Rancilio Silvia vs Breville Dual Boiler

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Rancilio Silvia vs Breville Dual Boiler

If you want a cappuccino that tastes as close as possible to the one given by your neighborhood barista, consider investing in a semi-automatic machine. Two popular models that are up to the duty are the Breville Dual Boiler and the Rancilio Silvia. In contrast to a fully automated machine, a semi-automatic device requires you to grind and tamp your coffee and then switch to dosing the proper quantity of hot water.

Head to Head: Rancilio Silvia vs Dual Boiler

This can be done via your handle for a single or two-shot of espresso, and then you have to turn it off when you get the right shot. Furthermore, with a semi-automatic barista, you get to control the activation of the pump, switching it off, and the amount of total water flow for every shot. This control will not be given by automatic machines, but only with excellent semi-automatons such as Breville or Rancilio.

These baristas’ capabilities may sound difficult. However, with just some stronger weekend workouts and learning sessions, you can start making good shots and get the great feeling of perfectly using a barista machine in no time.

Two good-quality semi-automatic machines are the Breville Dual boiler and the Rancilio Silvia with several characteristics that assist you to develop your barista skills. But who’s got the edge? Here is a head-to-head comparison between both machines to help you understand the best and the right home barista choice.


AttributeRancilio SilviaBreville Dual Boiler
SizeL:9.2” W: 11.4” H:13.3”L:16.2” W: 15” H:15”
Weight in lbs3030
Pump Pressure in Bar1515
Availability of Frothing WandYesYes
Water Tank size in oz.6784
Grinder AvailabilityNoNo

Similarities between Rancilio Silvia and Breville Dual Boiler

Here are the similarities between Rancilio Silvia and Breville Dual Boiler:

A Professional-Grade Construction

The Breville and Rancilio both offer their users a blending of business quality and home comfort for an outstanding and satisfactory user experience. What does it truly mean? Basically, both the machines have their pieces of equipment made of stainless steel, making them more durable and ensuring a longer-lasting usage for the users.

Clean and Modern Design

Both machines come in attractive, cleaner, and modern styles. This ensures that their functionalities are easily understood by the users and they can use these baristas without any hassles. With these, the functionalities can be easily understood with just a single look at the machine.

Articulating Steam Wands  

Silvia and the Dual Boiler offer to articulate steam wands for foaming milk for the cappuccinos and lattes. In both machines, users like the quality of the wand and have found them nuanced enough for the production of microfoam to make attractive latte arts.

Those features are almost all common to these devices. The rest of the features and designs show two separate approaches from two quite different brands. 

Differences between Rancilio Silvia and Breville Dual Boiler

Here are all the points which differentiate Rancilio Silvia and Breville Dual Boiler:

Availability of Dual Boiler

The major distinction between these two espresso manufacturers is that the Breville is equipped with a dual boiler. The machine includes two water heaters, a steam wand, and an espresso handle. The double boiler on this machine allows you to prepare espresso while boiling the milk simultaneously. It’s not only a means to save a few precious seconds, but this also means that the temperature of the water in each boiler is customized for its function.

The flavor of the beginner barista overheating milk is not so wonderful. This is less likely to happen with a double boiler because the water can be adjusted to different Espresso and steaming temperatures. 

The machine runs a boiler with Rancilio, which means that the temperature of the water passing through the various components of the machine is controlled by two internal thermo-states. You flip and purge the machine manually when you want to move from the preparation of the espresso to steaming milk. You must also wait to steam until your espresso is finished.

The Size

The Breville dual boiler dramatically boosts the machine’s overall performance. While you have a larger boiler, a huge machine could not be an option for a few coffee enthusiasts if you’re short on room. Nothing is worse than a terrific kitchen appliance that takes up so much space that you can’t cook.

You may choose the Rancilio’s small size if you are short on space or move regularly.

Over Pressure Valve (OPV)

There is also an Over Pressure Valve (OPV) in the double boiler. Apart from the technological sound to please your coffee geek, this feature in the machine restricts the maximum pressures during the espresso’s extraction to avoid producing a bitter flavor from infiltrating the shot.

This is a great technique to make sure your coffee is perfectly flavored. The Over Pressure Value also allows you an effective low-pressure pre-infusion. The pressure is further increased gradually to extend the grind for even extraction, as the uniformity is essential for a consistent flavor, from the grind to the pour.

But this feature is absent in Rancilio Silvia and thus there is no automation for restricting the pressure inside the machine.


The price of Breville is substantially more than that of Rancilio. A larger computer with more functions has value-for-money, but before making the investments, you must be sure you need all of those additional options.

Like if you want the machine for quick espresso-only on weekends, you may head to Rancilio, but you should consider investing in the Breville if you seriously want a high-tech home barista and wish to increase your skills in that.


You will be familiar with the building of limestone in your washing machine and shower if you reside in a hard water location.

Limescale is also not good news when it comes to espresso machines. The Breville features a descaling function to simplify the maintenance of the machine to maintain cleanliness. This simple feature is fantastic when you stay in a location with a hard water supply and have to do this cleaning job regularly to avoid the limestone collection. It is also perfect if you do not want to invest your time and money in cleaning up your machine. 

The Rancilio has no specific characteristics to descale or to maintain the cleanliness of the water tank or internal mechanism of the machine.

Water Tank

Breville features a larger water tank as you would anticipate with its larger footprint. If you make coffee all day long or make a variety of Drinks for a wider audience, you’ll need this one for sure. However, the Rancilio is quite compact and has a smaller water tank in comparison.

This is one of the main features when comparing two machines because the comfort factor hugely matters.

Read our full Review on Breville Dual Boiler

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machinet,0.3 liters,...
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine...

Why Choose one over other

Here is a table listing the pros of using both the machines separately:

Breville Dual BoilerRancilio Silvia
Breville’s biggest strength is the availability of dual boilers in it. This ensures simultaneous heating for the milk and the espresso.Its biggest advantage is its chrome plated and commercial-grade steam wand which gives off steam that can produce steam for frothing milk or heating water.
It has some specialized tools to ensure that the owners can fully customize the espresso drink’s taste with the shot volume, temperature regulations, pre-infusion technology, etc.It is a plug-n-play espresso model, meaning that all the users can turn it on using standard electrical capabilities without requiring any added water or power supply.
Breville helps produce a commercial-grade espresso drink with just a domestic machine. This ensures that you can enjoy the cafe-like coffee from your home.Even for beginners, Rancilio Silvia is easy to use and operate, without any need for extra training sessions.
It includes a PID temperature controller to let the barista control temperature within 1 degree and it eventually helps to optimize espresso’s flavor.It also offers a maintenance benefit as the heating parts can be easily removed for better repair. 

Here is a table listing the cons of using both the machines separately:

Breville Dual BoilerRancilio Silvia
All the functions are mostly automated, thus it might provide a less barista-like experience for a few users.With its every usage, the users most frequently check the timing, shot’s quality, and also adjust the grind’s fineness. This adds to the hardships.

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Even though both the machines are semi-automatic, they have various differences. The Breville offers the overpressure valve’s uniformity, descaling, and a double boiler with significant benefits. The Rancilio is a far more simplified machine, and thus it is a good choice for beginner espresso enthusiasts who are not interested in any high-end espresso.

The additional features in Breville are mirrored in the high price point, so if you’re ready to invest, you’ll have to consider it for sure. However, if you only want to create a big espresso once in a while at home, then the simplicity of the Rancilio will be better for you.

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