Category Archives: Saeco

Comparison: Entry Level Superautomatic Machines

We are back with another comparison for you all! This time we set our sights on a few entry level superautomatic espresso machines! To be a little more specific: the Saeco Xsmall, the Jura Micro 1 and the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300.

Each of these models has a little something for everyone. So we are certain you will be able to find the right one for you ;) So lets get to it!

First up the Saeco Xsmall. As the name suggests, it has the smallest foot print. Which is a great feature if you are short on counter space (aren’t we all!). It also has the smallest water tank, coming in at 33 oz. We don’t consider this a con however, since fresh water is best! Filling up the tank every few uses is a good habit to have anyway!

Next you have the Jura Micro 1. This one is strictly for coffee and espresso as it does not have a steam arm. So unless you have stand alone milk frother, no lattes. The Micro 1 features a bypass doser which allows you to brew pre-ground coffee, leaving the beans in the hopper where they are. Nighttime decaf anyone?

The Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 also has a bypass doser and a lot more functionality. This is also the only double boiler machine in this line up. But with that benefit comes a larger footprint. So if you are short on space, be sure to take measurements to see if it will fit!

Those are the basics of these espresso machines. Be sure to watch the full comparison video below so see them side by side! And if you find the video helpful, be sure to subscribe to our channel for more!

 

Crew Review: Saeco Intuita Espresso Machine

IntuitaThe Saeco Intuita with its unique satin finish and simple push button interface, it brings brewing back to the basics. The Intuita is one of the entry level superautomatic espresso machines by Saeco.

It features essential programming functions, allowing you to set your desired coffee volume for both the espresso and long coffee buttons. While this machine won’t allow you to program multiple users, programming the volume is easy enough to do on the fly!

Keeping the Intuita clean is easy to do. It automatically rinses the brewing circuit after use and after waking it up, allowing for optimal brewing. The brew group easily snaps in and out, which makes rinsing it in the sink quick and painless.

The steam wand on this machine is a panarello design. The panarello makes frothing milk for lattes a no brainer. But don’t expect a micro foam suited for latte art. With the convenience of the panarello, you miss out on the control a conventional steam wand gives you.

Check out the full Crew Review of the Saeco Intuita super automatic espresso machine below before heading over to our YouTube channel to subscribe!

 

Crew Review: Saeco Aroma

Do you smell that? That aroma? Well? :)Saeco Aroma

That’s right! We are talking about the Saeco Aroma semi-automatic espresso machine. Perfect for those with limited space but still want the control for great espresso. The Saeco Aroma is a pressurized portafilter system which will improve the extraction from almost any fineness of ground beans. The pressurized environment promotes the perfect brewing conditions without need of an expensive grinder.

The Saeco Aroma has a huge water tank. Or should we say swimming pool. At 88oz, you will rarely need to refill this machine. The panarello steam wand makes frothing milk a breeze. You won’t have all the control you would get with a traditional wand, but it will get you very close! The steam wand does have limited motion, which can be make frothing larger pitchers more difficult.

The Saeco Aroma is smaller than the Saeco Via Venezia, therefore it’s great for those with limited space. Watch the full Crew Review below!

 

 

Crew Review: Saeco Exprelia Evo

The best of both worlds! This is something you don’t always see. But on the Saeco Exprelia Evo, you truly get the best of both. I am referring, of course, to the traditional steam wand and automatic milk frother.

Exprelia EvoWhen it comes to super-automatic espresso machines you typically get exactly that, super automation! Which is great if what you want is to push a button and the result be delicious espresso and milk based drinks. But sometimes you want more. Maybe it’s your curious side peeking out or maybe you are feeling especially creative. Whatever it is, with the Exprelia Evo you can have that automation and the control over your milk’s texture and temperature with the steam wand.

The removable milk frothing carafe has an automatic cleaning cycle as well. Simply fill it with milk, plug into the machine when it’s time to brew, and then pop it back in the refrigerator for next time. The swiveled handle goes off to the side to dispense frothed milk into your beverage, then swivels back into place for an automatic rinsing cycle. It’s a pretty fantastic design. And Gail confirms, it makes a hot drink!

The Exprelia Evo‘s dual boilers are stainless-steel, so it is always ready to brew! It has a  removable water tank can hold 1.6 liters of water. Each drink type can be customized to your liking. If you are like Gail and prefer a stronger cup, go ahead because you can!

Watch the full Crew Review below! Then head over to our YouTube channel and subscribe!

 

Crew Review: Saeco Intelia Class

Saeco Intelia ClassBlack or stainless steel. One touch or panarello. With so many choices it might be hard to find the best machine for you! But not to worry! Gail is here to show you through the Saeco Intelia Class.

