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Thread: New machine advice

  1. #1
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    Question New machine advice

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ok......

    My old sunbeam has died and I am upgrading to an Italian machine. I am tossing up between the Lelit PL41LEM and the Rancilio Silvia V4.

    Was as trying to decide between the two. I was leaning towards the Lelit due to the stainless feature of the drip tray and the pressure gauge. However, the filling the water tank seems to be a pain and the Silvia seems easier lifting the lid and just filling the tank.

    Both machines are very similar but I'd like users of both to give the pro and cons. There seems to be so much positive Silvia discussions online as also with the Lelit. Does the Silvia drip tray really rust if you look after the machine ? Is Tina pain filling the Lelit ? Do you really need the pressure gauge that the Lelit has and the Silvia does not ?

    Need help deciding by users and owners of both machines.
    kexkez likes this.

  2. #2
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    Went through the pro,s and cons of both machines last year. Chose the Silvia for various reasons. Love it but you must learn to manage the temp. Good examples on youtube. One side issue that influenced me was the weight. The Silvia is almost twice as heavy as the Lelit. Just food for thought. Good luck

  3. #3
    TOK
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    Welcome to CS.

    Only in response to your questions, from my own experience.

    Both machines will do a great job for you over a period of years as long as you learn how to use them well. They are both very reliable.

    Ok......

    It is not the drip tray that can rust on the Miss Silvia. The drip tray is stainless steel. It is the painted steel frame of the machine, in the area under the drip tray. In my honest opinion its not that much of a problem, but we are all individuals with different levels of tolerance to various things. I have seen enough older Miss Silvia's where their owners (or my good workshop people) have effected spot repairs (rub and repaint) as and when required, using rust proof paint. We are talking surface rust only....and unless the owner is particularly neglectful, I don't see a problem and these machines would probably still be going after we go six feet under They are usually replaced when people decide they want something different or "better", rather than they've died or been eaten away by rust !.

    And by far the greatest number of Miss Silvia's we see in for service, don't have enough of a rust "problem" to worry about repair.

    Of course if you live in a tropical or subtropical environment with very high humidity, you may want to be more vigilant in drying up under trip tray after each use.

    No, you don't need a pressure gauge...think about it...if you did, would Miss Silvia still be so popular after being in production for decades without one?

    After that you already said it..... both machines get (and deserve), positive discussions.

    So I am afraid I probably haven't been much help because you are looking for definitive pros and cons but....they are both nice reliable machines in their price bracket that make quasi commercial brew.

    That said.....you haven't told us what model sunbeam you are replacing. If its a 6900 or 6910, and you replace with a lelit or silvia, you are only going sideways in the coffee quality stakes. Certainly the two italian machines light years more reliable than the sunbeam, but it makes good coffee. So in that case are you sure you wouldn't like to "step up" instead ? I understand that will be budget related as much as anything else.

    Hope that helps
    Caffeineholic likes this.

  4. #4
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    Do you have any issues yet with rust around the drip tray on the Silvia ?

  5. #5
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    Upgrading from a Sunbeam cafe series (one of the lower models), so I guess either way I am upgrading to an Italian made 'cafe' coffee taste !!!

  6. #6
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    I have no rust issues. Keep it clean and backwashed. The drip tray is so small it,s silly but otherwise I love it. It makes you, me, be certain on grind, tamp and rewards me with great coffee. Oh and as a personal choice I put on a pid but it made great coffee before that. Just check out temp surfing so you are clear on what the machine demands of you.

  7. #7
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    I suggest go with the Silvia . It has certainly stood the test of time, highly reliable and excellent feedback.

    Only suggestion without throwing spanner in the works, have you considered jumping up in price to a ECM or Rocket? It is hard to compare in price, but thinking long term investment in your coffee experience. I was at a very similiar stage to yourself a couple years back, but have outgrown the Silvia. Have heart now set on Rocket. See Rocket Espresso Milano
    I appreciate budget may place a part, but keep in mind what you want to be using and showcasing over the coming 10+ years.

  8. #8
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    Temp surfing looks interesting. I guess once you work this out and get to know your machine, pulling shots on it would be just like riding a bike !

