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Thread: Silvia or Giotto

  1. #1
    cd
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    Silvia or Giotto

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im about to buy my first machine/grinder and have read quite alot of stuff on the net. Im thinkink of either a Silvia or a Giotto!! I know they are not in the same league. Im basically looking for a machine that will only need to do a few shots a day with occasional entertaining, but will be relatively easy to operate and do a good job of frothing with a minimum of fuss. Any ideas???

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    CD,
    Welcome, from a newbie. I bought my Silvia / Rocky combo mid November. I can honestly say I still havent quite got the hang of it yet. I can produce an adequate shot, though the milk frothing leaves a lot to be desired. If you dont mind practicing (using a lot of beans to get the grind right, pour a shot and tip it out because it looks like strong tea etc) then go with the machine that requires more input. Otherwise maybe go with something a little more automated.

    I went with the Silvia because I read up on the different types of machines available and it is truly the best value for money, and I like to have lots of input. (Probably half my trouble). I like it because its built out of brass, heaviest in its class, looks good, can be repaired in Sydney or Melbourne –easily, and there are a lot of other users out there who don’t mind helping with advice. Like this forum.

    I digress. Have a look at the other threads of discussions and also at the following site. Its a pearla ;D

    http://www.coffeeco.com.au/Espressopage.html
    There isnt much this guy doesnt know. Read the articles as well, very informative.

    My biggest tip as a newbie, is wherever you buy it from, get them to show you how to use it. You could probably get a better deal from the Internet, but they cant show you what to do. If I had my time again, I would have spent the extra 100 bucks and bought it from the Coffee Company in Melbourne. The guys there were really helpful, but the minister for funds and warfare said the extra 100 in her pocket was an extra 100 in her pocket!! ;)


    Hope that helped.

    Cheers

    Boris.

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    Another machine you could look at would be the Diadema. Its the same price category.
    I have no expreience with anything other than the silvia and krups nuvo and i couldnt stand the krups. The silvia (my current machine) is great for 2 coffees and ok for up to 4 but any more than that and it can get time consuming.
    If you want it for entertaining and can afford it id say to go for something with a bigger boiler

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    Thanks for the advice. Its great to be able to talk to people who have had a bit of experience. Once I dicided to buy a machine I thiught it would be a relatively simple decision...Ha.

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    I had a laugh
    thats what we all thought. Once you get through all the info you have to decide hwat you need vs what you can afford.

    For its price Silvia is good value but if you entertain alot 6 lattés can be a chore. Its do able but takes a little time. Therefore if you can afford it one of the heat Exchanger (HX) machines may be better suited like the Diadema as HalfDead suggested. I havent had much to do with the top end machines yet but I have had a play with a Rancilio Epoca which is a Single group commercial machine and takes up a fair wack of room.

    Let us know what you decide on and why

    Happy Hunting

    Rich

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    CD
    Welcome to the forum
    Silvia v Giotto v Diadema
    What a dilema, if your budget allows you to choose between the three.
    I have been using a Giotto for over two years, a Diadema Junior for three months and new to the kitchen bench is a Silvia.
    Both the Diadema Junior and the Giotto Premium are excellent in their class. Each has its own characteristics. I think it would come down to a personal choice on looks. Both extract excellent espresso and texture silky-smooth milk. May take a bit of practice, but it is possible.
    The Silvia, cant say much tonite, as I have only started to play with it today. First impressions, looks great, compact in size, simple Italish instructions, fast warm up, no mess fill of the tank, good size operating buttons etc.
    OK what about the espresso, well first shot about 9/10, following about 9.5/10. Crema, a little light, compared to the Diadema, Giotto and Comercial ECM. But then, I suppose one must compare apples with apples. I am sure after a bit of tweeking and a fiddle with the grinder, filter-basket size and coffee blend, I ll sort it out.
    Milk texturing, after sorting out the bleeding of the wand, a very high quality silky smooth milk.
    So, letting my kitchen bench do the talking, it may come back to your budget.
    For general domestic operation and enjoyment, the major difference that I can see (so far) between the Diadema/Giotto and the Silvia;
    1. could come down to being able to extract espresso and steam milk at the same time. Diadema/Giotto, yes. Silvia, no.
    2. Aah, OK the price about $2500 versus about $750.
    3. And whether you entertain a lot.
    There are a number of so called deals floating about, but be carefull. Suggest you shop locally and not to try for interstate or overseas bargains, Youll get what you pay for. You might save a few bucks, but you might well and truly miss out on the service and support.
    With any of the machines, you will need a grinder of reasonable quality. The Rocky, Cunhill El cafe Tranquilo or Mini Mazzer. Ranging from about $430 to $750. Yes, there are a number of other capable grinders available from about $250, but I do not have the info on them. Other forum members could offer plenty of suggestions.
    Good luck on you choice. What state are you in????
    John

