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Rancilio Rialto / Nancy - Chris Nicola's Review
Posted: November 5, 2004, 8:10am
review rating: 6.5
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Rancilio Rialto / Nancy
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Arrow The Rancilio Rialto / Nancy has 7 Reviews
Arrow The Rancilio Rialto / Nancy has been rated 7.69 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Rancilio Rialto / Nancy reviews have been viewed 50,557 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
David Bogie 7.00
Chris Nicola 6.50
Robert Holman 6.00
Brendan Getchel 5.57
James Bremner 5.50

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.6
Manufacturer: Rancilio Quality: 7
Average Price: $375.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $190.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Morala Trading Aesthetics 6
Owned for: 6 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: I love it.  If you are lucky enough to find one of these used for a good price buy it.  The retail price is not worth it though, get a Silvia instead.
Positive Product Points

Quality internal parts (same as Silvia)
Full-sized brass portafilter
Excellent Steam duration and power
3-way solenoid
Auto-shutoff when low on water

Negative Product Points

Kinda tacky looking (white plastic)
Small resivoir
Small driptray
Portafilter is painted with black teflon (ugh!)
Auto-shutoff when low on water (nothing is more irritating in the middle of a shot, especially when it is just the res that is low, but the boiler is full).

Detailed Commentary

I recently purchased a 'refurbished' Audrey from Morala traders along with an Innova conical grinder (see Innova Grinder review).  I can safely say I will not deal with Morala ever again.  Nonetheless, I was very happy to find a Silvia quality machine for under $300 and I took it without question.

It makes excellent espresso (and a place around the corner sells freshly roasted beans daily) and the steam is incredible.  Probably the best on any machine this price.  It has a three-pinhole steam wand that can steam for a long time (so far I have not been able to run out of steam,  I think it is pretty much continuous untill there is not water).

It may look a little tacky but I am on a student budget.  And I can skip the Silvia in my upgrade process when I have the money (I will be sure to post a forsale note on this site when I do).  As for the teflon covered portafilter.  This like the Silvia takes all Rancilio portafilters.  So maybe I will get a nice chromed professional one for my Birthday.  Also a plus, any damaged parts can be replaced with Silvia parts as they are identical.

Buying Experience

There were countless shipping errors and 'refurbished' seemed to mean 'trade-in, nothing done at all'.   I was told that all the internals had been replaced (I assumed at least cleaned and checked) but I doubt they even took it apart, although I have not taken it apart to check it myself.  The grouphead was very dirty when it arrived.  They claimed it was because they 'tested' it before sending it.  I cleaned it to a shine with some oxyclean (works like a charm) and so far even after running it for over a month without another cleaning it has never been that dirty again.  My guess is that was years of coffee build up, not one 'test'.   I also decalcified it a couple times.  I should probably take apart the boiler at some point and make sure it is ok.  They also initially shipped it to me without the grinder so me all excited about using it had to use, ugh, preground espresso until it arrived.  

They had a annoying habit of answering all my product related question with positive answers even when it wasn't true.  They seemed to be willing to tell me anything (particularly because it was over the phone) to get me to buy.  They are not to be trusted for mail order at least.

I would recommend 'not' dealing with Morala to anyone.  Checking out some of the other suppliers around in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto.   There are lots, all with comparable prices.

Three Month Followup

Well I missed my 3 month follow up, so see the 1 year followup instead.

One Year Followup

Well it has been over a year and my Audrey is still working perfectly.  Definitely no regrets on this purchase, this is a solid espresso machine despite appearances.  The water capacity is still rather annoying but not enough to really bother me and I keep one of those large capacity Brita water filters near it so filling it up isn't that difficult really.  I have not had a problem with teflon coming out of the machine from the boiler but I have yet to take it apart and check the boiler for a teflon coating.  It is possible the Audrey doesn't have a teflon coated boiler.   If I do every take it apart I will make sure to update this review.  

I noticed I listed the price paid in CDN $ not US $ so I have adjusted for the US$ value approx at the time which is about $190 but it was $270 CDN.

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review rating: 6.5
Posted: November 5, 2004, 8:10am
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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