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Thread: Am I missing out on my espresso journey if I don't get a Silvia?

  1. #1
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    Question Am I missing out on my espresso journey if I don't get a Silvia?

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

    First time poster here from Auckland, NZ, although I've been reading the forums for quite a while and absolutely amazed at the wealth of information and knowledgeable people

    I bought my first espresso machine about 3 months ago, which was a Delonghi Dedica for $229. Obviously this is a very entry level machine, and has one of those automatic frothers which I'm not very fond of.

    I've come to realise through my quest for knowledge and lots of practice that I've now outgrown the machine and have reached its limits in terms of both the shots I can pull and frothing ability.

    So after extensive research, I'm looking around the $1000 range and have settled on 2 options, either the Silvia or the Lelit PL41TEM.

    To be honest, I'm decided on the Lelit, and there is a great package deal from a local distributor here for a PL41Tem machine with a PL43 grinder for $1299.

    So my question really comes down to this... If I don't get a Silvia, will I be missing out on all the learning/temp surfing/tweaking etc that comes with owning a machine like that, or am I just better calling it a day and getting the Lelit.

    I am the kind of person that likes to learn and experiment, so was wondering if you feel the Silvia would be more suited to that over the Lelit.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'd definitely take the lelit over the Silvia for being more updated and refined. If the lelit you're looking at is the PID version, then definitely. Makes things much easier and quicker.

    Learning to temp surf on a Silvia just means you'll be adaptable to machines with quirky operations, but won't mean you'll become a better operator because of it. Lelit offers way more bang for buck, I think all the Silvia has over the lelit is a 58mm group.
    Dimal, sprezzatura and Meltdown like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meltdown View Post
    .. If I don't get a Silvia, will I be missing out on all the learning/temp surfing/tweaking etc that comes with owning a machine like that, or am I just better calling it a day and getting the Lelit.

    I am the kind of person that likes to learn and experiment, so was wondering if you feel the Silvia would be more suited to that over the Lelit. Thanks
    This would be a no-brainer for me - I would go for the Lelit.

    I have never owned or used either of these machines, but I started off with a Gaggia Classic, then a couple lever actions, so I have done my share of temp surfing.

    Yes I learned a bit from it, but IMHO, if you understand the theory, you won't learn a whole lot more by doing it in practice. After a while it can get quite tedious, and consistency in the cup suffers.

    I'm pretty sure that the PID on the Lelit will allow you to adjust the brew temps, so you could try different settings with various beans and hopefully this will satisfy your urge to tweak and tinker.

    The Silvia may (perhaps) outlast the Lelit, but I suspect that you would get probably upgradeitis before that became a real factor.

    If you do get the Silvia, I believe that you really need to fit a thermocouple and digital readout if you want to surf with any accuracy or repeat ability.

    Cheers, deegee.
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  4. #4
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    That Lelit is a sweet combo in any kitchen. Couple of friends have this unit.

    I have "made" coffee using the outfit with no hassles. Found the Lelit to be responsive to what was expected.

    Rather exciting for you to be on another part of your coffee journey!
    Best wishes!
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  5. #5
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    I started my coffee journey on a PID'ed Silvia, no temp surfing there either, and a PID isn't that hard go fit. So really comes down to the price of the two machines you are looking at.

    I've since moved to a Rocket Giotto, this is a HX, so I'm biased, save an extra $500 and get a good used HX machine you'll never look back!
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  6. #6
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    Am I missing out on my espresso journey if I don't get a Silvia?

    I second the HX machine route. I went from a domestic machine to a second hand HX and wouldn't have anything else. Maybe I didn't learn as much as if I'd had to do all the faffing about, but it's reliable and my wife also finds it easy to use.

  7. #7
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    Just upgraded from a silvia to a bezerra heat exchanger. Couldnt be more impressed with the ease of use improvement. Simple cooling flush and then pull your shot. Steam always ready. No waiting for temps. No filling boilers after steaming. List goes on. Heaps of great used hx machines on here, get one and skip the single boiler machines. You wont regret it.
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  8. #8
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    I was going to recommend a BZ99. There's an authorised dealer in Brisbane that sells serviced used models on the bay. One there at the moment for about $1100 or best offer I think.

  9. #9
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    The other thing with a HX machine is that there are a number of site sponsors who can do a thermal stability upgrade thereby minimising the need for cooling flushes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisj1984 View Post
    Just upgraded from a silvia to a bezerra heat exchanger. Couldnt be more impressed with the ease of use improvement. Simple cooling flush and then pull your shot. Steam always ready. No waiting for temps. No filling boilers after steaming. List goes on. Heaps of great used hx machines on here, get one and skip the single boiler machines. You wont regret it.
    Which Bezerra did you get Chris, I was considering the Magica if I go straight to HX.

    Also did you see any remarkable quality improvement in the shots pulled and the froth?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisj1984 View Post
    Heaps of great used hx machines on here, get one and skip the single boiler machines. You wont regret it.
    Morning Chris, HX machines are single boiler, double boiler machines are not HX.

    As a matter of interest I upgraded from a Silvia to a Bezerra Domus Galatea 6 years ago, cant say the result in the cup improved out of sight however as you say ease of use was the major benefit.

    I believe the Domus Galatea and the Mitica are basically the same machine with a different case, both excellent machines.
    Last edited by Yelta; 7th November 2015 at 10:32 AM.

  12. #12
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    Hi there i upgraded to a BZ99 off the for sale section here. My coffee is definately more consistent now. Many more good shots but the silvia is certainly able to make a damn good cup. I used to struggle making coffees for 4 ot 5 people on the silvia, it used to take sooo long. Now i can knock out 8 or 10 coffees no worries. No waiting for boiler to heat up or cool down. No surfing etc. Very happy bezzera owner.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    HX machines are single boiler, double boiler machines are not HX.
    There is an exception. The Breville Dual Boilers have two boilers with a heat exchanger in the steam boiler feeding to the brew boiler.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Morning Chris, HX machines are single boiler, double boiler machines are not HX.
    A micro correction for you Yelta- in the interests of correctness.

    Most multiboiler machines feed their brew boilers via a steam boiler HX. It aids thermostability...

    Cheers

    Chris

  15. #15
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Micro I can handle, macro! perhaps not so much.



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