Rancilio Silvia Dilemma - it's a love/hate thing! - Page 4

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#31: Post by EricL »

I've had my Silvia for about 7 years. Pretty much the same situation, wife thought I was nuts dropping $400 on a machine at the time. Bought a cheap grinder - big mistake. Upgraded to an Innova, get good results. Mazzer / MACAP / ? is in the near future
My machine has the non-adjustable OPV. I did the mod with the extra washer to lower the pressure to 11-12 bar, noticeable improvement. At the price point, don't think you can beat it. Plus there is more collective knowledge on getting the most out of a Silvia. Temperature surfing properly is the key. Basically you run the pump for a second at 10 seconds intervals until the boiler light comes on, dose & tamp, then when the light goes off run the pump for about 4 sec to blow off the surge of steam, lock and pull. Also, just switched to a bottomless PF, and that improved quality as well. The steaming wand is a bit short for a 24 oz pitcher, but no one sees the finger paint latte art I do anyway.
If you fall into more money, definitely go with an E61 machine, for the cash you've got, get the Silvia & the best grinder you can afford.

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Randy G.

#32: Post by Randy G. »

Giuseppe21 wrote:No one directed any critical comments to you or your machine so I'm not sure why you're so uptight. If you took the time to read the OP's question you would have realized that he only had so much money to spend on a setup. .
My comments were not aimed at the OP in any way.
* 22nd Anniversary 2000-2022 *

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#33: Post by Psyd »

shadowfax wrote:For your analogy to hold, either Silvia has to be the car with no power steering that won't shift unless you double-clutch

It kinda sounds like your describing my truck! Seriously, it takes a bit of hold your mouth right to drive that old Mazda, but still hauls stuff really well. I could drop a few tens of thousands on a new truck, but I know that I need to turn the key back from 'start', and that I have to push on the door when I pull up on the handle to get ti to open, and that I need to hip-check the tailgate to get it to drop. And the whole thing cost em a hunnert bucks to start with. Sure, I could get a better truck, but the real thing is that it works fine if you know what you're doing. A little more work, yeah, but the results are the same.
Most people's jaws would drop if they heard you dropped a nearly a grand on a Silvia + Rocky setup, never mind $2000 for an E61 and a Mazzer Mini.
Most people look at me cross-eyed when I tell them that I own about fifteen K-bucks (MSRP) worth of coffee making equipment. I'm starting to get used to it! ; >
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

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#34: Post by shadowfax »

Psyd wrote:Most people look at me cross-eyed when I tell them that I own about fifteen K-bucks (MSRP) worth of coffee making equipment. I'm starting to get used to it! ; >
Well, this is certainly the club for those people... for good or bad...
Nicholas Lundgaard


#35: Post by homerepairbear »

As everyone else said, you need a good grinder, no matter what. You local roaster friend will have to grind daily for you, as it won't last 24 hours. The Silvia is a good investment and will last. Buy used if you must, but do your homework and buy a pampered machine. Then add a PID, it will make all the difference.

But, really, don't bother to buy an espresso machine without getting a grinder.

Look for a deal on a Silvia and Rocky combo, both solid and great machines for beginners. Took me a couple months of trial and error to get any level of consistency with shots on my Rancilio pair.


#36: Post by asicign »

I got a PID'd Silvia from Craigslist the other day. After minimal trial and error, I'm very pleased with the results. They will get better. I have to take exception with the 'beginner' classification for this machine. I've had some pretty good espressos over the past 40 years, and I'm guessing that I'll not be looking to upgrade to match the best I can buy. The Silvia is perfect for me. If I come across some extra money, I'll probably upgrade the wines I'm currently buying.