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Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

$89.00 of free extras with purchase!
  • Seattle Coffee Gear 1 Year Extended Warranty $89.00
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$685.00

This is the most up-to-date version of the Silvia, which some refer to as the V4. This updated model includes a screw in the boiler element that is more durable and easier to replace.

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Product Description

Sturdy stainless steel casing, brass components throughout and an upgraded commercial-grade steam wand make the Rancilio Silvia Version 3 one of the most popular machines on the market. Simple, reliable and powerful, the Silvia espresso machine produces excellent espresso and silky microfoam milk for your lattes and cappuccinos. Add even more consistency to your Rancilio Silvia with the addition of a PID controller. Installed by our own Seattle Coffee Gear tech department before the machine goes out, these units enable you to control the temperature variance on this machine by as little as one degree.

The PID that is currently being installed on the Silvia w/ PID will display white numeric digits

Features & Functionality of the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

  • Steaming/Hot Water: Featuring a commercial grade chrome-plated steam wand, the Rancilio Silvia quickly delivers plenty of steam for milk frothing and hot boiling water for your Americano or a cup of tea.
  • Brew Group: Inspired by Rancilio's professional espresso machines, this chrome-plated brass group ensures even heat and water distribution, resulting in highly consistent espresso extraction.
  • Pressure Release System: The commercial-grade pressure relief system utilizes a 3-way solenoid valve which makes for easier cleanup — either by reducing splatter from an inadvertently removed portafilter or by reducing post-brew drip, effecting a dried out coffee ground "puck."
  • 67 oz Water Tank: The water reservoir is removable, making for easy regular care. You can fill it while operating or by taking it out and filling it from the sink.
  • 15 BAR Heavy Duty Pump: A powerful water pump will effectively force water through your coffee grounds and extract full flavor.
  • 12 oz Brass Boiler and Three Thermostats: Brass evenly distributes heat, so this boiler will get up to temperature quickly and easily maintain it through multiple repetitive uses. The thermostats monitor the espresso, steam and boiler heat to ensure excellent espresso extraction without worrying about overheating.
  • Stainless Steel Construction: Brushed stainless steel case, rust resistant steel frame, stainless steel bolts, screws, heating element and only the finest fittings and tubing give this machine a sleek, industrial and functional design.
  • Plug n Play: Requiring no special plumbing or electrical outlets, you can easily plug the Silvia right in and it's ready to operate.
  • Portafilter and Filter Baskets: The Silvia comes with a commercial-grade, heavy-duty chrome plated brass portafilter and two stainless steel filter baskets (one for single shot, one for double shot) which measure 58mm in diameter.
  • Drip/Cup Tray and Warmer: The stainless steel drip pan and cup tray are easy to remove and clean. Plus, a warming surface on the top of the machine gives you a space to warm your cup before you pour your espresso, keeping it at the right temperature — an essential element of fine espresso.
Pros
  • Easy to Use - Users will find the Rancilio Silvia is simple to operate.
  • Good Price for Serious Machine - You can't go wrong with the price of this well-designed, high-end machine with great features and reliability.
  • Removable Heating Element - The stainless steel heating element is removable for quick and easy repairs.
Cons
  • Precise Grind Needed - To extract an ideal shot, you'll need to really get your grinds dialed-in. This machine benefits from a high-end grinder to get the most performance out of it.
  • No Programming - With the exception of the PID (optional install), there are no programming capabilities with the Rancilio Silvia.
Ease of Use 4
Ease of Care and Maintenance 4
Overall Value for the Money 4
How Does it Compare?

The Rancilio Silvia produces ideal shots, but it takes a little more work because of its specific grind requirement. Be prepared to dial in your grind every time you use a new bag of beans, and to use fresh beans for the best flavor.

Additional Information

Model Number Ran-Silvia V3
Manufacturer Rancilio
Width 9.5 inches
Depth 11.0 inches
Height 13.5 inches
Watts 1100W
Volts 120V
Case Material Stainless Steel
Boiler Material Brass
Cup Clearance 3.0 inches
Boiler Volume 12 oz
Reservoir Size 67 oz
Solenoid Valve Yes
Steam Wand Type Traditional Only
Cup Warmer Yes
Warm Up: Brew Time 3 minutes and 27 seconds
Boiler Design Single Boiler
Water Sources Reservoir/Internal Tank
Pre-Infusion/Aroma Yes
Size 58mm
Material Stainless Steel

Ask a Question

Browse 57 questions and 136 answers
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Do you really have to wait 45 minutes in the morning before you draw the first shot or is there a work-around?
John G on Nov 12, 2012
Best Answer: Actually yes more wait time is welcome. The wait time is mainly due to the thermal mass of brass this machine has. The boiler and group head is made of brass, and they get up to temp in around 30 minutes, the extra 15 is to get the brass portafilter and basket up to temp as well.

Why? to simply make use of the brass! Ask yourself why did they use brass, and why higher end machines use brass and top end use copper? why not Aluminum or stainless? Simply because brass retains heat more than other types of metal, and the best is copper (which most HX machines do use). which means when you pull a shot the temp of water running from boiler to grouphead to portafilter should remain consistent till it reaches the grounds and out of the portafilter. Temp stability is vital to ensure proper extraction, cause you might have water in the boiler at right temp but until it reaches the grounds, if not brass/copper temp might drop dramatically.

Wait time is to make sure all the parts are at the same temperature and so water will hit grounds and come out at the correct temp which will make your espresso taste far better.

45 minutes is alot , I know, but you have 2 work arounds.

First: Get a good electric DIGITAL timer. and set it 45 minutes prior your wake up time so when you wake up the machine is already up to temp

Second: You can cheat miss silvia, there is a very popular page for that, just google "CoffeeKid Cheating miss silvia"

I hope I've been informative.
Reply (1) · Report · Shehab I on Nov 20, 2012
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We're finally (after 6 years) having to replace our Solis Crema SL70 espresso machine. The features we loved were the pressurized filter basket and brass heater, solid construction. We were sold on that machine because of how forgiving it was with regard to differences in beans and did not require pinpoint precision grind, although we do have a very high quality coffee grinder with fine adjustments. After initial research this machine seems to come closest to what we like. Do others agree? Can it handle a bean that is a bit oily? (local coffee roaster). Thanks in advance.
A shopper on Nov 4, 2012
Best Answer: Hello,

First I must state that this is my first espresso machine. Before I bought "Miss Silvia" I spent a fair amount of time researching the subject. I am extremely happy with my choice. The three drawbacks were the lack of a gauge or view port on the water tank, the small drip pan, and that it was somewhat difficult to judge when the water had reached the proper temperature for a perfect shot. I ignored the tank problem and got a small pan to put under my espresso cup. I ordered a PID from an engineer who sells kits on eBay at the same time as I ordered the machine. This small device is a little processing chip, control switches and an accurate thermometer. It keeps the temperature to within one degree of its setting. It displays the temperature as numbers on an LCD so one knows when to start the process. I installed the PID on the machine after first testing the machine one time, as the warranty might have been voided by the modification. (That first cup from the machine, with no PID, was great.) The PID installation was well described and documented with pictures and was easy to do.

As to a problem with oily beans, the Silvia machine itself works equally well with any roast. The Rancillo grinder, which I also use, does have a problem with very oily (dark roast) beans. Most espresso drinkers prefer the more caffeinated lighter roasts and I usually fall in this group. I sometimes use dark roasts and two or three times - out of many hundreds - I have had to empty the grinder and return the beans to fix the jam.

Both the machine and the PID have worked flawlessly for three years. I am very pleased with both and highly recommend the Silvia and the use of a PID.
Reply · Report · Bruce R on Nov 6, 2012
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I've got a Silvia, bought it six or eight years ago from a vendor who shall remain nameless. It died after a bit over a year, and for lack of finding a place that would try to fix it, it sat in a closet for the next six or so years. (The selling vendor was, to be very polite, less than useful.) In a (failed) effort to fix it when it first died, I replaced the thermostats, but that obviously didn't work. My wife finally found -- through Rancillio -- a shop that would try to fix it, and they've said it needs a new boiler ($125), a bunch of new gaskets, two thermostats, and between two and three hours of labor. With a repair total of $408 facing me, I don't think it makes sense to put the money into the old Silvia. (Feel free to correct me on that.) So, going forward, does it make sense to buy a new Silvia, or should I look at another machine. The Silvia was terrific -- until it abruptly stopped doing anything at all at 13-15 months of use. (And it was bought new, not used.) Thanks for your advice and comments. Question mark?
Ed Rice on Dec 10, 2013
Best Answer: Hi Ed. I purchased a brand new Silvia well over a year ago. I have been impressed by it not because of the time it has lasted, but the amount of use it gets without needing service aside from regular cleaning. We use the Silva as our daily coffee machine, making 4-6 espresso drinks per day, every day. It continues to perform perfectly, as expected.
Because your machine sat for awhile, the gasket replacement makes sense. Our boiler is still going strong, even though my other half frequently forgets to turn the machine off and so the boiler stays on all day. Thermostats are fine too.
It would make sense to buy a new one if there has been a change in where they are manufactured, or an update in materials for the new ones. Otherwise, these machines seem to be of the dying breed of appliances that are NOT considered disposable. After going through a large number of espresso machines and finally paying top dollar for the Silva, I believe in this brand and it's lasting power. If you can get a guarantee on the replacement parts, I would fix it. Then make sure you descale and clean it regularly as per manufactures instructions. For $408, I'd rather have a refurbished Silva than anything else that can be bought for twice that price.
Hope that was helpful.
Mary
Reply · Report · Mary B M on Dec 27, 2013
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Does the PID that comes with this machine have the pre infuse functions?
A shopper on Oct 13, 2014
Best Answer: Yes, the Silvia we offer with an installed PID has both programmable pre infusion and shot length timing.
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Oct 13, 2014
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Hi, where is the Rancilio Silvia v3 made?
A shopper on Jul 3, 2012
Best Answer: The Rancilio Silvia is made in Italy.
Reply · Report · Kaylie KStaff on Jul 6, 2012
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I'm looking to purchase the Silvia with PID, but I'm concerned about the PID attaching to the unit with double sided adhesive. It seems like the fluctuations in temperature of the machine would cause the adhesive to lose adhesion over time. Have issues been reported about this? Can anyone share their experience with me?

thank you,
James
James M on Jan 15, 2015
Best Answer: my wife bought the rancilio for me as a b day present. I did a ton of research because in all honesty it's an expensive purchase. I have had this machine for a 2yrs and I use it everyday sometimes 3 or more times a day. it looks exactly the same as day 1, and I'm glad I got it with the pid. no problems with it falling off, and I clean my machine daily. best part about the pid is you can customize it, you can put different Temps and run time. highly recommend it
Reply · Report · Darla G on Jan 20, 2015
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I bought the Silvia several months ago and am generally happy with it, using the single filter basket. I am having a lot of trouble with the double basket. The shot pours out very quickly and is very watery, no crema at all. The same beans, the same grind using the single basket gives me a very good shot.
What am I doing wrong? Anyone run into the same issue?
Shanti S on Nov 9, 2013
Best Answer: Hi Shanti,

I seem to recall having this problem early on with my Rancilio. I changed the grind to a finer setting and started tamping the grounds as I filled the portafilter. So I fill the portafilter halfway then tamp very firmly, fill some more and tamp again. Make sure you have grinds higher than the indented line around the interior of the portafilter basket. I don't know what type of bean grinder you have (I use a Baratza Preciso) but the grinder does make a difference as well. Hope this helps.
Reply (1) · Report · Diana A on Nov 10, 2013
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Where is the Silvia Espresso machine manufactured?
squaint on Mar 2, 2014
Best Answer: The Rancilio Silvia is made in Italy.
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Mar 3, 2014
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I have a Krups which I love but after a year or so always have leaks this time from attachment point to frother. My it confusion with Silvia is this fear of not knowing how much water is in the boiler which is not a cover with my Krups. I am afraid of burning out the boiler by failing to have enough water in it. Typically we only make two shots at a time. Is this a real concern?
A shopper on Nov 10, 2013
Best Answer: Hi Erica,
Sorry for the confusion!
In order to prime the Silvia after steaming, you would turn Off the steam switch, the bottom switch of the three on the left, and turn On the middle switch, the water switch which engages the pump. You will do this while simultaneously turning the steam knob into the "open" position. This allows you to deplete steam from the boiler, and refill the boiler with water from the tank. No, I am not intending to use the words "boiler" and "tank" interchangeably, and misspoke in my first note to you. Correct wording for that sentence would be "prime the machine after steaming to refill the boiler." Sorry!

Regarding a grinder, the reason you absolutely need your own grinder for either the Silvia or the Crossland CC1, is that both of these machines require a specific grind that is different for every machine and every bean. If you go to your local coffee shop or a grocery store and have them grind beans for you, unfortunately their setting will likely be different from yours, as there is not a universal espresso grind setting. It is also the case that beans age quickly, and grinding them will allow them to age even quicker, as there is that much more surface area exposed to the air. If you try to use preground coffee in these machines, you will not find good flavor or crema and be very disappointed with the results. I would also suggest watching the video on the Silvia page for an overview of the machine and what all the buttons do for more information. I hope this helps clarify further, but please give us a call if you have any other questions! 866-372-4734
Reply (1) · Report · Teri KStaff on Nov 15, 2013
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Is the Silvia 3 good at just making coffee? I don't always want expresso.
mario s on Jan 24, 2015
Best Answer: It will not make just coffee. Because it has a portafilter, you will need to use a very fine grind for espresso, so you would not be able to use a coarser grind for a drip consistency. Also, it will pump the water with about 9 bars of pressure, rather than a standard drip coffee maker that will produce droplets over the grounds that saturate and more slowly permeate through the grounds.

