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Thread: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

  1. #1
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    HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    Ive currently got a Silvia with a Watlow SD PID, which is pulling some nice coffee for me. Im getting nice Guinness effects and the coffee tastes pretty good. Easy process ,totally predictable and repeatable with the PID. What surfing?

    I guess after learning about the whole coffee thing on the Silvia, its natural to want to upgrade and I want to go to something that is worthwhile like a Giotto, or a Minore 111. Or do I?

    Now to the questions!

    Do I really need to upgrade? Am I going to get a better coffee from one of the HX/DBs?

    I get the idea that the temp is the crucial element in coffee making and feel that the Silvia has good control with the PID. Will I be actually sacrificing anything by going to a machine which is not as crucially temp controlled.

    Coffees are mainly milk based, but I am drinking more and more espressos, although my wife will unlikely get to the espresso stage, so milk will continue to be a large part of the process.

    Am I going to lose any consitancy in temp by leaving a PID Silvia behind for an HX/DB, or do I just love the little girl because she taught me about the joys of real coffee. Hey, I know I may be sounding incoherent and undecided, but thats only because I am. Im trying to decide whether I want to upgrade just to get some shiny metal in the kitchen, or I really am feeling the need to move to the next stage.

    I know the HX/DB issue is a contentious one, but I would go to a DB, if I didnt think the power bills were going to skyrocket.

    Any thoughts, suggestions, good humored ridicule, or advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Barry

  2. #2
    htb
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    From my experience moving to a HX you are going to get better steam quality/power, faster recovery, easier use, a more forgiving machine and more bling.

  3. #3
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    Ah, there we have the problem. Am I being led by the coffee, or lured by the bling!

  4. #4
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    If you want to perfect your coffee, and have already perfected your barista skills, bean supply, and grinder... then an e61 machine is *the next logical step.

    If you just want the bling , and dont require much extra steaming power, you could probably trade up to a VBM piccolo without spending too much money.
    I havent tried those machines, but it surprises me that more people dont use them.

  5. #5
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    Hi

    My jump from a Silvia with Watlow PID to a Giotto Premium was significant.

    But you say nothing about your grinder!

    That may be the more significant step in your quest of perfection. *

    D

  6. #6
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    Hi D.

    I think the grinder issue is okay, as Im using a Rocky for the Silvia, but am upgrading to a Mazzer Mini anyway, regardless of any machine change. I have settled on a couple of beans and they all pull very well, with a lovely crema and nice taste.

    How did you find the upgrade to the Giotto significant? No issues with perceived temp difference in losing the PID?

  7. #7
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    Hi
    The Giottos temperature control is quite different and the design of the e61 group is brilliant. *I would always go through a sponsor who can check the set up (boiler pressure, temperature, restricters and group pressure). *I believe however, now a days the Giottos come near correct. *
    The steam/boiler pressure is the temp control - pretty smart, and the brass group irons out small variation, and the hot water syphon through the e61 head keeps it all correct.

    No risk of emptying the boiler. *No need to wait for steaming. No need to recharge the boiler and have to wait for it to heat up.

    It is different, *I found mine was a little more sensitive to channelling past *the rockys grind clumps. *Like you I felt i had to move *up from the rocky. I am moving towards a lighter tamp. *Made some great coffees today.
    (I use a 21 gm filter basket with about 18 gms for two cups)

    The Silvias PID made a huge difference (I still have the Silvia as a back up I cant bring myself to sell her).

    D


  8. #8
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    Ive owned a Silvia before - seeing you do milk drinks, youll also love the consistent flow of steam from HXs compared to the Silvia.

  9. #9
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    But you say nothing about your grinder!

    That may be the more significant step in your quest of perfection.
    Tell me about it - I love my VBM, it is a noticeable improvement from the Silvia, but the bigger wake up call was when I upgraded form my i-mini to the M5. Its like an unpleasant bitterness has been removed and the coffees have a much better mouthfeel and the flavours are so much more defined.

    Though I am enjoying my coffees at home very, very much, the thing that sucks is that now I have started noticing the same difference between what I make at home and what I taste from large conicals. >:( Looks like Ill have to start saving up :P ::).

  10. #10
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    Gday Barry....

    If it is at all possible, try to get down to your nearest specialist coffee hardware retailer (preferably a Site Sponsor); take a bag of your favourite beans along and try some hands-on experience with what ever E-61 HX machines are on the bench available for testing.

    We can all tell you how wonderful our personal machines perform but at the end of the day, we cant be you and its you who may (or may not) be parting with your hard earned cash, then assaulting your palate afterwards (if it should all go wrong). Giotto, Diadema, VBM Domobar Super, and any number of other very capable machines are all built to accommodate a number of compromises and it is really up to you as to which manufacturer and machine model best suits your requirements.

    If you enjoy reading through a number of Equipment Reviews, you could spend some time reading through a few of them here.... http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1163235000 . Might be helpful.... :)

    Mal.

  11. #11
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    Thanks to everyone for your help. I think Im probably going to go for a Giotto PP. Seems to be the logical next step. Cheers.

  12. #12
    TC
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    Re: HX or DB Upgraditis, real need, or folly?

    Hi Barry,

    I agree with Mal.

    If youre Melbourne based, why not bring that Silvia and and you can run some comparative shots just to reassure yourself that youre happy.
    The mini will be a great match with the GPP and even withthe Silvia, will improve the result in the cup...

    Happy shopping!

    Chris



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