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Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
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orenzoor
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Location: USA, CT
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Jan 31, 2013, 9:27pm
Subject: Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
 

Hello everyone.
I am so happy that I have found this forum and this site
After about 5 years my good old Saeco espresso machine has stopped working, so it is time to get a new one.
Most of the time, the machine will be used for Cappuccino and from time to time for espresso.
So I started my survey, looking at Amazon reviews, videos and reviews at seatllecoffeegear, squidoo.com, bestespressomachineforhome.info and I must say that after a week I got lost…
The budget is less than $1000 for both espresso machine and a grinder
I prefer the semi-automatic machine, and not the super-automatic, as they may have issues with "oily" beans
Because of price the Oscar that is well recommended in this site, is irrelevant and so is the recommended dual-boiler from breville.
So here is my dilemma:
I was about to buy the breville infuser 840XL (thermocoil), which has an internal PID, that got lots of good reviews in other places, but reading the forum in this site , it seems that almost everyone here would recommend to stay away from breville – my question is why ? What is wrong with that machine? Or is it because of issues with the 800/830/860 series that have thermoblock?
On the other hand, everyone here loves the Rancilio Silvia
So I've looked at some reviews on this machine and saw some good reviews and some horrible reviews (like it is very picky about the grinder???). Every machine that I look at Amazon, gets from 1 to 5 stars, it is hard to find a machine that would get 3-5 stars.
It also seems that if I want to get the best of Silvia I need to get the PID controller as well , which will add another ~$200 to the price.
After reading all of the reviews , it seems that if I don't want to take my chances with any of the above I should get the Gaggia 14101 classic and that would give me the best value for the money .
So here is dilemma: Should I get the Breville840XL or the Silivia or should I get the Gagia classic?
Regarding the grinder: it seems that either the Breville smart grinder or the baratza virtuoso would be my choice, both ~$200, so which one would you recommend?  If the Baratza should it be the 586 or the 585 model

Bottom line: a machine + grinder together under $1000 – what would you recommend?
Thank you so much.
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ggcadc
Senior Member
ggcadc
Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 147
Location: San Diego, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: QM Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer mini E, Virtuoso,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3 cup
Drip: All of them
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jan 31, 2013, 10:16pm
Subject: Re: Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
 

if you are steaming that much, a single boiler machine will cause frustration. plain and simple. if there is room to throw in another option, the crossland cc1 tried to resolve that with a thermoblock for steaming. it has about the same reputation as the gaggia classic and the silvia, but it's a bit newer to the market. that would meet your needs, and seattlecoffeegear has a deal with the preciso that bring the total to 988, boom! solved!

yeah, that's what I would do in your situation.
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,277
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 Thu Jan 31, 2013, 10:31pm
Subject: Re: Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
 

Well the majority of the people here are serious about coffee. Although there are expensive machines and less expensive ones, there are also ones that
have no track record and have a questionable build quality. When you walk way back into the forests of Oregon where men depend on the tools they use
to bring in lumber there quality saws are what they use. The ones that you buy at Lowes wouldn't last a day in that environment. Its like that GM commercial when the word
professional grade is used. Its like the difference between a Browning over and under made in Belgium and one made in Turkey. When you come here and you ask
what two semiautomatic espresso machines  get the nod for dependable you hear Rancillio Siivia and Gaggia Classic. There is one reason and one reason only,its because there are people here who have
used them for years and years and years with pretty good success. Its not because people hate other machines. The question from new people
and its a fair one...is..In this price range what machine should I get ? Well its the answer that raises the hackles of many because they have one of the machines that
has no track record,one you have to send away if it breaks,one in which there are no standard parts available or one made in China or Taiwan.It seems to be one of the most
divisive subjects discussed around here. Yet its a worthy question .