However, you could certainly make espresso, then add hot water to it to water it down, making an americano. This is as close to a drip cup of coffee that any espresso machine like this will be able to produce, and for many people, it's similar enough to do the trick!
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Jan 29, 2015
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How much milk can you froth at a time? Without hurting the machine. I'm looking at filling a 16 oz glass with a double shot and filling the rest with HOT frothed milk.
Troy B on Mar 27, 2013
Best Answer: Actually in my morning latte with the Silvia I pour about 8 oz of 1% in a 16 oz mug and steam it in the mug (probably not the advised method but it works for me), then I hit the top espresso switch (without the portifilter on) to let the water run through until the light comes on. Turn off the switch, wait 30 seconds, insert the portafilter and pull a double shot. Then add it to the steamed milk. I only make one latte per day but I assure you that it works really well with about 8 oz. of cold milk. It expands to the top of the mug.

FYI: I use organic 1% milk from Costco. It tastes so much richer and steams better than non organic from the grocery store.
Reply · Report · Laura B on Mar 27, 2013
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I live at high altitude -- 6300 feet. Water boils at 200 degrees here. Will Silvia be able to get the water hot enough to pull a good shot?
A shopper on Jun 2, 2013
Best Answer: I believe it shouldn't be a problem because the boiler is a closed system (unlike a pan of water) although you might have to do a little adjusting of how you do the cooling flush...you can look for discussion threads on the internet using search terms "high" "altitude" "espresso" "maker". One suggestion might be to go to a local cafe and ask if they make any adjustments to pulling shots in their machine and follow suit.
Reply · Report · Martin F on Jun 4, 2013
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I just received my new Rancilio Silvia 3, being a novice, I read and watched videos and paid attention to the directions. This, my 2nd day brewing, the steam, purged ahead as advised, when steaming, stopped after about 10 seconds, any advice out there? thanks
terry b on Aug 3, 2013
Best Answer: My experience with the machine is from using it now for over a year.It seems best to purge the water out of the steam line first, then grind the coffee and pour your milk etc, as it wants time between purging the water from the line and then being used for making steam.
If you purge the line of water and ask for steam right away, you may not get any, or it will be at very low pressure. I hope that helps.

Neal
Reply · Report · N R on Aug 6, 2013
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I need to replace the group head of a 5 year old Rancilio Silvia (not just the gasket). Where can I find instructions and diagrams for this repair?
Patricia Cox L on Aug 1, 2013
Best Answer: I have no idea other than at Seattle Coffee Gear.I've had my Rancilio Silvia since Christmas 2011 and use it 5 or 6 times per week. Each time I try meticulously to clean it, and monthly I flush it out. So far I've had no problem whatsoever with it and have seen no wear on it. We're extremely please with it, especially its frothing capability.
Reply · Report · John W on Aug 7, 2013
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Thanks everyone for the quick answers! I've been reading reviews about silvia on Coffee Geek. There are several complaints about the bottom of the frame and the drip pan rusting. Have any of you had this problem?
Troy B on Mar 27, 2013
Best Answer: This is not something I've heard of happening with the Silvia (and we sell quite a few of these machines!), and so I wouldn't be concerned. The machine should not be sitting in water, and the drip tray does not have a super deep capacity, so it is also pretty unlikely that it would be filled for extended lengths of time with water, leading to rust.
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Apr 1, 2013
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what is the difference between the Breville 860 and the Rancilio One-Group Semi-Automatic Silvia. i guess my question is which is a better coffee machine??
dee L on Nov 23, 2011
Best Answer: Hi, Dee. I chose the Sylvia after doing quite a bit of evaluation of the various machines. If I recall, I chose the Sylvia because it has a better and longer-lasting boiler (cast iron vs. steel), higher more accurate temp, less issues, and is a reputable brand, and I wanted the grinder separate from the machine for easier maintenance. Look into those differences to see if they are still valid. Kat's videos on youtube helped tremendously! I love my Sylvia.
Best of luck to you,
Linda
Reply · Report · Linda W on Nov 25, 2011
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Can the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine be plumbed in to a water line?
Ian A on Aug 5, 2015
Best Answer: No
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Aug 6, 2015
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What kind of warranty is this machine coming with?
John D on Aug 1, 2015
Best Answer: Rancilio comes with a 1 year warranty. You can also purchase an additional 1 year or 2 year extended warranty.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Aug 3, 2015
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Rancilio Silvia 3 started shots coming too fast within the last 3 weeks. I am using the same grind level on my Baratza Precisio and now can't pull a decent shot. I have had both for almost a year and have done the descaling and cleaning as recommended. I have even tried using the finest level on my Baratza and still the same shot. Any ideas? Is it the grinder?
Randa T on Jul 23, 2015
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine
Baratza Preciso Burr Grinder
Baratza Preciso Burr Grinder
Best Answer: The Silvia can prove to be quite temperamental. I would recommend going to the Baratza website and troubleshooting your Preciso. You may be able to recalibrate the burrs to go finer. http://www.baratza.com/troubleshooting/ just choose the Preciso for instructions on getting your grind finer!
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Aug 11, 2015
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Can Rancilio Silvia be used with a pressurized portafilter ? Does such a one exist ?
A shopper on Jul 6, 2015
Best Answer: If there were a pressurized portafilter for the Silvia I'm sure you could use one, but there is not a pressurized portafilter for this machine as that would be considered a downgrade. Most people choose to upgrade to non-pressurized portafilters as this provides more control through tamping.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Jul 31, 2015
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Any advice on what to do before leaving my Rancilio Silvia unused for 6 months? (It's not going to be moved or exposed to low/high temperatures, just not used for a while.) I've just descaled and cleaned. Should I empty the water tank too? Anything else? Thanks!
Zoë S on Jun 8, 2015
Best Answer: You definitely want to empty the water tank and drain the boiler. In fact, we have a video on what to do for storing your machine! I have linked it here for your convenience:
https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/learn/videos-home/ask-the-experts/drain-the-boiler-single-boiler-edition
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Jul 17, 2015
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Question regarding your Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine Version 3

Your product description is indicating : "15 BAR Heavy Duty Pump: A powerful water pump will effectively force water through your coffee grounds and extract full flavor."

What is the part number of this heavy duty pump ? From several researches on internet, It seems that there are more than one pump model, a low quality one with a plastic piston (often causing leaking problems), one of a higher quality that thas a brass piston, and there may be others. I would appreciate to know which model of the pump corresponds to the 15 BAR Heavy Duty Pump. Thank you for your help.
B. M on Apr 25, 2015
Best Answer: Rancilio comes with the pump that has a nylon piston. We do carry the pump with the brass piston that you can purchase. Our internal part number for that pump is PRT143C0060. If you want the part number as indicated by Rancilio, you will need to contact Rancilio directly. They can be reached at 1-630-914-7900
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on May 29, 2015
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Is it possible to replace the portafilter with a bottomless portafilter and pay the difference?
A shopper on Apr 22, 2015
Best Answer: No, I'm sorry. You would need to purchase the bottomless portafilter separately.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Apr 23, 2015
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Is Silvia good for small shop? What is recovery between shots? Is it one of two group head?
Karen K on Apr 20, 2015
Best Answer: No, the Silvia would not be recommended for a small shop unless you were only doing under 10 shots a day. Since this is a single boiler, if you are wanting to do milk based drinks you would have to wait a few minutes between each as the boiler would need to heat up to steam and then cool down to brew. This really is a home machine, not meant for use in a shop. This has one group head.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Apr 24, 2015
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Is it two group ?
Karen K on Apr 20, 2015
Best Answer: No, this is one group.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Apr 24, 2015
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Should one have pid installed.?
Karen K on Apr 20, 2015
Best Answer: You can elect to have the PID installed if you would like to be able to control your temperature to give you a more precise shot of espresso. It is totally optional.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Apr 24, 2015
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What is the "PID" add on to this machine( Silvio Version 3)?
skip G on Apr 5, 2015
Best Answer: PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) Control is a popular upgrade to Silvia machines. Basically, a PID controller closely monitors and electronically regulates the water temperature at the brew group.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Apr 10, 2015
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How many people would love it if Rancilio installed PIDs into every Silvia?
Jennifer B on Feb 25, 2015
Best Answer: I'm sure it would be quite popular, but some people do want the simplicity as the manufacturer designed it. The PID that Seattle Coffee Gear installs is an add-on accessory, which is also why there is an additional cost to it! :-)
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Mar 1, 2015
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Is this Sylvia model with PID the pre-infusion PID?
Steve P on Jan 30, 2015
Best Answer: Yes, the PIDs that we install on the Silvias do have pre-infusion built into the timing, and you can adjust the timing or length of time that it will do this step.
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Feb 2, 2015
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The boiler and group head is made of brass. Are the brass exposed or plated? If they're exposed, is it safe for consumers since they contain lead?
MaryD on Jan 2, 2015
Best Answer: The boiler does have a protective coating inside the boiler to protect the brass, and while the group head does not, Rancilio has done a lot of testing to ensure that the brass they use has less than .01% lead content. It is safe to use and brew with!
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Jan 7, 2015
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I was wondering did they change the boiler element inside the machine? Instead of copper there using something else? I am on the fence of buying this machine just because of the past of the element burn out.
rescueguy89 on Dec 19, 2014
Best Answer: Yes, the Silvia now uses a stainless steel heating element instead of copper, and while this reduces the risk for burning out your boiler, it doesn't eliminate it. You will still need to be sure to keep water in the tank, and to refill the boiler after every time that you steam. Hope this helps!
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Dec 19, 2014
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silvia v4
what are the specific upgrades compare to this machine and is it available?
karen g on Dec 3, 2014
Best Answer: We carry essentially the "V4" version, however Rancilio does not list this item as a version 4. The most recent update from the original version 3, and the reason that others are calling it a version 4, is that the heating element inside the boiler is no longer copper and is now stainless steel. This is great for durability and is less likely to burn out the element from improper use and not refilling the boiler.

However, it is still very important to make sure that you refill your boiler after every time that you steam, and is especially important to prime your machine as soon as you turn it on when you first receive it after initial purchase.
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Dec 4, 2014
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Does the V3 come with a blind basket for backflushing in the box?
Zoë S on Nov 28, 2014
Best Answer: It doesn't have a blind basket, but rather a rubber gasket (universal fit) to be placed beneath the single basket, thereby creating a seal for backflushing.
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Nov 28, 2014
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What is the clearance with the drip table out please?
A shopper on Aug 12, 2014
Best Answer: With the drip tray and drip tray grate completely removed from the Rancilio Silvia, you would have some leaking from the machine, as the drip tray catches a bit of water after all brewing shots from the pressure release valve. Located behind the backslash of the machine is a small tube that will direct a bit of water into the dray to create a drier puck. With the tray out completely, from the portafilter to the bottom of the machine the clearance is 4 5/8", and with the tray in place but the grate out, clearance is about 4 1/2". Keep in mind brewing with the cup in the tray, your cup may end up sitting in a small amount of water.
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Aug 14, 2014
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I noticed that your Rancilio in the YouTube video had a PID modification done to it- do you have any suggestions or resources for doing that? I am mostly interested in having mine stay at a precise temp and ready for me in the morning.
Jay D on Aug 11, 2014
Best Answer: If you are purchasing the Silvia new, we offer the potential for a PID installed machine and you save a bit of money on both the PID and the install. If you already have a Silvia then the PID kit can be found at the first link below. Click on the Resources tab in order to see the Install, Start Up, and Operation guide for the PID. The last two links are a few videos of programing and overviews of the PID.

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/pid-retrofit-kit-for-rancilio-silvia-with-pre-infusion-white

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Mk7S-AcI2M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1wAQNH1lYs

While the PID offers stable temperature and programing for shot length and pre infusion, it does not offer a quicker heat up time, faster recovery after steaming, or an automatic timer to turn on the machine in the morning. Hope this info helps!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Aug 12, 2014
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Hello,

I recently bought this machine with the PID installed, and I was very excited for the upgrade! I used to have a De'Longhi beginner machine...

Anyway, I kept reading how the Silvia needed a finer grind, and I have a Baratza Virtuoso. I have tried all settings from 4 up through 12. 10, 11 and 12 will produce a complete double (Most of the time), but under 10, the shot won't pull at all... I get less than half an ounce with an 8, and anything lower it won't do... I feel that I am tamping correctly, and if anything may be tamping a little light...

