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Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
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spkrgeek
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Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Brooklyn
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Dec 19, 2005, 12:24pm
Subject: Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
 

A term abroad in Italy ruined coffee shop espresso for me.  Now, years later, I'm thinking of getting a Silvia to help bring some of that joy back.

I currently have a Capresso Infinity grinder, will this combination get me by?  I just can't spend the cash on a Rocky or the like, and the Silvia itself is aproaching my budgetary limits.

I'm happy to spend time dialing in the grind and practicing my temperature surfing.  It seems like there is a learning curve with the Silvia but people seem to get things down to a quick routine once they learn the quirks.

So, do people think that a Silvia + Infinity will get me going in the right direction, or will Miss Silvia spurn Infinity's advances and withhold her steamy loving?
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slider
Senior Member
slider
Joined: 23 May 2004
Posts: 330
Location: Moya
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless, Knee...
Vac Pot: Yama w/ Cona rod
Drip: 1 Cup Ceramic, Press
Roaster: SC/SO, iRoast1, iRoast 2
Posted Mon Dec 19, 2005, 4:31pm
Subject: Re: Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
 

I've used the Infinity grinder for drip coffee.  The least expensive grinder I would go with is the Solis Maestro Plus grinder, however you'll still be putting up $150 for it and can almost guaranty you that you'll be eyeing a better grinder it little time.  Some folks are recommending a Tanquilo (sp) grinder for I think $200.  The Infinity's step settings are too course for Silvia, as are the actual burrs for espresso.  I'd recommend waiting 'til you can afford better grinder as well, or look for used for both machines.
Good Luck :)

 
This plan is so bad it must be one of ours!
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okaychatt
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okaychatt
Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 748
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: S1 Vivaldi La Spaz
Grinder: Maximo; Rocky
Drip: FP; Melitta Clarity; Krups...
Posted Mon Dec 19, 2005, 4:43pm
Subject: Re: Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
 

spkrgeek Said:

A term abroad in Italy ruined coffee shop espresso for me.  Now, years later, I'm thinking of getting a Silvia to help bring some of that joy back.

I currently have a Capresso Infinity grinder, will this combination get me by?  I just can't spend the cash on a Rocky or the like, and the Silvia itself is aproaching my budgetary limits.

I'm happy to spend time dialing in the grind and practicing my temperature surfing.  It seems like there is a learning curve with the Silvia but people seem to get things down to a quick routine once they learn the quirks.

So, do people think that a Silvia + Infinity will get me going in the right direction, or will Miss Silvia spurn Infinity's advances and withhold her steamy loving?

Posted December 19, 2005 link

I have been very pleased with the Maximo from Vaneli's.  ~$120, stepless, quality grind, small footprint, doserless.

 
Kay
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PJK
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PJK
Joined: 21 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,314
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
Grinder: Modified Rocky, Elma side...
Vac Pot: Old Silex
Drip: Melitta BCM 4  +Some old...
Roaster: Hottop, Modified Z&D,...
Posted Mon Dec 19, 2005, 5:25pm
Subject: Re: Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
 

I got by with a Starbucks Barista (rebadged Solis 166) with my Silvia for a while.  I never could get a pull time of over 20 seconds no matter how hard I tamped.  I had done the mod where the burrs would just touch.  I can easily stall the Silvia with my Rocky.

I have never used an Infinity but I have seen them at Peet's.  I would think they are better than the Solis machines.  The burr carrier is supported at three points as opposed to only two on the Solis machines.

I would think you could get by with the Infinity but I would recomend that unless you all ready have one spend more on a grinder and accept a lesser espresso machine if necessary.  Your espresso will most likley be better and when you are ready to upgrade you will all ready have a good grinder.

Phil

spkrgeek Said:

A term abroad in Italy ruined coffee shop espresso for me.  Now, years later, I'm thinking of getting a Silvia to help bring some of that joy back.

I currently have a Capresso Infinity grinder, will this combination get me by?  I just can't spend the cash on a Rocky or the like, and the Silvia itself is aproaching my budgetary limits.

I'm happy to spend time dialing in the grind and practicing my temperature surfing.  It seems like there is a learning curve with the Silvia but people seem to get things down to a quick routine once they learn the quirks.

So, do people think that a Silvia + Infinity will get me going in the right direction, or will Miss Silvia spurn Infinity's advances and withhold her steamy loving?

Posted December 19, 2005 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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slider
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slider
Joined: 23 May 2004
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Location: Moya
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Espresso: Vetrano
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless, Knee...
Vac Pot: Yama w/ Cona rod
Drip: 1 Cup Ceramic, Press
Roaster: SC/SO, iRoast1, iRoast 2
Posted Tue Dec 20, 2005, 4:49am
Subject: Re: Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
 

I've use and still, on occasion, use the Maestro Plus grinder with the Silvia when a need for decaf arises or I'm doing an experimental blend.  So I've used both the Infinity and the Maestro.  The Maestro is a better grinder with finer steps then the Infinity.  The burrs are tighter then the Infinity and the Infinity Hopper wobbles.  However, look closer at the Cunill Tranquillo that cg's talking about in the forum, I think folks are talking about $200 for the grinder and okaychatt seems happy with her Maximo, too.