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    cd
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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    Thanks again. All seems like good advice. Lots to ponder over the rest of the weekend. Itll be good to be able to play with my own machine and finally have some control over the coffee I drink. Lifes too short to drink bad coffee from cafes that either dont care or dont know any better!

    Cheers,

    Rob.

    Oh, Im in Sydney.

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    Hey all!

    As strange as the original question that started this post may appear, I find myself in exactly the same predicament :o

    I MUST upgrade my Krups Novo soon..........but where to go?? I have received plenty of advice from sites such as this and others, but really I am yet to decide which machine will best accommodate MY needs.

    I occasionaly make 4-6 milk based coffees for my guests (approx. once a month) and I make two milk based cups in the morning on a daily basis.

    So points to consider

    - a smaller machine will be ideal to suit the mornings due to a quick heat up time.

    - Machine must be able to froth well - my current wet milk is bearable - but only just.

    - make 6 cups on demand - my current visitors love the end product, but continuously make fun of my 20min coffees.....

    Id love a Silvia as it would serve my daily needs and not do as much damage to the bank......

    But - Id also love the convenience of a HX machine to make a couple of drinks at a time, not to mention the convenience of a hot water tap etc...

    Yes, I will spend $2-2500 if I must. I would prefer to spend $750!!!!!!

    This dilema has led me to consider another option - I have seen a number of Rancilio Single Group commercial machines that appear to be around 10 years old - not 100% sure of this. I think they are referred to as an S27 or similar ???

    Nonetheless, I feel that this product at around $1000 2nd hand may be exactly what I am after. The majority have 3lt water tanks, but some are plumb in; Ill assume it is still relatively simple to find a service agent in the Vic metro area and above all, the price is right ;D

    Please throw some feedback this way - love to hear all your thoughts, comments and abuse on this potential solution.

    Regards,

    James

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    Whether you buy a silvia, or a diadema, dont be cheap, or you will get what you pay for. Buy new, or late model new. Some espresso machine manufactureres have come a *long way in 10 years and the quality of the coffee produced, or the overall "performance" of espresso machines these days, is streets ahead of many ten year old models.

    Someone mentioned Diadema semi commercial machines. The warm up time form dead cold is about 7 minutes. Whilst you would still want to run (hot) water through it to pre warm all the piping and group properly before brewing, that kind of warm up time for a semi commercial machine is impressive....as will be the coffee brewed, and the capacity of the steam circuit.

    Ultimately you will have to be the judge of whether you want to stick with a domestic machine that is good for a couple, but slow when you are entertaining, or whether you will shall we say "overdo" the purchase in order to have the extra capacity when you are entertaining.

    Regardez,
    FC.

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    Quote Originally Posted by AJzCafe link=1103343154/0#7 date=1104139084
    Hey all!

    As strange as the original question that started this post may appear, I find myself in exactly the same predicament *:o

    I MUST upgrade my Krups Novo soonI occasionaly make 4-6 milk based coffees for my guests (approx. once a month) and I make two milk based cups in the morning on a daily basis. *

    .........

    This dilema has led me to consider another option - I have seen a number of Rancilio Single Group commercial machines that appear to be around 10 years old - not 100% sure of this. *I think they are referred to as an S27 or similar ???


    Regards,

    James
    Fast heat up and volume production will be met by a hx machine left running 24/7

    Cheapest new hx option is the Simonelli Oscar for under a grand at Sienna, more plastic than steel on the exterior panels but apparently a rock solid machine.

    Commercials like rancilio s26/27 have large boilers and will chew quite a bit of juice 24/7 as well as producing large amounts of heat! Take up a big chunk of kitchen space as well.


