You just don't see this kind of quality construction and performance any more, whether we're talking about coffee makers or automobiles - I feel like I hit the jackpot in choosing the Rancilio Silvia.
Positive Product Points
- Built like a tank - No-nonsense, intuitive controls - Outstanding performance - Excellent value for the money
Negative Product Points
- There must be something, but I haven't found it yet. - Oh, yes...trivial, but the cheesy Silvia sticker should be replaced with something more in line with the superb quality and construction of this machine.
I have loved coffee for many years, but have only gotten semi-serious about it over the last year or so. When it came time to buy an espresso maker, I did a substantial amount of research on the web, including visits to CoffeeGeek, Whole Latte Love, and various other sites. I wanted a high quality machine that performed the basics flawlessly while also allowing me to experience the art of espresso-making.
Based on all of the information I was able to gather, I chose the Rancilio Silvia. Out of the box, I found the Silvia simple and straightforward to set up and use. The instructions from Whole Latte Love, including a DVD with visual lessons for making espresso, cappucino, and latte, were outstanding.
As I have learned over the last year, espresso-making is truly an art. And the one thing you don't want introduced into your art is flawed performance or variability coming from your machine. The Silvia makes certain that the art is up to you. In other words, it does what it is supposed to do so well that the user is left with his/her knowledge, technique, bean, grind and tamp as the only variables to manage. All of these elements can change, but the Silvia's performance is consistent and rock-solid.
Over the last year, I have pulled many great shots on my Silvia (and some not so great - due to operator error, not the machine). I also use it to make lattes, cappucinos and steamed-milk hot cocoa. I can honestly say that I have been absolutely thrilled with my choice. Despite my continued research just to know what's out there, I have not been compelled in the least to move to any other espresso machine.
I purchased my machine from Whole Latte Love. My buying experience was absolutely flawless. Excellent source of information and advice, good price, very quick shipping, and excellent custom instructions. I have since bought various other items from Whole Latte Love, including my Solis Maestro grinder, Illy cups, etc. It continues to be my first stop for coffee-related research and products.