This blog started as an answer to the question asked in a blog here on ROASTe. In short, the blogger asks if someone is ever satisfied with their espresso gear – is enough ever enough? Is enough ever enough? It depends on what you consider enough I suppose.  He has what many would consider enough with a Gaggia Classic espresso machine and a practically step less conical burr Baratza Preciso coffee grinder . He could stop right there and be happy like many people do - if what you make tastes good to you then what else matters?

I took the same set up as his and got very close to the shots I get with my machine and the same grinder.  I think the smaller boiler in the Gaggia affects minimally the flavor over the extraction of a double shot (a less nuanced shot - we can be honest, right?) - if the barista is pulling single shots, then all bets are off - the best Barista will win every time.

PID a Gaggia, adjust the OPV pressure and watch good things happen paired with a decent (matters more than the machine IMHO) espresso grinder - I include the Preciso in this "decent" category - durability is my only concern with this grinder - not shot quality.

I picked my Silvano because I knew it would give the me the practical features of a home machine but with the adjustable parameters found on the only other machine I would consider for my kitchen - the dual boiler Vivaldi...

HX is great but I like the fact I have emptied my drip tray exactly twice since I purchased my machine this past fall - and it is close to empty right now - this would be a session worth of dumping for a consumer non-plumbed HX.

 

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Comments

Submitted by jbviau on
Adjust the OPV? Sure, why not? After I build a gauge to test it first, that is. PID it? Nah...think I'd rather buy a machine with that capability stock like you did.

The Silvano seems to be a very good machine that is designed for the serious home user, and I like that. It's not a semi-commerical machine that is probably not doing a good job for the home user or the commercial one. I guess there is that always question of if I can find something more.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>Your machine might be dialed in perfectly as is - some are not though. Pressure regulation does make a difference from what i can tell in side by side comparisons with a Gaggia Classic.

I think that up to a point I would consider my setup enough for enjoying good espresso. For me, I think I have reach that point.

Submitted by yeahyeah on
I also appreciate the Silvano for what it is. It ranks prety high on my list of potential future machines.

Submitted by GmanJenks on
I am sitting back and watching you and Josh escalate your espresso habit. I am hoping to pick a jump in point that avoids so many upgrade steps. I look forward to the point where you feel you may have "jumped the shark. Thanks, G

I am totally with you. I am using the Preciso and am very impressed. I have no problem recommending it over Pharos based on the trade-off, if only it can give me more confidence in its build quality. Also, I am always disappointed by how much actual improvement in taste that I would get in the supposedly "upgrade". I've always read day and night difference, but meh, it's not like that for me. ;( There is definitely some improvement in the next level upgrade, but most often it's not worth it in my opinion. Convenience, durability, aesthetic are more of the factors to consider for upgrading rather than the taste, provided the machines/grinders are decent enough. The improvement of taste is there, but I wouldn't spend that extra 1-2k just for that very subtle hardly noticeable improvement. Maybe I am not hardcore enough than I thought I was. I would rather spend those money on great coffees and try different things.

Submitted by wakeknot on
I feel confident that a world class barista with a machine that is not quite as good as a Silvano will produce shots better than I can on the best machine in the world, but my guess is that an average barista with world class equipment can outperform even the best barista if we give him bad equipment. The Silvano is not only not bad, my impression is that it is very, very good (but i have not tried it). Also I agree that the grinder trumps the machine every time.

Submitted by donnedonne on
the desire for MORE is only human. to lack desire is to lack life so we all need to quest--questing in espresso land is fairly innocuous, which is part of the problem...

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>skill level of the user is the key unless the machine is a super auto - I remember some very nice shots on some very mediocre equipment once i figured out how to overcome the limitations.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I see you went with a Dobomar junior - how do you like having that machine so far? I like the way it looks a lot and the size is nice as well.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>you have one of the nicest home set ups I have seen blogged about - for you to be happy with your gear is not surprising - nice equipment!

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I am still liking mine a lot but it does go against conventional wisdom since it isn't well known, well established, and is unorthodox in design

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I would only go different from here - not better. Maybe a lever machine is in my future but I am not sure yet even about that since I only make 2 or 3 shots a day on average.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I hope if you end up buying one that you like yours as much as I like mine - this thing has looks that grow on me - liked it at first but like it even more after almost a year.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I like the espresso I taste from machines costing more than my machine costs - the ones I have used are very capable but they have been commercial in design - I do not have the funds or the room for one of those.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>good equipment makes pulling a shot easier than on cheaper equipment - HB recommends Gaggia baby (like classic) and shows photos of CCC's Lemuel rocking one at a get together - he must have made it sing!

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I am guilty of wanting more too often but it is more out of pure curiosity than lust for better gear - I see something new and if I can try it I am happy just to know - I don't have to own it to enjoy it this way.

What is Plenty?

| by

This blog started as an answer to the question asked in a blog here on ROASTe. In short, the blogger asks if someone is ever satisfied with their espresso gear – is enough ever enough? Is enough ever enough? It depends on what you consider enough I suppose.  He has what many would consider enough with a Gaggia Classic espresso machine and a practically step less conical burr Baratza Preciso coffee grinder . He could stop right there and be happy like many people do - if what you make tastes good to you then what else matters?

I took the same set up as his and got very close to the shots I get with my machine and the same grinder.  I think the smaller boiler in the Gaggia affects minimally the flavor over the extraction of a double shot (a less nuanced shot - we can be honest, right?) - if the barista is pulling single shots, then all bets are off - the best Barista will win every time.

