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Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machinet,0.3 liters, with Iron Frame and Stainless Steel Side Panels, 11.4 by 13.4-Inch   Import

(10 customer reviews)
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Brand Rancilio
Capacity 0.3 Liters
Color Stainless Steel
Product Dimensions 9.2″D x 11.4″W x 13.3″H
Coffee Maker Type Espresso Machine

  • Ergonomic porta filter handle same as the proven design of Rancilio commercial machines
  • Commercial grade group head for superb heat stability and extraction quality
  • Articulating steam wand offers complete range of motion and professional steaming knob precisely controls steaming pressure
  • Classic linear design fits most decors
  • Optional pod and capsule adaptor kit available


This popular traditional style semi-automatic espresso machine is built to last. Its strong linear designed housing is constructed of an iron frame and stainless steel side panels. Built with Rancilio’s commercial grade group head for excellent heat stability and premium extraction quality. Features a patented ergonomic 58mm porta filter for superb extraction. These are the same porta filters used on Rancilio commercial machines. The single boiler of the Silvia has the largest volume capacity of any home machine in its class. Holding 0.3 liters (12oz) this chrome plated brass boiler produces outstanding steaming power and remarkable recovery time between shots. The two quart water reservoir can be removed or filled from the top at anytime during the operation. The Rancilio Silvia features an articulating stainless steel steam wand that allows for a complete range of motion for steaming perfect latte quality milk. Control steaming power with the commercially designed steam knob. This Silvia comes with a 7 gram coffee scoop, a plastic tamper and two filter baskets (single and double). This is the most current version of the Silvia available direct from the factory.

Specification: Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machinet,0.3 liters, with Iron Frame and Stainless Steel Side Panels, 11.4 by 13.4-Inch   Import




0.3 Liters


Coffee Maker Type

Espresso Machine


Stainless Steel

Filter Type


Specific Uses For Product

Espresso Machine


‎110 Volts

Number of Items


Human Interface Input


Package Type

Standard Packaging

Product Dimensions

9.2 x 11.4 x 13.3 inches, 9.2D x 11.4W x 13.3H

Item Weight

30.8 Pounds


Home and Kitchen



Item model number


Date First Available

October 2 2001


Weight 30.8 kg
Dimensions 9.2 × 11.4 × 13.3 cm

10 reviews for Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machinet,0.3 liters, with Iron Frame and Stainless Steel Side Panels, 11.4 by 13.4-Inch   Import

4.3 out of 5
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  1. Rubin Safaya

