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Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Rancilio silvia...  
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kanadashane
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Joined: 22 Oct 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 6:04pm
Subject: Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
 

Hi CoffeeGeeks,

Newbie Coffee Geek here, hoping for some advice!  I want to buy my wife an Espresso machine for Christmas, we've never owned one before, so we are ready to take the plunge.  Want to keep in the under $1000 range since it is our first machine.  We are definitely coffee snobs, but only make french press at home really.

After some research, we find the Rancilio Silvia v3 has great reviews.  It seems like the "ONE", but it is so commercial looking, and my wife is big on the esthetics so I was also looking at the Breville Infuser which has the new ThermaCoil technology, as opposed to the old (and apparently leaky) ThermaBlock.  

But I haven't found too many reviews on the Breville Infuser, at least not as many rave reviews as the Silvia.  We have been using a Breville Burr Grinder which works great.  Any thoughts on which model espresso machine we should choose?  And should I get a better grinder, although we are quite happy with out Breville Burr Grinder.

Please help!  Thank you all!
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
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Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 7:46pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
 

Gaggia Classic + Baratza Preciso (or Vario)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,897
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 8:33pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
 

I like the Baratza Preciso refurb for the money, or the Vario refurb (Baratza.com).  If that is not good for your location, look for a vendor with machine and grinder package deal.  I still like those grinders for the money.  Once you start with espresso, I do not think that you will be satisfied with your present grinder because lack of fine step adjustment.

I have Gaggia Classic, so some bias.  I also am biased toward a PID with SBDU machines.  Single boiler double use, both the Gaggia and Silvia are.  Auber PID, Gaggia Classic, and Preciso grinder should about use up your $1k.

You can search PID espresso if you are interested further.  You certainly do need it from day one, but it is a great help to add in soon.  

There are also PID SBDU machines available and I am sure you will hear.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,225
Location: South FL
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Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 10:09pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
 

I'd go Gaggia Class with Pid over Silvia or the Breville (love their dual boiler machine though). Or look at the Crossland CC1, already has a built in PID with full control and thermoblock for fast steaming and switching back to brew, never used a SBDU machine that's as quick recovering as this one (Silvano would be as it has dual pumps but is much more expensive). Silvia on the other hand w/o a PID has huge temp swings both directions that you'll need to learn temp surfing to try to get at least an acceptable temp range and is slow after steaming since the boiler has to cool down (same with Gaggia but doesn't take as long).

Any of these machines though will need a good grinder though, the regular Breville Conicals are good for coarse needs (Smart Grinder is passable for espresso), and would only work with low end/cheap espresso machines with pressurized portafilters (which you don't want, not the same as pulling a good espresso shot on machines listed above and crema is fake). You need a grinder that offers fine and consistent espresso grinds, and tons of adjustability to dial beans in, can't really beat the Baratza Preciso for the money (new or refurb).
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 6:08am
Subject: Re: Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Gaggia Classic + Baratza Preciso (or Vario)

Posted October 22, 2012 link

+1 for best bang for your buck.

 
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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kanadashane
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Joined: 22 Oct 2012
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Location: Vancouver
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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 9:18am
Subject: Re: Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
 

Wow that's all great information, thank you all very much.  I will check out the Gaggia Classic, I have seen great reviews on that one too.  

We will be doing cappuccino too, and with the smaller tank and faster boiling the Classic may make sense since it's a single boiler.  I saw the Silvia takes over 3 minutes to heat which seems a little long.

@CMIN, I will check out the Crossland CC1 too, thanks for the tip.

And everyone seems to like the Baratza Preciso grinders, I thought when I bought the Breville conical grinder last year it was great, never thought I would need anything better but hey, I did say I was an espresso newbie, didn't I? :-)

Thank you all for your advice, what a great resource!  I will post after Christmas with my reviews and info on the machines and grinders I look at for all to see!

