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Thread: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

  1. #1
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    Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all, very newbie and first post so please bear with me *:D
    OK its time for me to splurge on a nice machine and Ive narrowed it down to the following combinations:
    1. Silvia + Rocky or K3t - leaning toward k3t
    2. Lelit PL041 + k3t
    3. Lelit combi

    I basically want to achieve a damn nice espresso and cappuccino mainly for 1-2 people. Now Ive read as many posts as possible and my head is spinning. From what I get is that both are good and Lelit is good if budget is tight. What I really want to know is if that extra couple of hundred dollars is taken out of the equation is the Silvia the clear winner?

    Yes Im OCD and could get into modding a silvia but really I dont want to spend more and more $$$, may as well get an ECM Giotto!

    So for the best, consistent brew in this less than $1500 bracket can someone please tell me which one wins??

    Oh yes and Id like to support the sponsors but finding it hard to work out who is close to me, Im in Newcastle so does anyone have a list of Sydney/Newcastle area suppliers?

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Welcome "GimmeMeCoughee"... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Of the option combos youve listed, Id go with number 2. The better quality grinder is going to be the main contributor to quality in the cup and at this level, I believe you would be hard pressed to pick the difference between a Silvias performance and that of the Lelit PL041.

    The next step up in quality would only be accomplished with a decent Dual Purpose Single Boiler machine like a Diadema Perfetta, a decent Semi-Commercial HX or Dual Boiler machine. The K3T and the Lelit will be capable of producing nectar of the Gods so long as you use freshly roasted high quality coffee and good operating technique.

    Best advice would be to try and visit a couple of reputable specialist retail establishments such as our Site Sponsors and probably the best way to try and organise that would be to use the Contact All Site Sponsors link at the bottom of the Site Sponsor list over on the L/H side of the page. All the best... :)

    Mal.

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    I agree with what Mal said.
    Forget option 3 if you can afford bench space and a grinder separate.
    Go for the Lelit and K3T. That way you save a little money there and you can upgrade your espresso machine in the future years and the K3T will keep up.
    :)

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    I went with a Silvia myself a couple of months ago. I havent tried the Lelit, but I am pretty sure it is capable of producing coffees that are undistinguishable from the Silvia.

    I am, nonetheless, very happy with my decision. You wont find the same amount of information online about the Lelit as you would with the Silvia. Ive also found a naked portafilter to be invaluable to helping me improve my dosing, distribution and tamp, which I believe (correct me if Im wrong) is harder to source for the Lelit. Ive also read that the steam wand on the Silvia is better.

    In terms of modding the Silvia on a budget, you can "gronk" it, basically measuring the boiler temperature with a digital thermometer. It costs about $50, a lot cheaper than a PID kit.

    But do keep in mind that the cost of accessories do add up, so you need to be prepared to spend more than just $200 more. Whether or not that is worth it, only you can decide.

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Hi,

    I can definitely reccommend your option 2.

    I recently purchased a lelit and K3t grinder from jetblack espresso and i couldnt be happier.

    Many people here would recommend you get the best grinder you can afford. For me, i figured it was better to save a bit on the machine by getting the lelit, and having a bit extra for the grinder. (my budget was about $1200)

    After researching endlessly, i figured that the differences betwween silvia and lelit were not that great.
    Do i care that the PF is 1mm smaller in the lelit?.... not really
    and thats about the only difference between the two.

    On the other hand, comparing grinders, if i had gone with the silvia, all i could have afforded was the rocky... from what everyone has said here, it was absolutely worth getting the K3t over the rocky.

    the other things i liked about the lelit over the silvia is that the boiler is directly over the group head, which means it heats up much quicker, people didnt seem to need to mod the lelit as much as they do the silvia and the lelit looks a lot nicer than the silvia... not the biggest concern, but you do want it to look nice in the kitchen...


    If you are in or near sydney, i would recommend going to talk to Jetblack espresso. they were very helpful, particulalry when i rang the day after buying my machine with silly questions about the grinder... they were very patient and had great follow up service.


