Bwbprod Senior Member Joined: 2 Jan 2013 Posts: 2 Location: Vancouver Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Sylvia Grinder: Bezzera
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:59am Subject: Re: Lelit, rancilio or gaggia.
I bought a sylvia over 6 years ago and it has been great. We make 2-4 lattes per day. It tooknsome tweaking to find the perfect grind on our berezza grinder and to learn how to tamp the coffee just right to get the optimum crema but since then we have had consistently amazing coffee.
I bought it after posting on this forum. Great advice here. We also bought a great grinder because people here recommended the grinders too. I love the Berezza because it fits under the counter and grinds great coffee.
I don't find that the sylvia takes that long. Less than 5 minutes to heat for coffee and a couple more for steam.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,427 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2 Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,... Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:19am Subject: Re: Lelit, rancilio or gaggia.
Silvia's light goes off after about 5 minutes, but it isn't heated up at the point. There are lots of people who start using it then, but they should wait to allow it to cycle through it's light on / light off sequence at least once more (that'll put it at about 15 minutes or so). In reality, it's best if one can let it heat up at least 30 minutes, in order to achieve thermal stability (even heating throughout all components). This will enable it to make the best possible shots you are capable of.
If you can find a used one cheap (under $500, IMO) and in good shape, it'll be a good buy. You may have to upgrade the steam valve/wand assembly (less than $75 US), and you can install PID cheaper than mentioned above if you're handy with making electrical connections.
I'm not saying you should pick Silvia over the Gaggia (if found a lot cheaper than you quoted) or the LeLit. However, one word of caution on the LeLit is it uses 57mm portafilter handles and baskets, and tamper, which are much less likely to be useable in an upgrade (as most machines are 58mm). Of course, if you don't go purchase a couple extras or never upgrade, then that won't be an issue.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
BNP Senior Member Joined: 2 Jan 2013 Posts: 22 Location: Chicago Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:51am Subject: Re: Lelit, rancilio or gaggia.
Ebay offers protections (Buyer Protection) which I can vouch as being real and effective. As already written, you can find new open box unused etc items via eBay eBAy is Buyer Beware.
Watch that the item being sold is precisely the model you wish. I.e. Rancilio Sylvias can be found on eBay but often are V2 or older and the sellers' blurb may not be all that clear on first read. READ carefully the blurb the seller provides describing his article and contact the seller. A good seller will gladly reply via email. I have purchased a number of very high end items via eBay but only after researching so I know the price points.
One caution. Remember to check the shipping and tax costs of the item. The purchase prices eBay displays do not include those amounts which can add a hefty amount to the item you happily won "inexpensively" (Save $80 on purchase price but paying almost that much with taxes and shipping so your savings are less than they seem)
yeah, exactly, as long as you know ahead of time, you won't be disappointed. The real difference between v1/v2 and v3 is the articulating wand which, again, is a simple swap out for less than $75 US. if you buy a v1 or v2 take that into account, so you don't mind dropping an extra chunk of money after you get it (the older wand is perfectly useable, but there is a huge improvement in the newer, articulating, version).
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
How about none of the above? The Idrinkcoffee site has the Ascaso Steel Uno Professional w/ PID V2 for $699 and the Bezzera BZ09 Espresso Machine for $900. I know that the Bezzera is above your budget but it is a HX. If you want to remain within your budget, the Steel Uno Prof has a silvia-sized brass boiler and a pid.
MJJ Senior Member Joined: 2 Jan 2013 Posts: 37 Location: Montreal Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Rancilio Silvia PID Grinder: Baratza Vario Drip: Hario V60
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 9:40pm Subject: Re: Lelit, rancilio or gaggia.
Hi, I'm also from Montreal and bought a Silvia last year on a Boxing Day special, $660 online with free shipping and tax paid from Creative Cookware. You might still be able to find a deal this week that pays the tax, that saves a lot. Hold onto the tax money and save up another $130 and buy the Auber PID later on, direct from Auber costs $225 with pre-infusion, brew and steam temperature control. Or buy just a brew temperature control for around $150. There are good instructions in their do-it-yourself kit, you kind of need to be a little bit "handy" to install it though. I haven't tried the Gaggia or Lelit. According to websites the Lelit weighs 17 pounds, the Silvia is almost double that, which is a good thing as it implies heavier brass parts with better thermal stability. The Silvia does a very good job when you know how to use it. The build quality is very impressive and you have a tool in your hands that gives you a lot of capabilities. I've been very happy with mine. Steam power is very good and it makes good lattes and steams milk very quickly (once you've waited a minute for the steam to get to temperature). Best to let it heat up as long as possible but you can rush it by flushing some hot water through the group head and portafilter a couple times if need be to speed up the warm up. I have a friend with a Nuova Simonelli Oscar, very nice and a step up but more expensive. There is the Crossland CC1 that is a competitor too, new on the block. I've never seen or tried one but people seem to like it. Not sure how build quality compares to the Silvia but it has a pid, pre-infusion, and steam thermoblock so can steam right away without wait (powerful enough?). -Matt
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