Is this a problem I can address? Could it have to do with the PID? any help would be greatly appreciated--

Thanks!
Nathan H on Aug 10, 2014
Best Answer: I am sorry that you're having trouble with dialing in your grind on that Silvia! If your beans are fresh, the grinder burrs are new, and/or the Virtuoso is calibrated fairly fine, then a grind setting of around 12 or so sounds pretty normal. Your grind will vary, but typically very fresh beans with a new grinder will not require as fine of a grind as older (potentially stale) beans and an older grinder with worn burrs. You should ideally be looking for two ounces of liquid to be extracted in between 20-30 seconds when tamped with 30 pounds of pressure, and focus on this end result rather than looking for a specific number grind setting on your Virtuoso. Once the shots are extracting in about the right timeframe, you can alter the PID programming for flavor if necessary. We go over the PID programming in the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Mk7S-AcI2M

Hope this helps!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Aug 11, 2014
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I just purchased a new Silvia 3 with a PID. It is programmed to 22 seconds for Lb (brew time) but when it's set that long the shot comes out very watery (and big - it overflows the shot glass). So I moved it down to 20 sec for brew time and it still comes out water. I am tempted to drop it down to 18 seconds. Any thoughts on this. Just for some additional information - I am using a doserless Rocky grinder set at 7; a nice, heavy tamper and I am filling it up to the rim and tamping it down. I guess what I am trying to get is a smaller shot with a nice creama on it instead of watery thing I am getting now.

Any thoughts or ideas?
Anne A on Jun 16, 2014
Best Answer: If the 20-30 second timeframe for a double shot on your Rancilio Silvia is producing much more than two ounces of liquid, then you need increased resistance in the form of a finer grind, a firmer tamp, or perhaps even fresher beans than what you're currently using. Ideally your grind should be fine enough that the espresso takes longer to extract than 18 seconds for a two ounce double shot, but if the beans aren't very fresh you may also be getting a quicker pull. You might want to try different beans first before making any additional adjustments, but if the beans are fresh (within a few weeks to a month from the roast date) and your results are still quick shots, then the grind and/or tamp would also need to be adjusted.
Reply (1) · Report · Teri KStaff on Jun 16, 2014
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Hi,
Just baught the silvia and rockey. I have no problem pulling the double shots, filling the basket to the top and then taking off excess coffee and distributing it with my finger. When i do this with the single basket i cant lock the portafiller. Ive understood that its because when i tamp with the single basket the coffee doesnt go down as much because of the way the basket is made, so there isnt enough room for the portafiller to lock. Is there a way of eye balling the appropriate dosing of coffee for the single basket or do i absolutely need a scale.?Thanks
Bruce N on Apr 29, 2014
Best Answer: While the single and double baskets will require different amounts of coffee and you can eyeball if you'd like, keep in mind that a single basket will require a different grind size than the double basket on your Silvia. Both a single shot basket to yield 1 ounce and a double shot basket to yield 2 ounces should take 20-30 seconds for extraction, and so to slow things down for the single shot, you will need to move to a finer grind on your Rocky. We did a video experimenting with single shots that you may find helpful, and I have posted the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvf3QyXpZo4
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Apr 29, 2014
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I am rewiring the kitchen and the electrician asked what the amperage is for the rancilio Silvia (a fab machine we have used in Australia for many years)--I am stumped by this question for the us model as haven't got it... yet. Can anyone tell me as it wasn't in the specs? Thanks!
A shopper on Mar 26, 2014
Best Answer: The Rancilio Silvia is a 1100W, 120V machine, and so that converts to drawing 9.17 amps. Hope this helps!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Mar 27, 2014
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I have purchased a Rancilio Silvia with PID through your group to replace my Breville BES 840XL. (always have issue with the electrical buttons making a grounding noise) anyway. I also have a Breville Smart Grinder BCG800XL (latest generation, does not need to shim kit).

My question is the Breville Smart Grinder capable of providing the correct grind to work with my Rancilio? I am using Lavazza Super Crema beans. Is this grinder capable a grinding fine enough to work with Ms. Silvia?

Thanks
Sergio on Feb 7, 2014
Best Answer: Every machine and every grinder is a little different, and you may find that you can get proper extraction on the Silvia with your Breville grinder, so it is certainly worth giving it a try. My instinct is that you will need to be on one of the finest grind settings on your Smart Grinder for two ounces of liquid to be extracted in the 20-30 second timeframe, but you never know until you try! Happy brewing!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Feb 7, 2014
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Hello,

Does the Rancilio Silvia with PID also control the timing of the brew?

Thank you,

John
John M on Feb 5, 2014
Best Answer: Yes, the Auber PID on the Silvia can be programmed with a temperature setting, pre infusion, and shot length.
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Feb 6, 2014
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Am I correct in thinking that this machine does not come with a tamper?
A shopper on Feb 1, 2014
Best Answer: Correct, the Silvia doesn't come with a tamper in the Rancilio box. There is a very lightweight plastic tamper, but I would recommend upgrading to something heavier for better results.
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Feb 1, 2014
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How many amps of electricity does it required? Is that requirement listed in the specs?
A shopper on Jan 13, 2014
Best Answer: The Silvia is a 1100 watt machine that runs on 120 volts, so this would equate to 9.167 amps.
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Jan 14, 2014
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I am interested in the use of pods and wanted to inquire as to whether the pod adapter for Rancilio Silvia makes a good espresso shot?
Van H on Dec 29, 2013
Best Answer: We did a video of the flavor from the Silvia with the ESE pod adapter and like it fine, but it is pretty spendy for the Silvia cost plus the additional money of the pod adapter. We found flavor with pods from an ESE pod capable machine that doesn't require a adaptor to be similar. I have included a few videos below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm9sNiLFALU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zam3rCJtJy4
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Dec 30, 2013
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What is the best tamper to buy for this machine?
AmyKnudson on Dec 18, 2013
Best Answer: Any 58mm would be a fine choice for the Rancilio Silvia. Tampers are generally purchased based on what handle looks and feels most comfortable to you, and the Rattleware tampers are a good reasonably priced option.

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/rattleware-ss-tamper-angular-handle-58mm
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Dec 18, 2013
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if I get the V3 with the PID option, will there be a user manual/document on how to use the PID?
A shopper on Oct 8, 2013
Best Answer: Yes, we do include some instructions regarding using that PID on the Silvia, and you can check out the programming in the video below as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1wAQNH1lYs
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Oct 11, 2013
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How do I program the PID? No instructions came with the unit!
Craig K on Oct 4, 2013
Best Answer: Though that Auber PID on the Silvia comes preprogrammed, the easiest way to re-program it is to follow this video from Gail and Kat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1wAQNH1lYs

Hope this helps!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Oct 11, 2013
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I bought my rancilio Silvia about two months ago. As a novice, I am not surprised that he quality of my drinks varies from good to not drinkable. Would a PID improve he consistency of my drinks? Is it it worth the price? If so, what PID do you recommend? Thanks! Josh
Josh Devon on Sep 15, 2013
Best Answer: Hi Josh,
I am sorry you're noticing such inconsistency from your Silvia! It is the case that the PID will eliminate the inconsistencies of temperature from your drinks and make brewing a bit more automatic, eliminating the need for temperature surfing. However drastic inconsistencies sometimes have to do with grinder and/or bean freshness and not machine. What kind of grinder do you have? It is the case that the Silvia requires a fine grind with consistently sized particles, and so the Baratza grinders or something like the Rancilio Rocky is needed for best results. If you already have a great grinder though and temperature is your issue, then the Auber PID is the PID we install and recommend for the Silvia. It can be found at the link below:

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/pid-retrofit-kit-for-rancilio-silvia-with-pre-infusion

Hope this helps!
Reply (1) · Report · Teri KStaff on Sep 16, 2013
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15-bar, what does it mean?

II assume the higher the number the greater the pressure?

18-bar is better?
Lance S on Sep 8, 2013
Best Answer: Higher pump pressure is not necessary, as it does not provide better flavor or superior results. For espresso applications, 9 bar pressure is intended, and Gail and Kat put together a video that explains pump pressure a bit more. It can be found here: http://blog.seattlecoffeegear.com/2009/09/23/under-pressure/
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Sep 11, 2013
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I am a first time buyer of a rather expensive, prosumer type espresso machine with a fondness to espresso drinks. I am considering to buy the Silvia V3. I only have a budget to add either a PID kit or a grinder. I prefer to buy the PID kit only. My question is, can I buy coffee and have it sufficiently grinned to the recommended fineness by Rancilio from the store I purchase the coffee from like a starbucks or a market with reliable grinders?
A shopper on Apr 21, 2013
Best Answer: No, unfortunately a machine like the Silvia absolutely needs a good quality grinder at home, and will not produce good results using pre-ground. The reason is that there is not a universal "espresso grind," and so every grinder and espresso machine is a bit different, requiring a specific grind that is dialed in. If you try to use a grinder at your local coffee shop, your results will be inconsistent and the grounds will stale, so your shots will lack flavor and crema!

Check out the Baratza and Rocky grinders for options!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Apr 23, 2013
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Can the Rancilia Silvia V3 be purchase with a factory installed PID attachment ?
gatsbysmom on Jan 4, 2013
Best Answer: We do offer the Silvia with a PID installed, and it is available as a drop down item on the Silvia page. If you don't see it, unfortunately we are out of stock, but are always installing PIDs on machines, and more will be available soon. Give us a call if you have any questions! 866-372-4734
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Jan 7, 2013
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Is the optional, installed PID the Auber one and do you supply the recommendations for its settings when the unit is shipped out? Also, how much longer would it take to ship the unit if I have you install the PID?
Kent C on Jul 7, 2012
Best Answer: Yes, we use the Auber brand PID for our Silvias and it does come with some preset settings when our techs install it. Generally we keep a supply of Silvias with the PID installed and ready to ship out, so you should have no additional wait time if you choose the PID.
Reply · Report · Kaylie KStaff on Jul 20, 2012
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what is the height between the drip tray and the bottom of the brew unit?

Namely, what size cup can fit in the unit to receive the shot?

Thanks.
A shopper on Feb 26, 2012
Best Answer: The room between the drip tray and the bottom of the brew unit comes in at ~4”. A variety of cups will fit in this space, including Bodum shot glasses and Bodum Bistro latte cups: http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/Bodum-s/131.htm
Reply · Report · Kaylie KStaff on Feb 27, 2012
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Do you still have the limited edition one in stock? If so, are you able to do a package deal with the rocky doserless? Thanks
Tyler S on Feb 13, 2012
Best Answer: Unfortunately, we no longer have the limited edition Rancilio Silvia in stock.
Reply · Report · Kaylie KStaff on Feb 15, 2012
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Hello,
I saw somewhere on one of the many videos that I needed to do ?what? to prevent boiler burn out? I am thinking of this machine but want to clarify this issue first, and I can't find when I saw that information.

Also a friend has this machine and he said it would be great if there was a more detailed user manual, like wait for the light to go out, purge steam wand etc. Is such an item available?
Paula E on Feb 4, 2012
Best Answer: You need to actively refill the boiler on this by steaming, temperature surfing, and then brewing shots. We have videos on this topic as well as several others specific to the Rancilio Silvia. We also have an article called 'How to Brew & Steam on the Rancilio Silvia' that is more detailed for use than the manufacturer's manual: http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/learn/coffee-101/how-to-guides/rancilio-silvia-steam-brew
Reply · Report · Kaylie KStaff on Feb 7, 2012
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the user manual would seem to indicate that this is a dual-voltage machine (i.e. can be switched to run on either 110/220v by the user), although many reviews seem to indicate otherwise. Can anyone let me know for sure? I'm in Europe for a few years, but will be moving back to the US, and would like to invest in a machine I can have for the long haul.
A shopper on Dec 22, 2011
Best Answer: This machine is either 220v (European version) or 110v (US version). Only the 110v version is sold in the US. The machine is not convertible between voltages.
Reply · Report · SCG SStaff on Dec 30, 2011
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what is the additional cost of a PID option for a rancillo silva espresso machine?
jose l on Nov 27, 2011
Best Answer: You can select installation of a pid from a dropdown on the option selections for this machine. Current pricing is located there. This includes the PID and installation. Warranty covers the machine and PID.
Reply · Report · SCG SStaff on Dec 2, 2011
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Resources

Warranty Information for the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

What it Covers:

Rancilio espresso machines and grinders

Length:

- 1 Year (Silvia & Rocky Grinders)

- 1 Year (Commercial-class machines and grinders)

Who Supports the Warranty: Seattle Coffee Gear
Warranty Contact Information: 866-372-4734 or email us at warranty@seattlecoffeegear.com
Notes:

The Silvia and Rocky are eligible for SCG's standard warranty support and service. Learn more about what's covered.

All other espresso machines and grinders are covered by a limited, commercial-class warranty. For more information on service and support, please discuss with your commercial sales rep.

Eligible for SCG Extended Warranty? Yes (Silvia only).
Can SCG Repair? Yes. Read more about our out-of-warranty repair services.

Caring for the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

  • Clean the brew gasket daily with a cleaning brush.
  • Soap out water tank (if applicable) and drip tray every few days.
  • Optional: Perform backflush routine and clean the filter basket each week.

User Manuals for your Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Rancilio Silvia Version 3 Espresso Machine User Manual


Articles Featuring the Rancilio Silvia Espresso machine

New Seattle Coffee Gear Parts Kits for Rancilio Silvia

Compare: Rancilio Silvia vs Crossland CC1

Coffee 101: How to Steam & Brew on the Rancilio Silvia


Videos Featuring the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Maintenance on the Rancilio Silvia

Compare: Breville Barista Express vs Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Compare Breville Dual Boiler vs Rancilio Silvia

Compare Nuova Simonelli Oscar vs Rancilio Silvia

Rancilio Silvia with ESE Pods

Why Does my Silvia have Two Water Tubes?