    Tired of polarized reviews? Here’s the good and the bad….Some people buy an expensive espresso machine because, hey, they have the money and they want something that goes along well with their overpriced Williams-Sonoma garbage…. Some people buy a truly midrange item thinking it’s the best of the best, and are invariably disappointed because it didn’t make them look good using it. And then other people having figured out that they just spent nearly $1000 on something that isn’t perfect in every way feel the need to fall over themselves with praise because, honestly, they’d feel stupid if their friends knew how much that thing cost. But I’m none of these people… not any more. I’ll try to be fair…It’s true the Rancilio Silvia V3 has the capability to produce a great cup of espresso. It’s also true that it’s (EDIT: initially) notoriously difficult to use. It is *not* a super-automatic, but super-automatics have plenty of bells and whistles, a high price, and produce middling espresso. Practice will get your routine down, and as others have stated… watch the how-to videos from Gail and Kat @ Seattle Coffee Gear and others because the guide does not give you the best advice on how to get the most out of this machine (steam first?? No… good luck bringing it back down to brew temperature quickly… the brass boiler heats up much faster than it cools down).The pluses include the sturdiness of the parts, which are all of the same quality build as their commercial machines that run upwards of $16,000 on the high end. You will not find many machines below $1000 of that quality. But as with all professional or semi-professional equipment, there are tradeoffs between peak performance and consistent reliability. Pick one.I’ve had four German cars and they all drove great but electromechanical failures are a running joke. The reason you see people in $200,000 houses driving Range Rovers is because their resale value falls like a rock… because they’re pieces of crap. So when people compare the Rancilio to a BMW, this is not necessarily a good thing. But if what you want is reliability, don’t be an idiot… buy a Honda. I can handle an espresso machine breaking down, but I’d rather not futz with a car…. My Benz spent more time in the shop than it did on the road. It’s not worth paying for a Benz to drive a Ford Focus rental car 2/3 of the time.But saying a Rancilio is as bad as a BMW or Benz is a bit harsh. It’s true it’s not that complicated to get some semblance of control with the “temperature surfing” you need to do … but if your time is precious, then it’s probably not the machine you want. OR invest in a PID controller…. which will waste far less water controlling your temperatures, give consistent brew without guesswork and still cost you in total less than say, a La Pavoni that has is not without its own quirks and problems (or regular maintenance needs).Yes, it wouldn’t have been that expensive for Rancilio to revise the machine and give it a PID controller and improve its usability… but then they’d just charge upwards of $1100 for it regardless of how cheap a PID is at OEM prices. So I’m not going to deceive you or myself with the belief that it’s ok if a luxury product is notoriously difficult to use.But there are in fact very few machines in this price range that will, with some care, last as long as the Rancilio…. and if you are accustomed to spending as much as my wife and I have poured down the drain at Starbucks in a year, even a crappy cup of espresso from a Rancilio is better and infinitely less expensive.So I think it’s a good machine. It’s better than average, with some areas for improvement that, if tweaked, could make it a brilliant home machine. Do you need fresh beans bought from the farm, roasted by yourself and blessed by buddhist monks? Only if it makes you feel better about your ironically un-Buddhist acquisitive predilection for shiny things (pro tip: Buy your $200 Bugatchi oxford shirts from the Rack for $25-50)…Plan to spend maybe $1200 between the Rancilio, a decent burr grinder and a PID… fine grind and brew temp control are far more important than bean quality which, if you’re spending $15 a pound, doesn’t vary as much as the cheap on/off thermostat on the Rancilio… And regularly descale/backflush. Again, watch the how-to’s from Seattle Coffee Gear. They know their stuff and can make it a good experience. And if somehow the $1000 for the Silvia and a burr grinder, cleaning kit, etc. didn’t break you but a PID will, or if you’re being really adventurous, I’ll disclose that I mastered brew temp in less than a week with… *drumroll* a meat thermometer. Watching the SCG videos carefully I noted that the “in cup” brew temperature of the water ejected from priming the group head is about 165 degrees F… you’ve got to play around with that a bit but in that neighborhood is where you’ll get a solid shot with good crema.But if you’re like 95% of the college graduates I see living in a disheveled apartment with a $700 espresso maker, and not well into your career where this purchase is going to hurt your pocketbook… re-evaluate your priorities. It’s just coffee.

