The Silvia was for me a great step versus the Krups Novo. The MiniWega is a huge step in CONSISTENCY and steam power. A great machine... till now!
Positive Product Points
Great and CONSISTENT Coffee. Strong Steam. Professional... Professional.
Negative Product Points
Aesthetics. The bakelit cover is... well... is not like stainless steel. Noise. When heatting, brewing and filling the boiler. Nothing serious, but if you are in a quiet environment, you willl hear it. The hot water outlet is controlled by an on/off switch (and not by a knob).
I decided to buy the rotary pump version and do not regreat for a second.
After plumbing it to the water line through a softener (included in the deal), I was ready to start. It takes 20-30 minutes to get to the right temperature. Non an issue at all, since it can be on 24/7 (I blew up the Silvia a couple of times.... ;)). I have it plugged to the electricity through a timer that turns it on 30 minutes before my wake up time and turns it off at night.
The internal machine construction is like the WEGA commercial units and it shall last forever. The head and the portafilter are commercial (E61) and i was amazed to find out how heavy the portafilter is (even after owning a Silvia). The steam is formidable (professional 4 holes tip) and can be applied in parallel to the coffee and/or hot water brewing. It takes 10 seconds to froth for two cappas!
Ah...I am able to get formidable single ristrettos (Almost imposible with Silvia).
I loved Silvia's finicky characteristics, which forced me to learn and master the grinding, tamping, beans freshness, temperature and cleaness factors. I enjoy to apply them and get a significantly higher consistency from the MiniWega. Excellent shots, most of the time!
This is NOT a machine for everyone, but I strongly recommend it if you are a "real" espresso fan and can afford a US$ 1000 - 1500 range.
Three Month Followup
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One Year Followup
This is a 5 Year Followup 1.- The electronic card was changed several times in 5 years 2.- The Thermostat and valves were changed several times in 5 years 3.- The Plastic has lost its shape and broke Taking in account that this machine is in my kitchen with an average of 8-12 coffee shots per day and a very careful treatment; I conclude that it is NOT a reliable machine. When getting the electronic card shutted off again last month, I made a decision. Bye Bye Wega.