Crew Review: Rancilio Silvia with PID

Crew Review: Rancilio Silvia Bottomless Portafilter

Ask the Experts: Rancilio Silvia Steam Wand Retrofit

Rancilio Silvia vs Ascaso Dream Up

Breville Infuser vs. Rancilio Silvia

Rancilio Silvia vs Crossland CC1

Rancilio Silvia with PID - Shot Temperature in Cup

Temperature Surfing on the Rancilio Silvia

Reviews

LongevityReview by RagRabbit
Quality
Price
Value
Finally was able to look up and see that I've had my Silvia since 2002. I've a feeling that it won't last forever. I'll be replacing the steam valve shortly. I've done this once before and it's an easy task, much easier than removing a petrified portafilter gasket. While this apparently isn't the V3 Silvia, the newer steam valve is just fine. A new valve every 6-7 years is a small price to pay. My original East Coast supplier indicated the steam valve is no longer available. I found one in Seattle, but it does raise the question whether the Silvia may be soon phased out.

In my hands, it's been a very durable performer, akin to a BMW 3 series - an "entry level" performance machine that keeps performing years later.

There is a learning curve for grind, pulling shots, steaming...all true. Once you master these, any fault in brewing is usually your own.

Definitely need a grinder (got the Rocky before a major step up in price came a few yeas ago) as Peets et al cannot cannot consistently give you that grind you want.

Let's see....$4/day at $tarbucks x 5 working days a week x 50 work weeks/year x 13 years = $13,000. In reality, I brew 20+ caps or lattes at home each week. Damn, my Radio Shack solar powered calculator from the 1990's just failed! (Posted on 7/11/2015)
great machineReview by ghalms
Quality
Price
Value
love this thing. enough said. get it with the PID though. (Posted on 3/7/2015)
the thing broke twiceReview by jkahd
Quality
Price
Value
I liked this machine -- but it always had one extra step between power and steam that was confusing. But worse -- it broke twice. Second time there was a spark and it exploded!!! I had it exactly two years!!! Instead of having the thing repaired for $200 I'm going back to Gaggia. I say -- stay away from this one. (Posted on 2/15/2015)
Still great after four yearsReview by Brent
Quality
Price
Value
I bought the Silvia/Preciso grinder package nearly four years ago and have used them daily ever since. I mostly make americanos, some espressos, and only occasionally a capuccino (mostly for guests). The Silvia has been absolutely trouble-free and makes terrific coffee. I'd rather drink my americanos/espressos than most I've been served in coffee shops or restaurants.

It didn't take long for me to learn how to use it, and now it's an easy routine in the morning. This is my first real espresso machine, and I'm very glad I bought it. For milk drinks it is a bit cumbersome to brew the espresso, then wait for it to heat up to steam the milk. If I were really into the milk drinks I'd consider saving up for a double boiler unit.

A good grinder is an absolute necessity, IMO. Also, I keep on top of maintenance/cleaning, which for me consists of: (1) after each use rinse portafilter and drip tray/screen after each use and use brush to clean off the screen and head; (2) every 2-3 weeks unscrew the screen, remove all those parts that come out, do a backflush with Capresso cleaner, then clean all those parts and the portafilter (I put it all in a sauce pan of water with Capresso on the stove and heat to near boiling); and (3) every three or four months do the descaling routine with Dezcal. Helpful videos for these tasks are on this site and youtube.

All in all, I give the Sivia a big thumbs up!
(Posted on 2/1/2015)
A Great Machine To Begin Your JourneyReview by Gabe
Quality
Price
Value
Ah the Sylvia. I've had my V3 for over 4 years now and I gotta tell ya.... the memories that we made have been phenomenal. I can only describe it as blissful marriage with all of it's highs and lows... and yes there are great highs... and some pretty bad lows.

I'll finish this review with the highs as I like ending on a good point. The lows... Well this thing is kinda ugly... It's built with brushed steel, plastic rocker switches, and a plastic knob that fell off after months of use. The Rancilio badge also became unglued from the knob itself after about a year. Fortunately, you can just stick it right back on the valve and be careful not to pull it... but honestly, I never abused the machine so I don't see why this should have happened. The drip tray is pathetic. Its small and dainty and quickly fills if you don't empty it often. Finally, the machine is finicky. This can be both good AND bad. Good in that it trains you in the art of espresso making. Bad in that you will not be getting decent shots EVERY time. You really gotta watch your grind and adjust it as the beans age or you get a different kinda bean. Your tamp has got to be spot on, and you need to familiarize yourself with temperature surfing as the machine will cut the heating element at a temp too high to brew, requiring that you wait about 20-30sec to get it too cool enough to pull a good shot. You really do learn much about coffee with this machine, but pulling greats shots can be hit or miss with Miss Sylvia (keep in mind that in the end it's not the machines fault if you pull bad shots... its yours :P). Another con is that this is a single boiler machine which means you will have to wait for the boiler to hit the appropriate temps for brewing and steaming and this takes time... I do not recommend this machine if you plan on making lattes for your family often as it is annoying and time consuming to make more then 1.

Now the pros...and this is a BIG pro. If you do everything right... you will be rewarded with a shot on par with your local cafe. I went bottom-less with my Rancilio and I was pretty happy with my pulls. I would occasionally mess up, but I would say that 90% of my pulls were good after a month of using this machine. Another BIG pro is that the steaming function on this machine is top notch. The boiler is large and retains heat well and you will never find yourself running out of steam for 1 drink. It's powerful enough to create dry cappuccinos yet tamed enough to give you just enough time to texture for a latte. I have made all sorts of beautiful latte art with this machine from swans, to rosettas, to tulips, and hearts. It's very easy to steam with this machine and this feature alone is probably what makes the Sylvia stand out over a a cheaper single boiler machine like the Saeco Aroma. Sure you can get similar pulls of espresso... but that's only half the game when it comes making milk/espresso beverages and the Rancilio gives you the tools to create EVERY milk/espresso drink a cafe has to offer. Another pro is that the parts that count (e.g. boiler, steam wand, pump, valves, etc) are VERY durable. Daily, for 4 years, I have put this machine through the paces and it never waned. That's why I said that if you pull bad shots it will be your fault... because this machine IS predictable. It will always perform the exact same every time with proper maintenance.

In the end, the Rancilio is the kinda machine that can teach you how to be a proper barista. That's no joke either, as my friend happens to be a barista in a great cafe and I have been allowed to make drinks with this cafes equipment... and honestly, there was not much of a difference once you familiarized yourself with the way commercial grade machines work. There is a reason why, despite its quirks, the Rancilio Sylvia is a well known machine for use in a home. (Posted on 11/22/2014)
Feels like quality, produces great shotsReview by A. Da Costa
Quality
Price
Value
This machine is extremely well-built and produces very rich shots. The steam is very powerful and might take some time getting used to.

I got the version with the PID, which in my opinion is a MUST-have if you're already spending this king of money anyways. You don't want to be temperature-surfing and potentially ruining your shot after purchasing a machine for this price. Better off just spending a little more to get it right all the time.

A couple of negatives about the PID though:
1- It comes with instructions on how to change it to Celsius, which I did. The problem is that the temperature thresholds (brew and steam set points) do not convert units automatically. This is a great design flaw in my opinion. You could actually burn your heating element if you don't notice it right away. The default set point for brew is 221, which is fine for Fahrenheit, but once you change the units to Celsius, it'll try and heat your boiler to 221 C, which is 430 F!!! You also need to change the steam temperatures (two settings, on/off). The instructions don't mention anything about this.

2- It comes with the option to set a pre-infusion time. Do not use pre-infusion or it'll produce a worse shot. I checked out the electrical diagram on Auber's website and now I understand what the problem is. The way the relay used to control the pump is hooked up is such that the 3-way solenoid valve is also switched to absorb over-pressure from the brew head once the pump stops. In other words, after a few seconds of pre-infusion, the pump will stop for the delay before the full shot and all the delicious crema that's starting to form in your portafilter will be sucked out to your drip tray!!! Design flaw! They should have used a separate relay for the solenoid valve so that it only sucks the moisture out of your portafilter when you finish pulling the shot, and not during your wait-time post pre-infusion. (Posted on 11/16/2014)
Now I get it! Review by Joey
Quality
Price
Value
Ok, so let me start out by saying that I am a religious coffee drinker, and I began to take it more serious about 5 years ago with the purchase of a FrancisFrancis x3, which then led me to my FrancisFrancis x5. I am not, nor will ever be a "pod" drinker, and I find pleasure in sampling different beans, grinding them myself and pulling a shot.

About 6 months ago I began eyeing either the Rancilio Silvia based upon its outstanding reviews or the Rocket Cellini. I couldn't justify purchasing the Rocket when there was nothing wrong with my FrancisFrancis.

I've always watched the SCG videos on youtube, and have been impressed with the wealth of knowledge Gail and Kat have. Last week I began watching all the videos with Miss Silvia in them, and I could not hold out any longer... I placed my order!

So today the machine arrived. My first impression was, in person it appears much, much more solid and well built than I had expected. Setup was a breeze ( I didn't even read the directions shame on me). Priming the boiler was quick / easy, and honestly the machine heated up much quicker than I had expected. Off to the Breville grinder it was then, to experiment with exactly what Miss Silvia is fond of. At first, I went as fine as possible--thinking that is what seemed to be the case for others. Result, too fine--so I began to dial down, and down again... finally just right!

Now I have not lived with Sylvia very long, so please this list of pros and cons with a grain of salt, but these are my observations so far.

Pros:
-Very well built, much more pretty in person
-A true quality shot
-Much stronger steam than expected
-Value
-Simple instructions (I read them after)
-I'll say it again... very well made

Cons:
-A little too loud and considerable vibration
-I would have liked to see a nicer more solid tamper and accessories. Very surprised that with just a quality built machine, the tamper is cheap plastic that almost seems to be the wrong size for the portafilter.
-They should include a cleaning brush.

Overall, I am EXTREMELY satisfied... but even more impressed and satisfied with the incredible customer service and support SCG always offers. (Posted on 9/4/2014)
Practice makes PerfectReview by Shauna
Quality
Price
Value
I have had my eye on this machine for about 2 years. I was just waiting for my old Starbucks machine to die and FINALLY it did. Woohoo! I had already invested in the Rocky grinder, so I was halfway to an amazing latte.

The Silvia with PID is taking practice! In fact I am seriously considering a weekend trip to Seattle to visit Gail and get some lessons on frothing. I finally got my grind dialed in perfect for my favorite espresso beans and am now working on frothing perfect microfoam. Then I will work on my latte art! The foam has been surprisingly difficult to perfect. But I will NOT give up. :)

I was somewhat afraid of doing something wrong and blowing up the machine, so I watched many videos before it arrived and since to learn as much as I can. Now that I have the basics down, it's just practice practice practice. I did break down and purchase the base as my cardboard box isn't doing it justice and there are no off brand options that seem to fit. That should arrive soon and then I think I am set for success.

Also thankful for the help from SCG when I called. Very friendly and helpful. Very happy!! (Posted on 8/28/2014)
Excellent Machine with few quirksReview by Real_user
Price
Value
Quality
Good machine with solid built.

Pros - Decent size boiler which can steam well for micro foam. Brew head and portafilter are solid. 2 Year warranty + 1 yr. extended by SCG -total 3 years warranty. Great customer service by SCG. Very impressed. Pump is standard 41W standard on many machines, nothing special there. Heats up quickly and takes me 10 min. to make 2 lattes. Three way solenoid and back flush are very nice.

Cons - Steam wand does not have ample clearance so if the 20 ox pitcher is more that half full, it creates issues when removing the pitcher from wand. Wand also gets very hot and is not easy to clean as milk dries up on it. Drip tray is small and fills up quickly. Water tank can be bigger.

Overall a solid machine. May seem expensive but you get what you pay for. Pair it with a good grinder like Rocky, Vario and enjoy drinks which are way better than Charbucks.

(Posted on 7/28/2014)
Great Machine, Love the PIDReview by lechien
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being new to the self-made coffee game I was worried that I'd spend a bunch of money and make poor coffee then cop-out and just buy my coffee from my favorite local shop anyways.

This thing is great. I can make great coffee and with the PID there is no messing with the time to run etc. Very happy with this purchase. I did not purchase a fancy grinder yet (xmas or birthday it'll make the list) but with the grinder we have I'm able to get a pretty good grind so I'll stick with this for a while. (Posted on 7/27/2014)
Great Machine if you demand a great EspressoReview by DaveG
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I bought a Silvia with a PID and a Rocky doserless grinder 7 months ago. It takes a few attempts to get the right balance of grind fineness and tamp pressure, but the results can be spectacular. My home is at 7,000 feet and probably because of that, I found that I get better results if I drop the boiler temperature to 195 degrees. It's a great machine with a solid feel. (Posted on 7/22/2014)
Not automaticReview by Philip
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The Miss Silvia is probably not for the person who admittedly says "I don't care". To make good coffee you need good coffee beans. You need a good grinder. This is not always obvious. Then you need fresh water in a good machine, and if you are making espresso you also need a good tamper. I know it's sort of like saying you need electricity to power a light bulb or a spoon to eat soup, but often people overlook the obvious little things and then they complain aloud and wonder why they are not getting world class barista coffee drinks. The Miss Silvia gets a lot of things right, so I say it's good value. I'm quite impressed that a replacement Rancilio 58mm. portafilter is only $40, and it's a thing of beauty. (Posted on 7/15/2014)
Wonderful Machine with a commercial flare!Review by string0716
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I have owned my Rancilio for over 8 years now and it still is as perfect as it was the day iI took it out of the box. The most important thing to remember here is that this is a manual machine so it is going to take you some time to experiment with your coffe grinds and brewing times with this machine. Your draw should only be for about 21 seconds to get that fine coffee with a wonderful crema and this can only be achieved by having the right grind. I recommend a burr grinder to achieve this and sttart experimenting with the different settings until you get the draw time for a shot to about that 21 second time frame. Don't get frustrated, it takes a little practice but is well worth it! You will be pround of yourself and your machine once you have achieved that perfect shot!