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  2. Sherlockian

    Great coffee for the home enthusiast and worth every effort to learn!***UPDATE: I’ve had this machine for a little over a year now, and everything I said in the original review below still holds. I would like to add that regular maintenance of this machine is essential to keep it in good working order. Make sure you backflush regularly, de-scale (especially if you have hard water) and also clean out the grinder. I neglected to clean the grinder for the first 8 months and it was a mess to disassemble and pick out all the built-up coffee oils. So just make sure you do your regular maintenance on this machine and treat it nicely, and in return you can expect a consistently delicious espresso every time.PS: I finally mastered the oat milk latte….WORTH IT!Original Review below:_____________________Ok, so I spend WAY too much money at the coffee shop. $5-6 per visit at my local shop, but why waste the money? I first started learning how to make ‘proper’ coffee back in 2013 with a DeLonghi Retro Bar32 that I picked up for about $75. Knowing very little, I initially struggled to figure out how to pull a good shot of espresso that wasn’t watery or bitter. Most pre-ground coffee didn’t work; but the experience did teach me how to operate a semi-manual machine, how to heat up the boiler, steam milk etc. etc. My biggest gripe was the milk steamer which didn’t get me that nice microfoam and tended to make the milk more watery than anything.So, 4 years later (hat tip to the the DeLonghi for still going strong in 2018 btw!) I felt it was time to invest in something a little better. With an upper limit budget of $1000 and a LOT of research, I settled on the Rancilio Silvia. I understood the learning curve was steep but I wanted good coffee, darnit, and I was willing to work for it.Well, I’ve had the Silvia for a little bit over a month now, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I purchased both the Silvia and Rocky doserless grinder at the same time from Cerini Coffee and Gifts in the Bronx (great seller!) and it arrived promptly and excellently packaged with a bonus lb of beans to get started! I now buy my beans from a local coffee roaster, and the Rocky grinder allows me to grind the freshest beans which I’m sure play greatly into the taste of the coffee. It took me some time to figure out the correct grinder setting that would get me the 2oz shot in 20-30 seconds with the right flavor, but once I got it ‘dialed in’ (coffee aficionado lingo for finding the right settings) it makes amazing coffee. My microfoam steaming skills are still under development, but I can make some great, thick cappuccino-style foam, which I generally dump on top of the finished product to generally delicious effect.Initially I considered getting the PID add-on for the machine, but honestly, after following the temperature surfing guidelines and paying attention to the lights, I’ve got it down to a pretty good system. Yes, the PID would probably satisfy my latent perfectionism, but I’m honestly getting a great cup of coffee without it. I just try to be as consistent as possible in terms of dosing, tamping and brew time and found this is a good combination. So, my vote is that the PID add-on is optional, a convenience but not essential.Note: For all you non-dairy drinkers out there, there’s an additional learning curve to master: steaming non-dairy milk! Yay! But hang in there. After repeated practice, I find that I can get pretty good results with soy milk and most almond milks. Oat continues to be a challenge but one I’m committed to mastering because have you ever tried oat milk in a latte? (hint: it’s delicious) For those who do prefer dairy, I’ve gotten the best results with cold 2% milk; however whole milk works too.Since this is already a significant financial investment in the machine, I would suggest also purchasing both a heavy tamper and a stainless steel milk foaming cup to complement your purchase. The tamp provided by Rancilio is plastic, and doesn’t give the adequate pressure needed. The milk foaming pitcher helps you properly measure out and steam the right quantity of milk.In conclusion, I’m really happy with this machine. I only visit the coffee shop now to buy beans, and I enjoy making coffee for family and friends too! Yes, the initial outlay is expensive, but at $5-6 at the coffee shop, this is an investment that will pay for itself over time.Final note: For those on the fence about spending this money with no prior experience in coffee making – let me suggest starting with a lower-priced machine like a DeLonghi or similar and then getting a really good grinder. As a fun experiment, I made a latte on my old machine using the Rocky grinder, and it was pretty tasty! So, if you’re not sure about spending a bunch of money on a machine, start with the grinder along with a lower-priced machine. The fresh-ground beans really make all the difference on any equipment.