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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 1301070F0F040551595853600 link=1282828357/4#4 date=1283130772
    If you are in or near sydney, i would recommend going to talk to Jetblack espresso. they were very helpful, particulalry when i rang the day after buying my machine with silly questions about the grinder... they were very patient and had great follow up service.
    + 1

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    you will also have to pretty much drive past coming from the castle

    Sibonis

    cross the bridge to
    Di Bartoli
    cuppacoffee
    E61



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    HX?

    OK sticking m newbie head on the chopping block, Ive tried to use all my powers to work out what "HX" means. Can someone please put me out of my misery :-/

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    A_M
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    Re: HX?

    Heat exchanger

    Do a goggle = or search on CS.

    Some great pictures that really help to explain it.


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    Re: HX?

    Thanks Angry One, the lightbulb hit and after failing on CS I googled. OK one more question.....are the Isomac Zaffiro/VMB Piccolo/Diadema Perfetta machines HX or just HX look alikes? If they are look alikes are they worth choosing over the Lelit/Silvia options. The more I look into this the more confused I get!

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Thanks, all comments very helpful.

    OK I havent even bought a machine and feel Im getting upgraditis!!!!

    How about the Isomac Zaffiro/VMB Piccolo/Diadema Perfetta machines? Are these worth double the price? Are they true HX machines or look alikes? Am I overcomplicatiing things ( I know the answer to this one!)

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 333023252B510 link=1282828357/10#10 date=1283179850
    Thanks Angry One, the lightbulb hit and after failing on CS I googled. OK one more question.....are the Isomac Zaffiro/VMB Piccolo/Diadema Perfetta machines HX or just HX look alikes? If they are look alikes are they worth choosing over the Lelit/Silvia options. The more I look into this the more confused I get!
    These are all single boiler machines GMC. They are e-61 but operate in exactly the same way as a lelit or SIlvia etc.

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 393A292F215B0 link=1282828357/10#10 date=1283179850
    Thanks Angry One, the lightbulb hit and after failing on CS I googled. OK one more question.....are the Isomac Zaffiro/VMB Piccolo/Diadema Perfetta machines HX or just HX look alikes? If they are look alikes are they worth choosing over the Lelit/Silvia options. The more I look into this the more confused I get!
    In the price range of these machines you would be way better off to get a heat exchange machine like the Nuova Simonelli Oscar (about $1400) or much better would be the Expobar Office Semi-Auto which would come in at $1600-1700. I own a Lelit because my budget could only stretch to $1200 or so, it does the job well but the waiting for steam etc. gets lame quickly. The bigger single boiler machines would take even longer. Theyll do the job well, but there is absolutely no way I would buy one given that you could get an Expobar HX in the same bracket...

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    A_M
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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D6E7D7B750F0 link=1282828357/10#10 date=1283179850
    Thanks Angry One, the lightbulb hit and after failing on CS I googled. OK one more question.....are the Isomac Zaffiro/VMB Piccolo/Diadema Perfetta machines HX or just HX look alikes? If they are look alikes are they worth choosing over the Lelit/Silvia options. The more I look into this the more confused I get!
    2mcm hit it on teh head.

    The issue here is many use slight different approaches to enjoy a market lead in the TEC stakes and or for real performance gains.

    Restrictions in flow paths to manage heat, single boiler but with one or two HX , twin boiler etc etc.

    You need to "Step away form the" marketing and look at what you NEED VS Want/bling.

    Then you can reassess and feel comfortable in saying... I need an X to do A,B and C but Z offers what I need, plus a bit ;D

    Otherwise you could end up with Y which looks and sounds great but does not delver A,B and C.

    Guess what, that hard part is sitting down and thinking hard as to what is A,B and C.

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 4853534841290 link=1282828357/12#12 date=1283219961
    In the price range of these machines you would be way better off to get a heat exchange machine like the Nuova Simonelli Oscar (about $1400) or much better would be the Expobar Office Semi-Auto which would come in at $1600-1700. *I own a Lelit because my budget could only stretch to $1200 or so, it does the job well but the waiting for steam etc. gets lame quickly. *The bigger single boiler machines would take even longer. *Theyll do the job well, but there is absolutely no way I would buy one given that you could get an Expobar HX in the same bracket... *
    It really comes down to personal requirements....

    If your ratio of milk coffees to straight espresso or other black coffees is very low, then a Perfetta or similar machine is capable of delivering espresso as good as it is possible to do. If the ratio of milk coffees to black coffees moves closer to 50/50 then an HX or Dual Boiler machine may be the better option.

