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Date: 19 Dec 2006 12:27:33
From: GoodPotatoes
Subject: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
re: Coffeegeek's editor's choice awards
http://coffeegeek.com/opinions/kprince/12-18-2006

Solis Crema SL-70 received the editor's choice award. I haven't seen
it receive much attention on here. From the description on CG, one
thing it has going is that the steam knob turns on the heating element
once you begin to steam. Definitely something that Silvia needs.

Aside from that, I search online for boiler capacity. Most websites
say that it has the "Largest boiler capicty" under $500, but don't
mention the actual capacity. Also, the portafilter in the picture
doesn't look to hefty.

Has anybody tried both? Thoughts? I want side-by-side intrashot
temperature stability graphs!





 
Date: 05 Jan 2007 04:50:26
From: Ben
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!

iStShoppe.com
Posted: 2006-12-30 by Steve Alberts [send email to the author]
Scam site! Avoid at all costs!
Complaint Rating: 100 % with 2 votes
Ordered a coffee maker from this site, which also appears to operate as
Celebrity Appliance and ipriceshop.com. My credit card was charged
within a day. The coffee maker never arrived. Emails went unanswered
and then bounced back as undeliverable, and there is no phone number
for them which functions.

Soon after my order, my email in-box started to receive incredible
amounts of pornographic spam (more than 50 a day) when it received
almost no spam of any kind previously.

Not long after that, my bank called me and told me that someone had
charged almost $1300 to my debit card to a fruit and nut company in
Mexico. The same card number and expiration date I provided to this
criminal scam company. The bank cancelled my card immediately.

The bank reimbursed me for both the scam charge in Mexico and my
non-existent coffee maker, but it stinks that they have to eat the cost
of these things. I hope they find the people who are running this site
and prosecute the scumbags.

THIS SITE IS A SCAM!!! YOU WILL BE RIPPED OFF AND POSSIBLY WILL HAVE
YOUR IDENTITY STOLEN!!! AVOID THESE SCUMBAGS AT ALL COSTS!!!!! I CANNOT
STRESS THAT STRONGLY ENOUGH!!!!



  
Date: 05 Jan 2007 08:57:16
From: DougW
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
Ben wrote:
> iStShoppe.com
> Posted: 2006-12-30 by Steve Alberts [send email to the author]
> Scam site! Avoid at all costs!
> Complaint Rating: 100 % with 2 votes

<snip >
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/ipriceshopcom-c2377.html?PHPSESSID=134e771c51604c7d0f4b56ced055ae9b

http://tinyurl.com/vhbl4

I'd also contact Yahoo to get the domain(s) suspended.

Interesting.. also ipriceshop.com and a non-linked
Verisign logo (usually a sign it's being forged)
You can report these problems using Verisign's form.

https://www.verisign.com/support/ssl-certificates-support/secure-site-seal/abuse.html

Sadly they don't have an authentication system like
Truste has.



Domain Name.......... istshoppe.com
Creation Date........ 2002-04-23
Registration Date.... 2002-04-23
Expiry Date.......... 2007-04-23

Admin Name........... Henry Galasso
Admin Address........ 85 doris ave
Admin Address........
Admin Address........ franklin sq
Admin Address........ 11010
Admin Address........ NY
Admin Address........ UNITED STATES
Admin Email.......... info@celebrityshopst.com
Admin Phone.......... 516-779-8900
Admin Fax............

Tech Name............ YahooDomains Techcontact
Tech Address......... 701 First Ave.
Tech Address.........
Tech Address......... Sunnyvale
Tech Address......... 94089
Tech Address......... CA
Tech Address......... UNITED STATES
Tech Email........... domain.tech@YAHOO-INC.COM
Tech Phone........... +1.6198813096
Tech Fax.............
Name Server.......... st-ns1.yahoo.com
Name Server.......... ns5.store.yahoo.com

The number is a cellular phone:

Telephone Company: NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS
Number:1-516-779-8900
State:NEW YORK
Office:NASSAUZN05
Switch:GRCYNYFJCM1
Record ID:15167798900
Entry ID:5167798900
Records:36
Updated:10-13-2005
Status:ASSIGNED

Let's check that email address info@celebrityshopst.com

Domain Name: celebrityshopst.com

Created on..............: Sun, Nov 26, 2000
Expires on..............: Wed, Nov 26, 2014
Record last updated on..: Thu, Nov 24, 2005

Administrative Contact:
celebrity cookware & gifts
Pepe Galasso
5 Quail Court
Plainview, NY 11803
US
Phone: 516-779-8900
Email: celebrityorders@yahoo.com

Same phone number, and look, it's Pepe Glasso not Henry Glasso
and different addresses.

