I started my search for an espresso machine after I moved out. I had started having Starbucks a little too often for my wallet to handle, and I figured I would like to have coffee to wake up in the morning. I started researching Italian coffee machines for home use for 3 weeks straight, several hours a day. I was trying to find one that was going to last me a long time.
There are a few different styles of espresso machines.
I wanted one that I could still steam the milk myself, and do the dosing/tamping myself (semi-automatic). I didn’t want to just push a button and have the coffee made for me (automatic).
I began by watching videos on:
- How to steam milk
- How to tamp coffee
- How course the grind should be
- How long the shot should be pulled for
I came across one machine that was a semi-automatic and it was more of a professional grade machine. It took some time for you to get the hang of it, but once you did could achieve quality coffee for years to come.
I wanted an espresso machine that was going to last me awhile. I didn’t want to just buy the cheap one and throw it out in a year or two.
I found out the best Italian coffee machine for home use is the Rancilio Silvia. It is only manufactured in Italy. They test every machine to make sure it’s working perfectly before they send them out. The compartments are made so that any part can be replaced or fixed if needed. They want you to have this machine for a long time, it’s built to last.
I wanted a machine that I was going to have little maintenance to do on it. I’m not one for cleaning every little thing all of the time, so this was going to have to be something I could handle but not interfere with my busy life.
After thoroughly researching the Rancilio Silvia, I discovered there was only 2 maintenance procedures that needed to be done on a regular basis:
When the coffee starts tasting not as good as it usually does, you should clean the screen. This will give you the aromatic flavour from your italian coffee maker that you love!
I purchased my own Rancilio Silvia in November 2012 and I absolutely love it. I had never owned a coffee maker before this so it was a steep learning curve. Watching videos and practicing daily made me be able to improve my skills and pull delicious crema for my morning coffee.
I’m so glad I put in the time and effort to learn this machine because looking back, I never knew I was going to have this machine for years to come.
I visited my aunt at her house 6 months after purchasing my espresso maker and I noticed that she had the exact same machine and grinder I did!! (Rocky grinder)
I had no idea she had the same one! She told me how her brother had owned the same machine as her for longer than her. My aunt at the time had already owned her Rancilio Silvia for 10 years. She still owns it today and loves it!
One thing that isn’t the greatest is that the drip tray is very short. You have to drain the tray every few days or it overflows. I try to do it every time I use the machine so I don’t have it overflow on me. I’ve had a huge mess to clean up when I’ve forgotten about it!
One of my favourite desserts to make with my espresso machine is affogato.
Affogato is made with a couple scoops of ice cream, freshly brewed espresso and white chocolate shavings on top. It’s to die for!!
Another dessert I like to make with my espresso machine is Espresso Ice Cream. It’s decadent and rich with flavor!
I also love making iced coffee with my espresso machine. I typically add 4 pumps vanilla, 2 shots of espresso, ~6 ice cubes, and 1 cup of milk. Throw it all in a blender and enjoy your freshly made iced coffee! For an extra treat, put 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream or birthday cake ice cream for more of a creamy flavour. Yum!
If you’re looking for a new skill to learn and a coffee machine that will last you a long time, the best Italian coffee machine for home use is the Rancilio Silvia by far! You will love learning how to make coffee and maybe one day you’ll be able to create beautiful latte art with your milk steaming skills. I have not mastered this at all…. It’s been almost 8 years so maybe I’ll get there one day!