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Thread: First time Buyer!!

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    First time Buyer!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All,
    I am after a little help from those of you in the know ;)…a year or so ago I did a Coffee course at an institute, learnt on one of those massive commercial machines i was advised that the most important thing to look for was Bar pessure, now I am looking at stepping into the world of the domestic machine for the first time…I have been looking at (and given the rant on by many a sales assistant on) the Gaggia Classic, what dose everyone think about this model …is it reliable and long lasting? Am I better going new or is second hand just as good?


    Thanks very much! DD

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    Avi
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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    Hi DD,

    As I understand it, the bar pressure of all pump-driven espresso machines are effectively commoditised. Which means that no matter what machine you get, you are going to get a similar or identical pump.

    Hence, when buying an espresso machine, ignore the pressure ratings. They are immaterial. Perhaps the best domestic espresso machine in the world is the Rancilio Silvia. Owning one myself, I can certainly vouch for its reliability and consistency in producing exceptional espresso. It isnt cheap though, bordering on AUD $800 last time I checked.

    Here are some websites to start you off on your research into high-grade domestic espresso machines:
    http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/july2002.html
    http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/comparison.html
    http://www.coffeegeek.com/

    I wont say any more for now, as I suspect that most of your questions will be answered by the above websites.

    Cheers,
    Avi

  3. #3
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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    Hi

    For the same price as a Gaggia classic or cheaper you can get a Rancilio Silvia like what we have. Which is a very good machine. Many here have one ask them im sure they will rave about thier Silvia. You will get much better coffees than you can but in 99% of Cafés even if you are a newbie. The design of the Silvia has basicallly remained unchanged for about 9 or 10 years.

    See http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews/consumer/rancilio_silvia/EricLar

    or

    http://www.wholelattelove.com/Rancilio/silvia.cfm

    You can also buy a Silvia from here $699 http://www.siennacoffee.com.au/silvia&lucy.htm

    BTW the 240v machines as sold in Australia dont seem to be as fussy as the 110v ones in the USA with temperature and the temp surfing isnt really necessary. I have tried it and could not taste any difference. I get consistant shots every time unless I stuff something up then its my fault not Silvias. Usually I run out of water or forget to set my grinder back after grinding coffee for friends.

    You can get them from Mocopan if you live in Melbourne aparently Mocopan Sydney doesnt sell to the public. Which seems a bit wierd. But I think a quick phone call the the Melbourne store should get you one at a good price shipped to you. They have in the past like just b4 mothers day and Christmas sold them for $599 so maybe they will before Fathers Day too.

    In regards to Bar preasure you will notice on all the top machines, Silvia included you will not see bar preasure any where. As it is IMHO pretty much nonsence, the rating given on most brouchers is the max preasure the pump can deliver under ideal conditions in the lab. Like Avi says the same pump is used in loads of other brand machines. The internal plumbing plays a big part in machine performance too.

    Dont get me wrong tho the Gaggia Classic is a very capable home machine and many people love them but as you can get a Silvia for the same price or less..........

    After sifting through all the web sites what finally convinced us that Silvia was the go was all the reviews of other machines I read about that said something along the lines of "I only have X machine now and when I can afford it Im going to buy a Silvia".

    We have had ours for about 6 months now and havent regretted it for an instant.

    Do lots of searching on the web and try to sort out the fact from fiction.

    The bottom line is that the Rancilio Siliva is probably the best machine in its class.

    Hope that helps

    Cheers
    Rich

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    hey, thanks to everyone for the info really been a great help..... Silvia dose seem like the one to go with... i have not read a bad review from what i have seen on the net. i have also seen a few reports on the Gaggia Classic suffering from rust. is that a common problem?

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    You must have read them on the Coffeegeek site! I have owned a Gaggia Classic for abt 1.5 yrs now ... no rust at all.

    I must say that prior to researching the web, the only places which I knew sold espresso machines were Grace Bros and DJ, hence my decision to get the Gaggia Classic.

    For some reason, that machine has always stuck on my mind.

    The Silvia does indeed seem to be the machine to go for. I am sorry I did not start out with that machine, but now that I have got myself a new machine, I am selling my Gaggia!

    In the midst of a deal now, hope it goes through without a hitch!

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Derkdigler link=1091442174/0#4 date=1091452399
    i have also seen a few reports on the Gaggia Classic suffering from rust. is that a common problem?
    Firstly Id strongly recommend the silvia over any other new machine in its price range, coming down a bit the imat/mokita will do the same job but with a bit less style and maybe for not as long.

    When you refer to rust reports Im assuming you have heard about internal corrosion issues common to machines with aluminium boliers/thermoblocks. I believe the gaggia has a two piece boiler with the top being aluminium and the lower half brass? This is a real problem but not necessarily terminal. If the gaggia or whatever has been well looked after with regular descaling and a suitable water supply they can last for many years, if on the other hand you never descale and your water is rich in minerals or iron you willl proably be up for a new boiler every 3 years.

    FWIW Im a bit concerned about the rust potential of the Silvia, Id much prefer to see the black steel panels replaced with stainless.


    I came to silvia after my krups boiler disintegrated and a brief interlude with a gaggia baby. More recently I was going to by a carezza or evolution off ebay when they were going for just over $100 as a second machine for the holiday house but not at current prices.

