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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2013
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    13

    Espresso Machine: help, please: home use, semi-auto...

    Hi all,

    I've been searching through the forums for about the past year (so as to get relatively current info), but haven't really seen Q&A for my specific needs. Sure could use some help...

    Looking for an espresso machine for home use. Budget is less than $400, but I've seen recommendations all over the board as to price ranges. From what I've read, a semi-automatic machine should work for my needs, do NOT want a pod machine (although I've seen ones that can do pods as well as regular).

    When I go to Starbucks, I order an iced Doubleshot: 5 shots of espresso, with just a kiss of milk.

    *Don't need an espresso machine with a milk frother on it, although from what I've seen that is often included. Just don't care about it.

    *Do need something where I can pull multiple shots.

    In reading the forum, I've seen everything from the De'Longhi EC155 (only $86.67 on Amazon) to the Gaggia 14101 Classic ($399 on Amazon) mentioned and I'm really confused.

    Don't know what other info you need to make a recommendation. I might be able to be pursuaded to go to a slightly higher price point if there is a compelling reason to do so, but would rather not. However, good coffee is a quality of life issue, after all ...

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Near Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    5,190
    Hello "EsspressB"

    Welcome to the Coffee Forums!

    So, it sounds like you're looking for an espresso machine, so you can brew 5 shots of espresso to make an Iced Doubleshot at home.

    Will you be needing the machine to make hot espresso too, or will it be for iced coffee only?

    I wonder if there are other alternatives, such as an iced-coffee concentrate brewer that would work better for you.
    I'm not familiar with those machines, but I remember reading about them on this Forum.

    I'm sure some of the other Forum members will have some suggestions for you.

    Rose

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    13
    Hi Rose,

    Sure, I like a hot espresso as well.

    I currently have an AeroPress that I use most days, but I just love the flavor of the real espresso. It would be great if I could have it everyday instead of just as an occasional treat.

    Thank you,
    Becky

    P.S. I tried the inverted AeroPress method this morning after reading about it here: pretty good!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Michigan, US
    Posts
    1,802
    Welcome aboard. I always was impressed with Rancilio Silvia for the espresso machine. They are around 650 brand new but if you look into used on ebay, you should be able to purchase one for around 300 - 350 including the shipping. I think that is the only home espresso machine I would buy under 500 dollars.

    Good LUck

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    13
    CoffeeJunky, thank you for your response. I see some older models on eBay, but being a novice, I'm very uncomfortable buying an old, used, machine for that much money. I have no way of evaluating the model/purchase price. Are they really worth $300 after 13 years of daily use? Seems like it would be getting within a couple of years of end-of-life at that age. Unless, of course, someone with experience could point me to a specific item.

    If you have a bit of time, I surely would appreciate you pointing out what makes this a superior machine. I'm here to learn.

    Thank you,
    Becky

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Michigan, US
    Posts
    1,802
    I don't think 13 years old machine is worth 300. I would look and wait little further. I would think few years old machine would be around that price. I have seen few of them. Maybe 350 or so. This Rancilio Silvia works just like commercial espresso machine for home use. It has many great features and made perfect for home coffee Aficionado. There are many out there with similar features but you will end up paying 1000 dollars or more.

    Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine 33311133310 | eBay

    Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine 33311133310 | eBay

    Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine V2 w Bottomless Portafilter and 4 Baskets 33311133310 | eBay

    Check these three out. They are version 2 but I would try to get version 3.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    13
    I just watched this video on the Rancilio Silvia on the Seattle Coffee Gear site (I don't have enough posts to do a link). I'm a little confused. If I'm not going to steam milk do I need the PID? Do I need to worry about making the pump run in between shots?

    Thank you,
    Becky

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Michigan, US
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    1,802
    If you are only going to use the machine for yourself and few family member, PID is not really needed. It would be nice to have it but it is not necessary.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    1,575
    Actually the PID would be more useful for brewing as it will help keep boiler temperature stable, which is otherwise done via temperature surfing/timing. I'm a fan of being hands-on with espresso and shun PIDs or anything else to make the process easy, but guess they do have their place for those wanting to remove some of the work/skill from the equation. Running the pump between shots is definitely needed as it flushes the group, which helps to clean and regulate temperature. After steaming on any Single Boiler Double Use machine you want to run the pump to replenish the boiler water as machines such as this have no auto-fill. Running the boiler dry will usually sour your day by burning the heating element out. Common problem with the Silvia.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    1,575
    IMBHO there are better home machines for less $ than the Silvia. The Achilles heel with it is the offset boiler/group, which causes temperature fluctuation that can be difficult to master for many.

 

 
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