Reviewer Photos & Videos
Lovely little machine!
It takes a little getting used to but once you have mastered the Sylvia, you will be enjoying wonderful coffee every day.
I recommend purchasing a quality grinder to use with the Sylvia. Pre-ground coffee is OK but you will need to experiment with the grind before you find your perfect cup
The milk steamer is excellent. It’s easy to use and produces a lovely micro foam.
The unit is very easy to clean, and if looked after will last for many years.
August 14th 2019 Update: Cafe quality coffee at your fingertips!
Purchased in June 2018.
The Best Coffee Machine for the Money
Great coffee machine, I have had this for 17 years and is in use every day, i put a new boiler in a year ago ( did it myself) and is like new again. Would recomend the Silvia, easy to use, easy to clean, but wouldn't be good for large amounts of coffee.
Best of the basics
Under $1k this is the standout machine. We've had ours for 6-7yrs (I think) without a problem.
It built like a brick and serviceable - probably still the only sub $1k machine that uses a brass boiler, which is more durable and delivers more consistent heat and pressure. But getting good coffee requires 3 things - 1. You need to learn how to "drive" a manual machine. Once you do, you will be richly rewarded. 2. You need a good grinder if you want consistently good coffee (specialty coffees vary in hardness an therefore optimal grind). 3. Good coffee (ie the ones you won't find in a supermarket - find a good good microroaster.
Good value for money, Poor customer service from Rancilio
A very neat and nice little espresso machine which can make great coffees. Small boiler means you can't make too many coffees in one session, and you have to wait for the boiler to re-heat for milk steaming. Good value for money though i think at around $800 new. I have had mine for a while and it has performed well and been well looked after. It is let down by poor quality manufacture of the grouphead cover which is chrome plated plastic. The chrome on mine has lifted and gone flaky (this is a known QC problem on some machines). I have emailed...Rancilio to buy a replacement part but Rancilio have not even responded. Thats the disappointing bit. I have now bought another better machine from a different manufacturer and use this one at work now.
My Pride And Joy
I love my Rancilio. It gave me an absolute thrill the "graduate" to this after years of putting up with a basic Sunbeam model. Construction quality is second to none and the results are truly professional look on Coffee snobs - you will see everyone has this machine. Its the king!
Fancy Coffee Anyone?
This is the favorite of many "bean snobs" site and I admit to being sucked in a bit by all those reviews.
This machine is not for the faint hearted. You have a lot to lean and a lot of control. I would say that you should have a clear idea of you ideal coffee to start with and experiment and keep making adjustments until you get there.
Build quality of the machine itself if very solid and should last years.
Just be prepared to put in the time to learn how get that coffee you are after
- Silvia V2
- Verified purchase
The machine works OK, apart from having a short window of time (3-4 minutes) to get a good rich stream of espresso before it starts producing a foaming, bubbling stream of pale watery coffee. I've replaced the brew head gasket without any perceptible change.
The main downside is RUST. Mine showed serious rust in the subframe and up the black side panels within 12 months from new. It looked as if the paint had been applied direct to the raw metal without any metal primer coat The retailer, Jetblack Espresso in Sydney, said that was normal a...nd I could buy a new chassis for $200! Had I not been distracted with health problems at the time I would have pursued the matter through NSW Consumer Affairs, as "not fit for purpose". I postponed the inevitable with a POR15 kit of rustproofing paint. Why Rancilio couldn't get a stainless steel chassis/frame made in China or India for minimal cost I'll never know. Overall, I would not buy again. I'd investigate the Lelit with stainless steel componentry for a comparable price.
Not as good as i thought it should be.
We have had 3 Pavoni machines over the past 35 years or so and this Rancillio for about 1 year. I thought we might try a machine with a pump for a change instead of a lever. What a mistake!
Everyone in the family hates it . It sprays coffee all over the place , the steam valve leaks, cant steam and pull a shot at the same time , the wand needs draining before every shot and there is always so much water coming out.
Just a really poor machine. Expensive for what you get also.
