I need a new coffee maker
Posted 03 January 2002 - 08:52 PM
Posted 05 January 2002 - 09:51 PM
Posted 05 January 2002 - 10:38 PM
Posted 06 January 2002 - 02:36 PM
Posted 09 January 2002 - 12:49 PM
Posted 09 January 2002 - 07:55 PM
That's pretty bold and nosey. We paid about 踰 for it. Other details include the fact that we returned the first one. My suspcion is that the thermostat was defective. Results were very uneven, which is not to say it's very easy to get even results with a machine in working order, but the temperature variations were considerable and the noise was unbearable. There might have been something wrong with the pump. We've been having that kind of luck. A brand new toaster wouldn't pop up with the cancel button either last week. They just don't make them like they used to do. The toaster has a wide slot that will take whole bagels or a 10" long baguette, so that's an improvement. I suppose that's for the toaster thread.
what did you pay for it, if I may be so bold?
Miss Sylvia is by no means an automatic machine. Slight variations in the amount of coffee, the grind and the tamping pressure will throw you way off course for the perfect cup of espresso. I don't think we've ever produced a crema that rivals a neighborhood bar in Italy, but we usually get a better cup of espresso than in most restaurants. My wife has been making the coffee and it's an involved process of heating the various parts, letting off steam to warm the head and drain the jets as well as tamping the coffee with 30 pounds of pressure. A bathroom scale under the apparatus is helpful until you get the hang of what 30 lbs feels like. The instruction manual is almost uselesss, but there's a great web site with lots of great infromation on how to use this and other machines. I think Klc gave the link in the other thread. If you dont really care about a cup of espresso or have to ask the price, it's probably not for you.
Posted 10 January 2002 - 06:07 AM
It took me a week of constant experimentation and immersion in the wonderful online information provided by Whole Latte Love about the Sylvia and making espresso to start producing something adequate. My machine worked right out of the box and has been in constant use for 7 months. Another site that was extremely helpful was:
And this site, currently in beta, already gets my seal of approval:
Rancilio prices on this model seem to be retaining their value like Apple Powerbooks. I can't disagree with anything Bux has written about the Sylvia--his assessment is spot-on--however, I would wax on a bit more explicitly about how I am absolutely in love with her.
As much of this ground (sorry) has already been covered on that other eGullet coffee thread, I'll add:
The Sylvia is noisy but powerful, beautiful and decidely, blessedly, not automatic. Its greatest value is that she relies heavily on her owner becoming an involved barista--with an experimental almost scientific approach. Selecting beans, grinding beans to a certain precision, tamping are all paramount. You have to buy a good grinder or you've wasted your money and otherwise all of your efforts to embrace the espresso process and obtain consistency are for naught--I use the Rancilio Rocky, but here's an interesting analysis of a new grinder:
In short, you have to be involved. But requiring that involvement is not a weakness of Sylvia; rather, it is her enduring strength and responsible for the sustained viability of this machine among those in the know.
Bux and I have e-mailed back and forth about this for months, but I too am at the point where I can't order espresso out anymore. It is very unlikely that servers in a fast-paced restaurant environment can get it right--and it is usually your server that draws your espresso. Their job is hard enough and it is unrealistic to expect a decent espresso in 97.5% of the restaurants in the US. And you learn little tricks after awhile--like how to boost the percentage of robusta beans in your espresso mix to get the appearance of a little extra crema, just as the Italians do.
Posted 10 January 2002 - 10:01 AM
From the David Rosengarten Report:
He recommends the burr grinder by Capresso for your beans. For what he calls American-style coffee, he touts a Dutch product called the Technivorm Clubline KB741, available from Boyds Coffee Company in Portland, OR (www.boyds.com).
For coffee beans, he likes Peet's 'Major Dickason's Blend', available from www.peets.com or 800-999-2132.
Espresso beans, The Daily Grind in Albany NY, www.dailygrind.com or 888-876-3222.
Complete info in The Rosengarten Report, Volume 1, Number 5.
Posted 10 January 2002 - 10:30 AM
Reminds me of my daughter. She never wanted to know if she was trouble to raise. She just wanted to know she was worth it.
however, I would wax on a bit more explicitly about how I am absolutely in love with her. ... requiring that involvement is not a weakness of Sylvia; rather, it is her enduring strength and responsible for the sustained viability of this machine among those in the know.
So it's the all Arabica that's giving us a problem with the crema? Could Louie, at DiPalo, be right all along in suggesting we purchase the less expensive blend of Danesi over the all arabica gold package?
Posted 10 January 2002 - 12:30 PM
And Bux brings up a worthy point: there is something to be said for buying locally, even if you usually have to pay more up front and pay sales tax--no matter how frustrated you are you can walk in and drop your item on the counter and say "Let's see you make it work!" Way back when, I bought my first IBM PC locally and was so glad I did, though now I'm buying my new iBook online. And Bux, as always, brings up another important consumer issue with any high-end purchase, and surely a semi-commercial espresso machine qualifies--what's their return or replacement policy? But I buy online and mail order alot now, especially as technology and manufacturing has improved across so many sectors, and bought from Whole Latte Love mainly because they had a much better price than the few sources available to me locally, free shipping and I respected the amount of effort they put into their site--effort at content and education that many can benefit from. Plus, they actually do the repair and warranty work on Sylvias, and knew its intricacies and tendencies inside and out.
Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant
Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo
Posted 10 January 2002 - 12:44 PM
He doesn't tell what the difference is between burr and propeller grinders, except to say that they "create oily ground coffee that is not evenly ground."
His website is:
(Edited by Liza at 2:51 pm on Jan. 10, 2002)
Posted 10 January 2002 - 12:47 PM
Island Mom--Kona is the best coffee in the world IMHO. However, I beleive the Kona coffee sold at Costco in NJ is a blend. I didn't have one bad cup of coffee when I was in Hawaii. Unfortunately I seldom have a good cup of coffee in NJ.
Quote: from IslandMom on 12:38 am on Jan. 6, 2002
I have the good old Braun - whatever model they had at Costco for ~ ผ.99. Works fine for me, but then again, I'm in such a rush mornings that I'm probably not that discriminating. I like Starbucks beans that I grind, or Lion's Coffee beans European Blend, and Kona coffee beans that I buy at Sam's Club or Costco. Gulp gulp, and it's time to hit the road.
(Edited by Rosie at 2:49 pm on Jan. 10, 2002)
Posted 10 January 2002 - 05:25 PM
Posted 10 January 2002 - 10:40 PM
Posted 11 January 2002 - 08:32 AM
I am now going to wax rhapsodic about their mac nuts. :cheesy:
They have the Best Macadamia Nuts Ever . They are whole, very large, dry roasted without oil or salt. They are excellent for eating out of hand (I like to dip them in a little kosher salt, or sprinkle some on after toasting them) or to use in cooking. They have a really true flavor since there is no greasy, powdery, salty coating - like some other mac nuts available nationwide in supermarkets. A couple we know recently came back from Hawaii, and they gave us a bag of mac nuts. They may has well have been that unmentionable famous brand. They were mostly halved nuts and had a lot of salt on them. Useless for baking.
If you like mac nuts and you want to try some really excellent ones, call Bay View Farms.
Posted 11 January 2002 - 08:45 AM
As rachel says, they farm their own Mac nuts as well and they are literally the best ones we have ever had. They are more expensive but well worth it.