  9. #9
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    Bought lelit, solder joint issue on steam wand, and wasn't happy with team power, prob why. Exchanged for ver 3 Silvia. Happy with it. Put an auber pid on it, even more happier with it. Invest in a grinder first mazzer/mahlkonig etc. I have a vario baratza happy with it. My advice by the best even a little more than you can afford so it hurts you for a month or more in the pocket book. Get a rocket or quick mill because you'll have the mc for years, and you want the abs best shot, unless of course you drink lattes all the time.

  10. #10
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    I've had my Lelit for a couple of years now and I absolutely love it. I need to have the temp on my machine so I know when it's the perfect time to make the coffee or steam the milk.

    The pressure gauge I could live without but it's a really good tool for knowing if you've put enough coffee in and tamped enough if you are new to using one of these machines.

    As for the tank, I don't have a problem with taking it out to fill it up. I'm clumsy so if I was pouring directly into the machine, I'd probably miss, get water everwhere and freak out that I've killed the inner workings of the machine haha.

    Jetblackespresso has every single replacement part you could ever dream of for the Lelit which gives me peace of mind should things go wrong.

    I haven't used a Silvia but I know I love my Lelit, it makes every day happier, so no regrets from me

  11. #11
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    The Lelits have had some updates over the last few years so some of the comments above are out of date:
    1. Steam power on the non-pidded Lelit models is on par with the Silvia (there was an increase in steam thermostat temperature 3 or 4 years ago). The pidded versions of the Lelits steam better than the Silvia because the PID is more responsive than the bimetallic thermostat in the Silvia and non-pidded Lelits.
    2. Water tanks on the Lelits are now fully open at the top (rather than the bottle type that used to be in them). The new style water tank will go into an older Lelit for those wishing to change it.
    3. Ball jointed steam wands are now standard.

    There is an old post where I listed a Silvia v Lelit comparison. This thread seems to be as good a place as any to write an update which incorporates these changes:

    Lelit v Silvia

    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!

    Lelit body is all stainless steel. Silvia is powdercoated steel and will rust under the drip tray area - it's just a question of when and by how much. But the steel on the Silvia is thick and unlikely to fall apart.

    Lelit has a bigger drip tray - a backflush with chemical will generally (over)fill a Silvia drip tray.

    Lelit has a water tank level display so you're less likely to run out of water mid-shot.

    They both have open water tanks under a lid so filling is similar.

    Lelit's have a brew pressure gauge. You don't need one to make great coffee. But it can be handy in certain situations (eg backflushing - easy to see when max pressure is reached and troubleshooting pressure issues)

    Both can be accessorised (naked pf, fitted tampers)

    Both can make great coffee, but the standard baskets in the Lelit are deeper than the Silvia and in our experience 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.

    The Silvia steam valve seals better (less likely to drip) due to the use of a soft rubber seal, but this seal will need to be replaced at regular intervals - especially if there is an "overtightener" in the house.

    They both have the same style steam wand.

    The Lelit heats up faster: 10-15 mins versus 30. The Lelit group head is essentially the bottom half of the boiler so the heat path is very short. The Silvia boiler is offset to the group head so the heat path is longer.

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

    ********************

    The original comparo is posted here: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...tml#post448209


    charlie
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  12. #12
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    My pre-loved Silvia suffered from a rusty frame, and the beginnings of bubbles in the chromed plastic group cowling. In case the shiny coating deteriorated further and really started to peel off, I bought a spare cowling. (Anyone who would like it, see the Pay it Forward thread.) A couple of months ago I invested in a dual boiler Lelit, and love its all-stainless body, non-plastic cowling and big drip tray - oh, and it makes wonderful coffee too!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    That said.....you haven't told us what model sunbeam you are replacing. If its a 6900 or 6910, and you replace with a lelit or silvia, you are only going sideways in the coffee quality stakes. Certainly the two italian machines light years more reliable than the sunbeam, but it makes good coffee.
    I'm not sure that I agree that the Sunbeam 6910 produces similar quality of coffee as Lelit and Silvia. When I upgraded from the Sunbeam to a HX machine I noticed an immediate improvement in coffee quality. When I added the Lelit as my second machine for holidays and living across two homes, I didn't notice a similar decrease in coffee quality.

    Best wishes, Russell.

  14. #14
    kbc
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    Sylvia definitely. Great machine for the price

  15. #15
    kbc
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    "Silvia"



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