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  3. Eric F. Vandevelde

    Not for everyoneI’ve had the Rancilio Silvia 3 as well as the Rancilio Rocky doserless grinder for about a month. I am happy with the set-up, and I am keeping it.The other Amazon reviews do a good job describing the product in detail, and they were extremely helpful for me in selecting this particular set-up. My only gripe about the machine is the time it takes to get the boiler at pressure for foaming milk. To make a latte, first make the espresso. Then, switch the steamer switch. Get the milk out of the refrigerator. Wait until the light goes off. It easily takes another a minute, while you see your espresso standing there…. Then, foam the milk. I am still learning about foaming, but it is amazingly fast.As a newbie to home espresso, I thought my most helpful contribution would be to help other newbies along.1. Counter space: You need quite a bit of it.The grinder, espresso machine, and knock box (you need one) will take considerable counter space. I am considering the knock box that fits underneath the espresso machine and grinder.2. Consider putting it next to the sink. That is what I ended up doing.The barista at your local coffee shop has a machine that is plumbed in. It gets its water automatically and, more importantly, the drip tray has a drain. You do not have that. Your drip tray will fill up fast. You need to rinse the portafilter regularly and let water go through the espresso system to properly prep the unit (see below). This may seem minor, but carrying your drip tray full of hot brown water to the sink, trying not to spill gets old fast. When foaming milk, you do need a wet towel to wipe the steaming wand. It is nice to be next to a faucet. When home brewing espresso, you are constantly rinsing things. It’s nice to be next to the sink and a draining rack.3. Time to learn.It seems simple when you see the barista doing it. In fact, there is a steep learning curve. If you get into home brewing, you must accept this as part of the fun. My first two pounds of coffee were virtually undrinkable. I am starting to get decent results now.4. Time to brew.There is nothing express about espresso. Your barista’s machine at the coffee shop is hot and prepped, because it is used all through the day. You need to give the machine at least 15 minutes to warm up in the morning. Then, let some hot water run through the system to heat up the pipes and the portafilter. Depending on your circumstances, you can then leave the unit on for the rest of the day. There are many reasons to make espresso at home, but convenience is not one of them!5. Cost.This is a costly set up, and you may think you will save money afterwards by not buying espressos at the coffee shop. The savings, if any, are much less than you think. The espresso extraction method uses a lot of coffee. And since you go through this effort, you better buy good high-end fresh-roasted coffee beans. You’ll have to determine the optimum grinder setting every time you buy new beans, which results in more waste. There are many reasons to make espresso at home, but saving money is not one of them!

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  4. Amazon Customer

    Not for beginnersThis machine is not for beginners, dispite being an “entry level” prosumer machine. Even for me a former barista it took a bit for me to get the hang of it. My first machine was a DeLongi from target (I know right lol) and I was used to a pressurized portafilter so the adjustment from that to the Silvia was a bit difficult… it turned out I needed a proper burr grinder to get the shots I needed. If you are looking to get a new espresso machine and don’t have a proper grinder I would highly suggest that you get the grinder first and the espresso machine second (or get the combo set). After that it’s just fine tuning your puck prep.

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  5. kitchen junkie

    Manufacturing problemPurchased the machine new (my second one in a dozen years) 9/28/2020. Today the screen that keeps coffee grounds from migrating up into the group head fell out along with its backing plate. Screen, backing plate, and a heavy brass disk that fits into the group head are held in with a screw. You may notice that the screw protrudes down into the portafilter when it is installed with the coffee grounds. That appears to be unavoidable design because you have to be able to replace the gasket and the screen if they are worn.This sort of fail appears to be directly the result of a manufacturing error. The hole in the screen and backing plate is about the size of the head of the screw. Whether it was that way to begin with I do not know as I did not dissemble the unit when I received it. There is a washer that goes between the backing plate and the brass disk and it appears to be configured so that if it is installed upside down, it can cut through the backing plate and screen eventually. I actually put the washer in upside down and realized it after the fact so am flipping it. The smooth side should be facing the backing plate, not the turned up portion. There does not otherwise appear to be a stop such that you can overtighten the screw, which will convex the screen and backing plate into the group head – probably not a good idea.I happened to have a spare screen kit that I purchased for my first Silvia and used that as it was new, so I had an immediate repair. But you might want to familiarize yourself with the sequence of parts by dropping the new machine on its back and removing the screw into the group head (maybe take pictures). I recommend using an 8mm socket because the screw head could chew out if it is overtightened.As I said, I had a previous Silvia for about a dozen years with no real problems other than the pressure it was able to produce after daily use for so many years was so insufficient that I had to replace it. It is a good semi-auto for the price. Not sure I would trust a competitor’s brand. Stuff happens.

