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Rancilio Silvia vs. Gaggia Classic: Which Of These Espresso Machines Should You Buy?

Gaggia, Semi-automatic Espresso Machines Jul 01, 2014

In this post, we’ll be comparing the Rancilio Silvia vs the Gaggia Classic, two superior espresso machines that make a great upgrade for an intermediate to an advanced user.

Features and Design:

Both of these machines are made of commercial grade material with the home user in mind. So when buying either of them, you’ll be getting really high quality. These are NOT automatic machines, so you’ll need to know what you’re doing in order to produce a good shot of espresso, that’s why we’re recommending this for at least an intermediate user.

There are a few differences that set these machines apart, starting with the price range. The Rancilio Silvia is over $500 and is almost double the price of the Gaggia Classic. Is there a reason for this? let’s look at the features to find out:

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine:


  • Stainless steel housing with ergonormic porta filter handle same as Rancilio’s commercial machines.
  • Commercial grade group head offers heat stability and great extraction quality.
  • Single boiler that has the largest volume capacity for a home espresso machine.
  • 15 bar pump pressure.
  • 67 oz water reservoir.
  • Stainless steel steam wand for milk frothing.
  • Knob for steaming control.
  • Includes: coffee scoop, tamper, single and double shot filter baskets.

Click here to learn more about this machine, read the customer reviews and buy it. (Amazon Link)

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine:

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine
  • Stainless steel housing.
  • 17 1/2 bar pump pressure.
  • 72-ounce water reservoir.
  • brass portafilter and group head for heat stability.
  • Plastic milk frother. Also works as a hot water dispenser.
  • Includes: single and double shot filter baskets, coffee scoop and tamper.

Gaggia Classic is no longer available and has been replaced with Gaggia Classic Pro

What Is The Difference Between the Rancilio Silvia vs Gaggia Classic:

  • The Gaggia Classic has a larger water reservoir than the Rancilio Silvia.
  • The Gaggia Classic has a smaller boiler than the Silvia. Although the Silvia takes longer to heat up, it can deliver more shots without having to pause, making it perfect for larger families or for entertaining.
  • The Silvia can only use ground coffee. The Gaggia Classic can use both ground coffee or e.s.e pods.

Overall, the Rancilio Silvia is more powerful with the largest boiler for its category. The Gaggia Classic is perfect for making a single or double shot at a time, it might get tricky if you’re entertaining a large number of people for example, as it will need some ‘rest time’ between every few shots.

To deliver excellent coffee, both machines will require a high quality grinder to prepare the coffee ground right before brewing. See our of the top rated conical burr grinders for some recommendations.