calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 5,685 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 Wed Apr 18, 2012, 7:02pm Subject: Re: Thinking of buying Used Rancilio Silvia Concerns and Questions and advice?
Silvia can be left on all day but I would not leave it alone at any time. It does not have an auto fill feature and you need to make sure the boiler is always full. I keep a Silvia at work and when I turn it on in the morning, for the most part, it is on all day but I do not use it every day so many days it is NOT turned on at all.
With that said though, it really was not designed for that type of duty.
Any machine requires at least half an hour to warm up so I do not understand the comment about it being slow to warm up, does it take forever to get hot or are they including the time that it takes for all the internal parts to warm up too?
You do not say how much they are asking for it. New, they are over priced in today's market. The PID is something I consider pretty much mandatory on this class of machine but in other machines the PID is not as useful if at all.
Rocky is showing his age and better grinders can be had for pretty much the same price new.
For 2 or 3 cups a day Silvia is fine if not a little slow with steaming milk so making a couple drinks is not too bad but making several at a time is not going to be fun at all.
Do you have a budget? a source of FRESH coffee? Is water available and a sink to tie into or is this going to have to be a "protable" setup (pour over)? What power outlets are available, 120v, 220v, 15 amp, 20 amp?
Is your MAIN use going to be milk drinks or are you mainly going to drink straight shots?
Is this in a home or is this a office use setup?
If I had to give a price without knowing anything more and as I do own a PID modded Silvia though a little older but freshly rebuilt, I would say that in PERFECT condition with a PID on both the brew AND the steam system, $500 would be positively at the top of the price range. Rocky, with new burrs and looking perfect, I would not pay more than $150 for, there are just too many good grinders that are better to be had used starting at that price and up.
Now that I said that, if you tend to have more than just a few drinks a day and they are nearly all milk drinks, I advise, if you can afford it, a HX setup. Oscar is a GREAT starter HX machine and they can be bought used starting at $500 and it is in a whole different and MUCH better class than Silvia (do you now see why I capped Silvia at $500 in positively NEW condition?) It can be and was designed to be left on all day as it has an auto fill system and an auto shut off safety for low water conditions. It can pull shots and steam at the same time, and is made from much higher quality commercial or semi commercial parts.
Because this question is being asked, it is a clear indication that you are just starting out with anything even close to better gear.
Even though the Silvia is a solid SBDU, I don't think it's the best choice of machine for you. At 10 to 15 cups a day, including lattes (how many?) you would be better off with a HX, which allows you pull several shots at a time and to brew espresso and froth milk simultaneously. Lile Wayne said, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar is a great entry level HX machine.
... Rocky is showing his age and better grinders can be had for pretty much the same price new ...
As stated above any machine needs 30+ minutes to warm up. I'm also not sure why that's a concern if you're looking for a machine to leave on 24/7. As calblacksmith indicates, the Silvia really isn't designed for this sort of use.
The way we want to use this is to have a machine that is ready to go any time of day, some days I may make 10-15 coffees and some days two... i never know who drops in for a latte that day.
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