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Thread: Learning curve for new espresso machine

  1. #1
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    Learning curve for new espresso machine

    Hi all,

    I hope this is right place to post; if no, feel free to move to right location.

    So I am in the market for a new coffee machine and a grinder under $1000. I am the only one at home who drinks coffee, so no looking for anything too big but something that will be durable.

    So far I have found the Rancilio Silvia to be well regarded in the forums for durability and the quality of coffee it produces. I am somewhat skeptical that I will need to become a home barista to really enjoy a good coffee in the morning whilst prepping lunches and getting kinds ready for the school day whilst trying to guess the right temperature of the machine to brew good coffee.

    just curious to understand how long does it take for the average Joe to become proficient at making good coffee in this machine? and how much effort is required to consistently produce good coffee on this machine?

    Thank you for your answers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. Seems like the thread is in the right place mate if you are looking for advice over someone to make you an offer.

    The Silvia is a super popular machine, although it does have some limitations it's a breeze to use. However any machine that is a manual machine (with a group handle + grinder etc) will be slower than something like a pod or semi automatic/fully automatic so you may have to factor in a few extra minutes in the morning rush to make a cup of joe.

    To your actual question... With the right gear (Silvia + a capable grinder + good beans) I'd say you will be making better coffee than your average local cafe within a few weeks. However it does take some practice and patience to figure out some of the variables and dedicate a good few hours to pulling shot after shot and throwing most of them down the sink. Once you have everything tuned into something drinkable (maybe 10-20 coffees?) its a matter of fine tuning to your tastes before you get something really really good.

    Some new members can get dissuaded by skimping on a grinder or using supermarket beans and wonder why the first coffee they have ever made doesn't taste 1000x better than their favourite cafe. You have to put in a little time and effort, plus have some capable gear including quality beans. Luckily Coffee Snobs can help you with some good beans (check beanbay in the top left) and members can give some advice on your actual machine.

    Best of luck!
    level3ninja likes this.

  3. #3
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    Impossible to answer, some people nail the basics in a very short time and others take quite some time or never really get it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finergrane View Post
    Hi all,

    I hope this is right place to post; if no, feel free to move to right location.

    So I am in the market for a new coffee machine and a grinder under $1000. I am the only one at home who drinks coffee, so no looking for anything too big but something that will be durable.

    So far I have found the Rancilio Silvia to be well regarded in the forums for durability and the quality of coffee it produces. I am somewhat skeptical that I will need to become a home barista to really enjoy a good coffee in the morning whilst prepping lunches and getting kinds ready for the school day whilst trying to guess the right temperature of the machine to brew good coffee.

    just curious to understand how long does it take for the average Joe to become proficient at making good coffee in this machine? and how much effort is required to consistently produce good coffee on this machine?

    Thank you for your answers.
    Morning Finergrane, welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    The Silvia/Rocky combo were excellent machines in their day, however other brands have since overtaken them.

    Lelit have developed a very good reputation, available from https://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/ why not give them a call and discuss your requirements.

    "how long does it take for the average Joe to become proficient at making good coffee in this machine?"
    Not long at all if you put your thinking cap on, if you can follow a recipe successfully you will quickly come to terms with an espresso machine, I've taught a number of people over the years, takes well less than an hour to get them producing good shots.

    If you approach the job methodically and take a few notes you won't need to spend hours nor will you have to dump numerous shots down the sink, the basics have been noted here on the forum innumerable time so wont go into them in detail, suffice to say everything depends on fresh beans from a reputable supplier (not supermarket) grind, dose weight/level and extraction time, sounds complex, it's not, when you have your machine suggest you ask for specific advice on this forum, find yourself an experienced mentor and you'll be up and running in no time.

    "how much effort is required to consistently produce good coffee on this machine?"
    Very little, once you have mastered the basics it's a simple process, don't be put off by the endless conversations on technique a lot of it incorrect.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Over the years the price of the Silvia has crept up now averaging $850. Its now starting to get into the same price bracket as machines that offer PID for precise boiler temperature control and a brew pressure gauge which can help when coming to grips with grind settings and dosing. My opinion is that without a factory installed PID and Brew Gauge the Silvia is no longer good value for money regardless of its reliability and it still has a rust-prone non-stainless steel frame. You can pay around $250 extra to have an aftermarket brew PID fitted to the Silvia taking it to around $1100.

    As previously mentioned, Lelit is another well regarded Italian brand and the PL41TEMPD seems to offer better value for money than the Silvia. The Lelit has a Stainless Steel Frame whereas the Silvia doesn't. It has a 250ml v 300ml brass boiler in the Silvia. Not a huge difference really.

    https://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/...lelit-pl41tem/

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...-pl41temd.html
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 24th January 2018 at 02:30 PM.

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