    Thomas Im sensitive to the fact that you have a classic for sale and am not trying to dis gaggias, I think youll get a good price on ebay for it fairly easily.

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    Hahah dont worry about dissing the Gaggias! Go for it, anyone that asks me for my opinion of my machine will get an honest assessment!

    The information/ review, is all available on the coffee sites, there is nothing to be gained by window dressing the machine ;D

    having said that, I have enjoyed the classic, it does not take up much bench top space, and does make good espressos. Easy machine to clean and maintain as well. Cup warmer was a disgrace tho, i probably need to leave it on for 24 hrs just to get it warm to touch. Never really tried the steaming ... as I drink espressos straight.

    I did read the reviews on the coffeegeek forum on the rust, and they were complaining about rust forming on the part beneath the water tank, and the tray. So far there is no rust there.

    I regularly descale my Gaggia, and use Brita filetered water.

    In hind sight, I should have done more research on the espresso machines before jumping in with the classic, but I did not know Rancilio Silvias existed!! ;D

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    Just a point of interest for those lokoing into new machines.

    I recently went through updating an old Krups that was burnt out in an Electrical storm.

    While the Silvia was not a viable option due to the supplier not being able to get them, (I had to use this supplier as the insurance company had an agreement), I still looked into it. The Gaggia however has recently come down to $499 RRP So for $250 less the Gaggia was a great buy.

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    Senior Member chopinhauer's Avatar
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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    I think I even spotted the Gaggia for around $470 at Myer. Plus, one might be able to get an even cheaper "refurbished" one on ebay.

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    The word "refurbished" scares me on evilbay...
    often it translates to "made it look pretty on the outside" ;)

    If it is cheap enough and you can afford to risk it then ok else... Buyer beware.

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    Its extrastock on ebay that have the refurbished numbers - and Id agree with Andy - Dont get a secondhand one - its not the way to go.

    extrastock do sometimes have NEW classics on ebay (with 12mth warrenty too) they have tended to be going for around 300-400, so its not a huge saving (once you pay postage). All the shops selling them have now knocked them down to $500ish. And if they havnt go find someone who has... there are plenty - even Myer!

    But... if youre gonna get the classic then youde be better getting the Imat Mokita (Junior) from CoffeeCompany.com.au. Better machine for the same price from all the reading Ive done.

    Best bet thou - save up and get the Silvia. You wont have to upgrade this till you can afford a HX machine.... (because you know upgrade feaver NEVER dies!)

    Lastly... if you get a decent machine like any of these mentioned... youll also have to lay out some cash for a decent grinder. (if you get a Silvia there are a lot of people who insist on the fine grind of the Rocky to go with it!!) So make sure youve got some spare cash budgeted for the grinder too!!!

    You always want more anyhow.... no matter how freaking good the thing is!

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    Highly recommend the Silvia. Its so full of chunky metal it keeps hot hours after switch-off. That heat retention is imperative during that 25" of pulling a shot. One retailer has ceased importing Gaggias due to negative reasons.

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    I agree, for the price the Silvia is a pretty good machine. Really not much out there to compare it to.
    Easy to use, very good espresso and is not bad in the milk texturing department.

    Highly recommended.
    John

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1091442174/0#11 date=1115195589
    Highly recommend the Silvia. Its so full of chunky metal it keeps hot hours after switch-off. That heat retention is imperative during that 25" of pulling a shot. *One retailer has ceased importing Gaggias due to negative reasons.
    Poor Gaggias. There is no doubt about Silvias ability to produce good coffee. But the Gaggia Classic is not far behind, if its behind at all. Its also $250 cheaper. Galvanic corrosion aside, it can produce very good espresso and make enough froth for 1-2 milk drinks. Also its a very simple machine with cheap parts and can accept commercial 58 mm filter baskets and other after-market mods.

    Theres also a few negatives that may actually be positives. People often criticise the small boiler volume, but the actual volume of the boiler, including metal is not that small. Unlike other machines, much of the Gaggias thermal mass is in the metal. That means it can respond to, and compensate for the injection of cold water during the shot much more rapidly than most other machines (and it also uses water stratafication to isolate the cold water from the hot). Furthermore, this design makes it particularly suitable to PID temperature control during the shot. I have just PIDed my Classic and find that it can control the boiler temperature to within 0.2 deg C during a shot. This is not possible with a Silvia, so PID there is really a bit of an overkill (as it is only used to stabilize the temperature before the shot; ie. under steady-state conditions).

    Just a few thoughts.


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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    Well,
    I would have a better machine if I could, ut I love my little gran, :)
    the price to performance ratio is top notch, I only paid $37.
    I know that it probably wont last forever,esp since it was second hand, but it has saved me at least twice that in cafe coffee which isnt as good as the coffee I make. I think I could almost have 2 and be able to produce enough coffee for heaps of people... 1 for espresso 1 for milk ...hmmm :) . It froths enough microfoam for 2 ez.

    Dont get me wrong I would love a Silvia or a hx... but this will do me fine for now...

    oh yeah... Andy appointed me the Gran Spokesgrl... ;D

    clarexican

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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    H

  17. #17
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    Re: First time Buyer!!

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi Guys,

    I am looking at buying a Silvia and what Admin said got me really interested....$599 when on "special" !!! Can someone please tell me when theres a special on????? Id buy one now if ones available!!!

    Cheers

    franjae :)



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