amosher13 Senior Member Joined: 27 Nov 2012 Posts: 1 Location: Colorado Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Nov 28, 2012, 9:52am Subject: WTB: Rancilio Silvia, NS Oscar or similar entry HX machine ~$350
First off, I want to thank this community for the wealth of information I have been able to absorb over the last few days.
I am looking to purchase a starter home machine for my wife, she has been a barista in the past and is working on starting a high end coffee shop now and really wants a machine to practice at home. I considered a Gaggia Classic or a used Gaggia New Baby (and might still consider these) but believe I am looking for a used Rancilio Silvia (ideally PID'd) or Oscar for between $300 and $400. I know this might be a stretch but I figured you never know if you never ask. I would certainly consider any other quality machines in this same range. I am open to upgrading in even a year or 2 as well. I will be selecting a grinder shortly after (budget is very tight right now) and am looking at either the Baratza Encore or used/refurb Virtuoso or a used Rocky at a good price. Let me know if you have any of these or have any leads, I am scouring craigslist and ebay daily as well. Local pickup or shipping to CO, doesn't matter to me.
I'd like to add that while, of course the best quality of espresso we can afford is important, this is slightly less about our own personal enjoyment and more about having a good machine to practice on to prepare her for a nice commercial machine once she opens the shop, not sure if that changes anyone's mind about what I should be looking for or not. Thanks in advance!
Listing Details Asking / Suggested Price: 350 Seller Name: Allan Mosher Seller Location: Colorado Springs, CO Sale Type: Wanted to Buy
livin Senior Member Joined: 24 May 2005 Posts: 288 Location: Arizona Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Isomac Millinum Grinder: Mazzer Mini E Vac Pot: French Press! Drip: people drink this? Roaster: Riviera Coffee, Chandler AZ
Posted Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:13pm Subject: Re: WTB: Rancilio Silvia, NS Oscar or similar entry HX machine ~$350
Allan, I just thought I'd mention one thing since I noticed you say ... "...my wife, she has been a barista in the past and is working on starting a high end coffee shop now and really wants a machine to practice at home."
I've owned (each for several years) the Gaggia Classic, Rancillio Silvia (PID'd and non), Isomac HX (current machine), and a few others... plus I've used many other machines of varying quality/size/etc.
Using a Classic/Baby or Silvia will not provide her anything close to 'practice' that will help her at work, IMO. The machines are drastically different. IMO the lowest-end machine I'd get for practice as a professional barista would have an E61 group. It will definitely be higher than your $350 price... but then again, so will a PID'd Silvia. I'm not sure what it is but in my experience, even with all things being the same (beans, PF, tamp, temp, pressure, grind) the E61 just pulls a much different (IMO better) shot - and more like a commercial machine (though every one is different).
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 6,821 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 7:10am Subject: Re: WTB: Rancilio Silvia, NS Oscar or similar entry HX machine ~$350
I applaud your goals but your sights are set to unrealistically low. the only real way to practice for a commercial machine is with a commercial class machines. anything made for the home such as a single boiler dual use machine, isn't going to do anything for you as they are so different.
that is not to say that you cannot get good espresso from home machines you clearly can but the experience of using them is completely different and does not translate to commercial equipment.
when looking at used equipment that could possibly reach your goals my personal view is that you will need to spend no less than 1500 dollars and 2000 would be a better place to start.
I know this is not what you had in mind but that is the truth of the situation. good luck!
In real life, my name is Wayne P.
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 8:17pm Subject: Re: WTB: Rancilio Silvia, NS Oscar or similar entry HX machine ~$350
The above poster are all correct. The NS Oscar will perform well, but even a used one will cost at least $600, if it is in good shape. She can certainly get her technique in shape as far as distribution and tamp, but a commercial grinder will produce a LOT different grind than a Rocky or Virtuoso. A commercial machine will not need to be flushed like an HX Oscar. (unless it's cold)
I have to agree, your sights are set unrealistically low. Also, the GRINDER is way more important than you're making it out to be. In fact, I'd get a good grinder FIRST. BTW, why couldn't she take a course at a local GOOD cafe? They usually have periodic training classes.
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