A great machine IF YOU INVEST IN A DECENT GRINDER WITH IT
Positive Product Points
Attractive design, well built internals except for 1 cheapo plastic hose that may leak over time, lots of hype around owning a Silvia
Negative Product Points
Several months after buying it used on Ebay, still cannot get crema whatsoever. I've gotten fresh coffee ground specially for it from my local coffee guy who uses a Rancilio commercial model, and still double shots come out in 10 seconds, no crema, generally bitter, sometimes gushing/spewing out of the portafilter. single basket doesnt help either.
EDIT: Since buying a good grinder (Nemox Lux) and playing with some grinds for about an hour, Silvia has rewarded me with some beautiful shots to retore our tenuous relationship. I'm not deleting my original post because I dont think the NECESSITY to grind your own coffee to Silvias satisfaction was made clear enough to me as a buyer (it wasnt a necessity with my SB Barista, or the DeLonghi I had before that, so the "it should have been coomon sense" argument goes out the window. Do NOT buy Silvia without a burr grinder!!!!
This must be the most over-rated peice of junk I have ever bought...I swear you all must own stock in Rancilio to rave about this thing the way you do. The amount of trouble and expense I have gone through trying to chase crema which was so easily and cheaply available in my Starbucks Barista model makes it difficult to praise this boat anchor even though I'd love to just to make it easier to sell when I list it back on ebay. Grind, tamp, coffee, basket size, nothign makes a difference on this thing. Coffee snobs may blame it on the beans/roast ,but I say if it works for the shop (even Starbucks) it better work for me, or somethings wrong with the machine-too tempermental/finnicky/fussy. I have a job and a life, I cant spend every waking hour running around looking for beans, roasting grinding, practicing etc. A reasonable expectation for margin of error must be in a consumer product, otherwise its a bad product. I WISH I could get results half as good out of this shiny boat anchor as what the freak at Starbucks can create.
In defense of it, I will say it reaches higher temps than the Starbucks Barista does, and has much better capacity for serving guests, esp . when foaming milk is involved.
EDIT: Again, these comments are valid if you are NOT home grinding. There should be a huge skull and crossbones sticker on Silvia saying "Do not use without a grinder" .It is futile to depend on store ground coffee of any caliber with Silvia. However with a grinder and a little experimentation, Silvia will produce phenomenal shots that will blow away almost anything from a restaurant/coffee shop. My very affordable Nemox Lux grinder does the trick nicely.
Bought from ebay, everythign was fine although it needed a couple new parts (replacement reservoir and a hose). Contacted 1st-Line, received miserable service along the lines of "If you didnt buy the machine from me , I wont sell you the parts-I'm too busy". Whatever. WIll never deal with them or recommend them. Expressotec and Whole Latte Love have come through and I have nothing but praise for them.