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Bica60s

Humble beginnings

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This is my humble set up...soon to have a coffee maker upgrade.  So far tempted to the new Rancilio Silvia V6 as I can't seem to find anything much that compares with it at the budget for now..

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I started out with a Delonghi many years ago. What attracts you to the Silvia?


GS3 MP, Ceado E92 and E37s, Feldgrind. Niche.

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Thank you for that.

I was pointed initially in the direction of a trio of Italian made machines by a professional when asking for recommendations for a relatively inexpensive but decent entry level "proper" machine...ie one with unpressurised baskets, a 58mm portafilter, and better temperature stability than the budget machines with more robust internals.  I'm not, by my own admission, chasing the last drop of flavour nor am as committed to the hobby as many on here might be, but I value quality and want to be able to do better in terms of extracting more flavour from my grinds.  The little Delonghi isn't a bad machine at the price but it is messy to use and rather restricted by the crude temperature control (or lack of it) and it's really something to be considered as a disposable machine after 5 or 6 years use if used regularly.  My other similar machines haven't lasted much longer.  I've gone through more than I care to remember over the years so have now decided that only a rich man can afford to buy a cheap coffee machine! (and by cheap, I mean sub £200).

I'm in a position now to up my budget a little, to perhaps £400 or £500 max, so just wanted to do the best I could with that.  I am happy with the grinder. It gives me consistently decent results and consistent flavour profile from my favoured beans.  Took a while and some wasted coffee to dial it in, even if for use in a pressure basket, but you can clearly taste the difference between grinds of coarser to finer size and it makes way better coffee than using pre ground supermarket coffee.  I guess going to a better machine will buy me similar performance in terms of how the machine works, but more robustness and longer life with the ability to use non pressurised baskets.

I've noted for years that the defacto go to machine at this end of things seems to be the Gaggia Classic.  It's still on my radar, but I was told by an Italian guy who works in the industry over in Italy that the Silvia V6 is considered to be the better machine over there and the one that many families consider as "the" entry level home espresso machine.  I have no experience of it and know his knowledge is better than my own in this respect.

I would consider others and wish that Sage would bring out their Infusuion machine in the UK but they have no plans to apparetly or I'd have shortlisted that too.  As it stands, in that price bracket the machines that seem to stand out are the ubiquitous Gaggcia Classic Pro, the Rancilio Silvia V6 and I'm told the La Pavoni Barretto Steel which was another recommended to me. I profess to not having used any of these machines and it seems something of a minefield, so I am open to other suggestions.  I cannot stretch my budget further and would rather buy new if spending that money for the warranty and peace of mind.  I did post something elsewhere after joining here looking for feedback on a good machine but so far not a single response.  Perhaps I'm asking the wrong question!

Edited by Bica60s

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Thank you for that.
I was pointed initially in the direction of a trio of Italian made machines by a professional when asking for recommendations for a relatively inexpensive but decent entry level "proper" machine...ie one with unpressurised baskets, a 58mm portafilter, and better temperature stability than the budget machines with more robust internals.  I'm not, by my own admission, chasing the last drop of flavour nor am as committed to the hobby as many on here might be, but I value quality and want to be able to do better in terms of extracting more flavour from my grinds.  The little Delonghi isn't a bad machine at the price but it is messy to use and rather restricted by the crude temperature control (or lack of it) and it's really something to be considered as a disposable machine after 5 or 6 years use if used regularly.  My other similar machines haven't lasted much longer.  I've gone through more than I care to remember over the years so have now decided that only a rich man can afford to buy a cheap coffee machine! (and by cheap, I mean sub £200).
I'm in a position now to up my budget a little, to perhaps £400 or £500 max, so just wanted to do the best I could with that.  I am happy with the grinder. It gives me consistently decent results and consistent flavour profile from my favoured beans.  Took a while and some wasted coffee to dial it in, even if for use in a pressure basket, but you can clearly taste the difference between grinds of coarser to finer size and it makes way better coffee than using pre ground supermarket coffee.  I guess going to a better machine will buy me similar performance in terms of how the machine works, but more robustness and longer life with the ability to use non pressurised baskets.
I've noted for years that the defacto go to machine at this end of things seems to be the Gaggia Classic.  It's still on my radar, but I was told by an Italian guy who works in the industry over in Italy that the Silvia V6 is considered to be the better machine over there and the one that many families consider as "the" entry level home espresso machine.  I have no experience of it and know his knowledge is better than my own in this respect.
I would consider others and wish that Sage would bring out their Infusuion machine in the UK but they have no plans to apparetly or I'd have shortlisted that too.  As it stands, in that price bracket the machines that seem to stand out are the ubiquitous Gaggcia Classic Pro, the Rancilio Silvia V6 and I'm told the La Pavoni Barretto Steel which was another recommended to me. I profess to not having used any of these machines and it seems something of a minefield, so I am open to other suggestions.  I cannot stretch my budget further and would rather buy new if spending that money for the warranty and peace of mind.  I did post something elsewhere after joining here looking for feedback on a good machine but so far not a single response.  Perhaps I'm asking the wrong question!
Both the Classic & the Silvia will suffer the same temp fluctuations due to them running mechanical stats. You really need to fit a PID to get the best out of them which ups the price a bit. That & the auto cut off is the main reason why 2nd hand pre-2015 Classics are still recommend over them.

