The Compact Rancilio Silvia

The little single boiler machine that really packs a punch! High quality components combined with a professional look have made the Rancilio Silvia one of the most popular machines in the domestic market. Rancilio first introduced the Silvia back in 1997. It has since undergone a number of improvements and Rancilio are now up to the V4 model.

 

 

 

Design and Components

The Silvia has a beautiful look and the body is made completely of stainless steel with a nice satin finish. The machine has a rigid structure and its compact size would make it fit well into almost any kitchen space. The Silvia measures just 290mm x 235mm x 340mm (LxDxH) and weighs in at just 14 kilograms. The machine is very simple to use and only consists of 4 buttons, the steam knob, the porta-filter and holder and the single holed steam wand.

The main components of the Silvia are made of brass. The boiler, porta-filter and the head are all made of high quality brass which ensures a stable temperature and that the components are made to last. The machine utilizes a commercial sized porta-filter with 58MM baskets. The Silvia has a 2L water tank located at the back of the machine that is easily removed. It comes with a dual spout porta-filter, a measuring scoop and a tamper.

Features:

  • 300ml brass boiler

  • Single holed steam wand

  • 2L water tank

  • Stainless steel body

  • Chrome plated brass group head and 58MM portafilter

  • Dimensions: 290mm x 235mm x 340mm (LxDxH)

  • Weight: 14KG

  • Voltage: 120V / 230V

  • Boiler Power: 800 W (120 V) - 1,100 W

  • Frequency: 50/60 Hz

 

 

 

Functionality

Operating the Silvia is very simple. The machine must first be plugged into a standard power point and then turned on with the switch style button located on the front. The power switch will then show an orange light indicating the machine is heating up and is not ready to be used. Once the machine has heated up a green light will show. There are three switches located on the front-left of the machine. The highest being the brew switch. One press of this switch will electronically dose a single shot out of the group handle. The second highest switch is to activate the hot water. One press of this switch will set the steam wand to release hot water. The lowest switch is to activate the steam. One press of this switch will set the steam wand to release steam.

After you have made sure the water tank is full and have switched the machine on at the power point and at the power switch, allow some time for the machine to heat up and display the green light. We are now ready to make some coffee! Grind coffee into your porta-filter just like you usually would; we find the coffee needs to be tamped well and cannot be filled to high or you will have trouble fitting the porta-filter back into the head. Once you have put the porta-filter back into the head, place your desired cup under the spouts. The handle is quite low so smaller cups are ideal. Now press the brew button once to release a shot of coffee into the cup.

After the coffee brewing has stopped we are now ready to steam the milk. Press the steam switch once to activate the steam wand. Since the Silvia is a single boiler the machine will need to heat up again as the steam process is done at a higher temperature than the coffee brewing. The orange light will show again and will turn back to green when the steam wand is ready. This should only take a couple of minutes. Once the green light shows you can now use the circular knob on the front-right of the machine to operate the steam. Before putting the steam wand in your milk give it a twist (counter clockwise) to make sure steam comes out and there isn’t any water built up. Operate the knob by twisting it counter clockwise completely to allow steam or hot water to release and then back clock wise completely to turn it off. Make sure to clean your machine and switch it off when you are finished.

 

 

 

PRO'S

  • The Silvia has a really nice look to it which sets it apart from most of the machines in the same price range. It would complement any kitchen and because of its compact size, finding space for it should not be a problem.

  • The machine is very simple to use. Minimal buttons make the Silvia easy to learn and you should have it all figured out and making some good tasting espresso in no time.

  • The heating element is easily removed making it easier for any maintenance or repairs.

 

CON'S

  • The Silvia being a single boiler, it can take some time to make a coffee. Meaning if you are looking for something to make a quick coffee or a high volume of coffees this may not be the machine for you.

  • Whilst you can modify the machine and install a PID; the standard model does not come with any sort programming capabilities and all the coffee dosage is done automatically.

 

 

 

The Rancilio Silvia is a great first machine for home and if you are new to making coffee this would be a good investment to learn the skills of being a barista on. The Silvia is very competitively priced and in terms of aesthetics and performance there are few machines that can compare. We consider the Silvia to be more of a beginner’s machine so if you are experienced with making coffee you may want to move onto something a bit more advanced like a Heat Exchanger or Dual Boiler machine.

We rate it 4 out of 5 stars