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Date: 20 Jul 2007 14:05:36
From: beerboyfeelgood
Subject: espresso machine
Hi all,

I'm a long time lurker, here. I've slowly been purchasing the needed
equipment needed to truly appreciate coffee. First, I started with an
I-roast and some green coffee from Sweet Marias. I quickly realized how
much better the coffee was. Next, I purchased a coffee press, and again,
really began to appreciate good coffee. After using the coffee press for a
few months, I realized that I really needed to break down and purchase a
good grinder. So, my next piece of equipment was a Rancilio Rocky.
Continuing to get better and better... Now, like many folks here, I have
decided to purchase my own espresso machine. I have been doing a bit of
research (coffeegeek, etc.), and reading countless reviews. I am currently
leaning toward the Rancilio Silvia. I have read the reviews about her
temperament and think I definitely have the patience for learning. But,
before making the plunge, I thought I would ask for some opinions. The
Silvia is now in the $600 range. Price aside, I would like to make the best
purchase for the future. I am the only coffee drinker in the house, but I
do enjoy entertaining, every once in a while. Are there any other espresso
machines anyone can recommend that I should take a look at? I appreciate
your opinions and discussion (I'm not worried about the price, but I don't
like throwing money away, either).

Kevin






 
Date: 21 Jul 2007 07:33:07
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: espresso machine
On Jul 21, 6:48 am, "Bill (Adopt)" <ad...@billsimpson.com > wrote:
>
>
> Much the same as the single boiler Silvia and Gaggias,
> the addition of the second flash (steam) boiler may
> take much of the wait and/or flush away in the prep
> of coffee based milk drinks...

Even a Gaggia budget Carezza effectively produces immediate steam with
a single boiler and dual thermostat elements. (Immediate: within
10-15 seconds). What I noticed from review posts, as an improvement,
is to start frothing prematurely. There occurs a few noises with
mine, bubbling sounds, sometime before the hi-temp steam indicator
lamp. Catching it on queue, then, prematurely, allowance is provided
for a quick jet from the steam-valve release to exit into a cup
partially containing water. A small amount of water is thereby purged
from the boiler, understandably undesirable in the milk, which will be
followed by a further build-up of steam. By immediately switching to
steaming milk, an increase in the steam volume produces an attractive
milk-foam base. Whereas, if, allowed to set up to a factory steam
indication state, an end effect produced is less than optimal,
inasmuch that hot-air rather than steam, will lack a greater volume
and desirability imparted to microfoam.

>From there, I differ by extracting directly into the same container
that I've finished steaming the milk. A little time between givens
are helpful - a) in running off a remainder of steam to drop cool the
small boiler from reservior water, through and while additionally
heating a PF, to stop to b) empty and shake the hot PF of residual
water before grinding directly into it, and tamp and reinsert PF, and
c) turn on, again, the steam element for 5-8 seconds, in order to
"surf" into (albeit imprecisely) extraction ranges before, at long
last, extracting coffee onto the milk-foam basse. Leeway I'd allow
comfortably within and under 2 minutes (between dispensing grinds and
cleaning the shower and PF, base, sans the plate, or any surrounding
spill) in producing multiples (idealistically, single servings, as
heat buildup from multiples necessitates somewhat speedier
processing).

For under $300/U.S. a trade off obviously not granted a series of
three LED temperature readouts to monitor the extraction process, nor
a stepless grinder, profiled roasting, uhm, in as much as $1000-$2500
worth of equipment exactingly milled, excessively decorative, or
integrally engineered for longevity. . . For a minimal choice on
returns, then, just perhaps.



 
Date: 21 Jul 2007 06:03:34
From: lockjaw
Subject: Re: espresso machine
On Jul 20, 3:05 pm, "beerboyfeelgood" <richkevnos...@bellsouth.net >
wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I'm a long time lurker, here. I've slowly been purchasing the needed
> equipment needed to truly appreciate coffee. First, I started with an
> I-roast and some green coffee from Sweet Marias. I quickly realized how
> much better the coffee was. Next, I purchased a coffee press, and again,
> really began to appreciate good coffee. After using the coffee press for a
> few months, I realized that I really needed to break down and purchase a
> good grinder. So, my next piece of equipment was a Rancilio Rocky.
> Continuing to get better and better... Now, like many folks here, I have
> decided to purchase my own espresso machine. I have been doing a bit of
> research (coffeegeek, etc.), and reading countless reviews. I am currently
> leaning toward the Rancilio Silvia. I have read the reviews about her
> temperament and think I definitely have the patience for learning. But,
> before making the plunge, I thought I would ask for some opinions. The
> Silvia is now in the $600 range. Price aside, I would like to make the best
> purchase for the future. I am the only coffee drinker in the house, but I
> do enjoy entertaining, every once in a while. Are there any other espresso
> machines anyone can recommend that I should take a look at? I appreciate
> your opinions and discussion (I'm not worried about the price, but I don't
> like throwing money away, either).
>
> Kevin

