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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Cuadra II vs....  
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,829
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Fri Jul 13, 2012, 8:32am
Subject: Re: Cuadra II vs. Silvano
 

Raizon Said:

Hi Guys!  I'm new to this forum and was hoping for some opinions before I make a plunge on a new espresso machine.  I'm still kinda of a newbie at making espressos.  For the past 5 years, I've only used cheaper semi-auto machines under $300 and super-automatics.  So I thought it was time to do some upgrading and start making better espressos.  

I was pretty set on getting the Silvano machine with the Preciso grinder but then I ran across the new Cuadra II at 1st-line.  It's selling at an introductory price of $1100 which I thought is an impressive price for a HX machine.   There hasn't been much reviews or discussions on the new Cuadra II so I wondering is it worth the extra $200 for the Cuadra II over Silvano?  If I get the Cuadra, would that be overwhelming or too hard for me to use since I've only used lower priced machines?

Appreciate the help.  Thanks!

Posted July 2, 2012 link

The OP posted this way back on the 2nd of July, 11 whole days ago. Can't believe this old thread is still active...

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,499
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Jul 13, 2012, 8:59am
Subject: Re: Cuadra II vs. Silvano
 

EricBNC Said:

The OP posted this way back on the 2nd of July, 11 whole days ago. Can't believe this old thread is still active...

Posted July 13, 2012 link

I don't think the comments about old threads were particularly aimed at THIS thread OR the OP, but ya, 11 days is quite old so it is indeed a wonder it came back up at all ;<P

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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sn_85
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2011
Posts: 134
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Andreja Premium
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Jul 13, 2012, 10:48pm
Subject: Re: Cuadra II vs. Silvano
 

65coupe Said:

So posting about how much he likes the Silvano is going to somehow mean something if he decides to post it on the sales forum? and if it did this affects you how? Also please tell us what the past due date is for forum threads. If he started a bunch of new posts you would probably be on here screaming that he should use the search function.

BTW, posting in an older thread isn't spamming. Sorry to go off topic here but I just don't see what the big deal is, the guy likes his machine, let him post.

Posted July 13, 2012 link

Maybe you aren't paying enough attention.  He's been a member since April 2012 and has never bothered to post or be an active member of the forum...until he needed to sell his machine.  The For Sale/Trade rule is that you need to have a minimum of 10 posts to sell something on this forum.  His bright idea was to basically drag up threads from 2011, 2010, and one even from 2009 just to reach the 10 post count.  In each thread he basically posts a generic sentence on how he likes the Silvano.  Do you really think it's necessary for him to echo the same thing in 10 different threads that have long been dead?  It's pretty transparent what he's trying to do and that he's not doing to help others.  He's simply trying to get enough posts to dump his machine off.  

Is it against the rules, probably not.  Is it spamming?  Probably so.  I don't think the moderators had it in mind for the 10 post rule to be circumvented by having a member post random crap just to reach a post count.  I think the idea was for people to be active and engaged in the community.  It doesn't bother me much but it's called basic common courtesy.  Do you really think everyone else needs to see a wall full of Silvano threads?  I don't think so.
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Raizon
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jul 2012
Posts: 10
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Aug 15, 2012, 12:05pm
Subject: Re: Cuadra II vs. Silvano
 

Just an update.  I ended up getting the Silvano with a Preciso.  I've been playing with it for a few weeks and finding out this is much harder than I thought.

I think I went through 4 lbs of beans and have not yet made a decent tasting shot.  All my shots taste terrible

I had crazy spritzes on all my shots using naked PF.  I tried a lot of different methods to get a proper distribution but no matter what I did, I still get spritzes and overly bitter shots.
I also had to set my grinder to almost the finest setting to get a 20-25 sec double shot and still spritzing.  This was probably why I'm getting bitter shots because its so fine, but without doing so I would not get 20-25 sec double shots.

But I think I finally found fixed my spritzing issue when I calibrated my Vario.  That seemed to be the issue with spritzing.
Seems like I can grind coarser now and using the WDT method, the spritzing has stopped.

But I am still getting overly bitter/sour shots.  I have my setting now at 1 Macro down from top and at the bottom half of the Micro setting.
I use about 15 grams of coffee for double shot but I start getting blonding half way through the shot (10 secs) and that shot taste terrible if I stop it early.

Any suggestion on what I can do?
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,829
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Wed Aug 15, 2012, 4:04pm
Subject: Re: Cuadra II vs. Silvano
 

Do you use the Vario, Preciso, or both?

What is the pressure gauge reading when you are pulling the shot?

How fresh are the beans you are using?

