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Thread: Beginner wanting to upgrade

  1. #1
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    Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Forgive me for such a basic question. Ive been reading around the site for two hours and am a little confused. About six months ago, reading here, I was persuaded that I needed a decent grinder (by beginner standards) and got a Rocky. The coffee improvement was stratospheric. Now my ancient baby Gaggia is on its last legs: doubtless corroded, leaking water. I just spent $130 getting it serviced; should have put it towards a new machine.
    Budget c$800+, it seems from browsing the Silvia is best. I never do anything with milk, just espressos. Is it hard for an idiot to use? Any contrary advice?

    Second, and related, question: should I do one of the one-day courses on offer around Melbourne. My hesitation is that I never use milk, and a lot of time seems dedicated to that. Thanks in advance.

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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Very sorry. I seem to have put this in entirely the wrong section. No doubt one of the moderators can rescue me.

  3. #3
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    You can get a Silvia for $719 from Jetblack espresso at the moment, which is great value and I doubt would disappoint.

    Im sure someone else will have some better advice though regarding something that will just do straight espresso and whether you even need to spend that much just to get something to do black coffee.

  4. #4
    TC
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Hello nw and welcome,

    I can think of three deadly shot machines which will do the job brilliantly and are better than the Silvia in my opinion:

    1. VBM Domobar Piccolo
    2. Diadema Perfetta
    3. GEE Espresso

    The first 2 exceed your budget but are brilliant in that temperature is controlled by a rheostat and can be dialled in very accurately with a Scace device during the bench test. One day, Ill have a crack at adding a PID to one to allow for temp. controll off the front panel. This would deliver close to the ultimate e-61 shot machine 8-)

    The GEE has a larger boiler than the Silvia with the bonuses of on-board control over temperature and preinfusion plus inbuilt timer control for shot length if desired. We have a <30 shot demo which is within budget for you and as youre in Melbourne, youre welcome to come and have a play :)

    Cheers

    Chris

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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by 76696B71687D6A6B7C040 link=1293099510/2#2 date=1293136371
    .......You can get a Silvia for $719 from Jetblack espresso at the moment..........
    Yup yup yup yup yup yup....the discounting has started again, courtesy of some no brainers (no not jetblack) in the business wanting to move a few boxes, and causing the rest of us to follow suit. So really, any of us will and are forced, to sell a Silvia for $719 as long as the client only wants the box & doesnt want to talk about it.....time is money, and a lesson will cost.

    One the other hand *buy a Silvia from a profesisonal trader with RRP and you will usually get the full service including the lesson which takes ....time.....!

    What will these no brains experts do if we go tit for tat & lower the price for them by going to say $699.00, and then if they follow suit then perhaps $649.00 and lower and lower???????? We are not concerned because most of our sales are to "walk in" clients that want service and who will pay the price and get their lesson and anything else that is being thrown in. This means less sales, but more profit. It doesnt take a genius to work that out.

    And of course if you buy a "box" the most common problem arising soon after is when the client shorts out the electric element because they dont understand the principles of use of such a machine. This is not warrantable because it is caused by the operator, and the client can then send the machine back to "mailorderland" and pay the price. Of course they may also suffer the price of having their machine damaged in transit by the courier which is another non warrantable problem and happens often enough.....we are very happy to sell Silvia and Rocky in the main, to walk in clients only.

    But, except for Chris above I dont know that any one else talked about the way you want to ***progress***. Do you really want to go from a baby gaggia to a Silvia? Do you want to step kind of sideways...or would you rather go ahead? And by how much?

    Mind you, even the step sideways to the Silvia will be an improvement of sorts, atleast you wont be drinking aluminium oxide in your coffees ;D

    In my opinion Chriss first two recommendations are spot on but of course I would put them in a different order *;) and as you seem to be in Melbourne you should pay him a visit.

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor *

  6. #6
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    And that my friends is why if/when you call for service or support on a Silvia, you will be referred back to your importer as we cant buy them at that price....

    So what do we have here :-?

    Either a Silvia should be $719 and the RRP of circa $950 is a farce or the importers are taking their margin, and the retail margin and then undercutting the businesses that supported them and promoted their product by wholesaling at over "retail street price"...Either way, this reeks!

    Back to the topic, as Attilio has suggested, Gaggia to Silvia is more of the same, not an upgrade...

    More thinking I reckon ;)

  7. #7
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by 35000D0A3E220E07070404610 link=1293099510/3#3 date=1293138419
    The GEE has a larger boiler than the Silvia with the bonuses of on-board control over temperature and preinfusion plus inbuilt timer control for shot length if desired. We have a <30 shot demo which is within budget for you and as youre in Melbourne, youre welcome to come and have a play :)
    DO IT!

    As an owner of an ex-demo from Talk Coffee (VBM Domobar Jr) its a great way of getting what is effectively a new machine at a great price from someone who really knows there stuff!

  8. #8
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by 31303A293732285B0 link=1293099510/6#6 date=1293159563
    DO IT!

    As an owner of an ex-demo from Talk Coffee (VBM Domobar Jr) its a great way of getting what is effectively a new machine at a great price from someone who really knows there stuff!
    +1
    Same here. My Expobar Minore II was ex-demo from Talk Coffee and I have been very happy with it for the last 4 years.

    Brett.

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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Hi

    I am contemplating the exact same purchase at the moment - a Silvia for ~$750. Is the GEE much better?

    Ive got a cheapo Breville at the moment which is rubbish.

    I have mine with milk and I want something that can have 2 flat whites perfect and ready to go in about 10 mins in the morning...

    Brock

  10. #10
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Nothings ready to go in 10 minutes.

