Try the new Sunbeam EM6900.
You might just like it. ;)
Id just like to thank Jack and Chris at Barazi coffee (one of this sites sponsors) for letting me test a Rancilio Silvia and a standard Gaggia Classic side-by-side.
I havent analysed and prepared the results yet, but in terms of producing a stable brew temperature during the brewing process, the Silvia wins hands down. While the Classic exhibits a constantly falling temperature profile during a shot, the Silvia hold its temperature to less than 2 deg C during the brewing process.
What does it all mean? Probably that the Silvia has the potential to make a better espresso than a Classic. But you still have to learn how to drive it.
However, if you favour milk drinks, then you might never taste the difference.
I hope no one thinks Im out to bash the Gaggia. I just like to know what youre paying for. In this case, it seems the extra money spent on a Silvia might be worth it, if you like espresso.
Try the new Sunbeam EM6900.
You might just like it. ;)
I would back that one up with hard data I think. Not just a nice photo of some very thin stainless sheeting.
Someone has taken a lot of trouble to analyze the Silvia and Classic. If you do the same and the data stacks up then we know that there is some substance behind this exterior.
This machine is still vapourware and untested.
Does it even exist in retail outlets yet?
The Gaggia has a 120ml boiler while the Silvia is packing a mighty 300mls. Just going by the numbers, Silvia should win temperature shootout every time.
It is out. Ive got one. :DOriginally Posted by wattgn link=1120798525/0#2 date=1120810126
Dont criticize it before you test it or check it out yourself.
This one is not only stainless steel on the outside but also on the inside. Check out the online PDF manual.
Dont write it off just because it is a Sunbeam. You seem quick to judge. You must have some strong preconceptions very well intranched.
If you want hard data, get it. In the mean time I am enjoying the machine. ;D
Mind if I dip my thermocouple into your basket, Monti? ;D
I think there are more factors than just boiler size. If you do thiings carefully, then a small boiler can be temperature stable. My guess is that the compromise is for fast heat up of the boiler and group and low cost. As long as it works well enough. Afterall the Classic was designed for home use probably 20 years ago when most people were drinking nescafe 43 bean blend.Originally Posted by sharkboy link=1120798525/0#3 date=1120810839
I am in Sydney and you are in Brisy.Originally Posted by Sparky link=1120798525/0#5 date=1120813387
You better have a very long lead for your thermocouple. ;)
Why are you measuring the temp anyway.
Are you saying that you cannot tell the difference which one makes a better coffee by just drinking it?
If you cannot tell, then does it matter?
If you can, then you dont need to measure it, do you?
Or is it only an exercise to justity your decision to spend more money?
Look upon it as a challenge rather than an insult.
On the other hand if you post pictures of a nice shiney machine on the internet which is untested then people will bite. ;D
PS. recommend that you stock up on A positive or whatever your blood type is in anticipation.
I didnt take it as an insult. I am merely amazed how people (like yourself) prejudge things without any facts. Why dont you consider it a challenge (like you said) and find out those facts before you shoot your mouth off. Or is it only relevant to those that you dont agree with?Originally Posted by wattgn link=1120798525/0#8 date=1120817429
I only posted the picture because it is brand new, only came out yesterday, so that people can identify it as it is not common.
Of course, it is untested as it has just came out yesterday. It doesnt mean that it is not good though and people should keep away from it.
To me that it is nice and shiny is a plus and not a negative. But it is not just a nice and shiny pic on the internet as I actually own one, and it is nice and shiny in our kitchen.
People should not bite. Why do you think they should bite? Did I say anything bad? Did I hurt anyone? I only said to try it. I didnt say, just buy it.
Im not the one posting on the machine and I dont own one.
You are posting and you do own one!
If you look on CoffeeGeeks there is a lot of interest in this machine but also a lot of scepticism.
The scepticism is justified too. Although thermoblock machines can make reasonable espresso they havent to my knowledge been able to hold anywhere near the thermal stability of boiler machines. It is agreed too among experts that thermal stability is critical to good espresso.
It seems to me that a 15ml thermoblock has no room for error regarding any variables at all ie. flowrate. It would be a very hard balancing act. If someone can make it work really well then I take my hat off to them.
That is the challenge for an owner or someone who has access to one to prove us wrong. I mean sparky has found that an 8 degree drop during the pour DOES make a difference to taste.