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Aug 16, 2012, 7:56am
Subject: Re: Cuadra II vs. Silvano
 

Raizon Said:

I think I went through 4 lbs of beans and have not yet made a decent tasting shot.  All my shots taste terrible

Posted August 15, 2012 link

I got my Cuadra eight months ago. I've put around 16-20 lbs of coffee through the thing and most of my shots still taste terrible. I didn't plan on make lattes when I bought the machine, but it's hard to drink my espresso any other way.

Raizon Said:

I had crazy spritzes on all my shots using naked PF.  I tried a lot of different methods to get a proper distribution but no matter what I did, I still get spritzes and overly bitter shots.

Posted August 15, 2012 link

I gave up on my bottomless pf. I tried for several months using it exclusively but I eventually got sick of cleaning up the mess left by the fine spray of coffee everywhere. 1st-Line recently posted a video showing how to lower the pstat setting and I'm going to give that a try. For now though, I'm back using the spouted pf which I'm not crazy about because it's so hard to clean.

Raizon Said:

But I think I finally found fixed my spritzing issue when I calibrated my Vario.  That seemed to be the issue with spritzing.
Seems like I can grind coarser now and using the WDT method, the spritzing has stopped.

Posted August 15, 2012 link



I also calibrated my Vario and it didn't change anything. I tried every distribution technique I could find and I got the least messy sprays by doing no distribution at all. Tamping the mound of coffee by pushing straight down one time, no twisting or rocking, worked best for me.

It's pretty frustrating but those occasion great shots keep my trying again and again.
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Raizon
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jul 2012
Posts: 10
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 16, 2012, 9:07am
Subject: Re: Cuadra II vs. Silvano
 

EricBNC Said:

Do you use the Vario, Preciso, or both?

What is the pressure gauge reading when you are pulling the shot?

How fresh are the beans you are using?

Posted August 15, 2012 link

I have the Vario grinder.

When pulling the shot the pressure gauge reads 9 bar.

At the beginning I was using beans from Lavazza and a local roaster.  I was then realizing how fast I was burning through them and wasting good beans trying to learn how to make a good shot, I went to a cheaper alternative.  Right now, I'm using a Costco brand espresso bean.  With these beans, I made my first non-spritzing shot but still tasted terrible.
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Raizon
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jul 2012
Posts: 10
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 16, 2012, 9:22am
Subject: Re: Cuadra II vs. Silvano
 

scanfield Said:

I got my Cuadra eight months ago. I've put around 16-20 lbs of coffee through the thing and most of my shots still taste terrible. I didn't plan on make lattes when I bought the machine, but it's hard to drink my espresso any other way.

I gave up on my bottomless pf. I tried for several months using it exclusively but I eventually got sick of cleaning up the mess left by the fine spray of coffee everywhere. 1st-Line recently posted a video showing how to lower the pstat setting and I'm going to give that a try. For now though, I'm back using the spouted pf which I'm not crazy about because it's so hard to clean.

I also calibrated my Vario and it didn't change anything. I tried every distribution technique I could find and I got the least messy sprays by doing no distribution at all. Tamping the mound of coffee by pushing straight down one time, no twisting or rocking, worked best for me.

It's pretty frustrating but those occasion great shots keep my trying again and again.

Posted August 16, 2012 link

Wow...you have a lot of patience.  I probably would have given up after the 3rd month.

Let me know if lowering the pstat did anything for you.
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 683
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Faema D92/A1 Smart
Grinder: B VARIO, Krups Conic
Drip: Manual Pour-Over, Bodum...
Roaster: Redbird, Metropolis
Posted Thu Aug 16, 2012, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: Cuadra II vs. Silvano
 

Raizon Said:

With these beans, I made my first non-spritzing shot but still tasted terrible.

Posted August 16, 2012 link

Sprites are one of two things and two things only: - grind is too coarse  - Beans are stale

Even with stale beans I can still grind them fine enough to not have sprites, but then they taste horrible.... Costco beans anyone? :D

 
Load and Lock.
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,829
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Thu Aug 16, 2012, 2:32pm
Subject: Re: Cuadra II vs. Silvano
 

Raizon Said:

I have the Vario grinder.

When pulling the shot the pressure gauge reads 9 bar.

At the beginning I was using beans from Lavazza and a local roaster.  I was then realizing how fast I was burning through them and wasting good beans trying to learn how to make a good shot, I went to a cheaper alternative.  Right now, I'm using a Costco brand espresso bean.  With these beans, I made my first non-spritzing shot but still tasted terrible.

Posted August 16, 2012 link

Does your Costo roast on site? If not find decent fresh roasted beans. Next, try re-calibrating your Vario if you haven't tried already. Maybe your gauge is off a little - adjust to 8.5 bar when pulling the shot. Try only one thing at a time though - and start with fresh beans first.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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