What makes the Rancilio Silvia so awesome?
What makes the Rancilio so awesome?
Introduced in 1997 as a thank you gift for distributors of Rancilio’s renowned restaurant-grade coffee machines, this solid piece of equipment quickly garnered the attention of coffee lovers across the world, so much so that Rancilio decided to make it available commercially.
Its robust, professional grade parts and its sensible, simple design has seen it become the benchmark for home espresso machines across the world.
It is easily operated by the buttons on the front of the machine, which have indicator lights to signal that they are in use. The machine is turned on by the large button in the centre and the adjacent boiler light signals that the boiler is heating up. When the light turns off, the machine is ready.
The buttons on the left hand column, from top to bottom, control the coffee extraction, dispense hot water through the steam wand and activate the steamer.
A single boiler is used to heat water for espresso and create steam for the milk. By simply pressing the buttons, the machine alternates between the functions.
It takes about 25 seconds after pulling a shot for sufficient pressure to build for steaming milk. Speedy coffees are such a delight.
How to use the Rancilio:
1. Make sure the water tank is full. It’s easily accessible from the top of the machine and can hold a decent two litres of water.
2. Turn the machine on. When the boiler light has turned off, you’re good to go.
3. Grind your coffee. The Rancilio will deliver the best results when paired with a decent grinder – we used the Rancilio Rocky Doserless Grinder. It makes a world of difference to the end result. Really, really.
4. Tamp your coffee. Even, consistent tamping is paramount to achieving an even extraction. Investing in a solid, heavy duty, tamper will yield remarkable results and make your preparation ritual that much more special. The Rancilio tamper feels particularly professional in hand.
5. Purge the machine for a few seconds, before slotting in the portafilter by clicking the top black button with the coffee cup on it. This will clear the boiling water from the system and bring the water temperature down to an ideal 95°C, or thereabouts.
6. Put the portafilter in place and extract the coffee immediately. Extraction should run for between 20 and 25 seconds depending on your coffee and grind size. The impressive nine bars of pressure this machine produces will result in a café quality espresso with a thick, rich crema. Click the button again to stop the extraction. Head this way for tips on pulling the perfect espresso.
7. Press the lower button to activate the boiler’s steam pressure building. In about 25 seconds you will be ready to go. Purge the steam wand to expel any residual water.
8. Steam your milk. The pressure the Rancilio is capable of delivering is pretty incredible when compared to a lot of other home espresso machines out there. And this machine is also capable of heating a large jug of milk for several cups of coffee at a time. For tips on how to perfect your milk steaming technique, see this post on how to make a flat white. Don’t forget to deactivate the steam function when you’re finished.
9. Pour and enjoy.
If you are serious about getting stuck into the art of coffee in your kitchen, the Rancilio Silvia is undoubtedly up there with the best. With a little practice and a lot of love, you will be amazing friends and family with unforgettable flat whites and lattes in the comfort of your very own home.