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Portafilter pro

Portafilter pro (6/8)



  1. Ooo that is sneaky, the Silvia Pro doesn’t let you play with the PID settings beyond changing the two boiler temperatures but it does display the actual temperature for the brew boiler. It is stable so I generally only notice it drop occasionally by 1c (normally if you get a gusher when dialling in a new coffee) or at the end of the cleaning cycle. The steam boiler is just an LED to show it is up to temperature or heating.
  2. It must be nearly a year since we upgraded to a dual boiler machine. I got our choices down to Minima, Elizabeth or the Silvia Pro. All three are great machines, the Minima failed the wife test so that was out, but I did like the spec and large boiler. It looks great in black in my view. The small boiler on the Elizabeth concerned me but the PID had a lot of flexibility. We went for the Silvia Pro, very stable temperature and consistent good results, no options for pre-infusion or changing the PID settings but not felt I need to. The steam side is great, lots of high quality steam no issues doing multiple milky coffees back to back. Parts wise it shares quite a few with the original Silvia and their commercial models, so no issues. I had a Silvia for many years and it was solid too. As others have said the Pro-300 is quite an old design compared to the others, but those other three all get good reviews.
  3. I had a look back and couldn’t find any recent reviews of coffee shops on Skye, so after a few days there I thought I’d report on the good coffee places we found. The shops not mentioned we either didn’t visit or were terrible! The one thing I will say is the one coffee place listed in the old threads as the only good place on Skye is still there, but the staff were unfriendly, the milk wasn’t good and the coffee left a foul bitter after taste for around 20mins. Possibly the worse coffee I’ve had this year! Speaking to one of the friendly ‘locals’ (English but has run one of the hotels for years) she said she’d heard it had gone downhill and wasn’t close to its past form. So onto the good... The two that stood out for me were Cafe Lephin in Glendale and Birch in Portree, both use coffee roasted by Birch. Both lovely smooth coffees with very good textured milk. Coffees from Cafe Lephin are below, produced using a Rancilio Classe 7 two group (one of the slightly older versions). The coffee at the Isle of Skye Bakery in Portree was also good. The cafe at Glenbrittle Campsite also had potential, I was very surprised to reach such a remote spot and be met with a two group lever machine. The base coffee was amazing but attempt one had overheated milk with no foam, the second was better but definitely a bad day for the milk side! If they get that right then it would be very good indeed, the lady seemed quite upset it wasn’t right so possibly was a just bad day. Amongst other places tried, one was ok and the other was from a badly setup bean to cup fully automatic machine. My favourite was probably Cafe Lephin, well worth the drive towards Niest Point just for the coffee. Oh and we found Cafe 1925 listed with good reviews but Google showed as temp closed, we were staying just down the road and found the place, no names on the building and the place looked like the Marie Celeste. The coffee counter had cups ready, coffee grinder and a two group lever machine looking very lonely 😞
  4. I think I am going the other way - giving up on shop purchased Espresso based drinks and sticking to making them at home! Getting the right home setup and a workflow that works for you is key. I've upgraded the grinder and machine since the start of lockdown, in my case going for a Dual Boiler machine and a single dose grinder. I've now got a simple quick workflow that gives me consistently good drinks quickly with a mix of normal and decaf. Since I've got the home setup sorted I've realised 80%+ of coffee shops can't make a good coffee, or at least one I like. I've a few coffee shops I still like but most are a massive disappointment. I leave feeling I've wasted money on a rubbish drink. Bogotá Coffee in Milton Keynes has been the only recent find of good coffee out. At the weekend we looked at the £3 cost each for coffee out and just got the cakes to take home as we knew the coffee would be better!
  5. Was down to what we were using, my wife had a glass bottle with lid she likes for the water, so that gets filled from a measuring jug. Prefers glass to plastic for storage and we've not got a glass jug that fits. The bottle is around the same height as a 4pt Milk bottle. Sounds good, our TDS is a lot lower than that here, so sounds like it would be as efficient or possibly more so than our current system and filling/emptying from the front sounds useful, might even mean that I'd not have to fill/empty it all the time.
  6. @SkumaWater It looks very interesting, like @dfk41 and a few others we are Osmio zero users here but would be interesting in seeing how it compares and if it resolves some of the issues with the Osmio. I got the Osmio partly to protect our expensive twin boiler expresso machine, but also as I hate the chemical taste and smell of our tap water. Being up in Yorkshire the water is fairly soft water collected from the local hills so is soft and was reasonably ok for not corroding the machine. The main thing Yorkshire Water have to do is filter/treat it to remove peat and reach the required turbidity. The issue for me is they seem to add a lot of chlorine. We use Osmio for tea, coffee and drinking water probably about 5-6l per day. It works well for us and others have said we got a good deal on a pack with extra filters so set for a while. Areas of interest and where you may improve on what we have. Splashing, the adjustable cup shelf could help here. We also have to use a jug to fill the bottle kept in the fridge as it doesn’t fit under. How the remineralisation works with liquid vs cartridge on current machine is of interest and maybe more consistent dosing and controllable? Hot water - the first bit is cold, do you have the same issues? Seems variable how much comes out before thermoblock has got it to temperature. Water usage and refill. How efficient is it with the separate tank? We use the 1-1.5l per 5l of waste water for plants etc here. How do you fill it? Our unit is under a cupboard so I have to pull it out to remove the tank so a pain. As you have to fill full each time I have to do it as my wife finds moving the machine and the 5kg weight too much. Good luck with the machine it looks interesting but with the Osmio working it would need to be big step up to move and I suspect your trade in deal would have to be good to get past my Yorkshire wife!
