Save yourself a ton of money over going to a coffee shop and get a better espresso with a Rancilio Silvia!
Positive Product Points
Great espresso and consistent flavor.
Negative Product Points
Better get a good grinder. Also was a little tough to learn how to make good foam. (3 months later: I don't even think about it. Making good foam is very natural for me now)
I took a couple of months of researching before deciding to go with the Rancilio Silvia. I'm extremely happy with it and I'm also very glad that I bought it with a PID installed.
Let me tell you the good and the bad: GOOD: With the PID - you get a very consistent shot pulled every time. It's all about grind and temperature. If you grind the same way and draw shots at the same temperature, you get a great tasting shot CONSISTENTLY.
BAD: The Silvia is tough to make good foam with at first. If you are a novice (as I am) - it will take you 40 to 50 times before you will get the feel for how to make a great foam. But once you get past that point and it will become second nature.
Thanks Dave for a great machine.
I purchased my Rancilio Silvia with PID from Dave at High Tech. By email he told me it would take about 10 days to ship and I was OK with that. Then he called me because he realized that I lived about 4 miles from him and he offered to let me come over and pick it up. I did and I had the pleasure of getting to sit and talk with him about espresso and online business in general. He came across a genuinely nice guy that really enjoys what he does. As a recruiter, I have to judge the character of people everyday. I saw nothing about Dave that would lead me to believe him to be un-genuine.
Three Month Followup
Don't get lost in the crowd of home espresso machines that don't stack up! Get a Rancilio Silvia. So I've had Silvia in the house for 3 months now. She still performs awesome! Her stainless steel case is easy to keep clean and she consistently makes a great pour. BTW - I added a Rocky Doserless Grinder. A fine addition to my home espresso center. Side note. I spun Silvia around while cleaning her off the other day and I found a mysterious number stamped just below the hatch for the water reservoir. The numbers were 4 8 15 16 23 42. Not sure what they are - but every time I read them, I get a strange chill.
One Year Followup
My friend Silvia is has been with me a year! The amount of money that I've saved (over running out to the local coffee shops) has been HUGE!. I have 2-3 espresso drinks per day while I work valued at $3.75 per drink. So in the course of a year, I SAVE $3500! As expected - my Rancilio Silvia was well worth the price. REVIEW: Still performs AWESOME. I figure that I've pulled over 1300 shots on it in the last year and it still looks and runs just like it did the first week. The Rancilio Silvia is built more like a commercial espresso machine, except that it has a water tank instead of a direct line hook up. The PID temperature controller that I had HitechEspresso install - is still working great and has two major benefits for me: 1) with precise temperature - I get consistent flavor in my shots. 2) I can leave my Silvia on all day and not worry about it over heating.
CLOSING REMARKS: No regrets at all. I'm very glad that I went with the Rancilio Silvia. If it died tomorrow - I would go get another Silvia immediately - but I think it's going to continue working just fine. ROCK SOLID RELIABLE AND PULLS PERFECT SHOTS!