Silvias keep going up in price because there is a great demand! If
they were NOT so popular . . . .

but I think at $600.00 for a (stock) silvia -- price fixed BTW --
Rancilio is REALLY pushing the edge

Hiding under the radar is a great unit -- the Lelit PL 047,

All stainless and brass. Not a cult product -- just a great performer
-- I know, I own one. and it does great as stock OR with a "pid"
temperature controller

so don't be insulted by those who are trying to get you into the
mythical E61s or monster (stock) "heat exchanger" machines for TWICE
THE MONEY.

Regards

dave
www.hitechespresso.com



 
Date: 21 Jul 2007 05:55:51
From: lockjaw
Subject: Re: espresso machine


Nope -- as correct as *alan* is, he is not affiliated with me in any
way.
sorry.





 
Date: 20 Jul 2007 22:47:01
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: espresso machine
Damn it, suckered again! Dave, why the Hell can't you just pick a
handle & account and stick with it for a while? Anyway, into the plnk
file with the rest of your ID's.

Robert (Don't buy from daveb!) Harmon



 
Date: 20 Jul 2007 20:00:11
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: espresso machine
"beerboyfeelgood" <richkevnospam@bellsouth.net > wrote in message
news:cH7oi.371$ae7.196@bignews7.bellsouth.net...
> Hi all,
>
> I'm a long time lurker, here. I've slowly been purchasing the needed
> equipment needed to truly appreciate coffee. First, I started with an
> I-roast and some green coffee from Sweet Marias. I quickly realized how
> much better the coffee was. Next, I purchased a coffee press, and again,
> really began to appreciate good coffee. After using the coffee press for
> a few months, I realized that I really needed to break down and purchase a
> good grinder. So, my next piece of equipment was a Rancilio Rocky.
> Continuing to get better and better... Now, like many folks here, I have
> decided to purchase my own espresso machine. I have been doing a bit of
> research (coffeegeek, etc.), and reading countless reviews. I am
> currently leaning toward the Rancilio Silvia. I have read the reviews
> about her temperament and think I definitely have the patience for
> learning. But, before making the plunge, I thought I would ask for some
> opinions. The Silvia is now in the $600 range. Price aside, I would like
> to make the best purchase for the future. I am the only coffee drinker in
> the house, but I do enjoy entertaining, every once in a while. Are there
> any other espresso machines anyone can recommend that I should take a look
> at? I appreciate your opinions and discussion (I'm not worried about the
> price, but I don't like throwing money away, either).
>
> Kevin


The Silvia was a good buy, for what it is, a few years and several price
increases ago. It no longer deserves the following that it has, based
solely on value for money, which is no longer there. If you buy a Silvia
and then later PID it, you will compound the issue of poor value for money
in today's market.

I would suggest one of the cheaper E-61 based semi-commercial heat exchanger
machines, unless you will make milk drinks very seldom (and let me give you
a hint; no matter how much you like straight shots, if you are in N. America
most everyone else you make a drink for will request a milk drink, unless
you have previously trained them).

Rudimentary shot temperature control on an E-61 machine is easy; there are
simple guides available on the internet, such as Dan Kehn's "How I Stopped
Worrying and Learned to Love Heat Exchangers" piece on his excellent
website, www.home-barista.com

I am not up to date on the choices out there in Home E61-land, but there are
many choices and although you will pay a few hundred dollars more at the
front end, as Robert suggested before, you are much more likely to KEEP this
sort of machine over the long haul, than you are to keep a Silvia.

Ken
(who notes that the world's biggest Silvia proponent of all times has
himself moved on and upgraded to another machine)




  
Date: 21 Jul 2007 11:48:24
From: Bill (Adopt)
Subject: Re: espresso machine
In article <5gd7l9F3g4iuoU1@mid.individual.net >,
Ken Fox <morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com > wrote:
> "beerboyfeelgood" <richkevnospam@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
> news:cH7oi.371$ae7.196@bignews7.bellsouth.net...

[..]
> I would suggest one of the cheaper E-61 based semi-commercial
> heat exchanger
> machines, unless you will make milk drinks very seldom (and
> let me give you
> a hint; no matter how much you like straight shots, if you
> are in N. America
> most everyone else you make a drink for will request a milk
> drink, unless
> you have previously trained them).

I wonder, Ken, if Kevin has considered the latest Gaggia
twin boiler machine, (initial retail at 399.00gbp here),
or the very similar in appearance twin boiler Ascosa,
(at 598.00gbp), as a satisfactory alternative?

