The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is as simple and straightforward as it is elegant. Designed with the highest level of detail in Italy, where coffee has been a key feature since time immemorial, the Silvia is one of the most popular semi-automatic espresso machines on the market. Simple and easy to use, it does not do all the work for you like a super-automatic machine. But that’s a good thing for home baristas serious about the espresso they make. Influenced by a modern stainless design and brass boiler, the Silvia is perfect for any type of decor and offers a level of performance that is both professional and reliable. It comes with an upgraded chrome-plated articulating steam wand that delivers plenty of oomph for frothing milk.
Having more commercial-grade components than any other home espresso machine, the Rancilio Silvia offers the most bang for the buck you are going to find. The 3-way solenoid, switches, and 3 thermostats are all interchangeable with the Rancilio commercial line. To us it’s obvious that Rancilio did not cut any corners when designing the Silvia.
Measuring 13.4 inches tall by 9.3 inches wide, it’s not what we would call a compact countertop appliance. In fact, the Silvia occupies about as much space as two ordinary drip coffee makers standing side by side. Made from copper and steel, it’s so durable that it will last up to a decade—and that’s longer than some marriages.
Considered a classic by coffee geeks, the Silvia makes the most favorable espresso we’ve tasted from a home machine in its price class and costs far less than competing models that aren’t nearly as good. The Silvia comes with a single 12-ounce boiler, which gets up to temperature quickly.
Solidly built and weighing around 31 pounds, the Silvia also has commercial-grade portafilter made of chrome-plated brass and comes with two 58-mm stainless steel filter baskets, one for single shots and one for double shots.
Unlike competitive home espresso machines we’ve tested, the Silvia does not integrate a frothing aid on the steam wand. This will delight home baristas like us who enjoys making super rich froth and foam the traditional way—with a single nozzle steam wand.
But there’s another way Silvia looks and acts like the amazing machine it is. Its 3-way solenoid valve relieves built-up steam pressure between espresso shots. This means you can remove the portafilter right away for easy cleanup—something you definitely want in a home espresso machine.
Considered a classic by coffee geeks, the Silvia makes the most favorable espresso we’ve tasted from a home machine in its price class and costs far less than competing models that aren’t nearly as good.
Along with a removable water tank that holds 67 ounces (we recommend filtered water), the Silvia includes a stainless steel drip pan and cup tray, also removable, making everything easy to clean. And there’s a cup warmer built into the top of the machine, if you care about that sort of thing. Actually, we find it more effective to put a little boiling water in our cup and then toss it out before extracting our espresso. It’s faster and the cup gets hotter. But that’s us. You might like the cup warmer.
And don’t worry if you’re in a hurry in the morning. The Silvia won’t hold you back. Rancilio says it heats up in between 2 and 5 minutes. That’s not the case in our testing. For us it took closer to 10 minutes. But that’s still fast for an espresso machine. And it beats waiting in line at Starbucks.
And on that note, if you haven’t already, for God’s sake break your Starbucks habit. You’re throwing thousands of dollars away each year. Even the most snobbish coffee drinkers will find the Silva to be a game-changer. That’s why it’s easy to recommend. We can’t stress how difficult it is to drink the other stuff once you’ve developed a taste for the finest espresso.
Now but back to the machine. We really like that the water pump is heavy duty. With 15-bar pressure, it’s more than enough to force water through coffee grounds in a manner that promises full flavor. And since the boiler is brass, it distributes heat evenly, with the 3 thermostats monitoring what’s going on to prevent overheating.
But there’s always a downside, and in the case of the Silvia, that’s the absence of a PID temperature control. This means your first shot might be lukewarm—despite your heated cup.
The not so good
A grinder is required. If you don’t have one already, then the Rancilio Rocky is worth checking out.
The bottom line
The only espresso machine you’ll be needing for years to come, the Rancilio Silvia is a compact and pocketbook friendly machine that delivers consistently and deliciously. With an attractive brushed stainless steel casing, brass components throughout, and a commercial-grade portafilter, the Silvia semi-automatic espresso machine has the power to quickly steam and froth your milk, and produces excellent espresso for coffeehouse quality beverages right out of the box. Just plug it in.
|Warranty||Rancilio warrants this product against defects in materials and workmanship under normal use for a period of one year.|
|Features||Stainless steel body
3.25-inch cup clearance
Commercial-grade steam wand
Boiler capacity: 12 oz
Coffee, steam and safety thermostats
Water tank capacity: 67 oz
15 bar pressure pump
Voltage: 120 V
Power: 1100 W
Color: brushed stainless steel
Made in Italy
|Standard accessories||58-mm commercial-grade portafilter, and single and double shot filter baskets.|