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file Living with the Rancilio Silvia

12 years 5 months ago #3076 by colin
Replied by colin on topic Re:Living with the Rancilio Silvia
Using distilled water under any circumstances with any coffee brewing method is a bad idea.

You need some minerals in the water for the flavor components in the coffee to attach themselves to.

It is that simple.
Distilled water = flat tasting coffee.
  • DonzasH
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12 years 3 months ago #3211 by DonzasH
Replied by DonzasH on topic Re:Living with the Rancilio Silvia
Hey Colin,

How are you?

Ok what are the differences between a 4 year old Silvia to the current day Silvia?

12 years 3 months ago #3212 by colin
Replied by colin on topic Re:Living with the Rancilio Silvia
The Rancilio Silvia has been redesigned with a new commercial style group head, group bezel, new drip tray and a redesigned upper group for pods. Among other changes, two are cosmetic and four are practical.

Borrowing on the styling cues of the commercial lineup, Rancilio has redesigned the drip tray cover for a designer look and added a heftier stylish chromed group cover (just above the portafilter handle). This cover gives an even more finished look to the Silvia. Practically speaking, the Silvia group area (above the group screen) has been modified to accept a new pod adapter kit (from Rancilio). --espressotec.com
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12 years 3 months ago #3213 by DonzasH
Replied by DonzasH on topic Re:Living with the Rancilio Silvia
How about your opinion?

I don't mind having a second hand Silvia!! But is it worth paying extra to get the newest one? I am looking to pay about $200 more for a new one!!
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12 years 3 months ago #3214 by tmplo
Replied by tmplo on topic Re:Living with the Rancilio Silvia
The new version of Silvia has a turnable OPV valve. It's a nice feature if you are into playing around with brew pressure.
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11 years 8 months ago #3609 by cafe pronto
Replied by cafe pronto on topic Re:Living with the Rancilio Silvia
hanielc wrote:

Dear espresso friends,

It seems that I have been cursed by the espresso witch - either that or Murphy came shipped with my machine. So last August, as my wedding gift, my brother bought us the Rancilio Silvia and Rocky combination (what an awesome brother, wouldn't you say?) Since then, however, I have been struggling with creating a good shot and had little luck. I am taking as many of the steps as possible:

* preheating the machine for half an hour or more
* preheating the cups
* grinding the coffee based on instructions provided here
* use fairly fresh beans (a month or so old)
* add about 15 grams of coffee grind into the portafliter
* tamp it using a 58MM Reg Barber tamper or equivalent
* grind my coffee right before I use it

However, it seems that no matter what I try, I get a shot with very little crema that disappears in a few seconds and the taste (and smell) are almost always bitter.

I have even thought of having a barista come over to my house to show me how it's properly done but was not able to locate on in Toronto. Any suggestions are really appreciated.


P.S. Could the water have anything to do with it? The water in our house seems to be a bit on the heavy side, but we only use Britta filtered water when we make espresso.

Hi Haniel, I live in Stoney Creek which is a 40-45 minute drive to Toronto! My wife and I attend the St.Lawrence Market every second Saturday to purchase fresh roasted beans from Sara at EveryDay Gourmet www.everydaycoffee.com/
You may want to start with these coffee beans (let Sara know you are a member of this forum and ask her for her special blend of espresso beans) then start with the grind you used for the previous beans. I usually use 15 to 16 grams of coffee in my Rancilio PF. Tamp accordingly then watch the flow from the portafilter. If the flow is too fast you need to adjust the grind finer. Continue this process until the flow is what some would call a mouse tail flow. If nothing comes out of the portafilter after 10 seconds, shut the pump down(this is called \"choking the machine\")and grind your beans a little more course until a flow is achieved.
You should get crema from this proceedure (making sure that you follow your steps you listed above as well) if not, I would be willing to help you folks out.
As far as your question regarding the water, I use a Brita water filter, as well as Rancilio Silvia Water Softener(I purchased from EspressoTec a sponsor of this site here is the link) www.espressotec.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp...85&idcategory=35
and have had no issues! I would strongly suggest that you descale your unit prior to installing the softner, that way you would start with a \"fresh\" boiler!
Let me know how you make out!!
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