Correct the leaking portafilter and you have a winner.
Positive Product Points
Built like a tank. Great steaming ability. Easy to use for first time espresso users. POD adapter kit was easy to install.
Negative Product Points
Water drips from top of portafilter into shot glass. Shots run inherently fast mainly because of inconsistant pod grind.
I've had my new Siliva/POD adapter for about a week and hope the following information will assist anyone anticipating purchasing this unit. FIrst, I must state that 90-95% of what I drink is cappuccino and or latte. I am not looking for the "perfect shot". The Silivia is built like a tank, no surprise to anyone who visits coffegeek.com. The POD adapter kit includes a pod-adapter disk, pod filter basket, Phillips-head screw, and disk spacer rings. The disk spacer rings (2) are used only if you experience a "fast shot". This kit was extremley easy to install and took about 10 mins.
The first time I used the Silvia was with Lavazza espresso pods and no "disk spacer rings". Two things were very evident at first. The first was a 2.5 - 3 oz. shot in 20 seconds. The second was water flowing out over the portafilter(where the portafilter meets the grouphead) and into the shot glass. To address the "fast shot" issue I installed both "disk spacer rings". This slowed down the shot somewhat, but not considerably. I noticed that depending on the pod I was using, the time of espresso dispersment would differ. This must be because of the inconsistancy of the pod ground. I now can get anywhere fron 1.5 - 2 oz's in about 15 - 20 secs. depending on the pod. This works fine for me.
The water flowing out over the portafilter still frustrates me. You really have to give the portafilter a good turn. This is a two-step process, first one tight pull and then another locking it in place. Having done this, 3 out of 4 shots still deliver water out over the oortafilter. This, I believe is a design issue with the POD adapter kit, something I hope Rancilio will address down the road. Fellow coffeegeek member Timothy Steele (who was very helpfull) suggested using a napkin to soak up the water as it drips down the portafilter. This works fine.
I will continue to experiment with different pods and setup techiniques and will be happy to report back later.
Whole latte love did their best to help to troubleshoot this problem however, in their defense, the Silvia/POD unit is still very new to them and they have not had the oppurtunity to address these issues. A rep at Whole latte love asked that I try back next week after they had some time to sort things out. The people at Rancilio (Connie was great) had the same problem as mentioned above. They were planning on having their tech. staff set up a Silvia/POD unit next week and assess the situation. Surprisingly, both Rancilio and Whole Latte Love mentioned these issues have been reported by other Silvia/POD consumers also.
Three Month Followup
Whole latte love replaced my POD adapter kit with a new one and since then the "leaking portafilter" has gone away. I don't know if Rancilio made some minor modifications however, it works just fine. Thanks to the folks at Whole Latte Love for great customer service.