In this Crew Review Gail takes a closer look at the Intelia Class with the cappuccinatore. What’s a cappuccinatore? It’s a milk frothing device that draws milk up from a pitcher and combines it with steam before dispensing your frothy milk into your cup! Perfect for those who can’t function in the morning until that first cup of coffee!

The Saeco Intelia Class is much more than an automatic milk frother though (obviously). It is also a powerhouse superautomatic machine. Complete with a ceramic grinder, pre-brewing technology, and a bypass doser in the event you like decaf in the evenings.

The menu on this model offers some great programmability as well. So if you are the type that likes to tweak a variety of settings ranging from temperature settings to dosing strength to display contrast, you are in luck!

Be sure to watch the complete Crew Review below! And while you are at it, subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss our latest videos!

 

SCG In Portland: Saeco Machine Lineup

Saeco MachinesContinuing our trip to the Portland Seattle Coffee Gear store, Gail thought it would be helpful to show everyone the current Saeco Machine Lineup. There are a ton of options out there, each one better suited for a different home barista! So without further ado, the current Saeco machine line up:

The Xsmall is just that! With the smallest footprint in the lineup, this little soldier delivers the solid bean-to-cup functionality you would expect from Saeco. A great entry level machine for those with limited counter space but an unlimited thirst for espresso!

The Saeco Syntia gives you the ease of one-touch espresso but also the control of frothing your own milk using it’s easy to master panarello wand. And let’s not forget the ability to store your favorite drink preferences for easy replication!

Featuring an ergonomic case style, easy to use interface, and Saeco’s integrated cleaning and descaling cycles, the Intelia couldn’t be simpler to operate. Easy operation makes for delicious espresso anytime!

The Intuita is for those who like their coffee ritual simple. Select one of three dosage settings using the dial above the brew head, and push either the espresso or coffee button depending on your desired volume. It is that easy!

The Minuto Pure is for the espresso enthusiast. This machine brews at an ideal 15BAR pump pressure, producing a smooth shot of espresso (or lungo!) every time.

The Minuto manages to be a superautomatic espresso machine and coffee maker, without sacrificing anything for either option. A clever lever on the adjustable spout allows you to switch pressure settings to provide optimal extraction for both coffee (3 bar) and espresso (15 bar). Some call this a win win!

Hot and frothy lattes and cappuccinos with just a touch of a button. Need we say anymore? The Energica Focus will surprise you with it’s efficient double boilers to reduce wait time between frothing and brewing.

With its automated milk frothing and programmability, the Exprelia Evo helps you make the perfect beverage every morning. Just hit one of the pre-programmed buttons, which can be customized to meet your specifications, and watch it go to work. It even cleans up after itself!

Program your favorite drink for one-touch capability or manually froth milk on the handy steam wand. With the Xelsis Evo, the choice is yours! Perfect your favorite drink and save the settings by creating your own user profile.

Continually improving the bean-to-cup experience, the Gran Baristo now makes cleaning and maintenance an effortless task with their one-finger removable brew group. Auto-cleaning and descaling cycles now require 80% less water than other Saeco superautomatics. Reduced water consumption helps save water for the fishes, creates a ‘greener’ machine and less tank refilling for you!

Whew! While there is a lot to choose from, Gail makes the choice (a little) easier in the video below! Be sure to watch below and subscribe to our channel for more!

 

Ask Gail: Troubleshooting Pressurized Portafilters

Pressurized PortafiltersWe like to think of an espresso machine like a bicycle. In order to keep it running in tip-top shape you need to get your hands dirty once in a while. Maintenance on your machine (or bike) is something you should be doing with some sort of regularity. Personally we enjoy trying to figure out how to get the best out of our machines. But we also know that it can be frustrating when your espresso isn’t flowing and all you want is that pick me up!

Sometimes we find that brand new pressurized portafilters on Saeco machines won’t allow water to flow freely. After some sleuthing around we figured out that the problem lies with the spring inside the portafilter being too tight. When the spring is too tight, the coffee doesn’t flow, and that is just no good. So we asked Gail if she would show us how to fix this problem at home. It is surprisingly easy to fix, all you need is a Phillips head screw driver and a pair of clippers.

A word of warning however. Before you go clipping things off your espresso machine it is best to rule out any other variables that could be causing the issue. First, if you run your machine without the portafilter in place do you get water coming though the brew head? If that is working, take your basket out of the portafilter and see if you can see light through the holes. If you don’t see any light coming through, we’d recommend giving the portafilter a good deep clean as it is most likely clogged. If you do see light, try pulling a shot but don’t put any grounds in the basket. If you get water flowing though the issue could be with your grind. Try going a little more course than you usually do and see if that fixes the problem.  But if you don’t get anything flowing through, your next step will be to watch the video below and follow Gail’s instructions.

