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Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

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  • Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

    This is my first post, so please go easy on me!

    Firstly, I apologise if this is an oft repeated query, but I cant seem to work out the search feature enough to find any meaningful info...

    Ive got a Gaggia Carezza atm and am going to upgrade to the Silvia (had been tossing up getting a Sunbeam 6900, but I think Silvia it is).

    I know a good grinder is extremely important, but I absolutely cant afford to go to the Rocky. So, ive been thinking of just going with the Sunbeam EM0480 (can get for approx $17o or even less) or maybe the Lux or the Iberital Challenge. The Iberital Challenge at $270ish would be the absolute max I could go. So, what do you guys recommend? is the $100 diff between the sunbeam and the challenge worth it?

    Thanks in advance! I will be posting again re: buying these things in Sydney!

  • #2
    Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

    go the challenge. Its stepless, so you will be able to get a more accurate grind on it. also the sunbeams have a reputation for being a bit unreliable. Not many complaints from Iberital challenge owners.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

      Go the Iberital. I upgraded to it from the Sunbeam EM0480 and the Iberital is by far a better grinder. This is because of its infinite grind adjustment which is crucial for dialling in the pour.

      I also went for the doser model. I find it contains the mess, breaks up any clumps in the grind, and is fun to use :-) I dont use it to measure my dose though.

      The extra $100 spend is more than worth it especially if youre upgrading the espresso machine. If you get the Sunbeam, you WILL encounter the situation where you wont be able to dial in the grind on certain days as the beans age and environment conditions such as air temp and humidity change. This will become frustrating and annoying as Ive been there with the Sunbeam.

      Let me know if you have any questions about either grinder seeing as I own/owned both.

      Javabeen.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

        Ill give you another idea to consider: dont buy a new espresso machine.

        Instead buy the very best grinder you can afford and continue to use the Carezza. My preference would be a Mazzer Mini or Mazzer Mini E, but there are other very fine stepless grinders available from site sponsors in this same class (lots of nice things written about the Macaps, too).

        Since you already have a machine with a commercial PF, good pump, etc., I think the best return from your expenditure will come on the grinder side. You may be surprised at what a good machine the Carezza suddenly becomes

        Eventually, you will probably still upgrade the machine. But when you do, you will already own a grinder that could be matched with any machine.

        Jim

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        • #5
          Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

          Ill second Jim.
          Think about the new Macap stepless (although my old stepped one is great).
          I hear you cant get a Mazzer at the moment anywhere.

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          • #6
            Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

            Great advice Jim,

            In your position b&f I would definitely go for the quality grinder and as Jim says I think you will be very pleasantly surprised by the improvement in brew quality from the Carezza and yes, the Macap is an excellent grinder,

            Mal.

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            • #7
              Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

              Thanks for all your thoughtful replies!

              Im afraid the Carezza is more than 3 years old and beginning to rust. I cant actually see it, but the water that comes out is always slightly browny no matter how much water I flush through - I assume this is rust. Also, Ive been using Citric Acid once every 6 months to try and maintain the boiler, but Im not sure if this helps with the rust situation or not.

              So I think Im going to have to buy a new machine soon I think.

              The other thing is this: for some reason Ive never been able to get more than a thin surface level of crema with my Carezza. I borrowed a Sunbeam 0480 from a friend for a few days and used fresh Campos (local roaster) beans and tried all manner of settings and dosage and tampage (have I just invented a new word?) without getting the rich kind of crema I see in even dodgy cafes, not to mention some of the god-like shots I see on this forum. This is another reason for me to change... Ive heard that Carezza produces great espresso, but after 3 years, Ive only been able to drink milk coffees from my machine - espressos just dont come out that well.

              Anyway, this is probably the wrong place for this info, but I guess it acts as an aside for my thoughts on getting the Silvia!

