Rancillio and Breville Machines

wanda

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Nov 8, 2005
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First off, we love espresso and cappuccino and make both every day. We're definitely not purists like most of you, but do want a good brew. I've done a little reading, but still am not sure where I'm going. It seems new options keep coming up and I welcome any advice anyone may have.

Cutting to the chase, we were given a Krups pot as a gift and it just died after at least two years use. I want a better pot. I have narrowed it down to three contenders -Silvia Rancilio, Breville Die Cast 800ESXL or Breville Cafe Roma ESP8XL.

No question the Silvia is a wonderful pot. I just wonder if I need that much of a pot. I also worry about repairs and the difficulty of getting the machine to wherever it has to go.

I think it was consumer search who said second best was the Breville Cafe Roma ESP8XL. They did say it was a less durable machine. Any ideas as to how much less durable? And, when we're talking durability are we talking years and years?

None of the comparisons I've been able to find even mention the Breville Die Cast 800ESXL. Anyone know if it's a good machine?

I know quite a few of you have Silvia's. Anyone have experience with the Brevilles, or Silvia vs. Breville?
 
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wanda

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Just bumping this..anyone have info to share?
 

marinjim

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Dec 11, 2005
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Hope this isn't too late for you but I've just gone through the same exercise and have decided on the Rancilio, as the 800ESXL is so close to the Rancilio price. This is especially true if you get the Rocky doserless grinder at Whole Latte Love in the essentials package for $780. If you subtract the $100 in extras you're getting the Silvia and Rocky for $680, which is a killer price not to mention no shipping nor tax. Another consideration is the Starbucks Barista on sale now for $399 but again you are close in price to the Rancilio.

I hope this helps you or someone else in the same coffee pot.
 
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wanda

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marinjim, I just saw your response. I bought the Breville that is one step down from the one you're talking about. I definitely would have gone Silvia were I buying in that price range. I ended up with a Cafe Roma for $230 and am quite pleased - so much better than stovetop or any of the cheaper machines! I'm sure the next step will be the Slivia.
 

mrgnomer

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Jan 22, 2006
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Hi all,

I don't have any experience with Breville machines but I've owned a Silvia now for about 3 months.

The Silvia indeed is one solid machine. She's a straight forward semi automatic and seems to only pull her best shots for operators that understand how she works and understand what is required to make a good espresso.

It took me close to a month to get a decent espresso out of her and that was after doing a lot of research and reading about the machine and the process of making espresso. A good grinder is a must as well as freshly beans. I've got the Rocky/Silvia combo but to tell you the truth, now I probably would have gone with a Mazzer Mini instead of a Rocky. Still, the Rocky is a great grinder for the Silvia.

Still my consistency with the Silvia is hit and miss depending on the blend I'm using. I don't blame the machine at all, it's my technique. As far as the Silvia goes it's up to the operator to tune in all the variables required to make a good espresso. However, when the variables are tuned in just right the Silvia is capable of pulling incredible shots.
 
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wanda

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A friend recently called asking for advice on espresso machines, and prompted my memory of this board. The information I found here was very helpful and I thought it might help someone else if I updated about my Breville, Cafe Roma, two years later.

We still love the machine and it seems to be holding up well with two years of daily use. (I pull at least four shots daily and foam milk.) No repairs have been required at all. The only maintenance has been running the parts through the dishwasher at least weekly, top shelf, no heated drying, and a thorough cleaning of the inside of the metal frother tube when it starts clogging maybe every 6 months or so.

