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Thread: Never used a coffee machine before,will I manage..

  1. #1
    iskudo
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    Never used a coffee machine before,will I manage..

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    if I buy a Rancilio Silvia?

    Hi,

    Been looking at the forum since I decided it was time to buy a coffee machine, got sooooo much info and advice from the forum but Im concerned that this machine would not be the best one for a newbie :-/ *I need a machine which can cope with frequent use, must froth milk for kids drinks and make more than two cups of coffee when needed.

    I am quite happy to spend time learning to use the machine and am reluctant to buy the Sunbeam 6910 if it is not going to last - cant see DH falling for an upgrade in the foreseeable future!

    My DH has been persuaded that we need to spend about $750 but was dismayed to find that we also need a decent grinder :o *We have seen the Sunbeam EM0480 for $199 in a couple of places but my concerns are that we will need to upgrade very quickly.

    Any recommendations for a compatible grinder that doesnt cost too much more than the Sunbeam would be very much appreciated.

    Also, I need suggestions of retailers who stock the Silvia, in or around the Melbourne area, please, as I would like to see one for real before purchasing.

    Thanks,

    Denise

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Never used a coffe machine before, will I mana

    Quote Originally Posted by iskudo link=1212020838/0#0 date=1212020838
    if I buy a Rancilio Silvia?

    Hi,

    Been looking at the forum since I decided it was time to buy a coffee machine, got sooooo much info and advice from the forum but Im concerned that this machine would not be the best one for a newbie :-/ *I need a machine which can cope with frequent use, must froth milk for kids drinks and make more than two cups of coffee when needed.

    I am quite happy to spend time learning to use the machine and am reluctant to buy the Sunbeam 6910 if it is not going to last - cant see DH falling for an upgrade in the foreseeable future!

    My DH has been persuaded that we need to spend about $750 but was dismayed to find that we also need a decent grinder :o *We have seen the Sunbeam EM0480 for $199 in a couple of places but my concerns are that we will need to upgrade very quickly.

    Any recommendations for a compatible grinder that doesnt cost too much more than the Sunbeam would be very much appreciated.

    Also, I need suggestions of retailers who stock the Silvia, in or around the Melbourne area, please, as I would like to see one for real before purchasing.

    Thanks,

    Denise
    Hi Denise,

    I forsee problems there....

    Your brief indicates that you should seriously consider a heat exchange machine but your budget is well short of the $$$ required.

    I think you need to revisit the Sunbeam. Just pray that you get a reliable one if you go that way :-/

    As for a grinder, it and fresh coffee are crucial. Most here would consider the Sunbeam to be barely adequate- if that.

    My advice, buy a really good grinder ($500+ ) and save for the machine. Fresh coffee, freshly ground is great- even in a plunger.

    Chris

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    Re: Never used a coffe machine before, will I mana

    Hi Denise, welcome to CoffeeSnobs. :)

    I have the Silvia, bought it as an upgrade from a Nespresso machine, so to all intents and purposes it was my first machine as well. People will tell you that Silvia is very hard to use, in practice you make your coffee in exactly the same way as any other machine, and you will find the coffee wonderful. After a while you will notice that some coffees are better than others, and youll spend time in here figuring out why and making some adjustments. 12 months down the track, youll be doing all those things that make people say shes hard to use. The thing is you wont actually be doing anything different - the tricks with Silvia are all about timing, but they arent absolutely necessary to get a good coffee.

    The grinder is a different story - the EM0480 is an ok start, you will begin to notice its limitations early on though. If you can wrangle a slightly higher budget, the Iberital Challenge is a good buy at around $300.

    Get in touch with Chris at Talk Coffee, his link is on the left, hell be able to give you advice on both the machine and the grinder.

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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Oops.....

    *Backs off quietly and lets the expert talk*

  5. #5
    iskudo
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Thanks for your replies.

    Perhaps I should say that I will be the only one drinking coffee during the day most of the time, but I drink loads of instant, hoping that will change when I get a proper machine!

    Denise

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Never used a coffe machine before, will I mana

    Hi Denise

    While not a complete coffee novice, Ive recently decided my old DeLonghi manual machine is not adequate need something with a bit more quality. CS has excellent advice which convinced me to bypass the sub-$1500 options but , like you, cash flow prevents me from getting a $2000+ machine. Fortunately I had a few award points on my credit card, enough to get me a Gaggia Baby Class which I have ordered and now waiting for. Im not a heavy coffee drinker - no more than one cup a day and I make my own on weekends only.

    After doing lots of gresearch on Google, the Gaggio Baby Class looked like a unit that has adequate quality and good reviews (even for the older Gaggia Baby model). The newer versions now come with a chromed brass boiler instead of aluminium and seems to provide the better features of the Gaggio Baby and Gaggia Classic. Ill let you know but it will be a couple of weeks until its delivered.