I would suggest first reading this excellent article.

http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine

If i was going to spend my money on a machine /grinder I would go to Whole Latte Love and get the Rancillio Silvia  V3 629.00  V3 Baratza Preciso 299.99. ( NO TAX -FREE SHIPPING ) LAST TIME I LOOKED.
Very capable proven warrior with parts avaialble,a history and people who can keep it running a long long time if ever needed. The grinder is very good but
of course the Vario is better in my opinion. It doesnt matter how many tricks your dog can learn if it cant do at least one of them  all the time . ( My thought on gadgets and gimmicks)


orenzoor Said:

Hello everyone.
I am so happy that I have found this forum and this site
After about 5 years my good old Saeco espresso machine has stopped working, so it is time to get a new one.
Most of the time, the machine will be used for Cappuccino and from time to time for espresso.
So I started my survey, looking at Amazon reviews, videos and reviews at seatllecoffeegear, squidoo.com, bestespressomachineforhome.info and I must say that after a week I got lost…
The budget is less than $1000 for both espresso machine and a grinder
I prefer the semi-automatic machine, and not the super-automatic, as they may have issues with "oily" beans
Because of price the Oscar that is well recommended in this site, is irrelevant and so is the recommended dual-boiler from breville.
So here is my dilemma:
I was about to buy the breville infuser 840XL (thermocoil), which has an internal PID, that got lots of good reviews in other places, but reading the forum in this site , it seems that almost everyone here would recommend to stay away from breville – my question is why ? What is wrong with that machine? Or is it because of issues with the 800/830/860 series that have thermoblock?
On the other hand, everyone here loves the Rancilio Silvia
So I've looked at some reviews on this machine and saw some good reviews and some horrible reviews (like it is very picky about the grinder???). Every machine that I look at Amazon, gets from 1 to 5 stars, it is hard to find a machine that would get 3-5 stars.
It also seems that if I want to get the best of Silvia I need to get the PID controller as well , which will add another ~$200 to the price.
After reading all of the reviews , it seems that if I don't want to take my chances with any of the above I should get the Gaggia 14101 classic and that would give me the best value for the money .
So here is dilemma: Should I get the Breville840XL or the Silivia or should I get the Gagia classic?
Regarding the grinder: it seems that either the Breville smart grinder or the baratza virtuoso would be my choice, both ~$200, so which one would you recommend?  If the Baratza should it be the 586 or the 585 model

Bottom line: a machine + grinder together under $1000 – what would you recommend?
Thank you so much.

Posted January 31, 2013 link

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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,277
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 Thu Jan 31, 2013, 10:56pm
Subject: Re: Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
 

To say the CC1 is comparable to Silvia and Classic is true on a price/performance basis. What it doesn't have is the track record.
With PID and separate steam it has advantages. It depends on electronics though and is made in Taiwan.The CEO used to work at LaMarzocco
according to SCG...thats cool. Seems like a nice guy.


ggcadc Said:

if you are steaming that much, a single boiler machine will cause frustration. plain and simple. if there is room to throw in another option, the crossland cc1 tried to resolve that with a thermoblock for steaming. it has about the same reputation as the gaggia classic and the silvia, but it's a bit newer to the market. that would meet your needs, and seattlecoffeegear has a deal with the preciso that bring the total to 988, boom! solved!

yeah, that's what I would do in your situation.

Posted January 31, 2013 link

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ggcadc
Senior Member
ggcadc
Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 147
Location: San Diego, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: QM Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer mini E, Virtuoso,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3 cup
Drip: All of them
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 3:28pm
Subject: Re: Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
 

Iluvdabean Said:

To say the CC1 is comparable to Silvia and Classic is true on a price/performance basis. What it doesn't have is the track record.
With PID and separate steam it has advantages. It depends on electronics though and is made in Taiwan.The CEO used to work at LaMarzocco
according to SCG...thats cool. Seems like a nice guy.

