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  • First espresso machine - Silvia?

    Hi all,

    I'm new to this forum and espresso machines in general so you'll have to excuse me if I sound a little ignorant. I also understand that there's probably heaps of threads like mine.

    Essentially I'm chasing advice on my first espresso machine. I'm getting it as a 21st present and can't be asking for one super expensive. From what I've read and researched so far, the best entry level machine seems to be the Rancilio Silvia. Is the Silvia still seen as the best entry level machine (under $1k)? Or have I missed other possibilities

    Where is the best place to buy them? I live in Brisbane but would prefer to buy it online and have it delivered.

    Based on a quick google, it seems Coffee-A-Roma has a good price ($699, delivered), but if possible it'd be great to find one cheaper. Anyone got any ideas on where to look? I know I could pick one up cheaper second hand but would rather buy new.

    Also, I have a grinder, so not really after advice for that. Just the standalone Silvia.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    I bought a Silvia from Coffee-A-Roma few months back, cannot be happier and they are lovely people to deal with. It's a very good unit, the only fault i can make is that it is a single boiler machine which gets frustrating when trying to make multiple coffees at once but for its price it is an amazing machine. What grinder are you using? I'm using a rancilio rocky and would recommend using a grinder even a level above this one for it to bring the best out of the silvia

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    • #3
      The Lelit PL Plus looks nice for $781, same style in operation as silvia but with a larger boiler, built in pid, and larger drip tray. Dont think I can post the link but google "Lelit PL Plus" and its the second link.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LachieM View Post
        Also, I have a grinder, so not really after advice for that. Just the standalone Silvia.
        What grinder do you have? It may not be up to working with Silvia to produce a good cuppa.


        Java "Covering all the bases" phile
        Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Keyansep View Post
          What grinder are you using? I'm using a rancilio rocky and would recommend using a grinder even a level above this one for it to bring the best out of the silvia
          I'm using a rocky grinder too. Funnily though I use it with an Aeropress for my daily coffee fix. I also have a little Kyocera hand grinder which is awesome for travelling and quiet too. Most people that come over think it's a bit weird to spend hundreds on a grinder and have it next to a 50 dollar 'plunger', but I think it was the way to go as I didn't want to spend the money on a machine at the time.

          So when you say that it's frustrating to use for multiple coffees, how many do you mean? Like 4+? Would 2 coffees (say lattes, flat whites, etc.) take long to do?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Javaphile View Post
            What grinder do you have? It may not be up to working with Silvia to produce a good cuppa.
            A Rocky + a little Kyocera hand grinder.

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            • #7
              1 coffee with milk will be comparatively slow, but 2 would be only a few seconds more. 4+ you will be ready to throw it in a skip, or ask some of the guests to have tea

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              • #8
                Two coffees at once is no worries, single shot ofcourse. The reason i hate making more than two at once is a) because i don't have a PID i would have to temp surf again for the 3rd (and fourth) coffee and then frothing the milk i'm also very wary of running the boiler out of water. So i play it safe and do two at a time.
                Two coffees is all good though pull shot clean group steam switch wait about 1.5 mins then steam and you're set. Just refill boiler after steaming always

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Keyansep View Post
                  ... i would have to temp surf again for the 3rd (and fourth) coffee
                  Sorry but this is probably a very novice question, but are you able to explain to me the 'temp surfing' process, specifically for the Silvia?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jimmytheboot View Post
                    4+ you will be ready to throw it in a skip, or ask some of the guests to have tea

                    This doesn't worry me too much to be honest. Like generally I will only be using it to make coffee for myself. Sometimes two people. Rarely (and probably never now that I've heard this) will I make it for more than 2. Obviously I'd love to have a better machine than the Silvia, but I think that the Silvia wouldn't be bad as my first machine.

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                    • #11
                      Has anyone ever seen the Silvia for cheaper than Coffee-A-Roma's price of $699 (delivered)?

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                      • #12
                        You'd probably be able to find it online somewhere else for maybe 20$ cheaper but trust me buy from coffee-a-roma they're service makes up for 20$ you might save.
                        Temperature surfing on the silvia pretty much means pulling a shot at the correct temperature, the silvia's boiler temp swings with a range of something like 15 degrees from memory. Generally you run water through the group head until the heating light goes back on, and once it goes off indicating the shot is ready to pull you wait a further 20-30 seconds and then pull the shot, as it is a bit too hot prior to this.

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                        • #13
                          Also the Silvia is a very quality machine, don't feel like you are shortchanging yourself by investing in one as it will serve you for years and years and not disappoint.

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                          • #14
                            Ok cheers for the reply.

                            So after that 20-30 seconds, what temp is it sitting at approximately?

                            I see a lot of talk about these PIDs. Are they just instruments that give a reading of the boiler's temp?

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                            • #15
                              Pids control the temp without the deadband/swing of a thermostat. Available as kits for between $150-300.

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