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Rancilio Silvia - Shannon Richardson's Review
Posted: January 7, 2002, 3:59pm
review rating: 7.0
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Rancilio Silvia
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More About This Product
Arrow The Rancilio Silvia has 230 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 1,665,269 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

Previous Review Next Review
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.8
Manufacturer: Rancilio Quality: 10
Average Price: $629.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $395.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Daiy Grind Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 month Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: Aficionado Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Krups Espresso Novo
Bottom Line: Anyone who is serious about making quality espresso, this is it.
Positive Product Points

This is a very well built machine. Solid metal construction throughout and  
very simple to operate. Anyone who is serious about making quality
espresso, Silvia is worth the $400 price tag.

Negative Product Points

So far the only minor complaint I have is no way to see how much water
is in the reservoir tank without lifting the lid.

Detailed Commentary

I had been looking to replace my 10 year old Krups Espresso Novo. It still
worked and could pull a decent shot now and then but the all or nothing
steam control kept me from using the machine on a regular basis. So
much so I had developed a $8.00 a day cappa habit at the local coffee
house. About a month ago I added up how much I was spending each
week and quickly decided it was time purchase a new machine.

So what machine to buy? I had seen a Francis! Francis! X1 in a local
kitchen store a year ago and thought it was pretty cool but too
expensive. I also liked the Starbucks Barista and eventually decided on it
after seeing that it was on sale during the holidays.

Well by chance I came across Coffeekid.com and started reading Mark
Prince's review about Silvia. I had heard of Rancilio before but wasn't real
familar any of their machines. After reading about his experiences with
Silvia and checking out some other sources on the internet, I called The
Daily Grind and ordered one.

When I opened up the package and pulled Silvia out I could not believe I
only paid $395 for this machine. It looks like it should cost more and to
think I was almost ready to pay $350 for a Starbucks Barista ! Good thing
I didn't.

So I plug it in, fill up the reservoir tank and grind up some coffee and try
my first shot. I hit the brew switch and in about 20 seconds I pull a great
shot. Great as in I could hear the pump kick in and build up pressure to
produce a proper shot. Great that it had a good layer of crema and
smelled wonderful. I taste it and Wow! I could pull a shot like this every
once in awhile on my Krups if all was right with the espresso gods.
Pleased as hell I continue to make a few more shots that all turn out just
as well.

Now it was time to make a cappuccino. Like I mentioned before the
Krups had an all or nothing control over the steam and it took anywhere
from 6 - 7 minutes to froth. Sometimes I could get decent micro foam out
of it but most times it was a mix of micro and unstable foam. I read Silvia
had steam like a train and its no joke. You can froth up a pitcher of milk
really quick and get loads of micro foam.

Over the years of using my Krups I knew how important coffee grind and
proper tamping were to getting decent espresso. I also knew coffee
freshness was important as well. When I first bought the Krups I was
living in Dallas and bought coffee from different sources all over town and
didn't have much luck producing any decent espresso. That was until one
day I came across a coffee store that actually roasted their own coffee.
I got the espresso blend and tried it out. Sure enough that made all the
difference. I continued to buy from them until they when out of business
several years later. Around 1994 I got my first taste of Starbucks in D.C.
Since there were no Starbucks where I live, I started to mail order the
beans. The coffee was pretty fresh for the most part and continued to
use it all the time, that is when I actually made coffee because over the
last few years I got lazy and started my bad habit of going to the local
coffeehouse.

The first shot I made with my Silvia was with Starbucks coffee and as
good as it tasted I knew I could have better. So enter home roasting. A
week after I got my Silvia I ordered a Hearthware Precision Coffee
Roaster and started roasting my own coffee. What a difference fresh
coffee makes!

I would recommend Silvia to anyone wanting to make good, quality
espresso. Even if you are inexperienced I would go with this machine-the
payoff of learning how to use it and producing great espresso is worth it.

Buying Experience

Bought my Silvia from The Daily Grind and promptly received it 4 days
later.

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review rating: 7.0
Posted: January 7, 2002, 3:59pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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