Posted January 31, 2013 link

that's how I feel about baratza grinders. I agree though.
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orenzoor
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Location: USA, CT
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 9:04am
Subject: Re: Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
 

Thank you for all of your answers, so from the answers I've got it is just that there is not enough records on other machines , that one can find with Silvia and Gaggia, this is probably one of the reasons that other machines are not that popular around here
Sorry for not being able to answer earlier.
I'lll read the article about choosing an espresso machine
I've looked at the crossland CC1 V1.5 , here are my issues with this machine
  1. According to SCG it is not a true PID - but something else , but OK this is not the issue , as long as there is a precise control over the temperature.
  2. In their demo video http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/crossland-coffee-cc1 , Gail set up the brew temperature to 200F and one can briefly but clearly see that iimmediately after brewing the temperature dropped to 185F - so unless I've missed something , I dont' think that the CC1 can control temperature
  3. Crosslandcffee web-site says nothing , there is no much information about the machine , service,repairs , so I find that disturbing
  4. I don't see lots of reviews (good or bad) about the machine , so I can't make a decision

Without a PID how good is the Silvia regarding temperature control while brewing ?
If I will be willing to break my budget and take the Silvia with a PID , the fact that the boiler is turning on and off all the time, can it cause issues ?

I'll read more and return with more questions.
Who thought that I'll spend more time in choosing an espresso mahcine than the time I've spent when I bought my car :-)
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,391
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:57am
Subject: Re: Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
 

CC1 is temp stable, all pid machines will drop as water is coming in but water hitting the puck is the stable temp, when you get to the prosumer $$ type machines thats where you see some killer stability. Pry meant its not like the add on pids since there is so much you can tweak and its fully built in, and even multiple settings if you use different beans so you can switch easily, different temps, different preinfusion etc. Silvia without a pid is a pain in the arse, have to learn to temp surf otherwise temps will be too hot etc. PID makes it much better and easier/faster to use, steaming and switching if your making a couple milk based drinks though is still quite slower then the CC1 since that machine has a separate thermoblock to steam.

If you want the Silvia, I'd honestly go for the Gaggia Classic and PID it for much less, can swap the steam arm out and you'll have an just as capable and stout machine for much less $.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,022
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:29pm
Subject: Re: Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
 

Perhaps I missed it, but I did not see how many drinks at one time.  For one milk drink at a time, SBDU is fine.  Perhaps not the best, but good bang for the buck, and you mentioned a budget.  Multiple steamed drinks at a setting are more difficult.  You either make and steam one and wait for cool down, or you make 2 brews and then steam.

The Gaggia is probably as capable as the other machines that you are considering, especially if you are going to PID.  I did my own PID, so not quite the standard kit.  You might be interested in multiple brews and lack of temperature drop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sluei1-IkTw

Here is a long and possibly sleep inducing PID thread.  I add heat during the brew with the alarm function of a PID.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/571792

This new starting thread about Calling all Geeks seems to speak for Gaggia longevity.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/613797

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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JeremyR
Senior Member
JeremyR
Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Wellington
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: yes
Grinder: yes
Vac Pot: yes
Drip: occasionally
Roaster: yes
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 1:43pm
Subject: Re: Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
 

unless thermoblock technology has come a long way in the past few years I'd rather have a single boiler machine than a separate block for steaming.

I bought my Silvia 11 years ago now and she's pretty much made at least 4double shots a day since then, often left on all day.

so that's 16000+ double shots.

apart from regular backflushing, a few descales, a couple of head gaskets and one steam wand rebuild, I haven't had to do anything.

I can still buy all the parts for it if I need to, as you can for the gaggia. I imagine parts will be available in ten years from now, long after many new wonder-machines have come and gone.

I've also worked as a roaster and coffee machine tech for the last seven years and from my experience, the design and build of those two machines plus the la pavoni lever machines has made them my favourites.

I'm not saying they're the world's best machines, just that I see them as a sound investment. I could sell my Silvia today and recover 2/3 of the original purchase price.

also you don't need to pid Silvia, she can make a great espresso out of the box. the pid definitely makes it easier though and is something you could do in the future when you have spare cash.
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orenzoor
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Location: USA, CT
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 5:00pm
Subject: Re: Breville, Silvia, Gaggia - Which one should I choose
 

It's hard to make a decision
So After going over some more and more videos at SCG and other web-site it seems that as much as I liked the look of the Breville , one is paying for a taste and quality of his espresso and not for the look of the machine , so bye bye breville, you do look good... :-(
I have decided to expend my budget (my wife is not going to like it...)
So here are the two options, both are packages from SCG
Grinder : Baratza Prescio
Machine : Either the Silvia V3+PID or the crossland CC1 .
Which one should I choose ?
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