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Slayer Vs Synesso

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  • Slayer Vs Synesso

    I had the opportunity to pull some shots on a Slayer a few weeks back, has anyone had the chance to use or currently use a Slayer. Has anyone pulled shots on a Synesso Hydra? The Slayer is an amazing espresso machine but would like to know about the Synesso Hydra. I am tossing up between the two for my new shop

  • #2
    Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

    Admittedly, they do look good, but why is it an amazing espresso machine?

    And why the Slayer vs Synesso scenario?

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    • #3
      Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

      They both look great, I like them both.Pressure profiling is what i am after with these machines.

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      • #4
        Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

        I havnt used one but Im pretty sure the Hydra is programable and therefore will do repeatable pressure profiling during busy periods. You cant do that with a slayer.

        On a Slayer the paddle controls a valve giving you live control over the pressure at any time during the shot.

        Hydra - Needs programing cannot "ride" the shot

        Slayer - Live control during shots, repeatability is more difficult.

        Strada EP can brew with live pressure profiling, has easy to read shot timers, and temperature information on the front of the machine, can also be programed to repeat the same pressure profile for every shot.

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        • #5
          Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

          I have used a second generation Hydra in a commercial setting. If I recall correctly, the pump essentially has three stages, which you set the pressures of manually and then you can program. The first stage being main pressure, the second stage being whatever you set with the mechanical adjuster on the pump and the third being full pump pressure. So you could program is to run 4 seconds at 3bar (line pressure) 4 seconds at 6bar (if this is what you set the pump at) and then the remainder of the shot at 9bar until you turn the paddle (switch off). You can however drop the pressure back down to I think the second stage (in this case the 6bar) if you choose to do it manually by moving the paddle back to the half way point.

          The settings and timing are just an example. You still have control when you cut the shot off completely.

          It is up you as what you see worth buying for your shop. And ultimately what it going to suit your coffee.

          If you particularly want a "name brand" machine then as well as the LM you do have the Spirit as a dual boiler saturated grouphead option as well.

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          • #6
            Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

            Originally posted by 4C777661475A796A716B6C79180 link=1341307886/2#2 date=1341312787
            They both look great, I like them both.Pressure profiling is what i am after with these machines.
            Lots of machines look great, but looks do not make amazing espresso.
            What do you hope to achieve from pressure profiling?

            Originally posted by 756D68687D6C477579762E2F180 link=1341307886/3#3 date=1341314889
            I havnt used one but Im pretty sure the Hydra is programable and therefore will do repeatable pressure profiling during busy periods. You cant do that with a slayer.

            On a Slayer the paddle controls a valve giving you live control over the pressure at any time during the shot.

            Hydra - Needs programing cannot "ride" the shot

            Slayer - Live control during shots, repeatability is more difficult.

            Strada EP can brew with live pressure profiling, has easy to read shot timers, and temperature information on the front of the machine, can also be programed to repeat the same pressure profile for every shot.
            So, essentially you wish to adjust the pressure during a shot. What will this achieve? How will it improve the taste of the shot?

            I still do not see how this makes either machine amazing, as essentially they are emulating the basic functions of a simple lever machine. How does pressure profiling result in amazing espresso? What aspect of the process turns ordinary espresso into something amazing?

            If their only claim to fame is pressure profiling during a shot, then they are basically over priced toys. Any decent commercial lever machine can do the same thing.

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            • #7
              Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

              Yes, thats right, changing the pressure during a shot is a "Thing"

              What will it achieve? Well it will allow the rate of extraction to vary as the shot progresses, the slow ramp up allows for a finer grind.

              As you pointed out, full wetting of the grinds at line pressure before moving to 8-10 bar extraction pressure, previously could only be done on lever machines, wegas, astorias, boemas, ecms, and exobars dont do this.

              Not everyone who wants pressure profiling wants a lever machine.

              Will it improve the taste?
              Its control of another extraction parameter, combined with a superior kind of pre-infusion. So in well trained hands and tongues  it should allow you to get better shots out of a broader range of coffee types, roast depths and resting periods.

              Some people in the coffee industry are serious nerds about it, they like discovering new things in coffee, so yea, for those people these machines are like toys that can help relieve them of paying some tax.

              I dont really get the negative attitude. Did a Slayer cut you off in traffic?

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              • #8
                Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

                Originally posted by 263E3B3B2E3F14262A257D7C4B0 link=1341307886/6#6 date=1341322424
                Yes, thats right, changing the pressure during a shot is a "Thing"

                What will it achieve? Well it will allow the rate of extraction to vary as the shot progresses, the slow ramp up allows for a finer grind.
                So how does this translate into a better espresso?

