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Rancilio Silvia for us coffee connoisseurs

September 16, 2003

Life is too short to be drinking bad coffee and having a decent espresso machina is half the story of good coffee. The other half being of course having good beans (and knowing the lingo).

When my old Krups gave up it was time to upgrade to a big boy machina and the Rancilio Silvia had been very praised in the price class (affordable). Only one store was selling it in London so there I went. For £300 you expect a lot and Ms Silvia does not disappoint because of her heavy built, brass boiler and all stainless steel design.

Rancilio is a renowned name in the industry and this is their only consumer model. The steam power is amazing and will froth your milk very quickly. The machina consists of several large parts that are easily taken apart for cleaning.

The espresso making can be a bit tricky. It will take several runs to get any good at brewing good shots. There are several factors you will have to watch out for in order to succeed. The amount of coffee you are using, how well it is ground, how hard you pack it in the filter and what temperature you are brewing are just some.

I have sampled many different coffees like Lavazza, Illy, Blue Mountain, Segafredo and various blends from local shops. While I like the different characters of many coffees I always keep coming back to Illy. Rich aroma, little bitterness and great crema make it a favourite.

Necessary Lingo

Temperature technique
Cheating Silvia

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  1. Adam Says:

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    enjoyed reading about cafe vergnano on your site -- got here looking for the address. have you tried the riserva beans at the drury coffee company (i assume that's where you got your sylvia)? i think they're much better than illy.

    David says:

    The Riserva beans from Drury Coffee are of excellent quality. Produce great crema and are very flavourful. I always try to have some in the freezer at home.

    The Riserva beans are only beaten by the Brazilian "Moka" which I try to get whenever I am in Brazil.

    I don't enjoy Illy as much as I used to, mainly because I never seem to find Illy beans and the ground coffee looses aroma too quickly.

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