I guess we want to see something objective. I mean temperature stability can be measured like any physical quantity and is uncoloured by emotion. Taste is subjective and depends on a host of factors and is VERY subjective.
I would honestly be interested in someone doing some work on this area. Alan Frew is going to dissect one soon I believe.
Maybe you should invite Sparky over with his thermocouple and drill? ;D
I guess it depends on how you define temperature stability...I think there are more factors than just boiler size. If you do things carefully, then a small boiler can be temperature stable.
Ive got a Baby Gaggia (virtually the same as Classic), and Ive got a thermocouple. If you consider spiking at 96*C and dropping as low as 86*C during a 60ml extraction then weve got different ideas about *stability.
What other factors are there other than boiler size? Both machines have nice heavy groups, and commercial ie heavy brass portafilters. Ive surfed up and down and the best results I ever gotten still had a variation of 7*C
My contention was that the Gaggia cant match the Silvia for temperature stability. A point you made in your original post...
I own a Gaggia, so Im not bagging them, just stating what I believe to be the obvious.
Let me know what Ive overlooked...?
Now I know why we call ourselves coffee snobs.
Its getting closer
ie the chinese producing a machine that will compete with or better a Silvia. But it will obviously never have an italian name brand so therefore its only capable of crap coffees. yeah right personally I think that the chinesse machines will soon be as good if not better, certainly better value for money.
Still whats the snob value of saying "I have a "How Hi" espresso machine when you can say I have a Rancilio, Gaggia, ECM or what ever name brand" ? ;)
So Long as the coffee is good, you and your friends enjoy it who cares what brand it is if you can get the same results time and again.
If I still drank coffee id like to try a coffee out of one of the new sunbeams. Infact is someone handy to Geelong has one ill give it a crack.. to hell with the Doc ;) But I does have to be fresh home roast. Even if I gotta do it myself. ;D
Yes you are. You are posting negative things about a machine that you do not own. Or is that not posting?Originally Posted by wattgn link=1120798525/0#10 date=1120819296
Scepticism maybe justified, but you just shoot it down without even laying an eye on it and telling me how it is only a shiny picture of a machine when you have no idea, no reseach, no facts, nothing what so ever. On the other hand I merely said to someone to try. Completely disregarding something you never tried is not scepticism at all. It is arogant.
Have those experts tested this machine yet? Have they?Although thermoblock machines can make reasonable espresso they havent to my knowledge been able to hold anywhere near the thermal stability of boiler machines. It is agreed too among experts that thermal stability is critical to good espresso.
How good are most people and not being able to tell the difference between shots from different machines and having to resort to thermocouples?
Well, then test the Sunbeam and if it is not good then let us all know, but dont say that it is not good if you have not tested it.That is the challenge for an owner or someone who has access to one to prove us wrong. I mean sparky has found that an 8 degree drop during the pour DOES make a difference to taste.
If you want to be objective then test it and dont prejudge it.I guess we want to see something objective. I mean temperature stability can be measured like any physical quantity and is uncoloured by emotion. Taste is subjective and depends on a host of factors and is VERY subjective.
Since, taste is subjective and it is what matters, there is no need for testing with a thermocouple especially when there are many other things that can effect the result. Also, a different end result doesnt mean it is a worse result.
Why bother when you have already made up your mind and "know" that it cannot possibly achieve good results?I would honestly be interested in someone doing some work on this area. Alan Frew is going to dissect one soon I believe.
I am not interested in the result of a machine. I am interested how it tastes. The machine will not tell me if it tastes good or not.Maybe you should invite Sparky over with his thermocouple and drill? ;D
I made coffee with the Sunbeam and also with a Brasilica Gradisca 2 group machine at our shop and they tasted virtualy the same. So, why would I need to measure it? To prove what? To prove that the expensive commercial machine is worth thousands of dollars more? The HX machine is good for producing many coffees in a row while the TB machine is better for few coffees in a row since it warms up in no time and no preparation is needed. They are different but they both produce the same shot.
But it is all irrelevant, anyway, as I merely suggested to have a TRY. On the other hand you just shot it down and were just negative about something you never ever even seen, let alone tried or tested.
Remember that the machines such as the Giotto and Silvia are respected as the result of several years or more of inspection, dissection, analysis, tasting and testing as well as having to earn a reputation for reliability, durability, availability of parts and servicing.