 
This plan is so bad it must be one of ours!
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spkrgeek
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Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Brooklyn
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Dec 20, 2005, 8:42am
Subject: Re: Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
 

My issue is that I currently have the grinder, which has been wonderful with my drip coffee and my weak little pump machine so far.  What I'm wondering is would the Silvia just eat this grinder up and deliver mud.  I'm more tempted to have an upgrade path of Silvia - > better grinder later, and I think the only other path would be not-as-demanding-machine - > better grinder & silvia together.  

There's no way I have enough money for bother the Silvia and a Rocky right now, so I guess I'm just questioning whether I should go for the Silvia now or wait until I could do both a silvia and a new grinder.
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slider
Senior Member
slider
Joined: 23 May 2004
Posts: 330
Location: Moya
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless, Knee...
Vac Pot: Yama w/ Cona rod
Drip: 1 Cup Ceramic, Press
Roaster: SC/SO, iRoast1, iRoast 2
Posted Tue Dec 20, 2005, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
 

Sounds like you need someone with an Infinity grinder to run some test shots.  I left my Infinity at my former employers as I got them on to good joe.  If you can wait until at least after new years, I can plan on retrieving the grinder and if it a whirl, hey, a pun :)  I've been meaning to get it for my new job, and this would give me a reason to go get it.  It sounds like either you use of Infinity with the Silvia or bust.  I'll see what I can do :)

 
This plan is so bad it must be one of ours!
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spkrgeek
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Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Brooklyn
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Dec 20, 2005, 4:46pm
Subject: Re: Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
 

That would be very cool Slider!  I wasn't planning on purchasing the Silvia until after the new year anyways.  I'd be very interested to hear the outcome of the experiment!
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slider
Senior Member
slider
Joined: 23 May 2004
Posts: 330
Location: Moya
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless, Knee...
Vac Pot: Yama w/ Cona rod
Drip: 1 Cup Ceramic, Press
Roaster: SC/SO, iRoast1, iRoast 2
Posted Sun Jan 1, 2006, 11:50am
Subject: Re: Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
 

Hi Spkrgeek,
So I've just finished running through the capresso.  My conclusion about weather or not you can use it with a Silvia is No.

Here's what I did:

All grinds were for a ~2oz using 16 grams of coffee ground at specified settings.

First I set the Infinity to the second from the left position in the "Extra Fine" range.  
Result: Grind took 30 sec.  Pulled for 25 sec. choked Silvia, got a few drops.

Second I set the Infinity to the 5th position from the left, or the first position in the "Fine" range.
Result: Grind took 27 sec. Shot pulled in 8 sec; sink shot.

Third, "extra fine" third position from the left.
Result:  Grind took 29 sec. Shot pulled in 22 seconds, good crema.  I tried this shot, it was OK, but not quite right.

Forth, "extra fine", forth position from the left.
Result: Grind took 26 seconds.  Shot pulled in 12 seconds, sink shot.

The problem is there simply is not enough positions, for example, from my limited experiment, it's clear that a greater range between the 3rd and 4th position might have yielded a proper shot, but that the machine, even if you could modify it, simple doesn't have the ability to make fine adjustments, position 3 and 4 are just one click away, yet the results for each are radically different.  Silvia will give you great shots, but she is demanding and the Infinity is just not in her league.  As you mentioned, this is about what you're able to do right now for equipment.  The third position from the left yielded a drinkable shot, but you don't buy a Silvia for drinkable and trying to hit the right grind point by trying to compensate with tamp is going to be tough with this grinder.  Look at my last attempt, the forth position from the left, the grind was faster than the fifth position from the left, I would attribute this to inconsistency in the actual grind settings, further complicating the adjusting for grind with tamp.  My advice would be the this: One, wait, save up for a better grinder and then get the silvia.  Or, two, consider a Gaggia Espresso for ~$200 and spend the remainder of your budget on a great grinder.

I agree that the Capresso is great for drip, press, and vac pot, but it's not any espresso grinder.  Should you be able to spend a little extra, I stand by the Solis Maestro Plus recommendation, and I do use it for espresso from time to time, but even there you'll have to adjust for grind by tamp from time to time, but the range is greater than the Infinity, and more often than not, the position is dead on and it's consistent.  SM is currently selling this unit for $129.  As others in this thread have also mentioned, there is the Cunill Tranquillo, however I personally know nothing about it.  I hate to discourage you from the Silvia, but as is repeated over and over again, the grinder is just as, if not more so, important than the machine.  My guess is that you'll get more consistent shots with a Gaggia and descent grinder than you would with a Silvia and "coffee" grinder.

Keep us up to date and good luck.

 
This plan is so bad it must be one of ours!
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spkrgeek
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Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Brooklyn
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Jan 3, 2006, 11:28am
Subject: Re: Newbie thinking of a Silvia, can it work with a Capresso Infinity grinder?
 

Thanks Slider, that's about as helpful a post I could have hoped for.  I really appreciate you taking the time to run this little experiment.

Well, I guess that means that I'll be waiting a while for the Silvia.  Right now my little Briel pump is putting out shots that are probably about as good as I could get with the Gaggia, and it seems to work nicely with the Infinity on the second finest "fine" setting.

I'll be waiting until I can convince the wife that it's worthwhile to get both the Silvia and a nice grinder like a Rocky or Tranquillo or something.  I'm fine with the idea of two grinders, one for drip/press and one for espresso, but she remains unconvinced!
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