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Rancilio Silvia Espresso

by agmilmoe
(San Francisco, CA USA)

$Rancilio Silvia
Espresso Machine

I have had a Rancilo Silvia for about 5 years now. I bought it off of EBay as a refurbished model in order to find one at a lower price. It was in great shape, in the original box, with manuals, warranty, etc.

I have to say it's a tank. The stainless steel body is extremely durable and easy to clean. There are some plastic parts, but it's solid where it counts... all the major components are well made.

The espresso produced is only as good as the coffee and your technique. That said it's pretty hard to screw up. Some people will tell you that the temperature shifts more than they would like, but I've never made an undrinkable cup... and 90% of the time it's quite good.

The inside (I've seen photos) is like an old Chevy... very recognizable parts, and customizable for those DIY hackers out there. This machine hits a sweet spot of being not too expensive, but having the majority of features required to pull shots with the best of them. And as such some have taken to modifying (at your own risk) them to add temperature regulators. I mention this not to discourage novices, but as an indication of the love some owners have for their machines. Few would bother to "pimp" their Mr. Coffee... and overly complex or expensive machines are too much trouble to modify. As a result the also do quite well at holding their value should you decide to move on.

I eventually got a Rancilio Rocky burr grinder to go with it. It took me some experimenting to get the grind to the right optimized for a 25-30 second pour (depends on the beans used.) I'm not really a hard core aficionado.

The bottom line is this is a great machine that will last you a long time. It will make a decent espresso if you kinda know what you are doing, but if you seek to hone your barista skills over time you can produce a top notch espresso. It's kind of like a solid typewriter... it won't write the novel for you, but inspire you to write better and hone your technique knowing that a great novel is possible.

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Apr 20, 2009
I love the cup warmer
by: GrayLadyIce

I so love coffee. Especially the espresso. But I wasn't able to get a good espresso from the coffee stores. They were always so harsh and somewhat bitter. So I decided I would buy an espresso machine. After researching a few espresso makers I finally decided on the Rancilio Silvia espresso machine. It's a little on the pricey side but I soon discovered that it was worth every penny I paid.

While it did take me a little time to master every feature this machine has, I felt it was time well spent. The Silvia is made of solid iron and encased in stainless steel which helps make it easy to clean. And when you turn the power on it has a ready light to let you know when it's ready to perform it's duties. It has three temperature controls which help maintain the correct temperature for your espresso. And if there is a malfunction it will turn itself off. With the 2 quart reservoir, you have plenty of water to use for steaming or coffee. And you can keep refilling it while it's on so you have a never ending supply of water for whatever you may need.

There is, of course, a steam valve on the machine so that way you can froth your milk for your espresso. Which works just great. Takes a bit of skill to use but it really makes the milk beautifully frothy. There is also a hot water dispenser in case you just need water for tea or maybe hot chocolate. One really fabulous thing I found out about this machine is that it is Easy Serve Espresso pod adaptable.

Although you do need to purchase a separate adapter kit if you want to have that included. One the best features though is the cup warmer which holds about six espresso cups. What's also great about that is that it doesn't actually use a warming plate. It uses residual heat from the boiler in order to warm the cups. It was a great buy in my book.

Truly, if you want a really good espresso, you should consider getting this machine. It'll help make your mornings something to actually look forward to.

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