Rancilio Silvia M Review
The Rancilio Silvia semi-automatic espresso machine offers a clean and sleek front end design. The unit is not too big, so it can comfortably fit on most countertops without having to sacrifice your toaster. With this improved version of Silvia, you will receive a much-improved shot of espresso.
- Flexible steaming wand
- Excellent temperature control
- Large water reservoir
- Commercial grade quality parts
- Takes long to heat up
- No built-in grinder
Specs & Features
|Reservoir Size:||67 oz|
|Boiler output:||1100 watt|
|Boiler volume:||12 oz|
|Pressure:||15 bar pressure|
|Warm Up: Brew Time||3 minutes 27 seconds|
|Warm Up: Steam Time||2 minutes|
|Boiler Design:||Single boiler|
|Auto shut off:||No|
|Auto turn on:||No|
Why keep on buying coffee on the way to work if you can get the perfect brewing your own kitchen? That’s what expert semi-automatic espresso machines such as the Rancilio Silvia M help you achieve.
Don’t be daunted by the idea of an espresso maker in your home. Quality manufacturers such as Rancilio understand the need for user-friendly machines that anyone can operate. And that’s exactly what the Silvia M has to offer.
But also, don’t assume that user-friendly means mediocre coffee. Thanks to the brand’s quality parts, you’ll wonder why you haven’t started the coffee making habit sooner. Because believe me, it will become a custom after that very first cup.
Let me tell you why.
This machine delivers most of what you expect from quality espresso machines:
- Quality durable parts that last long and considerably decrease the chance of wear and tear.
- Excellent heat management.
- Enough pressure to produce great coffee.
- Maneuverable spout for frothing.
Silvia M offers the same quality espresso shots that professional machines can produce, without the complicated functions you may not have time to figure out.
Unfortunately, this Rancilio model remains with a single boiler. This means that steaming and brewing cannot be done simultaneously. If this is a non-negotiable feature and you really need a machine that can do both functions simultaneously, check out our extended list of automatic espresso makers.
Thanks to its 15 bar heavy duty pump, this unit produces full flavor coffee. It may take some practice, but eventually, you can make your own shots that rival your favorite coffee house’s. Just remember to clean and maintain the machine in order to prevent any unwanted aftertastes.
One thing that comes to mind when examining the Silvia M is quality. From the internally heated brass boiler to the steaming wand that rotates in all directions, you can see the brand focused on creating a best in category unit.
One change from Rancilio’s previous models is that the boiler’s interior is made of stainless steel. Most previous units incorporated copper. With stainless steel, there is a smaller chance for the boiler to burn out.
Let’s list the basics:
- It measures at 9.2”x11.4”x13.4”
- It weighs 30.9lb
- It has a 0.3L boiler
- It requires 1 100W
- Cup clearance: 9cm
- Water reservoir size: 2L
It’s not the smallest unit on the market, but still compact enough to easily fit on most kitchen counters. Its weight and square design mean it won’t easily tip over, which is excellent for safety.
It has a stunning silver stainless steel finish, making it a stylish addition to any contemporary interior.
All functions such as buttons and knobs are located on the front panels, giving you easy access. This makes it easy to find space for the unit because you can place it between other appliances without limiting functionality.
You’ll also love the portafilter. The brand upgraded some features from previous models and this is one of them. The handle is now ergonomically designed. Even when making coffee for the entire office team, your hand won’t get tired. This handle also gives you more control and power.
The only disadvantage is the reservoir located at the back. This can make it hard to get to or take out on crowded countertops.
Note that it doesn’t come with a built-in coffee grinder, but the brand sells quality units if you want to expand your appliance range.
Is this the espresso machine you’ve been looking for? If these features make you taste that first cup of coffee already, you’ve found your winner:
- Warm up: The machine takes 3 ½ minutes to warm up. This is slightly longer than some other small units, but acceptable when you realize it contains the largest volume capacity of any home machine on the market today.
- Power: It has a 15 bar pump that helps extract flavor for your espressos.
- Heat management: You’ll get hot espresso without a burnt taste, thanks to the total of three thermostats installed in the machine. They monitor and manage heat levels for optimum performance.
- Cup warming: The entire top surface of the machine is utilized for cup warming. It can take about 6 cups, which keeps your counter clear and your entire group’s cups hot.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t come standard, but you can purchase a pod and capsule adaptor kit. The brand also manufactures grinders that you can buy separately.
Ease of Use
Despite its top of the range features, it’s still a machine for the everyday man.
Sometimes consumers get demotivated when it comes to trying something new, simply because of the tricky setup procedure. With this Rancilio, you can simply plug it in the moment you receive it, and start making espresso shots like a barista.
I found the buttons relatively self-explanatory.
The one area you may experience difficulty with is steaming and frothing. The steaming wand allows you to move it in many directions, which is an improvement on previous Rancilio home models. However, the single hole feature makes it slightly tricky to get frothing just right. In this aspect, it’s a machine more appropriate for experienced coffee makers.
Let’s take a look at cleaning from the moment you’ve made your cup.
You’ll extract the dry puck from the portafilters easier than with most machines. Why? Because of the Silvia M’s 3-way solenoid valve. This draws pressure away right after you’ve had your espresso shot.
And the added benefit of this valve is that it protects other machine parts. With less pressure to cope with, they will last longer.
Cleaning the outside is easy, as it’s a smooth surface that only requires a good wipe down. The drip tray can easily be removed at the front to take care of that excess water.
The machine allows for two interior cleaning methods, which is essential to maintain your machine, but also to keep coffee tasting excellent:
- Descaling: Do this once in three months. You can use any type of descaling powder. Add it to a tank of water and run it through the machine. Alternate between running water through the spout and the head. When you’re done, simply run two tanks of clean water through the machine in a similar fashion.
- Backflushing: Place the blind basket and some cleaning granules in the portafilter. Run the machine for small bursts of 10 seconds. The soap will rinse the inside and deposit the filthy water in your drip tray area. Repeat with no cleaning granules to ensure all the soap is removed from the machine.
A note on alternative options: If you prefer using pods you should look at the Gaggia Classic coffee machine before you make your purchase. You can use your pods with the Gaggia and it is slightly cheaper.
But there are many reasons the Silvia M is one of the better-rated espresso machine models on the market. If you have enough counter space for the machine and an additional grinder, this is a definite investment for any espresso aficionado.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.