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Gaggia Classic vs Rancilio Silvia – Which coffee machine is the best?

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Well, let us start off by saying that our official pick is the Rancilio Silvia

  • While both of these machines get the job done, they’re on a whole different level.
  • The Rancilio Silvia is of much higher quality and a different class. It’s built better, and everything is bulkier, including the steel.
  • The Silvia has a much better, steel steam wand
  • The cup warmer, along with a few  other features, all tend to “fit” and “feel” better on the Silvia
  • The 3-way solenoid valve on both machines sometimes drips a little out of the drip tray, but that’s far from a deal-breaker

If you fancy a cup of high-quality espresso, with or without milk, made from a great home coffee machine, both are great options. However, comparing them is like comparing a smart car to a luxury sedan – they both get the job done; one is just more enjoyable and of much higher quality.

Comparing the basic features of the Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic

Rancilio Silvia

Gaggia Classic

For most coffee addicts, the best thing about semi-automatic coffee machines is the fact that you can control the quality and strength of each espresso shot. Their flexibility and convenience are just some of the perks semi-auto coffee makers offer. Their features are specifically designed to make your coffee making process faster, easier and way better than anything else you can use to brew a cup at home. Two of these machines are the ones we’re taking a look at in this article. So, without further ado, let’s compare the Gaggia and the Rancilio coffee machines!

After just a few simple steps, with either of these espresso machines, you’ll be on your way to having a great cup of your favorite caffeinated drink. These are two of the best espresso machines that follow the authentic Italian espresso manufacturing process. They both are top-notch with a great deal of balance between automation and control, all to add to your convenience. There are differences between the Gaggia Classic and the Rancilio Silvia though, and if you’re wondering what those are, just keep on reading.

Back to the boring details

The first thing that you will notice is that both of them are compact and slim. They also have a lot of features in common. Of course, it can be hard to choose which machine is the better choice to improve your coffee game.

For this reason, we’re comparing them to see which one is the better choice and which type of coffee lover will it suit best. After all, we all strive to achieve great espresso taste while having a good user experience.

The Rancilio has dimensions of 9.2 x 11.4 x 13.3 in while the Gaggia espresso machine comes in dimensions of 9.5 x 8 x 14.5 in. This results in having the Rancilio at 30 lbs weight while the Gaggia only weighs 20 lbs.

However, there are other important things to be mentioned about these coffee makers aside from numbers irrelevant to the way the coffee tastes. The Rancilio coffee maker has a pump pressure of 15 bars while the Gaggia coffee brewer has a pump pressure of 17.5 bars. The Gaggia also has a frothing wand which is one area where the Rancilio Silvia comes up short.

If we have to compare some numbers, it is important to talk about the water reservoir. The Rancilio has a water tank size of 67 oz, while the Gaggia has a water tank size of 72 oz. Neither of them has a grinder or programmable options. The Classic’s boiler is 3.5 ounces, aluminum and heated externally by 1370 watts. The Silvia’s boiler is 12 ounces, brass and heated internally by 952 watts.

Similarities between the Rancilio Silvia and the Gaggia Classic

Both of these espresso machines are brewing machines with a classic look. They have a chic brushed stainless steel finish. Additionally, they have nicely-made port filters and excellent double-walled filter baskets. These can be used for making both single and double shots of espresso, which will surely make your life easier.

Another noticeable thing about them is that they both use a standard portafilter of 58mm for the espresso baskets. This adds up to having a cup of coffee that is smooth and yet, consistent. For achieving the best taste extraction, they both feature excellent pump pressure bars. This makes sure that you get to start your day in the best way possible.

As I said before, none of the machines have a burr grinder. If you want to get one, you will have to make a separate purchase for it. Luckily, it doesn’t cost too much, so you won’t feel an additional budget pressure.

Talking about the similarities between the Classic and the Silvia, I have to mention that both have swiveling frothing wands. These can be used for making milk both lattes and cappuccinos.

As I already mentioned in the beginning, both of these espresso machines are semi-automatic. For the user, this means that they can control the flow of water through the espresso handle. This feature surely adds up to having a greater user-experience with a coffee brewer. You will feel like you are improving your barista skills, even in your own kitchen.

Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic – which one should you choose?

You have probably noticed so far that both of these coffee brewers share very Italian-sounding names. And of course, this isn’t a coincidence. A lot of people who’ve traveled to Europe know that Italy has the best coffee in the world. It has a rich taste and a smell that you’ll never get out of your head. And that is why both of these coffee brewers offer an authentic Italian coffee-drinking experience.

Aside from offering semi-automatic brewing possibilities and looking very classy and modern with the stainless steel look, these coffee brewers have a lot of other cool features. Rancilio’s 15-bar pressure makes sure you get the ultimate espresso-brewing experience. Additionally, you also have single and double shot filters included in both of these machines. In the end, this makes sure you get the best experience as a coffee drinker and an owner of one of these coffee brewers.

What’s the most noticeable difference?

Some of the most noticeable distinctions are the fact that the Rancilio semi-automatic espresso machine looks and works a bit more like a commercial grade coffee machine. Although the Gaggia also has commercial-grade components and can provide above average coffee taste, the Silvia wins. If you drink coffee on a regular basis and are picky about the quality of your beverage, this can certainly be a deal breaker. After all, real coffee drinkers know how important it is to invest in a good cup of coffee.

I also have to mention that there is a small difference in water reservoir size. This is one area where the Gaggia Classic wins the battle. While this feature can save time, especially if you live in a larger household with several coffee lovers, I don’t think it’s a noticeable difference in size to make a difference. Plus, it’s actually a good idea to NOT let the same water stay in the tank for longer periods of time.

The Verdict

Making the right choice when picking a coffee maker is never easy. I recommend reading into it and making a decision according to your own personal needs and research. However, if you really must choose now, you will find that Rancilio Silvia is probably the better long term solution, especially in this price range.

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