 

Crew Review: Saeco Gran Baristo Update

Saeco Gran Baristo In case you didn’t already know, we love our Saeco Gran Baristo with Removable Bean Container. In fact, we love it so much that we made an updated Crew Review just for kicks! Well, we actually wanted to showcase this machine again because we found the more we used it the better our experience was.

What are some of our favorite features of this machine you ask? Well the first one is in the name, “removable bean container”! This comes in handy if you find yourself with a couple types of coffee just waiting to be brewed. Perhaps something different for the evening? We also love the programmable user profiles. Since everybody likes their coffee a particular way, the Saeco Gran Baristo makes it easy for up to 6 different users to customize and save their drink preferences. Another feature that really rocks our world is the adjustable spout. You are able to adjust the spout so you can have up to 6.5 inches of cup clearance. Quad-shot cappuccino anyone?

We did few tests as well to see just how well the Saeco Gran Baristo functions in real world environments. The results of our temperature tests are as follows:

  • Espresso – During testing we were able to get both of these drinks up to 171°F on more than one occasion.
  • Milk – After three rounds of automatic milk frothing we were able to get the temperature to 144°F.
  • Hot Water – The hot water generally stayed around the 160°F mark.

We give this machine a thumbs up for functionality, performance, and quality of the drinks it makes. Watch the updated Crew Review below and then head over to our YouTube channel to see what else Gail has been up too.

 

 

Crew Review: Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrade

Saeco BottomlessSaeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter UpgradeOftentimes when we find an espresso machine or coffee maker that allows us to make a cup of coffee exactly the way we like it, we use the machine until it no longer works for us. Only then do we then consider upgrading to a different model. However, that is not to say we won’t improve upon the machine while it’s still in our hot little hands when given the chance. Not only does this make the coffee the machine produces better, but it also might allow us to hang on to the espresso machine a little while longer. Luckily, we were afforded this opportunity with a few of our tried and true espresso makers and were able to create a Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrade that will work on machines like the Via Venezia and Aroma.

We were really excited that we here at Seattle Coffee Gear were able to develop an upgrade (that’s right you won’t find them anywhere else) for some of our favorite Saeco machines. The nice thing about this upgrade is that since the Aroma and Via Venezia already come with a pressurized portafilter, adding a non-pressurized portafilter increases the functionality of this machine. With the pressurized portafilter that comes with these machines you have the ability to use pre-ground in your machine, as the portafilter will compensate for the grind not being perfect. This will be your easy-peasy approach with no tamping necessary. In addition, with the non-pressurized portafilter you now also have the ability to get in touch with the barista side of your coffee experience and play around with the grind and flavors of coffee, which can be the most enjoyable part of espresso.

What is even better is we didn’t just create one non-pressurized portafilter upgrade for these machines; we created two. In addition to the standard Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrade, we also created a Bottomless Portafilter Upgrade for Saeco Machines as well. The bottomless portafilter is truly a great teaching tool, as you see your shot as it comes out of the portafilter. If you have done everything correctly, you will see your coffee first start to dispense around the edges of the portafilter, then form into a cone in the middle. On the other hand, if your coffee starts coming out on the side, or does anything else, that means you have fractures or channeling in your puck. All is not lost if this happens, part of the learning process is trying again and seeing if you can adjust your technique to get a better shot the next time around.

To use these Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrades on your machine, all you have to do is pop out the basket from your pressurized portafilter and put into one of the non-pressurized portafilters and you are good to go. Keep in mind that when you use these non-pressurized portafilters you have to be really in tune with the grind of the coffee. As such, you will want to a get good grinder and 53 mm tamper to complete your setup, which you can do fairly inexpensively. Ultimately, adding a non-pressurized portafilter to your Saeco setup is a great option if you are interested in upgrading to a fancier semi-auto and want to see what you are getting into. Or, perhaps you are enjoying your Aroma or Via Venezia but want to start trying to make the same drinks your favorite barista has been making at your local coffee stand. Speaking of brewing like a pro, check out as Gail shows off her barista skills while she and Brendan explore all the options these non-pressurized portafilters provide.

Tech Tips: Saeco Water Tank Tune Up Kits

We’ve all been there: A leaky machine! A lot of friction occurs within the Saeco Water Tank manifold when you remove it, fill it up with water and then insert it back into the machine. Over time, the seals and spring can wear down and you’ll begin to notice dripping from the water tank when it’s not inserted to the machine. These kits will replace those seals and springs to get you back in working order in no time!

Tune Up Kit for Vertical Water Tanks

Tune Up Kit for Horizontal Water Tanks