We are extremely pleased with the quality of what we make with the Cafe Roma. In our opinion, it is far superior to many of the establishments we've purchased coffee at. No question, I'd buy this machine all over again. I can only fault it for two minor things - (1) It would be wonderful if a regular mug could be used under the basket to be brewed into directly. We never drink just one shot and use mugs. (2) I wish the frother was movable so you could swing it out and positioned up a little higher so a larger container could be used. At the height it is, I find I can only froth using a container sufficient for one person.
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
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So you haven't had any issues with the pressurized baskets becoming clogged? If they're what I'm thinking of, the basket is made up of two parts, an upper screen with lots of holes and a lower one with 1 hole. I know the Breville machines are well built for the price, but having pressurized baskets and a thermoblock heating system really holds back any real potential it would have otherwise. It's good that you're happy with it, but I don't see how you can really put it in the same class as a Silvia..... Just a thought. Later!
 
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wanda

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As long as I regularly clean the basket in the dishwasher, I have absolutely no problem with it clogging. Washing by hand doesn't clean thoroughly enough for more than about a week - well, I guess you could swish forever if you felt like standing there for a while.

In no way have I put the Silvia in the same class as a Breville. The Silvia happened to be the other machine I was considering. The fact that the Silvia is so picky when it comes to grind was a major part of my decision. My Breville is not a Silvia, but it makes darn good espresso; and this is coming from a girl who lived more than 15 years in Latin America. I will admit that the next machine could well be the Silvia - we'll see!
 

shadow745

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Putting the Silvia in the same sentence with the others is what I meant. But I do see your point as to why you went with the Breville. Sometimes moving to a higher end product only leads to more frustration and disappointment. I considered the Silvia myself, but knew it was too finicky for me to deal with and bought a KA Pro Line dual boiler machine. I'm totally stoked with the look and performance of it. I had even considered a Breville 800 XPL (or whatever it is) a few years ago, but didn't like the pressurized baskets. The rest of the machine looked very solid though. Later!
 
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wanda

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shadow745 said:
I considered the Silvia myself, but knew it was too finicky for me to deal with and bought a KA Pro Line dual boiler machine. I'm totally stoked with the look and performance of it

Intriguing. Tell me about it. Is "KA" the name of the company it's made by?
 

shadow745

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CCafe said:
Kitchen Aid, overpriced chunk of cast iron.


Dude get your facts straight before you spout off like you do....... The Pro Line is solid die cast aluminum and has no iron in it at all.

Wanda, the Kitchen Aid Pro Line espresso machine is a direct result of KA teaming up with Gaggia to produce an affordable dual boiler home espresso machine. Most dual boiler machines are really expensive for home use and that causes most people to go with HX (heat exchanger) machines instead. So, what KA did was combine their styling and high end materials with Gaggia components that have proven their worth over many years. It has dual boilers (3.5 oz. each) so there's one boiler dedicated to espresso extraction and the other is dedicated to steaming. That allows brewing and steaming to be performed at any time without having to wait for the temp. to be right, which is the case of single boiler machines. It also has two 3-way solenoids, an adjustable OPV, a nice sized water tank and drip tray. The list of nice features goes on and on.

Some think it's overpriced, which is between $700-900 new. I bought mine at half price from Amazon because it was a refurb. It did develop a small leak around the pump output shaft and because KA didn't have anymore refurbs in stock they sent me a brand new machine at no charge. Now how's that for service. Later!
 
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wanda

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shadow, that is a pretty machine. So, you're pleased with the quality overall? It looks like you can fit a regular mug under the basket. Can you? I'm assuming you get a filter for brewing double shots?

I'm bookmarking it for my list when I need a new one.
 

shadow745

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Yeah I'm one of those that appreciates the KA retro look. I think they did a great job on the machine and matching grinder.

Overall quality of the machine is great IMO. Nice materials and components built to last a long time. It's a true semi-automatic in the fact that it's all manual (hands on) and there's no electronic components to go bad. Any part on this machine can be replaced.

The quality of the shots is outstanding as well. If I can change the proper setting to allow me to send you extraction pics I'll send a few to you via e-mail.

Yes a standard 10-12 oz. mug will fit under the spouts. You get 2 filters with this machine. A single that will work with pods and up to 7-8 grams, but I could care less. I only use the included double basket which will hold up to 20 grams. Anymore info needed on it? Later!
 
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