KitchenAid Pro Line Epresso Machine, Andreja Premium, Gaggia Baby Twin
Great value for consistent and delicious shots without fussing around with flushing and temperature surfing.
Positive Product Points
PID means you always have the temp you want, no flushing or surfing needed Thermoblock provides unlimited steam without waiting for the boiler to heat up Has a brew pressure gauge Uses same size portafilter as more expensive machines - 58mm Includes backflush disc, single and double filters Large 2L water reservoir, visible and fillable from the side
Negative Product Points
Steaming is a little slow compared to hx machine Toggle switches mean you can't control steam as finely as with a knob
I bought this machine to replace a KitchenAid Pro Line espresso machine i used at work, which always made bitter shots and was a pain to get the temperature right. I use this machine only at work; at home I have an Andreja Premium. I use my Silvano paired with a Baratza Virtuoso grinder. I got the older model from Seattle Coffee Gear as an open box/demo model because they're upgrading to the newer, improved model released this spring. It was a great deal at $800 and because of the PID, a better choice for me than a Silvia.
I am exclusively a latte drinker - 8oz. The beverages I make with the Silvano are comparable to the taste of the shots I make at home with my set up that cost almost twice the price (Andreja Premium + Vario). I love that I can turn my Silvano on and then 30 minutes later, just pull a shot without worrying about a lot of flushing and fiddling with the temperature. This is a huge issue for me at work, where I don't have the machine near a kitchen, so using less water and being able to just walk up to it and get a good shot guaranteed every time is great. It is very consistent - shots always come out tasty without any guesswork or luck needed.
Steaming milk does take longer than with a hx machine, but I have been able to get some decent microfoam after a bit of practice. The steaming technique is different then with my Andreja and took some getting used to. Often, there is more foam on top and it is definitely more difficult to get mix the foam evenly throughout the milk than with the hx machine, but for the price difference and convenience the Silvano offers, it's a trade-off that is well-worth it. Once I pour the milk into my drink, it tastes great, despite a slightly less well-mixed microfoam. Steaming my 6oz of milk takes about 30-40 sec. I like that I don't have to wait for the boiler to heat up to steam temp before steaming. It makes making a beverage really quick and simple.
Before I found out about this machine, I was leaning towards buying the new PIDed LeLit, because temp surfing on the KitchenAid just was too much of a pain and would always give me inconsistent results. The thermoblock for endless steam on this mahcine, as well as the brew pressure gauge and the QuickMill/Chris Coffee names convinced me to take the leap and opt for this more expensive machine. I am really glad I did, because I love it. I would highly recommend the Silvano, especially to someone considering a Silvia of LeLit and who doesn't want to have to fiddle around with temp surfing. If I didn't already have an Andreaja at home and the Silvano had existed when I purchased my home machine, I would probably just have gone with the Silvano for home as well.
Great. It's my second purchase from Seattle Coffee Gear and I highly recommend them if you're on the west coast.