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Yes, so I understand.  I thought though that the difference between pre 2015 and 2015-2018 Classics was that "pre" models used a 3 way solenoid whilst to better (tighter) comply with EU regs, they used a mechanical valve on the 2015-2018 model but that this year, they have reverted back to the pre2  2015 design and brought in some other improvements, so that the 2019/202 Classic should be as good as the earlier ones if not better than.  Prices have jumped a little though to reflect some of the changes...there's surprisingly not a great deal between the top spec Classic and the Silvia now.  

From all the homework I've done and particularly from feedback off someone in the industry who deals with repairs etc, his professional view is that the Silvia remains the best made unit at that price point. He was very adamant about this, urging me not to consider any other machine this side of £500. The temp fluctuations I guess can be managed without a PID by surfing but I get it that doing this won't be as consistent.  I'm cash poor and time rich so a little temperature surfing won't bother me too much.  I value build quality, longevity and reliability more than finding the best performance at perhaps the cost of those things.  You can have both of course....at twice the budget or more...which I don't have.

I am very happy to take advice from those with direct experience of other machines if there's another I ought to consider.

Edited by Bica60s

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Yes, so I understand.  I thought though that the difference between pre 2015 and 2015-2018 Classics was that "pre" models used a 3 way solenoid whilst to better (tighter) comply with EU regs, they used a mechanical valve on the 2015-2018 model but that this year, they have reverted back to the pre2  2015 design and brought in some other improvements, so that the 2019/202 Classic should be as good as the earlier ones if not better than.  Prices have jumped a little though to reflect some of the changes...there's surprisingly not a great deal between the top spec Classic and the Silvia now.   From all the homework I've done and particularly from feedback off someone in the industry who deals with repairs etc, his professional view is that the Silvia remains the best made unit at that price point. He was very adamant about this, urging me not to consider any other machine this side of £500. The temp fluctuations I guess can be managed without a PID by surfing but I get it that doing this won't be as consistent.  I'm cash poor and time rich so a little temperature surfing won't bother me too much.  I value build quality, longevity and reliability more than finding the best performance at perhaps the cost of those things.  You can have both of course....at twice the budget or more...which I don't have.

I am very happy to take advice from those with direct experience of other machines if there's another I ought to consider.

 

Yeah pretty much. The 2019 Classic is basically the same as a pre-2015 Classic but with a proper steam wand, auto shut off (to meet EU regs) and a plastic non adjustable OPV (not strictly true as you can trim the spring down so it opens at a lower pressure but it's alot more work than turning an Allen bolt & it'll void the warranty). The price also doesn't help since you can get a 2nd hand PIDed pre-2015 Classic for under £250. The Silvia has always been the better machine but price rises along with a reduction in build quality (the early ones have a metal group head shroud which is now plastic & they're frames are prone to rust) has gone down.

 

 


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Yes, I can see why pre 2015 in good condition, already PID'd might be good.  I think on reflection, as I'm not after a machine where I need exact temperature to the nth degree as I'd rather get the feel of a machine, learn it and just practice until I can learn how to get a decent coffee, PID or no PID makes little odds to me.  I think those type of machines originally relied on thermal mass and learning the ropes to develop almost an art of making good coffee and that appeals to me more than bells and whistles.  The robustness and longevity matters more to me, so on reflection I may just invest in a V6 Silvia.  The plastic shroud is a shame but it's a replaceable should it ever need it.  Metal would have been better in some respects as more metal mass = more temperature stability but at least it retains it's brass boiler and has a chunky enough grouphead.  Shame that they've cut more corners than made real improvements on the Classic...looks more of a cosmetic job than any real improvement and as the price has also been hiked a bit for the Classic, the Silvia takes it for me I think.

Edited by Bica60s

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