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Thread: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

  1. #1
    Ahhh...
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    Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well the old Saeco Combi (manual) took a long time to die. I found parts for it in Italy when the local supplier said they no longer existed. Ive made up parts when I had to. Ive even put up with the houses earth circuit going live when the element failed. Its dead again and this time I think itll stay dead.

    It has a great built in grinder and doser so Ill need to replace the grinder too (or pull the old one out and re-house it)

    I live in regional WA and Ive discovered that if I want a decent cup I have to make it myself. So I need a new machine.

    I looked at the Rancilo Silvia and liked it but was concerned that the element has a habit of failing if left on for long periods ( I tend to do that). But I like the idea that I can pimp it with a PID if the mood takes me.

    Then theres the HX machines of which I know little.

    These are my preferences :

    1.* *Manual machine - I havent found an auto that made a better cup than the old Saeco
    2.* *Reliable - able to be left on for long periods.
    3.* *Good parts supply and support. I am a long way from anywhere and having to ship a machine to and from the supplier gets very expensive very quick.
    4.* *Frothing and hot water not all that important

    So who are making decent machines these days? The Rancilo package looked good but what are my options if I go to the next level say around $2000.

    Any comments greatly appreciated, or point me to an existing thread if it has been covered in detail elswhere.

    All the best

    Peter







  2. #2
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    ....and you will get a multitude of opinions all of them ready to confuse you.

    The trouble with the net is opinions....thousands of em. Who says the silvia has a problem with the element when left on for a period? I would say those most likely to leave it on for a period ***in steam mode***, where it should not be left. Train yourself not to do things your shouldnt* ;) and you probably wont have a problem. But if your budget stretches way further than that, why bother with it when you can go to a micro sized commercial design machine ( as in HX).

    There is a great Unico Splendor HX machine in the "for sale" section of this site. Better go there quick for the price is good. Buy a quality grinder, and enjoy a step up in a better quality of machine & grinder that will elevate your coffee experience to a place where you havent been yet.

    When you go from the combi to a far better quality of machine....why even think about* a PID at this point? Again...too much internet influence and "research" ;)!

    Finally, DO NOT rehouse the girnder from the combi. It belongs wherever the rest of the combi goes. You will not recognize the coffee when you go to a better standard of setup.

    If you want to purchase new equipment and are willing to trust a long standing trader and the very first CS commercial site sponsor, give me a call.

    Hope this helps.

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor







  3. #3
    Senior Member dr.a.j.pickering's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Quote Originally Posted by 251106100B3C200C05050606630 link=1310977239/1#1 date=1310982965
    Who says the silvia has a problem with the element
    you did

    Quote Originally Posted by 241007110A3D210D04040707620 link=1309353436/24#24 date=1309566165
    the water level is run down to a point where the element blows

  4. #4
    Ahhh...
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey



    Thanks for your comments Attillo, and yes I might give you a call.

    I think its important that the machine be fool proof. In spite of our best efforts both my wife and I are very capable of running the machine dry and popping the element - trust me on that. Operator error? Sure, but if theres a machine that cuts off when it overheats then that is a great start.

  5. #5
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Hello Ahhh...

    will be happy to help off line.

    Rgdz,
    Attilio.



    Quote Originally Posted by 5C4A165916521648515B535D4A51565F380 link=1310977239/2#2 date=1310994031
    Quote Originally Posted by 251106100B3C200C05050606630 link=1310977239/1#1 date=1310982965
    Who says the silvia has a problem with the element
    you did

    Quote Originally Posted by 241007110A3D210D04040707620 link=1309353436/24#24 date=1309566165
    the water level is run down to a point where the element blows
    Really ?????? Afraid not. It is not helpful to selectively mis-quote and the above doesnt exemplify a machine problem, rather an OPERATOR PROBLEM where the operator is not practicing correct method of operation of domestic boiler machines....of any type.

    Not to be outdone on this frosty Tuesday afternoon, here is a piece of my own selective quoting from another topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C7A7C180 link=1311034355/1#1 date=1311036441
    I can offer some comments on the Silvia, since I* have one.....
    Can you leave it on 24/7 without damage - yes..... (Ive had it about 5 years), [/b].......
    The Silvia is solid & reliable, and easy to use....

  6. #6
    Senior Member dr.a.j.pickering's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Sorry for the selectivity of my quote.

    My point was
    Quote Originally Posted by 0E2727276161614F0 link=1310977239/3#3 date=1310995170
    I think its important that the machine be fool proof.
    The silva is not exactly this.

    if you do experience an
    Quote Originally Posted by 093D2A3C27100C2029292A2A4F0 link=1310977239/4#4 date=1311044500
    OPERATOR PROBLEM
    she is less forgiving then many of the single boilers.

