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Thread: No love yet from Miss Silvia

  1. #1
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    No love yet from Miss Silvia

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there all...

    well I picked up my shiny new machine on the weekend and had a great demo instore with my own grinder....things seemed to be going really well....

    but .....back at home....I have not had any good results at all yet - especially with milk frothing....try as I might I cant seem to get any silky milk....and the steam power seems way over the top....milk comes out flat and lifeless

    the initial shots from Silvia are Ok.....but even with them I am getting 15 sec pours on average and only fair crema..

    are my skills not up to this machine? is this going to be a 3 month learning curve?

    I am tamping, banging, dosing and re-tamping....grind seems ok at setting 3 on beamer

    no joy yet

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: No love yet from Miss Silvia

    FourO,

    Silvia is a bit of a learning curve, but I would say weeks rather than months.

    I would suggest using a small milk jug for frothing to begin with (300ml).
    Just under the half full mark. Make sure (whilst getting used to the machine) to wait for the steam light to go off before you begin the milk.
    Purge any excess moisture from the steam wand before beginning.
    Get the tip just on/under the level of the milk. Aim to get a whirlpool effect going and a little bit of air sucking in (many people call it the ch-ch-ch sound).

    Once you get a little warmer, you can lower the wand (IE: Raise the jug) a little and just concentrate on the whrilpool.

    It does take a little getting used to, but it certainly can be done on the Silvia.

    If your shots are 15 seconds, then one or all of:
    grind, dose, tamp
    is wrong.
    Try going a bit finer and see if there is a difference.
    OR
    Try for more coffee in the basket.

    Dont change too many things at once. Try just changing one thing at a time to see if you can isolate the most likely offender.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Re: No love yet from Miss Silvia

    Hi FourO

    Milk texturing does take practice to get right. Try to establish a whirlpool with the tip of the wand just below the surface.... and raise it slowly as the milk volume increases.... Sivias steam is powerful.... but nothing like a commercial machine...

    Now for your dosing....

    Dose the basket and level, tap and then a VERY light tamp.... then fill the basket, level and tamp (on a set of bathroom scales is a good idea) to 13.5 Kg.

    When you load the PF- remove it before extraction- you should get a very slight impression of the shower screen on the top of the puck - if not you need to increase the dose before you do the actual tamp (the 13.5 Kg tamp).

    A tight fitting tamper (like a Greg Pullman) which will allow you to tamp right to the edge of the basket helps to get a good seal - and eliminate channelling.

    Yes, you do have to practice- and a home barista course is also helpful.

  4. #4
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    Re: No love yet from Miss Silvia

    Really appreciate the assistance ...thanks guys....

    firstly I did notice that the 300ml jug in the shop did seem easier to use than my 600ml..

    the dosing and milk texturing tips I will take home this afternoon and try out

    thanks heaps

  5. #5
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    Re: No love yet from Miss Silvia

    Dont be disheartened, FourO, you can and will get great coffee from your machine. I dont remember whether youve had an espresso machine before, or if this is an upgrade but either way youll have some learning to do. If you havent had a machine before you are starting from scratch and working out a whole new set of skills. If its an upgrade then you need to forget a lot of what you were doing on the last machine and figure out how to work Silvia. Either way youll be making good coffee soon and great coffee not too long after that. :)

  6. #6
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    Re: No love yet from Miss Silvia

    Hi FourO,

    As has been said, there is a bit of a learning curve, partly because the Silvia seems to need to be quite precisely dosed.

    I found it much easier to get consistently good shots once I started using a flat-bottomed tamper (mines a Greg Pullman tamper). Getting slightly more capacious baskets was another improvement. I think the shallower the basket, the narrower the margin of grind/dose/tamp error.

    The milk steaming is pretty much what the others have said. Once you get the hang of Silvias boiler-powered single-hole tip you will be able to produce creamy, silky microfoam using anywhere from 80ml upwards of milk (using the appropriately sized and shaped vessels).

    Enjoy!

    Rob

  7. #7
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: No love yet from Miss Silvia

    I initially bought myself a second 600ml jug, thinking Id use it at dinner parties when needing more than one milk type.
    However, after months of making coffee it hasnt been used and I ended up buying a second 300ml jug.

    The 300ml jugs suit me fine for day to day use and are definitely the go if you are only making one coffee.

  8. #8
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: No love yet from Miss Silvia

    Ditto to all the above. Once you get the hang of it, Silvias microfoam is to die for!!!!

    Its certainly not a matter of the machine being wanting in that department -- it is more than capable.

    --Robusto


  9. #9
    Bon
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    Re: No love yet from Miss Silvia

    Invest in some training - cheap investment if it means you get the enjoyment out of your mahine youre after.

  10. #10
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    Re: No love yet from Miss Silvia

    thanks all...I am starting to get slightly better results following the tips from JavaB and Fatboy ....

    cheers for your comments



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