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post #3511 of 4120
I personally wouldn't get a manual machine. Only more ways to fuck things up. For 1k $, you can get a nice upgrade from the Silvia (esp if you want to prepare lots of milk-based drinks, a dual boiler is very nice to have). Still, the Silvia is a good machine.
post #3512 of 4120
^
I only have a little experience with La Pavoni, but for a lever machine in that price range, you can get Elektra's substantial and beautiful Microcasa a Leva. I have one, and though I haven't used it much since getting an E61 machine, I still love it and would highly recommend it.
post #3513 of 4120


^Thanks for the feed back. The machine I am replacing is a duel boiler, it was the KitchenAid pro line first generation, made in Italy lasted almost 10yrs of daily use. It has a 1200w pump which was nice.

 

Mostly used to pull shots during the day as I work from my home with a occasional milk based drink.

 

The Pavoni's do not appear to be very stable while pulling shots from watching videos, will go with a pump driven machine.

 

Found the "Silvia" on line the "Elektra's" look nice also, a bit more substantial then the "Silvia" ?? 

 

Just ordered new gasket's for a "Gaggia" that I also have so have time too research.

 

Much appreciate the hands on advice

 

Enjoy 

post #3514 of 4120

Since you seem willing to push your price range a little, I think you should try to get a double boiler. Gaggia and Silva are both good for the price but temperature surfing is just not as good as having precise temp control. And milk steaming is a lot easier with double boiler.

post #3515 of 4120
Wonder if this means I can use my Peets giftcards at Stumptown eventually? Still have $100+

_____


Looking to buy a cheap hand grinder for french press at the office. Is there anything better than Hario at the ~$35 or under price?
post #3516 of 4120
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1os View Post

I personally wouldn't get a manual machine. Only more ways to fuck things up. For 1k $, you can get a nice upgrade from the Silvia (esp if you want to prepare lots of milk-based drinks, a dual boiler is very nice to have). Still, the Silvia is a good machine.

I wouldn't entirely dismiss lever machines, as they have some advantages for home use and can make a lot of sense in that environment. The lack of a pump and solenoids makes them much simpler, quieter, lower-maintenance and more reliable than a conventional machine.

With a fully-manual lever machine such as La Pavoni, I'll agree that it adds another variable to control. However, with Elektra's lever machine, the return spring provides constant, repeatable pressure. I find it makes for very consistent extractions, especially since it's also a fixed volume per stroke. This gives instant, unambigious feedback on the grind, dose, distribution and tamping.

They main drawback is that it's less suitable for pulling several shots in a row — once the boiler's empty, you need to depressurize, refill and reheat — but I don't find this to be a limitation for home use. One area where where's there's no compromise is in the quality of the shot; it delivers. The steam output is instant and awesome, too.

I think the Silvia is a good machine for the money and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for someone who specifically wants a pump-based machine, but I'd generally rather have a nice lever machine in the house. Not only can it be a thing of beauty, but it's also a satisfying and engaging way to make top-grade espresso.

Here's another thing to consider. If I had a Silvia, I'd eventually want to get something else. The Elektra is a beautiful, classic machine that will outlast me, and I don't feel any need to upgrade.

And while it's nicer to smoothly pull down a lever than to flip a switch and start a noisy pump, to be honest, it's mostly about looks:



However, I just looked at current Elektra pricing, and it's significantly more expensive than La Pavoni, which makes sense as it's a noticeably more substantial machine. I'd go for a used Elektra in good condition over a new La Pavoni. For around $1K, used E61-based machine is also worth considering, as the parts are generally standardized and easily available. With any espresso machine, you'll have to get familiar with maintenance and parts replacement sooner or later — though lever machines have a lot less stuff to maintain.
post #3517 of 4120

Lot of information here, thanks

.

Really like the aesthetics of the lever machines however the easy of use, they seem to be top heavy thus prone to tipping and the reload time have caused me to rule them out.

 

The E61 machines are fantastic looking and solid, but all are in the 1.5k$ to 2.5k$+ which is to much. Would be really hesitant to buy a espresso maker second hand. Have experience with replacing pumps etc. It is expensive and time consuming and little guarantee they will be done right.

 

Am leaning towards the   Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine - Version 3 w/ PID Installed

 

But am still mulling over the issues of lack of second boiler , small water reserve and the general look/aesthetics of the Silvia....The thing is not Pretty !!!!

 

Which is the upgrade question, last unit I had for around 10yrs.....ie spend now or later ??

 

Thanks & enjoy

post #3518 of 4120

Good news, talked with the maker of my Espresso machine and even though it was purchased 2005 they are going to send me a new one + a 5 year warranty  at no charge !!!!

 

Was shocked to say the least, will see how it goes ?

 

May still go ahead with the purchases of a Rancilio since I found one at a good price.

