The Rancilio Silvia is tauted as one of the best single boiler espresso machine currently in production. What sets it apart from other machines and making it similar to more commercial machines is the Rancilio Sivia's brass components - brass boiler, brass lines and chromed brass brewing head - all of which help to maintain temperature and heat distribution for the perfect espresso.
This is a quality machine at a great price.
Push the large central power button and an orange light comes on and stays on until the Silvia is at operating temperature for espresso, steam or hot water. Three more professional grade rocker switches now let you chose which one of those options you want-
Flip the Top espresso switch and that rich, hot liquid will start to flow. Switch it off when you have the amount you want.
Flip the Middle hot water switch, open the steam valve knob and hot water gushes from the steam wand.
This version of the Rancilio Silvia features a ball-jointed, chrome plated, single hole steam wand that delivers plenty of ready steam for milk foam. In 1.5 minutes the Silvia will have enough milk to make the average sized latte up to temperature.
The steam wand also doubles as the outlet for hot water. Simply press the hot water button and hot water will be dispensed for making you other favorite beverages such as the Americano, Tea or Hot Chocolate.
The grouphead is made of chrome plated brass. Designed after Rancilio’s line of commercial espresso machines, the Silvia group head evenly distributes heat and reduces “hotspots” for more temperature consistent espresso. In addition, it has also been designed to evenly distribute water across the coffee grounds for a better extraction.
In keeping with the tradition of using only commercial grade components, the Silvia uses a heavy-duty chrome plated brass portafilter, which features a rugged and yet aesthetically pleasing plastic handle. The Silvia comes with two pressed stainless steel filter baskets - a single shot and double shot version. Both measures 58mm in diameter.
Many high-end home and all commercial espresso machines feature a pressure relief system that helps reduce splatter if you should inadvertently remove the portafilter too quickly. The pressure relief system also greatly reduces dripping after the brew switch has been turned off resulting is a “dry puck” of coffee grounds for easier cleanup, thanks to the three-way solenoid valve.
A versatile 2 liter removable water tank. It can be filled while operating or taken out and filled at the faucet.
The secret to a great espresso is a water pump that has the power to force water through the coffee grounds to extract the full flavor from the coffee.
The Silvia has a stainless steel drip pan and cup try, both easy to remove and clean. A cup-warming surface on the top of the machine lets you keep your espresso at the right temperature when it is being poured...an important ingredient in a fine cup of espresso.
Made of heat distributing brass, this boiler can get up to temperature quickly and stay there, with a fast recycling time. Three thermostats are built into the Silvia that control the temperature for espresso and for steam, and a third that specifically monitors the boiler to protect it from overheating if the machine is left unattended for long periods. Should the boiler overheat, the thermal protection thermostat can be reset.
The brushed stainless steel construction gives the Silvia an industrial chic look; sleek, functional and unassuming. I like the minimalist look. The housing is only part of the story. Inside the housing you will find that Rancilio used a rust resistant steel frame, stainless steel bolts and screws, and only the finest tubing and fittings.
In order to keep the inside of your machine healthy, it must be periodically cleaned. Scale buildup from naturally occurring minerals in your water can build up on sensitive components like the inside of the boiler, which left unchecked can cause considerable damage to the machine. By descaling your machine every two-three months, your machine will be trouble-free for years. Espresso machine cleaner can be purchased from us. However, minerals buildup can be minimized if you use soft water to brew your espresso. I personally prefer water filtered through Reverse Osmosis.
Descaling and general cleaning is important even if you have a sophisticated water filter system, and especially if you use well water. Wastewater left over from the rinsing cycles is stored in removable drip tray that simply pulls out from the machine. The drip tray and water tank need periodic cleansing with dish soap and warm water.
The Silvia requires no special plumbing or electrical outlets. Just plug it in and it’s ready to operate. The Silvia comes standard with two filter baskets (58mm diameter), one for single shot and the other for a double shot, coffee tamper, measuring spoon, rubber blind disc and an instruction manual.
A total of 213 consumer reviews found at www.coffeegeek.com gave the Rancilio Silvia an overall rating of 8.6 out of a total of 10.
Some of the comments on the Silvia was:
"Serious quality - well built - commercial grade"
"Great machine to learn Barista skills on"
"Silvia is finicky so technique is very important"