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Silvia or Breville 860XL upgrading from BAR32?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Silvia or...  
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uRabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia V3 + PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Mini
Drip: Chemex, AeroPress, Wave,...
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 2:22pm
Subject: Silvia or Breville 860XL upgrading from BAR32?
 

We currently have the DeLonghi BAR32, and after so many attempts at getting good shots, we are ready to chuck this thing off a steep cliff.

Looking at the Silvia and Breville 860XL, I am quite torn between the two. Which would be the better upgrade and why?

I notice that the Breville has a PPF, but SeattleCoffeeGear has an upgrade for $30. Also, I think the Breville may have more programmability, but the Silvia has an optional PID controller for $250 from SCG.

Your thoughts?

 
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TheSunInsideYou
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TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 2:34pm
Subject: Re: Silvia or Breville 860XL upgrading from BAR32?
 

uRabbit Said:

We currently have the DeLonghi BAR32, and after so many attempts at getting good shots, we are ready to chuck this thing off a steep cliff.

Looking at the Silvia and Breville 860XL, I am quite torn between the two. Which would be the better upgrade and why?

I notice that the Breville has a PPF, but SeattleCoffeeGear has an upgrade for $30. Also, I think the Breville may have more programmability, but the Silvia has an optional PID controller for $250 from SCG.

Your thoughts?

Posted January 25, 2013 link

I wouldn't suggest either of those. There are better machines in that price range. Anything that Breville produced before the Dual Boiler was ridden with issues that made proper extraction almost impossible. And the Sylvia makes it a chore for someone not used to it.

You can get the CC1 from SCG for $699, which is barely more than the Sylvia, and much less if you plan on adding the PID.

BUT.

You have asked a vague question and will likely get a bunch of responses asking you to clarify. How often and how many drinks per day? What kind of drinks? More milk drinks or more espresso? What features are you interested in having? What grinder are you using? Perhaps you should upgrade that first. What coffee are you using? etc...

-Dave-
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uRabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia V3 + PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Mini
Drip: Chemex, AeroPress, Wave,...
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 3:07pm
Subject: Re: Silvia or Breville 860XL upgrading from BAR32?
 

TheSunInsideYou Said:

I wouldn't suggest either of those. There are better machines in that price range. Anything that Breville produced before the Dual Boiler was ridden with issues that made proper extraction almost impossible. And the Sylvia makes it a chore for someone not used to it.

You can get the CC1 from SCG for $699, which is barely more than the Sylvia, and much less if you plan on adding the PID.

Posted January 25, 2013 link

Thanks! I hadn't seen that one. Definitely worth a look! This is exactly why I posted this. :)

BUT.

You have asked a vague question and will likely get a bunch of responses asking you to clarify. How often and how many drinks per day? What kind of drinks? More milk drinks or more espresso? What features are you interested in having? What grinder are you using? Perhaps you should upgrade that first. What coffee are you using? etc...

-Dave-

- We only prepare about ten drinks per week. Two per person each day that we have some. This is mainly due to the fact that we have been unable to get great coffee out of the machine.
- We have only been drinking cappuccinos, mainly. 1.5 oz. shot, 1/3 steam milk, 1/3 foam. Again, this is because we have not gotten great shots. We would love to reduce the amount of milk.
- As far as features go, I'm really not sure. Control is definitely up there, so the PID is up there on the list. Cup warmer would be nice, but the steaming wand can do that, I suppose, though not ideal. Non-pressurized portafilter, as this allows - again - more control. (My wife was once a barista for a small coffee shop before, and she is craving more control, so that she may learn more, as am I.) Other than that, I'm not sure. We don't know much about thermoblocks or what-have-you.
- Our grinder is a Bodum Bistro burr grinder. I am willing to modify it to get it to grind true espresso fine, but it seems to get pretty fine and powdery as-is. If we were to upgrade our espresso machine, I would want to get a Baratza Preciso or Vario as well.
- The coffee we are currently using is Doma Coffee's Mia's Organic Blend. It only takes two days to get to us. They ship the day it is roasted.

Thanks, Dave!

 
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 3:31pm
Subject: Re: Silvia or Breville 860XL upgrading from BAR32?
 

uRabbit Said:

Thanks! I hadn't seen that one. Definitely worth a look! This is exactly why I posted this. :)



- We only prepare about ten drinks per week. Two per person each day that we have some. This is mainly due to the fact that we have been unable to get great coffee out of the machine.
- We have only been drinking cappuccinos, mainly. 1.5 oz. shot, 1/3 steam milk, 1/3 foam. Again, this is because we have not gotten great shots. We would love to reduce the amount of milk.
- As far as features go, I'm really not sure. Control is definitely up there, so the PID is up there on the list. Cup warmer would be nice, but the steaming wand can do that, I suppose, though not ideal. Non-pressurized portafilter, as this allows - again - more control. (My wife was once a barista for a small coffee shop before, and she is craving more control, so that she may learn more, as am I.) Other than that, I'm not sure. We don't know much about thermoblocks or what-have-you.
- Our grinder is a Bodum Bistro burr grinder. I am willing to modify it to get it to grind true espresso fine, but it seems to get pretty fine and powdery as-is. If we were to upgrade our espresso machine, I would want to get a Baratza Preciso or Vario as well.
- The coffee we are currently using is Doma Coffee's Mia's Organic Blend. It only takes two days to get to us. They ship the day it is roasted.

