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  • Breville 900 or Silvia?

    Hi,

    I realise that these are different price points but wondered which machine to go with in terms of whether it is worth paying extra to go to a $1500 machine? I am concerned about the Breville in terms of reliability even though know Breville has 2 year warranty.  Previously had a Saeco Via Venezia and want to upgrade. Have a solis scala grinder so probably need to upgrade that as well. We make about 5-6 coffees a day, usually milky drinks.
    I have a 3 month old so probably quite sleep deprived...and coffee deprived as our old machine is not working anymore so decision making not happening at the moment.

    Thanks for any help, it is much appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

    Hi Sandy. The reliability/longevity question of the 900 has been raised countless times already (myself included).

    A lot of effort has been put into the design of this machine and thorough inspection by some of our esteemed sponsors have given it 2 thumbs up. Breville will back their product with a 2 year warranty.

    The Silvia is a much simpler machine which if well looked after should last you a minimum of 10 years. If this is the longevity youre looking for then buy the Silvia.

    For me its a no-brainer, if you can afford it buy the Breville. It will be an easier and nicer machine to use, it gives you far greater control over the coffee making process and greater steam capabilities. Will it last 10+ years? Only time will tell, there are certainly a lot more things which can go wrong with it.

    Talk Coffee and Cuppacoffee have some great pre-delivery specials you should check out. Essentially you can get a free Smart Grinder with your 900.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

      Hello Sandy. Welcome to CoffeeSnobs.

      These are two very different machines.

      I have not used a Silvia so I only know about it from CoffeeSnobs.

      I have tried the Breville Dual Boiler at the launch and at Cuppacoffee and have ordered one and hope to get it early next month.

      Silvia has the reputation of being a solidly built machine. Many Snobs enjoy making good coffee on their Silvias.

      The Breville team have worked hard over the past 3 ½ years to put many of the features normally only found in commercial machines into their new domestic machine.

      A standard Sylvia requires flushing to improve temperature and brew quality while the BDB with two PID temp controls is far more stable and will remain within 1 deg of the set temp.

      As far as reliability of Brevilles, I have had a Bes860 for 3 years without trouble other than having to modify the built in grinder. Breville staff told me that the BDB is being made at the same factory as the 860.

      The Breville will be a more upmarket machine at an upmarket price.

      Barry

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

        Thanks very much for the advice.

        I do realise they are very different - just deciding whether to go up to that next level. Just went to my coffee place and they suggested Nuova Simonelli Musica - bit too pricey for me but did notice one on here second hand.....

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

          Apart from the technical side of making a good coffee, the other things I like about the Breville is the thoughtful and convenience features that are included.  All these little things would make the machine very nice to live with and operate on a daily basis, things like:

          • easy to see water level
            can easily fill tank from front
            big drip tray with full indicator
            built in wheels to make it easy to swivel machine around
            magnetic tamper holder (hopefully fits well with the baskets)
            auto fill boiler, auto sleep etc - so you cant blow the element


          There are probably others I have left out. The last point is what makes me nervous about others using my machine, as they can inadvertently damage a silvia style of machine.

          It certainly seems to be a great feature set for the money.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

            If you can afford it, or can justify spending the extra cash, get the Breville because it is a way better machine then the Silvia. If your budget is only $700 I would get the Silvia, its reputation for reliability is well known.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

              Originally posted by 013C38382C550 link=1309883974/5#5 date=1309939336
              If you can afford it, or can justify spending the extra cash, get the Breville because it is a way better machine then the Silvia.
              The Silvia has been available for many years. The Breville has not even been released. It has been reviewed and marketed beautifully. To say the Breville is better without first hand experience of both machines is extremely misleading. I would be very wary of such advice.
              Sandy, there is a lot of information about the Silvia online. Research and go visit some stores and have a play with it. See if it suits you. After all you are the one who will be using it. Wait for the Breville and have a play with it when it is launched. Do not limit yourself to these machines. Test some others. Everyone is different, and you may like or dislike certain features in a machine that will clash with other peoples viewpoints. In the end it is your money, and your choice.
              By testing a few machines, you broaden your horizons. Sometimes a nice machine may appear for sale second hand. If well looked after they can be great value.
              In SA, visit Coffee Craft. They are a site sponsor and very helpful. I am sure you will walk out highly caffeinated and wiser with a whole lot of information to mull over. There are other stores you can also visit if you want a different viewpoint. One in Stepney named after a Brazilian city springs to mind.
              In summary, try before you buy.
              Good luck with whichever machine you buy.

