PID'd Rancilio Silvia or E61 espresso machine?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
ny92

#1: Post by ny92 »

I am new to this forum. Need advice,

I'm in the market for a new espresso machine. I have a Gaggia Paros and have been drinking espresso every morning for the last 15 years. After I started reading coffee-geek, home-barista, and alt.coffee, it dawned on me that I probably drink "real" espresso only 3 times during that last 15 years. "You don't know what you don't know".

Now, help.

I decided that what I will need next is either a PID Silvia or a Valentina Levetta. I might think about a Vetrano. In short, PID Silvia or E61. I only drink espresso, I don't like the relatively large size of the E61 machine so I tend toward the PID Silvia. However I would buy the Valentina if I believe that it will allow me to get better espresso. I've already decided on the Macap M4.

Please send in your opinion. I greatly appreciated any comment. I plan to drink coffee every morning forever. Thanks.
"you don't know what you don't know" NY92.

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HB
Admin

#2: Post by HB »

ny92 wrote:I decided that what I will need next is either a PID Silvia or a Valentina Levetta. I might think about a Vetrano. In short, PID Silvia or E61. I only drink espresso, I don't like the relatively large size of the E61 machine so I tend toward the PID Silvia. However I would buy the Valentina if I believe that it will allow me to get better espresso.
Rancilio Silvia Flash Review (PID temperature controller) documents my experience with Mike Walsh's PID'd Silvia. In summary, the temperature control works as advertised, but Silvia is not as forgiving as other choices. I think the PID'd Isomac Amica (or Quickmill Eliane, or similar E61-based single boiler) would be a better platform for modifications like electronic temperature control. Silvia is more compact though.

PS: A few related threads are The E61 Group - Truth and Lies and E61 Group Espresso Machine: Is its reputation justified? Ken Fox posted a series of extreme precision results beginning in Should I PID my Heat Exchanger?
Dan Kehn

ny92

#3: Post by ny92 »

Thanks Dan. I was hoping that you will answer my question. I thought about the Valentina after reading your review. The only problem is the size. It will snugly fit under my cabinet. And I cannot plumb it. And I cannot imagine myself pulling it in and out, 40lbs, to fill it. Other than that, it seems perfect.
"you don't know what you don't know" NY92.

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

It's easy to get accustom to the convenience of plumbed-in espresso equipment. That said, there are other solutions to the reservoir refill problem besides moving a heavy machine. For example, adding an external "tank" in the cabinet above, which the pump can draw from directly by gravity feed. A water jug and a Flojet pump are another way. And of course getting a machine that moves easily, like Silvia or lever espresso machine.
Dan Kehn

ny92

#5: Post by ny92 »

I'll go with the Silvia. Not enough space. Thanks Dan.

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luca
Team HB

#6: Post by luca »

I just had a chance to play with a la valentina (well ... one of the similar machines that has been rebadged) and I've got to say that I'd much, much rather have that on my bench than the silvia. It wasn't that heavy to drag in and out and I would happily drag it around once a day rather than go through the whole routine with a Silvia. I'm sure that you could rig something up with a hose and a funnel, anyway ;P

Dan has reviewed both on this site and I really have no more to add to the matter than what's already been said.

Cheers,

Luca

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Balthazar_B

#7: Post by Balthazar_B »

This discussion makes me wonder whether someone doesn't make a low profile stand, perhaps with ball-bearing "feet", that will allow one to easily move a heavy machine around on a (clean) countertop...
- John

LMWDP # 577

poison

#8: Post by poison »

ny92 wrote:I'll go with the Silvia. Not enough space. Thanks Dan.
:o :cry:

Be cautious, and be sure you read a bunch before you jump on Silvia (so to speak). I have Silvia, and regret not buying an HX. I'd pick the Valentina every day and twice on Sundays.

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barry

#9: Post by barry »

Balthazar_B wrote:This discussion makes me wonder whether someone doesn't make a low profile stand, perhaps with ball-bearing "feet", that will allow one to easily move a heavy machine around on a (clean) countertop...
teflon sliders. i can move a 4-group marzocco around w/o much problem.