Much the same as the single boiler Silvia and Gaggias,
the addition of the second flash (steam) boiler may
take much of the wait and/or flush away in the prep
of coffee based milk drinks...

It might also be that the machines are a little cheaper
than an HX machine - assuming the quality of these new
twin boilers remains the same as it has been historically,
(ie.. acceptable, if not the best)..

Might also be helpful considering the present usd/euro
exchange rates at the moment...

hh :))

Bill ZFC

--
Adoption InterLink UK with -=- http://www.billsimpson.com/
Domain Host Orpheus Internet -=- http://www.orpheusinternet.co.uk/


 
Date: 20 Jul 2007 21:12:11
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: espresso machine
"beerboyfeelgood" <richkevnospam@bellsouth.net > wrote in
news:cH7oi.371$ae7.196@bignews7.bellsouth.net:

> Hi all,
>
> I'm a long time lurker, here. I've slowly been purchasing the needed
> equipment needed to truly appreciate coffee. First, I started with an
> I-roast and some green coffee from Sweet Marias. I quickly realized
> how much better the coffee was. Next, I purchased a coffee press, and
> again, really began to appreciate good coffee. After using the coffee
> press for a few months, I realized that I really needed to break down
> and purchase a good grinder. So, my next piece of equipment was a
> Rancilio Rocky. Continuing to get better and better... Now, like many
> folks here, I have decided to purchase my own espresso machine. I
> have been doing a bit of research (coffeegeek, etc.), and reading
> countless reviews. I am currently leaning toward the Rancilio
> Silvia. I have read the reviews about her temperament and think I
> definitely have the patience for learning. But, before making the
> plunge, I thought I would ask for some opinions. The Silvia is now in
> the $600 range. Price aside, I would like to make the best purchase
> for the future. I am the only coffee drinker in the house, but I do
> enjoy entertaining, every once in a while. Are there any other
> espresso machines anyone can recommend that I should take a look at?
> I appreciate your opinions and discussion (I'm not worried about the
> price, but I don't like throwing money away, either).
>
> Kevin
>
>
>

If you plan to serve milk-based espresso drinks to your guests when you
entertain I wouldn't recommend any dual-use single boiler espresso machine,
i.e., Gaggia or Silvia. They just don't have the steam power for very many
latte or cappuccino drinks, plus there's the issue of down time waiting for
the boiler temps to adjust to or from steaming temps.

Get a good HX machine from the get go & you'll be enjoying it for a long
time. Buy a Silvia & enjoy it to start with, then you'll *probably* be
looking to upgrade in a year or two.

Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
newsgroup!) Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.


  
Date: 20 Jul 2007 22:43:56
From: *alan*
Subject: Re: espresso machine

"Robert Harmon" wrote

[...]


> Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
> newsgroup!) Harmon
> --
> http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
> http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
> http://www.tinyurl.con/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

Just curious, Robert, about your exhortation to not buy from those who post
ads here and your own attempt to sell things.

Is it a feeble attempt at humor? Maybe an inside joke whose background I'm
not aware of? Or is it just an example of shameless hypocrisy?

I'm genuinely curious, Robert, so could you let me know?

Thanks.

--
Alan



   
Date: 21 Jul 2007 03:22:49
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: espresso machine
"*alan*" <in_flagrante@hotmail.com > wrote in
news:MUaoi.22762$RX.11841@newssvr11.news.prodigy.net:

>
> "Robert Harmon" wrote
>
> [...]
>
>
>> Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
>> newsgroup!) Harmon
>> --
>> http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
>> http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
>> http://www.tinyurl.con/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.
>
> Just curious, Robert, about your exhortation to not buy from those who
> post ads here and your own attempt to sell things.
>
> Is it a feeble attempt at humor? Maybe an inside joke whose background
> I'm not aware of? Or is it just an example of shameless hypocrisy?
>
> I'm genuinely curious, Robert, so could you let me know?
>
> Thanks.
>
> --
> Alan
>
>

Normally I don't take time to explain netiquette to newbies, but it's a
slow night...

The difference is that I never post in this forum for the sole purpose of
promoting goods or services that I have for sale. Each of my posts here
is within the guidelines of acceptable use that have existed in the
Usenet community for decades. Each new post fits this groups description
& each follow up post tries to stay on topic.

What you see in my posts is called a "sig", a way to sign posts; not a
blatant self-promoting message posted for no other reason than to sell
goods and/or services. 'sigs' are an end-run, but they have always been
recognized as acceptable.

Do a Google search of the newsgroup for "Robert Harmon". You'll not find
a single instance where I've violated Usenet protocol in this manner.
This can't be said about one regular poster with whom we're all familiar.

