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 Commercial Components, But Not Commercial? 
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Post Commercial Components, But Not Commercial?
Commercial Components, But Not Commercial?
by: Joyce Kaaland

Not too long ago Rancilio Silvia had an upgraded version. Now, these features are standard. The upgrades include an ergonomic commercial 58 mm diameter heavy chrome plated portafilter, a commercial articulating steam wand and a redesigned commercial quality contoured steam knob.

As some of you know, this machine has been the most highly recommended semi-automatic espresso machine for at least four years. Heat retention is now assured by its chromed forged marine brass brewing head, brass line and 12 ounce brass boiler. This size boiler gives a greater steam capacity that is closer to being commercial as it has a quick recycle time for more espressos. The machine is housed in brushed stainless steel with an iron frame that offers the modern stainless steel look with a durable foundation. The three-way solenoid valve is another commercial feature because it relieves the water pressure off the coffee when the brew switch is turned off. This action dries out the coffee to prevent dripping into the portafilter, thus making it easier to empty the portafilter with one knock. The switches on the Silvia are the same as those on Rancilio’s commercial units. All four are snap-action rocker arm switches.

Is it commercial yet?

First, you should use a commercial or top grade coffee. E-commerce shops and stores offer this grade of espresso coffees for a large variety of tastes. Second, you need to get a high grade grinder; one that will handle a consistent size of grinds for the Silvia.

Because the portafilter’s filter holder is large and chrome plated brass the water is distributed evenly over the entire area of its filter area and the temperature remains constant throughout the brewing process. The main power switch is located by itself in the center and turns on the heating element. When the adjoining orange light goes off, the machine is at operating temperature. The top left is the brew switch that operates the pump. Turn this on to brew and turn off when the brewing is done. The next switch down is the second switch turns on the hot water on. The bottom left activates the steam function and the boiler will heat the water to steam temperature. Next, turn the steam/water knob located on the side and start frothing. The steam wand now allows a greater amount of motion for easier use. Remember, before you start this process to preheat your cups. This is very important. Your Silvia has a cup warming area on the top of the machine.

Another feature offers hot water. Just turn on the brew switch and open the stem knob and steaming hot water will come out. This is great for hot chocolate, tea, or Americano, water added to espresso on the bottom. When making tea, be sure the water is not boiling. It is best to put the hot water in a pitcher and then pour it over the tea. Tea tastes best when the water is about 180 to 190 degrees.

Well, there is still one more optional feature. The Silvia is also Easy Serve Espresso pod-adaptable. This allows you to install a pod-adapter kit for ESE pods. These pods offer a variety of coffees for a one time use. This option needs to be taken off for better regular espresso use.

Is the Rancilio Silvia a commercial espresso machine? The answer remains with the user. The Silvia will do all the things a commercial unit does, but is it designed to be run on a continual basis day after day? Are the daily cleaning requirements the same as a commercial unit? Routine cleaning should include descaling every 2 - 3 months.

Clean the brew gasket with a cleaning brush after each daily use. Clean out the water tank and drip tray every few days with continuous use. Clean the filter basket each week. Your user’s manual will give you more detailed information on cleaning. Whatever you decide, the Silvia remains top in her class of espresso machines for the home.

About The Author
Joyce Kaaland is the owner of and is very knowledgeable about commercial coffeemakers having worked with churches on appliance choices for there commercial kitchens. She has written information on how to take care of coffeemakers, espresso machines and why one year warranties are not a bad thing on her blog site:
The author invites you to visit:

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Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:54 pm
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