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Rancilio Silvia - Chris Furia's Review
Posted: November 30, 2003, 10:08pm
review rating: 7.0
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
Rancilio Silvia
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More About This Product
Arrow The Rancilio Silvia has 229 Reviews
Arrow The Rancilio Silvia has been rated 8.55 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Rancilio Silvia reviews have been viewed 1,637,128 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Chris Clark 9.13
Ed Lawless 9.00
Joe DP 8.88
Dave Borton 8.67
Eric Larson 8.62

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.2
Manufacturer: Rancilio Quality: 8
Average Price: $629.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $445.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Aabree Coffee Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 6 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: This machine rocks, but if you're looking for an automated machine, stick with the Solis SL90.
Positive Product Points

Build quality is tank like.  Stainless finish is really attractive.  Espresso is literally night and day better than my old machine.

Negative Product Points

Learning curve for the unmotivated will be long.  Not the best machine for a non-tweaker.  There was also a slight chip off the Rancilio emblem upon delivery, but it's nothing a sharpie couldn't fix.

Detailed Commentary

I have been a coffee fiend for years.  I purchased my first machine - a Briel First Class - several years ago.  I was very happy with it, but always felt like the espresso I would get at any of my favorite coffee places was far superior.  In the past 6 months or so, I decided to start my search for a new machine.  I went back and forth between the Solis SL90 and the Rancilio Sylvia.  I read all the reviews and info I could and decided that the Sylvia would best suit my needs.  

Something else should be pointed out:  I used to think that all there was to espresso was grinding up some good beans, throwing it in the filter basket and hitting the start button.  Boy was I wrong (as I found out on these boards and other places).  I read all about the nuances of bean freshness, grind and tamp.  Given the fact that I was about to purchase a Sylvia, it was good timing.

I had also read how important it was to get all the factors right to truly get a good shot.  Once I got the Sylvia home, it took me maybe an hour before I was able to pull a really tasty 20-25 second shot with more crema than I had ever seen from a home machine.  I settled upon a grind about 3 dots short of the finest on my Solis Maestro grinder, 2.2 scoops from the provided measured spoon that came with the Sylvia, an approximately 30lb tamp and a couple of other tricks I learned from one of the guys at JJ Beans here in Vancouver.  It all paid off.  I am consistently getting shots that are so rich with crema that I find myself wanting more even late into the evening (yes, I am a junkie).  

If you're willing to put in the time and practice, this machine will reward you with some of the best coffee this side of your favorite barrista.  I highly recommend it.

Buying Experience

Aabree Coffee was great.  They were easy to deal with.  I can't speak to their shipping as my wife picked up the machine directly from them on here trip from LA to Vancouver.

Three Month Followup

I absolutely still love it!  I'm getting better at temp surfing for the perfect shot as well.  My only complaint is that I had to send it home (it started life with my on location with a job).  I've been jonzing for homemade shots every day it's been gone.  I have to "settle" for JJ Beans in the morning instead :)

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review rating: 7.0
Posted: November 30, 2003, 10:08pm
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
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