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Rancilio Silvia - John Rustrick's Review
Posted: October 17, 2006, 12:27am
review rating: 6.2
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Rancilio Silvia
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More About This Product
Arrow The Rancilio Silvia has 231 Reviews
Arrow The Rancilio Silvia has been rated 8.54 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Rancilio Silvia reviews have been viewed 1,713,278 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Chris Clark 9.13
Ed Lawless 9.00
Joe DP 8.88
Dave Borton 8.67
Eric Larson 8.62

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.2
Manufacturer: Rancilio Quality: 8
Average Price: $629.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $600.00 Cost vs. Value 7
Where Bought: Spinelli Coffee Aesthetics 5
Owned for: 1 week Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Saeco Via Venezia, Krups XP4050
Bottom Line: What are you waiting for? This is the best machine in it's class....
Positive Product Points

Easy to get decent cafe-grade espresso shots.
Solid utilitarian build quality.

Negative Product Points

Expensive in Asia.

Detailed Commentary

Just got delivery of my Sylvia and Rocky after having done all my research. This purchase was made after going from a Krups XP4050 to a Saeco Via Venezia and still not finding a decent shot of espresso. Why do they all come out sour and bitter? I'd had more luck with the Via Venezia, but it was still hit and miss.

Got the Sylvia/Rocky combi and immediately noticed that the quality of shots pulled jumped up significantly. The large adjustment range on the Rocky made it easy to dial in the grind to give that elusive 20-22s pull that was near impossible with the Krups grinder and Via Venezia. Now the only thing left to do is to find a way to keep coffee beans fresh in asian climates.

The 3way value gives a pleasing dry cake when you bang out the grinds after a pull. The switches feel solid. And portafilter feels commercial grade. The base pulls the Sylvia/Rocky together beautifully. What can I say? It's all good - why didn't I just make this investment in the first place?

Buying Experience

An additional mention to Ross Bright of Spinelli Coffee for taking the time to take me thru the espresso machine options, delivering the gear, and spending 1 hour dialing in the grinder, pulling the first shots, and generally talking coffee with me for an hour.

Three Month Followup

This is still a great machine that makes great espresso. However, the price you need to pay is patience, experimentation, and constant adjustment to get that great shot time and time again. Changes in temp and humidity (I am in Asia, can you say 90% relative humidity?) really make a difference and require adjustments to grind and tamp to keep on getting it right.

In the end, I got upgrade fever, and plonked for a prosumer Vibiemme Domobar Super that could brew espresso and steam milk at the same time. I largely drink milk drinks (flat white, latte) and this was a convenience I had to have (I love hindsight). Plus the E61 makes brewing far more predictable than the Silvia.

If I had a budget that wouldn't stretch to a prosumer machine, the Silvia would still be my first choice.

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review rating: 6.2
Posted: October 17, 2006, 12:27am
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