Yahoo, by the way, forbids the use of their service to register
domains. And once that email is gone, the data violates InterNIC
regs and can have a complaint filed with them and the registrar
to pull the domain.

Now let's look at ipriceshop.com, the other identical site.

Domain Name.......... ipriceshop.com
Creation Date........ 2001-10-21
Registration Date.... 2001-10-21
Expiry Date.......... 2007-10-21

Admin Name........... Joseph Rodriguez <-- what happened to Glasso?
Admin Address........ 85 doris ave <--- same address
Admin Address........
Admin Address........ franklin sq
Admin Address........ 11010
Admin Address........ NY
Admin Address........ UNITED STATES
Admin Email.......... help@ipriceshop.cpm
Admin Phone.......... +516.7798901 <--- one number up?
Admin Fax............ +516.9399241

That phone number is another Nextel unit. It's virtually
impossible to get sequential numbers unless you buy
both phones as a set.

Telephone Company: NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS
Number:1-516-779-8901
State:NEW YORK
Office:NASSAUZN05
Switch:GRCYNYFJCM1
Record ID:15167798901
Entry ID:5167798901
Records:13
Updated:12-06-2005
Status:ASSIGNED


Keep in mind the NYAG has a real stiffy for criminal operations.
http://www.oag.state.ny.us/bio.html
http://www.oag.state.ny.us/complaints/complaints.html



--
DougW




 
Date: 04 Jan 2007 21:04:57
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
the entire site looks like a fraud.

NO address
NO phone number(s)

scary.
dave
www.hitechespresso.com

alliks@sbcglobal.net wrote:
> Jim wrote:
> >
> >
> > http://www.istshoppe.com/
> Search for this store name and you'll find many believe it to be a scam.



  
Date: 05 Jan 2007 02:39:02
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
On 2007-01-05, daveb <davebobblane@gmail.com > wrote:
> the entire site looks like a fraud.
>
> NO address
> NO phone number(s)
>
> scary.

this from someone who refuses to divulge particulars about the
components he's charging $125 for.

NO brand/model names
NO specs

hypocritical.

nb


 
Date: 04 Jan 2007 19:03:59
From:
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!

Jim wrote:
>
>
> http://www.istshoppe.com/sl70bl.html

Search for this store name and you'll find many believe it to be a scam.



 
Date: 21 Dec 2006 04:37:48
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
Alan (Coffee for Connoisseurs) writes:
> BUT, bottom line is, k's website, k's list. You don't like
> it, do your own list on your own website. Do your own testing
> (it's bloody hard work) and build up your own credibility.

"Credibility" is also the word I prefer, because a conversation about
credibility is less likely to generate the heat that often arises when
people talk about ethics and/or integrity.

Once upon a time, I had the great privilege of getting a last-minute
invitation to a wine dinner. (Stormy weather prevented the European
guests from arriving in time.) One diner was the assistant manager at
one of the best stores in the area, and had the same role at another
store before then. For some reason, he had been shielded from the fact
that his largest suppliers were subsidizing the publication of monthly
newsletters on behalf of other stores. Either that or he did a great
job of pretending ...

Later, I worked for a store which literally made its suppliers take
turns producing its newsletter. Each month, a salesman would recommend
wines to promote, prepare camera-ready copy, and eventually deliver the
newsletters to the store. I think we just applied the mailing labels
and paid for postage.

If a product has enough quality and is priced low enough, it can be a
"best buy" even if the way it acquired this status was somewhat
underhanded. Our customers benefited when we helped them make good
purchasing decisions. If the suppliers didn't produce the newsletter
for us, there wouldn't have been one. Information is never free.


Felix



 
Date: 20 Dec 2006 15:29:14
From: CoffeeKid
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!

jim schulman wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Dec 2006 21:25:30 GMT, Barry Jarrett
> <barry@rileys-coffee.com> wrote:
>
> When I got the Tea, I could make better shots on it than on the Solis.
> By now, I know enough so it's pretty irrelevent which machine I use,
> the shots have roughly the same quality. However, the Solis and Silvia
> are not quite as workable as the Tea. The Elektra Semi makes better
> shots than any of them, I don't know why.

I can't figure it out either, though I have to admit I haven't had the
level of success with the Elektra Semi auto that you have Jim, reading
the HB piece. I've gotten really good espresso out of it, but like many
machines, it's hit and miss. I seemed to have a bit worse luck when the
reservoir water heated up too much, compared to your results.

