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Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

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  • Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

    My wife is enjoying immensely the flavour of the coffee Im producing at the moment (BCG800, EM4800) and it appears I have the go-ahead to start thinking about an upgrade...

    (At Pioneer Coffee on the weekend I almost bought a 51mm tamper, but was stopped by my better half because "Arent we getting a new machine with a bigger PF soon?" - gotta love it.)

    So questions, questions:

    Looking at the Lelit PL041 and (of course) the Silvia.

    Ive extensively pro/conned the thought process and questions (got a Google Doc spreadsheet if anyone wants to PM me to take a gander) and it pretty much seems to be down to these two.

    You know all this though - the Lelits cheaper, a little faster to heat up and a drip-tray that works, but has those crazy 57.5mm PFs. The Silvias the gold standard, but youll wait for it and get your feet wet in the process.

    Im an espresso drinker, my wife prefers strong lattes. We have 2-3 coffees a day. I can live with the re-heat time of a boiler machine if I wind up doing milky drinks for the occasional guest or three.

    So my questions come down to the nitty-gritty and possibly obsessive, derived from reading this forum too much:

    [olist][*] Theres a few discussions floating around regarding OPVs - apparently the Silvia has a user-adjustable OPV and the Lelit has/had/no longer has... Does it and is it actually important?[*] Jetblacks page on their PL041EM claims a 9Bar OPV - is this the same thing? Does Talk Coffees PL041Q also have this? Again, is it important? (I understand the significance of the 9Bar measurement in general)[*]There seemed to be some differences between Jetblacks EM and TalkCoffees Q steam wands, at least in the pics - can anyone elaborate?[*]Can PIDs be installed by any competent electrician?[*]Will the BCG800 be sufficient for the Silvia, were I to choose that route?
    [/olist]

    Ive also noticed that Bezzera has a used BZ09 available. Its more than I think Ill be able to convince the better half to pay, but the aesthetic might tip her over the edge (and me, who am I kidding?) if there was also a solid functional reason for the price hike. The slightly larger boiler can only be a good thing, but apart from that I cant find any reviews on this model at all.

    Im on the Sunshine Coast, so sponsor-wise, I dont have many opportunities to go check out any of these. I visit clients in Sydney and Melbourne regularly however, so I plan to do so when I get a chance.

  • #2
    Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

    Ok, this should be a no brainer. Go with the BZ09. It is a superior machine in every way and at that price it is undeniably good value.

    It looks beautiful to boot? Make sure you show your wife the pictures before you suggest buying it!

    Im very much a fan of Bezzera machines, although I have owned a number of other brands (ECM, Ranchilio, Gaggia, La San Marco, La Cimbali), the Bezzera seems to be to most repairable and serviceable of the lot, but is so reliable it doesnt need many repairs.

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    • #3
      Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

      three reasons why its not a no-brainer (particularly with her)
      - it costs more, its not new, and its thru ebay (I suspect?)

      I dont know much about the BZ09 - tho I like the 0.5l boiler size. If its within 20% of the silvia/lelit, and as new, Id reckon its a steal.

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      • #4
        Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

        Not the answer I was expecting. Shs!

        I cannot for the life of me find any (English!) reviews of the BZ09. I do love the look of it, but as a designer Im always wary of form over function - in this case form wont help me make a great espresso!

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        • #5
          Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

          Originally posted by 0833285B0 link=1317014152/1#1 date=1317018047
          Ok, this should be a no brainer. Go with the BZ09. It is a superior machine in every way and at that price it is undeniably good value.

          That was my first thought, the advantages are that it has an E61 group that should be more forgiving than the Silvia or Lelit, and it should be more temp stable (although Im not 100% sure on that given you need to change the temp to steam :-/)

          The other option is to buy the cheaper machine and see if you want to upgrade to dual boiler or Hx once you get sick of waiting for it to heat up to steam temp.