Any new machine whether it is chinese, italian or whatever will have to run the gauntlet. Most coffee people though will warm to a machine that delivers the goods.
Thermoblock technology has the promise to deliver big time but so far I have seen no PROOF of this.
As for the Sunbeam EM6900. If it tests well, doesnt break down and has good parts and service backup, well who knows, maybe even I might buy one!!!
I dont think anyone is trying to "bag" the new 6900 machine. I for one believe that done properly, there is no reason why a t/block machine shouldnt be able to produce shots that are not the equal of more traditional designed machines. As with everything, time will tell.
It makes sense though that a machine needs to maintain temperature stability of the Brew Water Circuit, no matter the design. Water temps that get too high make the resulting brew bitter and temps that dip too low will make the brew taste sour. This is empirical information based on decades of research by highly respected individuals and companies. It is only logical therefore, that people will try to identify machines that maintain this brew water temp stability as its one less variable to worry about when trying to consistently pull great shots of espresso.
Running simple experiments and collating the data like Sparky has done help all of us. It makes it easier to determine which of a range of machines on the market, we should be putting on our short-lists before parting with all that cash. It also helps to identify methods that people can utilise on machines that they already own, to minimise temperature drift of brew water to further reduce this criterion as a notional variable that will effect the flavour of subsequent brews. This surely cant be a bad thing?
I have run some simple experiments of my own along the lines of what Sparky has done but in nowhere near as much detail, to try and identify the voracity of any benefits that I might receive by fitting PID control to my Mokita. The results of my experiments were enough to convince me of the benefits to go ahead with this mod. Subsequently, I now have a machine that is capable of maintaining brew water temps to +/- 1.0-1.5 degrees of nominal during a pour. Plus, I get the added benefit of being able to adjust the temperature up or down depending on other factors, including ambient temperature.
In a nutshell, Im all for people like Sparky undertaking experiments whose results can potentially benefit all of us here in CS. Of course in the end it is as you have said, it all comes down to taste and that will always be the most essential test. If it tastes good to you, then who has the right to tell you it doesnt? It would be interesting though to be able to get hold of one of the new Sunbeam 6900s and let Sparky loose with his data gathering and logging equipment, if for no other reason than that of curiosity.
All the best,
...step away from the keyboards gents and count to ten...
Hey Mal,Originally Posted by Mal link=1120798525/15#16 date=1120829392
going OT here but was the temp swing of you Mokita b4 you PIDd it? Im curious as I sometimes use a napoletana which I suspect isnt particularly stable. It has the same 300ml brass boiler as the silvia and a 57mm portafilter but the group and holder are a lot lighter. I believe its the same setup as the Mokita?
Whilst the end prouduct is certainly very palatable the crema is never consistent in color within the one pour, usually tending to "pale out" after 10 or so seconds, I can never get the same dark tan syrupy consistency I always get with my hx machine regardless of bean freshness, grind and tamping variations.
Theres every likelihood that the Chinese product will be sold with an Italian brand name. Look at how much stuff already is.Originally Posted by Rich and Rae link=1120798525/0#13 date=1120825815
Hi Stephen. Thanks mate, youre the first person to independently confirm what Ive found for the Gaggias.Originally Posted by sharkboy link=1120798525/0#11 date=1120822520
Im just pointing out that in theory, a small boiler can produce a stable temperature profile. Just not the small boiler-on-group design that Gaggia employ. Imagine a small but long boiler. If the feed water came in the bottom of the boiler and the brew water is taken from the top, you could design it such that the cold feed water stratifies and doesnt mix with the hot brew water. Then the brew water would remain close to optimum temperature when you deliver it to the group. As long as the group is separated from the boiler, the temperature should remain pretty stable. An other idea for the Gaggias is to use a second boiler to pre-heat the feed water and feed the brew boiler. When I used 55*C hot brew water, the temperature drop during the shot was halved (it just didnt do the pump any good).
I believe that with a bit of inginuity, a decent small volume home espresso system is possible with any degree of temperature stability you want. (it just might cost a lot more :-/ ) (ref. Versalab M3)
Hi Maurice, bring your Napolitana to the next CG meeting and Ill log some temp profiles for you. Itd be good to get some more info on the popular mid-range domestic machines.Originally Posted by mauricem link=1120798525/15#18 date=1120865970
PS Everything will pale incomparison to the Cimbali ;D
Hi Maurice,Originally Posted by mauricem link=1120798525/15#18 date=1120865970
Personally, I thought the Boiler Temp swing was quite excessive - in the region of (+/-) 6-7 degrees C. This was measured at the top of the boiler adjacent to where the t/stats are placed. I dont know if this is typical of Mokita Boiler operation or idiosyncratic for my particular unit. Whatever the case, fitting of a PID controller certainly flattened this out.