But your comments on the a Leva really opened up some thought for me
earlier this year - that concept of the "block of water" falling on the
dispersion screen / grouphead / portafilter vs. jetted flow is
something I really didn't think about before, and it makes a lot of
sense. Maybe that "best ever" shot I had some time ago was less of a
fluke than I thought. I should pull that lever machine out of storage
again...

k



  
Date: 20 Dec 2006 18:31:06
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
On 20 Dec 2006 15:29:14 -0800, "CoffeeKid" <Coffeekid@gmail.com >
wrote:

>But your comments on the a Leva really opened up some thought for me
>earlier this year - that concept of the "block of water" falling on the
>dispersion screen / grouphead / portafilter vs. jetted flow is
>something I really didn't think about before, and it makes a lot of
>sense

The Elektra pump group bell on the Semi and the commercial line has a
double dispersion block which also get a very straight down water
path, similar to a levers. The Semi's singles taste very much like the
Leva (or quite similar in taste Peppina)., although with more
consistent crema abnd body. Finally, I've found the taste of open bowl
cupping brewing consistently better than using a French press with
identical brewing parameters. Carefully decanting the steeped brew
through a mesh filter (like a Swiss Gold) rather than plunging is also
better.

My take on the taste improvement is similar on all these: the drink is
less muddy (dullish bitter) tasting.

So I have a feeling that anything that agitates the grinds lowers the
coffee quality. I have no knowledge why this is, but I'm speculating
that some sort of oil or emulsion film develops around the grounds
when they are undisturbedl, and that this acts as a beneficial filter
on the brewing process. When the grounds agitate, this does not
happen.

It's a frustrating set of observations, since they aren't very
amenable to any sort of low tech experiment. Nor is there anything in
the literature on what happens on the surface of a grind particle
during brewing.


   
Date: 20 Dec 2006 18:23:30
From: Johnny
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!

"jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote in message
news:lfkjo25r45i3q4uqb1hj6uf3r3h3uq7lms@4ax.com...
> On 20 Dec 2006 15:29:14 -0800, "CoffeeKid" <Coffeekid@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
<snip / >
> My take on the taste improvement is similar on all these: the drink is
> less muddy (dullish bitter) tasting.
>
> So I have a feeling that anything that agitates the grinds lowers the
> coffee quality. I have no knowledge why this is, but I'm speculating
> that some sort of oil or emulsion film develops around the grounds
> when they are undisturbedl, and that this acts as a beneficial filter
> on the brewing process. When the grounds agitate, this does not
> happen.
>
> It's a frustrating set of observations, since they aren't very
> amenable to any sort of low tech experiment. Nor is there anything in
> the literature on what happens on the surface of a grind particle
> during brewing.

Interesting theory Jim... my own experience gels with your observation in
that I've also noticed that the taste is better with French press if I don't
stir at all or minimally.
To be fair that's combined with going against most of the conventional
wisdom by grinding finer and steeping shorter (2 mins), if I stir as well
it tastes over-extracted ( maybe I should be steeping even less... ;-) )
Filtering through polyester a la Rasqual was also an eye opener taste-wise
which I guessed was due to letting more of the oils through than with paper
filters but I didn't care much for the rigaole involved in making it
economic (washing the filter).




 
Date: 20 Dec 2006 13:04:53
From: CoffeeKid
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!

Coffee for Connoisseurs wrote:
> I've tried both. No real comparison, Solis has 53mm pressurized filter
> baskets and priily plastic construction (including a couple of internal
> plumbing joints that shouldn't be.) Boiler is 300ml brass. Steam valve DOES
> have nifty internal microswitch, just great until shaft o-rings wear out and
> water/steam starts to escape along shaft.

It was a tough choice for me, but in the end, I opted for the Solis for
several reasons

1. Price - really important here since it's $150 cheaper than the
Silvia
2. Steaming overall - not just the microswitch, but the fact it heats
up faster to steam, steams better, steams longer, and transitions back
to brewing faster. I don't normally recommend steaming then brewing on
machines like the Silvia, but I've found it really easy with the Solis.
3. Noise - the SL-70's one of the quietest vibe pump machines I've ever
used.


All this would be moot if you couldn't (relatively easily) get
replacement non-pressurized baskets for the Solis. I've been trying,
without success to get Solis and the importers (Baratza / Cafe West) to
make them a part of the purchase instead of afterket. The best I was
able to do was convince Baratza to offer them as an optional
afterket item.

IF the Silvia were closer in price - it's old $395 price, for eg, it
would have been a no brainer. But the extra $100 made a big difference.

