Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine Review
Updated for energy efficiency and more ergonomic use, the Rancilio Silvia M is the latest home espresso machine from Rancilio’s long line of home espresso machines. The Silivia M features an insulated lead-free brass boiler that provides an 8% reduction in energy consumption when in standby mode.
The main power switch has also been upgraded with two separate lights to indicate that the machine is on or off as well as that the heating element is on or off.
Mostly renowned for its status as the premier entry level machine for home espresso enthusiasts, the Silvia Espresso machine has performed extremely well for over the past 10 year period, which has earned the machine a reputation of superior performance.
To ensure heat retention and resulting quality, the Silvia M features a forged marine brass group head and a boiler made entirely of the same material. The large 12-ounce boiler this machine offers also allows for a great amount of steam capacity, unmatched by large volume steam machines of the same size and price.
An iron frame, housed by brushed stainless steel, provides durability as well as a sleek, Italian style.
The Rancilio Silvia espresso maker is known for taking a bit of patience to master, but its quality of craftsmanship and the espresso it produces make it worth it.
Please note that for best results while brewing, we strongly recommend using a grinder made by Rancilio – specifically the Rocky or the Rocky Doserless Grinder – to grind the beans.
The Silvia M comes standard with a 7 gram coffee scoop, a plastic tamper, a single filter basket and a double filter basket.
The machine also comes with an extended warranty of two years which provides total warranty coverage for two years.
It is well known that some of the most crucial elements for producing high quality espresso are influenced by the style, size and construction of the portafilter.
This portafilter is designed like a commercial machine and works in the same way as a commercial machine. The coffee is ground fine and is tamped (pressed) firmly into place. The portafilter on this machine is also the same size as that of a commercial machine. It has a diameter of 58 mm, which is large enough so that the water is distributed evenly over a large surface area which offers the possibility of drawing water over a longer period of time.
The portafilter is made up of two parts, the handle and the filter holder. The handle is made of high-quality plastic, and the heavy chrome-plated brass filter holder ensures that the temperature of the coffee brew is kept stable throughout the entire brewing process, producing a quality cup of espresso. This is the portion of the machine that the portafilter locks into. It is made of marine brass that has been chrome plated to provide a better brewing environment through maximum heat stability and longevity for the components. One of the best features of the Silvia espresso and coffee machine is the fact that it has the largest boiler (12 oz.) in its class and is also made of marine grade brass. We have found in our tests that this large volume produces the best steaming power and the shortest recycle time when we were brewing multiple espressos. The brass construction resists pitting and scale build up, which ensures long lasting durability.
The Silvia has the same switches that were used in the famed S20 series commercial units. There are four different snap-acting rocker arm switches, with the main power switch located by itself in the middle. When this feature is turned on the heating element is activated and a separate orange ready light will turn on. After the light turned off the machine is at operating temperature. The top left switch is used to operate the pump, and is also called the brew switch. By turning on the switch, start the brewing process and when you are done, turn it off. The middle button on the left side is for dispensing hot water. The bottom left switch triggers the steam function. When this is activated the boiler will warm up to steam temperature. Then turn the steam/water knob located at the side of the machine, and turn the machine on, and start frothing.
The Silvia now comes manufactured with an articulating stainless steel steam wand, that will allow for a greater range of motion and much easier to use. The three-way solenoid valve is a convenient commercial feature that relieves the water pressure off the coffee when the brew switch is turned off. This device actually serves two functions; first it dries out the coffee to prevent the coffee from dripping from the filter and second it makes it easy to knock the coffee out of the filter with one knock.