[Homeroast] Rancilio Silvia

Sandy Andina sandraandina at mac.com
Thu May 24 21:09:56 CDT 2012


Thant's pretty much why, after a couple of years, I realized I had to get a HX or dual-boiler machine.  Shots were not a problem with Silvia--I got the temp-surfing down pretty quickly; as for frothing, the small wand and boiler actually forced me to watch the thermometer and texture, with greater control over latte art. But it was getting frustrating and time-consuming to make more than a couple of lattes at a time.  Looking pretty much at price, I went for a Pasquini Livia 90A from a web-only consolidator. At first I had to replace a defective pressurestat, but had a couple of trouble-free years (other than the nightmare of removing an ossified group gasket). The steam wand was a bit too powerful to get controlled microfoam, but that was a minor quibble.  But then it began leaking like a sieve and would not stop running unless I unplugged it.  A local shop charged me a $200 repair/descaling fee, took it apart, could not get it to work again and offered me another brand of non-e61 HX machine......which, when they set it up, did exactly what the Livia was doing.  They took that back for repair, but then closed down before getting back to me. So I was out a machine and my $200.

During all that foofaraw I pressed Silvia back into service, and worked nobly if slowly.  Finally went to a local wholesaler/service shop recommended by my neighborhood roaster/espresso bar, decided I wanted an e61 group but didn't want to either have to direct-plumb a machine or buy 52mm accessories (the PF diameter of the shop's only consumer dual boiler) when I'd been using 58mm; so I was fine with another HX and ended up with a semiauto "La Cora," which is this shop's customized Andreja Premium (bigger pro knobs, bigger drip tray, better gauges & p'stat). Had it serviced a grand total of once (routine maintenance) since I bought it five years ago.  Still ticking.  It steams rather powerfully, but I get better control than with the Livia. I grind with a Mazzer Mini I got from a cafe that went out of business.

Still bring Silvia and Rocky to parties to make macchiati (small enough size drinks to do in reasonable quantity).
On May 23, 2012, at 3:55 PM, John Stewart wrote:

> 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
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> Homeroast mailing list
>> Homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>> http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>> <a href="http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/forum/">Sweet Maria's Forum</a>
>> <a href="http://www.sweetmarias.com/library">Our new Coffee Library</a>
> 
> _______________________________________________
> Homeroast mailing list
> Homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> <a href="http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/forum/">Sweet Maria's Forum</a>
> <a href="http://www.sweetmarias.com/library">Our new Coffee Library</a>
> _______________________________________________
> Homeroast mailing list
> Homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> <a href="http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/forum/">Sweet Maria's Forum</a>
> <a href="http://www.sweetmarias.com/library">Our new Coffee Library</a>

Peace & Song, 
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com








More information about the Homeroast mailing list