Thanks, Dave!

Posted January 25, 2013 link

Well the CC1 seems like a good fit for you. It doesn't have GREAT steaming, but it's passable, for sure. You'll definitely be wanting to upgrade the grinder first, or simultaneously. You're not going to be getting great shots from anything with that grinder. But you're using good coffee, and that's most important.

Good luck!

-Dave-
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,394
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
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Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 4:11pm
Subject: Re: Silvia or Breville 860XL upgrading from BAR32?
 

Breville = "run away!"  (Perhaps the Breville DBD is an exception, but no other model is.)

The Silvia is a great, well-built, rock solid machine that is a) overpriced compared to other machines in the marketplace, but b) holds its value better than most every other machine in its class (consumer SBDU).  

uRabbit Said:

- We only prepare about ten drinks per week. Two per person each day that we have some. This is mainly due to the fact that we have been unable to get great coffee out of the machine.
- We have only been drinking cappuccinos, mainly. 1.5 oz. shot, 1/3 steam milk, 1/3 foam. Again, this is because we have not gotten great shots. We would love to reduce the amount of milk.

Posted January 25, 2013 link

So you want to move to drinking macchiatos or straight shots?

uRabbit Said:

- As far as features go, I'm really not sure. Control is definitely up there, so the PID is up there on the list. Cup warmer would be nice, but the steaming wand can do that, I suppose, though not ideal. Non-pressurized portafilter, as this allows - again - more control. (My wife was once a barista for a small coffee shop before, and she is craving more control, so that she may learn more, as am I.) Other than that, I'm not sure. We don't know much about thermoblocks or what-have-you.

Posted January 25, 2013 link

Look at the Le'Lit PL042TQE.

uRabbit Said:

- Our grinder is a Bodum Bistro burr grinder. I am willing to modify it to get it to grind true espresso fine, but it seems to get pretty fine and powdery as-is.

Posted January 25, 2013 link

You'll never get good espresso with that.  Sorry.  You'll need to upgrade, and I'd get the Baratza Vario . . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,377
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 5:10pm
Subject: Re: Silvia or Breville 860XL upgrading from BAR32?
 

Since you like making multiple milk drinks, if you get the Silvia, it is slooooow, I mean really slow making milk drinks b/c of the wait time and boiler cool down. Gaggia Classic is the same in that sense but cheaper than the Silvia at least and just as stout. The CC1 has a separate thermoblock for steaming, so you can switch from brew/steam vice versa way quicker then other single boiler dual use machines (except for the Silvano which has the same setup but an extra pump so you can brew and steam same time but it's priced way higher).  

Far as the grinder, not even remotely close to being enough unfortunately even if modded, need to step up to at least the Baratza Preciso for espresso, espresso needs fine and consistent grinds and ability of grinder to adjust to dial shots in. Baratza sells refurb versions of the Preciso and Vario to save some money as well. The Bistro will suffice for pressurized PF machines (Bar32 which was my 1st machine too) but your not getting real espresso, or as good coffee as a non-pressurized PF machine.

Don't worry too much about cup warming, even higher end machines only get the cups luke warm for the most part, some hot, but not really anything under a grand. I always pull some water out once the machine is stable (30-60min at least) which will get a cup much hotter before pulling a shot.
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uRabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia V3 + PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Mini
Drip: Chemex, AeroPress, Wave,...
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 7:30pm
Subject: Re: Silvia or Breville 860XL upgrading from BAR32?
 

Thanks so much for the advice, all. :)

The Le'lit is definitely a competitor to the CC1, especially being $100 less. Does anyone have any experience with it? Can't find any reviews.

And yes, macchiatos and straight would be awesome. :)

Also, what grinder would be recommended? Would the Virtuoso or Preciso produce true espresso?

 
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,377
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 8:58pm
Subject: Re: Silvia or Breville 860XL upgrading from BAR32?
 

Preciso, the reg Virtuoso has too wide of steps. The Le'Lit is cool... but I went with the CC1. I liked the way the built in PID is controlled, but also it has a seperate thermoblock for steaming vs the others in this class so you can switch brew/steam much faster vs the others. Iactually considered the Le'Lit but at the time everyone was out of stock.
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Iluvdabean
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Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,271
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 9:08pm
Subject: My vote Silvia
 

My first Breville experience wasn't good,in fact it was a piece of Chinese junk.

Click Here (coffeegeek.com)
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MJJ
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Joined: 2 Jan 2013
Posts: 37
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Silvia or Breville 860XL upgrading from BAR32?
 

I don't consider the Silvia slow when you brew first and steam after. I first brew the shot, then by the time I get my milk in the jug it's ready for steaming so I don't really wait. And it steams the milk quite fast, especially cappuccino quantities. Yes the crema sits for a minute but that doesn't really matter once you get the milk in.
 The Silvia is very well made and top quality craftsmanship, I really appreciate that. It is solid. If you have a little bit of barista skill you can make great coffees with it. I can't speak for how it compares to the CC1 or Le'Lit, I haven't used those machines.
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