HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Espresso Machine Question? (9 msgs / 519 lines)
1) From: Sherry Hausner
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I have been lurking for a couple of months and have learned so much from =
everybody - thank you! :)
I have a question regarding espresso machines. I was looking at the =
Gaggias and was concerned about the aluminum boiler. Does the water come =
in contact with the aluminum? I read that the Silvia has a brass boiler. =
It sounds like the Silvia is finicky and hard to get used to. I am a =
complete Newbie! :(
There are some out there like the Espresso that have stainless boilers. =
Is this even something to be concerned about?
Also, I am not sure about just getting the lowest priced one to get =
started or start out with something in the Silvia price range.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Sherry

2) From: Alchemist John
At 17:35 7/8/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>
You are welcome :)
<Snip>
They do have an aluminum boiler and the water does come in 
contact.  If you are using relatively soft, non-corrosive water, 
there should be no issue.  I have had mine about 4 years and it is 
still fine.  Other parts of the country with different water seem to 
deposit, corrode and affect the boilers more.
<Snip>
Not IMO.
<Snip>
I really like my Classic with the 3 way valve allowing backflushing.
<Snip>
There you go!
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

3) From: Sandy Andina
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On Jul 8, 2006, at 7:35 PM, Sherry Hausner wrote:
<Snip>
Yes. Where do you live? I used to live in Seattle years ago, where  
the water was soft and sweet; I had no problem with a moka pot till I  
got to Chicago--I began the succession of Failed Espresso Devices to  
replace the moka pot when hard water caused it to scale and corrode.   
Never had a Gaggia, but the aluminum boilers of several Krups I had  
were veritable scale factories.
<Snip>
Silvia is a tad finicky--but I didn't know that real machines didn't  
have to be! She's easier to suss out than many would have you believe.
<Snip>
Nah. Brass is better than stainless, but stainless is better than  
aluminum.  And the Gaggias do have brass portafilters, which the  
cheaper aluminum-boilered machines (and even the stainless-steel  
ones) don't. Have yet to find a stainless-boiler pumper like the  
Saeco Vapore that generated enough pressure and whose flimsy PFs held  
enough heat to make consistently good espresso, though I got decent  
but thin crema.  Your grinder and the freshness of your beans will be  
a better determinant of the quality of your espresso.
<Snip>
Do not start with cheap unless you can spend enough money to  
endlessly upgrade. Get the best you can afford so that you can stick  
with it longer. If you have no machine at present, a Gaggia Carezza  
is a good place to start. I was already on Saecos and Capressos, so  
Silvia was the logical next step.  Still use mine on occasion even  
though I have a Livia heat exchanger--bring it and a Rocky grinder to  
parties.
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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On Jul 8, 2006, at =
7:35 PM, Sherry Hausner wrote:

I have a question regarding espresso machines. I was looking at = the Gaggias and was concerned about the aluminum boiler. Does the water = come in contact with the aluminum? =
Yes. Where do you live? I used = to live in Seattle years ago, where the water was soft and sweet; I had = no problem with a moka pot till I got to Chicago--I began the succession = of Failed Espresso Devices to replace the moka pot when hard water = caused it to scale and corrode.  Never had a Gaggia, but the aluminum = boilers of several Krups I had were veritable scale = factories.  I read that the Silvia has a brass boiler. It sounds like the = Silvia is finicky and hard to get used to. I am a complete Newbie! = :( Silvia is a tad = finicky--but I didn't know that real machines didn't have to be! She's = easier to suss out than many would have you believe.  There are some = out there like the Espresso that have stainless boilers. Is this even = something to be concerned = about? Nah. Brass is better = than stainless, but stainless is better than aluminum.  And the = Gaggias do have brass portafilters, which the cheaper aluminum-boilered = machines (and even the stainless-steel ones) don't. Have yet to find a = stainless-boiler pumper like the Saeco Vapore that generated enough = pressure and whose flimsy PFs held enough heat to make consistently good = espresso, though I got decent but thin crema.  Your grinder and the = freshness of your beans will be a better determinant of the quality of = your espresso.  Also, I am not = sure about just getting the lowest priced one to get started or start = out with something in the Silvia price = range.Do not start with cheap = unless you can spend enough money to endlessly upgrade. Get the best you = can afford so that you can stick with it longer. If you have no machine = at present, a Gaggia Carezza is a good place to start. I was already on = Saecos and Capressos, so Silvia was the logical next step.  Still use = mine on occasion even though I have a Livia heat exchanger--bring it and = a Rocky grinder to parties. = --Apple-Mail-45-155308113--

