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Date: 17 Dec 2006 18:10:51
From: phreaddy
Subject: Things I hate about Miss Silvia
After a torrid three-year affair with Silvia, these are the things I
have come to hate about her.
The POS tamper. It doesn't even fit the portafilter! Hello, Rancilio?
Is anybody listening?
Brewing-temp control, or more precisely, the lack thereof. (Just
yesterday I finally installed a PID. More on that later, as I get the
hang of it.)
The nearly useless drip tray. The drip tray cover should be seated
INSIDE the drip tray, so that when water runs down the underside and
inner edges of the cover, it goes into the drip tray and not onto the
black-painted frame (which started to rust after just a few months
because I didn't know enough to remove the drip tray and wipe
everything down immediately after use).
The time it takes to heat up for steaming after brewing. I know, I
know. She is a single-boiler. But I can still wish, can't I?
The time it takes to heat up the grouphead properly. I'd have been
happy to accept this limitation because the heat-stabilization works
both ways, and the advantages outweigh this disadvantage. I just wish
Rancilio would deign to explain this!





 
Date: 18 Dec 2006 20:39:28
From: stereoplegic
Subject: Re: Things I hate about Miss Silvia


On Dec 18, 10:32 pm, "stereoplegic" <stereople...@aim.com > wrote:

> maybe a few hours worth of sanding/polishing.

i should mention that i'm pretty anal when it comes to sanding, it
shouldn't take you that long to sand two pvc pipe caps (although w/
tampers, the smoother the better).



 
Date: 18 Dec 2006 20:32:27
From: stereoplegic
Subject: Re: Things I hate about Miss Silvia


On Dec 18, 7:24 pm, Mike Hartigan <m...@hartigan.dot.com > wrote:
> In article <fYOdneBYBo8kIBvYnZ2dnUVZ_tW3n...@comcast.com>,
> nunuv...@netscape.net says...
>
>
>
> > "phreaddy" <phrea...@gmail.com> wrote in message
> >news:1166407851.703343.142440@t46g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > > After a torrid three-year affair with Silvia, these are the things I
> > > have come to hate about her.
> > > The POS tamper. It doesn't even fit the portafilter! Hello, Rancilio?
> > > Is anybody listening?
>
> > They are listening but they don't care. Italians are not big believers in
> > tamping to begin with and they aren't going to spend money to include a
> > fancy tamper in the box. If you buy a $3,000 machine, they STILL give you a
> > cheap plastic tamper if they give you one at all. If you want a fancy
> > expensive tamper, buy one yerself - that's not a flaw of Silvia.Indeed! Gaggia does it, too. I'd be surprised if that was not a
> universal 'feature' of these machines. Fortunately, you can get one
> helluva nice SS tamper for not much more than $25 if you shop around.
> This is one of those things for which ebay is a particularly good
> place to look.
>
> > [...]--
> -Mike

check out this thread. if you're looking for cheap, nothing fancy, and
super-functional (concave and flat in one tamper), here you go:
http://www.homeroasters.org/php/forum/viewthread.php?forum_id=14&thread_id=149
check my posts on how to get a nice weighted tamper. mine cost about
$10 (sandpaper included) and maybe a few hours worth of
sanding/polishing. Best shots i've ever pulled!



 
Date: 18 Dec 2006 16:46:30
From: akiley
Subject: Re: Things I hate about Miss Silvia
I have a Silvia and have come to some conclusions as to how to pull a
very nice shot with her, or just about any machine for that matter.
It's the poor man's toolkit. (no PID) Maybe this is old hat for some
on this forum, but I think it's important to say it again. I invested
in a pricy HX machine, but after learning all this stuff, I can go back
to the Silvia and pull a really good shot.

The kit should include an instant read digital thermocouple style
digital thermometer like this one.
http://sweetias.com/prod.roastkits.shtml for 29.00. Then use the
technique described here
http://www.quiknet.com/frcn/Coffee/HowToTempCheck.html. Or here
http://www.lucidcafe.com/cafeforum/schomertable13.html to get your
temperature correct. (I use the thermocouple thermometer with the
styro cup technique) Then invest in a naked portafilter and carefully
review this article: http://www.home-barista.com/naked-extraction.html
Finally, good quality fresh roasted beans that are dated and no more
than 1.5 to 2 weeks since roasting. How about the highly rated Black
Cat blend from
http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/store/coffee/blends/blackcat, or
save a lot of money and roast your own.

This may seem like a lot of work, but you only have to check the temp a
few times, then you will be able to tell Silvia's temp from experience.


