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Rancilio Sylvia and Rocky, or Compak K3?

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  • Rancilio Sylvia and Rocky, or Compak K3?

    Hi all,

    I've been using an AeroPress and a hand grinder for a while. I've got a similar setup both at home and at work. I got onto this a bit over a year ago when searching for a descent brew while on deployment to Afghanistan, and while it still does a pretty descent job; it is getting pretty tiresome, especially when we have visitors and it takes me 15-20 mins to grind, brew and prep milk (via a crappy little electric milk heater / frother) for 4 people!

    Upgrade time!!!

    From my reading so far, a Rancilio Sylvia looks like it is pretty hard to go by at $500 brand new. Likewise, I can get a Rancilio Rocky for about $400 or Compak K3 for about $450. What are your thoughts? I don't want to go crazy on the price, but I also don't want to skimp on the purchase, only to decide in another year or so that I want to upgrade again.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I should have mentioned - these will mainly be used for milk based drinks.

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    • #3
      The Silvia is a machine with an excellent reputation, however you mention it's mainly milk based drinks, if your looking to make more than a couple at a time you may well find the Silvia a little on the slow side.
      Rocky is a very good little grinder, had one for years and never a complaint, the Compak K3 has had excellent reports and may well be a better proposition than a Rocky, I haven't used one so cant comment, take your time and do some research.

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      • #4
        I'm about 6 months into my relationship with a Silvia and Rocky (doser) and I absolutely love it. You can do 2 or 3 milk based coffees at a time no problem. Been and done a barista course where they let me take in my machine and grinder and we tweaked my dosing a bit and I'm now pulling very consistent shots and starting to get my groove on with latte art.

        I probably put through about 250-300g of beans a week. I find both the coffee machine and grinder easy to use and maintain. I think they look great in the kitchen too. Neither take up too much bench space

        I hear the K3 might be a slightly better grinder, but it is also more expensive. I got my rocky for a little over 300 brand new via a coffee-aroma ebay auction. I haven't used or seen a K3 in real lie, so I can't comment much more on it

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        • #5
          Thanks Mentasm,

          2-3 milk based drinks at a time? If you wanted 4 or 5, would there be much of a wait time for reheat?

          $300ish for a brand new Rocky? Wow! I'll have to watch ebay a bit I think!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Yelta View Post
            The Silvia is a machine with an excellent reputation, however you mention it's mainly milk based drinks, if your looking to make more than a couple at a time you may well find the Silvia a little on the slow side.
            .
            Thanks Yelta,

            Do you have a suggestion on an alternative I should be looking into?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mas_cafe View Post
              Thanks Yelta,

              Do you have a suggestion on an alternative I should be looking into?
              Mas,

              At that price point for a machine I don't think you'll do better than a Sylvia. My thoughts are definitely go for the K3. If you can stretch the dollars I'd go a Simonelli Oscar. Its a non shiny but very functional machine that I think is very underrated. Just my opinion and you will get many different ones so I agree, take your time and figure out what your after. Go to the dealers around and start the chats, try a few and see the difference. There are definitely bargains around for secondhand if your prepared to wait.

              Cheers Yabba
              Last edited by yabba; 5 April 2013, 01:02 AM. Reason: My spelling is worse than my coffee

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              • #8
                At the price you'd be pushed to do better than a Compak K3P for $450 from site sponsor Talk Coffee. In terms of durability, it is closer to commercial build quality than domestic so should last a hell of a long time if looked after.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mas_cafe View Post
                  Thanks Yelta,

                  Do you have a suggestion on an alternative I should be looking into?
                  Sorry cant help MC, I owned a Silvia for 10 years so got to know it pretty well, perhaps keep an eye on the for sale forum of coffee snobs, good machines show up there quite often.
                  Unfortunately prices rise quite rapidly once you move up from the Silvia.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks folks. I'm leaning towards the Compak K3P grinder. While I'd love to go with a cofee machine that will happily pump out 4 lattes in quick succession, I doubt I'll get Minister for Finances's approval to go much beyond a Silvia's price. I'll keep watching out for pre loved machines in the interim.

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                    • #11
                      I'm now the proud owner of a Rancilio Silvia and a Comak K3P. The Silvia came from Grinders for $499 with 12kg of Romanza coffee beans thown in! Yep - no typo - 12kg. I've gone through 500g already playing with the grinder and machine, but they are absolute crap compared with Andy's beans, so once I've dialed things in and finished experimenting, the rest will be going on eBay!!!

                      The Compak came from Chris at Talk Coffee - an awesome deal for $450. A great deal and it came with the best damn coffee I've ever tasted - courtessy of Chris and his flash lever machine when I got there to pick up the grinder!

                      So after playing with the new toys all weekend, I'm thoroughly buzzed and waiting for the long nip of single malt to counter the caffine so I can get some sleep!!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mas_cafe View Post
                        I'm now the proud owner of a Rancilio Silvia and a Comak K3P. The Silvia came from Grinders for $499 with 12kg of Romanza coffee beans thown in! Yep - no typo - 12kg. I've gone through 500g already playing with the grinder and machine, but they are absolute crap compared with Andy's beans, so once I've dialed things in and finished experimenting, the rest will be going on eBay!!!

                        Well done. 12kg of beans....even if they were fantastic, unless you were thinking of have an 'end of the world' party or something, you'd probably have at least 10kgs of stale beans before too long.

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                        • #13
                          Rancilio Sylvia and Rocky, or Compak K3?

                          Originally posted by Mas_cafe View Post
                          The Compak came from Chris at Talk Coffee - an awesome deal for $450. A great deal and it came with the best damn coffee I've ever tasted - courtessy of Chris and his flash lever machine when I got there to pick up the grinder!
                          I'm not one for hyperbole, but the shots Chris produces from that lever machine are simply stunning, although I'm sure operator skill and bean quality also contribute to the quality.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
                            Well done. 12kg of beans....even if they were fantastic, unless you were thinking of have an 'end of the world' party or something, you'd probably have at least 10kgs of stale beans before too long.
                            You're not wrong... and these are the type of quality bean tthat come with a 2 year 'best before' date on them instead of a 'roasted on' date. I'm tipping they were already stale before they left the factory!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
                              Well done. 12kg of beans....even if they were fantastic, unless you were thinking of have an 'end of the world' party or something, you'd probably have at least 10kgs of stale beans before too long.
                              Got exactly the same deal, incl 44 packets of Grindérs 250 gm beans with a use by of Nov 2014
                              Practiced with 1 kg and sold the rest for $120!
                              Viola, new Silvia for $380. Used the savings to buy an upgraded grinder from Talk Coffee. We all won

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