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  6. Ray D

    Make very good espresso with thick creama and fantastic LattesThe good – Very cool Italian design, made in Italy. Doesn’t take up much counter space and makes excellent espresso and Lattes. Easy to clean and fun to experiment and operate. Great to practice your latte art. Makes fantastic micro foam for the milk. Wife says the coffee I make with it is as good as the professional coffee shop. The not so good – there is a technique to getting the best brew. MUST use fresh roasted coffee to get the best crema, older coffee does not pull the expected espresso. Must find the balance between coffee, grind and weight. My best espresso is pulled at 14.5-15 grams of the freshest coffee I can find not to exceed 20 days after roast date with my grinder set to just under a #2 grind. There is also a process to using the machine called temperature surfing. It involves steaming the milk first, then you run water through the steamer wand until the steam is gone and the jet is pure water. This is to lower the boiler temperature berfore making the espresso, this takes less time than pulling the espresso first and waiting the for the steamer to come up to temperature. Tons of info on U-tube on how to do this for this machine. It’s very simple. It takes some practice to put together the perfect latte or pull the perfect espresso. But once you figure out the correct combination, you’ll be critical of the professional latte and compare it to yours, if you ever pay $6 for a cup again. In all. Very happy with purchase. The reason for the 4 rating is that the machine should have come with a PID for the price. Lastly, I use bottled water, and this machine uses a lot of water. Update 12/27/18. I purchased the bottomless portafilter and have used it several dozen times. The espresso quality and crema made with the bottomless filter on this machine has far exceeded my expectations. This is all I use now. 20.3 grams of fresh roasted freshly ground coffee and in my opinion far exceeds what you pay for in a coffee shop. A must have accessory. Ive flipped head over heals for my Silvia and what I can make with it. Update 5-15-19. Machine operating well, I make 2 cups per day 7 days per week. Quality of coffee is outstanding! I havent paid for a coffee house Latte or Espresso since. Coffee house charges $3 to $6. My cost at home for exactly what I want and better quality, 68 cents. 6-15-20. Silvia still running well. I did the tune up wich is very simple and involves replacing the screen, wich really didnt need it, and the gasket. I back flush weekly and regular flush monthly. Silvia make as great an espresso or latte today as when new! Very happy with Silvia. Last update 12/30/21 – this machine is wonderful and continues to out perform. I found it has no problem quickly steaming 2 large lattes in a row. More than plenty of power in the steamer. Two cups or more for the last several years. Not a lick of trouble. I have easily replaced the gasket twice, and clean the group head once per year. I do a quick backflush weekly and thats it. I have thought of upgrading to a fancier machine like the Pro X or ECM, but cannot justify the cost and i don’t believe it will produce as good a cup as my Ol Silvia. May 2022 – Silvia and Rocky still going strong after almost 4 years! Still makes fantastic espressos, lattes and other coffee drinks. This past week I took the entire Silvia and Rocky system into the mountains and made 8 cups of coffee every morning for 6 days straight for my friends. I found Silvia has enough pressure in the single boiler and can quickly steam 4 cups of milk in a row with out recharging the steamer. Still made fantastic Lattes! Very happy with this performance.

