A friend of mine recently treated herself to the Silvia Pro X (and got it in pink to celebrate the Barbie movie).
She let me give it a whirl when I last visited and I just knew I had to give it a proper spin.
Are you considering picking one up for yourself? Read on to discover my thoughts on the Rancilio Silvia Pro espresso machine.
Rancilio Silvia Pro X Review – My Ratings & Top Features
Overall, I rate the Rancilio Silvia Pro X 3.8 out of 5 stars. I love its design, dual independent boilers, and various convenient features, but I do have a couple of minor things I would change. 
Who Should Buy The Rancilio Silvia Pro X?
This Rancilio espresso machine is best for experienced baristas and espresso aficionados looking for a simple espresso maker with a good balance of control and convenience.
This is not the best choice for you if you want a lot of bells and whistles or automation.
Why I Decided To Review The Rancilio Silvia Pro X Espresso Machine?
As I briefly mentioned above, a friend of mine recently picked one up for herself in pink, and I loved taking it for a spin.
I knew I just had to put it through its paces for myself and bring you my thoughts.
Cups Brewed Per Day
Level Of Experience Needed
Intermediate - Expert
Home brewing enthusiast who started with a simple cafetiere collection and is on a journey to up their game.
Home and home office
Money Saved Per Year
Favorite Drink To Brew
Caramel latte and espresso
What’s It Like To Live With The Rancilio Silvia Pro X
What’s In The Box?
The Silvia Pro X espresso machine arrives in a sturdy box that weighs around 45 pounds - I hope you don’t have to climb any stairs with that!
It will be wrapped in plastic and nestled in some more cardboard slots to prevent jiggling during transit.
On top of the machine were my manual and other documents, while the accessories box was tucked on top of the taped-down drip tray.
Remember to remove the tape from your drip tray and the foam sitting underneath it.
I found the Silvia Pro X easy to slot onto my counter but did find reaching to the back for the water reservoir frustrating - I recommend keeping the space above your espresso machine clear if you can. That being said, I do love how narrow this machine is.
It is also worth noting that the Silvia Pro X has a slightly larger footprint than its predecessor due to the new dual boiler system it has.
Things are pretty simple when it comes to the controls. Four buttons control the power, steam, brew, and hot water.
There is also a small PID display on the bottom left and a steam knob. I also love how large the cup warming tray is; plenty of space for all your favorite coffee cups and mugs.
The accessories you get with the Silvia Pro X are:
Pulling My First Espresso Shot
As I started to prep for my first espresso shot, there were a few things that stood out to me.
I appreciated how hefty the wood and steel portafilters and quality tamper felt as I got to work.
They look classy and feel comfortable to use and slot into place. The average size means that I can also easily attach my bottomless portafilter and other accessories.
Adjusting the drip tray to one of three levels was a little fiddly but a nice touch, especially for someone like me who loves a tall milky coffee.
Once I was fully dialed in, I found adjusting the brew temp and soft infusion very simple and easy to do. The PID display and shot timer helped bring everything together nicely.
You will need your manual on you the first couple of times you use your machine, as the display uses codes to let you know what is going on. Here’s a quick breakdown:
I enjoyed how creamy and balanced my shot was; the pre-infusion process had even kept some of the more subtle and nuanced flavors that some other espresso machines can kill.
Puck removal only took a knock or two, and I have found that the larger water reservoir holds enough that I can do up to 10 drinks at a time before refilling it.
Another thing I have noticed is that even when my portafilter is not fully dialed in, I still get delicious shots with minimal channeling - incredible stuff.
First Time Frothing Milk
The steam wand is a fully rotational one that is not combined with the hot water wand, which is an absolute plus.
That being said, it is important to remember that it is not fully insulated and anti-burn - be careful when using it.
The separate steam boiler means that the steam is incredibly powerful and produces good foam.
The independent boiler also means that you can adjust the steam pressure between 248-257 Fahrenheit, which I adore.
Overall, I loved how my cappuccino turned out, and steaming milk felt good with the Pro X.
The foam was lovely and well-textured, and the milk wand was easy to use. You will be making perfect whirlpools and crafting lattes in no time.
Note From A Barista!
You will find this easiest when using whole milk.
It is vital to remember that, as it is separate, the steam boiler does not auto-turn on with the machine - you need to turn it on manually.
Once the flashing indicator gives a solid green color, you can steam to your heart's content.
The dedicated water spout is very convenient and draws from the steam boiler instead of the brew one, ensuring your drinks are piping hot.
Bear in mind that there is a slight delay if you are switching from hot water to steam wand.
How Much Control Do You Have Over The Machine?
For the average espresso enthusiast, there is a good balance of control and convenience to be found in the Pro X without adding a ton of bells and whistles.
However, control freaks may want to consider a prosumer espresso machine if they want to fully control each nitty gritty detail of their espresso-making experience.
When it comes to the Pro X, you can control or adjust the following elements:
How Does It Handle Different Roasts?
In my testing, I found that each of them did well, but I preferred lighter roasts overall.
This is a little unusual as I tend to prefer medium roast with little oil, but I’m not complaining.
As there is no grinder included with this home coffee machine, it does not matter as much whether you use whole or pre-ground coffee.
I prefer going whole and grinding it myself for the ritual of it, but each to their own.
Look, Feel, and Size Of The Machine
When unwrapping this new espresso machine, you will notice that the build quality is really good - it's handmade but solidly built.
It has a simple design that some find boring, but I find timeless. I ended up getting my espresso machine in black, but the pink was very cool.
This home espresso machine is a hefty 44 pounds and very narrow, so make sure you have someone with you while finding the perfect spot on your counter space.
