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Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

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  • Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

    I have been reading and reading, and speaking to people, and I am no closer to deciding on a machine that I was when I started.

    I am moving up from a Sunbeam EM3800, which has served me very well. I drink lattes (4 a day), as do most of my visitors.

    As far as I can see, the Rancilio will last me for years and make beautiful coffee as long as I treat it nicely and let it warm up properly. This is the only thing stopping me jumping straight in and getting one - I have 5 children so do a lot of running around, and like to walk into the house and switch the machine on and make a coffee in the next 5 minutes! (For safety reasons, I dont like leaving machines that heat stuff switched on when Im out, so I couldnt just leave it on all day.) I also have lots of drop-in visitors who have 5 mins for a quick coffee, which my Sunbeam manages well at the moment.

    Ive read various threads on here, and reviews at a consumer review site, and it seems that opinion varies whether you can get a reasonable coffee from the Rancilio after 10 minutes, 30 mins, 60 mins of heating.

    I suppose at this stage Im leaning towards the Sunbeam for the instant satisfaction factor. But Im very open to having my mind changed about the Rancilio. I would love to have a clear winner in my mind, but it seems both of them have different good points in terms of what would suit me, so I cant compare them!!!

    Of course, if there is another machine that would blow those two out of the water, in a similar price range, I am happy to hear about that too!

  • #2
    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

    Hello linden,

    If youre looking at a grinder as well, Id be saving just a tad more and getting a Breville Dual boiler (BES900) and a Smart grinder.

    They wont cost you a whole heap more, but will better match your requirements.

    There are a few CS threads for you to gain futher information.

    Chris

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

      Hello Linden,

      and welcome to CS!

      Unfortunately what you have read is the "down side" with these otherwise great special interest sites. Too many posts / posters giving too many ***opinions*** on stuff that they might not yet have fully understood 

      Re your quotes then:

      a)  "..As far as I can see, the Rancilio will last me for years and make beautiful coffee as long as I......let it warm up properly.  This is the only thing stopping me jumping straight in and getting one..."

      and
      b) "...Ive read various threads on here, and reviews at a consumer review site, and it seems that opinion varies whether you can get a reasonable coffee from the Rancilio after 10 minutes, 30 mins, 60 mins of heating...."

      and
      c) "...like to walk into the house and switch the machine on and make a coffee in the next 5 minutes!  (For safety reasons, I dont like leaving machines that heat stuff switched on when Im out, so I couldnt just leave it on all day.)..."

      An educated explanation is:
      Silvia warm up time need not be any more than 10 minutes during or after which you flow water through the group a few times over the next minute or two to make sure all of the brew water path is well and truly heated to a proper operating temp. Total time should be less than 15 minutes, including having had the group handle attached to the group during the warm uo and while the water was flowed through, and also having your two cups under the spouts to collect the hot water and warm up as well.

      5 minutes wont cut it with any machine not just Silvia, and you are correct in not wanting to leave your machine on all day for the sake of convenience where, convenience will one day turn around and bite you on the proverbial  If you are not at home or if you dont want coffee again for a few hours, turn it OFF.

      Hope that helps.

      By far the most importamt thing is to purchase from a vendor where you can get good before and after sales service. Your local espresso machine shop would be a great start, and while my company is a direct importer of Silvia and Rocky (amongst other things), I am not a great believer in "mail order" coffee machines because when / if something goes wrong, where do you send it back to for your warranty claim and repair????? Back to "mail order" I am afraid with all the usual risks associated with damage in transport.

      On the other hand if you are quite comfortable with mail order, I will be happy to talk off forum.

      Hope that helps.

      Rgdz,
      Attilio
      very first site sponsor.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

        The Silvia is a great machine but it is a difficult mistress to master. That being said you dont need to master her to make good coffee, especially if you are making milk drinks.

        You can "cheat" the warm up time on the Silvia. The boiler heats the water quite quickly it is the other components that take longer to get hot. So if you run water through the group handle and even flick the steam switch to get things even hotter faster you can reduce the warm up time, at the expense of using a lot of water.

        The Breville 900 that is yet to be released has an element in the group head so that will heat up quicker than a Silvia would without cheating.

        The real advantage of the Breville is that you can steam your milk and pour espresso at the same time. With the Silvia you need to wait a couple of minutes after you have poured espresso for the boiler to get to steam temperature.

        However RRP for the Breville is said to be about $1500 where as the slivia is a little over $700.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

          Arhhh yes but.......

          It isnt as difficult as many reviews in all of these esteemed sites make it out to be....there are only a small number of things to know about Silvia that will help an operator get to the bottom of it quickly enough....as any operator would have to do to get to the bottom of any serious coffee machine not just Silvia;

          Is it really...."cheating"?  Its just what you do if you want to get it ready as soon as it possibly can be owing to the operators need on any particular occasion to get a coffee and get out quick, rather than just flicking it on and coming back any time later at the operators leisure......

          Selecting steam mode to get the coffee machine hotter more quickly is a furphy, as the machine first has to reach brew temp before it can go past the brew set point to get to the steam set point. By the time it will have gone to steam set point the operator will already have done the job by simply leaving it in brew mode & flowing water through the group and into the cups as described.....OR...if you do this with the machine in steam mode, the operator then has to make sure the brew temp is equalised back down to where it should be for coffee making before brewing the first cups of coffee for fear of having overheated and then burning the coffee.....an understanding of this stuff is too much to expect a novice owner to know / learn, and could be how the "silvia is difficult to master" stuff comes about.   