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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by 6661677C7B726C2520150 link=1293099510/8#8 date=1293329655
    I have mine with milk and I want something that can have 2 flat whites perfect and ready to go in about 10 mins in the morning...
    So long as you have a decent enough Grinder, from whoa to go using an AeroPress will have a*great cuppa ready in 5 minutes or less. If you prefer coffee with milk, then add another couple of minutes to heat up the milk by what ever is your preferred method. Makes a beautiful Flat White.... 8-)

    Mal.

  12. #12
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Any machine/grinder combo will make coffee in less than 10 minutes.

    Some require 30 minutes or more warm-up time before that 10 minutes. The only espresso machine I know that doesnt need a long warm-up is the manual Presso--you warm it with hot water!

    Greg

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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by 62574042724A5748444941250 link=1293099510/11#11 date=1293415715
    The only espresso machine I know that doesnt need a long warm-up is the manual Presso--you warm it with hot water!

    Greg
    I like it for this reason! Im still dialing it in though.
    (What about the twist or the portaspresso?)

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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    I dont have to stand in front of it while it heats up so I dont count that in the preparation time.... Anyway 10 mins isnt really a strict requirement, a decent coffee is more important. I cannot do this with my existing machine despite lots of tinkering with the grind / tamp / extraction methods so I would like to get a good machine.

    Ive got an ok grinder and Im pretty interested in the Silvia, but if the Gee is superior then I would maybe look at one of those.

    Do most shops that sponsor CS let you test drive them?

    I havent looked much farther than myers and the web so far

  15. #15
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    I think you should stay clear of the Gee not as robust as you think after this review.
    Go with the silvia with pid and a very good grinder.

    http://theotherblackstuff.ie/machines/gee-in-review/

  16. #16
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Thanks for your "contribution" Gary. ::)

    Firstly- A review of an "evaluation unit" does not a review make.
    Secondly- Regurgitating said review does not achieve anything whatsoever. These go to testers so that manufacturers can refine their product.

    If you have first hand experience with the machine, please enlighten us. If not, perhaps get some and write from an educated viewpoint rather than parroting that of a stranger.

    Although a tad rough around the edges, the GEE has no competitor until you hit HX territory and for the milk coffee drinker on a budget, it should be short listed.

    The GEE outperforms a non PID Silvia and the reviewer clearly didnt use it well or received a defective machine. You can go straight from shot to steam so long as you preheat the thermoblock. No single boiler machine will do this.

    The OP may choose to come and make his/her own evaluation and thats fine, however I am tired of self-appointed internet experts bad mouthing gear they havent even seen. If it was rubbish, it would not be on range.

    My GEE v any standard Silvia, or better still, you and your PID one if youre game- any time...

    Chris

  17. #17
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Thanks everyone for taking the trouble to reply. I was away for a few days. I am indeed contacting Talk Coffee and making an appointment; I see they reopen on Monday and will be met by a shiny new email from me.

    Im very interested to hear that the Silvia is only a sideways step. If anyone has time, can they enlighten me as to why? Its considerably more expensive and seems to be much better made. Do I need an entirely new operating system, as it were (forgive the computer analogy) to improve?

    This is like when I got into hifi - its an utterly new world. But no doubt, as with that, the rewards are concomitant.

    thanks again, n-w.

  18. #18
    brett230873
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by 090F1C170D0F031E4E0 link=1293099510/14#14 date=1293527505
    Go with the silvia with pid and a very good grinder.
    Reading the original post, N-W clearly states that he has a new Rocky Grinder. The Rocky is a very good grinder! Is it the best? No! Is it flavour of the month? No. But having lived with one for a number of years (and many other grinders that have been onsold) I can put my hand on my heart and say that the Rocky is a boring, robust, no-fuss very good grinder! The OPer was actually in the market for a new machine...

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A2F2225110D2128282B2B4E0 link=1293099510/15#15 date=1293529235
    however I am tired of self-appointed internet experts bad mouthing gear they havent even seen. If it was rubbish, it would not be on range.
    Excellent decision N-W to actually go and play with the machines and talk to an industry professional... as opposed to people like me who are enthusiasts and at best gifted amateurs. The nice fellow at Venezianos in Brisbane has offered me the opportunity to play with a Gee even though I am not in the market for one. What a nice fellow! Even if I hate it (unlikely) what would give me to advise others on anything other than the colour (only to be contradicted by my wife anyway), not having lived with the machine or understood it from a professional perspective!

    Great decision N-W and keep us posted!

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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Well, there seems to be a very happy ending to this story - or perhaps I should say beginning.

    Just home from seeing Chris at Talk Coffee. I decided to spend a bit more (a new computer can wait) and got the Diadema Junior Plus semi-auto ($2000). The Gee made lovely espresso, but the Diadema is clearly a step up (heat exchanger) and I decided not to go with the Gee now and upgrade in a year but to do the full upgrade now.

    Mind you, it will take me a while to make espresso like Chris. I havent poured 1.5 million shots (yet).

    So thanks to all, especially Chris who came in on a day off and spent an hour demonstrating and explaining.

  20. #20
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Well done mate [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Enjoy your new toy and many excellent coffees.

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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Final update: I am very, very happy with the coffee coming out (espressos - havent ventured on anything else yet). Thanks once again to all who helped.

  22. #22
    brett230873
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    Forums are great but hands-on with an expert is better! A great outcome and a great machine (bargain)! Pictures pictures pictures ;-)

  23. #23
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    Re: Beginner wanting to upgrade

    awesome to hear of the positive experience at talk coffee - may have to go down there soon, thanks!



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