I am in the makings to buy a Rancilio Silvia as my first pump driven machine. I had a cheapo steam driven Delonghi from Canadian Tire about 4 years ago and the first shot was ok but... Anyways, I want to try something much better and all the reviews of the Silvia speak volumes for me.
Now I have a basic burr grinder (an Oster) which has performed well which I would like to continue using with the Silvia. Is the Silvia tolerant of any grinds, chunky or dusty?
I'm curious because the Silvia is the extreme of my budget, if it is not tolerant then I will go with a Saeco Aroma with a Baratza Maestro together for less money.
Peterr, I was in your shoes not long ago. Did heaps of research and almost everyone I spoke to and everything I read boiled down to grinder. Seriously. A great or even good grinder and an entry level espresso machine is preferable to a good machine (like Silvia) and a poor grinder. Especially with Silvia, which is renowned for being finicky about grind. You could get by with a Baratza Virtuoso with a Silvia, but even then, you will encounter challenges as beans age and you run out of espresso range.
My advice is to go with the paired set you mentioned or just wait. Save your $ and look forward to a Silvia and Rocky combo. In fact, keep your eyes on on Craigslist for one. In December I saw a one year old Silvia/Rocky combo with all accessories for $650. Was used at a small office, so probably did not see much volume (or regular maintenance - but only a year old).
I am going with the Saeco Aroma. I just can't foresee the Silvia and a great grinder being in my budget before the summer
Thanks for the tip about grinders. I've been concentrating on espresso machine reviews and never paid attention to grinders. I checked the Vancouver Craigslist and was blown away by the activity, one of my local Craigslist has a single Saeco Rio Vapore