    I have seen a silva blown and I know as the first commercial sponsor of CS you will have.

    She is a class leader, but would I let my visitors make coffee on her. No! she needs to cared for.

    I am affriad to say
    Quote Originally Posted by 093D2A3C27100C2029292A2A4F0 link=1310977239/4#4 date=1311044500
    domestic boiler machines....of any type.
    is misleading many are less susceptible or have safety mechanisms built in.

    eg the francis francis x7 for example self fills and I am sure there are others

    Having said that the coffee you get from the silva may be better if you dont experience the operator error


  7. #7
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    A "Lusso".... Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever..

    Manual lever, able to be left on for long periods, I dont have one but from what Ive read the seem like a very simple/basic machine.. Around $1500... And its a LEVER... ;D

    Theres a thread about them in the brew equip 1500-3000....

    Oh wait one more thing...Its a LEVER* ;)

    Oh thats just my opinion, but like arseholes everyones got one, and some seem to have more than one* ;)

  8. #8
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Quote Originally Posted by 2830313B3A2D5F0 link=1310977239/6#6 date=1311075191
    A "Lusso".... Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever..
    If you are in a remote spot as you say then this lever has merit for the lack of electronics. Throw $6-700 at a grinder and your done at a touch over $2k. K3T grinder or the Vario would do it well.

    Personally the Silvias days are drawing to a close, tough rugged and reliable and will produce a great shot with practice. Like any machine if you stuff up you will break it (burnt out elements).

    Love the Levers 8-)

    Might pay to let us know where you are you might be surprised who is near you with what gear. :)

  9. #9
    Ahhh...
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Thanks for your comments.

    The lever machines do fit the simplicity criteria but might be a touch too rustic for even these parts, i.e. Geraldton. My experience with this type of machine has been, well, underwhelming. Not to say I couldnt get it right - I dont mind having a red hot fiddle when it comes to making a good coffee - but Ann can be a bit of a troll until shes ingested her first coffee. I cant see her wanting to engage in some near-OCD-like rituals to pull the perfect shot while coming to grips with caffine withdrawal.

    Have a heart guys...

    With regard to simplicity, it was more that I want a machine that if it needed parts I can order readily and get enough support to enable me to do any repairs myself.

    All the best

    P


  10. #10
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C5555551313133D0 link=1310977239/8#8 date=1311089960
    I cant see her wanting to engage in some near-OCD-like rituals to pull the perfect shot while coming to grips with caffine withdrawal.
    Actually thats one of the benefits of the Lusso - even if you dont have the grind just right youll still get a decent shot. In my time with my Lusso I dont think Ive ever tossed a shot in the sink (mind you, I drink my coffee with milk).

    Cheers

    Sniff

  11. #11
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Being a spring lever the Lusso is a little different to say a Pavoni or similar. Fresh beans and a good grinder would get you a very good coffee.

    Still love my Pavoni but for simplicity of use the spring groups are easier. The Lusso is also much more Temperature stable than the Pavonis which will overheat if left on.

    Depending on how many milk based drinks you do the new Lelit PID from Jetblack looks like a consideration too. It should meet your requirement of walk up coffee during the day.

  12. #12
    Ahhh...
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Thanks again for your comments.

    The search is narrowing: I mentioned the the tactile pleasures of using a lever machine to my wife and she fixed me with a steely stare the way she sometimes does and when I got to the part where I described the near mystical Felini maneuver... well, things went downhill.

    "I just want to make a cup of f***** coffee you moron!" She opined. "And I dont want to have to wait for you to get your fat @rse out of bed to make it."

    I intuited that maybe the lever machine would not suit her approach to coffee making ...

    So that leaves me with the Silvia, and the entry level HX machines of the Exobar or the Simonelli Oscar and maybe the Lelit PL41em.

    Now all I need is a decent grinder...

    When this is all over I swear I will never, ever, EVER visit CS again so that Ill be immune from buyers remorse and the inevitable upgradeitis that follows.

    Well maybe just a peep to see what my options are re home roasting...

    P

    PS things are grim round here, yesterday morning the saftey release valve on my stove top coffee maker popped.

  13. #13
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    You could also consider the new Breville Dual Boiler.* Has a timer and will shutdown when not used for a couple of hours but it sounds like it will heat up quickly with its small brew boiler and heated group head.* Its volumetric too so the missus can just push a button (after the grind dose and tamp of course)

    You will just have to see if you can wait until August...