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  7. AnonymousRetriever

    A matter of person, not a matter of machine.Miss Silvia can either be a dream machine or a regrettable purchase, but this has nothing to do with the machine and everything to do with the operator.Miss Silvia is a very simple and well built machine. Rancilio has been true to this concept since her inception. She sports a solid brass boiler, steel frame, and she’s finely dressed in easy to clean stainless steel. There’s no shortage of pressure, water, or heat. Everything about Miss Silvia is built to last. This simple, high-quality build approach isn’t for everyone because it trades off automation for skill.A person who leans toward automatic, mediocre espresso will bemoan the simplicity of Miss Silvia. She lacks many modern features such as a PID controller, pressure gauge, timer, on/off scheduler, etc. Implementing such features in Miss Silvia would reduce her simplicity and dependability at her current price. Rancilio elected to favor quality and simplicity over automation to keep Miss Silvia’s at her current price. That reality bridges us back to my opening comment that whether or not this is a dream machine comes down to the operator.I personally find it no chore at all to repeatably pull excellent quality shots from Miss Silvia. That’s not an easy feat with numerous machines considerably more expensive then she is. However, to get these results I’ve followed my nature to study and practice. I’ve learned over the years with other equipment what it takes to pull excellent shots of espresso. While the espresso machine certainly does matter, pulling excellent quality shots goes far beyond the espresso machine. One must put in the time to learn about different roasts of coffee, grinds and grinders, tamping and tampers, heat consistency, maintaining pressure, and how to properly apply all these important areas to pull an excellent quality shot of espresso. I’ve applied my experience to Miss Silvia and enjoy the process of doing so. After getting to know her for a couple of months I have no trouble whatsoever enjoying one smooth shot of espresso after another… all with Miss Silvia in her stock configuration.It’s also not in my nature to blame a tool if it doesn’t do the job it was designed to do. That statement assumes two things. 1.) The tool was designed to do a job a specific way at a specific level of quality. 2.) The person using the tool understands how to use the tool properly in order to get the best results possible from the tool. Miss Silvia was designed to pull repeatably excellent quality shots of espresso. So an inability to get such results is the fault of the operator not Miss Silvia.If you’re a person who likes analogies let me put it another way. If a person owns a high-quality pen but has terrible penmanship, a vacuum of creative writing ability, sparse knowledge of grammar, and a limited vocabulary is it the pen’s fault they cannot write an engaging story? No, it’s not the fault of the pen. It’s the fault of the writer. With Miss Silivia it’s the operator’s fault if they cannot pull a high quality shot of espresso. That’s the truth.With that analogy in mind I highly recommend Miss Silvia. If you understand the art of pulling excellent shots of espresso and are willing to put in the time to learn who she is and how she works she won’t disappoint you.However, I don’t recommend Miss Silvia if you refuse to get to know and understand her, or to study and practice the science of pulling repeatably great shots of espresso. If you don’t enjoy the process and are only interested automation you will blame Miss Silivia for your own lack of ability to pull quality shots from her, and she really is a fantastic machine. If you’re an instant-gratificationist I’m afraid there is no silver bullet to pulling repeatably great shots of espresso from Miss Silvia. You need to go for a more expensive automatic machine.The truth is there is a lot to learn about pulling great shots of espresso regardless of the machine. Even the most expensive espresso machine on the market would confront you with challenges. Every machine has a personality and Miss Silvia is no exception. She is, however, and exceptionally well-made machine for the money. Enjoying her build quality is a matter of the person, not a matter of the machine. Hope this helps you make a buying decision.

