HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Espresso Machine Recommendations (13 msgs / 720 lines)
1) From: GerardFF
I can't resist to put my two cents in regarding machines.  I too would rec. the Silvia.  For $400 I think it is a great buy.  I have never used one but
saw one and was quite impressed.  
  But, if considering the Livia 90 I would consider an Isomac machine.  I bought an Isomac from Caffe Orsini  loacated in Eugene, Oregon.  It is an ECM machine and is similar to the ECM Gioto but better.  I love the Faema group head! It does a great job! 
I use a Mazzer Mini for a grinder.  A bit of an over kill but for the price
it was a steal.
Roastoman.
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2) From: DALE HOUSE
Dear GerardFF:
    Is this the same as the ECM Botticelli
http://www.ecm-espresso.it/product/bott.htm),but with the switches on the
other side? (Compare tohttp://www.google.com/search?q%3dIsomac%26btnG%3dGoogle+Search)">http://www.internetto.de/cgi-bin/internetto/tame/internetto-de/Artikel/0104001.tam?referer_url1http://www.google.com/search?q%3dIsomac%26btnG%3dGoogle+Search)
    Doesn't it employ the same derivative of the Faema E61 group head as
used on the Giotto?  I ask because, although I'm not in the market for a
machine, I know someone who is and I'm interested in your opinion that the
Isomac is preferable to the similarly-priced Giotto.  What I know about the
Isomac is nothing and what I know about the Giotto is limited to things I've
read, so your thoughts would be appreciated.
    Dale House

3) From: Renaud Dreyer
<Snip>
How about the Wega Mininova in that price range? It has a full size E61 
grouphead, can be plumbed in and best of all, can be had with a 
rotary pump!http://www.espressoparts.com/<Snip>
The continous grind adjustment is really a must for espresso. Just
installed my brand new Mazzer Super Jolly in my kitchen, and it dwarfs
my poor little Rancilio Audrey.
Ciao,
            Renaud
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4) From: French Lewis
Hi 
I currently have a La Pavoni Europiccola lever machine
and while I enjoy the ritual of making an espresso,
I'm looking for something that will be a little less
hands on, especially when we have guests and I have to
pull more than 2 shots for cappas or lattes.     I've
looked at the Solis Master 5000 (which our kind host
sells) as well as a Nuova Simonelli Oscar (refurbished
from my local espresso machine repair shop).    I
understand the differences between the machines, and
the difference between super and semi automatic.   
I guess what I'm looking for is why you would choose
one over the other.   
The responses will give me something to think about
while my Europiccola is in the shop getting new
switches (the on/off rocker broke the other night
after I pulled my after dinnner shot & electric is
about the one thing I don't want to mess with).
thanks,
French
Be a PS3 game guru.
Get your game face on with the latest PS3 news and previews at Yahoo! Games.http://videogames.yahoo.com/platform?platform0121

5) From: miKe mcKoffee
SM5k makes great Café' Cremas espresso sxtracted style coffee and =
mediocre
shots at best. Tested one myself for a month head to head 4 years ago =
with
Silvia. Even though my barista skills were not near what they are today =
the
SM5k could not match Silvia shots. If you want shots that can come =
anywhere
near your lever quality shots you'll need atleast a good E61 HX IMO. =
Last
fall I hosted an End of Summer Espresso Jam where a bunch of Lever =
Machine
dignataries visited. It took me three tries with my Bricoletta to match =
one
of Alchemist's experienced hand Gaggia Factory Lever pulls. And not
bragging, but I've got pretty darned good barista skills.
SM5k is convenience over quality in the shot. I understand some of the =
multi
$k commercial super-auto's can actually produce quality shots, when kept
properly adjusted and cleaned which all too often isn't the case 'cuz =
costs
money for tech to come and uned.
Pacific Northwest Gathering Vhttp://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGV.htmKona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I =
must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal =
enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone =
before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
<Snip>

6) From: raymanowen
"...electric is about the one thing I don't want to mess with."
There is no future in messing around with electricity, so unplug and
decommission the electrical devices that need your attention. If power
switches break on appliances, try to leave it On and just pull the plug to
shut off.
You may need to deal with power On when it comes to troubleshooting with a
meter. My meter was a light bulb with soldered-on wires, up through grade
school. A flashlight bulb would illuminate with 3v, auto brake lights would
light up with 6v.
I never touched the HV used in vacuum tube circuits, from console radios and
TV sets to my homebrew amateur radio transmitters. My big Tesla Coil was
wild.
Electric is a descriptive word. Electricity is the form of energy involved.
Handle the power, just don't get sideways across it.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?

7) From: Ross
Kona Mike,
I am looking for your experienced comment on a reliable temperature 
technique for Silvia.  I have tried forward and reverse surfing and I'm not 
going to PID, I will upgrade first.  You obviously have spent some time on 
Silvia, poor wording there, sorry.  Anyway, I was thinking of upgrading but 
the truth is I only make a couple shots a day and I'm sure Silvia can do 
that if I can keep focused.  I usually steam my wife's milk first (I don't 
go for any art points on that, in fact I use it to warm up the machine, the 
froth is OK and my wife is happy with it, (so latte art can wait for a 
decade or so).  The technique I have gravated to is to froth and steam the 
milk, set it aside and pull a couple blank shots thru the portafilter, (this 
puts on a show like the Wizzard of OZ with steam and water dropplets all 
over the kitchen, very impressive for newcommers. )  Then, I do a forward 
temp surf.  I grind with Rocky, pull one more blank into my cups for preheat 
when the light comes on I time for 40 sec load, lock and pull for 25.  I 
have been doing this for some time and every now and then I think I'm still 
too hot.  Maybe I'm overheading the group, I don't know.  What technique did 
you find best?
Ross
 and