4) From: miKe mcKoffee
Both the Silvia and Gaggias are similar class machines in the cup IMO. I
started with a Silvia but if I had to do it again might not but rather go
the lower line Gaggias (Espresso or Carezza). The ~$200 price range Gaggias
do a very good job with disadvantage of no 3-way valve. (which means you
must wait 30sec or so after pulling a shot before removing the PF or sprays
all over, and you can't back flush) These days when you get to the $500
single boiler price range like Silvia and Gaggia Classic they aren't such
the great deal they once were IMO. An entry level HX like the Bezerra or
Expobar Pulsar, much more flexible machines, aren't that much more these
days. 
Also depends on budget of course AND what grinder you have now. In other
words will you need to buy a decent grinder so your new espresso machine can
be fed properly.
As far as Silvia being finicky, yes she is. But not really that finicky
depending on your ability to learn and apply what you learn. I had no
problem pulling half way decent shots the first day with Silvia. I did do a
fair amount of studying and even tamp pressure practicing before Silvia even
arrived. Personally I think Silvia is slightly higher quality build than the
Gaggias but still recommend a ~200 Gaggia as a better value than ~$500
Silvia. Any of these class machines there's a high probablility you'll be
upgrading to HX or dual boiler later anyway.
Have you visited home-barista.com and done any reading? Lots of excellent
information covering about all aspects of espresso over there. However, not
much specific information on entry level single boiler machines.
Kona 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.
	From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Sherry Hausner
	Sent: Saturday, July 08, 2006 5:35 PM
	
	I have been lurking for a couple of months and have learned so much
from everybody - thank you! :)
	 
	I have a question regarding espresso machines. I was looking at the
Gaggias and was concerned about the aluminum boiler. Does the water come in
contact with the aluminum? I read that the Silvia has a brass boiler. It
sounds like the Silvia is finicky and hard to get used to. I am a complete
Newbie! :(
	 
	There are some out there like the Espresso that have stainless
boilers. Is this even something to be concerned about?
	 
	Also, I am not sure about just getting the lowest priced one to get
started or start out with something in the Silvia price range.
	 
	Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
	 
	Sherry

5) From: Brett Mason
Silvias are an incredible value for the money.  I recommend you consider one
- may be yours for life, may be yours for a year or two as you learn...  Far
better than the simpler machines, and far cheaper than the HX or dual boiler
machines.  A great learner...
Brett
On 7/8/06, Sherry Hausner  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
HomeRoast
   Zassman

6) From: Michael Dhabolt
The Silvia seems to hold it's value pretty well.  You would probably
see a substantial portion of the cost returned when you upgrade at a
later date.
I believe both miKe and Barry could expound on this.
Mike (just plain)

7) From: Douglas Shetler
Hi,
I have two gaggia's, One is the old classic and the other is a Paros.
I bought both off of ebay. I rebuilt the Paros and cleaned the boiler and it
was pretty well corroded.  I used a descaller from
www.partsguru.com.Although expensive the descaler really cleaned up
the
boiler.I could visually watch the scale come off as I had disassembled the
boiler and could look inside the boiling chamber.  I put new gaskets in,
reassembled it and it works wonderfully.  According to Edward at partsguru
he thinks you have to be careful with the descaler you use on aluminum.
I also use a Britta filter pitcher for all the water that goes into the
machines.  I get great creama.  I also put a PID on the classic Gaggia and
am now looking to PID the Paros. That is a great way to improve the quality
of the espresso shots.
On 7/8/06, Sherry Hausner  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Doug Shetler

8) From: jim gundlach
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Let me first list my experiences so you can put my recommendations in  
perspective.
    I have been through three Gaggias and with those three, five  
boilers, one Solis SL-90, one Silvia and now have the Quck Mill  
Andreja Premium.  I still have not pulled as good a shot with the  
Andreja as I was able to pull with the Silvia after I got good at  
temperature surfing and learned to properly distribute and tamp  
through using the crotch-less portafilter.  If I started over, I  
would probably go directly to the Silvia and stay there.  Some people  
are concerned about aluminum pollution, I'm not one of those but if  
you are, it just makes sense to avoid them.  My concern is that the  
aluminum boilers spring leaks and I am left without espresso for a  
week to ten days waiting for the delivery of a new boiler.  I have no  
real experience to base it on but my guess is that the stainless  
boiler is more of a marketing ploy rather than any functional  
improvement over a good brass boiler.  Stainless boilers should be  
stronger but I don't think it is needed here.
       Jim Gundlach
On Jul 8, 2006, at 7:35 PM, Sherry Hausner wrote:
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Let me first list my experiences =
so you can put my recommendations in perspective.   I have been =
through three Gaggias and with those three, five boilers, one Solis =
SL-90, one Silvia and now have the Quck Mill Andreja Premium.  I still =
have not pulled as good a shot with the Andreja as I was able to pull =
with the Silvia after I got good at temperature surfing and learned to =
properly distribute and tamp through using the crotch-less =
portafilter.  If I started over, I would probably go directly to the =
Silvia and stay there.  Some people are concerned about aluminum =
pollution, I'm not one of those but if you are, it just makes sense to =
avoid them.  My concern is that the aluminum boilers spring leaks and =
I am left without espresso for a week to ten days waiting for the =
delivery of a new boiler.  I have no real experience to base it on but =
my guess is that the stainless boiler is more of a marketing ploy rather =
than any functional improvement over a good brass boiler.  Stainless =
boilers should be stronger but I don't think it is needed =
here.      Jim Gundlach
On Jul 8, 2006, =
at 7:35 PM, Sherry Hausner wrote:
I have been lurking for a couple of months and have learned so = much from everybody - thank you! :) I have a = question regarding espresso machines. I was looking at the Gaggias and = was concerned about the aluminum boiler. Does the water come in contact = with the aluminum? I read that the Silvia has a brass boiler. It sounds = like the Silvia is finicky and hard to get used to. I am a complete = Newbie! :( There are some = out there like the Espresso that have stainless boilers. Is this even = something to be concerned about? Also, I am not = sure about just getting the lowest priced one to get started or start = out with something in the Silvia price = range. Any advice = would be greatly appreciated!  = --Apple-Mail-1-207765900--