I was watching the video tonight and learned that my technique of going from steaming to drawing a shot was totlally incorrect. That explains why my draw sometimes would be a steam bath! Now I know to run water through the steamer once I am finished with steaming my milk, so to bring the temperature down. Thanks for the great vdeo and the lesson! Eight years later and I am still learning abouth my machine...it is great! (Posted on 7/12/2014)
Don't do it!Review by tim
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After purposely upgrading to this machine because we were going through a Saeco Via Venzia ever three years or so, we spent the big bucks on a Sylvia thinking it would be more durable. Two times in the shop in four years and finally had to decide to spend $400+ to replace a leaking boiler. We give up - it's back to the very reliable Saeco Via Venzia. If Rancilio would like to gift us a new boiler, we'd repair it and sell it. We will not recommend this machine to anyone based on our experience. (Posted on 5/11/2014)
Not for the faint of heartReview by Espresso twice a day
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Should you get a Ranchilio Sivia? The high price builds the expectation that everything will be perfect right out of the box, which may cause buyer’s remorse. There is a learning curve to using the Sivia. Making adjustments plus the machine is very powerful and that makes foamed milk part of the challenge. Once you realize that the Sivia provides the potential for a great espresso and with a little effort on your part you can make a cup as good as it gets. It is not as easy as pushing a button on an automatic machine, but the final product is well worth the price and effort.
(Posted on 5/1/2014)
Here Comes the BrideReview by BeauG
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I’ve been living with Miss Silvia with PID for about eight weeks now and it’s official – she is now Mrs. Silvia. She is my third machine in as many decades and the first of which it has been possible to refine the art of espresso making, along with the great videos from the folks at Seattle Coffee Gear.

I feel that ease of use is a relative term with this machine, in that she is perfect for those of us that are coffee geeks, which I guess I am, and just as suitable for individuals that simply want a good cup of coffee.

For those on the geek side the Silvia can meet the challenge, however a good grinder is a must to be able to dial in the perfect shot. I paired mine up with the Baratza Forte AP, which I find to be an incredible machine. This is also true if you drink many varieties and roasts of coffee, as each requires adjustment for the perfect shot - not too sour or bitter. If you drink your coffee with cream this becomes less of an issue, because it seems to mitigate the off flavors quite well.

For those only looking for a good cup it can still work well, however it is more of a precision machine and will require a little more precision on your part. The upside to this is it will provide well for you in the event that you get pulled deeper and deeper into that which is geekdom!

I don’t often use a steam wand, but find it works great for those occasions that I do. Switching between steam and brew adds steps that wouldn’t be required of a double boiler system, but is very manageable once you work out the routine.

As for the PID controller, this is not just for those of us that have that bit of scientist in us. I discovered years ago that brew temperature has an enormous effect on coffee flavor, whether espresso, drip, etc. and has been the missing element on all types of coffee brewing equipment. My hat is off to the person that married the PID to an espresso machine, because it finally puts you in control. Brewing the same coffee at varying temperatures brings out different flavors, all of which can be good.

For those who don’t care to go this deep, I’ve found that a particular temperature can greatly diminish both sour and bitter when a shot is extracted either to rapidly or slowly. This is a great asset if you have a less exact grinder and you drink your coffee black. So, you might do well to consider it.

Overall I am extremely happy with the Rancilio Silvia and look forward to a long and happy marriage! (Posted on 4/27/2014)
Great Machine but not for the lazyReview by Gavril
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Listen, I understand, you just want your morning coffee and you do not want to fuss with it...buy something else.
if you want to master brewing world class espresso at home and you are not afraid of learning and training then this is a great machine.
I brew fantastic, consistent shots with this machine everyday! but if I don't pay attention it does not come out like it should.
you see a lot of reviews saying "inconsistent finicky results" this comes from OPERATOR ERROR. this is a machine and "garbage in=garbage out"

You will need this for great coffee
-a real burr grinder (the Rocky Rancilio is great choice)
- Water filter like a Brita
- a real tamper (the supplied one is crap)
- Serious whole bean espresso roast ( is use Urth dark Italia) and I never buy more than a few weeks supply at a time
-other things like tamping box, shot glasses etc

I bought my machine from Seattle coffee gear and got the optional PID to control temp, I recommend that (plus they have free shipping)

The secret to great coffee is a balance between grind, tamp, temp and time....this you can begin your training by watching all the videos you can from Seattle coffee gear and others......and then you brew, and brew and brew.

Within a week I was able to get good results most of the time, a month later I was better.
Now I am the master
most of my friends agree that they have a hard time finding better coffee in a restaurant or cafe
you can do this (Posted on 4/4/2014)
LOOKS GOOD, FEELS SUBSTANTIAL, FEELS LIKE QUALITYReview by Mikey
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I'm replacing my current coffee mistress, EC-155. She's given me a little over a year's worth of defiant, stalwart service in the face of so much disrespect and many a naysayer. On top of it all, I'm never getting rid of that EC-155. She's got me for life. Now to the replacement coffee mistress, Miss Silvia. She's happening. She's got muscle where it matters, (milk frothing 0-180F in around 30 seconds) She's purdy and she's quiet. She heats up fast. However, she's only as good as her barista and I pretty much suck right now after doing this for a year. My shots are coming out too short, too long and this is with a PID!!! That's okay. I'm loving it. I love my Miss Silvia, I feel like I can show my face in public now that I have a respectable mistress. (Posted on 3/30/2014)
Quirky instructions, very good espressoReview by Big Al
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First things first, this machine is capable of really good espresso once one masters the method not found in its instructions. To wit: the beautifully designed multilingual instruction brochure seems to have been created in a vacuum. It makes no mention of the need to remove the plastic skin that covers the top and drip tray grate. The plastic protects the finish, but is a chore to remove requiring one to loosen screws at the top of the machine. Leaving the plastic in place has the potential to leave a mess because the steel surface that it is bonded to is also suggested as a cup heater. My best advice is to watch the videos Seattle Coffee Gear produced to see how to use the machine and avoid inadvertent damage to the heating element. There is no mention in instructions of HOW to fill the coffee filter. Don't fill it to the rim, but look for a groove a few millimeters below the rim and tamp to that groove, otherwise it will be difficult to mount the portafilter (and if you force it you get a soggy mess of coffee grounds that need to be cleaned out above and below. Once one figures that out and cleans up after it, the next lesson is how to guess at the temperature that makes the desired brew. Yes, there is a light that goes off to indicate the water is heated, but the thermostat has a 15-20 degree (F.) range and I've found the best cup is brewed by waiting a full minute after the light shuts off. The coffee can be quite bitter if the water is too hot. The alternative is to order the $175 PID option ($235 retrofit and voided warranty) for more precise temperature control. This is important if using the steam wand extensively. The next challenge is finding the right consistency of ground coffee. For me the grind that produces the best flavor and crema is the next-to-finest setting on a Capresso tapered conical burr grinder, comparable to Illy's espresso grind in a can. It took me a week to figure out a repeatably consistent delicious cup of espresso at a rate of 4-6 cups per day, but I'm slow and stubborn so it may take less or more time for you to master the technique. If one does a lot of steaming, it is ESSENTIAL to recharge the boiler with water frequently because in the single boiler design, the boiler is not replenished when steaming, only when dispensing hot water or making coffee. The machine is very capable, but one must engage with it to produce the best results. If you're looking for automatic push-button perfect espresso, be prepared to pay much more. If you like to play with adult toys (not THOSE kinds of adult toys!), Rancilio's Silvia can provide you with a sense of achievement and infinite cups of enjoyment , (Posted on 3/10/2014)
BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCKReview by David
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My wife and I have owned our machine for 4 years. It still looks great and works like new. Drips a little water under pressure out the steam spout, otherwise I have no complaints. (Posted on 2/3/2014)
Great Espresso MachineReview by Diver
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I've had Miss Silvia for a few years now, I installed the pid so I didn't have to temperature surf. This machine makes 18 double shots of espresso a week. I have the Gaggia MDF grinder generally set on 4 or 3. I use Lavazza super crema bean coffee or espresso Italia bean coffee I have a calibrated tamper. This machine makes a great espresso every time day in and day out I check the grind with each new bag of coffee. This machine is awesome I would buy another hands down. (Posted on 2/1/2014)
Good build OK espressoReview by Gero
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The machine is well built, though the stainless exterior needed a little "adjusting". For a machine in this price range it ought to have a thermometer and not *require* additional hardware to get the right temperature.

I suspect it will last for years and years but if I had it to do again I'm not sure this would be the machine I would buy.

Additionally, if you look around for better pricing you won't find much of a discount. Rancilio, though not officially "price fixing" has made it known that retailers who violate their retailing policies will suddenly find a shortage of supply, if you know what I mean. Don't know if that is standard or not in the industry. Once in awhile you'll see discounts, but then everyone discounts roughly the same amount thru various means. Just my opinion. (Posted on 1/30/2014)
Excellent semi automatic machinesReview by danc
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Had a Miss Silvia for 8 years and loving it. It has been really reliable and once I got used to the tampering technique and grind with the Rancilio Rocky, I was rewarded with great tasting espresso shots. I added an Auber PID 2 years ago and my shots have been even more consistent. (Posted on 1/22/2014)
Great espresso, but too easy to destroy the machineReview by Geoff Olynyk
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This was the first "real" espresso machine that my wife and I bought after using a Cuisinart EM-100 machine almost every day for three years. Finally the pump gave out on the Cuisinart, and we decided it was time to go to something that could actually produce a really good shot. After a lot of research into the various options at various price points, we decided on the Rancilio Silvia with the Auber PID installed by Seattle Coffee Gear. Ordered it in late May 2013 and it arrived in early June.

Much has been written here about the ease of use of this machine and its ability to turn out a great shot of espresso, day after day. I don't have much to add here: for people like my spouse and me, who were used to a low-end espresso machine, this one is fantastic. It takes some time and practice to get the grind and tamping pressure correct for a particular type of beans, but once you figure it out, you can just do reliable shots day after day. No complaints about the steam, either: it froths milk like a champion. I have the standard steam wand, not the after-market one with more holes -- was worried about the additional steam and increased chances of burning out the boiler. (More on this in a bit.) Also, we mostly drink just straight espresso, not frothed-milk drinks. Anyway, the point I'm making here is that this is a great machine, especially with the PID installed, and will serve you very well at making great espresso.

Now, for why I'm not super thrilled with the machine. It is far, far too easy to burn out the boiler. As I said, we bought the machine in late May 2013, and started using it in late June. In late August, we moved from Boston to Toronto. Packed up the machine very carefully in its original packaging, and put it in the back of our moving truck where it had no chance to fall anywhere. Unpacked it in Toronto, set it up, and it ran fine for a week, but then one day, all of a sudden, no heat. It turned on, but the temperature reading on the PID always just said room temperature.

So at this point, the options were to call Seattle Coffee Gear and try to get warranty work done on it, but that would mean shipping it across the border. Also, I was worried that we had damaged the unit in our move. So instead of getting it dealt with, we just drank drip coffee for four months, and then finally took it into the repair shop at Green Beanery on King St in Toronto. There, service tech Demeter quickly determined that the boiler was burned out. As he explained it: "There were a batch of these Silvia machines in early 2013 with bad boilers. I've had a half-dozen of them in in the last few months." $300 (CAD) later for parts+labour, we had a new boiler and were on our way.

As I said, I probably could have tried to have warranty work done on it with Seattle Coffee Gear, but it just wasn't worth the hassle (you have to fill the boiler with alcohol to ship it in the winter in Canada!) vs. having it repaired on-site right there. Anyway, the point of this isn't to talk about Seattle Coffee Gear's warranty service -- their service during the sales process was fantastic, so I have no complaints about the retailer. The point of this is to ask: What kind of consumer product is that easy to destroy through slight misuse? I mean, it's not like these boilers burn out if you leave it on for an entire day with no water in it. They burn out if you let the water level drop below the resistive coils for a matter of minutes.

There is a safety shut-off on the boiler (thermocouple with circuit breaker), but as Demeter at Green Beanery explained, it reacts too slowly to actually protect the boiler. If you let the water level drop below the level of the internal resistive coils in the boiler, it will likely burn out. So essentially, there is no protective shutdown on this machine, and this is why you see all these warnings everywhere about always making sure there is water in the boiler, not running the steam for more than 4 minutes at a time, etc.

So my conclusion is that this is a great machine, with a huge engineering flaw. In practice, this means you have to baby it, not let your guests use it when staying with you, etc. If that's okay with you, it does produce a great shot of espresso. (Posted on 1/12/2014)
Excellent machine!Review by e-drinker
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This is a great machine for those who love quality espresso drinks and either already know how to pull a shot or are willing to learn.

We got the machine with the PID and I think that's the way to go for consistency. I wouldn't have much patience with temperature surfing every time I want a perfect espresso and with the PID I can pull a perfect shot every time no questions about temps. Also, the settings that Seattle Coffee Gear provides on their installed PIDs make for a ready-to-go machine without any adjustments.