    Cheers :)
    Mal.

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    As a noob of just 3 weeks experience with a Lelit, Id say go with Option 2 and start drinking coffee now rather than procrastinating any longer! For 2 people it is fine and you can put up with the single boiler. You are doing the right thing by getting a good grinder rather than the Kombi I have... By the time you have decided you want a better machine, you will have mastered your machine so itll last for a long time.

    God! the coffee I made tonight tasted good :D

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Oh so many helping hands, youre such a helpful bunch!

    OK my A,B,Cs :
    A: best consistent espresso I can get mostly for 2 people but nice if could do 4-6
    B: we do like our milk coffees especially the wife and she deserves to be happy
    C: want to be able to switch on machine in the morning and within 30 minutes pull a couple of nice coffees before work
    D: I can learn a little but dont want to have to get another degree to pull a great coffee
    E: Budget was $1500 for machine and grinder but preempting upgraditis Ive stretched it in my head to $2200. Id like a nice tamper and think the K3T looks the goods but advice taken gratefully.

    OK so A+B+C+D+E = ????????

    So cmon guys tell me is this equation impossible? More advice always appreciated.
    Thanks
    GMC (oh thanks for the new nic too ;D )

  18. #18
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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F3C2F29275D0 link=1282828357/16#16 date=1283258203
    Oh so many helping hands, youre such a helpful bunch!

    OK my A,B,Cs :
    A: best consistent espresso I can get mostly for 2 people but nice if could do 4-6
    Thats HX (Heat Exchanger) country

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F3C2F29275D0 link=1282828357/16#16 date=1283258203
    B: we do like our milk coffees especially the wife and she deserves to be happy
    This is also HX territory

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F3C2F29275D0 link=1282828357/16#16 date=1283258203
    C: want to be able to switch on machine in the morning and within 30 minutes pull a couple of nice coffees before work

    Most machines fall in this requirement some may need an extra 10 min

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F3C2F29275D0 link=1282828357/16#16 date=1283258203
    D: I can learn a little but dont want to have to get another degree to pull a great coffee
    Once you learn its easy just dont overcomplicate things (dont be anal about it)
    Its like riding a bike

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F3C2F29275D0 link=1282828357/16#16 date=1283258203
    E: Budget was $1500 for machine and grinder but preempting upgraditis Ive stretched it in my head to $2200. Id like a nice tamper and think the K3T looks the goods but advice taken gratefully.

    OK so A+B+C+D+E = ????????

    So cmon guys tell me is this equation impossible? More advice always appreciated.
    Thanks
    GMC(oh thanks for the new nic tooGrin)
    Just a couple of options under $2 K + add grinder
    Bezzera BZ99
    Expobar Office Semi-Automatic

    KK

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 2023303638420 link=1282828357/16#16 date=1283258203
    O
    C: want to be able to switch on machine in the morning and within 30 minutes pull a couple of nice coffees before work
    Get a timer for your powerpoint, theri under $10 and you can set multiple on/off times. Just make sure your water tank is full or that theres a low water cut off.

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 36342A29342F2821460 link=1282828357/18#18 date=1283297151
    Get a timer for your powerpoint, theri under $10 and you can set multiple on/off times. Just make sure your water tank is full or that theres a low water cut off.
    Also, keep in mind that there is no low water cutoff with any low end single boiler machine I am aware of- Silvia, Lelit etc. Many eventually develop steam wand leaks and unattended leaking machine will ultimately result in a dead element and $$$. e-61 single boiler machines generally do have a cutout, but I have seen a few dead elements in them as well. I dont think its a good idea to attempt to run any of these on a timer.

    A timer will work well with a HX/dual boiler machine, but its probably a good idea to have a surge protector in there as well ;)

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Hi again. If you wanted to keep the initial budget of $1500 i think the lelit and k3t will do what you want it to.

    I usually make 2 coffees in the morning (one with milk and one without) and my usual routine is to get up, turn on machine, feed starving cat, shower and get dressed then make coffee (usually about 20minutes between turning on machine and making coffee).
    this seems to be long enough to get it up to temperature and i have foudn that my coffee is getting more and more consistent (ie. inconsistency is due to poor operation on my part!)