    A second hand commercial will probably require more maintenance depending on its history, I went for a no frills version, if you get a fairly basic model you should be able to do most repairs/maintenance yourself, they are designed to be opened up and have parts swapped out unlike domestics

    All the above options will steam milk like a locomotive.

    in summary Id recommend a single group commercial if you have the time, power and space and want to save a few $ alternately if you want a turnkey solution just order a nice new shiny e-61 whatever and enjoy!

    Youll need to allow at least $400 for a grinder as well, but you already knew that ;D

    hope this helps

    maurice

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    A couple of (respectful) thoughts on the last post:

    It is a very bad idea to leave a commercial espresso machine (which is hooked up to water) running 24/7. The water lines have a tendency to give up the ghost every now and then, and you cant tell when.... It is not good when they fail and you are not there to turn off the water quickly, and I know of instances where houses have been flooded, and worse, lift wells in shopping centres have been flooded, damaging the hydraulics of elevators and causing tens of thoudands of dollars damage...all for the act of not turning off the water to an espresso mahcine at the end of the day. Guess who foots the bill... the owner of the espresso machine. It is not nice when it happens to your home, it has happened to me personally, twice.

    Some coffee companies now send out disclaimer forms, advising that machines must have water and power turned off every night, and if the advice is not followed, that they will not be held responsible in the event of a water or electrical failure and the damage such a failure may cause.


    The Oscar is indeed a nice little machine and cheap for a "semi commercial". It is not "desireable" however BECAUSE of the plastic body. Clients look past it towards all the stainless steel bodied machines and are prepared to pay more. Also, It is not just a question of plastc body panels. The machine has no frame, ie the entire structure is a plastic "monocoque" construction, and it is not as easy to get into for service, as a regular steel framed machine with quick release body. The lack of overall weight makes it a bit of a bugbear to use, you have to hold the machine with one arm while you apply the group handle with the other. Anyone thinking of buying one should beware that eventually if you wish to "upgrade", there will be little little resale value because of the lack of "desireability".

    Regardez.
    FC.

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    James
    On the second hand machine, if you cant fix it yourself, then I suggest that you forget it. Good chance it will spend more time in the service technicians shed than on your bench. If it is nudging 10 years, then expect to have to do a reasonable overhaul.
    If you cant afford the $2500 or so for a top of range Diadema or similar HX machine, then maybe start with a Silvia and upgrade in a year or two.
    I am sure that your monthly guests will wait a few minutes while you prepare the coffee.
    The milk texturing on the Silvia is more than acceptable.
    John

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    I have a similar dillema. My brief research has led me to the La Valentina/Diadema/BFC Junior... I think they are all the same machine. Very closely followed by the Giotto Premium and then the La Scala Butterfly. Sienna also advertise the Rancilio S24 for $2200 from memory. Im not 100% sure but I think the S24 is the only one able to run from an internal tank? Therefore the S27 (volumetric, rotary pump) would have to be plumbed, although I may be wrong...The other thing I did during my brief research was to make a mock up of the machine and try it for size on the benchtop in my kitchen. The Rancilios are HUGE compared to the Diademas and Giottos. It seemed to me that it was like buying a bus to drive to work, much more machine than needed.

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1103343154/0#10 date=1104143424
    A couple of (respectful) thoughts on the last post:

    It is a very bad idea to leave a commercial espresso machine (which is hooked up to water) running 24/7. The water lines have a tendency to give up the ghost every now and then, and you cant tell when....

    The Oscar is indeed a nice little machine and cheap for a "semi commercial". It is not "desireable" however BECAUSE of the plastic body. Clients look past it towards all the stainless steel bodied machines and are prepared to pay more.
    The machine has no frame, ie the entire structure is a plastic "monocoque" construction, and it is not as easy to get into for service, as a regular steel framed machine with quick release body. ...

    FC.
    sh*t, just lost all my carefully considered response when power went out, to summarize

    there are pros and cons for 24/7 running. Im too tight and my house is hot enough already but many commercial ops I knew endorsed it or a least used to. The bigger the macine the longer heat up time. Rancilio s series have 5 litre boilers I think! Lots of threads on this topic at the other forums with opinions probably split 50/50

    Your machine needs to be up to the task ie commercial grade, ie no plastic hoses etc.

