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Rancilio Sylvia vs Lelit PL41TEMD

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  • Rancilio Sylvia vs Lelit PL41TEMD

    Hi guys need your collective wisdom again.... I was all set to buy a Sylvia, but after doing a lot of reading and thinking it may not be the best choice for me.

    The Lelit has more features like PID and pressure gauge, but it is also twice the price. Is it twice as good? I don't want to get the Sylvia only to then want to upgrade it in 12 months time.

    What am I looking for? I make 4 milked based coffees throughout the day, never more than 2 at a time. I am looking for a machine that has really good steam pressure to heat the 500ml of milk as quickly as possible. I want a good extraction with full flavour. I will be getting a new grinder as well - probably the K3 push.

    The machine I am upgrading from is a Breville BES860 with inbuilt grinder. The grind was inconsistent and despite the pressure gauge showing I was spot on, the extraction would be too quick and the coffee lacked flavour and depth. I have not been happy with this machine and I have it up for sale. I figure if I get a better machine and learn how to use it then if I make bad coffee I can only blame myself and not the machine

    Thanks for any advice. Are there any other machines below $1000 that I should be considering?? For the same amount I cold also get the Isomac Venus? The more I read the harder it gets...
    Last edited by 13bob; 18 March 2013, 10:37 PM.

  • #2
    Silvia will do your workload no problems at all. It also has some of the best steam pressure in it price range.

    Guess it comes down to how much you want to spend. I doubt the silvia would disappoint. But, if you have disposable cash, something more expensive will no doubt do what you need as well.

    Comment


    • #3
      The one other thing that is stopping me going with the Sylvia is all the reports that it is "difficult to master".... I would much prefer a more forgiving machine that is user friendly for novices like me. The other thing going for the Lelit is that it is PID.

      I really like the look of the Lelit, but not sure if it is really worth the 1K price tag??

      Comment


      • #4
        I assume you are only considering new equipment ? ( $1000 of pre-loved m/c can be a whole different class !)
        for $1000 you could consider the NS "Oscar" which is an entry level "HX" m/c but with different "asthetics" to the regular SSteel designs.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by blend52 View Post
          I assume you are only considering new equipment ? ( $1000 of pre-loved m/c can be a whole different class !)
          for $1000 you could consider the NS "Oscar" which is an entry level "HX" m/c but with different "asthetics" to the regular SSteel designs.
          Hi, yes I am only really considering new, I don't know enough about the machines to trust 2nd hand.

          Where could I find an NS Oscar for 1K?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 13bob View Post
            The one other thing that is stopping me going with the Sylvia is all the reports that it is "difficult to master".... I would much prefer a more forgiving machine that is user friendly for novices like me.
            I have never owned any coffee machines (only plungers, stove tops). I have never owned a grinder.
            But 2months after getting a Silvia and Compak K3 grinder, I could not be happier. I'm not sure if I make a great coffee but it sure is way better than some cafes. Could also partially be the freshly roasted beans

            Pulling the 1-2 shots on the Silvia is ok, but I'm not sure if I can pull anymore with good consistency.
            All there is with the Silvia is following a consistent set of routines. And I didnt even PID my Silvia.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi there

              We supply the NS Oscar

              Send me a DM or contact us via email info@casaespresso.com.au

              Sure we can help you

              Cheers

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi 13bob,
                After all the usual newbie questions and dilemmas, I decided to go with a brand-new Silvia and Compak K3 push (K3 bought from site sponsor, Caffe Sillipo - Richard is very helpful, GREAT service! ).

                My history: I have never made espresso before other than playing a few times with a friend's commercial machine & grinder (under her supervision!) and while I know I can only improve with time, patience and knowledge, I feel am now making espresso acceptable to me. By following the temp surfing (or more correctly 'time surfing') my straight espresso seems to be a lot better than many I've tried. And that's only after six weeks or so. I have even converted my husband from *shudder* instant. My microfoam has good days and bad days which is due to me or which milk I use. Silvia has lots of steam, I don't think you need to worry.

                In the end I made my decision based upon what my absolute top budget for a machine + grinder, my needs and how I would feel if I didn't buy the best machines I could in my budget. I looked at the Lelit PID with gauge that you mentioned but I went with the Silvia because I wanted the best grinder I could have (my dream one) and if I bought the Lelit PID w gauge I couldn't afford the K3 too. At the end of the day many here (and other places) have attested to Silvia's quality espresso if you follow her rules - no, it's not that hard to use, not at all. If I can, anyone can. I thought if I really want to install a PID on her, I could later if I felt I needed it. I just thought that I would see how far I could go with a baseline Silvia.

                I want to chase good espresso by having a great (home) grinder, good starter machine + good technique not by throwing money at it. Because you can have a great machine + bad technique and make mediocre espresso (or so I've heard). A bad tradesman blames his tools kind of thing...

                As this was a 'new' thing for me, I didn't want to over spend my budget. I did follow the venerable advice and bought a good grinder.

