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Upgrade mazzer mini or Silvia PID?

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  • Upgrade mazzer mini or Silvia PID?

    Fellow CSs

    After 4 years of a love/hate relationship with my Silvia I've decided its time to take my espresso making equipment up a level or two and would like your feedback.
    I am looking at long term upgrade and am aware i will have to spend a bit of coin hence why I am looking at replacing one piece of equipment for now. I am willing to spend under 2k for a grinder (compak k10?) or under 4k for a machine (think I've fallen for the looks and process of a lever). My question is what would I benefit most from for now? Grinder or machine? I will prob upgrade the other piece in about 1 year.
    Current equipment: pimped Silvia (PID), mazzer mini, triple basket/naked porta combo and custom sized Pullman tamper.
    Coffee beans are from 5 senses as they are roasting only up the road from my house.
    I drink macchiatos while the wife has capps.I do from 4 - 10 shots a day.

    newbie Toby

  • #2
    Oo... I'll be keen to find out what my option for the next step is too

    For me, I probably go dual boiler first...


    • #3
      Yeah the VBM DS would prob have been my choice for dual boiler. But there is something about the simplicity, procedure and looks of the lever which I'm drawn too. Maybe the taste buds should be the deciding factor??


      • #4
        Jeez mate, you're worse than me :P

        Loon, I think your money would probably be best spent upgrading the machine, but that's just my newbie opinion.


        • #5
          oooo i love talking about new toys.

          i'd head in the direction of a dual boiler too if i were fortunate enough to be in that position... the r58 on sale now seems pretty...... or keeping the silvia and getting a lever....
          sounds like quite a few milk-based drinks though, so i'd believe a hx or db would make life alot easier while you wait that 1 year

          just another newbie opinion though!


          • #6
            As you have coffee with milk then any upgrade to your grinder is probably not going to make a huge difference 'in the cup'. If you drink your espresso straight and are lucky enough to have a palate that can detect variations in flavour, you will probably notice a difference. The mazzer-mini is a highly regarded mid-upper range flat burr grinder, you would probably need to move a big conical grinder to taste a difference.

            As you and your wife drink your espresso with milk then I would upgrade your machine rather than grinder. A properly set up HX machine or dual boiler will be more consistent and remove any temp surfing issues you may have with the Silvia. HX or DB will add the ability to steam whilst pulling your shot without having to wait for the boiler to increase temp as you have to with the silvia.

            Hope this helps

            Last edited by SniffCoffee; 22 August 2013, 08:32 AM. Reason: ah he drinks coffee with milk


            • #7
              I agree that the mini is a good grinder. I agree also that you are probably going to notice changes a little less with milk based drinks than straight shots or long blacks etc. Also consider that the conicals tend to bring forward the more floral notes. I personally like my Mazzer SJ because it adds to what I aim for by roasting also - big mouthfeel, rich, bold coffee with distinct velvety choc tastes!!



              • #8
                The jury has spoken, I will keep the mazzer mini and upgrade the machine.

                Interesting observation ozscott. Much like my aftershave i prefer no floral notes.
                Now for the difficult decision in machine! I know a HX or DB will have the advantage of ease of use and consistency over the Silvia but would there be a difference in taste under the same conditions?

                thanks for the feedback


                • #9
                  Mal and others who have upgraded from Ms Silvia should chime in. Many owners PID them instead of trying to Great machines but have their limitations especially tyring to cater for a bunch of milk coffees at once. Also talk to Chris from Talkcoffee about the upgrade. I would be going a good HX but see what he says.



                  • #10
                    As one who has owned a Silvia/Rocky combo for 10 years I can add a bit to this thread.
                    I never felt the need to PID Silvia, the only changes I made was to baskets.
                    Rocky handled things just fine, made the sweeper mod and that's all.
                    I sold Silvia and bought a Bezzera machine, while the Rocky handled the job ok it simply looked out of place alongside the shiny new Galatea, so I bought a Mazzer Mini, it's also doing an excellent job, cant see me buying another grinder any time soon.
                    I could combine any of the three machines mentioned and still produce much better than average coffee.
                    Last edited by Yelta; 23 August 2013, 04:56 PM.


                    • #11
                      G'day Toby...

                      There's no easy answer to be honest. You're far better off to arrange some time with a reputable specialist coffee machine retailer, close to where you live, and do some hands on testing with the proprietor. Plenty of excellent establishments sponsor the operation of this very website, so might be worth giving one or more of them a try first up...



                      • #12
                        I think the Mazzer Mini is a fine grinder (I have the Electronic). I also own an 83 mm HG one so have a direct comparison with a large conical. The real benefit to me of the hand grinder is the ability to quickly switch between different roasts.

                        I agree that for your situation the better upgrade path is the machine. It's rare to suggest an upgrade for machine before grinder!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kwantfm View Post

                          I agree that for your situation the better upgrade path is the machine. It's rare to suggest an upgrade for machine before grinder!
                          Yeah true true ha. Thought I better ask for experienced opinions before I make my next investment and I'm glad I have had the same answers.

                          Next step to book some time w a sponsor I guess!



                          • #14
                            just upgraded from a PID Silvia/Rocky to a Rocket Giotto and Mazzer Mini E, have to say I absolutely love the Hx machine.


                            • #15
                              Ok. After playing with my new Isomac Tea and I have to admit the same beans taste different to how the Silvia came out.

                              Fuller taste and more forgiving than the Silvia. And no need to wait for it to heat up to steam

                              Does take awhile longer to heat up though. And the 2 hole steam wand is much harder to get good micro foam compares to the Silvia. Needs more practice