    Occasionally we have people stay over and i have often made coffee for 4 or 5 people on a weekend, and the machine has coped brilliantly. Just remember to do shots first then steam milk.

    milk is very easy on lelit and i often just use it for a hot chocolate or a chai latte.

    Learning to use it is not rocket science and if you are unsure, im sure if you go to a site sponsor they will show you how its done.

    The K3t grinder is fabulous and for its price it is great value and from what i was told, i would not need to upgrade it when/if i get a really serious machine.

    personally, i would only upgrade if i found myself making lots of coffee all the time, and only if i had $2000 plus to get a really good HX machine or double boiler.

    Good luck with the decisions, and remember dont over-complicate it. i was getting to the stage you are at now, so i understand the whole pre-purchase upgradeitis!

    Get yourself to a site sponsor and have a chat to them and play with the machines... its the only way to do it!


  22. #22
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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Hello GMC,

    Another option within budget is the GEE/K3T combo advertised by Cuppacoffee and ourselves: Talk Coffee...

    Bigger boiler than Silvia or Lelit. 1oC temperature control, preinfusion and shot length control and the ability to go straight from shot to steam.

    Both businesses have demo machines. The GEE is also safe to have on a timer *8-)

    Chris

  23. #23
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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 77656B73727B1C0 link=1282828357/3#3 date=1282918850
    Ive also found a naked portafilter to be invaluable to helping me improve my dosing, distribution and tamp, which I believe (correct me if Im wrong) is harder to source for the Lelit.
    Ill correct ya! The naked (or bottomless) are available from a friendly site sponsor Coffeeparts ...
    http://www.coffeeparts.com/accessories/bottomless-portafilters.html

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E73786B1C0 link=1282828357/15#15 date=1283255255
    start drinking coffee now rather than procrastinating any longer!
    Best comment in the thread!

    I know a bloke who nearly bought a 386 but the 486 was coming out and he read the specs thought he would wait, then the Pentium, P2, P3 P4.... I dont know if he bought a computer yet but after years he was chasing his tail.

    Grab what you like now, most machines in the category you are talking about make great coffee and have good resale value here on CS so even if you upgrade or change in 12 months time what you would lose would equate to something less than $1 a day in rent.

    8-)


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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 042B213C450 link=1282828357/22#22 date=1283423752
    Kevin W wrote on Aug 28th, 2010, 12:20am:
    Ive also found a naked portafilter to be invaluable to helping me improve my dosing, distribution and tamp, which I believe (correct me if Im wrong) is harder to source for the Lelit.


    Ill correct ya! *The naked (or bottomless) are available from a friendly site sponsor Coffeeparts ...
    http://www.coffeeparts.com/accessories/bottomless-portafilters.html
    I shouldve been more clear, I meant it is hard to find a bottomless portafilter for the Lelit. I got a bottomless portafilter for my Silvia from Coffeeparts myself!

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    So which bottomless did you get? is it the LaPav? I have a Lelit PL041 and have been looking for one to suit......

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 57555C500B0B3D0 link=1282828357/24#24 date=1283502745
    So which bottomless did you get? is it the LaPav? I have a Lelit PL041 and have been looking for one to suit......
    I got one for my Rancilio Silvia, not sure where you can get one for the Lelit unfortunately.

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 26343A22232A4D0 link=1282828357/23#23 date=1283432200
    I shouldve been more clear, I meant it is hard to find a bottomless portafilter for the Lelit
    I think youd need to cut one down. I know of nobody producing 57mm nakeds...

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 70727B772C2C1A0 link=1282828357/24#24 date=1283502745
    So which bottomless did you get? is it the LaPav? I have a Lelit PL041 and have been looking for one to suit......
    We can always make one for ya ;)

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Thanks AM, but I am happy to make my own.... I can do it with a nail gun and a chainsaw cant I? but seriously I have all the tools, just mis-interpreted the post, thought Andy was saying the Lelit bottomless was available from coffeeparts.

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    Re: Yes another Lelit/Silvia dilemma with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C4E474B1010260 link=1282828357/28#28 date=1283563497
    I can do it with a nail gun and a chainsaw cant I
    Na... cordite is more fun ;)



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