[Homeroast] Rancilio Silvia

John Stewart johns_webmail at yahoo.com
Wed May 23 15:55:57 CDT 2012


I would agree with and second the points below.  I started with and still have a Silvia.  I did some research and actually purchased the PID before the Silvia, so I've only used it with a PID in place.

Also, I heeded advice and purchased a good grinder first - mazzer major.


I'm a hands on type, so I installed the PID with no problem.  I bought my silvia version 1 used a couple of years ago.  It has produced many good shots.  The only time I'm frustrated with it is when I'm in a hurry and making steamed milk drinks.  It steams well with good power, and with the PID in place it has good temperature control for extraction.  Moving between espresso extraction and steaming takes time for heating or cooling.  As noted previously if you plan to serve steamed milk drinks to a party, you will spend a lot of time Silvia and not as much time with your other friends.

I take good care of the machine, and I've had no problems for more than two years of twice daily use.  I use filtered water, and I clean the filter screen and group head gasket every week or two.  I don't black flush - as I've seen confusing reports on that.

I did some research and tweaked the pressure - my version allows some adjustment, but it didn't make much difference.

Overall I've been pleased.  Two advantages of the Silvia I've realized are robust construction and wide spread use - enough that advice and Internet guides are easy to find.  To upgrade, I would want the ability to pull shots and steam milk at the same time, have a bigger drip tray, and have better pressure control.  I occasionally get the urge to upgrade - but the next step up in functionality is quite a dramatic step up in price, and I'm not sure that I need another $2k sitting on my kitchen counter.

John



________________________________
 From: Barry Luterman <lutermanb at gmail.com>
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list, available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html" <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com> 
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:38 AM
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Rancilio Silvia
 
The Silvia is the espresso machine I broke in on. She is a demanding
unforgiving mistress. One little error in preparation and the shot is
sorely damaged. However, if you master her she is capable of producing
outstanding shots. There is probably no better machine to learn on.
Master her and when you move up to a more complete machine you will
have little or no trouble producing consistent excellent shots.
Pros:
Good resale value
2 way valve.
heavy construction (retains heat)
Easy to clean and maintain
If you are not  using foaming much or pulling multiple shots convenient to use
Seldom needs repair. Very well built

Cons:
Broad thermostat shots can vary wildly in temperature.. Shots
seemingly pulled exactly the same can vary from bitter to excellent to
weak. Can be overcome with installation of a PID bur at more expense.
Time consuming pulling multiple shots even with PID. If you have
company expect to spend a long time in kitchen pulling shots.
If doing a lot of steaming (and that does happen with company) machine
is way too slow and a bit difficult to clean. Consider a double
boiler.
Because the machine is so well built if you do decide to upgrade when
the machine starts to age and require repairs. You will have to wait a
long long time. But as I said it does have good resale value and is a
great machine for learning and use for one person having an occasional
shot of espresso with no steamed milk added.

On Tue, May 22, 2012 at 10:47 PM, John <johnmonteleone at gmail.com> wrote:
> I would love to get an espresso machine for my home.  I've been reading about the Rancilio Silvia   And wanted to get some opinions. I'm not opposed to the price but I've read that it might be expensive for what your getting. Creating foam is not a priority for me. I love a flavorful shot straight up. Any comments anyone.
>
> John
>
>
>
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