Frothing milk to get really great microfoam is something I can do on my
Andreja HX machine, but am still having trouble with Silvia. Drinking
straight shots of espresso is what I'm doing more and more and it's SO
important to get the temp, tamp, grind and pull just right. If you mix
it with frothed milk, I don't think it's as important. But good
mircofoam is and I think the Silvia's frothing tip isn't good or
something. I never got to the bottom of it.

Just my 2 ... Akiley



 
Date: 18 Dec 2006 15:33:25
From: Harry Moos
Subject: Re: Things I hate about Miss Silvia
I have examined Silvia and I can't see how water could possibly run down the
underside onto the black-painted frame. Unless your machine is made
differently from mine. The drain holes are bevelled downward to control
drips. Three edges overlap the frame, so surface water would have to run
down the outside. The back edge does drop down inside the drip tray. I
empty mine nearly every time and dry it, but I have never found water on the
underframe -- unless it drips down while the tray is removed. I check it
regularly because I did have a problem with rusting on a Gaggia machine at
one time.

"phreaddy" <phreaddy@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1166407851.703343.142440@t46g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> After a torrid three-year affair with Silvia, these are the things I
> have come to hate about her.
> The nearly useless drip tray. The drip tray cover should be seated
> INSIDE the drip tray, so that when water runs down the underside and
> inner edges of the cover, it goes into the drip tray and not onto the
> black-painted frame (which started to rust after just a few months
> because I didn't know enough to remove the drip tray and wipe
> everything down immediately after use).




 
Date: 18 Dec 2006 11:11:00
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Things I hate about Miss Silvia

"phreaddy" <phreaddy@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1166407851.703343.142440@t46g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> After a torrid three-year affair with Silvia, these are the things I
> have come to hate about her.
> The POS tamper. It doesn't even fit the portafilter! Hello, Rancilio?
> Is anybody listening?

They are listening but they don't care. Italians are not big believers in
tamping to begin with and they aren't going to spend money to include a
fancy tamper in the box. If you buy a $3,000 machine, they STILL give you a
cheap plastic tamper if they give you one at all. If you want a fancy
expensive tamper, buy one yerself - that's not a flaw of Silvia.



> Brewing-temp control, or more precisely, the lack thereof. (Just
> yesterday I finally installed a PID. More on that later, as I get the
> hang of it.)

No doubt that the click thermostats are crude. But you can "surf" them. It
would be nice if they included a better control system at the factory. But
clicks are cheap and don't hold your breath for something better.



> The nearly useless drip tray. The drip tray cover should be seated
> INSIDE the drip tray, so that when water runs down the underside and
> inner edges of the cover, it goes into the drip tray and not onto the
> black-painted frame (which started to rust after just a few months
> because I didn't know enough to remove the drip tray and wipe
> everything down immediately after use).
> The time it takes to heat up for steaming after brewing. I know, I
> know. She is a single-boiler. But I can still wish, can't I?

That's right, keep wishing. Ain't gonna happen. Get an HX or a dual boiler
if you want steam and brew without wait.




> The time it takes to heat up the grouphead properly. I'd have been
> happy to accept this limitation because the heat-stabilization works
> both ways, and the advantages outweigh this disadvantage. I just wish
> Rancilio would deign to explain this!

Easy to explain - it takes time to heat up a nice big chuck of brass. As you
say, all that thermal mass adds stability, so you can't have it both ways.
If you want quick heat up buy a Sunbeam with a boiler the size of a hockey
puck and and plastic group head. Or keep the Silvia and buy a clock timer so
that your machine is warm before breakfast.



>




  
Date: 18 Dec 2006 19:24:49
From: Mike Hartigan
Subject: Re: Things I hate about Miss Silvia
In article <fYOdneBYBo8kIBvYnZ2dnUVZ_tW3nZ2d@comcast.com >,
nunuvyer@netscape.net says...
>
> "phreaddy" <phreaddy@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1166407851.703343.142440@t46g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > After a torrid three-year affair with Silvia, these are the things I
> > have come to hate about her.
> > The POS tamper. It doesn't even fit the portafilter! Hello, Rancilio?
> > Is anybody listening?
>
> They are listening but they don't care. Italians are not big believers in
> tamping to begin with and they aren't going to spend money to include a
> fancy tamper in the box. If you buy a $3,000 machine, they STILL give you a
> cheap plastic tamper if they give you one at all. If you want a fancy
> expensive tamper, buy one yerself - that's not a flaw of Silvia.

Indeed! Gaggia does it, too. I'd be surprised if that was not a
universal 'feature' of these machines. Fortunately, you can get one
helluva nice SS tamper for not much more than $25 if you shop around.
This is one of those things for which ebay is a particularly good
place to look.

> [...]

--
-Mike