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  8. Nakuru

    Soviet-era heavy-duty like…I’m not going to pretend being a coffee snob. This short review is meant to be a completely subjective word of advice for the ‘average guy’ out there looking for a somewhat convenient and practical espresso machine. In short – look elsewhere, like a Breville. You’ll get an elegant machine that makes perfectly good espresso.I had to laugh when I unpacked this machine. The manual comes with a control check list sheet, but the external housing was not seated properly. Enter the screwdriver, and pop, no problem, but in order to get to the screw, I had to remove the top plate (also no biggie) but cut my thumb in the process. The stainless steel is laser-cut and has sharp edges. The little cleaning brush that you’re supposed to use to clean the filter is not included (how dumb is that?).Memories of my first car came to mind.Still my favorite after all these years – Alfa 33 QV. Not pretty, but a heck of a lot of fun to drive. And it too had a few loose screws when I picked it up brand new at the dealership. As an Alfista (I’m referring to Alfas pre-Fiat era), you quickly came to forget about the low tech, the poor quality and finish of the body, and the loose screws. The flat high revving boxer and the handling put a huge smile on my face every time I drove it.So that’s my expectation with this machine. I’m keeping it even though it looks and feels like something from a Soyouz rocket control box. The coffee better be good – in fact I expect it to be great once I get acquainted with this baby.So… If you’re the type of person who (even remotely) entertains the idea of shaving with a straight razor (and learning to sharpen and strop the blades by yourself) then by any means – this is what you need to get. If you use an electric razor, you won’t like this machine.===UPDATE 7/23I’ve used this machine every day now since I purchased it, and I’m neither upgrading nor downgrading the initial assessment.On the positive side, I like the appearance of this machine. It definitely has a ‘presence’ on the kitchen counter (I also purchased the Rancilio grinder and the Rancilio storage base base).I think the major issue with this machine is that it gets into a price point where most of us expect more features and consistency. As many have pointed out, the machine CAN produce GREAT espresso, but it IS very inconsistent, and if you go through the whole cycle of temp surfing, it’s a lot of work for a shot. Also, steam temp takes much too long to achieve, though that’s the price to pay for a single boiler.If I had to do it again, I would probably either have spent more $$$ and bought a much more expensive Italian double-boiler, or, remaining within the same budget ballpark, bought a Breville (I have been super impressed with Breville in the past).

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  9. Rob N.

    Best sub-$1000 espresso machine for the home, period.With maybe the exception of the Expobar Office which sits right at the top of the limit, in the sub-$1000 price range, the Rancilio Silvia should be your only choice for a home espresso machine. Silvia is built like a tank. Treat it well, keep it clean, and it will last you for years.The Things You Want:* The portafilter (the bit that holds the coffee) is full-sized and solid chromed brass. It retains heat nicely, so the brew going into your cup is at a proper temperature. The 58mm filter basket allows for a healthy dose of coffee.* 3-way Solenoid Valve: The electric solenoid brew valve opens to allow water to flow through the brewhead and coffee. When the brew switch is turned off, it immediately releases the pressure on the grounds and shunts the excess into the drip pan. The result is a compact puck of brewed grounds that can easily be knocked out of the filter.* Solid switches and mechanical components: The rocker switches are solid and last forever. The internal plumbing is solidly assembled, and the lines from the boiler are brass/copper. There are no finicky electronics inside this box – solid wiring, spade lugs, mechanical switches. This has one unfortunate side effect, but more on that later.* Omni-directional steam wand: It’s mounted on a ball joint, so it swivels where you want it to – not just out to the side. A good thing for tight spaces.* Simple operation: very few things to go wrong. No built-in-grinder. No auto-brew or fussy push-button controls to malfunction.* All-metal casing and frame: The cladding’s brushed stainless, and is low-maintenance. Wipe down with a damp cloth and mild soap every once in a while. The frame is cast iron. Heavy as heck if you’re moving it, but it doesn’t flex and keeps everything solidly in place. This machine will not vibrate itself loose.Things You Might Not Like:* The water lines from the reservoir and from the pump to the boiler are silicon rubber and/or flexible hi-temp vinyl. Some people have an issue with this.* The reservoir isn’t the biggest, and is only accessible from the top – it cannot be lifted out without a lot of clearance. You can refill the water with the reservoir in place, but you have to have room to get to it.* Brewing consistently with Silvia takes some practice. That simple design is a couple decades old at this point, and uses electro-mechanical thermostats with a fairly wide dead band in the middle. A Google search on temperature-surfing will help you get more consistent results. This is the main complaint people have with the Silvia.* The big brass boiler takes a lot of time to heat up from brew temp to steam temp. If you’re making lots of milk drinks, it’s got plenty of capacity, but you’ll want to brew all your coffee shots first before switching to steam.Things You Will/Might Want to Change:* Throw out the plastic tamper that comes in the box. Buy a good turned aluminum or steel tamper, preferably with a non-metal handle. Rapping the portafilter with a steel tamper (as opposed to the wood/nylon handle) to settle the grounds will put dings in the brass.* If you are fanatical about temperature control/consistency, there are kits available to convert to digital temp control. They’re easy enough to wire in for someone with basic mechanical and electrical competency. Not necessary if you learn Silvia’s peculiarities, but a reasonable project if you want precision.* You will want to replace your spice grinder/bean-basher or high-speed coffee whizzer with a good burr grinder. You can’t expect reasonable results from a pump-driven espresso machine without a consistent grind, no matter what anyone tells you. Yes, that means you need to drop at least another hundred bucks on a coffee grinder to get a basic conical burr machine at minimum.Still, after a decade of home espresso experience, I’d stand firm on my opinion that Silvia’s the best choice for the vast majority of coffee enthusiasts who don’t want to cross into the four-figure prosumer market. You can get more automation at this price point, but at the expense of reliability/durability in my opinion. And while you can fix Silvia’s thermostat issues if you want, you can’t fix other machine’s durability/performance problems.