Love that the machine is compact, sturdy as a tank and surprisingly quiet.

I was a former everyday independent coffee house patron who now has the options for excellent cappuccinos at home.
(Posted on 1/4/2014)
Great Espresso MachineReview by BlazinBob
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This was was first "real" espresso machine. I had been using a Krups Il Primo that I got as a gift many years ago and while it steamed the milk pretty well, it never made a very good espresso. The Rancilio Silvia has been great. It comes with a protective film over the top and on the grate for the catch basin. The film looks like it would be hard to remove, but it comes off pretty easily once you get the "peel" started and I like that the beautiful stainless is well protected for shipping. I really like the quality and appearance of this machine. The toggle type switches have a nice feel to them and the machine warms up quickly. The manual that comes with it kinda sucks, it's really basic start-up and usage instructions. Fortunately, SCG and YouTube have a wide variety of videos to help guide you along in learning not only about this particular machine, but about the "ins and outs" of espresso making. I have nothing but good things to say about the machine so far, hopefully I will have many years of service. SCG shipped quickly and has been responsive to my questions. Great product and great service. (Posted on 12/7/2013)
I LOVE MY SILVIAReview by giftogab
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Have had it 4 years and really love it. Get such gooood crema and yummy product out of my beans. I sometimes falter on the grind when it goes from hot and dry here to monsoon, but that is me not the machine! The high quality stainless makes it look as tough as it is. And the steam wand really does the job. I worked as a barista using the legendary and fabulous Marzocos and am very happy to have this Rancilio Silvia in my house for personal use. (Posted on 11/14/2013)
You cannot go Wrong with ThisReview by Dave
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It took me 2 Gaggia super automatic machines to realize I was doing something wrong. I was buying super automatics. That's the entire problem.

Super Automatics:

- only last 5-6 years, lucky if you get more out of them without replacing major parts or total machine malfunction
- the quality of espresso cannot compare to a semi automatic. If you think your super automatic is making good espresso, it's only because you have not tried a semi-automatic yet as was my case as well :) So your next machine better be a semi automatic, just trust me on this one
- made of all plastic parts, break down easily
- limited in how much you can tweak the grind, and you have no way to tweak the frothing in terms of power, etc.
- steaming intensity blows, it's so weak

Semi-Automatic

- made of all high-grade commercial parts inside and out
- barely any plastic
- lasts 12-15 years
- froth steaming is so powerful, steam literally goes all over around my machine, it's great. It's that powerful
- far more flexibility to tweak to get the best coffee and froth possible. You're able to change steaming tips for different results. Again frothing is much more powerful and controllable. Semi-automatics require a GOOD burr grinder. The type of burr grinder you have to buy for a semi-automatic stems from around $300-500 and the flexibility in the fine tuning of how fine the grind will be is up to you and way surpasses the 2-4 levels you get in a super automatic. You get over 200-300 levels of grind fineness in a good grinder that you must get with a semi-automatic so this helps your espresso quality two fold. You just cannot compare the flexibility to a super automatic, a super automatic is a joke
- easier to maintain. Super autoatics have that stupid brew group that you have to keep taking out and rinsing. The semi automatics are way easier to maintain and descale, much simpler parts to deal with, less complex
- 2-3x cheaper than a super automatic
- and finally the grade of espress you get cannot compare. Semi-automatics kick super automatic's ass when it comes to how your espresso tastes. Since buying the Silvia, I have literally not gone to any coffee shop unless I was just out and about and wasn't gonna be home for a long time, but that's about the only times. When I had a super automatic I found myself still going out to coffee shops. The Silvia literally rivals any coffee shop I have been to and this includes shops like Intelligensia in downtown Chicago, Lavanzza's shops, and other locally owned shops that have some of the best espresso in chicago. The silvia rivals any of them in terms of how your mocha or espresso tastes, i still cannot believe it.

Originally I was looking at getting a more expensive Gaggia semi-automatic. But as usual my wife tries to get me to get something cheaper. when she told me about the Silvia I laughed in her face because it was only $500 and I told her it would suck. I was so wrong. The price and the quality of this is just sick. You have to get this. Again I've had 2 $1200 super automatic machines and this $500 machine kicks their butt so bad it isn't even funny.

Get it. Get the PID, that's a necessity. Spend the extra $200 to get the Baratza Vario Burr Grinder - with Upgraded H2 Display. it's worth it, you will like the digital display and it's just really easy to use and maintain and smaller. The grind levels are just amazing, you get a ton of flexibility, even more than the silvia grinder. Trust me it's worth the extra $200. (Posted on 11/2/2013)
Fussy Solid Loyal performerReview by StaceyG
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I've been pulling shots with this machine for 14 months straight, almost on a regular basis.
Built like a tank and has never let me down and it's rare to get a bad shot if you follow simple rules:
Don't overpack
Keep her clean and maintained
Get a high quality/fine grade grinder (this is where Silvia can be fussy, one or two notches on the grinder can make a big difference) (Posted on 10/22/2013)
Great MachineReview by cmaulsby
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Purchased the Rancilio Silvia V3 and a Rocky Doserless grinder after reading a number of reviews and watching online videos. Both machines worked well out of the box, were easy to setup and are constructed of quality materials. This is my first espresso machine and I must admit it has taken some trial and error to get my process perfected. The online videos have been super helpful in educating myself on how to get the Silvia to perform to its potential. It does require the correct grind, tamping pressure and temperature surfing, but when that is understood and repeated the shots are excellent with rich crema. So far I am very pleased with my Silvia and feel it will only get better as I become an experienced barista. (Posted on 7/24/2013)
Supreme home or small shop unitReview by Marco
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After a long journey with Krups, Gaggia, Frances - I feel I have hit the jackpot as far as finding a true Espresso Machine for home use. Although, I will keep my second Frances on my RV - this Rancilio Machine produces exactly what I first got hooked on when living in Europe. Also had no idea what real steam pressure is all about. This machine bring that in spades ! Cold milk in a pitcher - hard to not produce perfect steamed milk to compliment the drink. Just follow the guidelines from others... Fresh coffee, right grind and tamp and magic comes from this machine... (Posted on 7/15/2013)
Great Machine!!!Review by TM
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I have had this machine for 1 year with pid and a Gaggia MDF grinder this machine makes a great expresso. very easy and quick my morning cappuccino is the best. every morning when i drink it i say oh my god this is the best cappuccino ever. (Posted on 6/12/2013)
GREAT BUYReview by CATAWBA
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My first espresso machine and love it. The first pull was awful because I didn't watch the videos first and tried using the single shot filter. The second pull was with the double and after doing some video watching and research on the web about using the machine, it was great. The person that sold me the machine over the phone was great and gave me a lot of good advice (Posted on 6/6/2013)
Sylvia easy, reliable and durableReview by Beep
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OK, I don't have the Version 3. Why, you might ask? Well, because I've had the SAME Silvia since Christmas 2002 (was a present). Other than regular cleaning and changing the gasket rings I haven't had to do anything. Silvia greets me every morning and let's me brew a lovely double shot, easy as can be. Just let her warm up for ~20 minutes, do one blank extraction (which I do to warm the cups more, not for any other reason) and you are good to go. Excellent froth too. I do wonder, after reading so many cautionary reviews over the years, what people find so difficult about Silvia. She's really a nice, very solid and wonderfully easy machine. Since she is getting old I'm sure something will eventually happen but, until it does, we're good. My experience and opinion. (Posted on 5/11/2013)
Love my SilviaReview by icecool
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Bought my little Silvia back in 2008 after much research... Paired with a Rocky it's now 5 years of pure coffee nirvana without one single issue... Built like a tank some say she's cranky but I say she's perfect for experimenting with diff beans, roasts and grinds... Thank you Rancillio... (Posted on 3/17/2013)
Great coffee, just follow the stepsReview by shanti
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I bought this machine about a month ago after a lot of research. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Miss Sylvia was not at all as cranky as many seem to think she is.
I read about how you need an expensive grinder - false. My basic Capresso burr grinder works wonderfully.
I read about the temperature variability - hasn't bothered me at all. I always froth my milk first, de-pressurize a bit, then make espresso. It has always came out very well.

One concern I have is the plastic tubes in the water reservoir - how long are they going to last? Beyond that, everything seems to be really solid. The machine looks great as well.
I'm giving it 4 starts because for the price, it has very basic features. No digital bells and whistles. And it does take time to warm up. (Posted on 2/23/2013)
Can't live without herReview by Eileen
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For value, price, reliability, and consistency, this machine is the best. If you make a single serving of espresso, you can steam a cup of milk. If you intend on steaming a second cup of milk, make another shot of espresso or run water through the hot water button to prime the machine. Otherwise, you risk tripping the temperature fail safe mechanism and then the machine requires services to reset it. Not really well explained in the manual. I've used this for 2 + years and only ran into a problem when I tried to make 4 espresso shots in a row and then tried to steam several cups of milk without priming the boiler. The boiler gets primed when you run the espresso button or the hot water button. (Posted on 12/20/2012)
Fabulous Machine!Review by Nastio
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I have had this machine now for over 2 years, runs superbly brews phenomenal lattes! Very durable but be sure to do the maintenance if you want it to last! (Posted on 10/8/2012)
Miss Silva- my new BFFReview by Calimom
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I spent way too much time researching this machine and finally took the plunge on an open-box special. I'm so glad I did! I got this machine to replace my Gaggia classic that bit the dust after about 15 years of use. The staff at SCG helped me over the phone and were so patient with answering all my questions.
Miss Silva arrived in great shape and took her rightful place next to the Macap grinder. I dialed in pretty fine, heated her up and pulled the first shot....way to fast! Into the sink it went. Dialed down for a finer grind and pulled #2...Wow! What a beautiful shot! Taste brought me back to my last trip to Italy. Coffee nirvana.
What a great machine-I see why she is so popular.
Thanks Seattle Coffee Gear- your open box special made this great machine affordable for me!! (Posted on 9/5/2012)
Love, love, love it!Review by Davida
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Love my new Rancilio. Finding the right grind is a little tricky but I have a Rancilio Rocky Grinder, so I am good to go!

Makes great creama, and beautiful foam so quickly. Couldn't be happier, so glad I spent the extra money for the PID. (Posted on 8/16/2012)
I love this machineReview by well caffinated
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In fact, I now own three. One at home. One in our ski place. And I just bought this one for my apartment in NYC where I work. I tried to avoid buying a third one -- since it seems just a bit excessive and at first bought a delonghi combination coffee/espresso maker. First the coffee maker quit working. Then the milk steamer quit working. Finally the knob on the espresso machine quit closing. I gave up. Threw it away and bought one more "Miss Silvia. The Seattle Coffee team did a great job with package it up and sending it to me! I'm a happy (and well caffinated woman.) (Posted on 7/4/2012)
Rancilio Silva open boxReview by Jon
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I purchased this Rancilio unit after my Delonghi finally quit working. I wanted to upgrade to a more commercial grade unit. I have had this unit abouot a month. This unit has performed great. It is easy to clean and makes a great latte. Only negative is that it is noisy. But it is no worse than the small delonghi I had for three years. I love the swivel steam arm and that it is made from stainless steel. Very easy to clean. Very happy with the open box purchase. Unit was brand new.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Commercial Grade, Easy To Clean

Cons:
Noisy (Posted on 5/30/2012)
the best entry-level machineReview by Logan
Quality
Value
Price
This machine works very well for what it is. As a single boiler machine it's missing a lot of the oomph I wish it had. It makes good coffee and I haven't had any trouble with milk frothing. I wish it had a larger water tank, a larger drip tray, and autofill. I'm emptying the driptray and refilling the tank after only one or two pulls.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use

Cons:
Small Water Container (Posted on 5/29/2012)
Like the Silvia v3 with the PIDReview by One More Shot
Quality
Value
Price
I found it makes the best "shots" after the temperature is right. Wait for the temp to set. Then pull at least one (maybe two) empty shots to heat-up the group head and the portafilter. I've found doing this makes more consistent shots. The PID does a good job of keeping the water at a stable temperature.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Commercial Grade, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 5/26/2012)
A solid Machine, with a few quirksReview by Ohana25
Quality
Value
Price
Owned this product for about 5 years. Still performs flawlessly. First unit was returned after the first start up due to faulty wiring and a near fire.

"Quirky" refers to the need to understand the variables affecting a good shot. The biggest button controlling great crema is the freshness of the roast. Next would be the grind followed by the tamp. Use the SCG site videos to learn about these. Temperature surfing is trivial. Let the machine warm. Raise to steaming and do your milk first. Cool down by pressing the extract button and opening the steam wand slightly until you see water. Close the wand and continue extraction until clear water flows. Stop and wait for the light. When the light goes off, hit the extract button one more time just briefly to allow the steam to blow off (1 to 2 sec). Load the wand and extract. If you are using fresh roast (less than 2 weeks since roast) you should get a great espresso. If you are not willing to put in the effort, then you will NOT get a decent cup!

Pros:
Quality construction, Commercial like performan, Easy To Clean, Quick Brewing, Quiet

Cons:
Quirky operation (Posted on 5/8/2012)
Silvia needs PIDReview by toad
Quality
Value
Price
PID standardizes operation and adjustment is through grind and tamp - consistency is easily obtainable

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quiet, Commercial Grade, Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Quick Brewing

Cons:
Small Water Container, Messy (Posted on 5/8/2012)
Love Rancilio Silvia!Review by ksmigun
Quality
Value
Price
I happily used an Estro Vapore for twenty years, and then purchased a Saeco Aroma after the Estro breathed its last steam. I could never get good frothing from the wand on the Saeco. After two years of frustration, I purchased this Rancilio Silvia and am back to frothing good lattes. I love this machine!

