Pleasant Surprise - New Silvia

Bill Laine

New member
Jan 5, 2008
New Orleans
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I brought my new PID Rancilio Silvia espresso machine home last night after waiting 2 1/2 weeks for delivery. I have been cooking my home roast in a French press for 3 months and I was ready to move to the next phase of coffee enthusiasm.

I chose the Silvia because there was general consensus that it was a true top quality shot machine. There was also consensus that it takes a certain finesse in operation. It seemed that the PID modification would deal with the major problem and the machine was still the lowest price option I could see. I also ordered a Rocky grinder.

After I ordered I pored over all the forums and blogs and built up a pretty firm expectation that I would be 'sinking' a lot of shots before I hit my stride. The grinder didn't arrive with the machine so when I set it up last night I had my Breville grinder and some 2 week old Ohana beans to work with. I figured shots under these conditions would be purely for the exercise.

I fired it up, let it warm, packed the portafilter, using a good tamper, and let her rip.

Watching the shot come out I couldn't believe what I was seeing: crema! I anxiously tried the shot. It was good! I have pulled 4 doubles now and every one has been better than some of the mediocre coffee shop shots I have had recently.

I still have lots to learn, of course. My shots are erratic in their duration. I know what to work on to get more consistency there. My homeroast beans don't make as good a shot as the Ohana. I can try origins, roasts, and blends 'till I get what I'm looking for. But, after the anticipation, trying out the machine was a very nice surprise!

I may grow out of the Silvia sooner or later. But the first 16 hours has been a lot of fun.

New Orleans


Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
Near Philadelphia, PA
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Thanks for the update on your new Rancilio Silvia espresso machine. I'm very glad that you got off to such a good start with it. It's always great to hear when things work out so nicely.

Now that a few days have gone by, I hope you're still thrilled with the espresso shots that you're getting from the machine. I can imagine how excited you were to see a fantastic espresso shot come out of the spout on your first attempt! Congratualtions on making such a good choice.