*Editing to add That after reading what other are saying about the need to find the correct grind setting that this may reduce some of my issues.
- Silvia V5
- Verified purchase
A compact piece of garbage.
It's been 2 years. You would think I could have made a decent coffee in that time but no, Silvia doesn't like coffee. I struggled at first and blamed myself even though I have been brewing espresso for 10 years. Then I blamed the coffee, then the grind, then the pressure then maybe it needed a descale. But in the end there was only one suspect left standing, Silvia.
I have just spent 2 hours in my kitchen cleaning then machine and then brewing a dozen shots trying to find the correct grind vs dose. I got a passable shot at grind mark 6 usin...g the Rocky, exactly where I started. At a guess, I have to assume the brew temperature is just too high and I can't change that. So my machine is junk and always has been. I wouldn't recommend this machine to anyone. Beginner or expert, there is something better out there. Who cares if your crap coffee machine is built to last forever. Really.
Such Good Coffee
Rancilio Silvia, well secret of this machine is to match it with a good grinder, make sure you backflush it regularly and use fresh beans with it and the coffee is fantastic great crema and it really takes you back to truly manual coffee.
It is always worth the effort when you can pull a lovely espresso.
Solid coffee machine.
Pretty good value considering what you get. You need to factor in training with this beast otherwise you'll might as well stay with your blend 42. Though once you're up and running, then expect to get really w@anky with your coffee. Half the time the coffee I buy out isn't as good as my morning joe. I recommend! 5*
A steep learning curve but well worth it
Like all Rancilios, there is a bit of a learning curve involved with this machine. However, it pays off in the end with the reward being good quality espresso at home. I recommend reading the manual and spending some time on the coffee forums online to get some valuable tips.
Wonderful but would recommend adjustment to be made with power point by electrician
I bought this machine about six months ago and it is great. Sturdy and reliable with great coffee. Received a free grinder which is great. I did purchase this directly from Italy but it arrived just as quick as express post so I can recommend the company. The machine comes with an adaptor plug for Australian power points but I got an electrician to change this over for me and there have been no problems. You probably don't need to but I would check re insurance if you don't.
Feeling like a real barista now
Have just acquired the latest Rancilio Silvia with a Rocky grinder. Aesthetically speaking, this is a beautiful looking combination. I have done extensive reading about how to perfect shots and how to warm the machine quickly and this was time well spent. I have invested in a proper tamper from Rancilio as a proper tamping is critical to making a good brew. Very happy with this product. My last machine, a Breville Barista Express died after 3 years; it lost all pressure and started producing awful shots. Hoping the Rancilio lasts much longer. It does demand more patience but making good coffee is a pleasure worth my time.
As a full time barista, this at home coffee machine makes the cut!
As a full time barista, I needed something to use at home that measured up to the kind of machines that I regularly work on (and that retail $30,000+!).
The Rancilio Silvia is perfect. Providing the functions I need to create perfect espresso, and a steam wand with enough power to texturise milk, I am so happy with this purchase.
I can recommend this product to baristas, but also to the average consumer who wants to take the next step with their at-home coffee set up. This machine gives you everything you need to make the best coffee possible at home.
My only limitation is that the catchment tray is quite small, and needs to be emptied quite regularly, otherwise, this set up is perfect!
- Silvia V3
- Verified purchase
Just upgraded my old machine and still in love with this brand!
I am a long serving Rancilio user and have been using the V1 machine for about 10 years. In the last 3 months it slowly died, still making coffee but leaking regardless of maintenance performed. Unwilling to pay the full $850 for a new V5 I found a V3 model just a few years old and in excellent condition on eBay for half that price so took the risk on a used machine because I know how long these machines last! Straight away I could feel the improvements and was able to just begin using without any guidance due to the similarities between the ma...chines. I did a backflush just because I could monitor the cleaning schedule and my first coffee made me happy with my choice to not go to the V5! I'm hoping this machine lasts as long as my V1 and the coffee taste cannot be beaten!
This is for a thoughtful person and is a little like playing golf, but less complicated.