Pros:
Great Taste, Commercial Grade

Cons:
Need easier instructions (Posted on 5/5/2012)
I Love my SilviaReview by Sean
Quality
Value
Price
This is the first espresso machine I've owned and I couldn't be happier, the PID is a must have for ease of use and consistent shots. The machine has certainly been great to learn on while still making some great espresso!

Pros:
Durable, Attractive, Easy To Clean, Easy To Use, Commercial Grade

Cons:
Small Water Container, Messy (Posted on 5/1/2012)
I love Miss SilviaReview by Tayman
Quality
Value
Price
Takes a bit to dial in Miss Silvia but well worth it. Heats up pretty quick and I look forward to using the machine. Steams latte powerfully and stem wand pivots smoothly
Grind quality and process need to be watched but the more I use Miss Silvia the easier it is to reward myself with darn good espresso
I think the crema iis beautiful. This unit is for people who like to fuss a bit for optimal results. The type of person who uses waxable x country skis or sew up racing bike tires, for example. Harder to use but rewarded with better performance.
4 stars not 5 cause it should have a temp or pressure gauge for this level machine
And plastic tamper pretty weak

Pros:
Quick Brewing

Cons:
(Posted on 4/4/2012)
Awesome machineReview by Linus Franklin
Quality
Value
Price
Great espresso. Very solid build and high grade metal is used throughout. Consistent results and good temperature control by temperature surfing.

Pros:
Solid Build Quality, Easy To Clean, Easy To Use, Commercial Grade, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 2/27/2012)
Very nice home machineReview by Avid Coffee drinker
Quality
Value
Price
I purchased the Rancilio Silvia on the recommendation of my local barista and after much research. While I debated getting a superautomatic vs. a semiautomatic, I knew if I got a semiautomatic, it would be the Silvia. I have had the machine for about a month. It took about three weeks to master my shots and frothing skills, but now I have it down pretty well. Pros: Looks nice, shots are comparable to what you would buy at a coffee stand, easy to use once you figure it out and watch videos. Cons: no strong negative comments, however, the frother is loud. I cannot quite get the microfoam of a professional--maybe that will come with practice or maybe not, since this isn't a commercial machine. The water reservoir is large, but frothing and pulling shots uses a lot of water, so I check it after every use. Also, after tamping my espresso, I sometimes have a difficult time inserting the portafilter. I have to hold the filter with one hand and push up with the other while twisting into place. The machine vibrates when pulling a shot so that the shot glasses move unless held in place. I solved this by placing a piece of rubber (like a jar opener) on the tray and putting the shot glasses on top. This holds them in place. I would recommend purchasing a better tamper; the one that comes with the machine is cheap. Also get a cleaning brush to clean the brew head after every use. Overall, I am happy with the machine.

Pros:
Great Taste

Cons:
Small Water Container, Noisy (Posted on 2/2/2012)
As good as it getsReview by Michael siciliano
Quality
Value
Price
I travel often to Italy to visit family and work so I can proudly desipher the difference from a so so caffe' from a excellent caffe'. This machine with combo of the rancilio rocky grinder is a match made in heaven and every time with the addition of a good quality bean, I'm in Italy that instant I pull a shot from the rancilio. Great machine! Enough said.

Pros:
Great Taste, Quiet, Commercial Grade, Quick Brewing, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 1/30/2012)
Love this espresso maker!Review by Deena the Barrista
Quality
Value
Price
I bought the Rancilio Silvia after doing considerable research and am very glad that I did. I had been making my espresso on a stove top Bialetti and making foamed milk with a hand-held frother. Decided to give myself a gift and ordered the Rancilio. What an excellent machine. I drink cappuccinos every morning and this machine makes delicious, elegant espresso with thick crema. The frother takes practice, but not extensive. I watched the Seattle Gear video on how to make micro-foam with the Rancilio and my technique improved dramatically. Absolutely love this machine. Wish I could pack it in my suitcase when I travel.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 1/30/2012)
Impressive MachineReview by MVB
Quality
Value
Price
Pros: Beautiful piece of equipment. Love the commercial components. Still practicing achieving better results each time.

Cons: Temperature surfing is tedious. Don't understand why Rancilio didn't incorporate a gauge. I know that there's a PID available for purchase but it really ruins the appearance of the machine and may be somewhat obstructive for frothing, using the portafilter and cleaning. I will continue to temperature surf and,in time, will hopefully become second nature.

Pros:


Cons:
(Posted on 1/12/2012)
Very nice machine for milk-based drinksReview by zappa74
Quality
Value
Price
I moved from a house where I had a plumbed-in commercial grade espresso machine. New kitchen has very limited space and I was really missing my daily espresso/cappuccino fix.

Received this as a Christmas gift and was very pleasantly surprised. Quick, easy and cleanup is a snap. Milk-based drinks are very good and it is ready anytime.

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 1/10/2012)
Tips on the Silvia!Review by JavaJedi
Quality
Value
Price
Great machine but the instructions are really lacking. I think they didn't think about translating it much into English. I couldn't get a good crema and the coffee was coming out too fast with a normal espresso grind. I have a great grinder but what they don't tell you is the grind has to be almost like powder and packed hard with your tamper in order to get any crema out of the machine. The only way I found out is by searching youtube videos on the Silvia.

Pros:
Easy To Use

Cons:
It Vibrates too much, Noisy (Posted on 1/5/2012)
Powerful, Quick, not quiet :)Review by Hot in Texas
Quality
Value
Price
I love the speed and consistency of this machine. I use it every morning for my latte. It's pretty noisy but this doesn't present a problem.

Pros:
Great Taste, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Easy To Use

Cons:
Noisy (Posted on 9/26/2011)
Had to try an "open box" Silvia.........Review by Scotti509
Quality
Value
Price
I prefer iced drinks (mocha or macchiato) I paired the Silvia with a doserless Rocky grinder. I'm still in the learning process. Silvia has to be loaded perfectly or she won't pull a good shot. After playing around with dose,grind, and tamp. I got some pretty tasty shots. I'm not a little guy, so over tamping happens easily. This leads to leaking around the portafilter and bad tasting shots. Patience is the key ! Gail makes it look so easy. The Rocky grinder really is key to the best possible shot. I started with a Capresso Infinity set at the finest grind setting. This was fair as far as flavor and crema, but the Rocky can go much finer and easily too fine. Yes, you can choke Silvia with too fine of a grind. The learning curve sucks, but after 3 days of Sivia and Rocky together with Velton's Bonsai espresso beans, I had an incredible macchiato(sp?) today !!! I'm a barista at my church's coffee bar and am spoiled by commercial grade equipment and good espresso, so I'm on a quest to duplicate/surpass it at home. I could only afford an "open box" version, but if it holds up it'll be worth the savings ! If you decide to go with an open box Silvia watch the website daily as they get snatched up quick !!!

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great crema

Cons:
Small Water Container, Tempermental, Messy (Posted on 8/24/2011)
Rancilio Silvia Espresso MachineReview by Randy-Man
Quality
Value
Price
This is a great machine. The reviews i read about this machine were helpful & accurate. The video's posted helped to master the skills necessary to brew consistent great tasting coffee from the get go. We drink more coffee now cause it tastes so good with this machine.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quality machine, Looks awesome, Great Taste, Heats up quickly, Quick Brewing, Commercial Grade, Easy To Clean, Large Water Container

Cons:
Plastic tamper is no good (Posted on 7/29/2011)
The PID option ROCKS!Review by devonsvoice
Quality
Value
Price
Wanting to upgrade from my little Gaggia, I started out trying a heat exchanger machine, but it just wasn't a good fit for me. This past weekend, I exchanged it for a Silvia with the PID option, and so far it's working out very well! If you're looking for good, consistent shots and don't like to temperature surf, get the PID if you can afford to. It's worth it. You do need to have SCG install it if you want your warranty to remain intact.
Some things to note--if you've been using a machine with a panarello wand like the Gaggia, be prepared for a learning curve with the Silvia's steaming tip. SCG has a good video about it in their blog section. One thing that's a bit messy is blowing off the hot water in the steam wand before steaming. Use a deep cup, because it tends to splash all over the place! That's about the only downside I've found so far.
Also, Miss Silvia is known to be picky about grind and tamp, but I'm personally not finding it any pickier than my Gaggia was. Be sure you have a good burr grinder though, because you'll need it.

Pros:


Cons:
(Posted on 7/5/2011)
Superior Coffee!Review by Counterpro
Quality
Value
Price
We have several other well-known espresso makers; this one has delivered the very best tasting coffee for about 1 year now. It heats up quickly. I use it for making a cup of tea a couple times a day, as well, because the water temp is perfect for brewing tea (and faster than a "fast" electric kettle). It's fun when guests go "all out" for my coffee, and I know they are enjoying it as much as I do. My only complaint is that the water tank has to be refilled often, due to it's small size, but I suppose it couldn't be so pleasingly "compact" in this small kitchen if that was not the fact.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Quick Brewing

Cons:
Small Water Container (Posted on 7/5/2011)
Surprisingly easy to useReview by Jimbo
Quality
Value
Price
My Silvia, when it finally arrived, setup easily and was very straight forward to operate. I experienced none of the horror stories, or other negative reports about this machine. The Rocky grinder that I purchased at the same time may have played a roll in the ease of operation. If there hadn't been the glitch on processing the order things would have been perfect.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste

Cons:
(Posted on 5/27/2011)
Met my expectationsReview by DVD5300
Quality
Value
Price
I'm a former Starbucks latte addict. The ones I'm making with my new Rancilio Silvia are very delicious and far superior. The Silvia Ver3 is an excellent entry level machine to buy because it has a robust brew side, and a good steam side. Once it heats up (about 8 minutes) you can pull a double shot and steam two 8 ounce pitchers of milk in about 5 minutes. It's a very sturdy, well built machine. I've owned mine for only a month, but expect it will last for many years. I enjoy the brewing process and look forward to a morning latte. No more waiting in line. As far as the money goes, well lets just say mine will pay for itself in about 9 months. I also score big points when I wake up on Sat/Sun morning and bring my wife a fresh made latte to her in bed. (Worth it for that reason alone.) The only negative is the steaming wand gets hot, and will scald a small amount of milk that you have to wipe off. Not too bad. I keep a wet wash cloth at the ready. That feature is addressed on machines that cost more money. Seattle Coffee Gear is a great place to buy your espresso machine. Enjoy!

Pros:
Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Great Taste

Cons:
Steaming wand gets hot (Posted on 3/2/2011)
Excellent MachineReview by Caferunner
Quality
Value
Price
The build quality on this machine is outstanding and it suits my needs perfectly; it allows me to consistently make excellent coffee. Fortunantly,I almost never make milk drinks else I would probably feel the need to spend another $1,000+ for a double boiler or HX machine; Silvia does take an annoyingly long time to heat up/cool down between brew and stem mode. This is a measure of its excellent temperature stability, which is the very thing you MUST have to make good espresso. Machines like the Gaggia with their tiny aluminum componants are easier to use because they heat up and cool down in a flash, but they will not match Silvia for shot quality.

Pros:
Great Taste, Large Water Container, Easy To Use, Commercial Grade, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 2/28/2011)
Finicky but worth itReview by Dave
Quality
Value
Price
Need a good grind to make it work the best

Pros:
Good Steam

Cons:
Particular to the grind, Messy (Posted on 2/23/2011)
size isn't everythingReview by JVR
Quality
Value
Price
What a great machine. It does everything. No need to spend more money this one does it all.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Quick Brewing, Large Water Container, Easy To Use

Cons:
None (Posted on 1/10/2011)
Rancilio Silvia 3Review by LLB
Quality
Value
Price
I love this machine. The coffee tastes great & now that I've got the routine down, brewing takes just a few minutes from start to finish. The Rancilio makes a clean, fresh-tasting shot with lots of crema & the powerful boiler steams milk very quickly. No more exploding pucks - I can make one shot after another with no worries.
Because the boiler is so powerful, water and/or steam will come up from your steaming pitcher when in use & can make a wet mess. I just cover the pitcher with a sponge or towel & it eliminates this. It's not a problem while steaming milk as I don't open the valve that much while doing so.

Pros:
Great Taste, Large Water Container, Easy To Clean, Commercial Grade

Cons:
(Posted on 12/1/2010)
Nice itemReview by Captain Coffee
Quality
Value
Price
Nice machine, easy to use and clean. The steamer takes a while to get up to temperature but overall, it makes a nice cup of coffee.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 11/1/2010)
Rancilio Silvia is an instant hit!Review by Papa Glenn
Quality
Value
Price
Since this was my first espresso machine it was a little intimidating but my son pulled a great shot on his first attempt and with a few tweaks we are pulling great shots everytime. The videos posted by Kat and Gail really help, especially the tips on temperature surfing and steam milk frothing. Although slightly slower, I have found it easier to pull the shot first, then froth the milk. The Silvia requires you to develop some barista skills but that is half the fun and the results are worth the extra effort. Make sure to get a good grinder, I bought the Baratza Virtuoso. It does a good job and I wouldn't recommend going any lower. I did a lot of reaearch before purchasing. The Silvia is well made and its large following is no accident. Seattle Coffee Gear is the best! [...]