  7. Ok so not the postie, but these were just hand delivered by the team at Smith Street… Roast date of 6th August so will need to rest them for a few days now!
  8. @shadow745 Welcome to the Silvia Pro club, I think there are about five of us around here now. We’ve had ours since November last year and have been very happy with it. I think the group is the same or very similar to the latest Silva’s. Like you’ve said the temperature stability is very good, I’ve only seen it drop when running the cleaning cycle and then it recovers very fast. We must have run 1000+ shots through not now with no issues. Not sure why people moan about the drip tray never been an issue for me. My only gripes are the pump for the steam boiler is very loud and the water level system is basic and from a washing machine, I have all the bits to build a better one just need to spend the time to put it together.
  9. @demoniq - how has the zero point been set? The zero setting is a bit arbitrary on that grinder and could just be down to how the previous owner reassembled it. Does it look like the burrs are close to touching when on zero? When you reach zero their is a screw that Stops it turning further so you may be way off the touching point if it has not been setup correctly. It is probably worth popping the hopper off and checking how close the burrs are. There are some good videos on calibration of Rocky burrs on YouTube. Rocky was based on a commercial grinder and the burrs should be good for many years. If the above doesn’t fix it then getting new burrs would be next thing. I don’t think you can get OEM ones in the U.K. at the moment but compatible ones are available quite cheaply.
  10. @BeansBeansBeans - as others have said don’t use with that much water spraying around inside. Unplug and pop the top off, hopefully you can see where the water is coming from. The parts diagrams for Silvia should give you a good idea on where the issue is. Thoughts: Split/damaged/loose OPV pipe. Same for pump to tank pipe. Seal between boiler and group. Seal for three way valve. From the amount of water it should be easy to spot with the machine off. As you’ve put the PID in recently checking the pipes didn’t get knocked would be the first thing I’d look at. Once found and fixed let the machine dry out before using again. When connecting after repair ensure it is via an RCD protected circuit to protect yourself and the machine in-case there are any faults after the water.
  11. @ratty I’d guess at 1980s from the styling? I seem to recall having a filter/terrible expresso machine from them in the late nineties and the style was very different. I’ve show it to the other half to see if she can get any info since she works for them, but I suspect it has been lost in the mists of time / the river Rother.
  12. Out working in one of our offices this week in MK (first time since March 2020) and found Bogotá coffee is still going strong. They are using Rave for their beans now. Currently have El Carmen on as the main bean. Very nice coffee and nice little cafe, will be back when next working in MK.
  13. I mix pulling the shot straight into the final cup vs. a shot glass for a number of reasons: - split shot and two cups don’t fit on scales. - tall glass/cup that won’t fit under group. - dialling in new beans so want to see shot. - Latte Macchiato type drink where the shot needs adding to the milk. Also use the shot glasses if the coffee is for something else such as a coffee cake. I think the wife thinks it is just to create more washing up!
  14. @Coflov I used a Rocky for about 17 years and didn’t have an issue with it not grinding finely enough. I changed the burrs and again didn’t have any issues, I think I used about the last set of OEM burrs Bella Barista had. Couple of questions: What coffee machine are you using? How have you set the zero point? The numbers on the hopper don’t mean much as it is down to how you reattach it after changing burrs. I’m also confused you said it doesn’t grind fine enough now you’ve changed the burrs, but then it had the same issue before? Couple of things to try, first is ensure they zero point really is the zero point, see for info on that. If after that still an issue then worth checking if the burrs are aligned, again lots of videos around how to mark the burrs to test that. If the zero point is right and the burrs are aligned then apart from a poor set of new burrs I’m not sure what could be causing your issue. Rocky can normally choke a machine without issue.
  15. Not strictly the postie as I popped up to Foundation to pick these up whilst in St Ives. Zero extra miles as I walked up there from where we were staying. Jack doesn’t normally have people collecting and as he was rushed off his feet getting coffee shops ready for half term it did cause a bit of a challenge! Lots of coffee shops around use his coffee, but the only place I saw selling it in tubes/bags had stock from last October 😞 Looking forward to enjoying in a few days once rested.
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