8) From: Mike Koenig
Ross,
If you are steaming first, I'm guessing that your shot temperature might be
too hot.  Since I PID'ed mine, I've noticed that even if I drop my setpoint
only 1 degree C,  it takes 4 or 5 blank shots (or a rather long wait) for
Silvia to re-equilibrate at the lower temperature.  There is a lot of
"thermal mass" in the boiler,  and it takes a while to get the whole thing
to a new temperature.
You might be better off pulling your shots first, then steaming milk.  I've
found that a few blank shots speeds warmup time dramatically.  Before I
PID'ed mine,  I was playing with reverse temp surfing,  and it seemed to be
a bit more reliable than the normal surfing technique.
--mike
On 5/5/07, Ross  wrote:
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9) From: Ross
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Mike,
Thanks, for that input.  I have tried it that way and it was killing me =
to watch the shots sit there while I frothed and steamed but it may be =
the best way to go.  How long did you wait for a reverse temp surf?
Ross

10) From: Barry Luterman
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Ross when I had my Silvia I didn't like to leave the shots out to get =
cold while I frothed the milk either. Then I discovered Bodum double =
walled cappuccino glasses. They really keep the heat in and retain =
flavor.

11) From: Brentley Beerline
The other way to rapidly cool a silvia is to run water out of the steam arm=
 using the hot water switch, that drops the temp in the boiler quite rapidl=
y as it introduces water into the boiler as well.
Once you have used a=
 silvia with a PID you will realize how painful temp surfing really is.  A =
pid is also the best spouse peacekeeping device I have purchased for coffee=
 (and I have a spouse who actually roasted coffee when I was out of town fo=
r the past two weeks).  
If you can swing it, just get one, it allows =
you to get all you can out of the silvia.
regards
Brentley
-=
---- Original Message ----
From: Mike Koenig 
To=
: homeroast
Sent: Sunday, May 6, 2007 10:18:55 AM=
Subject: Re: +espresso machine recommendations
Ross, 
If you a=
re steaming first, I'm guessing that your shot temperature might be too hot=
.  Since I PID'ed mine, I've noticed that even if I drop my setpoint only 1=
 degree C,  it takes 4 or 5 blank shots (or a rather long wait) for Silvia =
to re-equilibrate at the lower temperature.  There is a lot of "thermal mas=
s" in the boiler,  and it takes a while to get the whole thing to a new tem=
perature.  
You might be better off pulling your shots first, then ste=
aming milk.  I've found that a few blank shots speeds warmup time dramatica=
lly.  Before I PID'ed mine,  I was playing with reverse temp surfing,  and =
it seemed to be a bit more reliable than the normal surfing technique.  
=
--mike
On 5/5/07, Ross  wrote:
Kona=
 Mike,
I am looking for your experienced comment on a reliable temperatur=
e
technique for Silvia.  I have tried forward and reverse surfing and I'm=
 not
going to PID, I will upgrade first.  You obviously have spent some t=
ime on 
Silvia, poor wording there, sorry.  Anyway, I was thinking of upg=
rading but
the truth is I only make a couple shots a day and I'm sure Sil=
via can do
that if I can keep focused.  I usually steam my wife's milk fi=
rst (I don't 
go for any art points on that, in fact I use it to warm up =
the machine, the
froth is OK and my wife is happy with it, (so latte art =
can wait for a
decade or so).  The technique I have gravated to is to fro=
th and steam the 
milk, set it aside and pull a couple blank shots thru t=
he portafilter, (this
puts on a show like the Wizzard of OZ with steam an=
d water dropplets all
over the kitchen, very impressive for newcommers. <=
g>)  Then, I do a forward 
temp surf.  I grind with Rocky, pull one more =
blank into my cups for preheat
when the light comes on I time for 40 sec =
load, lock and pull for 25.  I
have been doing this for some time and eve=
ry now and then I think I'm still 
too hot.  Maybe I'm overheading the gr=
oup, I don't know.  What technique did
you find best?
Ross
and =

12) From: Mike Koenig
Ross,
Here is where I first found out about the "reverse temp. surf"http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/18247The big problem is the two minute wait.  You can use this time to
grind and tamp, etc.  but multitasking while keeping track of time
never worked that well for me before my first shot of the morning.
Since I'm a big believer in empirical data,  I'd recommend that you
measure your shot temperature using the foam cup trick. Cut a
styrofoam cup so that you can stick it under your group head and get a
decent fit.  Pierce the side of the cup with an instant read
thermometer ( or even better, a bead type themocouple, if you have
access to one).  This way you can measure shot temp, and try various
times to dial in your surfing time.  Wear some kind of gloves, because
you WILL get hot water on your hands.
I know you are reluctant to PID, but it was the best thing I ever did
to my Silvia.  For me, it didn't cost much because the parts were
scrounged, but for about $200 to buy it all it's much cheaper than a
new machine.  Of course if your have $1000+ to spend, by all means,
get thee an HX machine,  which is my long-term plan.
enjoy, and don't burn yourself...
--mike
On 5/6/07, Ross  wrote:
<Snip>

13) From: Leo Zick
when youre ready to sell let me know. ;)
i dont think any semi-auto is going to be that much less hands on then your
lever.  you dont benefit from shots as good, but super-autos will certainly
provide ease of use.
On 5/5/07, French Lewis  wrote:
<Snip>


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