In terms of dimensions, it is 16.5 x 10 x 15.2 inches, leaving plenty of room on your counter for you to warm your cups on the tray.
I love the classic design, but I know that some espresso fans may want an espresso machine with a more modern look.
What Drinks Can It Make?
As there are no pre-programmed drinks, the sky really is the limit when it comes to this dual-boiler espresso machine.
You can quickly steam milk and pull shots with ease, and the steam power is off the charts, so you can make anything from espresso lungo to a flat white.
The hot water spout is separate from the steam wand, meaning that you can even make oats, soup, or tea while crafting latte art.
How Easy Is It To Use?
I would say that the Rancilio Silvia Pro X is a great machine that will be fairly straightforward for people with prior barista or espresso machine experience.
There will be a steeper learning curve for the casual barista who is more used to automatic than prosumer espresso machines.
This machine is pretty pricey, so I understand wanting to know whether it will be easy to use before investing in an expensive espresso machine.
However, the easy-to-understand manual and user setup guide make all the difference in flattening that curve.
Other features like the pre-infusion feature, shot timer, and adjustable drip tray height will all help you nail your coffees even if you are early in your home barista journey.
How Long Does It Take? (From Heat Up To First Sip)
This dual boiler machine takes about 15 minutes to heat up (remember to manually turn on the steam boiler if you want a latte) and then just a couple of minutes to craft your coffee.
Exactly how long things will take depends on your skill level and what drink you're making, but you should have your morning brew in about 20 minutes.
Does It Have A Water Filtration System?
There is no water filtration system with the Silvia Pro X which means that limescale buildup prevention is key.
I recommend using only filtered water with your machine and keeping a regular cleaning schedule.
How Hard Is It To Clean and Descale?
All espresso machines need regular cleaning and maintenance to continue brewing coffee and milk steaming like pros.
The best espresso machines around $2000 tend to come with cleaning materials to help you, which the Silvia Pro X does.
It also has an automated cleaning program and a coffee boiler flushing program to make things go as smoothly as possible.
The cleaning manual's recommendations are clear and easy to follow, with a mix of daily and more infrequent steps.
However, there are some things that I would change.
Based on how the internal parts of this machine are constructed around the double boiler, it makes sense why the water tank is at the back.
However, this can be a pain to get to and hard to see how much water you are working with - other machines put it on the side so water management is easier to do.
The drip tray is also too small, and hard to see if full at first glance - you will end up needing to empty this more often.
Besides those thoughts, the Silvia Pro X follows a reasonably similar cleaning and maintenance routine to other commercial espresso machines.
From washing parts to wiping the steam tip to filling and descaling the water reservoir, you should get a handle on it pretty quickly.
My Favorite Parts About The Rancilio Silvia Pro X Coffee Maker
My Least Favorite Parts About The Silvia Pro X
Rancilio Silvia Pro X Vs Similar Machines
Rancilio Silvia Pro X Vs Silvia Pro
How does the Pro X fare against its predecessor?
The main differences between the two models are small but vital.
The original Pro came with a smaller portafilter that was difficult to buy accessories for, no soft infusion system, no pressure gauge, and no PID.
It is still a quality machine, but the Pro X was made with customer feedback in mind.
Rancilio Silvia Pro X Vs Silvia V6
Both Rancilio’s Silvia Pro X and V6 are similar in terms of brand and aesthetics, but there are key differences between them.
The V6 lacks a lot of features that make the Pro X stand out, including:
It also only has one boiler and vibration pump, which makes it smaller and lighter than the Pro X.
Rancilio Silvia Pro X Vs Gaggia Classic
The Gaggia Classic is a highly popular promotional machine that is often compared to the Pro X.
The Classic is a significantly cheaper model than the Pro X. It is also smaller and lighter, with the capability to be used with coffee pods as well as ground coffee and whole beans.
The bar pressure is also significantly higher, which can be attractive for some baristas.
Rancilio Silvia Pro X Vs Rocket Appartamento
Both the Silvia Pro X and the Rocket Appartamento are handmade Italian masterworks with pared-back features in a similar price bracket. So how do they fare against each other?
Frankly, it is hard to compare the two commercial machines as they are fundamentally different and designed for different audiences.
The Rocket Appartamento is a prosumer machine that allows you to micromanage every detail of the process.
It does share some traits with the Silvia Pro X, like a boiler gauge, large tank, pre-infusion system, and 58 mm portafilters, but it is for a very different audience.
If you like the Rocket Appartamento, then I would recommend trying something like the Pro X first and building up to that.
Rancilio Silvia Pro X Vs Breville Barista Pro
The Breville Barista Pro is another regular feature on best espresso machine listicles - but how does it stack up against the Pro X?
The Barista Pro comes in more colors than the Pro X and is significantly cheaper.
It also has a bean-to-cup system that will auto-grind and dose your shots with up to 30 grind settings to choose from.
The Barista Pro also allows volumetric shot control, among other nice touches. However, it does have a smaller portafilter that can be difficult to find accessories for.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
The Rancilio Silvia Pro is handmade in Italy.
The Rancilio Silvia Pro X comes in four colors: Inox (silver), Anthracite Black, Ice White, and Pink.
The best grind size for the Silvia depends on what grinder settings you have available. I would suggest going on the finer side, but if your grounds are the consistency of flour, that is too much.
You can technically leave your Rancilio Silvia on all day, but it is better to save energy and utilize the auto turn-on and power-off features.
Conclusion - Is The Rancilio Silvia Pro X Worth Your Money?
Overall, the Rancilio Silvia Pro X could be a good machine for the home barista looking for a quality machine that keeps it simple while allowing some control of key details.
Give it a try for yourself with your tamping station and see whether this timeless classic suits your morning brew.
Rancilio Silvia Pro X