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CURRENT - Gaggia Classic vs Lelit p41lem vs Silvia

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  • CURRENT - Gaggia Classic vs Lelit p41lem vs Silvia

    Okay so everyone seems to be in agreement that these three machines are the best in the price range.

    What I'd like to ask is if the Silvia or Lelit are worth +$200/$300 to the Gaggia Classic (which I've seen new online for about $560).

    It seems like the might be a bit better than the Gaggia but is it $200+ better?

  • #2
    Silvia will resale better when upgradeitis hits. silvia has a much bigger boiler than gaggia. Go the silvia, you won't be dissapointed once you have worked her out.


    • #3
      I've owned both the Gaggia and Silvia. The Gaggia puts out a great shot but I'd still rate the Silvia higher and is worth the extra couple of hunge. The Silvia is also much better at steaming. (The Gaggia steam wand is ordinary) No surprise so many upgrade their Gaggia steam wand to the Silvia version. This has been done to my Gaggia which I use at work with good results. By the time you add in the expense of upgrading (about $40-50) you may as well buy the Silvia.

      The Silvia gets great resale results. I bought mine for $700 new and sold it 2 years later for $500. I got upgradeitis and bought a Rocket Giotto. If I had my time again I would have skipped the Silvia stepping stone and gone straight to a heat exchange machine. Admittedly a fair price jump though.

      Having said all this if milk is not an issue then a Gaggia shouldn't disappoint. The one I use at work is 13 years old and still pumps out a mean espresso on a daily basis.

      Hope this helps...
      Last edited by stephen28; 8 July 2015, 05:33 PM.


      • #4
        Personally, I think the Lelit is a better bang for buck machine than the Silvia, and retains its resale value just as well.
        Going price delivered to your door by Site Sponsor JetBlack Espresso, is also worth taking into account...



        • #5
          I love my Gaggia at work, but if buying new I would suggest going for the Lelit/Silvia. If nothing else, consider that one day you might upgrade - the Lelit/Silvia will at least hold half their value but you can find 2nd hand Gaggias online for $100 or less.


          • #6
            Thanks for your input guys. I'm leaning towards the Lelit as I hear it heats up faster and that the silvia has temp control problems?
            My budget is $1000. Would you go for the PL41LEM + a seperate grinder or the Lelit Combi? The pl41LEM option would give me about $250 remaining for a grinder - would there be one at that price range better than the Combis?



            • #7
              You'd need to go to the PID version- PL04xTEMD to gain better temp control. The Silvia, LEM and a host of other single boiler machines use bimetallic strip thermostats and these by nature vary significantly in temperature.

              As for grinders, my preference is to separate them from the machine wherever possible. If one part of the equation fails for any reason, you still have the means to make coffee

              Happy shopping.



              • #8
                Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                You'd need to go to the PID version- PL04xTEMD to gain better temp control. The Silvia, LEM and a host of other single boiler machines use bimetallic strip thermostats and these by nature vary significantly in temperature.

                As for grinders, my preference is to separate them from the machine wherever possible. If one part of the equation fails for any reason, you still have the means to make coffee

                Happy shopping.

                Hey Chris, thanks for your advice. Unfortunately the PID stuff is a bit out of my budget as I'd need to buy a grinder too. Do you guys or jetblack do a Lelit/Grinder combo? Maybe that's a better option than the Combi?



                • #9
                  Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post

                  As for grinders, my preference is to separate them from the machine wherever possible. If one part of the equation fails for any reason, you still have the means to make coffee

                  Happy shopping.

                  True, but there are other considerations that are worth mentioning:
                  1. will you still use one piece of equipment without the other?
                  2. lelit combi is cheaper, more compact and cleaner than separates (less coffee on the bench)
                  3. if you store coffee in your grinder hopper, it will probably go stale faster in a combi due to the heat, but
                  4. we advise against storing coffee in any grinder hopper so this shouldn't be an issue in the combi either
                  5. easier to transport a combi if you are taking your coffee away with you
                  6. one reason not to go for a combi - you want a grinder other than the 43MMI (the grinder that's built in)

                  There's no wrong answer - just weigh up the options and go with your preferences.

                  In terms of Silvia v Lelit there is an old post that I'll update due to spec changes in the Lelits steam valves this year and Silvia group head cover and repost here:

                  Lelit v Silvia

                  The Lelit heats up faster (10 minutes versus 30 minutes).

                  Silvia is heavier - which can be a pro - less likely to move on your bench, or a con depending on whether you want to take your machine on holidays (hard to beat the Lelit for a weekend traveller)

                  Lelit body is all stainless steel. Silvia is powdercoated steel and will rust under the drip tray area in most cases.

                  Lelit has a bigger drip tray - a backflush with chemical will generally overfill a Silvia drip tray.

                  Lelit has stainless steel group head versus plastic group head cover on Silvia (chrome will flake off plastic particularly if the group handle bumps the cover) from Version 3 of the Silvia onwards.

                  Lelit has a brew pressure gauge.

                  Lelit has a water tank level display.

                  Both can be accessorised (naked portafilters, fitted tampers, etc)

                  Both can make great coffee, but the standard baskets in the Lelit are deeper than the Silvia and tend to make it easier to get good extractions than the shallower baskets in the Silvia. However you can get deeper baskets for the Silvia.

