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My first Prosumer Coffee Machine - What to buy?

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  • My first Prosumer Coffee Machine - What to buy?

    Hi All,

    Bit of a newbie so apologies if this has been asked before or i am opening up a world war in debate but i am looking to get my first prosumer espresso machine so looking for some guidance and feedback on what coffee machine I should choose - advantages vs. he pitfalls of each. Looking to spend less that $1000. Also need to be reliable and last for a good few years.

    I am considering the Rancilio Silver v4 or Letit PL041LEM but open to other machines.
    Why the Letit? - I went to Jetblack espresso website and they suggested a good alternative to the Silver is the Letit PL041LEM. Only issue is that I havent heard of them and I cannot find too much info on them.

    There is a mountain of info out there between the Gaggia vs. Rancilio but i cannot find much on the Letit.

    I have read about the temperature surfing that you need to do with the Silver and i reckon i can work around this and learn the technique, however i am concerned that my wife who also will be using the machine daily will find this too hard to work out and not want to use this new coffee machine.

    Would love to get some expert advice on what to choose based on real experience and use.

    Thanks
    Madaxle

  • #2
    Welcome madaxle,

    I think you will find that there is a fair body of information on the Silvia and Lelit if you search on the correct terms.

    To be honest, I am reluctant to recommend single boiler machines for beginners, multiple users or when any sort of volumes (dinner parties etc) are required. Many sponsors have buyers guides. Here's a link to ours to get you started: Buying Guide- Espresso machines | Talk Coffee

    Happy shopping...

    Chris

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Madaxle,

      Another vitally importantly part to add into you looking and budget it a good grinder. This makes ALL the difference!

      Also need to ask yourself...
      - will you wife use it (mine just gets me to make them now)
      - how many coffees will you make at a time
      - milk based coffees or short/long black
      - how often will you honestly need to make 4 or more coffees.

      If it will just be you mostly using it, and mostly 2-4 coffees and you budget is max $1000 the IMHO I'd go the Silvia. Great machine need to learn a few intricacies of it (temp surfing and filling boiler) but looked after will last a long time. Around those $$ should get u a Silvia and Rocky combo or a Silvia & Compak k3.

      Visit some sponsors and read the info Chris noted above.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mmmcoffee View Post
        Hi Madaxle,

        Another vitally importantly part to add into you looking and budget it a good grinder. This makes ALL the difference!
        Yes completely agree on a good grinder, looking to also buy a grinder in the $300-$400 mark. There are a few around both new and second hand i am looking at.



        Originally posted by mmmcoffee View Post

        Also need to ask yourself...
        - will you wife use it (mine just gets me to make them now)
        - how many coffees will you make at a time
        - milk based coffees or short/long black
        - how often will you honestly need to make 4 or more coffees.

        If it will just be you mostly using it, and mostly 2-4 coffees and you budget is max $1000 the IMHO I'd go the Silvia. Great machine need to learn a few intricacies of it (temp surfing and filling boiler) but looked after will last a long time. Around those $$ should get u a Silvia and Rocky combo or a Silvia & Compak k3.

        Visit some sponsors and read the info Chris noted above.
        - will you wife use it (mine just gets me to make them now)
        My wife works from home and I work in an office. I expect that I will make a 1-2 coffees a day for myself (morning and night) and my wife will want to make 1-2 coffee's during the day while she is working from home

        - how many coffees will you make at a time
        Most likely 1 at a time. Maybe on the weekend we may make 2 in a single instance.

        - milk based coffees or short/long black
        Personally I switch between espresso, macchiato, latte and cappuccino's all the time. Most likely milk based.
        My wife doesn't like strong coffee's so will tend to have long blacks and from time to time have a cappuccino.

        - how often will you honestly need to make 4 or more coffees.
        I rarely have people over for dinner but am willing to accept that if I have large groups I really need a double boiler system.


        I feel comfortable making a coffee but maybe I should bite the bullet with my wife and go to one of the sponsors training courses once i have chosen a machine to get both my wife and myself use to some quirks of the single boiler machine. The last thing i want to do is buy the machine and its all too hard for my wife and she does't use it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
          Welcome madaxle,

          I think you will find that there is a fair body of information on the Silvia and Lelit if you search on the correct terms.

