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file New machine suggestions for the new guy

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13 years 9 months ago #2832 by Troll
So I'm in the market for a new machine. Was hoping you guys could offer some assistance. First I'll tell you what I currently have and what I'm looking for. Right now, I'm using a 2in1 DeLonghi (and it sucks rocks). It's time for me to stop drinking battery acid. With that said I realize that every option I'm considering is a huge upgrade.

I'm looking for a machine that will pull consistent espresso shots. Something that doesn't take too long to heat up and get going. Something that will look great on the counter... I like the industrial look just fine.

As for grinders, maybe you guys could tell me the advantages or disadvantages of doser vs. doserless. I realize the difference, but not sure which is better and why.

Here's what I'm considering;

Silvia/Rocky combo. It's an obvious winner but the fact that there's alot of playing involved to find the right temps/ settings is alittle intimidating. Also, heard that a PID is a must. Not very confident in doing this mod myself. Is there anywhere in the Toronto area that would do this for me?

Rancilio Lucy w/ grinder. Is this a step above or below the silvia/rocky combo? I like the fact that everything is built into one unit, but what kind of trouble might that get me into? I suppose upgrading the grinder down the road might make this machine alittle redundant.

Briel DOMUS DUE Stainless - I don't know much bout this machine but she looks awful purty! But it's a thermal block I understand it, and that isn't preferrable, correct?

Gaggia Classic or Gaggia Baby paired with either the Baratza Virtuoso Grinder or Gaggia MDF grinder.

I prefer to buy locally and the Greenbeanery has a good deal on the silvia package. Also found esspressotec and they have some good deals on the Gaggia packages. I went to the 'Gaggia House' here in toronto and their prices were SIGNIFICANTLY higher then other places, and wouldn't price match. The guy was pretty rude about it actually.

One last question for the locals. Where in Mississauga/Toronto can I get fresh roasted beans. The closer to Mississauga the better, but I'm in T.O. every once in a while so it isn't a big deal.

Sorry for the novel, but I just wanna make sure I get this right and don't regret a significant purchase. Thx. for your time!
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13 years 9 months ago #2838 by colin
Replied by colin on topic Re:New machine suggestions for the new guy
The Silvia/Rocky combo is unbeatable - and you most certainly do not need the PID right away. There is so much growing that you can do with this upgrade that you can surf your way to espresso joy for a year or so before the PID might do you some good.

For those just joining us, a PID is a digital controller that keeps the brew temperature in a more stable zone than the traditional t-stats that the Rancilio Silvia (and every other espresso maker under 1200$) comes with.

For those still joining us, the T-Stat is a bi-metal thermostat that turns the boiler elements on and off as required.

The downside - it keeps the brewer temperature somewhere between 175 and 210 degrees!
A PID can lock in on the ideal temperature of 195-205 and keep it there for at least part of the brew cycle.
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13 years 9 months ago #2839 by colin
Replied by colin on topic Re:New machine suggestions for the new guy
For coffee in the downtown Toronto area:

Every Day Gourmet Coffee - at St. Lawrence market or
Balzac's at the Distillery.
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13 years 9 months ago #2844 by Troll
Replied by Troll on topic Re:New machine suggestions for the new guy
Thanks for the help. I'm still torn between the Silvia and the Gaggia.

How do you feel the rocky holds up as a grinder? I was looking at the Mazzer but not quite sure I need to spend that kind of money on a grinder.
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13 years 9 months ago #2845 by colin
Replied by colin on topic Re:New machine suggestions for the new guy
The Silvia has the edge on espresso quality.

The Rancilio Rocky is bullet-proof.

The Mazzer is nice - but overkill.
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13 years 9 months ago #2847 by Troll
Replied by Troll on topic Re:New machine suggestions for the new guy
Ok, I've nearly settled on going with the Silvia/Rocky combo. Now to decide on doser or doserless.

I'll be using the grinder once or twice a day. Which version is 'cleaner' so to speak? Or are both relatively the same in terms of clean up?

Thx again!
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