If you want to turn your home espresso operation into a cafe-level experience, you’ll need an espresso machine that’s up to the job.
The Lelit Elizabeth and the Rancilio Silvia Pro are two high-performance machines that are worth considering for the role. These made-in-Italy, dual-boiler, semi-automatic espresso machines share a ton of great features, but which one is a better choice for you?
To help you make the decision, we’ve put together a helpful head-to-head review of these two espresso machines. Check out the chart below to learn the basics, then read on for a more detailed comparison.
|Rancilio Silvia Pro
|Brushed Stainless Steel
|Dimensions H x W X D
|15” x 12” x 11”
|15.3" x 9.8" x 16.5"
|0.3 L Brew Boiler
0.6 L Steam Boiler
|0.3 L Brew Boiler
1 L Steam Boiler
|Water Tank Size
|PID Temp Control
|Yes, both boilers
|Yes, both boilers
|No (available on Silvia Pro X model)
Overview of the Lelit Elizabeth
Lelit Elizabeth PL92T Prosumer Coffee Machine
Elizabeth is the prosumer dual boiler coffee machine that ensures a continuous steam delivery and the extraction of considerable quantity of water, without influencing coffee performance, designed for higher thermal stability.
The Lelit Elizabeth is a compact semi-automatic espresso machine that will slide easily under your cabinets and is quite shallow, making it easy to slide back and out of the way on your countertops. Don’t let the small size fool you, though; this espresso machine fits a ton of features into a relatively small package.
Italy is the birthplace of espresso as we know it, and it’s also the home of the Lelit Elizabeth, which was designed and manufactured there. It’s made of sturdy brushed stainless steel.
The Elizabeth is a dual boiler machine, allowing you to brew espresso and steam milk simultaneously. Since water for steaming milk needs to be much hotter than water for brewing espresso, the dual boiler system also eliminates the need to wait for the boiler to heat back up after brewing or cool down after steaming.
Both boilers are also equipped with PID temperature control, which guarantees accurate and stable temperatures.
The PID temperature control can be set and monitored from a built-in LCD display called the Lelit Control Center. The shot timer and cleaning reminders are also visible here.
If you value programmability, you’re likely to enjoy the Lelit Elizabeth. This machine has automatic single and double-shot buttons, which the user can customize. It also features programmable pre-infusion and has a standby feature that can be altered or turned off.
Fans of a classic cappuccino will enjoy using the Lelit Elizabeth’s steam wand, which can achieve an impressive 2 bar steam pressure. This level of pressure allows for fast milk foaming and also allows the user to create finely textured microfoam.
Other features that make the Lelit Elizabeth so enjoyable to use include its quiet operation and its ability to dispense hot water even if the steam boiler is turned off. The machine does this by drawing hot water from the brew boiler and mixing it with water for the reservoir, making it quicker, easier, and smoother to access hot water for your Americano or afternoon cup of tea.
Who Is the Lelit Elizabeth Best For?
The Lelit Elizabeth may be the espresso machine for you if you’re looking for all of the benefits of a dual boiler espresso machine in a compact package.
It’s also a good choice for users that enjoy a degree of programmability. The ability to program shot length, pre-infusion, and more make this machine convenient for the user.
What We Like:
- The compact size is great for smaller kitchens
- 2 bar steam pressure produces fine microfoam quickly
What We Don’t:
- The water tank can be difficult to fill, especially if its kept under the cabinet
- Small steam boiler
Overview of the Rancilio Silvia Pro
The Rancilio Silvia Pro is the new-and-improved version of the Rancilio Silvia, a longstanding favorite in the semi-automatic espresso machine space. It’s a high-quality, extremely sturdy machine that is made in Italy.
The Silvia Pro comes equipped with some of the same features as the Lelit Elizabeth, including dual boilers, both equipped with PID temperature control. These features provide stable, consistent temperatures, leading to an ultimately better-tasting shot of espresso.
While the Rancilio Silvia Pro has a largely lo-fi interface, it does have a small digital display where you can view and set the PID temp. This display also functions as a built-in shot timer.
The Silvia Pro is a semi-automatic machine, but it’s old-school in terms of programmability. There is no option to program an automatic shot and no programmable pre-infusion. In fact, you’ll need to spring for the Siliva Pro X model to get any pre-infusion at all.
When it comes to steaming milk, the Rancilio Silvia Pro has a multi-directional, commercial-grade steam wand that produces quality milk foam.
If you’re more of an Americano drinker than a latte lover, you’ll be glad to know that the Rancilio Silvia Pro does have the ability to dispense hot water. However, it requires the steam boiler to be turned on.
One of the biggest benefits of the Rancilio Silvia Pro is that it’s built with professional-grade parts, which don’t just function well but are also easily sourced for repairs. Whether you choose to repair or modify your espresso machine yourself or send it to a local shop, the Silvia Pro can be kept up and running for years and years.
Who Is the Rancilio Silvia Pro Best For?
This espresso machine is a perfect choice for anyone who wants a high-quality machine that can be used and even handed down for years. Since this machine has commercial parts, it’s easily repairable. It also has a huge following, so finding tutorials and videos that will help you fix, use, and modify your machine will be a snap.
What We Like:
- Easily repaired, with commercial parts
- Dual PID provides stable, consistent temperatures
What We Don’t:
- Limited programmability
- Small drip tray
Which Espresso Machine Is Best for You?
The race between the Lelit Elizabeth and the Rancilio Silvia Pro is neck-and-neck.
We feel that the more advanced programmability features of the Lelit Elizabeth, including programmed timed shots and customizable pre-infusion, give this machine a slight edge.
However, these two compact machines are on equal footing when it comes to some of the most important features, such as PID temperature control, dual boilers, and powerful steam wands. Thanks to these important features, you can’t go wrong with either of these high-end espresso machines.