Well built, good looking machine that will produce a great shot of espresso and creamy, sweet microfoam.
Positive Product Points
Nice looking, stainless, heavy machine. Water reservoir is easily accessible. Big drip tray that is easy to clean. Frothing wand works well and fits our stainless pitchers easily. Very sturdy and well built.
Negative Product Points
I really have no complaints about the machine. Maybe it is because I have owned it for a year and have learned all of the nuances of the machine and we work well together. Remembering back to a year ago when we first got it my only complaint was in trying to make a good microfoam. That turned out to be a user malfunction more than anything else.
I bought this machine as a 50th birthday present for my husband. We have owned two previous "beginner" machines. After a trip to Italy we realized how desperately we needed a new one. I did a lot of research into a machine that was going to be much more expensive than either of our previous machines. I had a budget that I needed to stick to and I had to also purchase a grinder. I decided on the Silvano after reading consumer reviews and after contacting Chris' Coffee. I left a message about my needs with Chris' Coffee and I received a call from Chris. He helped me understand even better the way the machines worked and what type of machine would best fill the needs I had.
When I first took the machine out of the box I was impressed with the sturdiness and quality that was apparent. As mentioned I also needed a grinder and I bought the Vario also from Chris'. I had purchased a pound of cheap beans to practice with and I spent several hours learning the machine and grinder. I had seen in reviews that I had read about the machine that a lot of people had complaints about the Silvano's ability to make a good microfoam. I will admit that at first I could not make it work. I called Chris' and got some hints on how to use the froth wand. I practiced with water and a piece of styrofoam until I had the technique down on the position and depth of the wand to achieve a nice whirlpool. Now with a steel pitcher that I keep in the freezer and cold milk I can make a great microfoam, with any type of milk.
For all of you coffee geeks you want to know what type of shots do I get from this machine. We buy locally roasted fresh beans, they are essential. Once we got the grinder in sync with the machine we were pulling a perfect 26 second shot that would have 1/4 to 1/2 inch of crema. If the beans are good and the grind is right this machine will give you a wonderful shot. My husband is the espresso drinker in our house and he has gotten spoiled by a local coffee shop that rivals, almost, the espresso in Italy. He is very impressed with the shots he gets. If there are ever any complaints it is usually because the grind is off or the beans are not properly roasted or old. If we have the "perfect storm" my husband loves the espresso he gets. Before writing this review his only complaint is that he only has a Silvano at home and not one at work. We would definitely buy this machine again, but I doubt that we will have to be looking for a new one any time soon.
Chris and his staff were all extremely helpful with all of my questions. When I first talked to Chris he spent 30 minutes on the phone with me explaining how the machines worked, listening to what my husband wanted in a machine and made suggestions on other things to look for. I bought the Silvano at a reduced introductory price and was given a good price on the Vario grinder. The machine was shipped promptly, and was well packed. I was kept informed through emails all through the ordering and shipping process. Once the machine arrived I got great customer service whenever I called and all my questions were answered. I never felt that I was being forced into purchasing something I didn't want or need and after I had the machine I was still given all the time I needed. I would buy from Chris' Coffee again and I would highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for an honest vendor who cares about his products. His employees also share his enthusiasm for this business. They were fantastic to work with.