 

Thanks again and enjoy 

post #3519 of 4120

La Marzocco GS/3 This has to be one of the nicest machines I found, very pricey, SubZero $$ but so sweet. "It is on The List"

 

Enjoy

post #3520 of 4120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mon Dieu View Post

La Marzocco GS/3 This has to be one of the nicest machines I found, very pricey, SubZero $$ but so sweet. "It is on The List"



Enjoy

Agreed that the GS3 is among the crème de la crème of espresso machines that aren't too insane for a home environment.

But put the Mazzer Mini-E from that setup on the list first; no matter what machine or brew method you're using, a quality grinder is essential. Although there are bigger and meaner grinders out there, I couldn't be happier with mine for home use — it puts out the grinds quickly, consistently and reliably without making too much of a racket.
post #3521 of 4120
I'm sure I could dig forever in this thread to find an answer, but does anyone have a suggestion for a starter espresso machine with a steamer?

I enjoy coffee and usually use a Chemex on the weekend, or my Cuisinart w/ built in grinder for weekdays. However, my wife is a huge fan of cappuccinos. In the past, I brewed the espresso in a moka pot and frothed the milk by hand, but that has become too labor intensive now that we have a 2 year-old.

So what could I purchase that wouldn't break the bank, but would take me to the next step in my growing coffee brewing hobby?
post #3522 of 4120
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiHero84 View Post

I'm sure I could dig forever in this thread to find an answer, but does anyone have a suggestion for a starter espresso machine with a steamer?

I enjoy coffee and usually use a Chemex on the weekend, or my Cuisinart w/ built in grinder for weekdays. However, my wife is a huge fan of cappuccinos. In the past, I brewed the espresso in a moka pot and frothed the milk by hand, but that has become too labor intensive now that we have a 2 year-old.

So what could I purchase that wouldn't break the bank, but would take me to the next step in my growing coffee brewing hobby?


The first machine/maker I had was by Gaggia, it was a gift cost around $300 I believe. That was 15+ yrs ago. About a yr. later I had upgraded to a "better" Gaggia + a grinder. With in 5 yrs I was at a 1k+ machine (I did get a  price on it), the La Marzocco GS/3 is around 6k usd add grinder and your at 7k apx. Do not have this now but will.

You see where this is going...Front end or back end $$

There are plenty of markers at your price point to start & your use may not justify spending more (my usage is daily) you will also find that you will want to get a grinder as stated above it is as important  as the machine itself unless you have access to a roaster who will/can grind it for you. Peet's in my area does a good job at this

The Rancilio Silvia is very nice but probably more then you wish to spend at $600+

 

Good luck & enjoy

post #3523 of 4120

Get a Mazzer Mini or Super Jolly used on eBay for <$300. They are indestructible so used is fine. 

Gaggia Classic is probably cheapest entry-level machine (it's what I have). Steaming sucks though. There is some mod you can do to add a Rancilio steam wand that apparently makes it better, but you'll still have single boiler issues, unavoidable.

Otherwise Rancilio Silvia is a good bet. 

Or start saving for that double boiler. 

post #3524 of 4120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mon Dieu View Post


The first machine/maker I had was by Gaggia, it was a gift cost around $300 I believe. That was 15+ yrs ago. About a yr. later I had upgraded to a "better" Gaggia + a grinder. With in 5 yrs I was at a 1k+ machine (I did get a  price on it), the La Marzocco GS/3 is around 6k usd add grinder and your at 7k apx. Do not have this now but will.
You see where this is going...Front end or back end $$
There are plenty of markers at your price point to start & your use may not justify spending more (my usage is daily) you will also find that you will want to get a grinder as stated above it is as important  as the machine itself unless you have access to a roaster who will/can grind it for you. Peet's in my area does a good job at this
The Rancilio Silvia is very nice but probably more then you wish to spend at $600+

Good luck & enjoy

Good advice. Just one thing, though — for anyone with an interest in making noticeably better coffee at home, a decent burr grinder is the bare minimum for equipment, as a fresh grind is essential. Even if that roaster is next door, it would still polite to get your own instead of annoying them every time you want to make a cup. wink.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by t3hg0suazn View Post

Get a Mazzer Mini or Super Jolly used on eBay for <$300. They are indestructible so used is fine. 
Gaggia Classic is probably cheapest entry-level machine (it's what I have). Steaming sucks though. There is some mod you can do to add a Rancilio steam wand that apparently makes it better, but you'll still have single boiler issues, unavoidable.
Otherwise Rancilio Silvia is a good bet. 
Or start saving for that double boiler. 

Agreed on getting a used Mazzer grinder; they're the professional standard for a reason. If for some reason you ever want to get something else or tire of the coffee-geek thing, you can always get your money back out of it too. I got my Mini-E from someone who decided he wanted the over-the-top-excessive Compak K10 for his home setup to go with his Speedster. eh.gif I'm very happy with it.
post #3525 of 4120
Thanks for the tips! I do have my own grinder, but it's definitely not as refined as a Mazzer. Something else to add to the Christmas list.

And good to know about Gaggie, I'll have to do some homework on the double-boiler though.
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