Posted on 29 March 2011 by Nate
As you’re no doubt aware by now, the Rancilio Silvia V3, or version 3, has been on the market for some time now and I finally had a chance to test one out while visiting a friend for SXSW a couple of weeks ago. No, I don’t own it yet, but it’s an absolutely beautiful redesign and if you don’t already own a previous version of the Rancilio Silvia and are in the market for a new machine, you’re lucky to have waited until this version was available. If you’re looking for a great price and free shipping, be sure to visit Amazon. Currently, the machine can be found there for as low as $649 and there are also several packages which include accessories such as tamper and frothing pitchers.
So what’s the deal? Why is the Rancilio Silvia V3 a great redesign from previous versions?
Rancilio has had a strong historical track record of listening to its customers suggestions, complaints, and desires. This feedback driven engineering process has been responsible for some of the most important feature redesigns in the history of Miss Silvia, such as the inclusion of the adjustable pressure valve in the 2005 redesign. Obviously, this is a very durable machine that has all of the makings of a commercial grade product scaled down to home usage, so only relatively minor tweaks have been required over the years to build on the existing loyal customer base.
First, the new steam wand…
The commercial articulating steam wand was previously only available as an aftermarket upgrade to the tune of about $65 USD. This new steam wand is now standard on the Rancilio Silvia V3 and allows for an extended range of movement. I tested it out and found this to be an absolutely joyous addition to this new model. Now the steam wand can be flexed and rotated into position to accommodate nearly any shape of steam pitcher. I did find that it’s a bit more difficult to reach the bottom of larger pitchers with this wand, but for me that isn’t really a big drawback as I tend to almost always utilize smaller pitchers for one-off lattes or cappuccinos.
Let’s face it, the steam knob is pretty sweet, too…
Ok, so this is largely a cosmetic enhancement, but I have no doubt looked at the cheap black plastic knob on my own Rancilio Silvia and wondered…”really?” At one point, I actually wanted to fabricate a new knob from an 8-ball for customization. However, the new silver, contoured steam knob adds a touch of coffee shop commercial flair to the machine that won’t leave you in the basement with a power drill, some hardware, and a 1968 Chevy shifter knob.
The portafilter…might as well
So when I saw the new portafilter, I was actually surprised that they made the decision to upgrade to an ergonomic shape and styling as I rather prefer my existing model a littler better, but it is an aesthetically pleasing feature. I can’t say that I handle mine enough to really need it to be shaped to fit in my palm, but it is a nice touch that enhances the overall look of this beautiful machine.
For a full list of new features and reviews of the machine, click here.
If you’re currently in the market for a new machine, you are definitely in luck. The Rancilio Silvia just seems to keep getting better and better as the years roll on and with the V3, you’ll have a newly redesigned unit that should keep you happy for a long, long time.