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Old 10-17-2010, 11:54 AM   #1
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Default Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

This machine looks sweet.
Wife and I love expresso, ala Cuban and have always wanted to treat ourselves to a good machine.

I am tempted to get their grinder but that is way too much right now.
Any recommendations for a durable, cheaper grinder that can get the job done but not at over $300?
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

Carlos,

I looked long and hard at the Silvia and obsessed over it for a long time as you know I am capable of doing.

The Silvia is a great machine and probably the minimum required to get into great espresso, although I did well tinkering with my Gaggia Baby.

Whatever you do, go big on the grinder or you'll regret it later and be paying again. I know this first hand when I struggled with my old Gaggia grinder before realizing it was true and got my Macap to feed my Brasilia, and the Gaggia grinder wound up in the trash after it broke while I was trying to figure out how to get to the burrs.

The Rocky is a great companion to the Silvia and many times you get a break if you get them together. Wholelattelove would be a great place to start and don't be afraid of the refurbished.

If you take a look next time you're around Calle Ocho, most of the machines are Rancilios and those folks know a thing or two about coffee.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

A quick search revealed a Rocky may be on your counter and you're still a dollar under budget....

http://www.1stincoffee.com/refurbished-rocky.htm

or 60 beans more gets you a new one with a 2 year warranty and I think it's the new model, but could be wrong...

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Rancilio/rockyracilio.cfm
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

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A quick search revealed a Rocky may be on your counter and you're still a dollar under budget....

http://www.1stincoffee.com/refurbished-rocky.htm

or 60 beans more gets you a new one with a 2 year warranty and I think it's the new model, but could be wrong...

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Rancilio/rockyracilio.cfm
+1 hot damn
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

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+1 hot damn
I was beginning to think the coffee forums had died here.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

Well, wife shot the thought and is asking I wait.
Told her I can wait a week.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

I have to agree with previous sentiment on grinder. Just bite the bullet. Because if you get the Silvia and have a crappy grind then you have just wasted 600 dollars.

I have both and they are both worth every penny and then some. Actually, I remember Clampdown had his set up for sale at a very good price. I would contact him because I think you could save several hundred dollars on a used set up. And these machines last and last.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

Here is the thread and that is a nice price on that set up.

http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/showthread.php?t=35601
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

Go grinder, Carlos - best possible. Come back to the espresso machine later. You will be amazed what a good grinder can for with press coffee, mokapot brew and (YES!) turkish coffee in the interim.
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

Finally had to do it.
My machine broke so the Rancilio is on order.
Should arrive in five days or so.
After I pay for it, Rocky is next.
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

Congrats!!!!

I spent a week waiting for my Macap to arrive after breaking my Gaggia grinder, and wasn't disappointed too badly stopping by the local roaster and having beans ground up for a few days in a pinch.

Not like fresh ground beans, but not horrible either.

I predict a home roaster in your future, but that's another story.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

Patiently awaiting my notice of tracking number.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

Got my tracking number yesterday.
Set to arrive on 11/23.
Can't wait.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

Tuesday can't get here fast enough.

Ordered by backflush insert.
Ordered my brush (got that already today).
Ordered by cleaner (Urnex I think).
Got my tamper ready.

Darn UPS can't get here quick enough!!!!
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:05 AM   #15
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

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Congrats!!!!

I spent a week waiting for my Macap to arrive after breaking my Gaggia grinder, and wasn't disappointed too badly stopping by the local roaster and having beans ground up for a few days in a pinch.

Not like fresh ground beans, but not horrible either.

I predict a home roaster in your future, but that's another story.
Ahh yes...the plunge into the deep abyss of the coffee passion. Honestly, roasting my own was the biggest leap in tasting terrific coffee. Until you have tasted a bean that isn't stale...you just don't know what you are missing.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:36 AM   #16
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

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Ahh yes...the plunge into the deep abyss of the coffee passion. Honestly, roasting my own was the biggest leap in tasting terrific coffee. Until you have tasted a bean that isn't stale...you just don't know what you are missing.
I see myself going downhill here.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:25 AM   #17
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

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Originally Posted by Blueface View Post
Finally had to do it.
My machine broke so the Rancilio is on order.
Should arrive in five days or so.
After I pay for it, Rocky is next.
Nice. Make the grinder a priority, you're virtually dead in the water without it. The Silvia runs pretty steadily when it's calibrated, but it needs calibration almost every day or least a few times a week. Having pre-ground coffee can be hit or miss. You can always tamp harder...

Enjoy it. Get a quality tamp. Everyone has their little tips on making espresso as well, but that is a different thread.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

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Nice. Make the grinder a priority, you're virtually dead in the water without it. The Silvia runs pretty steadily when it's calibrated, but it needs calibration almost every day or least a few times a week. Having pre-ground coffee can be hit or miss. You can always tamp harder...

Enjoy it. Get a quality tamp. Everyone has their little tips on making espresso as well, but that is a different thread.
True to all smaller machines. Temp is key, and keeping the portafilter in the grouphead to warm it and even flushing some hot water over the portafilter is never a bad idea. Not sure I agree with the daily calibration part and that would tend to scare me if I was waiting on my first machine to arrive.

The Silvia has a great brass boiler which blows away the aluminum ones in inferior models and down the road, the PID mod is a relatively inexpensive mod that's worth looking at IF you are having temp issues. It's described here:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Modifying_Miss_Silvia

I learned these tips on my old Gaggia, which was finicky, and probably pushed me into an E61 heat exchange model which eliminated those problems but put me in the hole a couple grande, which isn't what I ever wanted.

The owner's manual says 15 minute warmup, but I'd go at least 20.

This is a great little video on temp surfing, which can also be a huge help.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Bn5...eature=related

Another thing that can not be understated is the importance of tamping. Gail from Seattle Coffee Gear demonstrates it quite well in this video I feel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRsEF...eature=channel
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:24 PM   #19
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

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Originally Posted by floydpink View Post
True to all smaller machines. Temp is key, and keeping the portafilter in the grouphead to warm it and even flushing some hot water over the portafilter is never a bad idea. Not sure I agree with the daily calibration part and that would tend to scare me if I was waiting on my first machine to arrive.
Daily or weekly calibration also has to do with humidity or barometric pressure. Both the coffee and machine are in flux to a degree. How many times have you had to adjust your grind or tamp when you just had extra ground coffee from the day before? Pretty regularly I bet.
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:41 PM   #20
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Default Re: Thinking of the plunge into a Rancilio Silvia

hmmm, I can't remember ever having ground coffee from the day before.

If it is left in the grinder and I'm not using it within 20 minutes, it's going into the sink.

When you say the Silvia needs calibration every day, I am wondering if you mean the Rocky needs calibration every day.

Silvia= espresso machine
Rocky= Grinder


I'm not even sure what calibrating an espresso machine is, but am with a grinder.

My grind and tamp depend more on the particular bean and roast I am using than the humidity.

I use a Macap M4 with the worm drive and can say that since I have dialed in, 1/4 to 1/2 turn is the most my grinder moves.

I do occassionally time my double shots to ensure they fall in the 25-30 second pull time frame and then make minute adjustments based on the results.

Normally, I'm working through a 5 lb bag of beans I am roasting once a week and the adjustments are rare until I switch beans and roast.
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