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Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Blurred lines.....  
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wbaguhn
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wbaguhn
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Posted Wed Sep 29, 2010, 7:33pm
Subject: Re: Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
 

dana_leighton Said:

I've been down the SBDU vs. HX path, and HX wins every time.

Posted September 29, 2010 link

Maybe I'm wrong, but the specs make this look like a DB with a PID controlled brew boiler and a very small steam boiler, rather than an HX or SBDU.

The particular idiosyncrasy of this design would appear to be a steam switch rather than a steam valve.  I'm sure it's usable, but it may take some getting used to for someone used to a knob.

The Silvano certainly looks interesting, and the price is attractive.

It will be nice to hear some actual reports from someone who has used one, but the machine is still quite new.
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dana_leighton
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Posted Wed Sep 29, 2010, 7:56pm
Subject: Re: Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
 

wbaguhn Said:

Maybe I'm wrong, but the specs make this look like a DB with a PID controlled brew boiler and a very small steam boiler, rather than an HX or SBDU.

Posted September 29, 2010 link

Oh yes, I see that now - The steam production is accomplished by thermoblock. The brew boiler is .7 liter, and I wonder how that translates to intra-shot temperature stability. My struggles with the SBDU machines (my PIDed Solis) is to keep the temperature up during the shot, but that's with an 8 oz boiler, about 1/3 the size of the Silviano one.

Given that information, it might be a contender in its price range, but needs some testing. Where's the CoffeeGeek Labs when we need them?

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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frcn
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Posted Wed Sep 29, 2010, 8:15pm
Subject: Re: Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
 

It sounds like a decent compromise between a SBDU and the more expensive HX machines. You get the potential for thermal stability with the dedicated brew boiler, and the separate thermoblock for steam. The theory behind the design is sound. After struggling with a Silvia for years I can say that a SBDU boiler is a pain to use, and marginally consistent even on a good day. But as others have said, the lack of reviews, and the lack of internal photos would make me hesitate.

 
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jsaliga
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Posted Thu Sep 30, 2010, 2:29am
Subject: Re: Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
 

I'm still likely to buy the Silvano despite the lack of reviews and owner feedback, just on the strength of its features.  I'll talk to Chris' Coffee Service today and make up my mind by tomorrow.  If I end up with the Silvano I'll certainly be happy to post about my experience with it, but I'm just a beginner.

--Jerome
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JGG
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Posted Thu Sep 30, 2010, 4:41am
Subject: Re: Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
 

dana_leighton Said:

Oh yes, I see that now - The steam production is accomplished by thermoblock. The brew boiler is .7 liter, and I wonder how that translates to intra-shot temperature stability. My struggles with the SBDU machines (my PIDed Solis) is to keep the temperature up during the shot, but that's with an 8 oz boiler, about 1/3 the size of the Silviano one.

Given that information, it might be a contender in its price range, but needs some testing. Where's the CoffeeGeek Labs when we need them?

Posted September 29, 2010 link

I did some brew temperature profiling on this machine back in July.  I've been pretty swamped lately and haven't summarized the data into a usable presentation.  But I can tell you that my testing showed the machine to have a very nice intrashot profile when pulling through a Scace device.  It also recovered nicely between shots.

I did not do any testing on steaming performance.

I hope to be able to get this data plotted shortly .....

Jim
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jsaliga
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jsaliga
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Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B
Posted Thu Sep 30, 2010, 5:29am
Subject: Re: Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
 

I spoke with CCS just a few minutes ago and placed an order for the Silvano and a bottomless portafilter.

--Jerome
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KatKat
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Joined: 30 Sep 2010
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Location: Philly
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Espresso: Quick Mill Silvano
Grinder: Vario
Posted Thu Sep 30, 2010, 7:40am
Subject: Re: Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
 

I am so happy this thread was started. I am also in the market for a machine/grinder.

I am upgrading from a super automatic Delonghi Magnifica 3300 and expect to get much better espresso shots (currently they are sour!) and nice micro foam (can I expect latte art quality?).

I am very tech savvy and like gadgets/gear, so the PID appeals to me beyond it's specific functionality :) techies just like measuring instruments...

The Silvano is looking VERY interesting. For a PID machine, the price is attractive and due to the fact that I drink 50/50 espresso/caps, the immediate availability of steam is a big plus. I typically make 2 drinks at the most.

I have some concern about the steam - the fact that it uses thermoblock and the fact that the machine has an on/off switch and not a faucet. I would love to get some opinions or actual experience before I make the final decision. Is microfoam/latte art a realistic expectation?
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jsaliga
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jsaliga
Joined: 27 Sep 2010
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Location: Connecticut, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Compak K10...
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Technivorm, Clever Dripper
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B
Posted Thu Sep 30, 2010, 8:12am
Subject: Re: Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
 

I asked Mary at CCS about steam.  The switch controls a soleniod valve to turn steam on and off.  I suppose one could argue that a soleniod valve is just one more part on the machine that could fail...but I wasn't deterred by that.  A manual valve can develop a leak.  I have not found any other machine in the Silvano's price class with a PID, and I am far more concerned about temperature control and the quality of the shot than I am with milk frothing.  At this price point you will very likely be required to make a compromise or two someplace, and I understand that someone else might have priorities that are different from mine.  For example, I have no aspirations to become a latte artist, even though I enjoy a latte from time to time.  

My greatest concern with milk frothing, aside from producing a fine enough milk foam, is getting the milk up to temperature.  The two stand alone milk frothers that I have used do fine enough in the frothing department as far as I'm concerned, but neither of them are able to get the milk hot enough.  With the Silvano I am not so concerned about being able to get the milk hot, and I will assume any shortcomings in the quality of the foam I produce with it reflects more on my lack of Barista skills than the capabilities of the machine itself.

--Jerome
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JohnC
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Posted Thu Sep 30, 2010, 8:38am
Subject: Re: Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
 

I'm also looking at a Silvano, as a second machine for a weekend house.  First machine is an Expobar Pulser, which has been great but which now costs almost $500 more than it did several years ago.  Questions I've got are whether it has a solenoid to release pressure from the portafilter making it easier to dump the puck and whether the lack of an E61 style group head is going to affect quality of the shot.  

I hadn't been thinking about buying a second grinder, being willing to consider grinding two days worth of coffee at home and bring it up to save the $500 or more.
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,037
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Thu Sep 30, 2010, 8:48am
Subject: Re: Blurred lines.. Silvano by Quick Mill
 

JohnC Said:

whether it has a solenoid to release pressure from the portafilter making it easier to dump the puck

Posted September 30, 2010 link

Yes. The user manual includes instructions for backflushing, and includes the statement: "Water will forcefully discharge into the drip tray, this is normal."

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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