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Work Flow on the Silvia

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  • Work Flow on the Silvia

    I'm just wondering how all of you CSers with the Silvia work? Have you found a golden method that gives you the best coffee in the shortest time? My rundown is steam milk --> clean wand keep milk moving --> boiling water through steam wand to fill up tank --> get brew cycle on again and after 25-30 seconds after light is on i'll pull the shot. Ground and tamp done before the milk.

    So what do you guys do?

  • #2
    I've had mine about two months, so still learning and trying to develop best practice.

    I start each session by filling the cup with hot water to ensure the boiler is full and cup warm. I've had better success (milk-wise) with milk steamed after coffee, so at the moment I'm pulling the shot first, and using the time waiting for steam to clean the group head and portafilter.

    After steaming (and disappointing myself with yet another botched attempt at latte art) I run the brew switch to clean any loose grinds from the group and fill the boiler. This method also seems to minimise cleaning time once the coffee is ready.

    I'm having fun experimenting though, and I'm sure in another couple of months, I'll be onto something different.

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    • #3
      That sounds quite a bit more efficient than mine just have to make sure not to run the boiler dry!

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      • #4
        I have a PID so my method is slightly different and the PID makes it all a bit faster too.

        My process is....consider me OCD:

        1. Fill cups with water from the group (this warms the cups and provides a cooling flush)
        2. Fill milk jug
        3. Grind>Tap on bench>Tamp
        4. Pull Shots
        5. Remove group handle and flush the group of loose grinds
        6. Steam switch on
        7. Bleed the steam wand of excess water (very important step or you will get watery milk)
        8. Steam milk
        9. Steam switch off>Wipe steam wand
        10. Spare milk jug under the steam wand
        11. Open steam knob>Hot water switch on (This refills the boiler)
        12. Pour milk
        13. Hot water switch off>Close steam knob.
        14. Enjoy the spoils.

        I know it sounds like alot but this takes about 5-6mins.

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        • #5
          Mine has a PID installed with a shot timer and routine is as follows;
          1. Fill cups up with hot water from group
          2. Grind and tamp (water will be back up to temp when done)
          3. Pull shot
          4. Turn on steam as soon as shot finishes
          5. Fill milk jug
          6. Purge steam wand
          7. Steam milk
          8. Steam switch off and wipe down steam wand and purge
          9. Pour milk
          10. Run water through group to bring temp down and fill boiler. As soon as water flows get brush and clean group.
          11. Enjoy coffee

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          • #6
            Originally posted by nabsie View Post
            I have a PID so my method is slightly different and the PID makes it all a bit faster too.
            ...
            I know it sounds like alot but this takes about 5-6mins.
            That's about my procedure too.

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            • #7
              So many PID users!!! I'm very tempted to PIDmine but like Darrend mine is 2 months old.
              I too have found I get better milk if I pull a shot first.

              I've lately been trying to let it warm up for 30min or more and trying to lush Hugh porter filter during this time o bring it to temp sooner.

              I actually flush the group right after the shot then flick the steam switch. This way i can clean the shower while steam is getting to temp. Once milk is steamed all thats left is flush wand while I knock the milk and smooth it. Then I pour ( still suck at this).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Keyansep View Post
                I'm just wondering how all of you CSers with the Silvia work? Have you found a golden method that gives you the best coffee in the shortest time? My rundown is steam milk --> clean wand keep milk moving --> boiling water through steam wand to fill up tank --> get brew cycle on again and after 25-30 seconds after light is on i'll pull the shot. Ground and tamp done before the milk.

                So what do you guys do?
                Yes, I am another PID user

                Keyansep's reverse procedure is the best way if we are discussing about a method that gives the best coffee in the shortest time.

                After a year of living with Miss Silvia, i have refined my technique as follows:

                * Turn on the machine with the portafilter lightly locked in and warmed up for at least half hour. ( A timer is handy in this situation as you can program it to come on before you walk up to the machine) A warm machine and portafilter contributes to a better cup.

                * Switch to steam cycle.

                * When the light goes off, purge steam wand of water til steam comes out.

                * Position jug so that the wand "hangs" on the spout and the tip is just below the surface of the milk, off to one side so that a whirlpool is created.

                *Turn on steam. While that's underway, hands are now free to wipe portafilter dry ( to avoid uneven extraction) and grind coffee, dose, collapse grounds and tamp.

                * Steaming complete. Switch off steam switch. Take off jug. Quick purge of steam. Turn on brew switch to run water through group head ( this serves to keep group head heated), and at same time wipe steam wand.

                *Lock the handle in and extract. During this time, keep the milk moving by moving the jug in circles so that the foam do not stiffen.

                * Pour milk in and enjoy.