    Sniff

  14. #14
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    for what it is worth- and not trying to sway you- I actually find the Lusso easier to use than a Silvia... and visually a less imposing and more appealing. I tried out a Silvia the other day which i obtained through a trade in. They certainly are heavy duty, well made and nice machines for the price bracket. The PF is enormous to my eyes (being used to the tiny Lusso ones).

    For making a single coffee the Silvia is great- and the volume is as large as you want- but I found it harder to get consistent pours for multiple shots- and painful waiting for the steam pressure to build up. I didnt enjoy trying to make two coffees in a row with the machine- and having my Crema fade away as I waited for the steamer to get up to pressure... from what I understand with practice and learning how to temperature surf things could improve a lot- however-

    I really appreciate being able to steam the milk whilst simultaneously pulling two double shots on the Lusso. I love using the hot water tap to make long blacks as well.

    I think the Lusso is easier to grind and tamp for as well- as others have noted here- it is very forgiving. The baskets can be filled nearly right to the top (2mm clearance?) as opposed to tamping it halfway down the basket like on the Silvia. No problems trying to lock the PF in and realising you have over-packed the basket by one millimeter... And pulling the levers is really easy- not hard at all- dont be worried about fellini moves or the like. Just pull the lever down and release- for more volume repeat. It requires very little energy to work the levers and anyone can do it.

    Add a half pull if you like at the start and there is your fellini maneuver done and dusted right there.

    In this regard the Lusso is not at all like a Pavoni, or even a commercial lever machine- or a pump machine like the Silvia. I have found it to be one of the easiest machines I have ever used in regards to tamping and grinding. Very forgiving and easy to dial in. I put this down to the small diameter deep baskets and the group design.





  15. #15
    Ahhh...
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey



    Okay, Im leaning towards the Lelit 041EM. I like that as a single boiler unit it has a PID built in. Not to mention the pressure guage. I flirted with the entry level HX machines but sortve lost interest. But gee theres some nice gear out there.

    Now starts the task of finding a suitable gringer...

    Oh, and someone with the Lelit in stock and can post to WA.

    The ability to froth milk and pop a shot at the same time is not important at all (there is an opinion that at Casa Ahhh... that adding milk to coffee is a way of spoiling 2 beverages similtaneously).

  16. #16
    Senior Member shapeshifter's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    As far as I know Jetblack has them in stock and can post anywhere :)

    You could ask them about a package deal and see whether he can or not, I know he does them with others.

  17. #17
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Quote Originally Posted by 68737A6B7E6873727D6F7E691B0 link=1310977239/15#15 date=1311864420
    As far as I know Jetblack has them in stock and can post anywhere You could ask them about a package deal and see whether he can or not, I know he does them with others.
    Make sure you get a Precisefit tamper from Charlie and Deb (at Jetblack) too, maybe even a naked portafilter... ;)

  18. #18
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C322A2731322928460 link=1310977239/16#16 date=1311890346
    Make sure you get a Precisefit tamper from Charlie and Deb (at Jetblack)* too, maybe even a naked portafilter...
    My vote if for a Pullman tamper of your choice perfectly matched with a VST 18g basket.* Thats if it fits your machine.

    As for the machine, if you can wait, check out the Dual Boiler reviews which will be coming thick and fast in a couple of weeks. I think it may have the elusive WAF feature built in ;D

    Grinder... Your call.

  19. #19
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B786B706A6D787F7F60190 link=1310977239/17#17 date=1311906600
    My vote if for a Pullman tamper of your choice perfectly matched with a VST 18g basket. Thats if it fits your machine.
    A Pullman will...but a VST basket wont. The Lelit PF diameter is 57mm.

    I have a perfect fitting Pullman for my Lusso.... but for Ahhh.... he might be able to get a good deal from Charlie if the purchase of the Lelit is combined with a tamper purchase... ::)

    Sniff

  20. #20
    Ahhh...
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    Re: Need a new machine - my life has turned to grey

    Thanks guys,

    Well colour has flowed back into my taudry life. The Good Folk at Jetbalck sent me over a Kompact T3 (?) and a Lelit 041EM.

    Certainly changed the look of the kitchen - didnt reaalise the grinder was so BIG! The blue PID display and the heating light that winks on and off thru the day certainly add some colour and motion to the place.

    I got a tamper with the machines and I have to say that coffee-making quality has lept an order of magnitude. Didnt take too long to get excellent results.

    Sadly weve come to the limits of store bought coffee and the local tap water...

    Ive floated the idea of a coffee roaster but was fixed with a steely stare from partner.

    She obviously sets her standards lower than me - all these years and I hadnt known this. Actually, come to think of it there have been some other things Ive noticed of late. Hmm...

    I wonder if this new rig will spell the begining of the end for us? Im sure its happened before.

    Thanks for all your tips - I guess.

    Peter








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