          There isnt much to pick between the lelit and the silvia, your best bet would be to visit a sponsor that has both and see which one you like the most. The smart grinder will be OK for any of the machines you have listed but a better grinder will give you better results.

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          • #6
            Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

            You got it, WantRancilio! It is through eBay, but its the site sponsor listing it.

            But yes, its $200 more that I can get the Lelit for (probably with a few accessories!) and its second hand - although given that its been serviced by Berreza, thats less of a concern.

            I thought the 0.5l boiler sounded good too. We dont usually have a lot of guests over at any one time, but itd be nice to have a little extra steaming capacity.

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            • #7
              Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

              Thanks Trentski - dont suppose you have any first-hand (or second, or third) info on the BZ09?

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              • #8
                Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

                Out of left field: Id suggest a La Pavoni Europiccola. something different from a pump machine, and really good value. Also they last forever.

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                • #9
                  Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

                  Are you looking for a future second-hand CS bargain, paulvin?

                  Im not sure Im up for the complexity of a lever system, although I wont deny the stylistic pull!

                  I was just reading the CoffeeGeek article on manual level machines, which did a much better job of dissuading me than the guy currently selling his here on CS. It seems like a particularly tricky way to get my morning caffeine!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

                    Build and finish is far superior in the Bezzera


                    The BZ09 doesnt  have an E61 head but a modified commercial type with small inserted heat probes for head temp stability

                    They are of course a HX (heat exchanger) machine with low water cut off
                    Steam and pull a shot at the same time
                    Hot water tap for other drinks

                    I have used the BZ09 several times when visiting sponsor Barazi and found it a breeze to use and it makes a great coffee as well

                    KK

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                    • #11
                      Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

                      For some reason I thought they did not have the low water cut off (and didnt realise they were a HX either) based on the specs I found on an italian site, which put those points for the BZ07 and BZ10, but not the 09.

                      Not that Im doubting you, because that would certainly sway my opinion. They are a lovely looking machine. Damnit.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

                        isnt KoffeeKosmo.com.au a Bezzera website?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

                          Originally posted by 424B5B4646424C5A290 link=1317014152/3#3 date=1317019768
                          Not the answer I was expecting. Shs!

                          I cannot for the life of me find any (English!) reviews of the BZ09. I do love the look of it, but as a designer Im always wary of form over function - in this case form wont help me make a great espresso!
                          My comment stated "good looks to boot"

                          I agree completely with your statement about form over function. My point is that Bezzera has a reputation for quality. They invented what we now know as the espresso machine. They have been building top quality commercial and semi commercial machines for over 100 years.

                          I think the BZ09 is a fairly recent addition to their range, so I dont expect there to be many reviews yet.

                          For my money though, the choice would be between the Lelit and the Bezzera. I wouldnt venture the Silvia way.

                          But when it comes to proven track record of both build quality and service, the Bezzera wins every time. Plus it is offered by a reputable dealer that is also a CS sponsor.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

                            My apologies - the form over function comment was with regards to my search as a whole, not the Bezzera specifically.

                            I knew Bezzera had a good rep, just wanted to know more about this machine specifically - I can see it being a tough sell to go those extra couple of hundrd dollars.

                            Im curious as to your preference for th Lelite over the Silvia tho....

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                            • #15
                              Re: Upgraditis has set in, questions about the usual suspects within (Lelit, Silvia & a dash of Bezzera)

                              Originally posted by 444D5D4040444A5C2F0 link=1317014152/13#13 date=1317041548

                              Im curious as to your preference for th Lelite over the Silvia tho....
                              There you have me, it is a personal preference. I have found the Silvia a particularly temperamental machine, and while there is no doubt it has a large fan base, I think that with the Lelit you are getting a better deal as in more machine for the money and a more forgiving machine.

                              Ive worked on a couple of Rancilio machines in the past and am not convinced by the build quality. That having been said, Ive never had a Lelit open before so cannot say anything for about its build quality.

                              I have however used one and was impressed with how nice the shots came out. It seems to hold its temperature quite well also for multiple shots.

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