Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine Review 2016

Rancilio Silvia
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine Review 2016
This is the exact machine we use in our offices.
9.5 Total Score
Just Great

This is the exact machine we use in our offices.

User Rating: 4.75 (2 votes)

Buy It Now On Amazon!

We at Coffee Heroes are on a quest to find, and present to you the best practical espresso machine that can make any one of us ordinary guys feel we are in the oldest and most traditional neighborhoods in Italy. Our quest has led us to a new frontier called the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Espresso Machine that we consider simply remarkable. With long years of experience since 1928, Rancilio is considered always to be one of the best Italian espresso companies known across the globe. The more we have worked with this lovable device, the more we have come to understand why it is so popular, as this machine provides various features often seen missing even in the most well-known brands around the world. The following in-depth rancillo silvia review, will help you undestand why we feel this way.

Key Features

Some very significant characteristics of the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Espresso Machine include the following:

  • Head: This devices comes equipped with a commercial-grade group head that we consider to be one of the most efficient that provide you excellent extraction and the ability to stabilize heat. Trust us, you will not find this anywhere else.
  • Variety: With the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA, achieving some of the best possible ranges of espressos has now become easier than ever before for us using the articulating steam wands. All in all, the steaming knob is always there to easily control the steam pressure.
  • Design: The ingenious design of this device made the decision easy for us to choose where to place the device, as it can virtually fit in any part of a kitchen, office and even a bar. This espresso machine in fact provides one of the best stainless steel panels and housings, making it unique from others in its field.
  • Simple: We found the all-new drip tray grid to be carefully and professionally designed to make the already easy cleaning process even simpler.
  • Professional: The new commercial filter holder that is ergonomic, coming with a chrome-plated group cover, increases and enhances the professional look of this Silvia. We sometimes are left in awe just looking at it.
  • Kit: We also found an optional adaptor kit with a pod and capsule very useful in working with the Silvia. Pods and capsules are used to make it easier to get a perfect espresso shot every time (yes, every time) while also providing versatility. By the way, we were able to choose from a variety of blends. And don’t forget, what is guaranteed is the fragrance of a freshly brewed espresso.
  • Boiler: The single boiler made of brass, coming with the largest capacity found in any other espresso machines in its ranges, holding 12 oz. (355 mL) of water at each round, delivers greater steaming power and remarkably speedy recovery time between your shots.
  • Tank: What is unique is that you can remove or fill the 2-quart (1.9L) water tank for refills while brewing. That’s what we call special and quite helpful.
  • Scoop: Included is a 7-gram coffee scoop along with a plastic tamper and 2 filter baskets usable for both single and double shots.

Rancilio Silvia

Functions Explained


Now, for those who take the specific technical details into notice (which we at Coffee Heroes believe is quite necessary), the following is some information that we believe should be taken into consideration:

# Feature Details
1 Main Body Material Stainless Steel
2 Overall Size 9.2” x 11.4” x 13.3”

23.4 cm x 29 cm x 33.8 cm

3 Weight 30.8 pounds – 13.97 kg
4 Boiler Size 0.3 liters
5 Tank Volume 2 liters
6 Does It Work With Hot Water? Yes
7 Pressure Power 15 bar
8 Pressure System Driven by pump
9 Is An Auto-off Power System Provided? No
10 Is A Separate Switch Provided For Steam? Yes
11 Is A Grinder Provided? No
12 Is The Tank Removable? Yes
13 Is The Drip Tray Removable? Yes
14 Is The Water Level Detectable? Yes
15 Brewing Time 6 minutes
16 Used For Coffee & Hot Water? Yes
17 Does It Come With A Warranty? Yes, for 2 years

Pros & Cons

What We Liked

While checking the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA, we were amazed about how simple this espresso machine is made. After so many years of checking different devices, we were finally able to understand why so many people across the globe went literally nuts about this particular gadget. It even looked extremely simple in comparison to its sister machines, and doesn’t not come packed with a long list of various features one would usually expect. We were actually quite impressed in practice about what this little guy can do so remarkably well. This has left us compelled to provide you a list of some characteristics that differ this device from the rest of the pack.

The first thing that caught our eye in the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA  definitely has to be the commercial grade group heads that allowed us to enjoy full control over the heat stability (very important) and the extraction quality. Many people may not think that these two features are that vital for us to add to this review. However, those with previous experience handling espresso machines will feel us and completely understand how essential it is to have this control over your machine while brewing a decent cup of espresso. If not, lack of any control over the heat and extraction quality are the two major reasons that cause unwanted glitches and low quality espressos.

