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Thread: Breville dual boiler or Rancillio Silvia

  1. #1
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    Question Breville dual boiler or Rancillio Silvia

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all, I need some of your good advice.
    I am currently using a Sunbeam 6910 and have been loving the coffee I have been drinking from it. It has served me faithfully for probably about 10 years (maybe even more). Unfortunately it has reached the point where it needs some work on the collar as it doesn't get a seal properly any longer and just reaches a point where it spews coffe/water if the pressure in the group head gets to much. I casually mentioned to the wife that I would need to take it in for a repair and she responded by saying that rather then spend more money on repairs (its been into the repair shop a few times but I wasn't that concerned given the use it gets) perhaps it was time for a new machine. So this has started me looking at what would be next on the kitchen bench and where I would like to seek the advice of the coffee snobs brain trust.

    I like the look/sound of the Ranchillio Silvia. Everything I have read about it is positive and it looks like a great machine for the home that is pretty close to commercial quality. BUT, it is a single boiler unit. I'm worried that after my 6910 (twin thermoblock) I will find moving to a single boiler set up irritating. For those familiar with the Silvia, does the need to wait for the boiler to adjust temp between the pour and steam (99% of coffee we drink would be milk based) get annoying or is it really not an issue? How long is this? How does the machine cope with making multiple coffees in a row?

    My concerns about the single boiler led me to the Breville dual boiler. As with the Silvia, this machine has some very positive things written about it but is that just marketing hype? This machine seems to have a lot more features such as built in PID and the ability for the user to make a number of customised adjustments to water temp etc.

    To be honest I think part of my struggle is because the Breville machine with more bells and whistles is, well, a Breville. I like the look and less bulky/imposing style of the Silvia (as does the wife) but what it all boils down to is which machine will I get the best coffee from.

    So why would I buy a Silvia over the Breville?

  2. #2
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    I have recently gone from a 6910 to a BDB, the flavor difference is substantial, you can get the same flavor consistently with ease dramatically more so than the 6910, the mess and noise is much lower and if you get the matched grinder noise and mess is much improved from that area as well (the grinder is a huge step up from the 6910 one), cleaning is easier, etc.
    Overall it is just more refined. We have 3 to 400 cups through ours so far and it superb.

    After using the 6910 you will find a single boiler annoying for milk drinks especially multiple of them, and if there is no PID consistency will suffer.


    Guide for Silvia to make one coffee by a fellow coffee snob spg1960, add a cool down period to brew again.

    Sure, this is a basic guide I typed up for my wife to use when i`m not around. She has watched me use the Silvia, but needed a bit of a reminder of sequence and timing. its quite brief, but you will get the idea of what i mean i`m sure. happy to clarify anything that isnt clear, cheers

    Morning coffee


    make sure machine is warmed up and has been on at least 30 mins


    Select cups you need.


    1. Hit the brew switch and run hot water into the cups to warm them up.


    Run the water until the heating light comes on.


    ( Leave the hot water in the cups until just before you make the coffee )


    2. Grind the coffee into the portafilter and tamp ready for the shot. Grind enough coffee into the portafilter to fill it evenly. Tamp quite hard, give the filter a little tap with the handle end of the tamper, give it a turn of the tamper to have a nice smooth finish




    Wait until the heating light goes out. Use the timer and time 30 secs after that.


    Prepare the milk jug ready for frothing and empty the hot water from the cups while you're waiting !


    3. Put a spare jug or cup under the grouphead and hit the brew switch for 3 or 4 secs.


    (this is to bleed off a little heat and not burn the coffee)


    4. Go time ! Put the handle in the grouphead and make the coffee !!


    5. Use the timer to time your shot. 30 secs should give you a good shot.


    Mmmmm nice work


    Ok now for the milk.


    1. Take the portafilter out and get rid of the old coffee.


    run the brew switch for about 10 secs, this cleans the machine and also helps build up heat for the steam.


    2. Hit the steam switch. wait at least 1 min for the pressure and steam to build up.


    ( I do a little cleaning up in this time)


    3. put an empty jug under the steam wand and bleed off the water until you get some nice dry steam coming through.


    Empty the jug and wait another couple of secs for the steam to be good.


    4. Froth the milk !!


    5. Pour your froth... don't forget, foam always pours in a steady stream.


    Drink your cafe quality coffee !! Think of how nice your husband is.