                  Both machines use a seal in the steam valve which needs to be replaced periodically. The Lelit uses a Teflon seal which can be replaced without steam valve removal. The Silvia uses a rubber/viton seal. Replacement requires removal and disassembly of the valve.

                  Pick the one that ticks more boxes on your wish list and you'll pick a winner.


                  This is an updated version of the post located here:



                  • #10
                    FYI on the Silvia Group Head cover being plastic. This is a major annoyance.

                    See for how it will look in a year or two's time if you are not careful.
                    See for the finicky steps to replace it +50$ for the replacement part


                    • #11


                      • #12
                        Some pretty good info in here. Couple of things I would add:

                        -Silvia has multiple parts suppliers around the country, whereas the Lelit has only one in each state so you are beholden to their pricing.
                        -If anything breaks on a Silvia you will be able to google how to fix it, with pictures and videos. Not so much with a Lelit, however Lelit single boilers are pretty similar internally anyway.
                        -Lelit has probably caught up over the years in terms of build quality. Other than the new wand, Rancilio have mainly made cosmetic improvements only.
                        -Maybe the internals are just slightly lower quality on the Lelit, that's my feel just from surfing forums and looking at people's posts about maintenance issues...

                        I love my Silvia, but if I had it again I think I would go the Lelit, it is just a better bang for buck at current pricing.


                        • #13
                          I prefer the Gaggia

                          The overlooked strengths are
                          - minimal heat up time with the small boiler and 1400W heating elements (literally 5 minutes from cold to brew if you pull a steam shot)
                          - the boiler cannot be burnt out since the heating elements are exterior
                          - extremely simple to work on with cheap parts
                          - 58mm PF like the Sylvia for mopre basket options than the Lelit
                          - much bigger drip tray than the Sylvia (Lelit is bigger)
                          - water level is visible
                          - brew to steam transition (and back) is MUCH faster than the other 2
                          - temp surfing is simple and far more repeatable than the Sylvia (the separate group head gives a secondary temp swing)
                          - showerhead spacing to basket is larger than the Sylvia, making it more forgiving when up/over dosing
                          - if you use the standard wand with the plastic stub but without the panarello, you can get excellent milk texture, albeit a bit more slowly, plus it will not run out of steam as the boiler is capable of cycling so until you steam the boiler dry, it will keep going

                          As far as resale goes, just buy one 2ndhand so it's already depreciated.

                          IME, the Sylvia can give the better ultimate espresso shot (as good as a HX or DB) BUT you rarely get them without a very anal, protracted temp surf/flush routine that has to allow for ambient temp. The Gaggia and Lelit will both produce a slightly lesser espresso but will do so repeatably, with far less effort and if you pull double basket espressos, then the quality is as good as with any machine.

                          The worst points are the very low group to tray clearance which limits your cup height and the aluminium dispersion disc which prevents you from backflushing with Cafetto etc (but this can be replaced with the brass version from their commercial machines)

                          For lightweight, I have kept my plastic bodied Carezza and it has accompanied me on interstate flights (along with a Lux grinder)
                          Last edited by kaanage; 10 July 2015, 08:36 AM.


                          • #14
                            CURRENT - Gaggia Classic vs Lelit p41lem vs Silvia

                            Lots of good points from Kanaage above. I've only ever owned a Gaggia of the three machines mentioned so I can't compare, but I can vouch for all the positives Kanaage mentioned. It is definitely a fairly forgiving machine that is less likely to frustrate a newby than a Silvia from what I've heard. If you can get a good condition 2nd hand one that already has the Silvia wand upgrade and especially if it's had the OPV adjustment then you can end up with an extremely capable machine. Getting awesome espresso is a real possibility and steaming power is better than you might expect if you apply the right techniques. I just sold my Gaggia after completing a full rebuild on it and it was pumping out some great coffees in testing before its sale. Shots like this-
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                            And milk good enough for lattes like this-
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                            Just a couple of things to look out for. Get a slightly older, Italian made Gaggia Classic if you can and avoid the brand new ones now available in Europe and the U.S. as they are quite a different beast altogether. Chemical back flushes are possible, but should be performed with the dispersion screen removed. It's a good idea to remove it to clean it anyway and it's not difficult. Also the boiler doesn't auto fill so make sure it's always full by flushing water through before turning the machine off. Don't leave it on for long periods of time as the boiler can slowly empty due to slow leaking of the steam wand. It heats quickly anyway (optimum time of about 15-20min for good temp stability) so just turn it on when you want to use it. Aluminium boilers are more susceptible to scale damage so only use filtered water and descale at least twice a year.
                            At the end of the day I think they're all good machines, but if I was paying full retail I'd probably go for the Lelit.


                            • #15
                              I am looking for a machine for making a latte 2-3 times per day and on occasions 2 latte's at a time. After extensive homework, I am thinking along the lines that the lelit PL41TEM would be a more user friendly option for a relative newbie over the silvia? however I have read the steam option is not as good on the lelit? I am really struggling to choose between the two, can anyone offer any further advise?
                              In addition I already have a lelit PL043MM grinder with the plastic chute/spout. While I love the grinder, I find I have problems with static on occasions making a mess. The lelit PL41TEM I am looking to purchase comes with the lelit PL43MMI grinder free and I note is has a metal chute/spout. would this be a better option with the grinder? or no different? thankyou for any help in advance