How to get a perfect espresso with your Rancilio Silvia
Have you just bought a Rancilio Silvia but the coffee you make doesn't have a cream as you wanted? Does the espresso you make with your new Rancilio Silvia taste bad? Generally, problems with the cream or the taste of the coffee are not indicative of a malfunction of your Rancilio Silvia. Often it is instead necessary to take some precautions in the production process of the mixture or to vary the type of coffee beans used. Here are some useful tips.
For a correct extraction of an espresso from your Rancilio Silvia it is very important that the coffee is well leveled inside the filter and is pressed in such a way as to produce a uniform surface able to make the water flow on a regular basis. If you are learning to use the Rancilio Silvia we recommend setting a pressing force of 13-15 kg. From our point of view the force of the tamping is not a fundamental variable in the extraction of an espresso. The latter is much more influenced by a correct leveling of the coffee in the filter holder.
Coffee grinding for espresso coffee
One of the classic questions that arises when buying a Rancilio Silvia is the following: what is the correct grinding setting to get a good espresso? Generally the rule imposes that the correct grinding should allow to obtain from a double filter holder of 15/16 grams an extraction of 60-65 grams in two cups in a time from 20 to 30 seconds.
To get closer to this result, the grinding of the coffee must be slightly finer than that of granulated sugar. If your extraction is too fast (under 20 seconds) the coffee will be “under-extracted” with a very light cream that will tend to open very quickly, a very low body and aroma. Then proceed to fine-tune the coffee grinding.
On the contrary, with a longer contact time (over 30 seconds) it is very likely that the water will extract unwanted substances in our espresso with bitter sensations well present in the "over-extracted" coffee. In this case, reduce the fineness of the ground coffee and proceed with a larger grind.
Espresso coffee beans
Another rule for extracting a tasty espresso from your Rancilio Silvia is the type of coffee used. It is important to use fresh beans, in general if the roasting has been done in the last two weeks your espresso will certainly have a great taste. A light or medium roast is best for preparing espresso with a richer cream. Proper storage of coffee beans is an equally essential condition to obtain from your Rancilio Silvia, an espresso with a perfect taste.
Additional useful tips
If after making these adjustments the behavior persists it may be necessary to clean the Rancilio Silvia. Lack of cleanliness can cause burnt or bitter aromas, or create flow problems that can cause weak extractions.
The Rancilio Silvia is particularly demanding to all the conditions described in this article. It is therefore advisable to adequately check all the factors before thinking about a malfunction of the appliance. Another suggestion for beginners who are going to use the Rancilio Silvia is to practice the double-shot extraction technique and the double filter basket.