    I guess it qill mean having to go for a decent grinder, having used a Gaggia MM up to now which I now know is a poor option. Im keen to know of a good grinder

    The Sunbeam 6910 sounds like a good compromise for your purposes; it was my first option until I saw the Gaggia. The Sunbeam also has a free coffee making course which could be useful.

    My advice for your last two questions is to search in Coffee Snobs and check the sponsors list oin the left of this page. I havent seen better advice anywhere else.

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    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Hi Denise,

    Its amazing how initial budgets get blown out after becoming immersed in this site ;D.

    By all accounts, the EM0480 (or EMO450 - basically same grinder, plastic body @ $50 less) is a minimally acceptable grinder for espresso, but with its quirks and quality control issues. Suggest stretching budget a bit to a $275-$325 grinder at least (Lux, Challenge, I-mini) and maybe a second hand Silvia (apx $500).

    Silvia is good at 2-4 cups at a time, starts to become a bit of a chore after that (being a small single boiler machine), but still do-able. And good, solid, uncomplicated construction.

    Also suggest a Lelit Combi (my machine) - very similar to Silvia but not as solidly built AND with a Lux grinder built-in. AND at your budget. No site sponsors sell them (I dont think) - google is your friend ;).

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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Ive been happy with the Sunbeam 6910 for some months now, although I have to admit a nagging doubt that I should maybe have gone for the Silvia. But, touch wood, the SB has not missed a beat. At the time, I must say I was influenced by the fact that it had the same warranty as the Silvia, with far easier repair options and clearly Sunbeam have gone to great lengths for some CSers, even after the warranty expired. And, because I bought it on Amex, I have an additional one years warranty (it seems almost impossible to buy a Silvia on Amex, although that may have changed since I was looking). Now, I know there will be some debate over build quality
    There are many, many CSers who are happy with the Sunbeam, many even happier because they bought during the free grinder promo, and the training course has also been valualbe.
    Good luck!

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    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Quote Originally Posted by iskudo link=1212020838/0#4 date=1212022675
    Perhaps I should say that I will be the only one drinking coffee during the day most of the time, but I drink loads of instant, hoping that will change when I get a proper machine!

    Denise
    Just saw that. :P :P :P

    Youll laugh at that one in a few months, Denise. ;D ;D ;D

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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Quote Originally Posted by GregJW link=1212020838/0#8 date=1212024798
    Quote Originally Posted by iskudo link=1212020838/0#4 date=1212022675
    Perhaps I should say that I will be the only one drinking coffee during the day most of the time, but I drink loads of instant, hoping that will change when I get a proper machine!

    Denise
    Just saw that. *:P :P :P

    Youll laugh at that one in a few months, Denise. *;D ;D ;D
    Actually, you wont be laughing, youll be cringing because youll be going to a friends house and youll know theyll only have instant. And as much as youll try to hide the resignation, youll know that the time is coming that youll have to ask for tea..... :)

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    Senior Member julsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Quote Originally Posted by Viviane link=1212020838/0#9 date=1212026871
    Actually, you wont be laughing, youll be cringing because youll be going to a friends house and youll know theyll only have instant. *And as much as youll try to hide the resignation, youll know that the time is coming that youll have to ask for tea..... :)
    That is so true. ::)

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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Quote Originally Posted by Julsajet link=1212020838/0#10 date=1212027386
    Quote Originally Posted by Viviane link=1212020838/0#9 date=1212026871
    Actually, you wont be laughing, youll be cringing because youll be going to a friends house and youll know theyll only have instant. And as much as youll try to hide the resignation, youll know that the time is coming that youll have to ask for tea..... :)
    That is so true. ::)
    Hey, it pays off - I dont even get offered coffee anymore cos they know ;)

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    [QUOTE=Viviane link=1212020838/0#9 date=1212026871][QUOTE=GregJW link=1212020838/0#8 date=1212024798]
    Quote Originally Posted by iskudo link=1212020838/0#4 date=1212022675

    Actually, you wont be laughing, youll be cringing because youll be going to a friends house and youll know theyll only have instant. And as much as youll try to hide the resignation, youll know that the time is coming that youll have to ask for tea..... :)
    ..which raises another question which might amount to some form of heresy on this forum (or be the subject of another thread) but what sort of tea would a coffee snob drink. I have become fussy in that regard too.

    Would you settle for a Bushells? :P

  14. #14
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    I bought some Darjeeling tea in a CS Bean Bay.

  15. #15
    iskudo
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Ive not drunk tea since I was pregnant with my first.....over 14 years ago.....cant bear the stuff.

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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Ive been drinking the gunpowder green tea for a while but am now brewing it at 65C - so much better!