PID a Gaggia, adjust the OPV pressure and watch good things happen paired with a decent (matters more than the machine IMHO) espresso grinder - I include the Preciso in this "decent" category - durability is my only concern with this grinder - not shot quality.

I picked my Silvano because I knew it would give the me the practical features of a home machine but with the adjustable parameters found on the only other machine I would consider for my kitchen - the dual boiler Vivaldi...

HX is great but I like the fact I have emptied my drip tray exactly twice since I purchased my machine this past fall - and it is close to empty right now - this would be a session worth of dumping for a consumer non-plumbed HX.

 

Category: BLOG

@broseph

April 19, 2012 | by EricBNC


I am guilty of wanting more too often but it is more out of pure curiosity than lust for better gear - I see something new and if I can try it I am happy just to know - I don't have to own it to enjoy it this way.

@wakenot

April 19, 2012 | by EricBNC


good equipment makes pulling a shot easier than on cheaper equipment - HB recommends Gaggia baby (like classic) and shows photos of CCC's Lemuel rocking one at a get together - he must have made it sing!

@sam

April 19, 2012 | by EricBNC


I like the espresso I taste from machines costing more than my machine costs - the ones I have used are very capable but they have been commercial in design - I do not have the funds or the room for one of those.

@hoonchul

April 19, 2012 | by EricBNC


I hope if you end up buying one that you like yours as much as I like mine - this thing has looks that grow on me - liked it at first but like it even more after almost a year.

@GmanJenks

April 19, 2012 | by EricBNC


I would only go different from here - not better. Maybe a lever machine is in my future but I am not sure yet even about that since I only make 2 or 3 shots a day on average.

@yeahyeah

April 19, 2012 | by EricBNC


I am still liking mine a lot but it does go against conventional wisdom since it isn't well known, well established, and is unorthodox in design

@son ton

April 19, 2012 | by EricBNC


you have one of the nicest home set ups I have seen blogged about - for you to be happy with your gear is not surprising - nice equipment!

@intrepid

April 19, 2012 | by EricBNC


I see you went with a Dobomar junior - how do you like having that machine so far? I like the way it looks a lot and the size is nice as well.

@karde

April 19, 2012 | by EricBNC


skill level of the user is the key unless the machine is a super auto - I remember some very nice shots on some very mediocre equipment once i figured out how to overcome the limitations.

the desire for MORE is only

April 10, 2012 | by donnedonne

the desire for MORE is only human. to lack desire is to lack life so we all need to quest--questing in espresso land is fairly innocuous, which is part of the problem...

interesting topic

January 24, 2012 | by wakeknot

I feel confident that a world class barista with a machine that is not quite as good as a Silvano will produce shots better than I can on the best machine in the world, but my guess is that an average barista with world class equipment can outperform even the best barista if we give him bad equipment. The Silvano is not only not bad, my impression is that it is very, very good (but i have not tried it). Also I agree that the grinder trumps the machine every time.

Agree

January 9, 2012 | by samuellaw178

I am totally with you. I am using the Preciso and am very impressed. I have no problem recommending it over Pharos based on the trade-off, if only it can give me more confidence in its build quality. Also, I am always disappointed by how much actual improvement in taste that I would get in the supposedly "upgrade". I've always read day and night difference, but meh, it's not like that for me. ;( There is definitely some improvement in the next level upgrade, but most often it's not worth it in my opinion. Convenience, durability, aesthetic are more of the factors to consider for upgrading rather than the taste, provided the machines/grinders are decent enough. The improvement of taste is there, but I wouldn't spend that extra 1-2k just for that very subtle hardly noticeable improvement. Maybe I am not hardcore enough than I thought I was. I would rather spend those money on great coffees and try different things.

Silvano from what I read is

January 9, 2012 | by hoonchul@hotmail.com

Silvano from what I read is great machine and is on the top of my list for my next upgrade.

I am sitting back and

January 9, 2012 | by GmanJenks

I am sitting back and watching you and Josh escalate your espresso habit. I am hoping to pick a jump in point that avoids so many upgrade steps. I look forward to the point where you feel you may have "jumped the shark. Thanks, G

Plenty

January 9, 2012 | by yeahyeah

I also appreciate the Silvano for what it is. It ranks prety high on my list of potential future machines.

up to a point only!

January 9, 2012 | by sontondaman

I think that up to a point I would consider my setup enough for enjoying good espresso. For me, I think I have reach that point.

@jbviau

January 9, 2012 | by EricBNC


Your machine might be dialed in perfectly as is - some are not though. Pressure regulation does make a difference from what i can tell in side by side comparisons with a Gaggia Classic.

The Silvano seems to be a

January 9, 2012 | by intrepid510

The Silvano seems to be a very good machine that is designed for the serious home user, and I like that. It's not a semi-commerical machine that is probably not doing a good job for the home user or the commercial one. I guess there is that always question of if I can find something more.

I'm thinking after reading

January 9, 2012 | by Karrde

I'm thinking after reading this and several other articles dealing with gear you're right. A certain amount of "gear" levels can be overcome with higher degrees of skill.

My Classic

January 9, 2012 | by jbviau

Adjust the OPV? Sure, why not? After I build a gauge to test it first, that is. PID it? Nah...think I'd rather buy a machine with that capability stock like you did.

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