Static Boiler Temp prior to pulling a shot is held to a range of (+/-) 0.5 C of the setpoint. Using a K Type thermocouple and my trusty Fluke DMM, the temperature dip of the brew water during a shot measured in the PF was always less than 1.5 C and when you consider thats starting with a water temperature of 94 C, the temperature is never falling below what is considered ideal.
Ive noticed that ambient temperature does have an effect, as in the middle of Summer, the maximum dip was usually less than 1.0 C so there must be a bit more temperature loss because of the steeper Temp Gradient between ambient and the Boiler Water Temp itself. All in all, Im very happy with the end result that the PID mod has achieved and would recommend it to anyone who wants to improve control of the Brew Water Temp and subsequent stability of the water temp in the PF.
Recently, the SSR I employed in the PID mod failed :P (infant mortality) and I had to resort back to Temp Surfing. Boy, do I miss that PID now :(. Wont be long before Ive got the replacement though and itll be back in business. Cant wait....
By the way, if it is at all possible it would be great if you could take Sparky up on his offer to test your Napoletina.... Would give us all a bit more data and information to work with ;).
All the best,
My results are now posted on Coffeegeek:
Have a look if youre interested.
I agree with all of the above, but I just dont like you prejudge a machine that you havent seen or tested yet and havent had the opportunity of tasting the brew.Originally Posted by wattgn link=1120798525/15#15 date=1120828111
All the above machines are geat and I do like them too.
But again, if you only payed attention to what I have been saying all along, I merely said to try the machine, while you got negative about it without knowing anything about it. You dont have to tell me about the above machines, as I do know that they are very good indeed and I am not disputing any of it. It is just that you dont know the Sunbeam and you are disputing it.
I havent stuck a thermocouple up my Sunbeam but at least I have been drinking its brew and it tastes just like the one I produce with our commercial machine in the shop.
For your information the Sunbeam is not personally mine but it is in the family and I am the one that has been using it. I am not biased as I am going to buy a machine for myself as well soon and it may or may not be the Sunbeam. I dont mind spending more money to buy a machine if it is better.
OK all.... this is a little off-topic now.
Any more Sunbeam posts to the actual Sunbeam thread please.
...and I for one look foward to reading all about the new Sunbeam taste tests in there ;D
Those wanting to continue the "Silvia and Classic" discussion, please do so below.
Having used both, and knowing something of their insides, I am more confident with the Silvias stability. Unlike other posters, that confidence is based on the mass of the grouphead and portafilter rather than the boiler. Frankly, both boilers are too small to guarantee temp stability so its only logical to be looking at other moderating factors like the group head and handle.
One caveat though... after steaming milk, the small aluminium boiler on the Gaggia is likely to return to brewing temperature quicker than Silvia. So if youre making serial lattes you might be marginally better off with the Gaggia, but thats really clutching at straws!!
I am new to this coffee game I (in the past I just used a cafeteria out bush with a hand frother as we had no power) :-/
I am now looking at a Classic (which I can pick up new through a friend at 499) or the Silvia which after reading have been impressed with. I have to admit the aluminium corrosion issue is a little worry as well in the Gaggia (reading at Coffeeco.com.au)
So what I am after is some basic straight feedback on both.
I heard that Rancilio Silvia is a great machine but suffer from reliablity problems occasionally. Has anyone had that experience. I was also advised that the after market service from their reps in Australia is not that good. I think these last few issues are what is holding me off on the Silvia. I mean at 499 the Gaggia is attractive but then again to have brass and copper, am I better off with the Silvia?
I would like to hear from anyones experiences
I know of very few sylvias which have packed it in unless not cleaned or run dry....theyre a great little machine and ya gets what ya pays for ;)
Ive had mine for nearly a year, no problems whatsoever.
As long as you keep it clean (which Im sure would be true for ANY machine), itll serve you well.
Ditto no problems although I have only had mine a few months. I had the classic previously.
It is the benchmark by which other machines are rated.
It is robust, reliable and very simple.
