Rancilio Silvia :: Do I need a PID?

Published by Mark
March 29, 2011 7:24 pm

silvia with pid

What about a PID Controller?

We are often asked if it’s necessary to have a PID on the Silvia.

PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) Control is a popular upgrade to Silvia machines. Basically, a PID controller closely monitors and electronically regulates the water temperature at the brew group.  PIDs help you to dial in a precise brewing temperature, which is especially important for straight shot enthusiasts. However, we find that a bit of attention and the right technique can reliably produce very fine espresso from the Silvia without the need for a $200-$300 upgrade.

Adding $300 to the $650 price of a Silvia gets you within striking distance of an E-61 grouphead machine, which would mean much better temperature stability and you would retain the manufacturer’s warranty. We recommend checking out the Quick Mill Alexia, which provides a number of dramatic upgrades in temperature stability, capacity, aesthetics, power and performance for just a little more money than a PID-adapted Silvia.

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  • Written by: kelly

    Why should I buy a Quick Mill Alexia from you for $1595 instead of the Faema Carisma for $1695?  I don’t think my Gaggia Baby twin is worth repairing and I’ve always wanted a seamless transition from steaming to brew.  It’s for my house and might make a couple of coffees a day but I still want professional quality.  I also don’t like programming and want a semi-auto that’s easy to use and pretty much idiot proof.  Thanks for you time.  Kelly

  • Written by: Kevin Haugen


    Thanks for the question! I think the machine you are asking after is the Quick Mill Anita. I would actually suggest looking into the Quick Mill QM67. Based off of what you have said, I think a double boiler design would give you the ease of use that you are looking for. Heat Exchangers work well for steaming, but they can fall short when it comes to espresso. In order to drop your brew temperature to a usable range, a HX machine will require that you bleed the grouphead before every shot. A double boiler separates each function (steaming & shot extraction) into two boilers. The temperature of each boiler is individually regulated, which allows you to use the machine without any additional steps. They are far more straightforward to use for this reason. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to call!


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