    Would be much safer with pourover with the drip tray overflow routed to the sink, however if you do spring a leak you could still be up for a new element and or boiler. (Worst case could be a leak straight into the brain box on an auto, I saw a bezzera 35 commercial with all its electroics completely exposed to any leaks)

    re the oscar, I considered one but chose a second hand Cimabli instead and am glad I did. Interesting (and scary) point about the plastic frame. They definitely arent a giotto but are less than half the price so are good value for some people. Given you can get into one for under a thousand I cant see you taking too big a loss on a future trade up. Ive never used one but nearly all the reviews are very positive

    Theres an as new Faema E98 Compact S1 on ebay at the moment for $1800, this is the same machine as a Cimbali Junior S1 which has a new price of over $3.2k (cimbali bought faema). I doubt it will sell at auction, could be post auction bargain however ;)


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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    Maurice,

    I appreciate the point about the concensus being split 50/50 regarding whether to leave machines running 24/7 or not.

    However, I can feel a Position Statement coming on !

    Those that favour leaving a machine connected 24/7, are simply WRONG. They are busy missing the point whilst arguing about heat up time, OR supposed increased maintenance due to seals expanding and contracting with heating / cooling from being turned on and off etc, but these are people that havent had the experience of a simple inlet water line bursting in the middle of the night, and running unchecked until morning when the whole of the bottom floor of a shopping mall, including lift wells and basements containing hydraulic and electrical gear are flooded...

    Braided, flexible "stainless steel" water inlet lines supplied with espresso machines are nothing more than a commercial grade reinforced rubber hose with an outer metallic flexible protective layer. The rubber hose inside, or the end where the metal union is crimped on, can fail at any time.

    This is where the water leaks come from when you are sleeping.

    Ive also seen main switches on espresso machines shorted out. No reason, its just their time to fail. Sometimes theres nothing more than electrical failure, and other times it causes a small (soon to be large) fire.....if you are not there.

    It is nothing more than a safety issue, black and white.

    If you burst a water line, or short out something electrical while youre there and awake, no problem. Otherwise you are either at home sleeping while flooding out your own and the neighbours shops, OR you are sleeping while your own house is flooding or burning down around you.

    The above is an issue very close to my heart.

    If Oscars can now be picked up for under a thou, then that simply reinforces the view that whilst being a good little coffee machine, they are not selling well and someone (an importer) must be trying to get their money back. When they were first released here, they were selling around the 1500.00 mark.

    Please everyone, turn the water and power OFF to your plumbed in machine when it is not in use...it is not good enough to turn off the power but not the water, as is most usually the case.

    Regardez,
    FC.

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    FC
    Ditto
    Ditto
    Ditto.
    I can tell a few similar stories of water lines bursting.
    Generally speaking, the mains water pressure rises at night on account of most persons being asleep and not much water being used. This is when there is a build up of pressure in the lines. Any weak connection or fatiqued part will often fail at night.
    John

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    Re: Silvia or Giotto

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thankyou all for your comments/suggestions. :D

    I feel I am down to three alternatives at the present time

    - La Scala Butterfly
    - ECM Giotto
    - One of the Diadema machines

    I suppose the Butterfly is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper atm, but that will not be the deciding factor...

    I have read numerous reviews on the machines - from both local sources and abroad - all seem to find the above machines satisfactory and worthy of a recommendation.

    I would be interested to hear about anyones experiences with the Butterfly as it seems to be the least owned machine; perhaps just a perception? ::)

    Then again, there is always the humble Silvia. I have found that my passion lies more to milk-based espresso than pure shots. This is mainly due to the Mrs and guests requesting either a Cap or Latte. My personal favourite is a short Macchiato so it ends up mixed one way or another! I feel the Silvia would fulfil my needs if I drank enough straight espresso, but as I do not - the HX seems the way to go.

    Pity about that Ebay machine as I am still a couple of weeks away from a purchase [Read: must now convince wife that new machine has gone from $750 to ~$2000!! :o]

    Thankyou again for your thoughts and Ill keep you all informed of my purchase.

    Kind Regards,

    James



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