Product Comparison | Lelit Anna and Rancilio Silvia
Featured ProductRancilio Silvia
Hey, it's Steve here from Prima Coffee, and today we're going to do a comparison between the Anna from Lelit and the Silvia from Rancilio. First, let's run through with they both share. They are both single boiler machines, so you can't brew coffee and steam milk at the same time, and they're both semi-automatic machines. So what that means in function here is that in order to start brewing coffee, in order to start brewing your espresso, you need to turn the coffee button on, and to stop brewing it you need to hit it again so it turns it off. And so that is different from automatic espresso machines where you can program those shots by volume or by time. So when you hit the on buttons on those, you can walk away of course, and they'll stop when the shot is done. But you can't do that on these. As far as temperature goes, these do not have PIDs, so in order to regulate the temperature these are both going to use thermostats. They're also outfitted with three-way solenoidvalves which is a great feature to have on any espresso machine. And so for the practical purpose, that just means that when you stop brewing your shot, the water's going to stop being pulled through the coffee or into the puck, and so it's going to be relatively dry when you remove it. They also both have the nice feature of dispensing hot water if you want. So if you want to make Americanos, or if you want to add some hot water to tea, you can do that through these wands. There is no independent hot water dispensing on these, you do it through the steam wand. Each of them has its own way of doing it, but it's pretty similar. Over here, there is a little button that looks like a water droplet, when you hit that the pump will start. And as long it's not up to temperature for steaming, which is something else we'll show you in a minute, you can open the valve over here and hot water starts to come out. And you can turn that off when you're done. And you can do the same thing over here. There is no independent button like for the water droplet for dispensing this. So what you're going to do is when it's at brew temperature, what you can do is you can hit the steam, and then you can hit the brew, and you can hear the pump start, and then you can go ahead and open and hot water will start coming out, so... Then, when you're done with that you can hit both of them and bring it back to where it was.
So let's talk about the differences, and then we can jump into showing you hot both of these operate. The biggest difference that you're going to find here is that the Anna has 57-millimeter group. So the portafilter over here is 57-millimeter whereas over here on the Silvia it is 58. And you can, kind of, see the difference there. This more substantial. It's heavier, the basket is going to be a little different size. That's not really going to affect how the coffee taste. You can make great coffee, great espresso, on both of these machines. So for practical purposes, what that means is that if you want to accessorize it's going to be much easier to do over here, the Silvia, there are many more parts available for 58-millimeter groups, so your tampers, your baskets, your portafilters. But over here on the Anna, you're a little bit more limited. There is a bottomless portafilter that we sell, and there is a tamper that we sell as well that's 57 millimeters, but you're not going to find as many precision tampers out there as you're going to find for 58 and as many baskets. It also means that if you ever want to upgrade from the Anna, from a 57 over to a 58, all those accessories that you buy you're not going to be able to use. Another difference on these is the boiler size. The boiler on the Anna is 250 millimeters, and the boiler on the Silvia is 300 millimeters. So that's not really a huge difference, but what we have found is when you want to move from the brewing temperature to the steam temperature, so again these are single-boiler machines, so after brewing you're going to need hit the steam button on both of these, which is right here on the Anna and down here on the Silvia, and when you hit that button it will immediately start to heat up to steam temperature. So what that means is that it will get hot enough so that out of here, instead of water coming out, you're going to get steam coming out. So when you hit those buttons, you're going to want to release a little water from the boiler by turning the valve on these so that it heats up faster. But overall, it's still going to heat up way faster over here on the Anna, those 50 millimeters make a huge difference, and it's going to take a couple minutes to heat up over her eon your Silvia. So if that's a consideration, if that's important to you that it heats up really fast, the Anna heats up faster.
Cosmetically, you can also see that the steam wand over here on the Anna is much smaller. It has a little plastic, you can see right here a little plastic handle so you can move it around. It doesn't actually move in all orientations, it just rotates like this. Whereas the steam wand over here on the Silvia, it has a silicon sleeve which is a lot nicer than this here.They both protect you from getting burnt, but this one is a little nicer, and it also, you can see, the orientation here is anyway that you would like to move it it will move. The water tanks on these are pretty much the same size. To ill the water tank over here on the Anna, your best bet is to go ahead and take this out, so you take these tubes out, and then you can pull out the tank and you can see that that there is about 2.7 liters, which is a little bigger than the one that you're going to get over here on the Silvia. The Silvia you can actually just fill up by removing this, you don't have to remove the tank because you have total access to it and the tank has a wide mouth. But as you saw there on the Anna, or as you can see; the tank has that little small hole to fill, and so it's definitely more difficult to try to do inside. But, you can see that they're a little bit different. This is 2.7, this is 2.2. A final difference that's important to note, that you've probably already seen, is cosmetic. There's a pressure gauge over here on the Anna, so you can see what the pressure is when you're pulling a shot, and there is no pressure gauge over here on the Silvia.
So to make coffee on both of these is going to be the same as you're going to do with any other espresso machine. So you're going to dose your coffee, you're going to, you're going to tamp... And like I said, the tamper options, so the accessories that you can get for the Silvia are going to be more than you can get over there on the Anna. All right. So to brew, you have the brew button here on the front and just a little coffee cup, and there is no timer. So if you want to track the time on the shot, you're going to need to have an independent timer or use a scale that has a timer on there. And then like I said, it's semi-automatic so when you're done, when you want the shot to end, you'll have to hit that brew button again. It's a three-way solenoid valve, so it will stop right there. So there's your shot. And so to steam, to go from the brewing to the steaming, like I said, what you're going to do is you're going to hit the steam button here. And it will show it on here, it has a little light that shows you that it's heating up. When that light goes off, you are ready to go ahead and steam your milk. But, you want to let out a little water here so that you can make room for the steam in that boiler. So I'll let out some water, and then I'm going to let that heat up. So the light is off here, and so we're ready to start steaming, you want to go ahead and purge a little bit out there, and then you're ready to go. You can get a really good vortex going with the Silvia here. It has only one hole in the steam tip, but it is really powerful, especially compared against the Anna here. Also really fast. Really, really nice. So you'll be able to get latte art if you can do that sort of thing. There we go. The Anna, just like the Silvia here, again semi-automatic, so you're going to put your portafilter in, and in order to brew coffee there is a coffee button here, it looks like a little coffee cup, and there's a steam button, and since we're brewing coffee, perfect. Semi-automatic, so when you're done with the shot you're going to have to turn it off. And turn it off there. So it's the same over here as we did on the Silvia. When we're moving from brewing to steaming, we want to hit that steam button, which is this one. The light will go out, when that light comes back on, that means you're ready to steam, it's up to the steaming temperature. Like we did over here, we want to let a little water out of the boiler to make room for that steam. Okay. So when that light is on, we are ready to start steaming. Same thing, we're going to purge a little bit of that steam. Okay. And you can hear it, so it's pretty powerful, but it does take a little longer to steam over here. And again, you can't move that wand everywhere that you might want to move it, so it's more difficult to get that vortex. So you can get it, but it does take some practice. Just a little harder to get the right texture. You can see it's still a little thin, but with practice you can do the same thing over here with this one. It's much easier to do on the Silvia than it is on the Anna. So one other thing to note, is once you've steamed your milk and if you want to return it back to the coffee temperature, so you turn off the steam button on both of these, it's going to be really hot at the group. So you're not going to want to make coffee right away, We can go ahead, you can see that steam is going to come out. So if you purge some of that water, kind of, bring it back down to temperature, that's probably the best way to do it. But you're still going to want to wait a little bit before brewing coffee. The same is true over here on the Anna.