The next thing we found adorable about the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is definitely the steam knob. Why? Because this provided us the ability to also enjoy the frothiest cappuccinos and lattes. In fact, many modern espresso machines do provide you fully automated control over the frother through only the push of a button, but it’s not at all comparable to the fun we had in having complete control over the frother to the degree of 0.001%. This means that whenever you just yearn for a bit more froth for the cappuccinos or lattes, just turn the nozzle on, alter the knob and that’s it. It’s as simple as that.

This device looks like an industrial model, and it’s truly built like one. Our utmost praise came from the fact that the Rancilio Silvia could take a bullet, and keep on working (but don’t try anything silly!) While it isn’t considered a small machine, it is built very well, will last for anyone who properly cares for it and have a little more experience with espressos in general, and the wonderful machines that make them come alive.

Only truly espresso lovers buy the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Silvia Espresso Machine and they most probably have a little more working experience about what is needed to make a good espresso. Of course, you can purchase an adaptor kit to make the machine work with espresso pods or capsules, but the device works magic with true, ground coffee.

If given the time it rightly deserves, the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Silvia Espresso Machine will live up to be a great machine.

What We Didn’t Like

After extensively reviewing, the only thing we did not like was the automated features that are missing. We suggest Rancilio consider adding some automated features to the next SILVIA espresso machine.

Despite all the praise, the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Silvia Espresso Machine does require an experienced user. Most complaints are about the size. Of course it will find its place in your kitchen, but you have to carefully plan for it. It also weighs above 30 pounds and most will probably tell you to find a retailer to ship it for free.

The Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Silvia Espresso Machine reportedly has some trouble about temperatures. Some say factors such as outside temperature, and humidity even, will render wildly different performances. You’ll be able to adapt if you know what you’re doing, but be ready for such glitches.

The other mentioned complaint (while some actually consider it an advantage) is that it requires truly exact, and properly tampered, grinded coffee. To this end, you will most probably have to invest and purchase a good coffee grinder, or buy a kit to adjust the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Silvia Espresso Machine to accept pods or capsules. Anyhow, you will have to invest more than the machine itself.

Here Is Our Recommendation

The final judgment for us would seriously have to be that if you adore a classic cup of Italian Espresso and don’t mind paying the price necessary, there probably is no better device than this.

Let us say this first: The Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Silvia Espresso Machine is definitely not for beginners who are looking to just a button, go on with their chores and come back to a cup of espresso (sorry). This machine needs time, along with some practice to work with and is of course the best for someone who knows what they are doing, and loves espressos and the making of espressos.

For us, it is a definite YES!

Rancillo Silva


Editor's choice

1 Comment
  1. Reply Marie-Josephin 11/03/2015 at 9:22 PM

    I have owned this V3 Espresso Machine for some time and it repays care and attention with great drinks that are of an exceptional quality. Obviously you do need to accept that it takes time to build up the sufficient experience within which to achieve the quality shots you want (look up “temperature surfing”) but that is part of the pleasure of owning a machine like this. The steam power that you need to use is good enough to produce nice microfoam but you need to bleed the system by opening the steam valve to remove condensation in the pipework before you need to putt the wand into the milk. This can be time-consuming for some but it is well worth the wait as it consistently delivers Several years into my ownership I purchased a Silvia Mark 3 steam wand assembly (so the wand on the current model) which greatly improved the quality of the steaming process, but you still need to bleed off the water in the system. I have also more recently purchased a Watlow PID from the US which I have fitted to the machine and which allows me to closely maintain the boiler temperature without having to temperature surf. It isn’t necessary to do this: it just gives you a higher degree of certainty around one of the key ingredients of a perfect shot. Fitting a PID is also an option which is not open to you unless you own an espresso machine of this kind of quality. In short, if you love espresso and you want to upgrade, the Rancilio Silva is a brilliant way to go. There are other machines of course: log onto the Seattle Coffee Gear website and review the many YouTube videos they have made on an extensivee range of machines. But if you end up investing in this Silvia you will not regret your decision.

    Positives: A high quality machine. Makes espresso coffee that tastes great

    Negatives: Cost may dissuade you from buying it. Can be complicated for those unaccustomed to using coffee machines

    Overall 9/10

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