For those with a love for streamlined apparatus and petite equipment, the Focus is Saeco’s newest superautomatic espresso machine that will address both passions. Watch Gail take us through the machine’s features and work with Allison to make a latte. Yum!
What’s that looming on the horizon? Some fat guy in a red suit? No, it’s not your Uncle Larry staying past his welcome (again), it’s Santa! And maybe it’s still a couple months away, but the early bird almost definitely gets the caffeinated worm up in these parts. To help you find the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your family — even if that’s you — DeLonghi is offering a rebate on several of their machines.
Here’s the rundown:
- Drip Coffee Makers: DC514T, DCF212T and DCF210TTC models. Check out the full details & redemption form.
- Pump Espresso/Combo Machines: BAR32, BCO130T, BCO264B, EC155, EC270, ECO310BK models. Check out the full details & redemption form.
- Superautomatic Espresso Machines: ESAM 6700, ESAM 6600, ESAM5500M, ESAM3500 and ESAM 3300 models. Check out the full details & redemption form.
These rebates apply to purchases made from 10/01/2010 through 12/31/2010.
We’ve just added two new kids to the Saeco lineup, at opposite ends of the spectrum: The Xelsis Digital ID for fancypants folks and the Focus for semi-fancypants folks that also have limited counter space. Here are their stories:
Saeco Xelsis Digital ID
This one-touch superautomatic is identical to it’s non-Digital ID counterpart except for one thing: Fingerprint reading! Yes, that’s right, if you can’t get it together to scroll through the different programmed users to find your profile that early in the morning, maybe simply placing your index finger on a panel atop the machine is the answer. The Digital ID can be programmed to recognize the print on the finger of your choice, automatically pulling up your preferences. Then getting your coffee is as easy as pushing the button that corresponds to a previously programmed product — espresso, long coffee, cappuccino and more.
The Verdict: While we’re all about technological gadgets that improve our quality of life, we’re not totally certain that this fingerprint-reading espresso machine is one of them. We love the Xelsis otherwise, however, and this machine has all the same excellent features and functionality. Maybe this functional addition could be a fun conversation piece?
For adherents to a more streamlined, less complicated approach to life, the new Focus is an excellent option — it’s functionally very similar to the new Saeco Syntia, sharing its compact design, simple and straightforward interface, ceramic grinder and SBS functionality, but with a black casing instead of the stainless steel.
The Verdict: It would be hard to go wrong with this machine, and if stainless steel doesn’t matter to you, stylistically, you’ll get the same functional machine with the Focus that you do with the Syntia for a little bit cheaper.
Leaving your machine alone for the winter? Need to store it or move it (by hand) to a new location? Gail gives us some tips on what you should do to prepare your machine so you limit the possibility of damage.
While the Rancilio Egro ONE is at home on a large cruise liner, the Jura Impressa XS90 is best suited to an office environment — one that requires a large water tank, extra bean storage and just enough dregs and drip tray capacity to be dangerous.
Watch Gail as Kat bosses her around this superautomatic espresso machine — including the usual feature description and a demonstration of its one-touch cappuccino functionality.
Sometimes, simplicity is the thing: Too many bells and whistles and we might never figure out how to get our espresso. Superautomatics handle most of the java crafting for you, but if you don’t need programming, a bi-pass doser or a cup warmer, you might want to consider the Vienna Plus‘ scaled down approach to automation.
Got a spare $13k lying around that you’re just not sure what to do with? Of course you do! And the obvious expenditure is on a commercial-class superautomatic like the Rancilio Egro ONE.
OK, maybe it’s not up your alley for a home machine, but this fully programmable superautomatic would be right at home in a convenience store — you can program specific drinks and set it up to take payment — or a high capacity restaurant, cafe or drive-through espresso stand that requires extreme efficiency.
Watch Gail go through all the features and make us a few different drinks on this super fancy little number.
Saeco’s Odea Go and Giro superautomatic espresso machines are a little bit on the tenderhearted side: They have sensitive sensors that are sometimes difficult to interpret.
We commonly receive calls from customers who are being prompted to empty the waste drawer (dregs box and water tray located with the brew group on the right side of the machine) more often than they deem necessary. There are two sensor lights that can indicate this needs to happen:
|This light specifically indicates that the dregs drawer needs to be emptied||This light indicates any number of issues are present and is not specific — you may need to add beans, add water or empty the dregs drawer|
The dregs box that catches used pucks doesn’t use a sensor that measures the volume, rather, it’s based on cup count — around every 10 shots it will indicate that the dregs box needs to be emptied. The waste water area under the brew group, however, is pressure sensitive and will indicate it needs to be emptied once a specific weight has been reached.
If you see the warning light and empty only the dregs box and not the waste water drawer as well, it will reset the dregs box shot count but then indicate (likely shortly thereafter) that the drawer needs to be emptied again because the waste water has reached capacity. And vice versa. Another cause for the frequency may be that the dregs box was removed, emptied and placed back into the machine too quickly or when the machine was off, so that the shot count was not reset.
You can easily keep these overactive lights at bay by thoroughly cleaning the dregs drawer — both the box and the waste water area — each time it indicates it needs to be emptied. Also, making sure you do this when the machine is on is very important. Finally, expect that it’s going to happen about every 10 shots or so — and if you’re drinking 4 – 6 shots a day, you won’t be able to let those little pucks hang out in the dregs drawer longer than a couple of days.
If you’ve misplaced your user manual and want to refresh your memory on how your Odea functions, here are PDF versions of the Giro and Go.
It’s a good idea to regularly pull out your Saeco superautomatic’s brew group and spray it down with hot water — we recommend doing this once per week and using water only, no soap. Why? Because the soap is going to break down the lubrication on the brew group and you’ll be re-applying it weekly as opposed to twice a year. Ultimately, you’ll be using more than you need to and we’re just thrifty that way.
Gail shows us where to apply the lubricant on the brew group when it is time for a touch up. A general rule of thumb is that if you can see/feel the lubrication on the group, you’re probably as lubricated as you need to be. When applying, don’t put a large quantity into each area; just apply some to a q-tip and then put a light layer. We often see big globs applied that then mix with coffee grounds to make a rather dangerous cement. In this case, you can have too much of a good thing.
Saeco’s newest release in the US is the Syntia, a petite, scaled down version of their also recently released Xelsis. Like the Xelsis, it has a stainless steel casing (love!) a sleek, futuristic design (double love!) and some programmable options (ok, this love-fest is getting ridiculous!). It also has a bi-pass doser for pre-ground coffee, the standard removable brew group and it even utilizes the magic of magnets.
Sadly, it doesn’t have the patented Saeco Brewing System (SBS) that varies the pressure to give more or less crema on your shot, but there’s always a catch, right? If you have limited counterspace or cupboard clearance, this is definitely the superautomatic for you. Watch Gail take us through its features and demonstrate its functionality.