          To be honest, I am reluctant to recommend single boiler machines for beginners, multiple users or when any sort of volumes (dinner parties etc) are required. Many sponsors have buyers guides. Here's a link to ours to get you started: Buying Guide- Espresso machines | Talk Coffee

          Happy shopping...

          Chris
          Thanks Chris. Very informative buying guide.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm biased but I do like the Silvias and by the sounds of it could work real well for u. Biggest thing that's a little tricky (but not really just need to learn it and it's not hard) is to temperature surf- YouTube it and it shows you how to do it to see how you both feel before you buy anything.
            Silvia ticks all ur boxes and will last a long time. But that's my opinion but I understand where Chris from Talk Coffee is coming from.
            They are a great unit and make great coffee.

            With your $$ for a grinder check out a Compak K3 push or touch for $$ nothing is near them.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am also biased. I lean towards the Breville Dual boilers. While the silvia is cheaper, it is much more basic. I don't doubt that in the right hands it can make great coffee.

              The basic un-PID’d Silvia requires skill to have temperature control by surfing and it requires regular manual filling to maintain boiler water level to prevent heater element burnout.

              The Breville is far more user friendly as the temperatures and water levels are automatic.


              Barry

              Comment


              • #8
                Personally I see the Breville's as disposable appliances. Love my Silvia. Even more now I threw a PID on it. Extra money is best spent on the grinder, a decent double basket and then maybe a PID.

                Also believe there is a definite benefit in learning how to work with temperature and pressure rather than having it all automated. Ends up with you being able to better produce a superior coffee and understanding whats going on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good insights too Barry. Haven't used the Breville dual boilers but heard some good things! Check them out and see the advantages and disadvantages of each.

                  Good luck

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mentasm View Post
                    Personally I see the Breville's as disposable appliances. Love my Silvia. Even more now I threw a PID on it. Extra money is best spent on the grinder, a decent double basket and then maybe a PID.

                    Also believe there is a definite benefit in learning how to work with temperature and pressure rather than having it all automated. Ends up with you being able to better produce a superior coffee and understanding whats going on.
                    My feelings exactly Mentasm, though I might add the Silvia is getting pretty long in the tooth now, its been around with very few changes since about 2000.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      long in the tooth = well sorted

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mentasm View Post
                        long in the tooth = well sorted
                        It's certainly a machine that's stood the test of time, second hand Silvia's seem to hold their price very well.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have had coffee machines that had to be temperature surfed so I know what is involved.

                          With my three year old Breville, being semi-automatic, not having to worry about things like temperature, water level etc. I can concentrate on the beans, grind, dose and tamp, to aim towards that elusive god shot.

                          While it may not be totally parallel, the Toyota I now own is the first automatic I have had. I don’t think that being able to drive a manual car makes you a safer driver when in an automatic. I learned to drive in an old car with worn out synchromesh, so I had to learn how to double shuffle when going down through the gears. How many drivers now would know how to do that? With the modern car they don't need to.

                          With a modern coffee machine you don't need to temperature surf.

                          Barry

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                            It's certainly a machine that's stood the test of time, second hand Silvia's seem to hold their price very well.
                            So much so that the advantage of buying second hand over new is somewhat negated.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Barry_Duncan View Post
                              While it may not be totally parallel, the Toyota I now own is the first automatic I have had. I don’t think that being able to drive a manual car makes you a safer driver when in an automatic. I learned to drive in an old car with worn out synchromesh, so I had to learn how to double shuffle when going down through the gears. How many drivers now would know how to do that? With the modern car they don't need to.
                              Barry
                              Guess you mean double declutch Barry Driving tips for the track: Double declutching have not heard it referred to as double shuffle before, I see the simile your trying to draw, though not sure it's as cut and dried as that.

                              Yes, I do know how to double declutch, and, I suspect learning the skill very early in my driving life improved my empathy for things mechanical, knowing how to operate a machine like the Silvia most certainly won't get in the way of operating any other machine, and, may even help.

                              Comment

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