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the right machine
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > the right...  
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tonini
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Jan 2013
Posts: 33
Location: GTA, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia V3
Grinder: HG One
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 1:58pm
Subject: the right machine
 

Hello Guys,

I have followed the formula and feel I am approaching this properly. My beans are always very fresh ( a few days old) and my grinder as of now is more than capable (HG One) but my machine is where I lack ( Non PID Silvia). My silvia has been a great machine and I do not have anything against this machine. But the question for me now is, do I PID this or look at perhaps an Electra? I hear Electra has a beautiful machine that is out of this world. I realize machines out there like the R58 are incredible but much different price point. Any suggestions? Please note that I rarely make milk based drinks, this is all about a great shot.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 2:14pm
Subject: Re: the right machine
 

I own a Silvia.. I Also don't have a PID on it. I'd rather temp surf.  If your looking to improve your shot then a PID will do it.  Temp stability is the alkalies heal on the Silvia.. I have my own way of temp surfing so a PID isn't worth it for me.  

Get a PID. :)
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,317
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 4:35pm
Subject: Re: the right machine
 

SBDU (single boiler - dual use) machines like Siliva are well past their prime. Almost any of the entry-level espresso machines -- including the CC1 and Silvano -- are better steamers and will allow shots to be pulled in much quicker succession.  Spend a little more and you can bet much better quality of construction, better groups (which have a profound effect on taste) and boiler sizes which allow all sorts of flexibility a cheap SBDU like Silvia can't match.  

The best anyone can say about Silvia is that it used to be a good deal a few years ago.  If you an afford to replace yours,  replace it.  

FWIW, an Elektra T1 is only a couple of hundred bucks more expensive than a Rocket R58.  

BDL
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tonini
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Jan 2013
Posts: 33
Location: GTA, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia V3
Grinder: HG One
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 6:14pm
Subject: Re: the right machine
 

I was talking about the Electra microcasa or semi automatica. I should have been more specific. Thank you guys for the feedback!
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 6:38pm
Subject: Re: the right machine
 

The Silvia is objectively an inferior machine for the price and I wish Rancilio would stop selling them or drop them to $399 where they belong. If you want a PID, dual boiler is the way to go. Rocket makes some nice stuff but their build quality is sometimes iffy. Elektra is nice but boy do you pay for it. Have you considered the Izzo Alex Duetto or Vibiemme Domobar Super DB? I chose not to go with a DB because I was told HX machines are easier to self-service.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,317
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon Sep 30, 2013, 4:28pm
Subject: Re: the right machine
 

No matter which Elektras you meant, the T1 is still only a couple of hundred bucks more than the R58, and -- not to take anything away from the R58 -- is a helluva lot more machine.  We can get into why, if you want to ask.  

The Elektra Microcasa is a lever, and an entirely different animal than the pump machines we're talking about.  If you want a lever for home use, value performance over appearance, you should consider the Bezzerra Strega.    

The Elektra Semiautomatica is a beautiful HX, capable of pulling very good shots with the right grinder, beans and skills; but it's underpowered, cranky, and not good value from a purely performance standpoint.  It's a decent machine, but if you're buying it you're buying it for its looks.  

There are a ton of good espresso machines.  At any given price point and type, they tend to be more alike than different.  The basic rule is that while you may not always get what you pay for (there are a few stinkers), you seldom get what you don't don't pay for (there are very few stand-out bargains).  

DBs are no more difficult to home-service than HXs, except in the sense that their cases can get a little crowded.  On the other hand, the plumbing is usually a little more straightforward.  

When everything is said and done, DBs aren't any easier to temp than HXs.  They're a little more convenient to use once a particular coffee is dialed in, but the dialing in process is more cumbersome and takes longer. Dialing in (getting the right temp for a given coffee) is far more about palate than equipment.  If you don't understand what you're tasting and how to adjust for the best taste, no amount of push-button control or digital read out will help you.  

If you want a serious discussion of machines rather than "drive-by / I like this one recommendations which may or may not address your specific situation, you're going to have to narrow the field by deciding on DB vs HX vs Lever; Plumbed vs Reservoir vs Convertible; Prosumer vs Commercial; a Budget for Machine AND Grinder; etc.  

Don't let anyone kid you -- looks and touch are EXTREMELY important.  

GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER

Hope this helps,
BDL
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russel
Senior Member
russel
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 450
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Conti Princess 2grp, GS/3...
Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,...
Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Mon Sep 30, 2013, 10:01pm
Subject: Re: the right machine
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Dialing in (getting the right temp for a given coffee) is far more about palate than equipment.  If you don't understand what you're tasting and how to adjust for the best taste, no amount of push-button control or digital read out will help you.

Posted September 30, 2013 link

+1!  
I can't overstate how right this is.  Before even the 4Ms discussion.  Making good coffee is about taste, and you can't buy yourself an experienced palate, you just have to drink a lot of coffee and actually eat all those things that get listed in the flavor notes.

boar_d_laze Said:

Don't let anyone kid you -- looks and touch are EXTREMELY important.  

Posted September 30, 2013 link

I also like this.  Making coffee is about enjoying yourself and having something that feels good in your hands makes it that much better.  Give your future machine some love and upgrade those knobs and handles to shapes and materials that you look forward to touching.
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tonini
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Jan 2013
Posts: 33
Location: GTA, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia V3
Grinder: HG One
Posted Tue Oct 1, 2013, 6:11pm
Subject: Re: the right machine
 

The semiautomatica would be the prefered machine for me. I realize its a great machine and just like it was said, so many great simmilar machines out there as far as different qualities when comparing performance and longevity. I think a heat exchanger would be a great choice but I am open to double boiler as well.

Grinder is very important, that's why I went with an hg one which is absolutely incredible. Any other machines someone reccommends in semiautomatica price range?
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russel
Senior Member
russel
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 450
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Conti Princess 2grp, GS/3...
Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,...
Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Wed Oct 2, 2013, 12:27pm
Subject: Re: the right machine
 

tonini Said:

Any other machines someone reccommends in semiautomatica price range?

Posted October 1, 2013 link

Strega
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Oct 2, 2013, 2:31pm
Subject: Re: the right machine
 

Londinium 1

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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