Alan, I have two SL-70s here - one's five years old, and seen a lot of
use. I've never had to replace those rings. I have had to take the unit
apart a few times though, because the feed tube from the reservoir to
grouphead sometimes comes unattached from the reservoir plug.

k



  
Date: 21 Dec 2006 16:45:01
From: Jim
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
CoffeeKid wrote:
> Coffee for Connoisseurs wrote:
>
>>I've tried both. No real comparison, Solis has 53mm pressurized filter
>>baskets and priily plastic construction (including a couple of internal
>>plumbing joints that shouldn't be.) Boiler is 300ml brass. Steam valve DOES
>>have nifty internal microswitch, just great until shaft o-rings wear out and
>>water/steam starts to escape along shaft.
>
>
> It was a tough choice for me, but in the end, I opted for the Solis for
> several reasons
>
> 1. Price - really important here since it's $150 cheaper than the
> Silvia

http://www.istshoppe.com/sl70bl.html


  
Date: 21 Dec 2006 11:36:01
From: Coffee for Connoisseurs
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
>without success to get Solis and the importers (Baratza / Cafe West) to
>make them a part of the purchase instead of afterket. The best I was
>able to do was convince Baratza to offer them as an optional
>afterket item.
>
>IF the Silvia were closer in price - it's old $395 price, for eg, it
>would have been a no brainer. But the extra $100 made a big difference.
>
>Alan, I have two SL-70s here - one's five years old, and seen a lot of
>use. I've never had to replace those rings. I have had to take the unit
>apart a few times though, because the feed tube from the reservoir to
>grouphead sometimes comes unattached from the reservoir plug.
>
>k

This sort of stuff is precisely why I don't get into "best of" lists,
because frankly, it's bullshit. Of course it's cheap. No 3 way valve? Gimme
a break, not an espresso fart. Afterket filter baskets? Geeks only need
apply. Rating the Solis SL70, an old design which in everyday consumer use
breaks a lot more often than a Silvia ("sometimes comes unattached" is an
all too frequent warranty condition, returnable to retailer, and you find
out that the steam valve o-rings have perished when the microswitch blows
and trips your circuit breaker) just doesn't do it for me. Nor do vaporware
machines, no matter how high end they are. Are LM better than Synesso? At
least the Synesso machines are out there, in constant use. There are enough
CG baristas posting to get a realistic assessment of their excellence or
otherwise vis-a-vis other brands.

Grinders? Mazzers are better than Macaps; Italian espresso machine
manufacturers and coffee companies are not noted for their generosity, and
they are willing to pay a premium (and go on a waiting list) for Mazzers.
And the Chinese made Sunbeams (US$100.00 for the cheapest model) are better
than any Solis grinder I've ever tried. Pity they're not available in North
America.

In fact, considering CG's wide geographic spread these days, that should
probably be a major disclaimer, "Applies to North America ONLY."

BUT, bottom line is, k's website, k's list. You don't like it, do your
own list on your own website. Do your own testing (it's bloody hard work)
and build up your own credibility. You have a <commercial > website, try
posting realistic reviews rather than "it's all good."


--
Alan

alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
www.coffeeco.com.au





  
Date: 20 Dec 2006 21:25:30
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
On 20 Dec 2006 13:04:53 -0800, "CoffeeKid" <Coffeekid@gmail.com >
wrote:

>2. Steaming overall - not just the microswitch, but the fact it heats
>up faster to steam, steams better, steams longer, and transitions back
>to brewing faster. I don't normally recommend steaming then brewing on
>machines like the Silvia, but I've found it really easy with the Solis.

it's been ages since i've played with a solis, but i've been quite
fond of them from the get-go. at the time they hit the ket, the
machine-en-vogue was the saeco rio vapore which, iirc, had a retail
price of $450 (thanks, dana lu!). for several years, we used an SL90
for our over-caffeinated christmas parties.

i'd tested the steam output back then, and got 4 minutes of steam out
of both the 70 and 90, and about 3-1/2 minutes of that was strong
enough to froth milk.

does the 70 have the over-temp light, or is that just the 90? if the
boiler was above brew temp, then the light would flash. this allowed
us to froth first and then brew with rapidity and good results.



--barry "early solis adopter"


   
Date: 20 Dec 2006 16:22:43
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
On Wed, 20 Dec 2006 21:25:30 GMT, Barry Jarrett
<barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:

>does the 70 have the over-temp light, or is that just the 90? if the
>boiler was above brew temp, then the light would flash. this allowed
>us to froth first and then brew with rapidity and good results.

