Black 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!
We are always say, the cleaner you keep you espresso machine the longer it will last. And we will continue to say so until the end of time. But sometimes cleaning your machine improperly can cause more damage than just leaving it dirty! Who woulda thought?
Case in point, using Grindz in a superautomatic espresso machine. Running Grindz Cleaner through your burr grinder every few weeks will work wonders in terms of keeping your grinder clean and keeping your coffee tasting fresh. It also happens to be all-natural, gluten free and completely food safe. But this is only useful on a stand alone grinder!
If used in a superautomatic, the Grindz will go into the brew unit and expand due to the brewing water. This expansion is really bad for the inside of your superautomatic, and will cause damage.
First off, don’t panic! Everything is going to be ok. In fact it could be worse, you could think there is nothing wrong with putting oily beans in your brand new super-automatic espresso machine! The horror!
Maybe a friend brought over a bag of the oily stuff, or maybe you “accidentally” grabbed the wrong bag at the store. However the oily beans got there (we aren’t here to judge), here is what you need to do.
Step One: get the beans out of the grinder! Flip the machine over, vacuum them out, whatever you need to do.
If you have been using oily beans for a while in your super automatic, you may notice a clog forming. In this case you want to try and clean that clog out with an air compressor or vacuum. Unfortunately you can not use a grinder cleaner on your super automatic, those are designed specifically for stand alone grinders. If the clog is stubborn you will need to have your machine professionally cleaned.
Watch the Ask Gail video below to get the full scoop! Are you subscribed to our YouTube channel? No? Don’t worry! We got you covered. Click here to subscribe Thanks for watching!
Continuing 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!
Because two boilers are better than one, that’s why! Yes we are talking about the double boiler machines, and specifically we are going to take a closer look at the Rocket R58 and the Breville Oracle.
So ring the bell referee, it’s the R58 vs. Oracle.
While these two machines have a few things in common they truly are very different, each one catering to a different type of home barista.
The Breville Oracle sits in class almost to it’s own; somewhere between a super-automatic and a semi-automatic. It has a grinder and a tamper built right into the machine. The internal clock allows you to have the machine auto start in the morning, which can make waking up that much easier! The auto frothing steam wand allows for easy cappuccino creation. The Breville Oracle has many menu features allowing you to tinker until you get the perfect drink. However, automation always comes at a cost. Even with all the menu features, measuring exact amounts of coffee grounds, for example, is not possible.
The Rocket R58 sits up at the top of it’s semi-automatic class. It features a dual PID temperature control system, allowing you to program both the steam and brew boiler temperatures. The commercial grade rotary pump is quieter than most and allows for pump pressure adjustments and monitoring. The R58 is also plumbable, which means you can say goodbye to refilling the water tank by directly connecting this machine to your water supply. Of course, you can’t talk about any Rocket machine without mentioning its beautiful design. A lot of care is put into each of these handcrafted machines, you can be sure it will look great on your countertop.
Be sure to watch the full comparison video below! If you found this comparison helpful, subscribe to our YouTube channel for more by clicking here.
As with everything in life, when you choose one thing you will always have give up a little something elsewhere. And that’s not always a bad thing! But in order to make an informed decision you should know what it is exactly that you will be gaining and losing. When it comes to espresso machines, a lot of what you will be gaining and losing is espresso shot quality.
Let us preface by saying that there are a lot of factors that need to come together in unison in order to create the perfect shot of espresso. Everything from the grind, to the tamp, to the humidity in your environment need to be just right for that espresso to make the ultimate list of all things delicious. So one machine simply can’t make all things come true. But it certainly can get you close.
When it comes to espresso machines you have essentially three families: manual, semi-automatic and super-automatic. We are going to focus on the semi- and super-automatics since they tend to be the most popular. The super-automatics are the one stop shop machines. Espresso at the push of a button. Super convenient for those who want it. The semi-automatics give you a little more control over your espresso shot. You have the ability to fine tune your grind and tamp pressure to just how you like it. That is not to say that super-automatics don’t give you options, but there will inherently be less.
As a result, your shots will vary from machine to machine. We think that you can pull better shots on a semi-automatic but that comes at a cost. You will be required to hone your craft in order to get that sweet nectar just right. While a super-automatic will get you close enough with little to no effort. It all comes down to what you want! That’s really the best part of it all.
Watch the video below to hear Gail’s full explanation of espresso shot quality from machine to machine. And be sure to check out our YouTube channel as well for more information and Crew Reviews!
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.
We all love our superautomatic espresso machines. And why wouldn’t we? They make us our espresso drinks with just a push of a button and for that we are grateful. Superautomatics are so good at what they do that we sometimes forget that they too need a little love and attention every so often.
So we asked Gail to give us a run down on what we should be doing to keep the espresso flowing morning after morning.
Watch this new installment of Ask Gail to find out the steps to proper superautomatic espresso machine care.
If we had a nickel for every time we heard this question, or a dime for every time a superautomatic was decommissioned due to this, we’d be rich (okay, maybe not rich, but we’d easily have a couple of dollars). However, we’d much rather save some machines then have the extra change jingling around!
The short answer is, unfortunately, that you cannot use oily beans in a superautomatic. Very dark and oily roasts clog up grinders and brew units over time, eventually leading to one very unhappy coffee robot. In superautomatic espresso machines, this is quite problematic, as you cannot take apart the grinders to give them a good, old fashioned cleaning. Eeeks!
If you’re looking for more info, and we know you are, Gail and Miranda have the lowdown for you. Take it away, ladies!
Nine out of ten home baristas agree, soupy pucks are a coffeehouse sin. Well, maybe not a sin, but in our experience it’s pretty close! What causes a soupy puck and why exactly is it so bad? When it comes to the hard questions, we like to ask Gail!
Gail and our excellent customer service team are always reiterating how important it is to dial in your grind – and this Ask Gail session is no exception! Having your grind too fine can cause soupy pucks, as a super fine grind will hinder proper water flow. The water is then “trapped” on top of the puck and released into the dredge box with the under-saturated puck, causing a sour or bitter espresso shot and the undesirable soupy puck.
If you think there could be more to your soup-tastic pucks, check out our first edition of Ask Gail!