JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,098 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 Fri Feb 15, 2013, 1:13pm Subject: Re: Temporarily upgrade to Gaggia or Silvia?
As a temporary "upgrade," you'll be much better served by getting a serious grinder than by side-stepping to a Gaggia Classic or Rancilio Silvia -- even though both are better than your present *$ Barista.
The Four M's of Espresso: 1) the Macinazione is the grinder, and with it, the correct grinding of the coffee beans; 2) the Miscela is the coffee beans/blend itself; 3) the Macchina is the espresso machine; and 4) the Mano is the skilled hand of the barista.
All four are important. Nothing is more important than the grinder.
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 1:44pm Subject: Re: Temporarily upgrade to Gaggia or Silvia?
I did pretty much what you're asking about a few years back. Had a Starbucks Barista, but longed for a better machine, without a whole lot of budget to get me there. I did end up getting a Le'lit (comparable to a Silvia) when they went on sale for $300, and after selling my Barista to a good friend who wanted to get a starter set up, my cost was minimal for the 3-way solenoid and stainless steel shell (I LOVE the look of stainless machines) which were the only two major differences between these two machines. Was it worth it?
In retrospect, maybe. Was I happy with the new machine on my counter? For awhile, yeah. But the reality is I really wanted an HX or DB machine, and couldn't afford it at the time. I am now looking to upgrade to just that, and since I will also need to upgrade my grinder, I do wish I had already done so, thus saving the expense now. The reality is, that upgrade really didn't do much for me. However, it did make me pleased in the short term. If I had it to do over again....I don't know. It's been four years, before I could afford the machine I really want. So, knowing that was the amount of time I'd need to deal with the barista...hmm. I would probably still have done it, lol.
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