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View Full Version : What Machine: Piccino, Silvia, Classic or Silvano



DanielJ
05-01-14, 02:36
Hi,

I am a new member to the forum and so apologies for posting another "which machine thread" but I am spinning and I would appreciate all and any thoughts!

I have just bought a Eureka Mignon which is currently coupled with a Dualit Espressivo that I have had for the last 3 years. I thought I would follow the maxim that the grinder is more important than the machine, and so far that is definitely true. Much much better coffee than what I was achieving before. The other thing I have done is convert the pressurised basket with a little bit of work using a dremel. But I have reached a point where I feel I need a better machine to get a better shot. The shower head is too uneven, the temperature is not stable and I don't think it is really delivering enough pressure.

In terms of my needs I am purely and espresso and americano drinker and so is my wife. We barely buy milk for the house let alone think to froth it. And I normally make 1 or 2 coffees in the morning during the week - maybe 4 or 5 at the weekend. So what I am looking for is a machine that whacks out great shots really consistently. So I am thinking good size brass boiler (but not too big - I don't want to wait an hour for it to heat up!) and the possibility of a PID to really nail the temperature stability.

Here are the options and my thinking:

1) Gaggia Classic - can do good shots but the boiler is tiny so you really need to pid to get it stable. Also the boilers corrode because of the mixed metals they use. So I would consider it but I would need convinced that the issues are surmountable.

2) Rancilio Silvia - The go to machine and has a decent 300ml boiler and good general build quality and can be pided quite easily

3) Fracino Piccino - Again good 300ml brass boiler. it looks like you could maintain it easily yourself. If I do do milk drinks (guests etc.) the dual boiler would be great, though most of the time it would be switched off. Its made in Britain and sounds like they offer great back up. It is more expensive but there are two boilers there. I also think it would be easy to pid - I know the official line is not but if you look at the tech drawings the only thing I wonder about is the thermocouple attachment.

4) Quick Mill Silvano - This in someways seems to be the ultimate option for me. 700ml brass boiler for the coffee with a thermoblock for occasional steaming and it comes with a pid already. The big draw back is that it is 700 and right at the edge of what I can justify to myself!

I would appreciate thoughts and experiences!

Daniel

Mrboots2u
05-01-14, 05:04
Gonna throw a curve ball in now . Did you consider a lever machine as you are mostly into espresso ? La Pavoni , caravel etc.
If your looking to pull mostly espresso on a pump machine I'd go for something temp stable , you can add pids to classics and silvia with good effect but you might be better of just going for something higher price range that comes with a bigger boiler and has a PID already . Any of the machines you listed will be a massive improvement on the espressivo ( having owned one at one point myself ) .
There are aren't a huge amount of quickmill owners on here I don't think . Few people have the fracino , I believe it still needs a degree of temp surfing to use tho .

DanielJ
05-01-14, 06:08
Funnily enough I had looked at europiccolos online. I am just wondering whether refilling is a bit of a faff and also whether the learning curve maybe a little steep.

your point about larger boilers already with Pids is good- what other machines have a larger boiler and with pid? I had looked at the ascaso steel duo with pid but is boiler is only 200ml.

Mrboots2u
05-01-14, 06:46
Throw one back at you ,what's your max budget and are you tied to new or used equipment ? I have no experience of the acaso machines . Aren't many owners on here of them that my indicate something in itself .

DanielJ
05-01-14, 10:11
I would not like to spend more than 700 and would consider used. The only other consideration is space I don't want anything much deeper than 40cm.

coffeebean
06-01-14, 09:54
Sounds like a Piccino would be perfect for you! Can do you one for 545 plus30 carriage
Andy

coffeechap
06-01-14, 12:13
Lever are machines are definitely an option for you, the europiccola is a great lever, and it is possible to get a heat dissipation mod for the group that makes it much more temperature stable. The caravel is just a wonderful compact open boiler lever espresso machine, that produces beautiful ristrettos. Tough call for you as there are a lot of options in your your price range....

DanielJ
06-01-14, 02:43
I think I need to have a shot on one as I really have no idea how difficult lever machines are to use. I certainly have always loved the way they look!