Breville Barista Pro vs Rancilio Silvia Pro X

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?

#1: Post by dmespresso »

Hello Everyone,
Avid forms reader at home barita but new to writing on this forum.
I wanted to share my experience and thoughts of my 1 yr espresso journey and get feedback and thoughts you guys had during your espresso journey.

I started with buying a Breville Barista Pro last year. I used the built-in grinder and all the accessories that came with including the 54mm portafilter. I bought all the measuring tools from Crema, wdt, distributor etc.. to help me improve my workflow. The barista pro was easy to dial in and very easy to use and just disappeared in the background in my everyday life. I loved it. It wasn't too good with back to back shots during parties but for me it worked well as I only made one latte a day. One day it broke down and the store I bought it from was nice enough to give me a refund.

After reading several blogs and youtube videos and wasting a crap load of time I decided to order a new Silvia Pro X. The 1st machine arrived after a week broken. I was frustrated as I was counting down the days to the date of delivery. Anyway, I shipped it back and received a replacement. With the replacement I had no issues.

But here is the problem:: I spent about $1900 plus tax on the machine and $500 on the grinder and I am just not getting better or even the same results as my breville.

Yes the Rancilio looks miles better than a barista pro and yes its built like a 'tank' but other than that its just not working. Its seems like everyone on the planet can make great espresso on the Pro X except me.

I use fresh 18 grams of bean and just cant get the timing out right. I aim for 32 grams but timing is off. ive noticed this step is finiky because espresso starts very slow then flushes out - I cant get this step right - I have gone through lbs of coffee beans and 2 brand new same grinders. Sometimes the shots just flush out.

Breville was not this hard to dial in with its cheap built in grinder.

I am thinking of returning it and getting another Breville. I want something that is just easy to handle and dial in period.
Yes the breville may break within a year or two but I'll cross that bridge when i get there... hopefully I wont have to.

Actions taken to avoid common mistakes:

1. Buy fresh beans - medium roast
2. Make sure the machine is warmed up - 40 mins.
3. Clean portafilter
4. flush before pulling a shot.
5. 18 grams
6. shot timing.
7. weighing the beans etc..
8. Guides on youtube, google, reddit, effen chat GTP! everything.

Any help or suggestions would be much much appreciated!! Sorry if I am all over the place with this write up!

dmespresso (original poster)

#2: Post by dmespresso (original poster) »

There could be a million things I could be doing wrong but any suggestions would be much appreciated

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#3: Post by baldheadracing »

Hi, welcome to Home-Barista!

Couple questions:
- what grinder do you have now?
- on the Breville, did you use the pressurized or the non-pressurized baskets?
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

dmespresso (original poster)

#4: Post by dmespresso (original poster) »

I am currently using Eureka Mignon Zero.

On the breville I used pressurized basket.

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#5: Post by baldheadracing replying to dmespresso »

Okay ... so pressurized baskets are very forgiving in terms of grind size and puck preparation. In a pressurized basket, the basket determines brew pressures. With a conventional basket, the grind size and puck preparation determines brew pressures.

The Silvia comes with conventional baskets, so to me - without the benefit of looking over your shoulder - I'm guessing that "espresso starts very slow then flushes out ... Sometimes the shots just flush out." points to puck preparation.

There are many videos on puck prep on YouTube; here are three to start out with. The stress is on WDT. Note that I have included the Hoffmann video as his demontrated puck prep is immaculate, but you don't need all the tools and stuff he talks about (or the paper he puts on the bottom of the portafilter basket). I would say that some kind of WDT tool and a bottomless portafilter and a basic tamper are all that is needed:
At some point some folks post videos of their own puck prep for review if that interests you.

Good luck!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

dmespresso (original poster)

#6: Post by dmespresso (original poster) »

Appreciate the reply!
I didn't know that silvia pro comes with non pressurized basket.
I have a wdt tool which use but I'll take a look at these videos again and try again.


dmespresso (original poster)

#7: Post by dmespresso (original poster) »

Correction **
I used un Pressurized basket with the breville..

tracer bullet

#8: Post by tracer bullet »

For what it's worth you've got good equipment and seems like a good process.

Maybe it's obvious, but just in case, you have to keep things as consistent as possible. For me I have a consistent weight (19g), a consistent tamp (30lb), and I vary only the grinder setting to get the right shot. If it's too fast or too slow I can tweak the grinder setting to get it right.

Light coffee is hardest, so I think you are right to go darker. but there's a chance, if you're using the same coffee throughout this, that it simply performs poorly. Even with a darker roast, some give crema all day long, and some basically just squirt out brown water and are frustrating. When I have one of those, I make a note, use it up for drip coffee and just don't buy it again (I have a pile of labels cut from bags with permanent marker notes on them).

So - there's a chance you should try a different coffee? Of course you'll probably say it is the same as what gave good results in the past...

I guess there's a chance your grinder is broken in some way. But - are you able to grind fine enough to basically plug the machine? Get close to that and start backing off (coarser grind) bit by bit until you are happy. If you don't reach happiness, try a different coffee even if it did work in the past?

dmespresso (original poster)

#9: Post by dmespresso (original poster) »

I've tried different coffee from different brands. Medium roast always. Never light. I've used two different grinders which grind fine enough to choke the machine so I guess that's not the problem.

I guess I need to improve my puck preparation. I'll give 19g a try and adjust the grinder like u suggested and hopefully get to my goal of making smoother espresso!

Thanks for your suggestions.

dmespresso (original poster)

#10: Post by dmespresso (original poster) »

So this weird.
When I try fresh coffee directly from coffee roasters it's extremely hard to dial in. But la colombe works perfectly.
Always use medium roast.