          Ability to steam milk and brew coffee at the same time in home use is *overrated* I am afraid. Clients use it as another thing to tick off on their list of dos and donts when they are investigating the purchase of a machine when in reality, very many people that really do have machines that steam and brew at the same time at home....never use the ability to do so.....myself amongst them.

          Trying to keep it real no matter what machine Linden eventually decides to buy  

          Rgdz,
          Attilio
          very first CS site sponsor

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

            All you say is true Attilio, as usual 8-)

            I put cheating in "" because that is what the interwebs refer to when they try and get Silvia up to temp quickly.

            I had a Lucy for 5 or 6 years and now I have a GPP Plus I do steam and pull espresso at the same time. The main reason that led me to upgrade was the ability to steam as soon as if not before I finished the pour. The more forgiving e61 group head didnt hurt

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

              I agree that the Silvia gets to much tricky to master hype but I do think that it makes much better espresso when warmed up for an hour rather then 10 or 15 minutes. If you spend 10 minutes flushing water through the group that is different to leaving the machine idle for ten minutes. Em6910 and Silvia need heating for optimum performance, it is not a big issue really.

              Originally posted by 484D4A40414A534B4B40240 link=1309126725/0#0 date=1309126725
              opinion varies whether you can get a reasonable coffee from the Rancilio after 10 minutes, 30 mins, 60 mins of heating.
              The Silvia can make reasonable coffee after 10 minutes of warm up, but I wouldnt want to spend $1000 on a machine and grinder and then strive for reasonable coffee.

              At a mates place the other day and he made a couple of lattes on his em6910 and hardly used its dual steaming/brewing capabilities. It took way longer to steam the milk then my Silvia, which makes the dual steaming/brewing a smaller issue IMO. You can only do one thing at a time anyway and its not like your running a cafe.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

                Having owned a Silvia for five years and then an EM6910 I can honestly say I get great coffee from the SB consistently and rarely got great coffee from Sylvia even after I installed a PID 

                My EM6910 plus the Breville Smart grinder are a very economical combination for making great coffee without cheating or temp surfing and they do it much much quicker than SDilvia ever did 

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

                  Originally posted by 7A5D5B5C51280 link=1309126725/7#7 date=1309154397
                  Having owned a Silvia for five years and then an EM6910 I can honestly say I get great coffee from the SB consistently and rarely got great coffee from Sylvia even after I installed a PID
                  I wish my Silvia had a PID

                  I think a preference for a em6910 over a PID Silvia would be an exception. I would rather one PID Silvia then a lifetimes worth of em6910s. Probably says more about how much you like your Sunbeam then anything else.

                  I make an ordinary coffee now and then, and I know it has nothing to do with my Silvia or grinder, it is all my fault because the variable lies with me. I find it pretty easy to repeat good shots on the Silvia, it comes down to grind, dose an tamp.

                  Dual wall baskets and preground coffee is the most consistent, it is very repeatable and very quick.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

                    Originally posted by 1F222626324B0 link=1309126725/8#8 date=1309157618
                    Dual wall baskets and preground coffee is the most consistent, it is very repeatable and very quick.
                    Let me suggest kindly that you are NOT making good coffee : Either one - dual walled basket or preground coffee will not deliver the goods!

                    I dont prefer Sunbeam per se, but I do prefer the EM6910 over Silvia for the reasons I mentioned.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

                      Originally posted by 4A6D6B6C61180 link=1309126725/9#9 date=1309158293
                      Dual wall baskets and preground coffee is the most consistent, it is very repeatable and very quick.

                      Let me suggest kindly that you are NOT making good coffee Either one - dual walled basket or preground coffee will not deliver the goods!
                      I dont use either, it was a kinda joke with a ring of truth. I never said dual wall and preground made good coffee, I said it was easy, quick and consistent which is kinda true. (consistently s#*thouse). I was trying to emphasize that good coffee takes time and effort.

                      Bad attempt at humour. Anyway, im off for a quick cup of Blend 43, it is very consistent and the easiest of all coffee brewing methods to master.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

                        Originally posted by 49747070641D0 link=1309126725/10#10 date=1309159048
                        Anyway, im off for a quick cup of Blend 43, it is very consistent and the easiest of all coffee brewing methods to master.
                        Cant disagree with that

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

                          From memory the Sunbeam was very quick to heat up, 5 minutes then a quick flush of hot water. The steam on the Sunbeam is a little under pressure compared to the Silvia when it comes to steaming milk. Making the coffee though, the Sumbeam is childs play and it does a great job for the price and you wont have a pond around your machine after a couple of cups. The Breville BES900 will be a great machine but the cost is well over double and you can not buy it now. >

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

                            The EM6910 makes a better coffee if you let it warm up for longer than 5 minutes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sunbeam EM6910 vs Rancilio Silvia vs ???

                              Thanks so much for all the input!

                              I think I just need to buy the Silvia so I can stop second guessing myself.

                              I agree that the ability to brew and steam at the same time is not something I particularly covet, so that feature of the EM6910 at least is not a selling point for me.

                              Which leans me back again to the Silvia...! Time to go shopping.

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