Just a great, relatively compact, unit. Very nice, simple to use. Great shots and foam. Excellent value.
Positive Product Points
Straight forward design making it easy to use PID eliminates guess work Steaming achieves good micro foam Decent recovery from shots - less than a minute Simultaneous pulling of shots and steaming Huge drip tray Accessible & visible water reservoir
Negative Product Points
Hot water switch removed from the updated model Water reservoir could be larger
Background: I own and very much enjoy a Pasquini Livia 90 for over 10 years. It's gone through a handful of repairs during that time, nothing unexpected and all within reason. In the past while it was out of my hands I made do with a Starbucks or Krups espresso machine. This time I was looking for a better backup and Chris Coffee Service challenged me, confidently claiming the Silvano would take it's place. So most of the following is really relative to Livia. My grinder is the Amfin Best.
My needs include: Can't be plumbed; not a large profile (goes under counter); pull shots and steam at same time; makes at least 4+ lattes back to back; can do micro foam; the more under $1,000 the better.
Overview: Definitely a contrast in design to the Livia. More chrome and a different profile. After that one of the few items that the LIvia had over the Silvano was the hot water wand and it being semi automatic.
Otherwise the Silvano warmed up in about the same time as the Pasquini (10 minutes). The Silvano's drip tray is very large. The steam wand on the Silvano is an on/off switch as compared to a turn knob that allowed for control of the steam pressure.
Hands on: First shot pulled, made a slight adjustment on grind, and have had perfect shots ever since. The PID makes it so simple to hit the mark time and time again. The learning curve on steaming was slightly longer but still very short. With the Livia it was always a challenge for me to get good mirco foam. I really had to work at it. With the Silvano it's been much easier process to no only get it right but it's better quality as well.
It's interesting to guess at the design decisions QuickMill and Chris Coffee must make. One of the negatives listed is the size of the water reservoir yet if made larger I'd probably iist the increased footprint as an issue. I can still make 6-8 lattes before even considering refilling and the water level is right there to see at a glance.
Instructions - detailed instructions via PDF included.
Chris and rest of staff, top to bottom, at Chris Coffee Sevice were very helpful in answering all the little questions that helped me come to a tough decision. Very responsive to all inquiries. Ahhhhhh ... so many machines yet I could only pic one.
Three Month Followup
Simply love this machine. Experience is great and keeps getting better. Pulling shots and generating micro foam has been like clockwork. Everything about it is fantastic. Can you tell I like it? Had a few questions since the purchase directed to Chris Coffee and they were very quick to respond.