              {Edited after being caught out by the location police }

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

                Originally posted by 5354414E43200 link=1309883974/6#6 date=1309952892
                There are other stores you can also visit if you want a different viewpoint. One in Norwood named after a Brazilian city springs to mind
                Stepney

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

                  Hi,

                  Im in the same situation, should I buy the Silvia (or an EM6910) or should I go for the Breville. We are also making 5-6 coffees a day (mainly lattes) so am thinking the Breville as it seems like a better buy in the long run - especially if you regularly have people over.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

                    Originally posted by 012A202429382E254B0 link=1309883974/8#8 date=1309954197
                    Hi,

                    Im in the same situation, should I buy the Silvia (or an EM6910) or should I go for the Breville. We are also making 5-6 coffees a day (mainly lattes) so am thinking the Breville as it seems like a better buy in the long run - especially if you regularly have people over.
                    A dual boiler or HX machine will definitely be useful to someone with your requirements Jako. The Silvia is a great machine but making multiple milk-based drinks for entertaining is slow and painful.

                    Check out some great value pre-release deals from Talk Coffee or Cuppacoffee for the 900.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

                      These two machines, being your choices, seem to indicate a lack of knowledge on how these machines work, generally. They are in two, very distinct classes.

                      The "entry level" of espresso machines are single boiler, dual use (commonly abbreviated as SBDU). It means that one, sealed chamber with a heating element in it has to make hot water for brewing AND steam for stretching milk. To do that the user must go through some steps which is usually to first brew the espresso, then turn on the steam switch, wait, bleed off some water through the steam wand, allow the boiler to heat a bit more, then steam the milk. After that, the steam is turned off, the boiler refilled by running the hot water function until just hot water comes out the wand, then allowing the boiler to fully reheat once again before it is time to make another espresso.

                      Beyond all that, the boilers tend to be small in most of these machines and so the amount of milk that can be steamed is limited.

                      Some of the "entry level" machines have a boiler to brew and a thermoblock to steam and that does speed up the process, but the thermoblocks are generally not capable of supplying steam as powerful as a true boiler.

                      Because of all that, making more than about two milk-based drinks at a time is pushing the limits of the machine. So for each two, or maybe three, beverages you need to repeat the above routine each time. It can be time consuming even if you get good at it, so for entertaining a group the barista ends up spending a great deal of time at the machine. For a larger party group, most of the evening can be spent making drinks.

                      The other half of the spectrum are the machines which feature a heat exchanger (HX) or dual boilers (DB). The DB machines name tells it all. Thee is one boiler dedicated to filling the needs of brewing, and a second, separate boiler that is just for steaming. Depending on how this is implemented and the power requirements, this can work quite well (two or more heating elements can draw a lot of current, so they have to be switched back and forth on some machines. Some do this better than others). For how a HX machine works, I have an illustrated article here:
                      http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/hx.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

                        Thank you for your detailed response Randy G, I do realise they are very different machines - there is no lack of knowledge, I have researched them both at length. My question was I suppose more do I go with a machine that is known to last (ie Silvia) or go to the next level and spend a bit more on what I assume is a well priced (albeit untested) version of a double boiler machine. I cant spend more than the $1500 cost of the Breville but I have concerns about an untested product. Are there any other machines out that for around that price that would do what the Breville can do?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

                          I did not mean to be presumptuous... Sorry...

                          Here in the USA the Brevilles have a fairly negative connotation which I assume is due in some part to the flooding of the market with refurbished, marginally-performing SBDU machines that look nice but perform with a lack of consistency. iirc, they were selling here at one point in the $150-180 range (refurbs).

                          I went from the Silvia (6½ years of use) to the Vibiemme DS (HX E-61, lever group) and the difference was dramatic in terms of ease of use, speed, and quality of espresso. Any decent HX machine will show the same performance difference to just about any SBDU machine. There are lots of reasons for that.

                          As you are thinking, the new Breville, while exciting in initial reports, is an unknown. The two year warranty looks good, but that only has value based on who will be servicing it and how long that might take if needed (and the cost of postage if necessary).

                          Credit card companies here in the States often have the ability to double the warranty for manufacturer-covered failures, up to an additional year when a purchase is made with them. That would give three years on the Brev.

                          I suppose the choice comes down to what else is there in that price range, and how much of a gambler you are...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

                            Originally posted by 494E5B54593A0 link=1309883974/6#6 date=1309952892
                            To say the Breville is better without first hand experience of both machines is extremely misleading.
                            I own a Silvia. I have never used a Breville 900, but it is obviously a far superior machine given its specs, and like you said. . its reviews have been excellent. You dont need to have driven a BMW M3 too know that its an awesome car.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Breville 900 or Silvia?

                              Id like to chime in here, having used and sold both machines.

                              The Silvia is a robust, time-tested machine.

                              The Breville 900 is light years ahead, both in performance and functionality. Although it has not withstood the test of time, Breville have provided a warranty that is double most machines on the market today.

                              I am the type of person who embraces new technology readily, which is not unusual for Australians.

                              Concerns about new technology fascinate me, and they doesnt have to relate specifically to coffee machines. I am old enough to recall the grave concerns expressed about power windows and power steering in cars, yet today if I tried to sell the idea ofa wind up window or heavy steering as a positive, a car buyer would laugh at me.

                              I may have selective memory, but can someone please remind me of the last time, and the likelihood, of a new product such as the Dual Boiler, manufactured by a company similar to Brevilles reputation, not performing according to expectations?

                              Comment

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