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Rancilio Rialto / Nancy - James Bremner's Review
Posted: January 10, 2005, 9:24pm
review rating: 5.5
feedback: (0) 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 52,794 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: 8
Average Price: $375.00 Usability: 6
Price Paid: $100.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Second Hand Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 2 years Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: If you can get a used one at a good price, it is a great machine to get you started.
Positive Product Points

Silvia-level internals
Easy to maintain

Negative Product Points

Dated styling
No cup warming tray

Detailed Commentary

This machine was posted for sale by someone in my office, after reading up on it a bit I couldn't believe what a deal it was.  I snapped it up before anyone else could.  

After 2 years, the machine just keeps steaming along.  When matched with a decent grinder and good beans, I can pull shots better than 90% of the cafes in town.  That is unfortunately more of a commentary on the quality of cafes around here.  I've had shots of the same beans from a well set-up Gioto and I'd say the Nancy is 85% of the way there.  Temperature tends to drift a bit, and the machine definitely benefits from a good warm up period before pulling shots.  

Steam production is good for this class of machine, it just takes a while to get there.  For lattes, it is probably over a minute after pulling the shot until I can get decent steam.  Once it gets going it steams like a champ.  And yes, the steam wand is very exasperating.  A truly awful design, it straight out the side at about a 40 degree angle.

For just me or maybe a couple of friends this is perfectly servicable machine.  But it really isn't up to taking care of a large dinner party.  Not enough boiler capacity and too long between shots and steaming.

But in the end, for the price I can't complain.  I'm happy with the quality of the espresso for day to day drinks.  I had been thinking of upgrading to a more robust machine, until I paired it with a Rocky instead of my usual Barista grinder.  The difference was noticable enough that I'm convinced that my money will be better spent on a new grinder.  My new Mini is on its way this week.  My old Nancy will keep chugging along for another year until I can save for a new machine.  And hey, I already have friends lining up to give it a good home when I'm throught with it.

Buying Experience

Bought this machine from someone at work who barely used it.  It was in great shape, and has been very reliable since.

Three Month Followup

Still rolling

One Year Followup

May 2014 - More like 9 year follow up. I passed this Nancy on to my Mom a couple of years ago, and with good maintenance it is still being used every day. After over a decade, still a good consumer machine for a couple of shots a day.

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review rating: 5.5
Posted: January 10, 2005, 9:24pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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