                Originally posted by 263E3B3B2E3F14262A257D7C4B0 link=1341307886/6#6 date=1341322424
                Not everyone who wants pressure profiling wants a lever machine.
                True. But both achieve the same result, so why is one treated with god like status amongst "some people in the coffee industry"?

                Originally posted by 263E3B3B2E3F14262A257D7C4B0 link=1341307886/6#6 date=1341322424
                Will it improve the taste?
                Its control of another extraction parameter, combined with a superior kind of pre-infusion.
                I do not understand this superior kind of pre-infusion. Can you please elaborate.

                Originally posted by 263E3B3B2E3F14262A257D7C4B0 link=1341307886/6#6 date=1341322424
                So in well trained hands and tongues  it should allow you to get better shots out of a broader range of coffee types, roast depths and resting periods.
                In theory. In practice it boils down to baristas claiming all sorts of notes from poorly roasted coffee. Yes the machines give some cafes status, and attract a particular type of clientele who claim to have a palate for coffee.
                I have had many espressos made on a slayer and  a synesso. They have varied in quality, but ultimately depended upon the skill of the roaster.

                Originally posted by 263E3B3B2E3F14262A257D7C4B0 link=1341307886/6#6 date=1341322424
                I dont really get the negative attitude. Did a Slayer cut you off in traffic?
                No negative attitude. Simply (in a direct manner) asking for facts and not urban legend. My prose may come across as negative, but that is how I write.

                I have been served good espresso made on a Synesso (by someone who knows a thing or two, but is humble about it), but when it came to amazing espresso, the same person served me one from a lever machine. The espresso on the lever had more body, mouth feel and depth of flavour. It also was thick and viscous. No citrus notes, just an expertly roasted espresso blend that tasted divine.

                There is so much hype surrounding Synesso and Slayer machines by "experts", that I would like to read some pertinent facts as to why they should have this status. I do have a palate, can distinguish fine wine, fine food, and know what constitutes a good espresso.
                Nine times out of ten, whenever I order an espresso from a venue with one of these machines, it fails to deliver the goods. According to hype, the barista has this amazing toy that is capable of tweaking  the coffee in so many ways to produce an astonishing drink. But it does not happen.

                I think some reverence should be given to the humble lever, and a skilled roaster. This combination can also produce amazing espresso, even though it may not have any street "cred".

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                • #9
                  Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

                  I guess it comes down to personal taste on pressure profiling, personally I have had some amazing shots from some great coffees off both a hydra and slayer but my personal preference is always given to lever shots, the viscosity, mouth feel and richness that they give outweigh more citrus and fruit notes for the compromise.

                  Repeatability would be easier to achieve on a hydra which may be important in the long run?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

                    Originally posted by 454A4D504C47220 link=1341307886/8#8 date=1341329363
                    Repeatability would be easier to achieve on a hydra which may be important in the long run?
                    ..and...

                    Originally posted by 435B5E5E4B5A71434F4018192E0 link=1341307886/3#3 date=1341314889
                    Hydra is programable and therefore will do repeatable pressure profiling during busy periods. You cant do that with a slayer.
                    ...was true once, not now.
                    You can get a Slayer option that you can preset with a profile now.  I spoke with the factory about it when I was there a couple of months ago.

                    Originally posted by 7A414057716C4F5C475D5A4F2E0 link=1341307886/0#0 date=1341307886
                    I am tossing up between the two for my new shop
                    My answer to that question...
                    I would take a current model Slayer over a Synesso any day of the week!

                    8-)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

                      I didnt know that Andy. Programing on the Slayer does seem to make the choice clearer.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

                        What about a LM Strada?
                        Fits in here too

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                        • #13
                          Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

                          Originally posted by 765A595C5B6A62350 link=1341307886/11#11 date=1341384026
                          What about a LM Strada?
                          Fits in here too
                          Maybe he doesnt like the insane positioning of the steam lever/wand :P

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                          • #14
                            Re: Slayer Vs Synesso

                            Originally posted by 41595C5C495873414D421A1B2C0 link=1341307886/6#6 date=1341322424
                            As you pointed out, full wetting of the grinds at line pressure before moving to 8-10 bar extraction pressure, previously could only be done on lever machines, wegas, astorias, boemas, ecms, and exobars dont do this.
                            Theres no reason any of those brands you mention couldnt be easily modded to wet the grinds at line pressure - all you would need for a manually controlled option is a 240V rated switch to cut the power to the pump until the puck is wet.

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                            • #15
                              Personally I'm a huge fan of the Slayer, the pressure profiling gives you incredible control over the extraction. I've found that this machine works best with single origin, consistantly draws thick shots with amazing depths of flavour. You can adjust the initial pressure using a small knob at the back of the machine. However i've never used a Synesso so I can't really compare.

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