Brewing with Miss Silvia

814Politics aside, one of the things I will give George W. Bush credit for is chipping in for my Rancilio Silvia espresso machine with that tax rebate back in 2001. I love this machine. It’s built like a tank and brews excellent coffee.

Looking back, it’s been a superb value, even at $395. Amortizing the cost of the machine over 8 years and adding the cost of ingredients, our latte habit has cost 65¢ per day. Compare this with a $3 latte at Starbuck’s, and there’s just no contest.

Today, the going rate for a Silvia is $595. Add in the essential accessories, and the price probably comes closer to $650. This sounds like an awfully large investment, but the break even point is just 275 lattes — less than a year for most folks. My advice for anyone looking for an espresso machine has always been to get a good one. If you don’t get a good one, then it you won’t enjoy using it, you won’t be as happy with what you make, and the result will be that you won’t get much use out of it. So you will have wasted your money. 

I stumbled on a video made by Mark Prince of that shows how satisfying it is to make your own espresso based beverages. He published a detailed review of the most recent revision of the Silvia a while back. If I had to get another espresso machine today, I wouldn’t hesitate to replace ours with another Silvia.

So, I’ve been saying ran-silly‑o all these years, but apparently it’s ran-chilly‑o. I find the rules of Italian pronunciation to be elusive.