9) From: Sandy Andina
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I think stainless (as in the Saeco and DeLonghi thermoblocks and  
pumpers) may be cheaper and easier to fabricate (i.e., can be stamped  
from sheet metal and shaped) than marine grade brass (which has to be  
cast).  IMHO, the combination of stainless boiler, brass PF and good  
vibe pump should theoretically give nearly as good results as the  
Silvia at lower mfg. costs and as good as the Gaggia with no  
corrosion. My gripe with aluminum boilers is aesthetic--scale and  
corrosion are gross to behold--and economic (who wants to have to  
replace a boiler?), rather than health-related, as the jury is out on  
any alleged aluminum/Alzheimer's connection. (Keep your mind active,  
drink some caffeinated coffee daily, eat heart-healthy and avoid  
inflammation and you should be fine unless your genes have it in for  
you--and in that case, eschewing aluminum wouldn't be effective anyway).
On Jul 9, 2006, at 11:05 AM, jim gundlach wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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I think stainless (as in the =
Saeco and DeLonghi thermoblocks and pumpers) may be cheaper and easier =
to fabricate (i.e., can be stamped from sheet metal and shaped) than =
marine grade brass (which has to be cast).  IMHO, the combination of =
stainless boiler, brass PF and good vibe pump should theoretically give =
nearly as good results as the Silvia at lower mfg. costs and as good as =
the Gaggia with no corrosion. My gripe with aluminum boilers is =
aesthetic--scale and corrosion are gross to behold--and economic (who =
wants to have to replace a boiler?), rather than health-related, as the =
jury is out on any alleged aluminum/Alzheimer's connection. (Keep your =
mind active, drink some caffeinated coffee daily, eat heart-healthy and =
avoid inflammation and you should be fine unless your genes have it in =
for you--and in that case, eschewing aluminum wouldn't be effective =
anyway).
On Jul 9, 2006, at 11:05 AM, jim gundlach =
wrote:
Let me first list my experiences so you can put my = recommendations in perspective.   I have been through three = Gaggias and with those three, five boilers, one Solis SL-90, one Silvia = and now have the Quck Mill Andreja Premium.  I still have not pulled = as good a shot with the Andreja as I was able to pull with the Silvia = after I got good at temperature surfing and learned to properly = distribute and tamp through using the crotch-less portafilter.  If I = started over, I would probably go directly to the Silvia and stay = there.  Some people are concerned about aluminum pollution, I'm not = one of those but if you are, it just makes sense to avoid them.  My = concern is that the aluminum boilers spring leaks and I am left without = espresso for a week to ten days waiting for the delivery of a new = boiler.  I have no real experience to base it on but my guess is that = the stainless boiler is more of a marketing ploy rather than any = functional improvement over a good brass boiler.  Stainless boilers = should be stronger but I don't think it is needed here.    =  Jim Gundlach On Jul 8, 2006, at 7:35 PM, Sherry Hausner = wrote:
I have been lurking for a couple of months and have learned so = much from everybody - thank you! :) I have a = question regarding espresso machines. I was looking at the Gaggias and = was concerned about the aluminum boiler. Does the water come in contact = with the aluminum? I read that the Silvia has a brass boiler. It sounds = like the Silvia is finicky and hard to get used to. I am a complete = Newbie! :( There are some = out there like the Espresso that have stainless boilers. Is this even = something to be concerned about? Also, I am not = sure about just getting the lowest priced one to get started or start = out with something in the Silvia price = range. Any advice = would be greatly appreciated!  = --Apple-Mail-52-214067429--


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