AndyK Senior Member Joined: 21 Oct 2013 Posts: 3 Location: New Zealand Expertise: Just starting
Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013, 1:06pm Subject: Re: Please help an infidel pick the right birthday present for his wife!
Well considering that she's a Breville fan I'd look into an upgrade like the Breville BES870XL (New Barista Express) or also considering your budget the Breville BES900xl (Dual Boiler). The Barista Express is an all in one package, built in grinder, option to start simple and move into better coffee, looks pretty and will offer good micro foam. The Breville Dual boiler would really blow her away if she knows how to prepare espresso and will require a good grinder.
The Silvia.. :) I've only seen and read about the Breville's. I have owned the Silvia for over a year now and it's amazing.
Thanks, these are the sort of recommendations I was looking for. I keep hearing the Rancilio Silvia mentioned, but I read a number of reviews that say it gets rusty due to some construction flaws? Or have those been ironed out in the newest models?
I suspect that the reason she does not make coffee with the machine at home is that it, how to say this?, ... isn't very good. Nothing you buy in a department store will be much worth considering, not for someone who wants to get into espresso. For a wedding gift yep they work fine but for serious use, you need to step up to the plate, as you have done by your budget.
I know that Breville is a local manufacturer to you but, the quality leave a bit to be desired. Supposedly they are working on it and we have a band of followers but I can not recommend the company, I just can't.
That's the thing: we never bought that Breville ourselves. It was a second-hand gift (ie, my parents bought a Nespresso for themselves and gave us their old Breville). We both suspected that the machine isn't very good but because neither one of us is particularly brand/machine savvy we weren't sure if it was a case of the the machine being unreliable or if my wife just hadn't 'figured it out' properly (as opposed to the machine at her work, which she can make good coffees with a lot more reliably)
Thanks to the above comment, it's clearer thtat it's probably the former.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,533 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 Tue Oct 22, 2013, 4:42pm Subject: Re: Please help an infidel pick the right birthday present for his wife!
The only rust issues I've read about the Silvia were at the lower part of the machine front, where it holds the drip tray. I've owned 2 Silvias in the past (had two homes for a while), and neither of them rusted out. One was sold to my best friend about 5 years or more ago, and he still has it. I haven't heard him complain about rust at all. The other one is at my brother-in-laws house. I was there recently and didn't see any signs of rust. Those reports I've read about, were easily remedied by brushing off the rust and then applying a rust-inhibiting paint, such as Rustoleum.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
friendlyfoe Senior Member Joined: 14 May 2013 Posts: 122 Location: toronto Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013, 4:44pm Subject: Re: Please help an infidel pick the right birthday present for his wife!
At the moment at home we have an old Breville Café Roma, which looks pretty and is metal and everything, but she never actually uses it to make coffee - at most, to froth some milk that she has with an instant coffee, but I know she sees this as a poor substitute and she finds even the milk frother very hit and miss on this machine.
3) Though a big fan of good coffee, she doesn't drink all that much of it, and I don't drink it at all. I don't think there's a need to be able to prepare vast quantities at short notice.
5) The 'look' of the machine is important - it needs to look nice on a countertop.
So keep in mind the advice you're going to get here is from people who LOVE making espresso shots, and take joy in investing time from their day to make the perfect espresso. Does this sound like your wife? Is she going to want to spend time waiting for the machine to warm up, grinding, tamping, brewing, cleaning up etc, or would she be happier pressing a button and getting espresso?
I know when it comes to my parents my mom loves espresso but if it A) takes significant effort or B) makes anything resembling a mess she isn't the least bit interested. I'm thinking you should consider a super-automatic, run through the manuals setup once and from then on all you do is pour beans in the top and press a button. This sort of a machine will make good espresso, just not great espresso. Something to consider.
They picked up a 1500 dollar saeco for 700 dollars on sale and love it.
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