What was your upgrade path from a Rancilio Silvia class espresso machine?

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

#1: Post by HB »

Many espresso enthusiasts upgrade one or more times. Have you upgraded? (For those who plan to upgrade and have decided on the type of espresso machine, please select above as if you had already upgraded).
Dan Kehn

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jrtatl

#2: Post by jrtatl »

Went straight to HX -- no other first step. Happy so far. Double boiler may be in my future.....
Jeremy

grong

#3: Post by grong »

Started with a Gaggia Coffee Deluxe for a couple of years. I liked it a lot, but it stopped working a couple of times, and I had no idea how to fix it. After a second repair at the shop, I bought a Rancilio Audrey at Peet's.

I used Rancilio Audrey for about ten years, till much of the composite base disintegrated. This machine still produces espresso flawlessly, without ever having any special water or service, except for a new portafilter gasket. It has stood in several times while my upgrade machine, Zaffiro, awaited one part or another for repair. It steams a milk drink very nicely.

I have had the Zaffiro for three years, and it makes great espresso. I make one milk-based drink a day, so I would not consider an HX machine an upgrade.

I recently got a Ponte Vecchio Lusso lever machine, which I really like. In some ways it is the simplest of them all, it makes great espresso, and it steams beautifully.

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serenewu

#4: Post by serenewu »

I can not forget miss slivia.
She is so charming, but I'm using Fiorenzato Bricoletta right now.
I won't say Bricoletta is an upgraded version, because HX is another type Espresso machine.
If I want to buy another new espresso machine, I may choose 2 group Commercial Espresso Machines like LM Linea(Modified). :D

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luca
Team HB

#5: Post by luca »

I've voted for HX. Haven't actually gotten one yet, but I'm toying with pushing the button on a maver marte. DBs are an interesting lot ... got to admit that I haven't really played around with them much, but I didn't really like the expobar. I loved the commercial Dalla Cortes, but haven't used their domestic machines. If they're similar, that might be a future upgrade path. For the moment, the Maver seems to be pretty easy to use; with the tiny cooling flushes that are necessary, it feels more like using a linea than a HX. I'll leave the in-depth tweakage for the Synesso at work. More news when and if I get one.

I also have a la peppina, which I don't really consider to be an upgrade from my silvia - just something different to play around with. Having ebayed it up second (or third, or fourth) hand, like many of the dudes on the lever forum, it's more of a project. This week, the peppina has a presso sitting next to it on loan from presso Australia.

Cheers,

Luca
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Grader Exam, Brewer's Cup #3, Australian Cup Tasting #1

OkcEspresso

#6: Post by OkcEspresso »

I also voted HX. I went from a Silvia to a commercial single group HX (CMA - Laurentis) machine I bought used on eBay and renovated and [improved].

C.

randomperson

#7: Post by randomperson »

From steam toys to Gaggia Classic and now onto HX (La Valentina). My struggle in terms of deciding between double boiler vs HX was well documented here on other threads: Because of what I had read about HX machines I had developed an irrational Fear of Flushing!

How foolish that turned out to be! As Dan says, once you get your machine, it all becomes quite obvious in a relatively short time. You learn how to "Trust the Force." And then once you learn the basics, the flexibility and tweakability afforded by HX machines is just amazing.

I have to say that while I flirted for a while with the idea of the Brewtus, at the end of the day I am delighted with my choice. While I do not know the absolute temperature I am achieving, I am quite capable of adjusting the result based on taste. To my mind this is no different then starting with a "known" temperature with the Brewtus -- at the end of the shot you still have to adjust based on taste. As long as you keep your technique consistent, La Val can produce completely repeatable results, just as if you had dialed a specific temperature. I see no reason to upgrade in the future, as La Valentina completely meets (and even exceeds) my needs.

I still think that for low volume home use -- a shot or two at a time, let's say -- that the Gaggias and Silvias of the world are perfectly acceptable alternatives and can produce great coffee. But for consistency, tweakability, repeatability, and any kind of volume (by that I mean more than a shot or two at a clip) an upgrade becomes essential. All you have to do is entertain four people at home and go through the motions of making four milk-based drinks and you become an instant convert!
I love La Valentina!

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Compass Coffee
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#8: Post by Compass Coffee »

A Hex on HX! Pox the surf! Such was my mantra a scant year ago as I contemplated leaving my first love Miss Silvia. Yet I now have an HX which is perfectly suited to my consumption style giving the ability to pull back to back shots each a different blend or SO each requiring a different shot temp at will and quite accurately. Turns out HX machine much better suited for me than a dual boiler would have been. My understanding and thinking was changed primarily due to Reviews and forum threads on HB. Much as my thinking about PIDing Silvia took two years to change so I surfed for two years before deciding having a PID hanging on her side wasn't a cancerous growth but more akin to a dragster blower!
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

CoffeeBeau

#9: Post by CoffeeBeau »

I tried to start off with a Silvia (from my krups steamy), and bought one used from CG buy/sell/trade. The machine came damaged, so I sent it back and got full pay pal credit. Sad and depressed, my lovely wife encouraged to go for a nice machine, and gave me the green light. After researching I decided to go for an HX. The need for a decent frothing machine for my wifes cappas or lattes, and an E61 for its shear beauty and guilt free performance.

The long winded version of a Silvia upgrade: HX with no regrets.

Bob

kaioslider

#10: Post by kaioslider »

Silvia>Vetrano. I don't see myself upgrading again as the only upgrade I would bother with is a GS3 level machine. I'm pulling great shots and don't feel limited with my Vetrano. If I got a GS3 is would be b/c I had lots and lots of $$$ sitting around.