The new pod adapter version is great! Works well with pods, and along with its great steaming ability, a cappucino is not far away.
Positive Product Points
Heavy duty professional portafilter, great foaming ability, compact, no gimmicky steam wand, nice stainless steel body, easy/solid controls. New version with pod adapter works well.
Negative Product Points
Can't easily switch between pods and ground coffee. You have to switch out the shower screen and part of the group. Can't swivel the steam wand as much as desired.
Well, here is the first review of the new Rancilio Silvia with the pod adapter for those of you out there who don't care about the "god shot" of espresso, and want the convenience of pods with the great steaming ability of the Silvia.
I purchased the machine after returning a Gaggia Coffee that had inadequate foaming ability, as I'm a big Cappucino/latte fan and it seems like the Silvia would make great espresso and actually create good microfoam.
Straight out of the box, I was impressed. Very solid machine with quality stainless case and nice hefty portafilter. I set her up, and after getting the parts switched over from the regular group/shower screen to the pod adapter parts (it's really easy and takes maybe 2 - 3 minutes), I gave it a try with a Lavazza Gran Crema pod. Evidently I didn't tighten the portafilter enough as water was streaming from the group outside the portafilter resulting in a weak/bitter shot of espresso.
Round 2 went better, with a tasty espresso with suprisingly good crema. On to the steaming!!! Wow, what great microfoam with my first attempt! I'm very impressed with the steaming ability, especially if you follow the instructions from all the other reviewers here...bleed off watery steam, wait 30 seconds, repeat, and then steam away.
So, after only having it a week, and using it every day once or twice, I have to say I'm very impressed. The pod adapter seems to work well, with consistent 20 second shots to create about an ounce and a half. The only problem I've had once or twice is with a bit of leaking water from outside/around the portafilter right when the brewing starts. I'm guessing that a fold in the pod paper prior to sealing is allowing it to happen, but doesn't bother me as it's only a drop or two.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm ecstatic! I can have hassle free brewing with the pods, with tons of great foaming ability for my cappucino/lattes! No worrying about the perfect grind, inconsistent results, and such easy cleanup. :)
For anyone wanting the simplicity of pods with great foaming ability, look no further!
Aabree coffee promptly sent me the Silvia as an upgrade while my Gaggia Coffee was being returned. However, they didn't have the pod adapter so I had to get it locally.
Three Month Followup
So far so good. Now that the o-ring has seated itself properly, no more watery shots of espresso. Great machine!
One Year Followup
Well, I was skeptical about all of the hype surrounding the Silvia, but I have to say that I love the machine now that I've figured her out. As I mentioned in my original review, I had a few problems with water leaking around the pods at first but that's fixed. The quality of the microfoam I can make is top notch, which was my biggest reason for moving up from the Gaggia Coffee which had terrible foaming ability.
Overall, I'm exceedingly happy with the machine! Two thumbs up! :)