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Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Taking A Step...  
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bcrdukes
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 93
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 w/ Auber...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Mon Oct 11, 2010, 4:46pm
Subject: Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
 

Hi folks,

I understand that Silvia owners eventually move on from their beloved machines after a certain period of time.

What were the different factors that lead you to move on to another machine, leaving the Silvia behind?  How long did you own the Silvia for?  Looking to see some discussion. :)
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MikeReilly
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 300
Location: Vancouver Island
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cimbali Junior Gaggia...
Grinder: Pharos CC45 Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Behmor, I-Roast 2, Popper
Posted Mon Oct 11, 2010, 5:14pm
Subject: Re: Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
 

Never owned a Silvia, but did own a Gaggia Espresso for a couple years before recently upgrading dramatically to a used La Cimbali Junior D.  Why did I upgrade?  Temp surfing on the Gaggia was too inexact a science, the brew pressure too high (and no adjustable OPV).  With the two main factors that a machine brings to the table out of whack, shots were generally erratic and hard to dial in.  I have been looking around for used machines for a while when this one came up.  It was easy to convince my wife to shell out a several hundred bucks for a used junior (about the price of a Silvia) when I showed her how much comparable machines cost on various web retailers sites (my wife just can't pass up a deal).  My first pour on Junior was better than any on my Gaggia (lucked out there).  Overall, though, more consistently good shots and more easily understood and controlled variables.  I think because Junior has no PID or brew temp gauge, you tend to pay more attention to your flushes.  My brother with his Brewtus II just sets the temp and figures that has it covered.  I think he should play with flushing as well to get his group up to temp.

Back to the advantages I have now compared to before: no portafilter sneezes (don't get those with Silvia either, but it was a big change for me), plumbed in means never having to fill the tank or empty the drip tray (surprising how much you appreciate it when you have it), INSANE steaming capacity (steams 2-3 times faster than gaggia), hot water on demand, better temp stability, adjustable opv, built like a freakin tank (every part of this just says "I'm built to last"), and last but not least, stainless steel.

Disadvantage: takes much longer to warm up.  20-30 mins if you watch and flush.  Gaggia was like 5 mins.  I've put it on a timer to take care of that issue (just about any cheap $20 timer will do).

SO are you actually considering an upgrade now or just interested in the discussion?
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bcrdukes
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 93
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 w/ Auber...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Mon Oct 11, 2010, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
 

^
A bit of both.  I'm interested in seeing how people have justified their upgrade and when.  I'm still new at the whole science of extracting "the perfect espresso" however, I am at a point where I am disciplined enough to learn the ins & outs of the Silvia for at least another year or so before a major upgrade.  I purchased the Silvia simply because of the vast amount of information and support on the web.  The whole premise behind my purchase of the Silvia was to be used as a learning tool and a stepping stone before moving on.   I understand that by no means this is a commercial/professional machine but I would like to learn as much as I can before I drop a larger amount of money into a bigger and better machine.  I personally saw no point in spending thousands of dollars into an expensive machine and not knowing how to even dial in the grind, dose, tamp and controlling the other variables to pull a shot.

Let's put it this way - I was prepared to spend $2000 and change for a Wega MiniNova as my first machine but was afraid that I would no longer enjoy pulling my own shots at home.  It was a matter of managing risk and taking precautionary steps to prevent a meltdown of an un-likable hobby. :)
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billherbst
Senior Member
billherbst
Joined: 6 Jul 2006
Posts: 114
Location: Florence, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Ascaso iMini
Vac Pot: Melior French Press
Drip: Melitta Cone
Roaster: Behmor 1600, Poppery II
Posted Mon Oct 11, 2010, 9:18pm
Subject: Re: Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
 

Here's my long saga:

1970s: Chemex drip ($40), Melior French Press ($65, still have it), 3 whirlybird blade grinders, Braun burr grinder ($50)
1980s: local roasters appear in Minneapolis; I begin buying artisan-roasted fresh coffee
1990s: Salton steam toy ($10 at Walgreens), using foil-packed pre-ground imported Italian coffee (from a grocery outlet)
2003: Delonghi pump machine ($30 new on eBay), I continue using preground and occasional local roasts
2005: Starbucks Barista machine ($75 used on craigslist), Capresso Infinity grinder ($75 used from Amazon),
2006: KitchenAid Proline Grinder ($100 new from Amazon), LÚLit PL041 ($235 used on eBay),
         4 Poppery I and II popcorn poppers ($20 total at Goodwill), begin ordering green beans and home roasting
2007: 2nd LÚLit PL041 with PID installed ($400 new), Vaneli's Roma doserless grinder with 50mm flat burrs ($200 new)
2008: Ascaso iMini conical burr grinder ($235 new), Behmor 1600 roaster ($225 refurbished)
2009: Expobar Brewtus II ($1399 new/refurbished)
2010: Baratza Vario ($400 new)

Since I'm not wealthy (far from it), finding good deals has been essential at every step along the way. In the early decades, I gave away most outmoded stuff as I moved up. Since 2005, all the retired "good" equipment has been sold here to other CG members.