The coffee that you get is the result of your appropriate knowledge of the bean, the grind, and so on with the Rancilio itself. Just don’t expect its best result until you have learned all the controls and methods. The sense of satisfaction and joy at sipping your best result is wonderful.
Do read the manual and collect all the. users comments online, I have a fat book of them and my 160 step guide for best results, for me anyway.
The machine is solid and. beautiful to work with, just needs a similar quality bean grinder, I use a Mazzer Mini....
Great Entry Level Machine.
I used my Rancilio for many years. With effort one can build the skills to extract a fine brew. A major plus is that every part is replaceable and so if anything goes wrong you can get it fixed or fix it yourself if you feel so inclined. I replaced several parts and the machine keeps on giving. It is a vastly better machine than most of the electronic, sub $1000 machines.
It has a few limitations. You cannot draw an espresso and texture milk at the same time. It is not suited to pumping out 3 or 4 or more coffees. One is fine. Two are ok - yo...
Great coffees & value but recommend doing a course
The Rancilio works great, but the operator needs to be up to speed. Makes much better coffee than most cafes and an automatic DeLonghi coffee machine we had before this. It looks like it will last for years. There is a bit involved in learning how to use it, the instructions are pitiful. Strongly recommend doing a barista course, if you are a newbee, like me, the videos on youtube don't show you enough info. I had trouble at first, but can now produce a consistently good coffee, as I did a fabulous half day course at William Angliss, Melbourne.... As the Rancilio represents good value, it has only one boiler, so you have to surf the temperatures, make the shot at one temperature, then wait while it heats up, to make stream for the milk. Purchase a good grinder and freshly roasted coffee as well. Ask for a better tamper, the one supplied is a useless cheap plastic one. Also get a tamper mat. I like using a thermometer and if using milk, a sprinkle of chocolate on top and it's surprisingly good. The milk streamer is great for Chai Lattes and Hot Chocolates. Long blacks are always great.
This is Italian authenticity and simplicity at its best. The perfect machine for brewing a short or long black. It is also extremely robust and, two years down the line, looks like the day I got it. Love it - highly recommended.
A slightly bigger water tank would be nice, but is not necessary.
Questions & Answers
My silvia has started to splatter and spit when I try to make coffee - coffee all over the place - the steamer is fine. Any help?
Sound like the gasket in the group head is gone or there is stuff stuck to the gasket so it doesn't form a good seal. Be wary about using it as the boiler has a tendency to bake the electrical wiring loom brittle and if there is water spraying around and it is getting inside the unit you run a risk of electric shock. This happened with mine. I don't trust Rancilio anymore - not the quality they profess to be.
I'd get it serviced ASAP.
I don't seem to be able to get the expresso to creme
I will try to help. Its a combination of coffee quality, grind, tampering and water temp temperature. Let's assume the quality is okay and you know how to get the right temperature on the machine. Grind the coffee to the granularity of caster sugar. Fill the basket with 15 -18 grams of coffee. Tamp it down with 30 Pounds or 12 Kilo of hand tamper pressure. Load the group handle and when the light indicator is correct. run the water pump through the coffee for around 30 seconds. If the coffee bubbles through too fast, the grind is too coarse or not enough coffee. If it struggles to drip coffee into the cup, the coffee is too fine or there is too much coffee. Experiment with coarser or finer and tamper pressure. Let me know how this goes.
This might help a little to see the result you should be aiming for.
Where can we purchase the Silvia and Rocky grinder with tamper?
Are they sold as a set?
Any suggestions, I live in Brisbane
There are plenty of Australian sources. Here is one https://www.coffeemachinespecialist.com.au/shop/rancilio-silvia-with-doserless-grinder-package/ Google to find others. You my need to buy online. Any Rancilio supplier would have them or could get them. This one is in Brisbane, but you may still need to buy online as it is through ebay. https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Rancilio-Silvia-V5-Espresso-Machine-Brisbane-Miss-Sylvia-Coffee-Machine-Maker-/172089351293
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