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Recommendations for a good bargain in Singapore? (Silvia vs Simonelli Musica)
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Recommendations...  
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sgnoobie
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Jun 2011
Posts: 59
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: HMMS
Drip: v60 02
Roaster: Blue Bottle, Ritual,...
Posted Fri Jul 19, 2013, 11:24pm
Subject: Re: Recommendations for a good bargain in Singapore?
 

Josh, fellow SG coffee geek here. I've researched and pretty much exhausted every coffee store/importer in Singapore comparing both machines, beans, and service.

Here's my take (when I'm in SG, I only do pour overs, but I did consider an espresso machine here)...you have a few options.

Like some people mentioned, skip the Silvia. It'll rust like no other in Singapore and I'm not sure how the service for it will be.

If you have tons of the money and you don't mind overpaying for anything...go with Papa Pahleta for both machine and grinder. Reputable, and deal directly with the manufacturers so you know if something happens then they'll fix it for you. They have Baratza grinders and I'm sure they can get newer Rocket models for you for a price of course.

If you are just starting out, go to Takashimaya or some other department stores and get a Gaggia classic....I've seen them for 500 sgd around and you can mod the steam arm to a silvia easily. Grinder, again, go for Papa.

Another option....Vpost everything from the UK. Amazon or use a online coffee store in the UK and just vpost everything here. You obviously won't get the warranty but you'll get excellent prices.

Finally, you can do what some people have done and contact manufacturers directly. Email Baratza USA and ask for them to give you price quotes on 220v models, do the same for Rocket italy, or whoever.



Or just go for manual methods dude....you'll be happier without worrying about maintenance. It's better for the weather and so much easier on the pockets. Additionally, I've found the local beans for filter methods vastly superior to espresso blends. Not a lot of people have high-end espresso machines here outside of real coffee geeks, so a lot of blends are just geared for filter brewing.
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sgnoobie
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Jun 2011
Posts: 59
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: HMMS
Drip: v60 02
Roaster: Blue Bottle, Ritual,...
Posted Fri Jul 19, 2013, 11:28pm
Subject: Re: Recommendations for a good bargain in Singapore?
 

Sorry another point to keep in mind...My friends who have some of the higher end espresso machines say the weathering issues and water harshness here does horrible things to your machine so they end up descaling and cleaning more often than required. I don't know where you plan to use your machine, but ideally I'd use it in an a/c room to keep the humidity from rusting anything internally.

Just a thought before you jump the gun.
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Steve_C
Senior Member
Steve_C
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, AeroPress
Drip: Hario V60, Bodum Press
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Fri Jul 19, 2013, 11:46pm
Subject: Re:
 

Dear Coffeenoobie and Takeshi, thanks for pre-empting my response.  A new poster asks for help and being Singapore based, I offer some advice based on my own experience here.  I suggest two trusted sources (I know the owner/operators personally) and said poster asks why I assume he hasn't already checked them out.  As you rightly state, the 'crazy' comment was directed at myself.  I have spent in the region of S$ 12,000 on my Speedster and a further S$ 3,000 on a Versalab M3 grinder.  Nothing to do with feeling superior about my passion for coffee.  I just like to research and buy products that are designed and hand-made by passionate craftsmen; every nut and bolt oozes craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail.  I also want to buy products that are likely to last a lifetime and chose to share my journey from the Rancilio to Expobar to KVDW.  A lot of people here in Singapore seem to really like the Nespresso concept due to low cost, availability, simplicity, consistency and lack of mess.  I don't expect a newbie to jump in too deep.  Also wanted to state that my Silvia didn't rust and my Rocky was a trusted little fella (I sold him and still miss him for non-espresso drinks).  Ah well, I'm probably crazy for offering advice.  :)
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Steve_C
Senior Member
Steve_C
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, AeroPress
Drip: Hario V60, Bodum Press
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Fri Jul 19, 2013, 11:52pm
Subject: Re:
 

