I wish we'd bought Silvia first time round. An excellent product.
Positive Product Points
A well-built, good looking, solid (14kg of solid) machine which produces great coffee.
Negative Product Points
The tamper is a disgrace when compared with the quality of the machine. The English translation of the manual is good for a laugh, but not very helpful. Thankfully, Alan Frew (Coffee For Connoisseurs) provides his own documentation with the machine.
This has been a case of not knowing how bad something is until you come across something good. After two years experience of a Krupps machine - some of that involving a screwdriver - Silvia is a breath of fresh air.
Although a little more complex in operation to the "press the button, every cup just as bad" than the Krupps, Silvia rewards the time taken to learn how to use her. I have read comments suggesting that Silvia can be tricky to use but then a car (automobile) can be tricky to drive on the first attempt. Perseverance will be rewarded.
The only flaws that I can report are the cheap'n'nasty tamper and the dreadful translated-with-a-dictionary manual. Alan's (Frew) documentation more than makes up for the manual and, although fiddly, the tamper is useable.
In addition to being a solid machine which makes good coffee, Silvia's looks add a touch of class to our kitchen.
This experience of a Rancilio product give me confidence in looking to my next purchase - Silvia's best friend, Rocky.
Alan Frew (Coffee For Connoisseurs), a regular writer in this forum, proves that there is still such a thing as service. Everything fully tested before despatch and DECENT coffee samples included in addition to much needed documentation.
Three Month Followup
Still think Silvia's a great machine, limited only by the proficiency of the operator, who is getting better...
One Year Followup
Now an old hand working with Silvia, I really can't find anything to fault. I've even got used to the yucky plastic tamper.
I find that with Silvia, the Rocky grinder and the excellent coffees that we get from Coffee for Conoisseurs <www.coffeeco.com.au>, my wife and I have become exceedingly hard to please when taking espresso in cafes.