    PS, if you are doing another coffee straight away, put an empty jug under the grouphead and hit the brew switch for a good 10 secs. This gets rid of the built up steam.
    Now start at step one !
    Dimal likes this.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Alain's Avatar
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    I am a Silvia owner and will say it's an awesome machine, but the price on the dual boiler has been insane of late (my brother picked this up for $679 in the recent ebay sales). For that price, the dual boiler is hard to pass up.

    The Silvia is a reliable, sturdy, great looking machine which is easily repairable and will most likely last a long time. The machine works great if you are able to successfully make one or two coffees... wait times are minimal. It does get annoying when you have to pump out more than this though... But you really notice the single boiler limitations when you start to make mistakes.

    Let's say you pull a shot and it's not ideal. You have to wait for the boiler to re-heat and get back up to temperature, wait another 30 seconds till the light goes off and it's at optimum brewing temp, then wait another 20-30 for your shot... and you haven't even started your milk yet (which you have to wait some more for after flicking the steam switch to get the boiler up to temp).

    Stuff the milk up, then you're waiting even longer as you have to purge the boiler, force it to refill / re-heat, then flick the steam switch again and wait some more for it to reach steaming temperature.

    The dual boiler might be made in China and may or may not last as long, but I think if you can grab it at a good price its the best bet. (I recommended it to my brother after all
    Crema_Lad likes this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    I've heard lots of great things about the Silvia (and preferred PID mod) but I too have recently invested in the Brevile 920 dual boiler after a recent discount deal on eBay $679.

    I was a little against the 'aplliance brand' image this unit has attracted but there are also many positive reviews in its favour. There is a lot to like about this machine that I'll be happy to Join the positive camp! Things of note are:

    pros:

    * well laid out machine, easy to clean, water fill from top, large drip tray
    * machine has a weighty, solid feel (with a ball grip under drip tray to lock in place in bench (locked) or allow easy movement (unlocked))
    * quick heat up time (less than 10 mins)
    * lots of built in 'advanced' featured like PID, options for brew temp, preinfusion time and pressure, preset buttons to brew by time or volume
    * auto on feature, cleaning reminder, auto clean function.
    * gentle but voluminous steam via wand paddle (and of course due double boiler, can steam independent of extracting coffee).

    Cons:

    * auto off function after 15 mins. (Some welcome this, I find it annoying as would like to keep machine on for a longer perirod)

    I make coffees mostly for 2 people at once, but occasionally for up to 6 and the Breville easily keeps up.

    Back to it being an 'appliance' yes it's got more plastic in it (metal clad exterior) and probably cheaper parts than the Silvia however for price, the extra features and ease of use that outweighed my decision to spend any more for a 'prosumer' type machine. I suppose the Breville is not too different in finish to the Sunbeam, so you should be familiar with the look/build.

    Good luck with choosing your upgrade!

  5. #5
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    Thanks Geebee666. You are slowly making me lean towards the BDB as I think your comments about moving to a single boiler unit are valid.
    Crema_Lad likes this.

  6. #6
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    Thanks Alain. I was really hoping that you guys would convince me that the Silvia was the better option but as I suspected if I can get the BDB at a competative price it's the way to go.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Crema_Lad it would appear that the scales are tipping strongly in favour of the BDB.
    Crema_Lad likes this.

  8. #8
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    Ok I'm back to the drawing board. I was getting very excited about the prospect of a new BDB but then I had a look at the dimensions of the machine. That is a big unit and I knew I was going to striggle to get that past "the committee". So whilst I think the BDB would be a great machine it's a "No" unfortunately .
    So the search and evaluation resumes. This means that the Silvia is back in the mix along with a bunch of other machines in the prosumer single boiler range that I have discovered in my research (Lelit, Ascaso, Exobar etc). I still have my reservations about moving to a single boiler arrangement after my twin thermoblocks in the 6910 but i'm open to suggestions/recommendations.
    "The committee" has asked the question why would we not just replace the 6910 for a new one? I don't love the idea but as I have enjoyed the coffee I make on my existing machine I would like to hear your arguments on this one.
    So if the BDB is no longer an option what would be your next best recommendations for a replacement to my 6910?

  9. #9
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    Hi all
    Any help greatly appreciated
    I have just bought a second hand Breville bes900. Yes I know, old but has had very little use. I have only ever used a commercial machine so not sure of this machine.
    The single and double shots timer seems to be faulty. It goes from turning off before delivering any coffee to not turning of at all. The lcd doesn’t display a timer when any of the buttons [ 1, 2 or manual] are pressed. I can get a nice shot on the manual but would like to be able to use the other buttons. Have tried doing a reset to no avail. Do you think I have bought a broken machine or just not driving it correctly .

