The Rancilio Sylvia espresso machine is one of several espresso machines produced by Rancilio, an Italian espresso equipment company that has been around for nearly 90 years. In addition to establishing a global presence in the coffee and espresso industry, another of the company's feats was when it was granted the patent for an electronically operated mechanism for espresso machines. Though most of the Rancilio espresso machines product line comprises espresso makers for business environments, the Sylvia espresso machine is a residential appliance with the durability of its sister products intended for commercial use. In fact, the Sylvia boasts a commercial grade portafilter. However, there are also several features that make this machine a nice choice for home kitchens, such as the hot water dispenser, allowing its user to use the Sylvia for making hot chocolate and tea as well as espresso, and the ESE pod adapter, which may be purchased separately and can be used with products such as illy espresso pods. The Sylvia's cup warmer can hold six espresso cups at one time. The durable construction and special features that make up the Rancilio Sylvia do come at a cost; this machine can be purchased for approximate $700, making it more expensive than many other residential espresso machines on the market. Like with most espresso machines, it is preferable to use freshly ground coffee beans. The Sylvia is no different. Fortunately for Rancilio Sylvia fans, the company also sells a high-quality burr coffee grinder. The Rancilio Rocky grinder uses burrs to crush the coffee beans rather than cut through them with a blade. This does a better job of preserving the flavor of the beans and makes each ground approximately the same size, which makes for a better brewing process. While the price tag of the Rancilio Sylvia is somewhat steep, many consumers find its features and quality construction to be well worth the cost.