This is first and foremost the most important question. The Silvia is a great machine if you are 1. patient, and 2. anal enough. Took me 3 months to become one with my machine, with a decent grinder. I had not instruction, no help, no training, just me, the grinder, Miss Silvia, and a tamper. I watched tons of YouTube videos, and anything else I could find for reference. I was a complete newbie. Learning to surf the temp is one of the tricks I got off a YouTube video. I'm sorry I don't have the links for you. Search YouTube for Silvia, Rancilio, your grinder, steaming, frothing, latte, cappuccino, anything coffee related. Rancilio alos has instructional, albeit a not great video, but it should be one of the first things you watch. The manual that comes with your machine is for unpacking and initial set up. I've since had a PID installed and that's eliminated the temp surfing. Life is better now. Back to the grinder, you need a proficient grinder to get results from any prosumer quality espresso machine. I started with Rocky Doserless and have since stepped up to a Macap M4 stepless to be able to really dial in the grind.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 7,312 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Sun Jul 1, 2012, 4:49pm Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia
Why have you decided to look at Sylvia? What grinder do you have?
I have has several machines including the Sylvia with PID at work and which I have taken with me on vacation, it is OK for a travel machine but in the home I would save a little more money and buy a better machine. Sylvia works ok but is very slow for anything but straight shots. With a PID and a good grinder it can do straight shots well but when you start to do milk drinks there are much better choices for only a little more money.
In real life, my name is Wayne P. Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
kuotadriver Senior Member Joined: 1 Jul 2012 Posts: 6 Location: New Zealand Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sun Jul 1, 2012, 8:14pm Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia
I'm interested in the Silvia due to the mostly good reviews it receives. I'm planning on buying a Rocky grinder. My question is with a grinder and all things being equal, is the Silvia worth spending the money on over the De Longhi?
I would agree with Roastbear. I have had the Silvia (v.3?) and the Rocky doserless for many years, and I actually let it sit unused for, oh, a couple of years!--mainly out of frustration in getting enjoyment of using it. I agree--you have to be very, very patient; very, very anal-retentive; and really be devoted to "Miss Silvia!" I have no recommendations as to what would be a better choice, but I would definitely go along with the suggestions that there is something that will not produce as much frustration. These are just my feelings--I have many, many times come to the conclusion that I really want to sell my Silvia and get something "friendlier." Good luck--and don't rush into buying the Silvia.
If you find a good Silvia used at a good price, then maybe. New, today, it is overpriced for what it delivers in terms of espresso quality. It may last longer, but that only means it will be a challenge to control over a longer period of time. An espresso machine does very few things: - delivers water at a pressure - disperses that water evenly over the coffee - delivers the water at the coffee at a temperature Silvia does not do those things any more accurately or effectively than most any other machine in the class including those costing about half as much (or, at least to say, a lot less).
Rocky? No. It has a lot of positive feedback, and a lot of that is from years back when there was very little competition in the home grinder market. That has changed. The Rocky is not a precision instrument, the burrs don't last as long as they should, the burr carrier is of low tolerance and while it looks like it has a wide adjustment range, you will get no more than two choices ("clicks") for espresso settings. And like the Silvia, you can spend less and get a grinder that performs as well, or spend a little more and get one that performs substantially better. The Baratza grinders are an excellent place to start looking. And like Zedex stated, get the grinder first and see what you can do with your current machine. The grinder is critical when making espresso- more so than the espresso machine.
If you are set to purchase, Look into a Gaggia and a Baratza grinder, but ask here before purchasing and get some more opinions on the decision.
Hi all, thanks for the replies. The knowledge on here is great. I'm now looking at the Silvia and Mazzer Mini. I can't seem to find anything comparable in the price range of the Silvia. Any suggestions? Thanks again.
i have had my silvia for 6 months now. i have a barazta preciso grinder. after a little learning period, i am very happy with the results, i am roasting with a behmor 1600. metropolis beans, gold malabar bean, some sweet maria's.
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