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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Where to from...  
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lethalduck
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: nz
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 6:43pm
Subject: Where to from Silvia and Rocky
 

Hi All.

I'm looking at making the next step from Silvia and Rocky.
I've had both for approximately 3 years.
Still getting great shots of course.
I'd like a machine that is a little more forgiving on my bad days.
With Silvia, I've got to be on top of my game for every shot.
A double group would be really good too.
Also something that's plum-able and that can be left on.
I'd like to get the time it takes to pull shots down.
What are next steps from here?
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,039
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 Fri Dec 28, 2012, 1:05am
Subject: Re: Where to from Silvia and Rocky
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

Looking at your current set-up, I'd say the place to start upgrading is your grinder. As far as espresso quality is concerned, you'll probably notice the biggest difference by switching to a stepless grinder. The steps of the Rancilio Rocky are pretty wide, which can make it hard to dial it in properly and also renders your set-up less forgiving, because you have to adjust your dose, when the grind doesn't.

Apart from that, before we can really give you any good advise, we need a little more information. The standard questions are:
  • What kind of coffee drinks do you prefer?
  • How many drinks, on average, will you probably be making at one time, per day and  in any given week?
  • Does your budget also include a new grinder?  If not, what is your budget for a grinder?

 
***
"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, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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lethalduck
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: nz
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 3:37am
Subject: Re: Where to from Silvia and Rocky
 

Hi.

I thought that may have been the answer, but wasn't sure.
We've predominantly been drinking flat whites and cappuccinos.
Recently I've started making macchiatos.
So it'll be a mix of a few short blacks, macchiatos, flat whites and cappuccinos.

Average session will be 2 drinks.
The kids (have a budding barista) are keen to also partake.
I've been a little standoffish with Silvia and the kids, as she can be boiled dry easily and if left on... cooked.
So I'd say 3-4 days a week would be 3 drinks at a time and 3-4 days a week would be 1-2 drinks at a time.
Then once or twice a week we have friends over, in which case we need to deliver shots reasonably quickly and hassle free.
All up, I'd say about 40 extractions a week on average.

Coffee has been an integral part of the families life since we got Silvia and Rocky.
My wife and I do quite a lot of work (study) after work, so Silvia has kept us going into the wee hours most nights.
Budget will stretch to the most important component first, then to the next step.
Budget will depend on wife buy-in.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,039
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 Fri Dec 28, 2012, 4:02am
Subject: Re: Where to from Silvia and Rocky
 

A HX machine will probably be the best choice. An entry level prosumer HX machine is the Nuova Simonelli Oscar, which sells for around NZ-$ 1,600. The more money you spend the more thermostability, steaming power and convenience you'll get. The Vibiemme Domobar Super sells for around NZ-$ 3,200, for example, but offers a commercial E61 brew group and a 2,7 liter boiler.

There's virtually no limit to how much you can spend.

 
***
"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, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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lethalduck
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: nz
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 4:56am
Subject: Re: Where to from Silvia and Rocky
 

Grinder or espresso machine first?
If grinder, which should I be looking at?

I've been looking at the Mazzer Mini for a while.
This post has made me think again about it.
Click Here (coffeesnobs.com.au)

Thanks.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,039
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 Fri Dec 28, 2012, 5:23am
Subject: Re: Where to from Silvia and Rocky
 

It advisable to upgrade the grinder first in most cases.

Again, the price range is huge: there's the Mazzer Mini E for around NZ-$ 1,500, the Ascaso i-1 for around NZ-$ 640, or the Compak K3-touch for around NZ-$750, to name a few.

 
***
"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, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,022
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:58pm
Subject: Re: Where to from Silvia and Rocky
 

this was copied from an article on Home Barista...but it's all over CG as well

The Four M's

The principle elements of making espresso are captured in four Italian words:

  1. Mano dell'operatore (hand of the operator)
  2. Macinadosatore (grinder-doser)
  3. Miscela (blend)
  4. Macchina espresso (espresso machine).