Singapore can be harsh on things here.  I find that as long as you both use and clean your equipment regularly, you shouldn't have too many issues.  From recollection, I have had no problems with any of my equipment, apart from a split rubber hose on my Expobar Brewtus and clogging with doserless grinders (largely due to humidity).  I brew daily and clean weekly (which can include taking the hood off my espresso machines and checking all hoses, pipes, wires, nuts and bolts).  I have owned equipment from Rancilio, Expobar, Macap, Mazzer, Kees van der Westen and Versalab.  Not one of those machines was affected by the climate here.  They normally sit in my dining area, which is very rarely air conditioned, but does have quite good circulation.
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FireBurnDread
Senior Member
FireBurnDread
Joined: 9 Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Musica
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Electronic Type...
Vac Pot: N.A.
Drip: N.A.
Roaster: N.A.
Posted Sat Jul 20, 2013, 1:02am
Subject: Re:
 

My bad Steve, probably kind of conditioned to thinking the crazy response was directed at spending $2-4 thousand on Espresso from getting those comments from the wife and family... heh... Peace :D

On the contrary, I don't feel spending $10 thousand on a great and lasting coffee machine is nuts. Everyone's entitled to their vices no? For some it may be travelling, gourmet food, automobiles etc.

I've actually managed to source a Nuova Simonelli distributor in Singapore and i'm keen on getting in touch with him.
He also distributes the MACAP, though I can't recall the model.

For my current situation, I'm really looking for something that'll last and grow with me, with sort of the best cost to quality improvement ratio (e.g. why buy a so-so Rocky DL for $600 when you can get a great Baratza Vario for $800, or an even better MACAP for $1200) At the same time, I hope to keep things affordable to a point (Maybe less that $4000 SGD)

Thanks for all your input thus far, do keep them coming :D

BTW just tried the EspressoLab's Giotto Latte (2 Ristrettos with steamed milk) and Mmmmm
The new Stranger's Reunion also got a similar drink called "Magic" and seems on par but more acidic.

Anyway, just thought it would relate to my choice of machine... I REALLY REALLY wanna make Ristrettos :-)
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Steve_C
Senior Member
Steve_C
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, AeroPress
Drip: Hario V60, Bodum Press
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Sat Jul 20, 2013, 7:24am
Subject: Re: Recommendations for a good bargain in Singapore?
 

No worries.

The only recommendation I can offer with the Macap grinders, is to search on the Internet for comments on clumping with the model you're interested in.  I bought an MD4 (doserless, electronic) on a whim and only afterwards, discovered that it had a bad reputation for clumping - particulary in humid climates.  I would also discover a lot of stale grinds hiding up inside the chute when cleaning.  I found myself wasting a lot of coffee at that time, as I'd grind 10-15 grams to clear out the chute from the previous day, before pulling my first shot of the morning.  That can work out to be expensive.  Either that, or give the first cup of the day to your wife ...

I subsequently owned a Mazzer Mini which was brilliant by comparison.  I bought mine second hand for S$ 600 (and sold it for the same price).  You might find a similar bargain if you ask around.  People do like to upgrade when they are on their coffee journey and you may get to hear of someone selling an interesting grinder second or third hand - even here in Singapore where there isn't much of a second hand market.  The Mazzers are bullet proof and seem to hold their value well.  The Vario does get good press, but doesn't appear to be as solid-built as the likes of a Mazzer's, which are absolutely bullet-proof.

A good guage of a grinder is whether you'd mind dropping it on your foot.  The Mazzer Mini and my current Versalab are deceptively heavy machines, especially when you look at the small footprint they occupy on your coffee bench.
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jowdawson
Junior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Malaysia
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 5:04am
Subject: Re: Recommendations for a good bargain in Singapore?
 

Shifted over to Asia for my new work.
I am in oil trading and i have to be travelling between Malaysia and Singapore.

The prices are definitely pricey  there.
Got my coffee machine and coffee grinder from http://www.finecoffeecompany.com at almost half the price for the the other E61 groupheads sold locally.
It's operating in Johor but sends the stock from Singapore(i think).
I got Brewtus espresso machine 2 days after payment.

Heard they are coming with Bezzera Strega, should had waited for that.
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