The 70 has two button thermostats, one for steam (130C) and one for
heat (95C). The LEDS parallel the tstats, so glow when they are off,
and go off when the tstats call for heat (thus they are" boiler ready"
lights). The circuit is such that one or both ready lights can be on
no matter how the steam/brew switch is set. If one has finished
steaming, one can run water until the steam light goes off. This gets
the boiler temp to around 110C, which is close enough for a cappa.

When I got the Tea, I could make better shots on it than on the Solis.
By now, I know enough so it's pretty irrelevent which machine I use,
the shots have roughly the same quality. However, the Solis and Silvia
are not quite as workable as the Tea. The Elektra Semi makes better
shots than any of them, I don't know why.


 
Date: 20 Dec 2006 07:21:28
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
PROVOCATIVE WORDS -- SOLIS LOVER!!


notbob wrote:

> Yeah, how dare k not fall into rigid lockstep with the Sylvie
> zealots of rfc. How dare he think for himself and express a
> dissenting opinion, the traitor! Obviously succumbing to the
> rampaging coffee monopoly/conspiracy that is Cafe West Distributors.
> heh heh....
>
> nb



 
Date: 19 Dec 2006 17:34:35
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
HOW did this happen?

dave
192


jim schulman wrote:
> On 19 Dec 2006 12:27:33 -0800, "GoodPotatoes" <sheagrove@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >Has anybody tried both? Thoughts? I want side-by-side intrashot
> >temperature stability graphs!
>
> I've tried both. Both are equally stable, having boilers the same
> size. The Solis steamer is a little slower at the start, but has more
> legs; it is far easier for microfoam. The Silvia has a three way valve
> and recently, proper pressure controls. The Solis design is more
> thought out; the Silvia is built heftier.
>
> Espresso quality is about the same, but the Solis has a nonstandard
> basket and can't make as much per shot, nor allow one to play with
> different baskets.
>
> For people looking for an upgrade path, the Silvia is clearly better,
> since it can be endlessly modified very easily. The Solis is better
> for the non-hobbyist ket, since it'll also do pods or badly ground
> coffee as well as can be done using the restrictor baskets.



  
Date: 19 Dec 2006 20:41:25
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
On 2006-12-20, daveb <davebobblane@gmail.com > wrote:
> HOW did this happen?

Yeah, how dare k not fall into rigid lockstep with the Sylvie
zealots of rfc. How dare he think for himself and express a
dissenting opinion, the traitor! Obviously succumbing to the
rampaging coffee monopoly/conspiracy that is Cafe West Distributors.
heh heh....

nb


 
Date: 19 Dec 2006 15:31:15
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
On 2006-12-19, GoodPotatoes <sheagrove@gmail.com > wrote:

> Solis Crema SL-70 received the editor's choice award. I haven't seen
> it receive much attention on here. From the description on CG, one
> thing it has going is that the steam knob turns on the heating element
> once you begin to steam. Definitely something that Silvia needs.

The SL70 is the manual version of the SL90, all else being equal. CG
offers an older more detailed review here:

http://www.coffeegeek.com/proreviews/detailed/cremasl70

While the Sylvie is, as Al points out, more robust over the long haul,
the Solis is a good machine. Yes, it may require some o-ring
replacement (I think I need a new porta-filter gasket), but what
machine doesn't? The bottom line: with the afterket
non-pressurized basket ($15), it's capable of consistantly making
great espresso.

nb

nb


 
Date: 19 Dec 2006 21:01:55
From: Coffee for Connoisseurs
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
I've tried both. No real comparison, Solis has 53mm pressurized filter
baskets and priily plastic construction (including a couple of internal
plumbing joints that shouldn't be.) Boiler is 300ml brass. Steam valve DOES
have nifty internal microswitch, just great until shaft o-rings wear out and
water/steam starts to escape along shaft.



--
Alan

alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
www.coffeeco.com.au




 
Date: 19 Dec 2006 14:50:40
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Silvia in 2nd place. What?!
On 19 Dec 2006 12:27:33 -0800, "GoodPotatoes" <sheagrove@gmail.com >
wrote:

>Has anybody tried both? Thoughts? I want side-by-side intrashot
>temperature stability graphs!

I've tried both. Both are equally stable, having boilers the same
size. The Solis steamer is a little slower at the start, but has more
legs; it is far easier for microfoam. The Silvia has a three way valve
and recently, proper pressure controls. The Solis design is more
thought out; the Silvia is built heftier.

Espresso quality is about the same, but the Solis has a nonstandard
basket and can't make as much per shot, nor allow one to play with
different baskets.

For people looking for an upgrade path, the Silvia is clearly better,
since it can be endlessly modified very easily. The Solis is better
for the non-hobbyist ket, since it'll also do pods or badly ground
coffee as well as can be done using the restrictor baskets.