Baby Gaggia Twin...Replace with Rancilio Silvia?

Shimmy

New member
Dec 29, 2007
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Gold Coast, Australia
Hi,

So I bought a Baby Gaggia Twin about a month ago......

however, I've been having some problems with it..Mainly with the steaming. I know that the Gaggia steam is not very good in the first place....but mine has gotten worse...Last night i couldnt even bring my milk up to temperature let alone do a decent job of frothing it.... It was just blowing out warm clear air.

So after much hassle, Gaggia have agreed to swap the machine over for a new one. But after my experience with it, I'm thinking I want a more serious machine....I guess my next option I was looking at is the Rancilio Silvia.

I just wanted to get some opinions on user friendliness etc of the Silvia...And also, it looks great to me now, but is it really going to be better than the gaggia? (I say this because the Gaggia definaltey turned out to be different than what i thought before i bought it.)

I am very serious about my coffee making....So the brass and copper insides of the silvia are very appealing...and from what i've read, it seems to be more of a 'real' machine...

P.S The other thing I'm suddenly not so keen on is the thermoblock Gaggia have added to the Baby Twin....How big a deal is it having a twin boiler? What is the 'wait' time between brewing and steaming with the silvia?

Thanks in advance,
Shimmy
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,588
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Central North Carolina
To be honest I don't know why Gaggia would add a thermoblock for steaming. A second boiler dedicated to steaming would be much better. I own a KA Pro Line, which is basically a Gaggia Classic with dual boilers and dual components and it works great. I know lots of complaints are made regarding the little Gaggia boilers, but IMO a 3.5 oz. boiler is way better than any thermoblock. Sunbeam has mastered the use of 2 thermoblocks in their latest machines, but not many companies bother with them.

How well did your Baby Twin work regarding pulling shots? With the proper grind and fresh beans I get great shots from pretty much any beans I've used thusfar. I also find my machine to have a very low temp. deadband. This is the temp. fluctuation from the time the heating element(s) kick on/off. It can easily hit 203 degrees or a bit more on the high side and pulls nice shots. Even at the lowest temp. when the element(s) kicks on it's running around 193-195, so little boilers aren't so bad because they recover mush faster.

I don't know much about a Silvia but have read that once you pull a shot and switch to steaming, you might have to wait 1 minute or so for the temp. to get up to speed.

Personally I love having dual boilers because each is dedicated to brewing/steaming and the temps. are always right and there's no waiting to do either and no temp. surfing to worry about.

What type of grinder do you have? Later!
 
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Shimmy

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Dec 29, 2007
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Gold Coast, Australia
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Hi Shadow,

Thanks for the reply...

So I ended up actually getting a refund for my gaggia....

It did pull shots very very well. I got unbelievable crema. But the milk frothing was just bad. inconsistant, took forever and you could really only froth milk for one drink at a time.

There is so much good to be said about the silvias all over the net but i am still terrified that I'll be dissapointed. Before I bought the Gaggia, I thought it would be an amazing machine but i was definaltely dissapointed.

I really do like the 'real' solid simplicity of the silvia. and the brass and copper insides seem to be a far bettter choice than aluminium.

So the Gaggia baby twin has 103ml boilers? 3.5 ounce?....When you say it recovers quicker. would that be for switching between pulling a shot and frothing milk?......

I dont mind waiting a minute for the steam to be ready becuase i like to clean the puck out and clean the portafilter while I wait.

Ahhh I'm so confused. The thing is, I am very passionate about making a perfect coffee.....I could not produce any decent microfoam with the gaggia so I'm hoping the Silvia will.

I also have considered the Sunbeam EM9160 But I jst dont feel right about having a machine with thermoblocks.....plus they have alot of extras i dont want...andd.....they make toasters :roll:

Thanks alot
Shimmy
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,588
2
Central North Carolina
Well I personally think the Gaggia Classic and Silvia are tit for tat, neither one being any better than the other. They both pretty much achieve the same thing, just in a slightly different manner.