                My advice: set a budget and buy want you can't stop thinking/dreaming about. Because if you can't stop thinking about it now then you won't if your coffee isn't as good as you'd hoped. As I was a newbie I had my heart set on new equipment. I figured if I made poor espresso then the variable was me, not my equipment or beans as they are fresh and from a reputable source. As you have had a machine before and if your budget doesn't stretch, then you can go second-hand. I bought a Silvia mindful of re-sale if I wanted to upgrade later on.

                Are you able to inspect a Silvia and have a demo? That would satisfy your Q about steaming 500ml of milk. Just make sure you use a comparable grinder, not something better because that would affect what you taste in the cup.

                If you can't stop thinking about the Lelit with PID, then go for it!! Good luck!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi 13bob. Any new machine will take a little time to master. The Silvia is no different. The advantage is that so many people have gone through the process there is heaps of info out there to help you while your learning the new machine, including here on CS. No doubt you'll be going to some type of boiler machine from your current BES860 which is a thermocoil machine.

                  Biggest difference is that you need to understand that a small boiler machine needs to be looked after when steaming. You need to start with a full boiler before hitting the steam button and take care not to run it dry while steaming. When you're done you refill it straight away using the hot water button. The Silvia has a really good head of steam and will do a 2 cup jug comfortably as long as you start with a full boiler.

                  There are various opinions re: the need for PID on a machine but I would guess the majority of people with a Silvia don't have one. Temperature surfing is easy to learn and will give very good results without having to spend all that extra cash on PID. In the video below I think they use a 30 sec delay from when the boiler has heated until the thermostat cuts power to the heating element (light goes out). Varying this by 5 or 10 secs either way will help find what's best for the bean/grind you're using.

                  How to Temperature Surf on the Rancilio Silvia - YouTube

                  or with PID

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1wAQNH1lYs

                  No matter what you get, you'll still need to master how to get the correct grind fineness and how to pack your filter basket correctly. The PID can help a bit with brew temperature but temperature surfing can get you there too. Steaming milk will be a case of learning the correct technique for the machine you are using.


                  The other good thing with the Silvia is they have a good resale value. They're well known and appear to be well respected.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I found a serious advantage to gronking - not having to wait. if it's too cold, I hit the steam switch until it reads above 100 then turn it off. before I had to flush until it was cold, then wait for it to heat, then wait for it to cool.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi greengarden, thanks so much for your detailed response. I agree that I need to set a budget. Realistically I can only really afford the Sylvia because as you did, I have to get a decent grinder too. The whole "temp surfing" thing and all the comments that the Sylvia is a hard mistress to master scared me off it.

                      My question really was - is the Lelit with PID really twice as good as the Sylvia as its twice the price. But I think you and others ave answered that question for me.

                      Thanks again.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CafeLotta View Post
                        Hi 13bob. Any new machine will take a little time to master. The Silvia is no different. The advantage is that so many people have gone through the process there is heaps of info out there to help you while your learning the new machine, including here on CS. No doubt you'll be going to some type of boiler machine from your current BES860 which is a thermocoil machine.

                        Biggest difference is that you need to understand that a small boiler machine needs to be looked after when steaming. You need to start with a full boiler before hitting the steam button and take care not to run it dry while steaming. When you're done you refill it straight away using the hot water button. The Silvia has a really good head of steam and will do a 2 cup jug comfortably as long as you start with a full boiler.

                        There are various opinions re: the need for PID on a machine but I would guess the majority of people with a Silvia don't have one. Temperature surfing is easy to learn and will give very good results without having to spend all that extra cash on PID. In the video below I think they use a 30 sec delay from when the boiler has heated until the thermostat cuts power to the heating element (light goes out). Varying this by 5 or 10 secs either way will help find what's best for the bean/grind you're using.

                        How to Temperature Surf on the Rancilio Silvia - YouTube

                        or with PID

                        Crew Review: Rancilio Silvia with Auber PID - YouTube

                        No matter what you get, you'll still need to master how to get the correct grind fineness and how to pack your filter basket correctly. The PID can help a bit with brew temperature but temperature surfing can get you there too. Steaming milk will be a case of learning the correct technique for the machine you are using.


                        The other good thing with the Silvia is they have a good resale value. They're well known and appear to be well respected.
                        Hi cafelotta, thanks heaps for all the advice. Being a novice really sucks!!

                        i thought the Lelit might be more forgiving machine for a fairly newbie like me, and it also has the pressure gauge which I thought I might need to tell me when I had the right pressure instead of me guessing.... but from what you are saying the temp surfing thing is on the sylvia is not too difficult to learn.

                        i think also I need to be convinced that the Lelit is really head and shoulders above the Sylvia for me to fork out the extra $500 in price.

                        Cheers.
                        Last edited by 13bob; 19 March 2013, 11:53 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Hildy, what is gronking? Sorry for the question.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, you see, a mummy Silvia and a daddy Silvia love each other very much, and ......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...ilvia-but.html
                              Last edited by greengarden; 19 March 2013, 11:46 PM. Reason: unlink

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