In search of a small single boiler espresso machine? Check out how these three models from Saeco stack up.
|Casing||Cased in a steel casing, this compact machine won’t take up too much space with it’s boxy figure.||Internally you can call this bad boy and the Aroma twins, but externally it’s a little more of an upgrade. Cased in the same steel material, the Venezia’s curves do more of the talking.
||Like triplets on the inside, it’s the Poemia that physically stands out from the rest of them by far. Modeled after the Saeco Xelsis and Exprelia, it has a compact metal and plastic casing.
|Footprint||8.25″ W x 9.75″ D x 11.75″ H||9.63″ W x 11.5″ D x 13″ H
||7″ W x 9.5″ D x 11.5″ H|
|Steam Wand||Making life a little easier with the panarello wand, you’ll be able to get foamy milk in no time. However, this wand will only move left to right making it a little more difficult to fit bigger frothing pitchers underneath.||With the ease to foam your milk into velvety goodness, this panarello wand gives you a little more clearance with your frothing pitcher. Its ability to swivel also makes for easier clean-up.
||Taking a cue from its superautomatic cousins, the Poemia’s panarello wand has their design and will allow you to easily create milk with microfoam. However, like the Aroma, its right to left motion makes fitting larger frothing pitchers underneath more difficult.
|Drip Tray||This may be a little messier than most. But with a more compact machine comes smaller parts. You’ll find yourself having to lift the tray out of the casing to empty out a lot more often than not.
||With more room and accessibility to slide the drip tray out when it’s time to empty, the Venezia gives you less of a mess. It also sports an accessory drawer underneath that is removable to provide more room for larger cups.
||Ridged (baffled) that will prevent messes and sloshing, you’ll find it easier to empty out your drip tray when it’s time, no matter how full it is.|
|Water Reservoir||80 oz.
||98 oz.||34 oz.
|Portafilter||Equipped with a pressurized stainless steel with plastic cased portafilter, it will help you pull ideal shots no matter what grind you use. However, the quality of this portafilter is more basic than the sleek portafilter that comes with the Black Via Venezia.||The Black Via Venezia comes with a sleek upgraded look to the heavy metal portafilter, however you’ll find the stainless steel version to have the same basic portafilter as the Aromas.
||Functions as well as both the Aroma and Venezia portafilters, you’ll find that the quality of the Poemia is not as sturdy. Made of aluminum wrapped in a plastic case, it will still do the job.|
As you know, it doesn’t take much to make us happy, but something we love more than anything is when a manufacturer gets a little bit crazy with its bad self and releases a piece of equipment unlike others we have tested. DeLonghi’s new EC860 is a sort of hybrid between traditional espresso machines and their robotic counterparts, featuring standard espresso extraction with the option to automatically froth the milk.
Watch as Gail talks to us about its features, then demonstrates shot extraction, frothing with the wand and making a one-touch (aside from all the touching involved with grinding and tamping, of course!) cappuccino with its automatic frothing option.
If you drop serious coin on your home espresso setup, will there be a practical performance difference? What if you spend more on your espresso machine than your grinder or vice versa?
We asked Gail to test out an entry level (Capresso Infinity) and a prosumer (Mazzer Mini E) grinder with an entry level (Krups XP5280) and prosumer (Rocket Giotto Evoluzione V2) espresso machine to see how they compare. Do you get a better shot using a high end grinder with an entry level machine? What about an entry level grinder with a high end machine?
Watch and find out!
It’s the little espresso machine that could! Saeco’s newest small single boiler espresso machine takes design queues from their Xelsis-era of machines and functional queues from the tried-and-true Via Venezia and Aroma.
Watch Gail take us through features, show us how it works and then talk to us about how it compares to its predecessors.
Time for a side by side grudge match with two of our favorites! We’ve collected some basic feature information on the Rancilio Silvia and Crossland CC1 so you can see how they measure up against each other.
For the Rancilio Silvia, we noted the stock functionality as well as the functionality you’ll gain if you upgrade it with a PID (a roughly $200 additional expense).
|Feature||Rancilio Silvia||Crossland CC1|
Watch as Gail takes us through the features and functionality of the EC702, a single boiler with a simple interface and metal case.
Our long love affair with Rocket Espresso has been taken to a higher level with their newest addition, the R58 dual boiler espresso machine. Featuring separate, insulated copper steam & brew boilers and a removable PID interface to control the steam boiler on/off, brew boiler temperature and the water source (either the internal water reservoir or plumbed-in), the R58 also has a dashing case design and a beautiful stainless steel cup surround.
Seriously, we’re not sure if it can get much better. We need a moment. While we collect ourselves, check out Gail’s from box-to-cappuccino introduction to the R58.
While we have carried a bottomless portafilter for E61 brew heads that also did work fairly well in the Rancilio Silvia’s brew head, it didn’t seal quite as we might like and so there was often a little bit of water leakage over the top that really was just gauche.
Rancilio released their own version for their commercial machines that fits the Silvia, so we gave it a test drive. We did notice a bit of water leaking over the top, but nothing like the former model. And the spurting/spraying/mini-geysers? There were a few present in Gail’s extraction — more of a fine mist — but that’s just a result of channeling, baby.
Wanna see it in action? Watch Gail demonstrate it on our store’s PID-enhanced Silvia.
- Premium Plus — both the Giotto and Cellini models will now have dual manometers, one for the steam boiler and one for the brew head. The boiler has also been insulated to decrease recovery time between shots or steaming.
- Evoluzione — since the Giotto and Cellini versions already had dual manometers, their background color will be changed to differentiate them from their PP counterparts and the boilers will also be insulated.
Both models will also feature an upgraded stock tamper, as well.
Watch Gail walk us through these new models and demonstrate making a latte.
For folks that dig precision, a dual boiler espresso machine with PID temperature control of the brew boiler is hard to beat. While we tend to shoot from the hip in general around here, that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a shot pulled from one of these beauties!
We asked Gail to pull shots from the Izzo Alex Duetto II, La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi and Breville Dual Boiler so that we could see how they compare. No science at work here, friends (hey, old habits die hard!), but we did use the same grinder for each machine (the Nuova Simonelli MCI), coffee (Lavazza Super Crema) and brew temp (199F) to try to nail down a few of the variables.
Watch as we taste and discuss the shots from each of these machines, then rank them in terms of our favorites, flavor-wise.