              So let me sum up: If Carezza is going well, then get the best grinder I can afford.
              or
              Get the Challenge over the Sunbeam

              Ok, IF I have to replace my coffee machine, and the choice is then between budget and quality - i.e. Challenge (for budget concerns) or a Macap/Mazzer (quality). My question is this: How much difference is there between a Challenege and a Mazzer/Macap given the pretty massive price difference (about double or more the price!). I know its hard to quantify, but your opinions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

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              • #8
                Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

                the challenge makes exelent brews. and in terms of flavor in the cup i didnt find a massive difference when switching from a challenge to a superjolly. However the high end prosumer grinders will last forever with an occasional burr change. Youll never need an upgrade. The Challenge is a domestic grinder and is disposable when it eventually breaks down.

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                • #9
                  Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

                  Heya B&F,

                  Have you considered spending some dough on a training course?

                  Id go so far as to say the single biggest factor of the quality of coffee a machine will produce is the operator

                  Not sure where you are located but the courses at William Angliss in Melb at least you can take your machine along.

                  Re: the water colour coming from the machine - Im not sure whats going on there, but itd be worth getting an opinion before considering the machine a write off.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

                    Hi Lachlan,

                    Last that I heard, WA require you to get your machines tested and tagged before you can bring them in, so Id double-check that if you wanted to do their training course.

                    Im sure that most, if not all, of the site sponsors will offer training courses. I know that Chris at Talk Coffee does, and so do we. (Actually, Chris has even run training courses at First Pour, just to mix it up a bit!)

                    Hi B+F,

                    In terms of what is in the cup, Ill go out on a limb and say that the conical burr grinders with stepless adjustment deliver the biggest bang for your buck. However, they are a fair bit worse than the mazzers in just about every other aspect - speed, noise, durability, burr lifetime, etc.

                    Cheers,

                    Luca

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

                      Originally posted by Veneziano Caffe link=1181816335/0#9 date=1182076460
                      Hi Lachlan,

                      Last that I heard, WA require you to get your machines tested and tagged before you can bring them in, so Id double-check that if you wanted to do their training course.

                      Im sure that most, if not all, of the site sponsors will offer training courses.  I know that Chris at Talk Coffee does, and so do we.  (Actually, Chris has even run training courses at First Pour, just to mix it up a bit!)

                      Hi B+F,

                      In terms of what is in the cup, Ill go out on a limb and say that the conical burr grinders with stepless adjustment deliver the biggest bang for your buck.  However, they are a fair bit worse than the mazzers in just about every other aspect - speed, noise, durability, burr lifetime, etc.

                      Cheers,

                      Luca
                      Confirming that Angliss now insist on testing and tagging all machinery to be used in their training rooms...

                      Chris

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

                        Hi Benandfaith Im a newbie as well and I have a Silvia with a em480.
                        I find that you need to go very fine nearly last or 2nd last notch on the grinder ,but I have had great results.
                        As others have said ,generally the grinder is more important than the machine so if you can afford to get a better grinder you would be better off in the long run, I got the em480 after a lot of research & it was with in my budget ,however I probably would have got a better grinder if I could afford it.
                        The long and short is em480 good for the price but as it is still new ,not much service history is available & due to the minimal fine adjustment,it might require short term service adjustment due to wear & tear.

                        good luck !

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

                          At this stage, I think I will go with the Iberital Challenge from one of the site sponsors (Di Bartoli). I just cant justify putting more into a grinder at this stage as I will definitely need to replace my ageing Gaggia Carezza in the next little while - I guess it comes down to fiscal realities. Also I cant see myself making more than 2-3 espressos a day 5-6 days a week. Under this kind of situation a non-commercial grinder should hopefully hold up for at least 5 years?? If this is sadly mistaken thinking, let me know how long I can realistically expect the challenge to last! Im assuming that, given what Ive read about the Sunbeam EM0480, that the Challenge is built better than the Sunbeam?

                          Im in Sydney and if anyone can tell me where to go for a course, Id appreciate it! Learning the ropes would be money well spent I think!

                          Cheers, and thanks for all whove replied so far!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Rancilio Silvia with which grinder?

                            eBay it depends who you are comparing it too. Ill let the sponsors tell you why they are better. all I can say is that they provide a service that is unparalleled and piece of mind. Also if your buying both at the same time you could get a package deal which ebay doesnt offer. It might not end up that much more expensive.

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