The Rancilio Silvia is a very powerful coffee maker that made it as the Premium Pick on our list of best espresso machines under $1000. The machine has been slightly modified throughout the years, but the interest for this machine doesn’t seem to decline over time. Of course, performing well and being easy to use, the Silvia is what we like to call ‘the classic home espresso machine.’
Often compared to the Gaggia Classic Pro, the machine is made of high-grade commercial components, and it comes in a nice-looking metal housing. With this coffee maker, you can pull up to 8 shots of good coffee per day, and you can make both milk-based and coffee-only drinks. The Silvia also lets you make single or double espresso shots very fast, and the quality of the shots is guaranteed.
- Stainless steel housing
- Manual steam wand
- Water tank
- Rocker control buttons
- Single boiler
- Three-way solenoid valve
- Two filter baskets included
- Plastic tamper included
- Scoop included
Easy to use
Makes milk-based drinks
Makes single and double espresso shots
Looks sleek and simple
Doesn’t come with a filter basket for coffee pods
The included tamper is made of plastic
A powerful, yet simple look
It only takes looking at the Silvia one time to realize how powerful this coffee maker is. Coming in a durable stainless steel housing, the machine has a shine to it that will make you want to just grab it and put it on your kitchen counter right away. Its clean lines and simplicity will make you think about how easy it must be to use the Silvia, and you will not be very far from the truth about that.
A few control buttons for easier use
The Silvia doesn’t have too many control buttons, but the ones it has are easily accessible and easy to understand. The control panel of this coffee maker starts with the brew button, continues with the hot water button, and ends with the steam button. There’s also a power button with a light indicator right next to it and a steam dial that lets you customize the steam to your needs.
The Rancilio Silvia coffee maker performs very well, and it does that in a very simple way. This machine uses a single boiler to heat up the water for brewing and steaming. Going from brewing to steaming is a bit slow since this is a single boiler machine, but the temperature for both of the processes is always right.
The Silvia also has an integrated three-way solenoid valve that makes sure that the coffee grounds are dry and well-formed. There’s also a portafilter that comes with the machine and its handle has been improved throughout the years. The portafilter locks into the machine almost effortlessly, and the single and double filter baskets that come with it make sure for great flavor extraction.
The water tank of the machine is easy to reach and refill, and its only downside is that you can’t see how much water is in it. When it comes to the drip tray of the Silvia, it is very easy to take it out for cleaning, and even though some people may think of it as small, we deem it to be of good size.
The Rancilio Silvia is a semi-automatic coffee maker, which means that it gives you the option to intervene in the preparation of the coffee.
Good boiler technology
One of the components that have been upgraded on the Rancilio Silvia is the single boiler of this coffee machine. In the previous versions of the Silvia, the heating element of the boiler was made of copper. The newest models of the Silvia use boilers that have heating elements made of stainless steel. This could come in handy if you ever happen to accidently run your machine dry because stainless steel is less likely to burn out than copper.
What’s also great about the boiler on this machine is that if you ever need to change its heating element, you can do that without having to replace the body of the boiler as well. Therefore, the boiler of the Silvia performs well and is very convenient as well.
Steaming and brewing on the Rancilio Silvia are two very easy tasks.
Before you start steaming, push the steam button and wait until the orange light on the machine has turned off. Then, turn the steam dial and let any residual water run through the wand until it turns to steam. You are then ready to steam your milk.
After you have finished steaming the milk, we recommend you cool down the water in the boiler by pressing the hot water button on the machine and turning the steam dial. This will purge the steam wand after usage too.
You should stop running water through the steam wand when the orange light on the machine turns on. When the light turns on, just wait for it to turn off, put one of the filter baskets in the portafilter, and then, put some ground coffee into the portafilter. Attach the portafilter to the machine and press the brew button. Your espresso shot will be ready very quickly, and you can then add the milk foam to it.
After you’ve done brewing or steaming, however, remember to rinse the brewing systems. To purge the brewing system, just press on the brew button and the machine will run some water through the system.
Steam it up with the manual steam wand
The Rancilio Silvia coffee maker comes with a manual steam wand. The previous models of this machine used to have their wands move only from left to right. However, the steam wand on the newest Silvia models can move in any direction, which makes it easier for you to steam your milk.
FAQ about the Rancilio Silvia
Which tamper size do I need for the Rancilio Silvia?
The machine comes with a tamper, but in case you want to purchase a separate tamper, you will need a 58mm tamper.
Where is the Rancilio Silvia manufactured?
This coffee machine is manufactured in Italy.
Could I use the Rancilio Silvia in my small coffee shop?
We wouldn’t recommend you do that. This machine was manufactured for home use only. It has only one boiler, so switching from brewing the coffee to steaming the milk will be pretty slow because the steam needs some time to heat up. Therefore, in a coffee shop, it is best to use a coffee maker that has two separate boilers, one for brewing and another one for steaming. Otherwise, you’ll have your customers waiting for long before they get their cup of coffee.
Can I program my Rancilio Silvia to turn on automatically?
No, you can’t. However, you can buy a digital timer and plug your machine to it. You’ll get the same result.
Does the Rancilio Silvia work with easy-serve espresso pods?
If you want to use pods on this machine, you can request the optional pod and capsule adaptor kit. Otherwise, the machine will ship to you without the kit and you won’t be able to use pods on it.
What are some alternatives to the Rancilio Silvia?
If the Silvia didn’t manage to win your heart, you could give the Lelit PL41TEM espresso machine a shot. This machine is less expensive than the Rancilio Silvia, has a PID boiler temperature controller, a brew pressure gauge, and a multi-directional steam wand so that you can steam the milk easily.
One of the greatest competitors of the Rancilio Silvia is the Gaggia Classic Pro coffee maker. This machine is also cheaper than the Silvia, the water level on it is visible, is very simple to use, and is very compact.
The Rancilio Silvia is, overall, a great coffee maker, and the proof to that is that there is a high demand for it on the market. If you are looking for a compact and easy-to-use coffee machine that makes good-quality coffee, the Silvia might be the one to meet your needs.