Posted by: dazza | July 2, 2007

Rancilio Silivia & Rocky, Part 2

my rancilio

The package from Spinelli’s came with the base and adds a bit of height to the set, which doesn’t leave much headroom on the kitchen counter+cabinet we have at home. And the first criticism I have is that the edges of the slot for it’s drawers could’ve been filed down more as the edges are quite rough. And if you’re extremely dense you could tear some skin off.

One is a full-sized drawer which can comfortably fit 4 of the Rancilio cappuccino saucers. While the other offers a wooden block attachment which i gather is knock bin. Guess thats a nice touch but for a home-user like me knocking it into a bin would be easier. Instead I moved the drawer to the left to sweep coffee grinds that have spilled onto the counter. Which brings me to the Rocky. (Click image for close up)

rancilio messOn the doserless Rocky, there is a metal catch to rest the portafilter on while grinding the beans. (Click image for close up) This metal piece I think is placed too high, as you have to keep removing the p.f from the spout, to level off the grinds to get enough grind into the basket. Else the heap would get caught in the spout and get pushed onto your counter. So I removed it, simple squeeze and pull. Alas! No matter what you end up doing, some grinds will always end up on the counter. And it would be great if there was a removable tray which would make clean up so much easier. Rancilio – Can a not? I also ended up unscrewing the (not sure how to call it) grind guard? The piece of plastic above the actual grind blades, probably meant to prevent prying fingers getting caught at the end of the funnel. Just because I can actually see how much beans are in there as I don’t intend to fill the container full up often and which also means I can remove un-ground beans easily.

I understand now, what they meant when many others have talked about Silvia’s temperament. I’m pretty sure the Rocky is giving me consistent grinds, so I reckon my tamping and the amount of grinds I put in the p.f needs more practice for me to consistently pull 25-30 sec shots. I’ve only managed to pull those 25ish sec shots after my third tries (the 6th on my first ‘official’ day!).

my cafe latteTip I read online: Bleed the steam wand to ensure sufficient steam before foaming. I still need to get my technique right to achieve those velvety micro foam. Though the water reservoir is sufficient, I’ve been filling it up frequently to ensure Max level because the Inoux base has left little headroom between our kitchen cabinet and the top of Silvia. (think I got the paranoia from Ross explaining to me how a customer somehow have left Silvia on and boiled dry their machine which tripped the safety switch). I’m not sure how, but if the water tray’s design could be deeper/wider or easier to access, clearing excess water would be tonnes easier.

D Rancilio Silvia

And there you have it, my long-winded, self-indulgent review of The Journal’s Silvia & Rocky. As you can see, I have a long way to go in pulling that one perfect shot and even further til I start achieving any latte art. Compared to the last 2 machines we own; a 3rd-hand Classic Gaggia and a cheap Russel & Hobbs, the Silvia is really quite a beautiful machine, very study (and heavy), nice steel and chrome finishing and feels the best when making that cuppa. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy this indulgent expense. I know drinking lattes from any chains, well more correctly, shots from lazy teen-holiday baristas is never going to be the same again.

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Responses

  1. Rocky+Silvia is a great start towards your espresso journey. Now, you should give home roasting a try. That’s the only way to have the freshest roasts in Singapore. Charbucks is, like its namesake, over-roasted. I find Spinelli’s roast too much oily. Once, you’ve read Schomer’s book, you would want to try Northern Italian roasts, which is a medium roast, much like Illy’s Normale. However, illy beans, but the time they get to us in Singland, is much too stale. So, back to square one: home roasting.

    Lotsa good pictures on your blog!

  2. You are lucky my friend. I bought my Gaggia Baby D about 6 months ago. Wanted to get Silvia but no one in Malaysia is selling. One guy who is supposed to be Rancilio Distributor does not have stock for Silvia and say to order just for me will cost me RM 3,000++.

    Finally I got my Gaggia Baby D from an outlet in PJ. Cost me RM 1960. Blown all my budget and no money left for grinder. The only grinder they have is Ascaso and cost RM 1790. Too much for me.

    I wish Alan from Coffee Co. will deliver to Malaysia, but he says only to Singapore. I think the tax over here is about 30%++. Ridiculous.

    As for fresh roasted beans, at least you got many choices in Singapore. My regular supplier also get their beans from Singapore. Certainly not as fresh as you guys. I’m sure those beans when they reach KL will be 3 to 6 weeks old.

    Come over to my blog: http://kfchan.wordpress.com and check out what I did with my Gaggia 🙂

    Cheers,
    Kan Chan

  3. Hi Kan Chan,
    make a trip across the Causeway! 😉 I think Colin (http://blog.colinloh.com/) used to own a Gaggia too. We have a 3rd hand Gaggia Classic given to us, which was just poorly maintained, so the Silvia really a step up for us. But of course, with her we can’t pull and froth at the same time.

    Cheers!

  4. I’m so tempted to buy it after reading ur review…. haha….

  5. hiya

    Any ideas where to get Rancilio Silvia coffee machine repaired in Singapore?
    We brought machine over with us from UK. It’s not working now – possibly a problem with the pump?
    Your suggestions would be much appreciated

    L

  6. I’m not sure on this one.

    Anyone out there in cyber space with a clue on this one?

  7. Hi LS, You can pass the set back to us, We have the parts and service for the machines as well, you can drop me a mail if you liek ross.bright@spinellicoffee.com.sg

  8. Woh!
    Now this is an awkward situation, Ross Bright reading my blog!
    Hey, it’s nearly a year since I purchased my Silvia.

  9. FS: I Have a Rancilio S27 with grinder for sale, feel free to sms 93677684.

    Thx
    Zill

  10. Hi there,

    I too had myself exposed to the great coffee experience and taste Down Under, bought my Silvia and Rocky Doserless last year and have been working on my routine since.

    Although, now, since I am back in Msia, it’s gonna be tough for me to find good milk (it’s still my biggest gripe). Cheers, my fellow Silvia user. =)

  11. Hi there,

    I’m looking to purchase or rent (more preferably) a Rancilio 1 or 2 group coffee machine for short term events like fairs or corporate events. Just the machine.

    The Silva is good, but the EPOCA with 2 group would be even better for more speed. Semi Automatic. Any other high quality brand welcome.

    If anyone has a machine they are not using, or want to sell one please contact me. lionel auzadventure @ gmail.com . I’m serious.

  12. Hi there,
    read your comments on the silivia it sounds good do you know if spinelli does sell their silivia without the grinder?

    any recomendations for nice roasted beans for espresso low acidity? Thanks!


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