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Rancilio Silvia - Curt Yamamoto's Review
Posted: June 13, 2006, 3:50pm
review rating: 7.3
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Rancilio Silvia
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More About This Product
Arrow The Rancilio Silvia has 231 Reviews
Arrow The Rancilio Silvia has been rated 8.54 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 1,716,931 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: 9.4
Manufacturer: Rancilio Quality: 9
Average Price: $629.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $399.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Whole Latte Love Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 2 years Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: gaggia classic
Bottom Line: This machine will not be the limiting factor in have great home espresso
Positive Product Points

superior results,
well made,
utilitarian classic design,
performance and value

Negative Product Points

warm up time,
wait time for steam,
lack of water level indicator

Detailed Commentary

After months of reading review and quizzing friends, I decided, for me, Silvia was the machine to buy.  It offered the basic features I needed and most importantly it appeared to offer a level of performance above anything else in its price class.

Someone in my family owns a gaggia classic which I also liked but for me the Silvia delivered better shots.  

It took me a while to discover that the machine needs to be on much longer from the time the indicator lights tell you it's ready.  You also need to experiment with your grind and tamping.  I was amazed how different coffee beans change my shot times.  I bought a stainless steel housed small digital timer which can stick to the side of Silvia, It looks fine on the machine and is a help when first learning the intricacies. However once you have everything dialed in, you will have consistantly GREAT shots.  Now after reading some of the reviews from the PID installations, I'm somewhat considering that modification.  There's some good information and links from some PID sellers in Ebay.  

I always pull doubles and use the Marzocco 2 cup filter basket.  I bought a solid metal tamper which works far better than the OEM plastic one.  Bed Bath and Beyond has some cool glass and wire handle Espresso cups, the top of the wire handle where it curves toward the glass cup is exactly 2 shots.  I use this all time instead of 2 shot glasses.  

Steaming milk is easy with some practice, the machine will not be the reason you don't have good results.  

For a quick cleaning, I pull a shot with the portafilter basket off and a small pitcher under the head, while the machine has been in the steam mode. Make sure that you hold the pitcher so that your hand is away from the steam.  This however is not a substitute for a real cleaning.  Take the time to run through a cleaning solution and take apart your group head, I also purchased a backflush stopper and was surprised to see the gunk that came out.  

I bought the Rancilio base which really enhances the looks and provides storage for accessories.  

If I had more counter space and needed to make lattes all the time,  I 'd get a double boiler machine to get around the steam wait.  But for me the Rancilio Silvia is perfect.

Buying Experience

no problems, competitive price.

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review rating: 7.3
Posted: June 13, 2006, 3:50pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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