Saeco Espresso Machines
Semi-Automatic ModelsSaeco is best known for manufacturing super automatic espresso machines, but they also offer a few solid semi-automatic espresso machines. Here we will talk about two popular models that make good espresso at a very decent price.
Saeco Aroma Espresso Machine
Saeco Aroma machine is a high quality espresso machine that is best suited to people who want a semi-automatic machine that is easy to use. There is nothing overly fancy about this machine. Its design and looks are very standard, so it will neither create a conversation piece nor detract greatly from the looks of your kitchen.
The machine comes with a pressurized portafilter that makes brewing espresso pretty fool-proof. With a pressurized portafilter you do not need to tamp the coffee and you don't need to be as precise with the grind as you would have to be otherwise. So, the learning curve is greatly reduced.
The portafilter is also pod-adaptable so if you are interested in saving a little time and mess by making your espresso with pods, that is an option here.
The downside is that you don't have much control over the brewing process - the fineness of the grind is pretty much the only thing that you can change. So if you are into making the best possible shot of espresso then this machine is not for you. But if all you want is consistently good shots day after day then Saeco Aroma will give you just that. Most users rate the quality of the espresso drinks to be the same or better than Starbucks or similar coffee shops.
One special feature is the Pannarello frothing tip on the steam wand, which helps you to make great steamed milk every time even if you don't have any experience. For the pickiest latte drinkers, it is difficult to achieve absolutely perfect foam with the frothing tip, but for most people it will work great. If you are after producing a perfect microfoam, there is always an option to remove the Pannarello tip and steam the milk the hard way.
All in all, Saeco Aroma is great espresso machine for those who like good espresso without having to spend a lot of time learning how to make it. It is very popular because it makes quality beverages and you can get it rather cheap for under $300.
Saeco Magic Espresso Machine
The Saeco Magic espresso machine is a step up in convenience from the Aroma model. The process for making espresso shots is essentially the same as the Aroma machine, the portafilter is pressurized, and the machine can be used with espresso pods to save on time and mess.
The feature that distinguishes the two machines is the automatic milk frothing system of the Magic machine. The system is called Cappuccinatore and involves a small milk tank attached to the side of the machine that automatically makes perfectly foamed milk for cappuccinos while your espresso shots are pulling. Should you not want to use Cappuccinatore and steam your milk manually instead: there is steam wand with Pannarello frother just like on the Aroma machine.
If want to make cappuccinos and lattes without much hassle, consider the Saeco Magic machine for your first espresso machine. The price is around $350, but you may pick one up for $300 if you find a good deal.
No matter which Saeco espresso machine tickles your fancy, you will find a good quality espresso machine for a reasonable price. These machines may not be suitable for the most picky espresso drinkers, but for an espresso drinker who wants a consistently good shot of caffeine in the morning, these Saeco espresso machines will get the job done very well.
Further ReadingSaeco Espresso Machine: Super Automatic Models
Saeco Villa and Saeco Odea