A very capable HX machine that has good looks and great functionality.
Positive Product Points
- consistent shot quality - extremely good steam power - fast temp recovery - fast warmuip - able to use timer for morning warmups - easy reservoir refilling
Negative Product Points
- not all stainless construction - steam wand is not fully articulated (rotation only) - no pressure gauge - HX machine has usual descaling difficulties
I am writing this to help other Rancilio Silvia owners like myself who were on the fence about upgrading to an HX machine. I was contemplative about selling my Silvia. I was just starting to improve my shots on that machine and I was wondering if it was really worth it to upgrade. I thought about going the PID path but when a used Bezzera opportunity came up, I took the plunge. My conclusion after only a few days of use is that I'd never go back to the single boiler Silvia again. The speed at which I can make a shot, steam milk and do it again was incredible. I loved that I could pull a shot and be ready to steam seconds after the shot is done. The steam power is much more than the Silvia could ever produce. Even on a good day, the Silvia would take me about 1 min to steam my milk for one drink. The BZ02 does it in about 20 secs give or take. It will take some practice to get the milk stretched before it hits over 100 degrees and I have to just spin it. Compared to the Silvia the steam is also very dry. Even the first purging of the wand only yields maybe a teaspoon of water whereas on the Silvia I would get about two or three tablespoons and even then the steam that followed seemed more wet or have occasional spurts of water.
Shot quality was on my very first shot was as good as one of the better ones on my Silvia. People have complained about OPV being set too high and such but so far I'm relatively happy. I typically pour triple ristrettos from my bottomless and just looking at the pouring it looks much more syrupy than my equivalent Rancilio naked with triple.
I know some have complained about the styling of the casing but I actually quite like it. There's enough glossy polished chrome to keep it looking expensive but the plastic is easy to maintain and it doesn't get hot at all. So touching the side of the machine doesn't result in any burns, helpful as I have two children in the house.
One upgrade that I did do is replace the older water dispersion screen to an aftermarket screen that is a bit lower profile, maybe by one millimeter to help with the coffee puck headroom. A 20 gram puck is just barely getting the screw and screen impression. I imagine if I had the stock screen it would touch for sure.
I am guessing that as I hone in perfecting the nuances of this machine I might want to get the OPV adjusted at some point but overall I am extremely happy about switching to an HX machine. I always though that the Silvia was good enough but, in fact, it was not. If you have the budget, I would definitely recommend upgrading to something like this.
Three Month Followup
see my 1 Yr. followup.
One Year Followup
No real issues after 1 year. I find it a little noisier than when I first got it but it seems to get quieter after backflushing which I do biweekly. My only wish is that it was plumbed instead of supplied by a reservoir. But thankfully the reservoir is big enough that I get through six to eight 2 oz plus shots before I have to refill it, less if I need to steam milk. Steam power is great and I often brew and steam simultaneously. My milk seems to take anywhere from 15-20 secs so i finish right around when the shot ends. Overall design is good though the pressure release valve empties quite violently into the drip tray corner and sometimes if the tray is a bit full, such as when I'm backflushing, it can splash and overflow causing water to leak over the tray, past the chassis underneath and onto the counter. Generally it's fine though. Overall I'm still very happy with it and don't feel a need for upgrading to something larger. Even when company is over, I can pump out shots and milk with much more alacrity than my Silvia which is good for maybe two or three shots. The temp seems to be much more stable and results are consistent.