This is an A List espresso machine for the home. If you love great espresso this one will not disappoint.
Positive Product Points
I have had my Silvia for two years now and I found I can produce great espresso if I stick to the game plan. Overall the design is great with high quality construction and material choice.
Negative Product Points
The basket is not deep enough to take a full dose so you must fill about half of the dose, tamp, add remaining coffee and tamp. Cheap poor fitting tamper is a throw away and buy RB or like. Not a show stopper but it would be nice to see the water level without having to pop the top to look.
After a few years of consistent use I have found this is a great machine and I produce better shots then I get in any coffee shop in town. With good fresh beans (no more then a week old), a good grind, and proper dosing you will see crema nirvana. It can not be said enough about the importance of fresh grinds and a good tamp! Not counting warm up time it takes me about 6 minutes to make a cappuccino, including clean up.
My Espresso ritual is: • Turn on the machine about 10 minutes prior. • Run H2O through group into cup and set aside. This heats porta filter and cup. • Grind fresh coffee beans. • With my RB tamper I know I have a good dose by the feel of how far the top chamfer sits above the basket. I often dose into the basket and then insert basket in porta filter but it does not matter. • Put porta filter in group, and dump H2O out of cup placing it under group. • Hit the "Go" button. After a few seconds you should see golden goodness come out in dribbles. If it pours out it is likely a bad tamp/dose or old coffee.
Sevice was OK. At the time I was living in Europe and this was one of the few places that would ship to an APO.