                I have done the conventional and the reverse method. The reverse style certainly cuts down on waiting time , and more time saved when the boiler is refilled during the flush and extraction, minimizing the chances of a dry boiler.

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                • #9
                  Can I ask.. with single boiler machines (like the silvia), is steaming the milk first, then brewing, a good idea? I would think the boiler would be v'hot after steaming then switching to brewing? Or do you just wait until the boiler has cooled for brewing?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JamesM View Post
                    Can I ask.. with single boiler machines (like the silvia), is steaming the milk first, then brewing, a good idea? I would think the boiler would be v'hot after steaming then switching to brewing? Or do you just wait until the boiler has cooled for brewing?
                    Re-priming the boiler (as is required after steaming on these machines) will bring the boiler temp down significantly, you should also run water through the group until it stops flashing to steam (if you want to be paranoid, run it through until the boiler light comes back on, then pull your shot as normal), given the small volume of the drip tray on Silvia I generally run the water into a tupperware tub.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sidewayss View Post
                      Yes, I am another PID user
                      Sorry, but how does the "PID" temp control of brew come into play at all if you simply...
                      *Switch off steam switch.. ..
                      *Turn on brew switch to run water through group head ....
                      *Lock the handle in and extract.
                      No mention of letting the boiler temp stabilize ??

                      My PID Silvia technique is similar to other "shot first" methods but with a subtle time saving
                      1) warm up machine ( Hint:-faster if set to steam temp, them flush down through the group to brew temp)
                      2). Fill cup up with hot water from group
                      3. Prep the PF
                      4. Check brew temp & start shot AND Turn on steam switch !
                      5. Fill milk jug as the extraction proceeds
                      6 after the extraction ends the boiler temp will start to climb rapidly, purge wand.
                      7 Start to steam milk as the temp reaches 125 C ( keeps the heater on as you steam)
                      8. Steam switch off and wipe down steam wand and purge
                      9. Pour milk

                      Effectively you can steam within a few seconds of the shot finishing, and the brew temp stays constant (106 C) even tho' the heater is on during extraction
                      ( note:- without the "Steam" switch on at the start of extraction, the boiler temp drops a couple of degrees during the shot ..just thermal lag !)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        To answer your question blend52,
                        First of all, the act of running water through the group head brings the steam temperature down to brewing temperature, in my case, about 105 deg celcius on the display.
                        It will actually go down to about 100-101 C whereupon the light is on constantly for a few seconds before flashing intermittently after that. While that's underway, i clean the steam wand of milk. I start brewing as soon as the display climbs back to 105, which is a matter of seconds on my machine.

                        Your work flow is fine blend52. However, you will need to re-prime the boiler after step 9, pouring of the milk.

                        The only problem with my work flow is that if anyone is not good at multi-tasking, then it may be tricky to do.
                        When you get to know the machine after a certain time and learn how to multi-task, ie. "hanging" the jug when steaming while filling the portafilter, it becomes second nature.

                        Will run a timer to show how long it will take for the reversal procedure, maybe do a video as well.

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                        • #13
                          My workflow

                          Flush portafilter/group head into a cup until the light comes on
                          Wipe basket with a tea towel and grind into a mound slightly higher than the top of the basket
                          Tamp without tapping, levelling etc. I don't worry too much about how much pressure I'm using.
                          Load portafilter into Silvia, tip out water from cup and place under the group head.
                          Wait until the light switches off if it hasn't already and then pull shot.
                          Repeat if I'm making two coffees.
                          Switch on steam
                          While waiting for it reach steam temp get the milk out of the fridge and fill the jug, empty the portafilter into the knock box.
                          Purge the steam wand until just steam comes out and begin steaming the milk.
                          Put the milk back into the fridge and check on the milk by feel and sound.
                          Once steaming is done, turn off steam switch and pour milk into cup(s).
                          Wipe down steam wand and use the hot water switch to purge the wand.
                          Run the brew switch to purge the group head, maybe give it a scrub too.
                          Empty the drip tray.

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                          • #14
                            That's pretty close to my work flow. I purge my wand and the group head after extraction into a small square tupperware container to keep the drip tray cleaner. That way all that ends up in the tray is the odd drip of coffee that comes out when taking the portafilter out of the group head.

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                            • #15
                              old thread, might as well put my flow in now that I have a Silvia for work:

                              pre heat for 30 min with portafilter locked in gently
                              grind and dose PF
                              flush silvia in to cup until 'warming up' light turns on. wait.
                              when light flicks off, wait about 15 sec then lock in PF and brew.
                              discard puck, flush group, switch on steam, wait. wait. wait. wait more.
                              steam light flicks off, purge wand in to cup, steam milk
                              purge wand, wipe clean, flick switch off, make the coffee's
                              open wand in to cup and flick on water switch to re-fill the boiler
                              switch off machine

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