Pros:
Easy to Master

Cons:
Small Water Container (Posted on 10/29/2010)
Love my SilviaReview by momlong
Quality
Value
Price
I love that it steams my milk so quickly and makes great espresso shot after shot!

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Great Taste, Commercial Grade, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 10/17/2010)
Great coffee but an expensive machineReview by LB
Quality
Value
Price
My husband is a coffee aficionado. I am not. To me, this machine is no different then the last one we had which was half the price. I sure hope this one lasts longer.
The steamer is very powerful and I'm still getting used to it. That's the best part.
It's annoying to "temperature surf" before making coffee.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste, Large Water Container

Cons:
Noisy (Posted on 10/6/2010)
The right place to purchase coffee gearReview by Midwest Gal
Quality
Value
Price
The videos with Kat and Gail were so helpful in choosing the right machine and knowing how to get outstanding results from it.

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 9/7/2010)
Expensive Dependable Fast QuirkyReview by Depender
Quality
Value
Price
My wife and I drink two good cups of coffee every morning. We had been satisfied with our Gaggia Expresso Dose machine's taste and operation, but it wasn't solidly built, and when the auto shut quit after 3 months it was a matter of time (2 years) before the heat pump burned out. I purchased the Silvia after a decent amount of research around reliability. It seems overpriced, and if it breaks down I'll be mad. But the research shows it's solid if cleaned regularly. As for the coffee it makes... it's a bit of a lottery ticket. Hard to replicate one cup to the next, it's inconsistent. Maybe that's me, as other reviewers say that a number of timing and coffee packing things must be delicately worked out... it's just not as simple as the Gaggia to make the same cup of coffee twice in a row.

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Easy To Use, Commercial Grade, Fast

Cons:
Inconsistent, Messy (Posted on 9/4/2010)
The Family Espresso MachineReview by Pambi
Quality
Value
Price
Both my daughters own this machine and now so do I. It took a few days to get the tamp right (I tend to tamp a bit heavy so had to lighten up) but now I get excellent crema. Lots of nice foam on the steamed milk; I've found it works best if I open the steam wand only about a quarter turn & steam slowly. Once I've steamed the milk, I flip the water switch until a stream of water appears; then temperature surf for a minute or two, and voila, it's ready to brew. Very simple and great tasting espresso.

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Commercial Grade

Cons:
(Posted on 9/1/2010)
Wish I bought this the first time!Review by Skeeterbait
Quality
Value
Price
This is a high quality machine that seems to be built for long durability at a fair price. It delivers premium espresso with fantastic flavor and beautiful crema. I was dismayed when my expensive Spanish built espresso machine burnt out after only two years but after switching to this product it feels like a happy ending. My coffee beans in the old machine never tasted as good as they do now. It's a delight that the portafilter delivers a non-messy dry puck which quickly becomes a soil amendment in the garden. Frothing soy milk is more challenging with this machine & the final results no as good as my former Acaso Dream - - but overall I am happy to have made the switch.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 8/28/2010)
Excellent Home MachineReview by Tup
Quality
Value
Price
First, I spent six years as a professional barista so I pretty much know a good brew from a bad one. This machine makes the best shots I have made on a home machine. This is also the third machine I have owned but the first Rancilio machine. I do have to run a couple of shots of pure water before putting the grounds in for the first use of the day as it has a tendency to be inconsistent if I don't but every machine has its own personality. I use a Capresso grinder and it works very well on the medium fine setting for excellent crema shots. Perhaps if I used it for more than about eight double shot lattes a day I would get a more expensive grinder but that is for another day. This machine is an excellent value for the money.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Adequate Water Container, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Commercial Grade

Cons:
(Posted on 8/28/2010)
HummmmReview by Kay
Quality
Value
Price
I get my morning "humm" going w Silvia. Thanks for the Kat and Gail videos which made this all really doable...

Pros:
Great Taste

Cons:
(Posted on 8/28/2010)
Rancillio SilviaReview by Old chemist
Quality
Value
Price
The Silvia is a good piece of hardware, but good results depend on getting correctly ground fresh coffee and some skill in getting the tamping process correct. When things are good, the result is excellent. Old coffee, coarse coffee, too fine coffee...forget it.

We have an old Gaggia, and was trained on that machine. The filter holder has a "foaming pad built in", and one does not realize that that pad makes up for a lot of error until you work without one.

The product is good looking. I find the water reservoir limited...it is easy to run out. The drip catch tray also has a small volume, and it is easy to forget to empty that in time. That said, the rest of the experience is just great. The portafilter is solid, the pump is acceptably quiet. Reading the simple instructions is important, every word there needs to be thought about. For example, if you do not vent the steam nozzle, you dump about 25 ml of warm water into your "milk" and that blend just will not foam. Blow out the line before you use it, just like the instructions say.

A step up from Gaggia, although my Gaggia Coffee, purchased in 1996 is still cooking. The Rancillio has the heft to do even better.

Pros:
Rugged solid hardware

Cons:
Small Water Container (Posted on 8/20/2010)
We love SilviaReview by Crazy about Coffee
Quality
Value
Price
The Silvia is very easy to use and make great espresso. We especially appreciated the on-line step by step instructions.

Pros:
Easy To Clean, Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Great Taste

Cons:
(Posted on 8/17/2010)
As good as I hoped!Review by Huff
Quality
Value
Price
The family gave me my first cappuccino machine at Xmas 1975, a pump model from Portugal. I have since run at least half a dozen machines, the best being 2 Baby Gaggias. But I hungered for a better machine, and I finally went for Miss Silvia... Rancilio Silvia. My first shot was a winner! As good as the best I can recall from a now closed restaurant in Portland! And a great steaming wand... Wow!

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste

Cons:
(Posted on 7/30/2010)
INCREDIBLE!Review by 3am
Quality
Value
Price
I did a LOT of research when we needed to replace our Via Venezia after it decided to stop working. There were a ton of choices, and a lot of machines that had nice features, but in the end, it was the quality of the shot and the rabid fans of the Rancilio Silvia that helped make the decision.

I sprung for the Silvia and Rocky grinder (no doser), and couldn't be happier. The machine is pretty straight forward to use, and is built extremely well. When I set everything up, I found the grinder was pretty close to right on straight out of the box.

I could have gone with a fully automatic machine (refurbished) for the same price, but I am glad I chose to go the simple route. I know what this machine will do, and I don't have to worry about a LED going bad making the screen impossible to read and trying frantically to remember how many times you push the button to get a good shot.

The fact that there are so many people who have used their Silvia's for years (some I found were on year 12!) let me know I was making the right choice. My wife loves it too... forget the kids! if we ever get divorced I want THIS!!!

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 7/18/2010)
Great MachineReview by Darren
Quality
Value
Price
A great machine easy enough to use once you practice a bit nothing difficult just takes a little practice to pull a nice shot. Well worth the extra money, nice looking and solid feel. I highly recommend the machine to even casual users.

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great Taste

Cons:
Small Water Container (Posted on 6/14/2010)
Recommended, but get a good grinder.Review by Do I really have to make up a nickname?
Quality
Value
Price
I am used to a $2500 super automatic at work, so I had a fairly high standard set as far as ease of use. The espresso from that machine is passable but not great, and I prefer more control, so I bought the Silvia for home use.As far as the espresso goes, it is excellent. I get more crema and better pulls from Madame Silvia than the commercial machine by a long shot. I prefer the hands on nature of the craft; it's simple to learn at first, but I have a much better machine than my skills warrant. I can improve my technique a great deal before hitting the silvia's limits, and the extra cost was worth it for that reason.The steam wand is excellent, with its 360 movement. She's not as easy to use as my giant machine at work, but for her small size, it is the best design available. And it's worth mentioning that the quality of the foam is excellent to the point of beating the bigger machine. I suppose the hot water feature is nice, but I never see fit to use it much.A word of caution: get a good grinder if you expect great results. I got a capresso infinity, and it lacks the consistency needed for optimum espresso. Most grinders not designed for espresso have a range of settings, but too wide a selection. I can grind for my french press and turkish on the same grinder, but I can't adjust the narrow espresso range much. You end up with mostly dust, with fine bits in between, which is not ideal. Also, learn how the boiler works so you can "temperature surf", allowing you to heat the machine up quicker and control the temperature better than the standard directions do.She's nicely built, and worth the investment; a [$] machine will outlast 10 70$ machines every time.

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Great steam wand design, Large Water Container, Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Easy To Use, Small footprint

Cons:
Learning curve (Posted on 6/8/2010)
wow!Review by oswald
Quality
Value
Price
fit right into the empty space of the deceased Silvia (RIP)

Pros:
Easy To Use, Commercial Grade, Great Taste

Cons:
(Posted on 6/7/2010)
Now I know what I was missing!Review by Mark
Quality
Value
Price
So now that I am about a month into owning a Silvia, I can truly write this review about her. I LOVE THIS MACHINE. I moved up from a decade old Krups combo unit that I have to say I learned how to pull a good shot from (or so I thought). I had waited months for this machine, but it was worth it and once I got the grind right for Velton's Bonsai blend, I realized that his coffee is even better than I was able to experience before. The build quality and the design of the machine is just beautiful. Obviously this is a bit of a learning curve compared to a super automatic, but is so worth it and once you have the process down it is second nature. Currently I am trying to master my technic with frothing milk, but it produces a good amount of steam and I am able to produce a cappuccino better than almost any coffee shop I have been to. The only real downside of this machine is not wanting to get coffee outside of my house!

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Easy To Use, Commercial Grade

Cons:
Messy (Posted on 5/30/2010)
So far so goodReview by maker of great espresso
Quality
Value
Price
This is the forth espresso machine we have owned over the last 15 years. Baby GAGGIA, Coffe store brand, Saeco Ranchilio. I like the more manual machines ,because of the control you have over the out come of your coffee.
I like this unit, the only thing was to remember to swicth back and forth from steam to brew. Makes a great espresso..

Pros:
Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Commercial Grade

Cons:
(Posted on 5/27/2010)
Superb Silvia performanceReview by dave
Quality
Value
Price
A great basis for espresso, but WILD temperature swings make it hard to control the result. [...]

Pros:
Easy To Use

Cons:
(Posted on 5/21/2010)
Love it!Review by Jen
Quality
Value
Price
Awesome machine for the price. I can produce decent crema and plump micro foam. I had no issues. I found it easy to use.

Pros:
Great Taste, Commercial Grade, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean

Cons:
Small Water Container (Posted on 4/20/2010)
A Jewel to Fall in Love WithReview by Manny
Quality
Value
Price
I use my machine 3 times a day: Breakfast, Afternoon and Mid to Late Evening. Mornings are espresso only for making Iced Latte or Latte. Afternoon and Evenings are usually a double shot for the wife and double for me for either Iced Latte or Latte/Cappuccino.

This machine is a joy to use, practice, learn and observe. It looks terrific, sounds terrific and works like a tank. Build quality is superb. The machine is heavy, solidly built and feels very stable and secure. I am able to lock in the portafilter without supporting the frame. Rocker Switches feel like very expensive quality aircraft type gear. They feel like they will last for years of heavy use without wearing. Lights are large and clear and overall operation is straightforward. I have the 3rd generation version with the new portafilter contoured handle and steam knob which are elegantly designed and much more functional. The Handle of the portafilter feels great on big hands.

Construction and workmanship are second to none.

The machine does not forgive an amateur operator. Indeed the machine owned me for about the first 7 days while I dialed in the right grind, tamp and dose. It is extremely finicky about these three components. You have to match all three with the selected coffee to get the magic 2oz in 25 seconds. Even then sometimes you find yourself wondering why the shot is either under or over extracted when nothing seems to have changed.

Patience is a must with this machine. DO NOT give up until you figure out what works best. Once I got the right tuning I am consistently pulling excellent tasting espresso, better than 99% of the espresso I get from my usual shops.

The Rancilio Silvia requires dedication and lots of handholding. Finally the temperature range between the boiler cycles is high and needs to be paid attention to and adjusted through careful temperature surfing to get optimal brew temperature. Luckily there are hundreds of pages of information and videos on the use of the Silvia which adds to its appeal as the best machine in its class.

The final con for me was the size of the water reservoir. To be safe, I have to fill it after or before each session to ensure not running dry during a pull which would potentially damage the pump, boiler and / or valves.

I am extremely satisfied with the purchase. It is matched by a Rancilio Rocky Doserless Grinder.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Commercial Grade

Cons:
Small Water Container, Needs Temp Surfing, Must Give it Time to Warm (Posted on 4/9/2010)
SHOULDA BOUGHT THIS ONE YEARS AGO!!!Review by LaLaLand
Quality
Value
Price
This Sylvia is good-looking, built to last, heats up quickly, makes a quick and crema-laden shot or two, froths up some great milk, cleans up easily with a nice puck (gotta love the 3-way solenoid!). Did I say super-tasty shot?? I can't believe I've hobbled along with a lousy (and horrible tasting, messy, power-less, lousy steaming) Francis X1 for the past decade!! This thing is definitely worth every penny, and I'm guessing will last a good fifteen years with care. LOVE!!!!!

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Large Water Container

Cons:
Noisy (Posted on 4/8/2010)
Great product, but...Review by Bruno the Bean
Quality
Value
Price
[...]

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 4/8/2010)

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