I had a very similar setup for a couple of years in the middle of my short (about 10 year) experience with espresso. My first machine was a Silvia. I started with a Solis Maestro grinder (inadequate for espresso), graduated to a Rocky (limited, but useable), and then got my Macap M4 (comparable to Mazzer Mini). I was pretty happy with my setup, especially after I got the Macap grinder. I was always happy with the Silvia. It's very limited though, and much more expensive now. If you entertain at all, you'll be frustrated with how slowly you can serve everyone their drinks.
I agree if you can find a used Silvia in good shape, it might be worth it, especially if it has the V2/3 articulating steam wand. Otherwise, save yourself some money and get a cheaper SBDU like the Gaggia or Crossland (though I've never used either one), or spend a little more and get an HX.
The Mini is a really good grinder, but probably not worth the extra dough over the Vario and you could probably find a Mazzer SJ in great condition for less. I know one guy here recently picked up 2 SJs and 2 Mazzer Majors and he'll likely be selling them after he does a refurb. If I were in the market now, I'd wait till he's ready to sell and buy from him. All to say, if you save some money on your grinder choice (without skimping on quality), you can put the extra money into your machine.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
The silvia and mini sound like a good combo. Curious how many drinks and what type you will be serving per day. The silvia is time consuming if your serving milk drinks so beware. Myself, if i were looking for a silvia again it would be used with PID installed.($500 ballpark) Once you buy a new silvia and install a PID it is certainly not cost effective.
Symbols: = New Posts since your last visit = No New Posts since last visit = Newest post
Forum Rules: No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards. No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum. No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum. Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards. Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics. Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies. Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies. Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts. Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.