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Silvia replacement

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  • Silvia replacement

    Hi all,

    I'm considering a Silvia replacement after 10 years of dependable use. It has its quirks but I know the machine so much so that it's automatic. I'm not sure whether I should spend more for a heat exchange or dual boiler machine or just get a new Silvia with a PID fitted.

    Any thoughts? I normally brew 2-3 flat whites per day. the only things I find annoying about the Silvia is the small drip tray and making coffees for multiple people (6-7 drinks at a time once a fortnight).

  • #2
    Personally, I would be spending more... It takes more than triple the time to make 6-7 milk drinks on the Silvia than even a small dual boiler...

    You’ll get a bunch of time back in your life to see your friends and family enjoying your coffee, rather than being stuck either cooling down or heating up the Silvia!

    Worth every penny.


    • Dimal
      Dimal commented
      Editing a comment
      It takes more than triple the time to make 6-7 milk drinks on the Silvia than even a small dual boiler...
      Don't necessarily agree with this statement.
      I owned and used an Imat Mokita (an early Lelit derivative) machine for a number of years to which I fitted and configured a decent quality PID controller that took care of both the Brew Water temperature and Steam temperature. I regularly produced 4-5 Latte/Cappuccino drinks in very quick order and after a brief boiler refill and reheat, could then do the same again if necessary.

      Personally, if the current Silvia is in good nick in all other respects, I'd be opting to fit or have fitted one of the excellent Jet Black Espresso PID upgrade kits to your existing Silvia. My only problem with the Silvia over recent years, is that for the money, better options from Lelit represented better value/performance for the money. But since you already own the Silvia and have an established workflow, I think that spending significant amounts of money to "improve" what a Silvia is capable of, requires much more judicious consideration of all aspects of the "improvements" you expect to receive.


    • emslibbles
      emslibbles commented
      Editing a comment
      After 5 years and counting with it, I’ve got a pretty good workflow for max speed on the Silvia... Having to heat the boiler to steam milk multiple times is not a quick operation. Reasonably confident I could churn out the 7 double flatties on my Eagle 1 Prima in the same time it takes to get back to steam temp... okay, may be a slight exaggeration there... but the time difference is not small.

      Definitely if the machine is still in good condition then adding a PID makes sense, but if you’re talking a whole new machine then I think it’s worth moving to something that can walk and talk at the same time.

  • #3
    I tend to agree with Dimal here.
    I upgraded from a pimped, PID’d Gaggia Classic after 20 years for similar reasons to you.
    I wanted something plumbable to eliminate emptying the small drip tray, spilling its contents on the floor at 600am in the process and filling the tank.
    I also wanted a quieter pump(rotary) and a double boiler for temperature stability and multiple milk drinks (on the rare occasions I made them).
    The steaming aspect was really the least of my concerns as, if I was making 6 coffees, I was going to be in the open plan kitchen for a while anyway. A couple of minutes extra really doesn’t matter to me.

    I upgraded to a Bianca but it took me over 20 years and as I am older than some rocks, I shouldn’t need to upgrade again.
    I might but not because I need to.


    • #4
      I moved from a Silvia to an Expobar Minore II 15 years ago and it was the best decision in the coffee journey thus far.
      Apart from the speed difference for making coffees (we both drink milk based), the Expobar turned out to be much easier to use. So much so that my wife is happy to make a coffee on the Expobar if she needs to (visitors when I'm not home or just wants an extra one during the day) when she would hardly ever attempt a coffee on the Silvia.

      I think a jump to any decent HX or dual boiler will make a big difference. We normally do around 4 doubles a day, but with the added benefit of being able to bang out 20+ in a row on a few occasions.

      Plus the drip tray on the Expobar is HUGE!


      • #5
        Thanks for taking the time to reply. From what everyone is saying it sounds like a PID dual boiler machine would be really nice to me in the mornings and when I'm playing barista for my family and friends. Sounds like I need to save some money and research some options.


        • Caffeinator
          Caffeinator commented
          Editing a comment
          With predominantly milky drinks on you menu, there is no need whatsoever to look to a PID, dual boiler machine. If it was mainly light roast espresso and the occasional milky drink- sure thing, but you don't need that.

          I recall a story of a certain site owner and a Giotto at a bushfire staging area in the fires of 2009. Goes something like 20kg coffee, 200L milk and non-stop until there was noting left. Your 6 friends? Walk in the park

          Set your sights on a high quality HX machine which will cater for your needs and one hell of a lot more. Plenty of options in your price range from manufacturers such as ECM, Profitec, Lelit, Rocket, Izzo et al.