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Thread: First Setup

  1. #1
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    First Setup

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all, :)

    Looking for advice on best choice of first grinder and espresso machine. I have had some great advice so far from Mal (CS Moderator) via email, and I am now taking his advice & throwing the question out to the general audience. If you were starting all over again, what gear would you begin with.

    Looking at making on average one coffee per day. Maximum likely demand is 4 at a time every few weeks.

    Undecided about doser or doserless. Leaning towards doser for ease of use, and cleanliness.
    Dont intend to frequently switch between plunger and espresso so stepped grind adj is not required.
    Total budget for both items is ideally around $1400.
    Located in WA.

    Considering a Compak grinder (K3 Elite) and Rancilio Silvia espresso machine.

    Looking forward to your suggestions.

    Cheers,

    Andy :)

  2. #2
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    Re: First Setup

    Hey Newbie,

    My suggestion for a great first set-up would be a Sunbeam 6910 (R.R. $699) partnered with a iberital challenger doser grinder (R.R. $320) I am sure we would have a sponser selling this model).

    I have had this set-up for over a year and can produce a better coffee than most baristas out there!

    Only set backs are:- Grinder is quite loud & milk texturing takes a while but with that said I prefer a good cup of coffee and for under a $1000 dollars it is a dream!

    Good luck! Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Re: First Setup

    Hi Andy,

    Welcome to the world of home espresso! I would recommend the silvia as a first espresso machine for home - you cant go wrong! This machine can easily manage your requirements and it has really great steaming capabilities.

    In terms of grinders I would recommend the Rancilio Rocky as a minimum grinder for the Silvia - they are a great combo. The rocky grinder is a very heavy duty, solid grinder with commercial blades - it will last a very long time. For its price point its an excellent grinder - its also a grinder that can keep up if you upgrade your coffee machine in the future.

    Doser vs Doserless: I recommend doserless for home users who only make a couple of coffees a day. You can grind straight into your portafilter eliminating one step of the process. The doser just gives you one more thing to keep clean! If you had your heart set on a doser grinder I would recommend the mini mazzer as the rocky has minimum clearance between the portafilter and the doser (you lose alot of coffee off the edges..).

    A Silvia/Rocky combination is a fantastic combination for a first home set up and for the price point is hard to beat - this would be my recommendation.

    Please feel free to PM us if you would like any more information or advice.

    Good luck with it!
    Deb

  4. #4
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: First Setup

    Go with Jet Blacks recomendation
    Can beat the Silvia & Rocky combo

    KK

  5. #5
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    Re: First Setup

    Ok, thanks for the advice so far.

    So is it not really worth stepping up to a better grinder for this setup?
    Sticking to the Rocky will save a couple of hundred dollars if this is the case.

    How clean is the Rocky D/L? Will there be bits of coffee flying around or is this one pretty clean?

    What about the effect of D/L on speed. If one has to make say three coffees in a row, does the whole process slow down because you have to wait 30 secs to grind each lot?
    If doing milk versions, does one do all the shots first then steam the milk for all three at once?

    Thanks,

    Andy


  6. #6
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: First Setup

    Quote Originally Posted by newbie link=1217770094/0#0 date=1217770093
    If you were starting all over again, what gear would you begin with.
    The same.
    But thats not within your budget so you should go with the advice already given.

    The Silvia will hold its value and is built to last.

    Personally I prefer a doser as I find it less messy.

    If you have spare budget after buying a Silvia why not buy something like my Macap?
    You wont ever need to buy another grinder.

  7. #7
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    Re: First Setup

    Stepping up to a better grinder is worth every cent.

    For a 1400 budget, I would stretch it to buy a K10 and a kettle. But thats just me.

    Regarding speed, you grind on demand and not for all 3 coffees in a row. Even one minute post grinding makes a difference to the shot.

    Only way to speed grinding up is if you buy a massive high volume grinder ie. K10, robur etc. So a doserless,doser grinder wouldnt make a difference in the speed.

    With regards to cleanliness, I believe each grinder has its own mess. From mazzers throwing grinds all over the joint, to sunbeams retaining a bag of ground coffee in the chamber and delivery spout, theres bound to be mess somewhere.





  8. #8
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: First Setup

    The Rocky is a good grinder, but not in the same league as a Mazzer Mini or a Macap or a Compak K3. There are probably some other choices in that bracket too.

    I started with a bunch of plastic appliances before finally getting my first good combo which was a Silvia/Rocky.
    I have since upgraded to a Minore II/Macap M5.
    I sold the Silvia and Rocky for good value prices to CS members.
    They do both hold their value quite well.

    So if you really want to save a bit initially, then go with the Silva (*or similar) /Rocky. But if you have $1400 to spend, I reckon youd do well to go with the Silvia* and a higher spec grinder. Then, in the future if/when you want to get a higher spec machine, you wont (neccessarily ;-) ) feel the need to upgrade your grinder.

    Have a chat to one of the sponsors and they will give you some options to consider.

    And TGs situation is the ideal one. If you have the budget, go in with a setup in his bracket to start with and youd be very happy (but not always possible).

    Brett.

  9. #9
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    Re: First Setup

    Hi Andy,

    I find the rocky dl less messy than the doser version (I take the metal portafilter holder off so I can move the portafilter around). Speed will be the same with both versions.

    If I were doing 3 coffees I would make all the shots (grinding on demand for each one) and then switch to milk.

    If you think you are going to upgrade your machine down the track and you have the budget now I would recommend upgrading on the grinder first off - if you think youll stick with the silvia for many years, the rocky is the grinder for you!!

    Deb

  10. #10
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: First Setup

    Grinding on demand with the Rocky doserless takes me only 14 or 15 seconds for each dose. This can easily be done while the previous lot is extracting by grinding into a separate container if the last bit of speed is required.
    Greg


  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: First Setup

    My 2 x Bobs worth is always going to be the same.... Get the best grinder you can afford and then see what sort of machine you can buy with what money is left over. No need to be ridiculous of course, any new prosumer/small commercial grinder will last you a lifetime of constant use at home. Id start looking at the Compak K3 Elite and work your way up from there. The K3 is an excellent quality grinder and represents fantastic value since its direct competitors are the Mazzer Mini and Macap M4 style of machines.

    This would leave you with plenty left in the kitty to buy a Silvia (built like a tank and will last forever) but there arent many other quality machines at this price point unfortunately. Another very popular machine here is the Sunbeam EM6910 which when matched with a grinder like the K3 will allow you to pour truly excellent coffee and stretch milk at the same time. Not as well built as the Silvia but still seems to do a pretty fair job. In your situation this is what I would probably opt for and if the bug bites a little further on down the track, then you can always save up for a prosumer style HX or Dual Boiler machine which will perform admirably when matched with the K3.

    Can be a bit confusing when you first start looking into this market but I believe the K3 matched with the SB EM6910 will produce the goods for you. All the best mate.... :)

    Mal.



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