Service in Perth is excellent but obviously it depends where you live but I have never heard of servicing problems in Australia.
I just did a few temp measurements on my Silvia which I bought a few months ago.
I think Alan is implying that temperature surfing is not necessary on the Silvia.
I have just done some measurements and I am VERY surprised just how many degrees it does cycle, from about 97 after the light goes off down to 84 degrees (and probably less as this was 12 minutes after light went off). This would explain Sparkys temps he was getting in the mid 80s. This is quite possible and likely and is NOT abnormal in any way.
I would have expected a less variation maybe around six degrees.
If anyone thinks you dont need to temp surf on the Silvia then they simply havent had a good look at the machine and how it behaves.
The good news of course is that it is very predictable. It is always 97 degrees after the light goes out so if you surf then it is fine.
Maybe a good thermoblock machine is in order?
PS. All the wicked things I said about thermoblocks...
I had a laugh
Come to the dark side my son..........the force is strong with the dark side.......
or should it be, leave the dark side......? I dont know.
You definitely have to temperature surf with the Silvia otherwise the results vary wildly.
It is one of the main reasons I replaced my Silvia with a Giotto as I wanted the convenience of being able to make multiple cups without having to tweak the temperature for each cup.
I am puzzled that there is such a variation.
The good news is that for one or two cups at a time you can get the temp, pretty well on the button every time.
As you say, if you start doing runs of espresso then it is not possible to really temp surf each one.
I am interested in how this Sunbeam EM6900 will perform. It requires a temp study inside the portafilter as the temp variation problem will occur during the shot due to the thermoblock volume. If it does vary a lot then of course there is no workaround. If the variation is small though then that would be a different matter. If that happened, I could even be persuaded to buy one. They may even through in a free toaster...
I have my thermocouple ready and im about to dip it in the chaff tray of my Hottop!
The variation in temperature is due to architecture of the machine and the various metal bits and pieces and where water sits at each point.
Flushing water equalises things and starting your shots based on the boiler light gives you a consistent starting point.
The biggest contributor to the large temperature differential profile is the Hysteresis of the Brew Thermostat, i.e. the temperature at which it turns ON and the temp it turns OFF. Subtract the former from the latter and you have the t/stats hysteresis.
Thats why a PID mod works so well with a Silvia and similar machines, once the Boiler Water Temp is stabilised the only variable effecting brew water temp is the heat loss from the boiler to the PF. This tends to be a fairly predictable number and generally only effected by the ambient temperature.
Hi CD,Originally Posted by coffeedrinker link=1120798525/15#27 date=1121250861
Another quality machine you might like to consider which is in the same price bracket as the Gaggia Classic, is the Mokita Super Inox, info here... http://tinyurl.com/e3hvr or here... http://tinyurl.com/ap72g . It has an all brass Boiler/Group/PortaFilter system and the boiler is the twin of the Silvias. The only real differences between the two are:
1. The Silvias internal high-pressure pipework is all copper tubing where-as the Mokitas is a mixture of brass and Teflon.
2. The Silvia has a proper chassis upon which all the hardware and panel-work is attached; the Mokita uses a unitary structure where the panel-work supports all the hardware.
3. The Silvias Group and PortaFilter are constructed to Commercial Machines specifications which is standardised with the use of 58mm PF Baskets; the Mokita Group and PortaFilter are of lighter construction and physically smaller than the Silvia and uses a proprietary 57mm PF and Baskets. For example, the Silvias PortaFilter weighs in at about 640 grams, where-as the Mokitas weighs roughly 460 grams.
As Alan Frew points out in his comparison between the two here... http://tinyurl.com/8gemw , the Silvia appears to be designed down from a Fully Commercial machine, while a Mokita appears to be designed up from a high-end Domestic machine. Thats about it in a nutshell.
I went for the Mokita because it is about $250.00 cheaper than the Silvia and I just couldnt afford the extra money at the time. Im really happy with the Mokita though, it produces coffee that is within a percent or two of the Silvia and is otherwise a very well constructed machine.
Even Alan Frew cant tell the difference between coffee milk drinks made from either machine but reports that espressos are slightly sweeter and fuller in body with the Silvia. So, I guess if most of your coffee consumption is espressos, then the Silvia is the way to go but if Lattes are more your thing, then get the Mokita and put the money saved towards a top quality grinder such as a Rocky or a Mazzer Mini for example.
Hope that helps ;D. All the best,