    Back on topic Ive been developing a theory about the Silvia lately. The difference I think is not that the Silvia will make a better coffee out of the box, but that she will last forever if treated with some care, and anyway shes like a good axe - all of the bits can be replaced and most of the simple bits are commercial standard. Plus you can upgrade her in various ways so she can grow with you.

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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Hi Denise,

    I bought a Rancilio Silvia not too long ago and I think its a fantastic machine. The other great thing is that later on down the track if you want an upgraded Silvia you can add a PID to her for greater consistency... but shell give good coffee regardless.

    Anyway, I think your choice on whether to get a Silvia or not would really depend on how many coffees with milk you plan on making at a time. If youve got 15+ friends over all wanting a drink I would probably recommend something else due to the time waiting between brewing, steaming and cooling down. Its perfect for 1 or 2 which is what I use it for 95% of the time and should be ok for a few more than that as long as people are happy to sit around and talk whilst youre preparing the drinks.

    After having problems with my grinder I would HIGHLY recommend finding out how and where the item will be repaired. I purchased online from a store in Melbourne... and Im in Melbourne myself. I had a problem with the grinder and was given contact details for a repairer in Melbourne as well which is fine. What was a bit strange was that despite leaving messages on voicemail, calling the work phone and mobile I couldnt reach anyone only to find out that the sole repairer had probably gone off on holiday with no return date given. Now Ive got a Rocky sitting around gathering dust for the past week while waiting for the repairer to return. Just something to consider....


    Regards,
    Tim

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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Ill add my support to what Chris advised above,

    If the budget is fixed or tight, then you are much better off getting the best grinder you can for that money, then using freshly roasted, quality coffee it pretty well doesnt matter what brew method you use as the most important ingredient in achieving great coffee, is exactly that "Great Coffee" ground immediately before brewing. No need to spend a heap of money straight up on an espresso machine, if its the coffee youre after then the above advice will get you there.

    If however, you opt for an espresso machine now and then buy a very basic entry level grinder, you will need to replace that grinder further up the track since you will be unable to extract the best from the bean without a quality grinder, the converse doesnt work Im afraid :(. All the best,

    Mal.

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Hi Andrew, Im a happy Silvia owner of almost a year now. Get a good grinder to go with her eg: Rocky or upwards and you will make great coffees once you get the variables of the machine sorted out.
    As Mal says the grinder is the crucial part of the equation in coffee making.
    Good luck on your decision........................gm

  20. #20
    iskudo
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Thanks everyone, certainly given me food (or should I say coffee) for thought.

    I think if I take the view that my coffee consumption will decrease once I have some decent stuff to drink; remove the kids from the extra frothing need; hide the machine when we have more than a couple of visitors and try to squeeze some more cash out of DH, I am still leaning towards the Silvia with a better grinder. Found a non sponsor who does the Silvia and a range of grinders and hope to visit on Saturday after a visit to Coffee Talk, stinking cold willing.

    Thanks again,

    Denise

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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Hi Denise,

    I would whole-heartedly recommend Talk Coffee. As mentioned before, Ive been having problems with my 4 month old grinder and Chris from Talk Coffee kindly offered to help depspite the fact that I didnt purchase it from him. His level of service is already way above the store I purchased from (I wont mention any names even though it feels like Ive been hung out to dry) and when I upgrade either my machine or grinder I will definitely go through him and will recommend him to anyone looking for coffee equipment as well. Fantastic after-sales service speaks volumes of a store I think! ;)


    Cheers,
    Tim

  22. #22
    iskudo
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Sadly, this morning we found out that Talk Coffee operates by appointment only so we made our way to a non-sponsor near Melbourne, which sells freshly roasted coffee and various coffee making tools.

    Even with a cold, the smell was wonderful. We spotted the Silvia and various grinders and after a minute of looking at them were joined by the owner who proceeded to show us the Silvia in action, what a lovely cup of coffee it was!

    We decided to go with the Iberital Challenge grinder - set up by the owner and with hopper filled with beans - with the Silvia in a special package deal for $1050, a bargain with 1kg coffee, 750g drinking chocolate, chocolate shaker, stainless steel tamper, knock box, cleaning brush, milk jug and thermometer and possibly more (kids have unpacked!)....

    Less than we would have paid for the two machines separately, so DH is extremely relieved!

    Just waiting for the machine to heat up so that I can give it a run.

    Thanks to everyone for your advice.

    Denise

  23. #23
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Great news Denise and a great deal too... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    The journey now begins ;),

    Mal.

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Welcome to the Silvia fan club Denise, you will get many hours of enjoyment out of this machine once you settle into her little nuances.
    Get a good tamper...............
    cheers gm

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    Re: Never used a coffee machine before,will I mana

    Congratulations, Denise, youll be very happy with that set up. Post any questions you have, someone will answer, and have fun with the new toys. :)



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