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  • New silvia vs. semi-commercial

    Hey everyone, been searching your rants for a while now
    I have a little deliema
    I am in the market for a new espresso machine.  I made the mistake of buying the delonghi E540, just because it is from a local store.  In Newfoundland, Canada not much is local for espresso machines.  I want a reliable semi-automatic, that will last as long as possible, provide good results but still fit in my kitchen.  I love coffee, I grow my own darn coffee plants.  My budget is about 1000$.  I have a cheap burr grinder (50$ mistake), and a manual grinder (wrist killer for the frequency I use it) Wife thinks I am pleasing myself in the shower too often when all I am doing is grinding coffee for an hour a day.

    Realistically I should get the rocky silvia combo...But, I love the look of the ECM Giotto, Expobar Lever/pulser/control.

    What besides the price makes the Expobar machines better than the Sylvia?  

    Should I get the ECM and trade in the wedding ring on it, since I may not need it after spending 1590$, and get a grinder later?

    Soooo in Canadian dollars here silvia rocky combo 910$
    Expobar pulsar rocky for 1070
    ECM Giotto and a little wait for the grinder for 1590$
    I can budget all three of the above

    thanks for any imput
    the people of this website seem fantastic to the bulk of misinformation I read elsewhere, thanks in advance
    Steve C
    Newfoundland, Canada

  • #2
    Re: New silvia vs. semi-commercial

    Welcome to CS Steve!

    The Silvia is a single boiler machine which means you have to use the same boiler for both milk and steam. The main disadvantage of that is the speed, i.e. very slow when you have more than a couple of drinks to make. If youre only making up to four milk drinks per session, a Silvia will probably do fine - make the espresso for all drinks first, and then do the milk so the boiler only has to heat up once. But if youre hosting dinner parties or have 15 latte drinkers to satisfy, forget it - the other machines are heat-exchanger machines which allow you to do espresso and milk simultaneously and are far better suited to that sort of purpose.

    So... if you arent making many milk drinks back to back Id go with the Silvia and get a better grinder than the Rocky. Otherwise, the Expobar plus Rocky or better. The Giotto is reportedly a better machine than the Expobar but youll get very average results without a decent grinder. The only case Id recommend the Giotto plus no grinder is if you dont mind getting mediocre short-term results for the sake of better long-term results and looks when you do get the grinder.

    Greg

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    • #3
      Re: New silvia vs. semi-commercial

      Steve,

      Regarding the Silvia vs the Expobar, Silvia is a single boiler non HX machine.
      Expobar models listed are all HX - Heat Exchanger.

      I would certainly lean towards the HX machines. The Silvia was a fine machine, but if you are taking milk in your coffee, then the HX machines will win through.

      I had a Silvia and upgraded to a Expobar Minore II (Brewtus). Not the same as what you are asking about, but some of the Expobar features will still come through.

      I found the Silvia drip tray was quite small. All the Expobars seem to have a large tray as standard (eg: 32 oz on the Office Control).

      Of the machines listed, I would personally lean the Expobar Lever. But thats just me.

      Brett.

      :-) SNAP! Greg

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      • #4
        Re: New silvia vs. semi-commercial

        thanks Greg

        What will actually give me a better shot of espresso, steam not so important, the sylvia, or one of the expobar machines?

        steve

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New silvia vs. semi-commercial


          Hi scombden,

          Id have to agree with fatboy.

          IMHO, if you can get the Expobar HX machine and Rocky for only $160 CAD more than the Silvia and Rocky, then thats the way Id go.


          b4b.


          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New silvia vs. semi-commercial

            Hi Steve,

            That I cant answer for sure, but I would be guessing the Expobar. Ive never heard anyone say the Silvia gives a better extraction than the Expobar, but thats because theyre normally compared on their steaming abilities which the Expobar wins hands down. Hopefully someone with a bit more experience on these machines will be able to say for sure one way or the other. Its sounding to me like the Expobar would be the better bet for you if funds are available - the main advantage of single boiler machines is that theyre cheaper than HXs, so if cost isnt an issue Id take the Expobar even if its just for the flexibility it affords.

            Greg

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New silvia vs. semi-commercial

              If straight espresso shots are the priority, then you might also consider an E-61 single boiler. The Quickmill Alexia is available in Canada, and is a very high quality single boiler machine. It steams very well, but the switch to and from steaming temperatures requires extra time (vs the Expobar).

              I think the Isomac Zaffiro/Amica is comparable, but not sure if available in North America.

              Jim

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              • #8
                Re: New silvia vs. semi-commercial

                Soooo in Canadian dollars here silvia rocky combo 910$
                Expobar pulsar rocky for 1070

                :-?Going by these prices it looks like we are expected to pay to much for the Pulsar in Australia

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New silvia vs. semi-commercial

                  Well - the CAD is currently performing better than the USD, so that might contribute too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New silvia vs. semi-commercial

                    Hi scombden! A NEWFIE!!!! Haha, thats great. I lived in Fredericton New Brunswick in 2006 for a year... lets just say, I admire your willingness to make your own coffees at home. I can say that I tasted coffee all over the Maritimes and thats basically all I did - taste it. There was no appreciation whatsoever. I had to become mates with the local cafe and basically teach them how to use their equipment as no one (including the owner) new how to use the equipment properly.

                    Anyway back to the topic; Im using an expobar minore II(Brewtus) with a rocky at the moment (soon to be upgraded - the grinder that it), and am able to pull some pretty good shots out of it. So, if you can stretch the budget, go the HX. Seems like a good deal what youve got there.

                    Look forward to hearing what road you go down.

                    Yeeza

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