Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Please help me decide what to buy.

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    112

    Please help me decide what to buy.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    OK, Ive definitely decided to get a machine. I can spend up to or a bit over $1000, but the less I spend the better I suppose. Id like to get a separate grinder and machine. Right now Ive decided on Rocky/Silvia. I do have a question though, can I get a decent espresso out of the Silvia without a PID, or monitoring the temperature?

    Also, are there any alternatives to Rocky/Silvia that you might recommend? (in the same price range, or less)

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    joe
    joe is offline
    Senior Member joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    241

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    The Silvia/Rocky combo has a legion of fans. Me, Ive had a Gaggia Classic for over 8 years and I reckon it makes a great coffee. My grinder, a Gaggia MDF, is noisy, but has been grinding beans every day for 13 years without missing a beat.
    If youre looking to spending less money, then this combo might merit consideration.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    112

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Hi joe, thanks for replying. Approximately how much would you setup set me back?

  4. #4
    joe
    joe is offline
    Senior Member joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    241

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Ive seen the Classic for as low as $499 (on special at Dick Smith or Megamart or somesuch place), but you may have to look around. The MDF seems to go for between $300-$350.

  5. #5
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,716

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Bloop, most coffee machines will make a decent cup of coffee. Even my old $70 IQ from Coles was acceptable. It boasted a stainless steel boiler, but a little slow in the steaming department. Do you want primarily to do espressos, or milk-drinks?

    The Silvia-Rocky combination will cost you about $1000. Like all non heat-exchanger machines, temperature variation will occur in the Silvia. But its heavy mass of brass, iron and steel gives it a thermostability possible unrivalled by similar semi-automatics.

    The thermostat specificatiion may say 100 degrees C, but in actual fact temperatures will range from the mid-80s to about 115 C. Quite a range. But one within which quite acceptable coffees can nonetheless be made.

    There is no need to spend a further $250 or so on a PID. The same results can be got by temperature surfing, or, as Ive done, installing a thermocouple connected to a digital volt meter which will indicate the most opportune time to press the brew switch.

    If your goal is to make lattes, there is the twin advantage of loads of steaming power, and the masking of any shortcoming in the espresso.

    Robusto








  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    112

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    joe, thats very close to the price of Rocky/Silvia, at that price I think Ill go for Rocky/Silvia purely for the larger user base.

    robusto, Ill mainly be making milk drinks, and from what Ive read, the steaming is one of Silvias stronger points. If most machines make a decent cup of coffee, Im curious to know what Im paying the extra for. Maybe I should just buy a decent grinder and use my current crappy machine? Im so confused. :-/

  7. #7
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,716

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    You are paying "extra" for the extra quality of the shot. There is a pretty thick line between acceptable shots and superior shots.

    The extra goes into paying for the machine qualities which enable that. For instance, many lower-priced machines will have steel or worse, aluminium boilers which have inferior thermostability and prone to electrolytic corrosion. Or worse, they may have a thermoblock system. The group will be light-weight, often aluminium, which sheds heat during the pour. The electric switches may not live up to long-term use. The machine cabinet may be plastic, which has zilch thermostability. And ditto for longevity for that matter.

    The old adage is there is no substitute for quality.
    Robusto

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,949

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by bloop link=1133482658/0#5 date=1133509909
    Maybe I should just buy a decent grinder and use my current crappy machine? Im so confused. :-/
    Id buy a mazzer mini and a gaggia carezza. The carezza will fall over in five years time and, by then, youll want a HX or dual-boiler machine.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Augustine Heights QLD
    Posts
    302

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Bloop,
    * *If you get the Silvia Rocky combo you wont be disappointed. Yes, there is temperature variation but it can be easily over come by timing when you pull the shot. As soon as I fit the PF after filling, I run water through the steam wand until the temp light comes on. I hit a kitchen timer preset to count down 20 seconds. When the timer goes off press the brew switch and there you have it. Why twenty? Dont know but the principle is consistency. So glad I bought two seperate machines, and not a department store variety.

    Like you said there is a huge knowledge base out there, and once you fill out your profile including location, you may find someonme willing to show you how to get the most out of your machine.

    Good luck

    Boirs.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    112

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Thanks for all the input guys/gals. OK so Silvia and Rocky it is. I want something to last and I hope this is it. Im trying to justify the price, and it works out to be $3 a day over a year, so thats basically a coffee a day!

    Will be ordering from Mocopan (Coffee Philosophy) from Sydney, theyve quoted me $1055 for both inc. shipping. Sounds like a good price to me. Unless someone here can offer me a better price?