Shane
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Location: PNW
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Espresso: N S Oscar
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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 12:40pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
 

The problem is that what espresso needs grind wise is more important than other styles of brewing coffee.  A grinder can be very good and not able to be a good espresso grinder.  You might want to keep your grinder for french press and get a dedicated espresso grinder.  I would get the CC1 or gaggia with a slight lean towards CC1 because of the built in PID.  The PID is something people often add to the Gaggia or Silvia.

However, just to cloud the waters, my set up was just about 1k.  I got a used NS Oscar (450 or 475 I forget) and a Vario W (550). And it was my early Christmas present last year.

 
Coffeenoobie

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

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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,225
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 12:57pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
 

kanadashane Said:

Wow that's all great information, thank you all very much.  I will check out the Gaggia Classic, I have seen great reviews on that one too.  

We will be doing cappuccino too, and with the smaller tank and faster boiling the Classic may make sense since it's a single boiler.  I saw the Silvia takes over 3 minutes to heat which seems a little long.

@CMIN, I will check out the Crossland CC1 too, thanks for the tip.

And everyone seems to like the Baratza Preciso grinders, I thought when I bought the Breville conical grinder last year it was great, never thought I would need anything better but hey, I did say I was an espresso newbie, didn't I? :-)

Thank you all for your advice, what a great resource!  I will post after Christmas with my reviews and info on the machines and grinders I look at for all to see!

Shane

Posted October 23, 2012 link

If you mean by "heat" that to get the boiler to temp, don't go by that. Many machines heat up fairly quickly in terms of the boiler. However the whole unit needs to be warmed up, internals etc, even leaving the portafilter in while warming up till it's hot to the touch. Otherwise your boiler could be at temp, but then when you go to pull a shot the water won't be near the right temp for extraction b/c of heat loss.

I let my machine warm up for at least 45 min, by that point the portafilter is toasty, then I turn on the water for a few second, wait for it to get back to temp and pull the shots. You don't have to turn it on and wait if your doing stuff in the mornings etc, you can get an appliance timer to turn it on like before you wake up, so by the time your ready to do something it's all nice and hot.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 2:00pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
 

+1 on heat up time.  Every espresso machine needs at least 30-45 minutes to come to proper operating temperature.  It doesn't matter if the lights go out, telling you it's "ready" in 10 minutes or less...it isn't, simple as that.

I'm a big fan of using an appliance timer to start your machine close to when you get up in the morning (depending on your "getting ready" habits)...especially if you sleep upstairs and your machine is downstairs.  I had a Silvia for many years without a timer (and without PID for that matter).  First thing after rolling out of bed was to go turn it on, then go get ready, then make coffee.  Then we moved to a 2-story house, and going downstairs right after rolling out of bed wasn't fun at all.

You can certainly use a SBDU machine without PID (I did it for about 8 years), but if you install one or buy one with it already installed, it'll make your life that much better, and it'll help you a lot with your learning curve.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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kanadashane
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Joined: 22 Oct 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 2:23pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio silvia v3 vs. Breville Infuser BES840XL
 

Hmmm, thats interesting.  Thank you for pointing that out, I was watching this comparison on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A92CciQfPM0 and it talked about the Heat Up Time on the Silvia being 3 min. vs. only 1 min on the Gaggia.  I thought, because I am mostly making milk based drinks, the reduced heat time would be better.  Both machines have roughly same steam time.

Wow, now I understand why this forum has so many posts; I am about to ask why I need to worry about a PID, and from my searches that's not an easy answer.  

Here in Canada the cheapest new Gaggia Classic I have found is $499, all others at least $549 and up.  The Rancilio Silvia at least $659 and up.  But if I have to add a PID at some point, maybe I should be looking at the Crossland CC1.  

I am very glad you mentioned the heat up times.  I think now I have narrowed my choice to a Classic, but am also going give a good look to the Crossland CC1 (minimum $699 here in Canada)

Dare I ask how important PID is? Should I look really hard at the Crossland? :)

Thank you all!
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