I spotted the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine on Amazon a while back and noted that it had 21 customer reviews and they were 99% positive. I liked the simple elegance of it’s looks so I dug a bit deeper.
Apparently it can be found in British Prime Minister David Cameron’s kitchen so it’s possible that many heads of state have sampled the espresso from this machine.
Buying an espresso machine, especially one that is not, shall we say, bargain basement priced can be daunting, but with a little research and effort finding a great one can be easy.
Here we will focus on the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine. As a matter of full disclosure I’ll tell you up front I do not own one of these machines, however I have owned a number of espresso machines and am an experienced review writer and researcher. So without further ado…
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine – In Depth
The first thing I like to look at is the company that makes the product reviewed, take a look at their background and check out things like customer service and warranty options if available.
Who Are RANCILIO?
Rancilio is a premium product manufacturer they do not make junk so that helps right off the bat, no need to pare down and whittle through the low end models to find top quality. I assume if you are reading this you are in the market for a truly great machine.
Rancilio has been building excellent espresso machines since the 1920’s They claim extensive research and development and continual product advancement keeping the end user in mind. One interesting note is their claim that they maintain an extensive network of distributors and that all of them are trained at the “Rancilio Technical Institute”.
There they get instruction on proper, prompt and dependable customer service as well as an apparent inventory of spare parts for servicing machines. My guess is that this is really for the very expensive business class machines that they also sell. The fact that they even make super high end business class machines is great because technology, just as in many other industries such as automotive racing “trickles down” and benefits the home or end user. Neat.
For A Rancilio Machine It’s Cheap
The Silvia model itself is part of the “Home” line that Rancilio makes. This would place it at the bottom of their line in terms of price. This is a good thing, in the same way that it’s better to buy the least expensive home in the best neighborhood that you can afford. Make sense? You get the idea.
What Are People Saying About It?
In looking around the web I read what others who own the machine are saying about it, and I have come away with is pretty much what I expected. This maker is great! They cited its ease of use and its ability to make espresso that is comparable to what you would find at your local shop.
The only advice I found is to have your coffee/espresso ground correctly, in this case the person recommended Starbucks. Rancilio, by the way, sells a grinder called Rocky and I suspect it is quite capable of grinding coffee perfectly. There is even a Rocky/Silvia combo deal available.
I was unable to find any warranty information on Rancilios website; however, I did see one site listing a one year manufacturers warranty on the machine. I also noticed some websites offering one free year warranty and free shipping.
Helpful Videos From Rancilio
The Rancilio website features a short video clip showing a person opening the box; I’m not sure why they included this on their site but it is there if you can’t figure out how to do so on your own. From there you have a list of videos to watch that are actually pretty cool, it’s a nice touch you don’t see other manufacturers going to the trouble to do.
- Opening the Silvia
- What’s Inside
- Quick Tour
- Main Power Switch
- Element Indicator Switch
As you can see, Rancilio has gone to great length to make sure you understand how their machine is properly used and how to get the most out of it.
To be honest, I’m pretty impressed and other manufacturers could learn a thing or two from this level of customer care.
In fact, come to think of it, a lot of these video instructions would be useful to any espresso machine owner… Shhh…
Not Too Big, Not Too Small
The basic dimensions of the machine (H 13 2/5” W 11 2/5” D 9 3/10”) place it in the mid-size category pictures of the machine show it with six espresso demitasse cups sitting on top.
Weight is considerable at 30.4 lbs. which I really like. Unless the bottom is filled with rocks, which it isn’t I assure you, this is usually an obvious sign of quality. There doesn’t appear to be much plastic on this machine so the weight makes sense, which leads us to…
Quality All-Stainless Steel
All stainless. Very nice indeed. This includes the housing and the drip tray and grid. It’s a lovely machine to be sure.
Very Durable Boiler – Made of Brass!
One of the most important parts of an expresso machine is the boiler. You really want this part to last a long time. In the Silvia, the boiler is made of brass, runs at 952w, and is has a volume of 12 oz. Being made of brass means it will be much more durable than the normal aluminum or steel boilers that you usually get in machines. Brew group is also brass and functions via three way solenoid.
Can It Take Pods Too?
Commercial type and chrome plated brass, weighs 17 oz., filter basket capacity is single and double shot. *Of note- The filter is pod capable with a pod adapter.
What Are The Controls Like?
Rocker switches, which I prefer. No displays, and non-programmable. Does include a back pressure relief valve for safety which is great and expected, also includes burn out protection.
What About The Steam Wand?
Made of stainless steel, but no frothing adapter. The height off counter is 4”, this is pretty typical, although I prefer a little higher. Four inches should be perfectly fine however. Length of frother comes in at 3 ½”.
Large Water Reservoir
Capacity of 74 oz. is excellent and top is removable. Also includes a hot water dispenser feature, which is nice.
These features are fairly typical for this style machine and price range. What stands out again is the apparent customer service and attention to detail. I like that you can add an optional ESE (easy serve espresso) pod adapter kit, which adds a dimension to the machine the many others do not have the possibility for.
What’s In The Box?
- 1 Cup Filter
- 2 Cup Filter
- Measuring Scoop
- Coffee Tamper
Overall I would love to buy this machine for myself. After writing this review and doing a little research I’ll admit I’m intrigued. The quality looks pretty excellent, the customer service looks outstanding. And as is typical in high quality machines, operation is simple, straight-forward and without a lot of unnecessary features that no one would use anyway.
I think that if you are in the market, this is definitely worth your consideration and it’s pretty obvious where your money is going. This can’t always be said, and from this reviewer anyway, is pretty high praise indeed.
Where Can I Buy The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine?
The best deal I could find was at Amazon. I like them becuase you usually get free shipping and excellent customer service with no questions asked returns. Click here to check out the Rancilio Silvia at Amazon.