    The base will have to wait. Maybe Santa can bring me the base.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney Oz
    Posts
    503

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    If you buy it from Mocopan in Sydney they may also throw in a set of cups and a kilo of beans (I think it was the standard deal when I bought mine a year ago). If they provide the beans it would be worth seeing if you can take 250 or 500g now and some later. 1.0kg of beans is heaps to get through and ultimatey will go stale by the time you get towards the end.

    Matt

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,176

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Just one thing on the Gaggia/MDF combo, you can buy the two together for $750 if youre prepared to talk turkey. Thats what I landed mine for. Thats also $300 less than the Silvia/Rocky.

    Lucas suggestion for a Carezza/Mazzer mini combo is also cheaper and will see you with a nearly upgrade-proof grinder and a very capable machine.

    Ultimately Silvia/Rocky are a great pair. You dont have to PID anything, but it is an option for the future and it does make life MUCH easier. But youll only appreciate such a mod after surfing for a while.

    Regards,

    Mark.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    112

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Ive ordered Silvia/Rocky today. Thanks for all the input. Matt G, unfortunately I was only given 500gm of beans instead of a kilo, but really, that doesnt matter.

    Can anyone tell me if theres a Silvia/Rocky FAQ or quickstart guide floating around on the net somewhere?

  14. #14
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,716

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Congratulations on your purchase, Bloop. One advantage of the Silvia is that its probably the most written about coffee machine in the world. There is no shortage of information.


    You can start here in coffeesnobs with past Silvia and Rocky posts, or go to coffeegeek, wholelattelove, and numerous other forums. Google will point you in the right direction. In fact, its like being blindfolded and throwing a dart at a board --- the Silvia board is so big you cant miss.

    Enjoy, Robusto

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    112

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    I got it, w00t!

    One question if I may... The drip tray cover has some white vinyl covering on it, I can remove that yes? It just looks unsightly when it has the word "laser" printed in blue on white.

  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,879

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by bloop link=1133482658/0#12 date=1133783378
    Can anyone tell me if theres a Silvia/Rocky FAQ or quickstart guide floating around on the net somewhere?
    Hiya bloop,

    Welcome to CS by the way, great to have you as a member [smiley=thumbsup.gif].

    One of the best Silvia/Rocky sites that Ive found is this one operated by Randy Glass.... http://home.surewest.net/frcn/Coffee/Coffee.html. He has a blow by blow account of his experiences with the Silvia/Rocky combo right from when it was delivered to his front door. Hes also a very friendly guy and happy to answer questions from genuine enquiries.

    All the best,
    Mal.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    112

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Hi Mal, great to be here! Thanks for the link, its an entertaining read, Im yet to finish reading for Im too busy playing hehe.

    Looking forward to the steep learning curve ahead of me as I go in search for the perfect shot. Maybe one day, just maybe, Ill even try roasting... but for now I have to try and get me some crema!

    In an 8cm diameter cup, Im getting 1mm crema, is that good enough? :-?

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    52

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Youll get more, with the right coffee I get up to a centimetre (well maybe 8mm, In not a great judge) in a smallish latte glass. Congratulations on a great purchase!

  19. #19
    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    935

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Hi

    .. but for now I have to try and get me some crema!
    In an 8cm diameter cup, Im getting 1mm crema, is that good enough? :-?
    You just need a smaller coffee cup. As an espresso is just 30mls I got myself some Bodum Thermo Double Wall Glasses. They keep the coffee hot and they are glass which means you can see through it and see the thickness of the crema. With the Bodums Im getting 4 or 5 mm thickness. Here is a link to see what the glasses look like.
    http://www.homecouture.com.au/index.cfm?event=product&idProduct=4223&cursor=2&id Brand=249
    I got mine from a small shop for $10.00 for a box with two glasses in it. There are a few different styles.

    Mike

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    32

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Bloop, youll be very happy with your rocky-silvia combo, ive had mine for nearly 5 years now and it still looks and works like it did brand new, proabably due a new set of burrs and group seal but nothing else to speak of has gone wrong.

  21. #21
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,716

    Re: Please help me decide what to buy.

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Yes, the white covering on the drip tray is only there to prevent scratches etc pre-sale. It peels off to reveal a stainless surface. If you dont remove it, over time it will wear off anyway.

    Robusto



Similar Threads

  1. Please help me decide
    By agjv in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 30th March 2011, 12:21 PM
  2. Help me decide
    By phil__ in forum Grinders
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 21st January 2010, 08:22 PM
  3. I cant decide... help please!
    By Sullo in forum Brewing Equipment (non-machine specific)
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 20th April 2007, 08:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •