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How will I know?? (That I need to replace my grinder!)

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  • How will I know?? (That I need to replace my grinder!)

    Hi Coffee Snobs - first time poster, long time lurker!

    I have been using a Sunbeam EM6910/EM0450 combo for a few years. Sadly, the espresso machine is dying a slow death and I have decided to put her out of her misery!

    After a LOT of reading, I am thinking a Rancilio Silvia will be making herself at home soon and I want to know if you think the EM0450 is up to the job of supporting her? Even just for the short term??

    How will I know if the EM0450 is not cutting the mustard as I am worried I may have gotten used to an average coffee. I could stretch for a new grinder if necessary now - but $$$ are tight.

    Any advice will be truly appreciated!


  • #2
    Have you considered a Sunbeam EM7000 which comes with a free EM0480 grinder if you buy before 30 June?


    • #3
      Hi Skara,

      I started out with a similar situation. Machine i had died grinder was the same as you and i bought a better machine. When i got it i found i liked the coffee from the old machine (hence one of the reasons i found this forum). After much looking and reading on here i purchased a Smart Grinder and i dont know how to put it but it was just better. Since then i have updated both machine and grinder and i now have a Compak K3.

      My view is a smart grinder or the Rocky would be suitable for the Silva, however i say that if you can really stretch it to a K3 you wont be disappointed. Grind quality is much better.

      Kind regards,



      • #4
        I would agree with Chris. If you can manage to stretch your budget for your grinder, you will be rewarded. And if you went for something like a K3, it would still be a perfectly good grinder for further machine upgrades should they happen.

        I personally went to a Silvia/Rocky as my first 'proper' coffee setup. I upgraded my machine to an Expobar a few years later thinking the Rocky would cope. It was OK, but moving to a Macap M5 grinder made a big difference. This sort of upgrade path is a common story amongst CoffeeSnobs and I fully understand that budget is not usually flexible, but it is worth it down the line.

        Good luck.



        • #5
          +2 here.

          In the long run, you will save in the pocket if you go for the Rancilio Silvia and the Compak K3 combo.

          They are great bang for the buck.

          Snobs here have Silvias 10 years old and still going strong. Mine is over 2 years old now and have no problems so far. Making great coffee using the right technique and fresh beans.
          The K3 looks great with the Silvia. Not as well finished as the Mazzer or the Macap but it still has a bling factor, especially the steel look version. You will get admiration for the set up.

          There are plenty of Silvia owners here who will help you along the way if you need help with technique, questions and tweaking. So there's a community feeling world wide with this machine.

          Here is a pic of my kit when I had them new.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            New silvia owner here for the last month.

            Have gone through 4 grinders now with the first 2 being a sunbeam 440 and breville Smart Grinder. Neither of them were fine enough for the Silvia and always end up with fast shots that are slightly sour. Even when I tamp it really hard.

            Managed to pick up a Macap MX and rocky cheap. And it really makes a big difference to the result.

            Also for Silvia, best to read up on temperature surfing or watch youtube on how to do it. Or you can just get a PID and make the process a lot easier (not saying temp surfing is hard either. )


            • #7
              Thanks everyone for your speedy responses!

              Your setups look fabulous, sidewayss and okitoki!

              VX, I had considered the Sunbeam upgrade to the 7000, but am taken by the way Silvia owners talk about their machines. But, then again, that deal is pretty attractive.

              So, should I stick with the Silvia? Buying that and the Rocky is probably an additional $250 over the Sunbeam upgrade and grinder deal, which I can afford. Given I would also want the Silvia accessory pack, I don't think I can stretch to the K3 at the moment.

              This seems like the most logical step in my coffee journey...unless there is a compelling reason to rethink the Silvia/Sunbeam decision.