  5. difficult...to me, the most important factor...and certainly the most variable.  There's no way around it, no matter what gear you buy...you're just going to have to learn to do it right consistently.
  6. easy...spend a little money and you're got this covered without another thought
  7. easy...can you say internet? great beans from many artisan roasters delivered fresh to your door within a couple of days out of their roaster.
  8. easy...spend a little time reading and thinking and you'll decide what features you want, then buy it.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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lethalduck
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: nz
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 1:57pm
Subject: Re: Where to from Silvia and Rocky
 

Thanks emradguy.

  1. This wasn't a problem 6 years ago when I learnt and was making a lot more.
    As they say practise makes perfect. Now I only make a small few a day, sometimes only 1.
    I have to think a lot harder now, as it's no longer habit.
    Silvia is known to be unforgiving.
    Most of the time I'm still getting great shots from her, I can't say the same for other family members that just want coffee, but aren't interested in learning the how.

  2. Is all to often where things fall apart, especially if you've got 1 wired.
    I've only used a small number of grinders.
    It's easy once you have the perfect grinder. I don't.
    I think there is more to it than just spending money and getting it wrong. This is why I'm asking.
    What is the next grinder to acquire?
    A lot of people seem to have a lot of trouble with some of them.
    I think doserless is the way to go for low quantity delivery. Having stale grinds sitting in a doser is a no no.

  3. This changes every few months as the roaster changes something.
    We've been through so many different roasters.
    Find a good one, a few months later they change something, we then have to find another good one.
    This is not easy. It takes a lot of trial and error.

  4. Silvia is great, but she costs time in bleed, power on, power off, fill water tank, 30 minute wait to heat up, temp surf is essential for optimum shot (family members just can't get this).
    All things that a more expensive machine eliminates.
    These reasons along with a more forgiving nature for the imperfect barista are why we're gathering ideas from the experienced.
    Not all machines with the same feature sets are equal.
    Everything is easy when you have the answer.

emradguy:

What does your kit consist of and why are you happy / less than happy with it?

Thanks.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,022
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 3:35pm
Subject: Re: Where to from Silvia and Rocky
 

had a Silvia for many years.  used it with a Maestro, which sucked, then a Rocky, which was ok, but problematic mainly because of it's limitations in adjusting grind fineness, then got a Macap M4, which is great (though I know there are even better grinders).   My M4s are step less and produce very consistent grind particle sizes, which is why I really like them.

I upgraded from the Silvia about one year ago, primarily because I make a lot of milk drinks - often 4 at a time - and wanted something that recovered fast, had capability to plumb in and more thermal stability.  I chose a DB, the Izzo Alex Duetto II.  It's served me well.  I looked at the Izzo Pompeii pretty seriously, but just couldn't figure out where to put it in my house.  I don't change coffees often, so to have to wait 15 minutes or so to alter my group temp for a different blend is fine for me.  If I single dosed and changed coffee blends a lot, I'd rather have a HX machine.  I still like the idea of a lever machine, but probably won't have one for many years, if ever.

I just noticed your location...so maybe online artisan roasters are less available to you, than they are here in the US?

re grinders:  I didn't meant to ignore your question on that.  I got lost trying to emphasize that no machine is going to compensate for inconsistency...sorry!  Having been in your shoes...I'd set the Baratza Vario and Mazzer Mini class grinders (Compak K3 touch, Macap M4, etc) as the minimum bar for an upgrade to really notice a difference in the cup.  I don't think with any of those (given you read a lot and get other opinions) you'll go wrong, so long as you define what features are important to you and purchase along those lines. For me, it was grind particle size, build quality, size, looks and price - at the time.  Now, I'd really have to think hard about whether I'd want flat or conical burrs (though I do have my eyes set on a HG one - but as an addition, not an upgrade).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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lethalduck
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: nz
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Dec 30, 2012, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: Where to from Silvia and Rocky
 

In regards to the Vibiemme Domobar Super.
What's the difference between the manual, semi-auto, and full auto?
It looks like just the extraction timer?
There is obviously no doser right?

How often should the Rocky burs be sharpened?

I haven't seen any Izzo Alex Duetto II or Izzo Pompeii in NZ.
We have plenty of room on our coffee counter to fit something that size though.
Did a recent kitchen renovation and room for espresso machine and grinder was important obviously.
What are the benefits of a lever machine?

We normally get our beans from the super market.
Coffee roasters are coming and going all the time, so there is plenty of selection.
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