Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic Pro

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Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic Pro are two entry-level espresso machines recommended for beginner coffee enthusiasts, for people who just started learning the art of pulling espresso and want to go further. Which one is better? We will discuss the differences, the pros and cons of each espresso machine here to help you decide.

You will understand everything about these key points after reading the comparison below:

  • The size and weight of Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic Pro
  • How Rancilio Silvia offers better build quality than Gaggia Classic Pro
  • Why Rancilio Silvia’s larger boiler is much more useful than Gaggia Classic Pro’s
  • Which machine offers faster brewing speed with good consistency
  • Whether you should go for Rancilio Silvia or Gaggia Classic Pro

Design

Unlike Breville Bambino Plus vs Pro, which automate a lot of things in the brewing process, Rancilio Silvia and Gaggia Classic Pro offer a more hands-on approach. This is the main attraction about these espresso machines. If you want to learn for real how to brew the best espresso shots, both Rancilio Silvia and Gaggia Classic Pro can give you the experience.

However, some people may not be at the liberty to purchase every coffee machine that they desire, simply because they have a small kitchen. In this case, it should be noted that Rancilio Silvia has a larger footprint than Gaggia Classic Pro. Read also: Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi La Specialist.

Rancilio Silvia measures 9.1 inches wide and 11.4 inches deep. It is actually not as tall at 13.4 inches. The weight is about 30.9 pounds, so it is fairly heavy. You may need to make sure that you actually have enough space to put this machine in your kitchen.

Gaggia Classic Pro is quite more compact at 8 inches wide and 9.5 inches deep. It is slightly taller at 14.2 inches. It is also quite lighter at 20 pounds, so it will be easier to place in your kitchen.

How about the build quality of Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic Pro? Although both models here come with a stainless steel chassis and a 2-year warranty, Rancilio Silvia does have better overall build quality than Gaggia Classic Pro. If you take a look at the parts of Rancilio Silvia, you will see that they are very solid and robust. It is built like a tank. On the other hand, some parts of Gaggia Classic Pro are plastic and flimsy, and will eventually require better replacements that cost extra money.

 Rancilio Silvia Gaggia Classic Pro
Best Priceclick hereclick here
Product Dimensions9.2 x 11.4 x 13.3 inches
9.5 x 8 x 14.2 inches
Shipping Weight30.8 pounds
20 pounds

Ease of Use

Both of these espresso machines are not suitable for total beginners. There is a steep learning curve in their operation. However, people who already have some experience in brewing espresso will be able to figure them out.

Rancilio Silvia is slightly better in ease of use because it comes with a clear manual and solid equipment pieces. The controls may be a little confusing at first, as there are only arcane symbols without text labels to indicate what they do. But, after a quick read of the manual, they are quite easy to understand. The portafilter and the tamper are particularly of better quality and easy to use.

Gaggia Classic Pro actually has a similar method to its operation, but the manual is not really clear. Watching tutorial videos on the Internet will be a great help for understanding its operation. But the other issue is with the tamper and portafilter. You get a small, wobbly tamper that doesn’t really fit the portafilter, and thus getting the coffee tamped down evenly will be quite a challenge.

As a side note, both Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic Pro have the possibility to work with coffee pods. With Rancilio Silvia, however, you need to buy an adapter kit in order to do this. With Gaggia Classic Pro, a filter basket that accepts coffee pods is included. Neither machine comes with a grinder. It is highly recommended that you invest in a burr grinder of decent quality in order to get the best espresso quality.

Water Tank and Boiler

Rancilio Silvia is armed with a nice water tank with a capacity of 67.6 oz. This is large enough for getting plenty of espresso shots before you need to refill. Inside the machine, there is a single 12-oz boiler with 1100 Watts of power.

Gaggia Classic Pro has a slightly larger 72-oz water tank. So, the time length between one refill and the next can be longer. However, it comes with a smaller, albeit more powerful, single boiler which has a 3.5-oz capacity.

So, when choosing between Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic Pro, should you prioritize the larger boiler or the larger water tank? The answer, generally speaking, is the boiler.

With the larger boiler of Rancilio Silvia, you can pull more shots at once. Perhaps more importantly, it can have a higher steam pressure for better steaming and frothing. With the smaller boiler of Gaggia Classic Pro, you can indeed brew espresso faster, but the steaming/frothing performance will be poorer.

Performance

It is important to note that, regardless of your choice between Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic Pro, you will need to purchase and install a PID controller in order to get the most consistent espresso results. This is because both of them are single-boiler espresso machines, so their temperatures will fluctuate a lot between espresso brewing and steaming/frothing. A PID controller is an effective solution for ensuring a consistent brewing temperature.

Rancilio Silvia may not be able to beat Gaggia Classic Pro in terms of speed. This machine needs about 3 minutes to heat up. In addition, the water recovery takes about 1 minute 12 seconds. However, Rancilio Silvia is able to produce more espresso shots before having to boil water again, thanks to the large boiler capacity.

The steaming performance is great. Rancilio Silvia only needs 20 seconds to produce steam, and it can steam continuously for a longer period of time. It is much more convenient to use for making latte and cappuccino.

Gaggia Classic Pro is fast. It only needs 65 seconds for the initial heat up, and 17 seconds for the water recovery. However, it needs 28 seconds to produce steam, and it can’t steam continuously for long. So, Gaggia Classic Pro is a fine choice if you only want to make espresso or americano, and the fast brewing speed is awesome for morning coffee, but it is not that good for latte or cappuccino.

Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic Pro

- Ergonomic porta filter handle same as the proven design of Rancilio commercial machines
- Commercial grade group head for superb heat stability and extraction quality
- Articulating steam wand offers complete range of motion and professional steaming knob precisely controls steaming pressure
- Classic linear design fits most decors
- Commercial three-way solenoid valve. Capacity water tank - 2,1 liter
- Commercial-style 58mm chrome-plated brass portability and brew group
- Commercial steam wand. Rotating steam want movement type
- Easy-to-use rocker switch controls

Conclusion

Rancilio Silvia is generally better and more recommended. It has a better build quality. The portafilter and tamper are solid and actually usable. More importantly, it has a larger boiler, which will allow you to pull more shots and have better steaming and frothing performance.

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