              • #8
                Some Bad side of the Silvia you may need to consider if suitable for you.
                I'm a farely new user so may not be too one sided with the Silvia yet

                I think it is a slightly steep learning curve compare to the sunbeam or breville range for a newbie like me. I had so many sunk shots that it was depressing at times. But when I finally got the "great" shot and managed to continue to produce it. I felt that it was very rewarding to achieve it. Now I just have to be consistent with it.

                Also, the Silvia is not a machine that you can easily churn out large number of drinks continuously and quickly. Specially if you are making milk base drink, but then from what I have read, that's the same for all single boilers.

                Temp surfing is easy.. Really! But can be time consuming and may not be suitable for people with no patient i was getting consistent result with temp surfing but every morning I tend to wake up late and need to rush to work. So getting a PID made the process quicker and easier.

                The Silvia doesn't have all the bells and whistle you see in other machines. No digital readout, pressure gauge. And only one blinking light. But then. The simplicity makes the machine have less part to breakdown? I took it apart already and it seems most parts are easily replaceable (if you know what you are doing). I guess that's why there are Silvia owners still have really old machines out there.

                Can't say much about the sunbeam as I haven't used one.


                • #9
                  The Silvia/Rocky combo has been very popular for a long while and if taken care of, will hold pretty good value for possible re-sale.
                  Some people might advocate a Breville Smart grinder over the Rocky, but I have not owned or used a Smart grinder, so I cannot really say either way.

                  I happily used a Silvia/Rocky combo for about 3 years (I think) until finances and wanting shiny things allowed me to upgrade to Expobar / Macap.
                  I was able to sell my Silvia and Rocky separately for a good price to help fund my upgrade-itis (as it is known around here).

                  One thing to consider is how to use the Silvia to protect it from boiler element issues. Essentially it is making sure the boiler refills each time you finish making coffee. From memory (and someone please correct me if this is wrong), you need to run some water using the hot water switch to force the boiler to refill.

                  Anyway.. after the ramble... YES - I think you would be happy with the Silvia/Rocky combo.



                  • #10
                    Yeap. Work flow I have now is

                    Pull shots
                    Click steam switch. Wait till right temp
                    Turn steam nob and spray out water till steam comes out.
                    Steam milk
                    Wipe wand and purge with steam.
                    -important part-
                    Switch on the water pump (middle switch) and turn on steam wand nob
                    Spray out all steam till water comes out constantly. This will make sure your boiler is not half filled and end up burning up the coil inside the boiler.

                    Regarding my previous comment regarding steep learning curve. It is even more obvious to people who has used presurised filter baskets before changing to non presurised. I guess it's the same for any other machine but seems like the Silvia is less forgiving ( she can be a b!tch to me sometimes )

                    If you are Perth based, I can let you have a try at the Silvia if you like.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by okitoki View Post
                      If you are Perth based, I can let you have a try at the Silvia if you like.
                      That is awfully kind of you, okitoki, but am Brisbane based. Thank-you for the offer!


                      • #12
                        Hi Skaramoosh,

                        Generally your grinder will be doing an OK job if it can go fine enough to slow the extraction to a trickle. If not, then it's probably time for a new one.

                        On the subject of machines, if you're considering the Silvia have a look at the Lelit range too which gives you options such as factory PID and a built in grinder.

                        Good luck,



                        • #13
                          Thanks for the curve ball, Charlie!

                          PID was on my wish list, so Lelit looks interesting.

                          Might call you on Monday to chat.


                          • #14
                            Hi Skaramoosh,

                            Nice to chat with you. As discussed, here is the Silvia/Lelit comparison. Since writing it, the Lelit has added a ball jointed steam wand.


                            Back OT, if you can still go finer on your current grinder try that first. If that doesn't slow the shot down to around 50ml in 25sec from the double basket, it might be excuse enough to treat yourself to an upgraded grinder too.



                            • #15
                              Thanks Charlie - and thanks so much for your time on the phone. Sensational customer service!

                              Will do what you suggest with the grinder and follow up with your agent on my next purchase.

                              Thanks again!