  10. #10
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Breville dual boiler or Rancillio Silvia

    Ok I'm back to the drawing board. I was getting very excited about the prospect of a new BDB but then I had a look at the dimensions of the machine. That is a big unit and I knew I was going to striggle to get that past "the committee". So whilst I think the BDB would be a great machine it's a "No" unfortunately .

    Bugger

    I suppose the BES920 is wider than your current machine but I wouldn't go so far as saying she's a BIG unit!! At least not in comparison to its big shiny DB Italian cousins!! It fits very nicely in the countertop IMHO.

    But if the committee won't hear for it, and you've enjoyed the features and output of your current machine (and for the price point I think 10 years isn't too bad a lifespan) maybe just get a new one of the same.

    If you're happy, the committee is happy and the coffee is good then what more could you wish for!!
    Last edited by Crema_Lad; 9th July 2017 at 05:37 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Breville dual boiler or Rancillio Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by rosegrower View Post
    Hi all
    Any help greatly appreciated
    I have just bought a second hand Breville bes900. Yes I know, old but has had very little use. I have only ever used a commercial machine so not sure of this machine.
    The single and double shots timer seems to be faulty. It goes from turning off before delivering any coffee to not turning of at all. The lcd doesn’t display a timer when any of the buttons [ 1, 2 or manual] are pressed. I can get a nice shot on the manual but would like to be able to use the other buttons. Have tried doing a reset to no avail. Do you think I have bought a broken machine or just not driving it correctly .
    Hi RoseGrower

    You may want to repost in your own thread or in the BES900 owners forum for best chance of getting some knowledgeable replies!

    If you didn't get a copy and haven't already found a copy online here's a link to the BES900 manual - there may be some steps to resetting or changing the button functions in there that may help!

    Breville BES900 Operation and Instruction Manual

    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?sha...6&share_type=t
    level3ninja likes this.

  12. #12
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    many thanks, so new to this!!
    Crema_Lad likes this.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosegrower View Post
    many thanks, so new to this!!
    No worries ...and welcome to Coffee Snobs, you've come to the right place to get help

  14. #14
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    Have you considered the peace of mind you would get by purchasing the current model sunbeam twin thermoblock with an extended warranty that will allow you to steam and brew at the same time in the same way you can with your current machine for years- guaranteed?
    Crema_Lad likes this.

  15. #15
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    My sunbeam collar went about a year ago, and scored a gaggia classic free. Just needed a little work. Going to a single boiler was all good for just me, until I had to make 4 coffees for friends. This showed it's limitations... it takes ages! I was looking at a number of HX or DB then picked up a Breville DB in that sale ($679) very cheap. So how does it go? Awesome! Making great coffee, better than the sunbeam and Gaggia any day. Lots of great features like auto start up and timed shots ect. I know it won't last as long as a shiny quality Italian machine, however for the price couldn't pass it up. Size wise it's not too much bigger than the sunbeam. Hope that helps

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melbroaster View Post
    Have you considered the peace of mind you would get by purchasing the current model sunbeam twin thermoblock with an extended warranty that will allow you to steam and brew at the same time in the same way you can with your current machine for years- guaranteed?
    Yes indeed and I realise this would be the safe option and it may be that this where I am heading. I guess when the option to buy a new unit presented itself I was thinking that I would be foolish to not takie a bit of a step up to the next level of machine as the opportunity probably won't present itself again any time soon.

    So how does the Sunbeam EM 7000 compare to the 6910?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiebenga View Post
    My sunbeam collar went about a year ago, and scored a gaggia classic free. Just needed a little work. Going to a single boiler was all good for just me, until I had to make 4 coffees for friends. This showed it's limitations... it takes ages! I was looking at a number of HX or DB then picked up a Breville DB in that sale ($679) very cheap. So how does it go? Awesome! Making great coffee, better than the sunbeam and Gaggia any day. Lots of great features like auto start up and timed shots ect. I know it won't last as long as a shiny quality Italian machine, however for the price couldn't pass it up. Size wise it's not too much bigger than the sunbeam. Hope that helps
    Hmmm that's quite timely. After the disappointment of the no go on the BDB I had been seriously considering revisiting the single boiler models.



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