ (and you can mod it to put on the Silva steam wand).

Don't bother with the Rocky grinder, wide steps will leave you frustrated trying to dial in beans. I have the Preciso and like it. You can also keep on eye on Baratza's site, on Thursdays they update it with refurbs and you may snag a deal on a Vario for not much more money (Vario will kill any of the grinders you listed for taste in cup), some resellers on Ebay have an "best offer" option, you can make an offer and see what they say, people have gotten killer deals on them doing so.

Posted October 4, 2013 link

I was planning on the Silvia because it's an old reliable workhorse with a proven track record. The CC1 doesn't have a brass boiler like the Silvia I don't think. Does that really matter? I was also drawn to the rocker switches on the Silvia vs an electronic screen or fancy buttons because it's just one more thing that can go wrong. I am also worried about the thermoblock on the CC1 for steaming...demos showed it took forever to steam milk compared side by side with the Silvia...and again, just another thing that can break. 90% of our drinks will be lattes and on weekends we'd make them simultaneously so in that sense the slow-but-steady thermoblock steaming may be nice. Maybe the CC1 would be a smarter choice since we wouldn't be installing a PID on the Silvia, I don't know. I planned to buy a Gaggia Baby Twin (has the thermoblock for steaming) but it has terrible reviews about things failing on it (the buttons, leaking, etc) after just a few months and it reminds me of the CC1 so I'm hesitant. I just didn't like the Gaggia Classic at all...just a little too basic I guess. I remember looking at the CC1 but hesitant because it's even more money (we've already increased our budget several times) when we still have to buy a grinder. Also, what about reliability of the CC1? There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of info out there on it (or places to buy one).

Unfortunately I also have to think about where I buy a machine & grinder from...I live in Washington, so buying from Seattle Coffee Gear means I have to pay sales tax which adds about $75 which is a considerable amount for us. Pretty much anywhere else is tax free for me. Whole Latte Love has great package deals (tax free, too!) but they don't sell the CC1. It makes me wonder about the quality of the CC1 if almost no one sells it. I just started looking at the Lelit machine and it looks fine, though again, not many sell it so I do worry about getting parts, etc.
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SJM
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1,719
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SAMA (2), Maximatic, Cremina...
Grinder: K-10PB, Rancilio MD-50
Vac Pot: no like
Drip: no like
Roaster: HotTop   Huky en route
Posted Fri Oct 4, 2013, 5:06pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
 

Well, I certainly am glad you decided against the Gaggia Baby Twin, but I can't understand what is less basic about a Sylvia than a Gaggia Classic.
And that's my only and last comment on your decision making.
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LJSquishy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Spokane, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Oct 4, 2013, 6:02pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
 

SJM Said:

Well, I certainly am glad you decided against the Gaggia Baby Twin, but I can't understand what is less basic about a Sylvia than a Gaggia Classic.
And that's my only and last comment on your decision making.

Posted October 4, 2013 link

Thank you for your input. I will take another look at the Gaggia Classic. It isn't as durable as the Rancilio is it? I'm certainly open to researching anything! :)
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dyno
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore The Club/Oscar
Grinder: K6 Pro/Super Mini E
Posted Fri Oct 4, 2013, 8:04pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
 

From Spokane Craigslist:

http://spokane.craigslist.org/bfs/4067733914.html

I know this Mazzer Mini is outside your desired budget but it's local and you can still negotiate.  You will hear many tell you to prioritize grinder over machine.  Owned a Silvia for a short time and it was a solid machine but wasn't exceptional in any way.  A used deal could you net you something nice at a fair price and allow room for the Mazzer.

