NobbyR Senior Member Joined: 10 Jul 2011 Posts: 1,925 Location: Germany Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo,... Vac Pot: N/A Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe Roaster: N/A
Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 9:25am Subject: Re: which machine to buy
Which machine do you own now? What are your reasons for upgrading? What kind of coffee drinks do you prefer? How many cups per session and per day will you probably be making?
Since both machines are SBDUs that come without a PID ex factory, they are technically the same more or less. The Gaggia Classic nowadays comes with pressurized portafilters in the form of double walled filter baskets and a steam wand that is equipped with a panarello. You'll have to get regular baskets in order to brew good espresso and might want to change the steam wand to a Rancilio Silvia wand for better milk frothing ability. So you'll have to add a certain amount of money to mod the Classic. Apart from that both machines are a little bit out dated, because especially for the price of a Silvia you could get an espresso machine with more advanced features like the Crossland CC1, for example. Still, they are both nice higher end entry level machines. The Silvia probably has the better resale value.
But if you really have narrowed down your shortlist to those two machines, the best advise will be for you to take a live look at both machines at a local dealer. That will help you more than anything to make a decision, because you have to like the look and feel of a machine as well.
Apart from that, the major question is which grinder do you have or rather are you planning to get?
*** "This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee)
With that budget, the short answer is "not much." What sort of equipment do you have now?
Standard Questions: 1) What kind of drinks do you like/want to make? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's capabilities.) 2) How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at ay one time? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's ability to work continuously.) 3) How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's durability.) 4) Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pourover machine with its own reservoir? 5) Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit? 6) What is your budget for a new machine? Does that also include a grinder? If not, what is your budget for a grinder?
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,204 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 Dec 10, 2012, 7:50am Subject: Re: which machine to buy
Well, let's start from the position that the only Breville that ever gets any recommendations is the BES900XL -- and even then, some have reservations while some love it. Every other Breville had gotten a "thumbs down" around here. Then let's add to the equation than the only thing worse than your Breville is the Bodum grinder: I cannot recall seeing a single recommendation for using a Bodum grinder for espresso . . .
Don't misunderstand me. I am not suggesting you throw everything away and spend $3,000 on a whole new system. You don't need to do anything of the sort. But what I would strongly recommend is that you KEEP your Breville, and spend all the money NOT on a machine, but on a GRINDER!
A better grinder and the same machine will produce significantly better quality espresso than a better machine and the same grinder . . . .
Ruthie Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2012 Posts: 4 Location: Michigan Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 9:35am Subject: Re: which machine to buy
My husband purchased a Silvia a few years ago and it was a good enough machine for a complete novice like me to pull a decent shot on. I never did get the hang of steaming the milk just right, but admittedly only tried it a dozen times or so.
pbraido Senior Member Joined: 8 Dec 2006 Posts: 9 Location: Sault Ste MArie Ontario Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 9:44am Subject: Re: which machine to buy
Ok let's start with the grinder my bodum I notice does not grind fine coffee even at its finest setting so ok let's get a decent grinder first then go from there can you give me some recomendations and prices I don't want to spend a thousand dollars on a grinder but I do understand that cheap is not good either thanks for the help Pbraido
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