Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine Review

Widely regarded as the best single-boiler semi-automatic espresso machine for under $1,000, the Rancilio Silvia tops B&O Espresso list of best espresso machines.  A traditional build with a linear housing design, this stylish espresso maker is also built to last with its stainless steel side panels and iron frame.  Not only is it built with commercial grade materials, it also has a commercial grade group head meaning you get the best extraction and heat stability the market has to offer.

With its patented 58 millimeter ergonomic porta-filter, you get the highest quality extraction a home espresso maker has ever achieved.  In fact, these are the exact porta-filters that Rancilio uses with their commercial espresso machines.  Add to that the fact that the Rancilio Silvia gives you the largest volume single-boiler available for home espresso makers in its class (12 oz), and it’s easy to see why this espresso machine takes top billing.

The single-boiler is chrome plated brass which gives you amazing steaming power along with lightning quick recovery time for multiple shot brewing.  A more than ample two-quart water reservoir is fillable before and during operation so if company arrives your get in the mood for more, it’s not an issue.  Plus, you’ll pour like a pro with the articulating stainless steel steam wand with a commercial steam knob for complete control.  Also has a plastic tamper, a single and double filter basket and a 7-gram coffee scoop to complete your home espresso station.

Rancilio Silvia Review—Product Features

The features of the Rancilio Silvia really set it apart from comparable espresso makers, especially at this price point:

  • Commercial Style and Size Porta-filter.  Perhaps that best feature on this model, the Silvia is designed and built to commercial-grade specs but made available at a home-kitchen price.  From the two-part construction to the large diameter porta-filter for more evenly distributed water, this is the best espresso machine for home-brewers looking for that superior quality taste without the hassle.
  • Commercial Brewing Group.  Also made to commercial standards, this marine brass durable part is chrome plated to provide the ultimate environment for superior espresso brewing through optimized heat stability.
  • Articulating Steam Wand.  Complete functionality and range of motion with professional steam control knob for maximum pressure control.
  • Removable Water Reservoir.  Fill any time before or during operation for endless steam or espresso brewing.  Holds two quarts of water.
  • Pod and Capsule Adapter Kit.  Optional, but nice to know it’s available.
  • 3 Way Solenoid Valve.  Commercial-grade feature relieves water pressure when turned off in order to dry coffee out and prevent dripping while also making it easier to “knock” the coffee out of the porta-filter.

What Do Owners Like About the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine?

Here’s what people who have bought the Rancilio Silvia espresso maker are saying:

  1. The steamer tip is especially handy if you are changing between lattes, caffes and espressos, leaving the milk smooth and frothy.
  2. The boiler size steams extremely well for micro foam and is the biggest one available on the market
  3. Amazing customer service and 2 year warranty with 1 year extended
  4. Three way solenoid valve makes cleanup a breeze while preventing drippage

What Could Be Better About the Silvia Espresso Machine from Rancilio?

As with any product, there are always things that could be better—here’s what we found lacking with the Rancilio Silvia:

  1. The Silvia does run loud and has ample vibration so might not be suitable if you’re trying not to wake the baby
  2. Doesn’t include a cleaning brush or a water level indicator
  3. Doesn’t come with a PID temperature control like the Breville BES900XL (which ranks 2nd only because of the price).  This means it’s a bit slow to heat up compared to higher-end espresso makers, leaving your first shot lukewarm.

To solve the temperature problem, you can Temperature Surf.  Temperature Surfing simply means running water through the container until the orange light comes up so you can heat the boiler back up to the max water temp—when the light goes off, brew your shot and they will all be hot afterwards.

Who Should Buy The Rancilio Silvia?

If you’re looking for a commercial grade espresso maker that is semi-automatic and don’t want to break the bank, take a serious look at the Rancilio Silivia.  Not only will it give you the control you need to make the perfect espresso shot every time, it is gorgeous to look at and super-durable.  This means you won’t have to shell out for a new espresso maker a few years down the line.  Quality and control.

Who Should Not Buy The Silvia Espresso Maker from Rancilio?

If you want a one-touch espresso machine, this is not the machine for you.  This is for people who want control over the way their espresso comes out, meaning some steps are manual.  If you want a one-touch machine, go with a super-automatic like the DeLonghi ESAM3300.  If you do want a semi-automatic but are on a budget, try the Gaggia 14101 Classic.

The Bottom Line

With its brass components, chrome plating, stainless steel casing and an upgraded commercial grade build, the Rancilio Silvia is the best espresso machine on the market right now, pound for pound.  Super-durable, reliable and powerful, this is the only way to brew espresso in your home kitchen for aficionados.

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