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  10. Lina

    Where have you been my entire life, Miss Silivia?I have been saving up to purchase this machine for a very long time. The day finally came and I receieved my Rancilio Silvia V3. After watching tons of videos and reading a bunch of reviews, I felt like I was relatively prepared to start my relationship with Miss Silvia. I am good to her, and my goodness is she good to me. So long Starbucks, so long Moka Pot…hello sweet Crema.My impressions after 1 week (I will update if things change)Aesthetically she is beautiful. I think my wife put it best when she said that it has a simple design, almost trying to be retro yet with a very strudy/industrial finish. All in all a very classy, simple, and efficient design.The machine pulls phenomenal shots and so far I have been pulling roughly a quarter to a half of an inch of Crema. The boiler heats up quickly and teperature surfing has proven to be both very effective and very easy. The steam wand is powerful and froths milk for a silky smooth latte or cappucino perfectly. And the Portafilter is very well made (heavy) and feels very “professional”. If there is one thing the Italians know how to do…its Espresso (and Espresso Accessories).*UPDATE* The crema comment above has more to do with the beans and the freshness of the roast then it does with the machine. I mean, don’t get me wrong…the Rancilio creates a much better shot and much better crema than the average home espresso machine…but the volume of the crema really depends on the freshness of the roast. Most roasters recommend you let a fresh bag of beans air out for at least a few days….and the fresher the roast typically the thicker the crema.I had only one main concern going into purchasing this machine.-I own a Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder. I have read countless reviews of this grinder saying it is terrible for Espresso (at least without the Shim Kit). To my pleasant surprise, on the second to finest setting my Smart Grinder grinds the perfect consistency for my Rancilio (WITHOUT the SHIM KIT). Perhaps Breville made the adjustments on my machine but it works like a charm. I am currently getting nearly exactly 2 ounces of espresso coffee in a double shot in about a 26-28 second pull.*UPDATE* GET THE ROCKY. I used my friends Rancilio & Rocky and it DOES make a difference. I wish i had coughed up the extra $150 bucks for the Rocky. Well worth it. The grind is more even and the puck comes out solid and dry. It truly is incredible the differnce.I am beyond pleased with both my Rancilio and my Breville Smart Grinder.*UPDATE* No longer “Beyond Pleased” with my Smart Grinder, more like “Content”If I had to list one concern or “not perfect” aspect of Miss Silvia it would probably be that it would be difficult to entertain a lot of people with this machine. I would guess that an expert barista could kick out lattes in probably about 4 minutes of eachother using Miss Silvia. However, this is a HOME USE machine and is not intended for Commercial use. So I am sure most all other machines intended for home use would have the same issue.To sum up this ridiculously long review…If you haven’t already, it’s about time you start your love affair with Miss Silvia. She is certainly worth the investment!

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