Silvia V3 and the Pursuit of Cafe-Quality Shots

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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#1: Post by seaofspro »

I'm an aspiring home barista and currently own a La Pavoni Europiccola along with an Eureka Mignon grinder. While using the La Pavoni can be fun and occasionally results in a shot comparable to the ones I get at my local cafe's Linea, I find that the majority of shots I pull are borderline undrinkable.

I understand that it's likely my own fault for the poor quality of the espresso, but I'm seeking a machine that's a bit more forgiving and consistent in pulling cafe-level shots. As I browse through Facebook Marketplace, I've come across a Silvia V3. If I were to invest in adding a PID and possibly other modifications, could this machine produce the kind of shots I'm aiming for?

Of course, my ultimate goal is to eventually upgrade to a Linea Mini along with a high-quality grinder, but financially, that's not feasible in the near future. So, I'm wondering if I should continue saving up for that dream setup, or if something like the Silvia V3 with a few upgrades could serve as a satisfactory interim solution until I hit the jackpot.

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#2: Post by BodieZoffa »

Opinions vary, but I've never been impressed with the few LM machines I spent a lot of time on. One was a Linea and the other an FB/80, which seemed a bit more refined. Both were consistent, reliable, etc., but far from very impressive overall. I'll gladly take the extractions I've cranked out of my Silvias (V1 and Pro) over anything I ever got out of either of those LMs. Granted different grinders/coffees, but just never was blown away by anything out of them. Not to mention the idiotic steam valve design that takes way too long to use effectively/efficiently in a commercial environment.

People often mention matching 'cafe quality', but honestly I've never found a shop worth a repeat visit and won't throw money at anything else away from home these days. After having a handful of various machines I stick with the Silvia for the tried/true performance/dependability and simply see no reason to change that.

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#3: Post by Jeff »

Welcome to H-B!

How much will all that cost you?

What coffee are you using today, how long ago was it roasted, and how long has it been since you opened the bag?

Do you plan on sticking with traditional espresso blends and roasts or are you thinking about trying out medium or perhaps even lighter roasts?