The Preciso is a good grinder and would be my choice out of the 4 you list.  Grind quality was about on par with the Mazzer Mini but it definitely felt and sounded fragile.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,375
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Oct 5, 2013, 7:15am
Subject: Re: Grinder Suggestions for Silvia
 

LJSquishy Said:

I was planning on the Silvia because it's an old reliable workhorse with a proven track record. The CC1 doesn't have a brass boiler like the Silvia I don't think. Does that really matter? I was also drawn to the rocker switches on the Silvia vs an electronic screen or fancy buttons because it's just one more thing that can go wrong. I am also worried about the thermoblock on the CC1 for steaming...demos showed it took forever to steam milk compared side by side with the Silvia...and again, just another thing that can break. 90% of our drinks will be lattes and on weekends we'd make them simultaneously so in that sense the slow-but-steady thermoblock steaming may be nice. Maybe the CC1 would be a smarter choice since we wouldn't be installing a PID on the Silvia, I don't know. I planned to buy a Gaggia Baby Twin (has the thermoblock for steaming) but it has terrible reviews about things failing on it (the buttons, leaking, etc) after just a few months and it reminds me of the CC1 so I'm hesitant. I just didn't like the Gaggia Classic at all...just a little too basic I guess. I remember looking at the CC1 but hesitant because it's even more money (we've already increased our budget several times) when we still have to buy a grinder. Also, what about reliability of the CC1? There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of info out there on it (or places to buy one).

Unfortunately I also have to think about where I buy a machine & grinder from...I live in Washington, so buying from Seattle Coffee Gear means I have to pay sales tax which adds about $75 which is a considerable amount for us. Pretty much anywhere else is tax free for me. Whole Latte Love has great package deals (tax free, too!) but they don't sell the CC1. It makes me wonder about the quality of the CC1 if almost no one sells it. I just started looking at the Lelit machine and it looks fine, though again, not many sell it so I do worry about getting parts, etc.

Posted October 4, 2013 link

Gaggia Baby Twin is the blacksheep in the Gaggia family, so good choice avoiding it.

If you mean the SGC videos, i don't know what was up with theirs, some of the CC1 steaming they did was slow.... mine is way faster then that, and other CCQ owners said the same thing, not sure if they had the knob only turned half way or what. The Silvia is a little stronger on the steam side, but the CC1 is a nice smooth controlled steam, which makes it awesome for newbies trying to learn to steam milk right. Even then SCG did a comparo with a couple machines making lattes, and the CC1 was only like a min and a half off the pace of an h/x Oscar, the Silva, like another 7-10 minutes after. Reliability has been awesome for me and a few others I've chatted with, mines an original model as well that I added the updated parts BillC sent out to me. Some people have had some odd glitches but seems rare, for that matter people have had issues with the Silva and it's basically the same old workhorse it's been since it came out, so ya never know lol. About the boilers, yeh the CC1 is an insulated Stainless one, but it's the largest one in it's class, Silvia is like 12 oz, the CC1 is 17oz which is pretty damn big for this class and price range lol. That with the pid = great temp stability with repeated shots. Boiler material doesn't mean much to me, you have people who are worried of lead poisoning with brass boilers which is complete bs lol. As far as distributers, Bill is a smaller company and may not have the production capability to handle all the stores, and it's still kinda unknown, just like how people still buy the Rocky Grinder even though it pales for espresso vs others now but people "know" it.

ChrisCoffee I know sells the CC1. Nothing against the Silvia, it's just outdated and other machines offer more for the money now, Le'Lit even has a pid'd machine that's cheaper (the PL041TQE). You'll have to learn temp surfing on a Silvia and even then not really know what temp your at and it's not consistent like a pid, can be done, just annoyed me lol. That and the boiler cool down period, no autofill etc. If I was gonna start out with something that basic, I'd get the Classic which performs the same for a couple hundred $ less (and you can put the Silva steam wand on it for cheap).

Avoid the Rocky Grinder at all cost, you'll want to bang your head against a wall trying to dial it in. SCG for some reason is obsessed  with that grinder. You won't see it recommended for espresso on the forums or other companies even really anymore.

Check your area though like someone said above as you may snag a deal on a grinder on Craigslist etc
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