Opening a coffee shop isn’t the easiest task, especially when you don’t know what to buy at first. This is why we review the coffee machines and look for the best options. We’ve asked around more baristas than we’d like to admit about which was their favorite machine to work with and had the best value for its price tag. The answers were somewhat split between the Breville Espresso Machine and this machine which we got in front of ourselves.
The Rancilio Silvia or “Ms. Silvia” as people refer to her, is pretty much a professional level espresso machine with a very decent price tag. It generates exceptional quality, but at the same time requires a trained hand to operate it.
The perfect espresso is a matter of machine calibration and customization, and boy this model does that. It is fully customizable and lets you be in charge of every little step in the process of making the perfect cup of espresso, cappuccino, or any other type of coffee. You can adjust the grind size, the shot length, etc.
Rancilio Silvia Review
Apart from the fact that you are getting exceptional Italian quality for a somewhat low price, you also get a ton of other features. Let’s check out some of them.
All around the machine you will find solid materials such as stainless steel and chrome. For instance, the steamer wand is chrome-plated. It is also commercial grade, meaning it easily steams milk and boils water. That makes it the perfect attribute not only for espressos but for the classic “Americano” as well.
Thanks to the brew group brassing you get even heat distribution in the whole machine. Furthermore, there is a three-way solenoid valve which reduces the splatter which typical portafilters make when you pull them the wrong way.
There is little to no post-brew drip as well, which makes the whole thing clean and efficient. It might keep itself somewhat clean, but cleaning it is a whole other thing. From most of the units we tested, we found that The Rancilio Silvia was the hardest to clean up.
Rancilio Brewing Quality & Performance
The water pump provides a great water pressure of 15 BARs which is more than enough for the perfect cup of coffee. Another thing you might love here is the removable water tank. It can be removed at literally any moment of the machine’s operation.
Finally, the boiler is made out of brass. This is kind of extraordinary, as brass is a material used in the far more expensive models. It is 12 ounces and is monitored by three thermostats, which ensures consistency in your workflow.
Another thing. If you are a fan of old-school toggle switches, you’ll love those here. Other companies add simply tons of buttons, but not Rancilio. They’ve managed to make it all simple when it comes to buttons and kept it classy.
A possible downside is that there is no built-in coffee tamper, so you’ll have to buy one separately. We recommend getting this one, as it is dual-sided and a great deal in terms of price.
The temperatures available here range from 195 to 212 Fahrenheit. Getting the right temperature was a bit tricky, even for us, but after a while, we found out that it works best (and makes the best espressos) at around 199 Fahrenheit.
Pros & Cons
✔ Solid Construction
✔ Good looking design
✔ Outstanding Espresso Quality
✔ Old-school buttons which break far less than the newer ones used on all other machines
✔ One of the best reliability records on the market
✔ Due to the reliability, it is great for a start-up business such as a coffee shop
✔ The portafilter handle is nice to the touch
✔ Stable group head and superb extraction quality
✔ Brass Boiler
✗ It can be a little hard to maintain
✗ Getting the right temperature for you can be challenging
✗ The water level indicator isn’t the most accurate
✗ Doesn’t have a built-in coffee grinder, so you might want to put aside a few hundred bucks for one
Speaking of cleaning, make sure you check out our Buyer’s Guide article, in which there is a whole section dedicated to maintaining your machine.
Rancilio Silvia AlternativesTable could not be displayed.
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine Conclusion and Rating
The Rancilio Silvia is the perfect coffee maker for someone who appreciates good quality materials used in a budget product. It does everything just right and has a premium feel to it. The only downside is that the learning curve is steep if you are just making your first steps into the coffee world and that maintaining it might be a challenge.
Other than that, give it to an experienced barista, and see its true potential unfold. CoffeeGearSpy.com gave this product a four and a half out of five stars.
Hi my name is Larry, a coffee aficionado from the US. I have already visited Colombia, Sumatra, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Jamaica in my pursuit of finding the best-tasting coffee beans. I currently write from Bali and enjoy the relaxed life that you can only find in Canggu. Welcome to my coffee world!
Last update on 2023-06-02 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.