Did that explain it?

Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
newsgroup!) Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.


    
Date: 21 Jul 2007 03:40:38
From: *alan*
Subject: Re: espresso machine

"Robert Harmon" <r_h_harmon@Zhotmail.com > wrote in message
news:Xns9973CF5DDDE52rhharmonZhotmailcom@194.177.96.26...
> "*alan*" <in_flagrante@hotmail.com> wrote in
> news:MUaoi.22762$RX.11841@newssvr11.news.prodigy.net:
>
>>
>> "Robert Harmon" wrote
>>
>> [...]
>>
>>
>>> Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
>>> newsgroup!) Harmon
>>> --
>>> http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
>>> http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
>>> http://www.tinyurl.con/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.
>>
>> Just curious, Robert, about your exhortation to not buy from those who
>> post ads here and your own attempt to sell things.
>>
>> Is it a feeble attempt at humor? Maybe an inside joke whose background
>> I'm not aware of? Or is it just an example of shameless hypocrisy?
>>
>> I'm genuinely curious, Robert, so could you let me know?
>>
>> Thanks.
>>
>> --
>> Alan
>>
>>
>
> Normally I don't take time to explain netiquette to newbies, but it's a
> slow night...
>
> The difference is that I never post in this forum for the sole purpose of
> promoting goods or services that I have for sale. Each of my posts here
> is within the guidelines of acceptable use that have existed in the
> Usenet community for decades. Each new post fits this groups description
> & each follow up post tries to stay on topic.
>
> What you see in my posts is called a "sig", a way to sign posts; not a
> blatant self-promoting message posted for no other reason than to sell
> goods and/or services. 'sigs' are an end-run, but they have always been
> recognized as acceptable.
>
> Do a Google search of the newsgroup for "Robert Harmon". You'll not find
> a single instance where I've violated Usenet protocol in this manner.
> This can't be said about one regular poster with whom we're all familiar.
>
> Did that explain it?
>
> Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
> newsgroup!) Harmon

I do indeed count myself lucky that this was a slow enough night for you to
have deigned to explain to this "newbie" some of the subtleties of
netiquette which had eluded me even after a year of (admittedly) relatively
limited participation in some of the discussions here. Per Google, it looks
like you started posting here a mere 3 months before I did, but look how
much more quickly you caught on! Sadly enough, this old dog does take a bit
longer these days to learn new tricks.

In any case, I'm grateful for your explanation as I do see quite clearly now
that it's not advertisement *per se* which is considered bad manners
netiquette-wise, but rather its perceived blatancy. As is often said in the
culinary industry: "Presentation is everything".

And to carry that metaphor a bit further, there *is* a big difference
between an advertisement slapped carelessly onto a main-course dinner plate
and thrown on the table to command everyone's astonished attention and an
advertisement which, on the other hand, is thoughtfully and tastefully
presented as an attractive garnish to a palate-cleansing "sig" to an
on-topic posting.

Oh, I know there's probably some other "newbies" out there (maybe even some
"oldies") who'd disagree and think to themselves, "Well, hell, a turd's a
turd and no matter how you serve it up, it's still gonna taste like
shit" ---- but I think we should overlook those unworthy sentiments, don't
you? Presentation IS everything.

Thanks again for having educated me.

--
Alan
(Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
newsgroup! --- unless it's done with good manners)




  
Date: 20 Jul 2007 21:58:20
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: espresso machine
On Fri, 20 Jul 2007 21:12:11 +0200 (CEST), Robert Harmon
<r_h_harmon@Zhotmail.com > wrote:

>If you plan to serve milk-based espresso drinks to your guests when you
>entertain I wouldn't recommend any dual-use single boiler espresso machine,
>i.e., Gaggia or Silvia. They just don't have the steam power for very many
>latte or cappuccino drinks, plus there's the issue of down time waiting for
>the boiler temps to adjust to or from steaming temps.
>
>Get a good HX machine from the get go & you'll be enjoying it for a long
>time. Buy a Silvia & enjoy it to start with, then you'll *probably* be
>looking to upgrade in a year or two.

This is all true, but only if you make multiple milk drinks on a
regular and fairly frequent basis. Heat exchangers were not designed
for home use, because they overheat the brewhead when they are idle.
This requires that you learn cooling flush rituals that waste water
and introduce unnecessary temperature variability.

If you normally make straight espresso or only one or two milk drinks
at a time, the consistency and reduced water refilling of a single
boiler make better sense for most people. Personally, I would spend a
bit more and buy a Quick Mill Alexia, which will outperform any HX
machine in its price range for the purposes I described.

When I entertain more than a couple of people, I pull out one of my
vacuum pots.

Marshall