My biggest claim to true "espresso geek" status is that I now repair my own equipment, having replaced the pump and OPV assembly and the E61 seals in the Brewtus earlier this year, with replacement of the motor in my Behmor coming up later this week.
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grumpybarista
Senior Member
grumpybarista
Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 220
Location: Detroit
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LP Pub1
Grinder: Mazzer Mini w/ doser, NS...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: French Press, aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Oct 11, 2010, 10:03pm
Subject: Re: Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
 

Silvia sure was lovely to me over the nearly three years that I've had her, and while she still chugs along, I've also gotten more exposed to other machines with heat exchangers. When I was just making myself a morning cappuccino, I never made too much fuss about the extra time it took for her to heat up to steam mode. But as I started entertaining more, and I became the local coffee "expert", it started to become more frustrating to cycle back and forth between brew and steam. And to remember to refill that tank every so often. I ran her dry on more than one occasion in the middle of making my nth cup at the moment.

I was lucky to find a great deal on a HX machine, the La Pavoni Pub1, with a plumbed in feed and drain. Now the only problem I have is that I need to install a more robust counter in the place I previously had Silvia, which was little more than a bookcase. Granted, this is a major upgrade, but I can crank out as many lattes as you require :)

If you're only making yourself a cup, or maybe two, Silvia (or similar) is a great option. Unless you get the deal I got ;)

 
Phil

www.coffeeporn.net
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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 Tue Oct 12, 2010, 1:58pm
Subject: Re: Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
 

1976:  I purchased my first espresso machine, a brand-new Pavoni Europicola EPC-8, just like this one (except that it was $299.00).  

1981:  Frustrated by my lack of consistency with the Pavoni, I gave it to a friend of mine, and acquired a Gaggia Coffee (now discontinued, it was essentially a Gaggia Classic but without the benefits of a 3-way solenoid valve).  Simultaneously, I also (gulp!) ditched my "trusty" Krups blade grinder for a Gaggia MDF, and was delighted by my new-found consistency!

1993(?):  My Gaggia Coffee died, and I replaced it with a Coffee Gaggia -- a more modern, redesigned version of essentially the exact same machine.

2006:  Gave my Gaggia machine and grinder combo to my brother-in-law, and -- after several false starts -- purchased a La Valentina full-auto.

2008:  Moved my La Val into my office, and acquired an Elektra T1 for my home.

Somewhere along the line, but within the past 5 years, I also acquired an Olympia Cafferex and an Arrarex Caravel.  

/ / / / /

Grinders?  With the La Val, I got a Mazzer Mini, but sold that and upgraded to a Cimbali Max Hybrid.  Then, I moved that to the office, along with the Nuova Simonelli MCF that I got acquired as a secondary (decaf) grinder, and got a Mahlkonig K30 Vario and a Baratza Vario to pair with the Elektra.

/ / / / /

Then, there is the Chemex, the Clever Coffee Dripper, the French Press, etc., etc.

Cheers,
Jason

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


Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 72
Location: Winnipeg
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus 3
Grinder: Vario
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Bodum French Press
Roaster: Leaving that to the pros
Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010, 4:55pm
Subject: Re: Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
 

Had a Silvia and Rocky combo for a little over a year. Machine was good but the temperature surf water dance and the steam surf to get decent steam pressure as we mainly drink latte's and cappuccino's became tiresome quickly.

Moved on to an Expobar Brewtus 3 and Baratza Vario, better temperature consistency, steam power is better and you can steam and pull shots at the same time. Love the machine and the grinder and I have no desire to upgrade to anything else. The machine does everything that I need and more, only downfall is that it takes 45-60 mins to warm up.
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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 Wed Oct 13, 2010, 8:37am
Subject: Re: Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
 

kevlar Said:

. . .  only downfall is that it takes 45-60 mins to warm up.

Posted October 12, 2010 link

Quickly overcome by the purchase of a timer from your local hardware store.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 935
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010, 11:07am
Subject: Re: Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
 

bcrdukes Said:

I understand that Silvia owners eventually move on from their beloved machines after a certain period of time.

What were the different factors that lead you to move on to another machine, leaving the Silvia behind?  How long did you own the Silvia for?  Looking to see some discussion. :)

Posted October 11, 2010 link

Some do...  See profile to the left of this message.  Silvia was acquired very shortly after (and because of) joining here.

Being stuck with an SBDU and preferring lattes is my biggest reason to consider upgrading.  I'd also like a machine designed to be plumbed in.

kevlar Said:

The machine does everything that I need and more, only downfall is that it takes 45-60 mins to warm up.

Posted October 12, 2010 link

Any decent machine is going to have a long warmup time.
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grumpybarista
Senior Member
grumpybarista
Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 220
Location: Detroit
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LP Pub1
Grinder: Mazzer Mini w/ doser, NS...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: French Press, aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010, 11:31am
Subject: Re: Taking A Step Up:  Moving On From The Silvia
 

takeshi Said:

Any decent machine is going to have a long warmup time.

Posted October 13, 2010 link

Still, 45 minutes seems excessive. I have a Rancilio Epoca DE 2-group in my basement that takes about 15-20 minutes max. Biggest factor should be the wattage (this one has 2700W) and the tank (11 liters).  Looking up the Brewtus III, it uses about 1300W on two 1.7 liter boilers. I haven't personally used one but 45 minutes does seem like a long time. If it is normal, then:

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Quickly overcome by the purchase of a timer from your local hardware store.

Posted October 13, 2010 link


 
Phil

www.coffeeporn.net
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