Yes the Gaggia boilers are only 3.5 oz. and that allows very little deadband, meaning there isn't much temp. drop from the time the boiler kicks off and back on. A Silvia has a 12 oz. boiler and the temp. fluctuation will be quite a bit higher. For example, you run a ablank shot through to get everything hot. You grind, dose, tamp, etc and run the shot. In the time it takes you to prepare for another shot the boiler is back up to temp. again. With machines that have bigger boilers this can take longer. The Gaggias use a rather large heating element (I think around 1425 watts) and they are external so they won't short out like internally mounted elements. That's a common complaint with the Silvia. Some retard leaves the machine on too long or starts it up with the steam switch on and it pops the element. On the Gaggias this really can't happen, as they utilize a thermofuse that will pop in a case such as this and spares the element. A thermofuse...... maybe $10-15. A new element for Silvia......... depending on the boiler design they can be pretty pricey.

I'm not here to dog the Silvia. I was in the same boat awhile back and bought the KA Pro Line and I'm totally satisfied. Another thing that is nice with the Gaggias is that they use a 55 watt pump. The Silvia comes with a 41 watt. I don't know if it makes any "real world" difference, but size usually matters. LOL......

I have also read on the forums over the last year or so that Rancilio's quality control had slipped a bit, but can't vouch for this myself.

Anyway, another thing I'd like to suggest is that you check this site out. It's www.coffeeco.com.au/

The guy on there has some great info on the Silvia, the Sunbeam you speak of (I think it's the 6900 and 6910) and valuable info/tips on cleaning, maintenance, etc. Look in the "ARTICLES" and "NEWSLETTER" sections to find lots and lots of stuff. Good luck.... Oh yeah, the guy on that site does a head/head test of the Sunbeam machine and the Silvia.


BTW, what grinder do you own, if any? Later!
 
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Shimmy

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Dec 29, 2007
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Gold Coast, Australia
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Hmmm.....now I'm starting to thin that mabye i should jst get the Sunbeam.....it seemd to hold up reasonably well to the silvia....

The biggest selling point for the Silvia for me is how simple and solidly built it is.

But at the same time, it does seem to be quite finicky.....all this temp surfing etc......(at 6am before work, i just want to make a nice coffee with a certain amount of ease).....

I also mainly drink milk based coffee so mabye the sunbeam is for me?

It does appear to be more user friendly

The grinder I have is the Sunbeam EM-0480.....

Cheers
Shimmy
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,588
2
Central North Carolina
So I assume you visited that site...... I really have learned quite a bit from that guy and like the testing he does.

Yeah the Sunbeam looks like a nice machine and from what I have read they have really made lots of people think twice about thermoblock machines. I've read on some site (coffeesnobs I think) that the 6910 (and maybe the 6900) can be adjusted electronically to control brew temp. and possibly other parameters. I personally like some of its features like the brew pressure gauge and I think it has a water filter right in the tank. Visit that site as there are lots of Sunbeam users there. I actually looked into getting a 6910, but couldn't find anything on ebay at that time. I do live in the US, so maybe that makes a difference.

The 480 grinder looks like it does a nice job. Nice conical burrs and a nice delivery system. Let us know what you end up buying. Later!
 
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Shimmy

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Dec 29, 2007
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Gold Coast, Australia
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Hey, believe it or not I ended up buying the 6910!!

I just read too many good thigns about it..

and at 6am i just cant imagine being able to get the rancilio producing good stuff...!

The sunbeam is so fast.....and since i drink mainly milk based drinks i think the shot quality is great....

The steam is very impressive as well....compared to the gaggia.....


The sunbeam grinder works really well....very happy with..

Thanks for your input..

Shimmy
 

ArabBeaker

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Sep 19, 2008
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New Zealand
hey Shimmy, this post is now getting pretty old and I don't know whether you will still have your reply note in place:
How do you like your 6910 now that you have had it for a while ?

About 3 months ago if you'd said I would be buying a Sunbeam espresso I would have called you a liar.
But after checking out the machine and its quality group etc I thought it a winner and so bought the 6910 home from Harvey N. Just hope it is still going in 12 years time like my old Ariete was.
I also bought the Sunbeam burr grinder and I am VERY happy with my coffee. Especially now that I am home roasting.

Let me know what you think of your machine.
Arab.
 

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