Question about Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

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Weak coffee I've just bought a silvia, and i followed all the instructions for startup, but i'm getting really weak coffee. What should i check/do?

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The simple fact with any espresso making is that to get good coffee you MUST:

  1. Grind your own freshly ground beans - grind matters alot. With a good grinder (a burr grinder, not a spice mill). This probably makes the most difference.
  2. Pack the coffee properly using a solid heavy tamper (not the flimsy things you get with the machines)
  3. Buy good coffee - shop coffee is old and stale. If you have to buy shop coffee get something like Illy - its much better than the others.
  4. Ensure the machine is hot, and also that the portafilter is hot (leave it in there when not in use). Cold machine == sour coffee
  5. Dose the coffee properly.
  6. Adjust the above until the time taken to pull a shot is approx 23 seconds - you may need to 'sacrifice' some coffee to get to this point.
  7. And in my opinion only use a double basket - single baskets are hard to use, don't pack well are weak, and inconsistent. A double basket uses more coffee but you get a way better result, more often.
Sounds like a lot of work, but the difference is huge. I used to use pre-ground coffee from a shop and it was prety bad. As soon as i took it more seriously and invested in the right gear and the right coffee - well i can make coffee at home that is significantly bettter than anything i get in coffee shops and restaraunts.

Posted on Nov 08, 2008

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You can heat the brew head and cups by running hot water through them before using as well this method is called cheating the Silvia

have a look at this http://youtube.com/watch?v=5mapl0Fw-_M&feature=related

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