Saeco PicoBaristo Super-Automatic Espresso Machine Review

At this time I am required to give a fond farewell to the Philips Saeco Vienna. If you have arrived at this page searching for the Saeco Vienna, please make note that although you may be able to find a used Vienna somewhere, that particular model of espresso machine has officially been retired by Saeco and is no longer available as a new purchase.

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I would, however, like to give a warm welcome to the new counterpart of the retired Saeco Vienna, the PicoBaristo super-automatic espresso machine, also made by Saeco. If it is a high-end super-automatic machine you want or need, the PicoBaristo is definitely a great contender! Although the price of this machine is much higher than many other machines, you will easily be able to make it worth that price if you find yourself currently stopping by your local Starbucks on a daily basis, as those daily coffee shop lattes can add up very quickly at $5 or $6 a pop!

This home espresso maker features the same much-loved “bean-to-cup” capability that the Vienna provided. Bean-to-cup is a feature that allows you to add your whole, unground coffee beans into the machine, prior to grinding them. The beans are then ground as part of the brewing process after you have added water to the machine. In other words, with this machine, you don’t need a separate grinder taking up more room on your counter space, as the bean hopper (holder) is located within the machine itself. This bean-to-cup feature allows for a more streamlined espresso brewing process.

I have provided many details (both good and bad) regarding the PicoBaristo below, which are based on my actual use of this machine.

However, if you’re in a hurry or just don’t want to take time to weed through the info. below, you can view additional details at Amazon by clicking here.

Brief Summary…Things That I Like About This Machine

  • Capability of making latte, cappuccino, and machiatto beverages.
  • Grinders that are 100% ceramic, which I absolutely loved! Metal and even stainless-steel grinders heat up and can cause the coffee to taste burnt, but you won’t have this happen with ceramic grinders, which stay cool at all times.
  • Programmable features for brew length and strength, with 10 different grinder settings.
  • Hot water option allows for making other beverages such as tea or hot cocoa.
  • The warranty for a full year was much appreciated.
  • After a somewhat short learning curve, I found that I was able to brew up some awesome beverages.
  • Stainless-steel exterior looks great in any kitchen.
  • Maintenance of this machine is much easier than most other machines…the drip tray and the bin for used grounds both slide out easily.
  • There is a filter that comes with this machine that lets the user avoid descaling for approximately 5,000 uses of the machine. Additionally, these filters can be purchased separately at about $25 each, which is much better than having to go through a descaling process every month or two, although you will need to descale after about 5,000 uses.
  • A milk carafe, scoop, and coffee bean holder are included with the machine.
  • Removable brew group allows for easy clean-up, and is even dishwasher safe.
  • The boiler in this machine heats very quickly…almost instantaneously.
  • Once you have figured out your preferred brew settings, the machine remembers them for you.

Summary of Things I Don’t Like

  • When I first used the brand-new machine, there was a “plasticy” taste (a taste similar to plastic) that was integrated into my finished brews. This plasticy taste went away after about two weeks.
  • As far as I could determine, this machine does not have the ability to brew good ol’ “regular coffee.”
  • There is no option available for hooking this machine up to a water line, and requires manual filling of the reservoir.
  •  Although this machine does have a stainless-steel exterior, many interior parts are made of plastic (other than the ceramic grinders).
  • Out of the box, there is some set-up required.

Product Description

Consider the Saeco PicoBaristo super-automatic espresso machine if you are searching for one of the top-rated super-automatic home espresso machines. This machine is a great value for the price, as it is very super-automatic. If you are searching for a super-automatic home espresso machine, definitely add this to the top of your list. Your travels to the local coffee shop can be a distant memory when you use this one.

Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

This machine is in the super-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Programmable Options

Programmable features that come with this machine ensure that once you have figured out your preferred settings, they will be remembered with just the push of a button.

Ease of Use

Because it is a super-automatic machine, it is easy to use once you have learned how the controls work.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

As with all super-automatic home espresso makers, your boundaries are boundless when it comes to choosing which home espresso recipe to serve, to either yourself or your guests, including espressos, mochas, macchiatos, and more.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

The Vienna Saeco does not utilize capsules or pods. It instead offers a built-in conical burr grinder that can be set for fine, coarse, or in between — your choice!

If you are, in fact, searching for a machine that uses today’s popular pods/capsules, such as those used with all of the Nespresso machines, consider either the Nespresso Citiz Bundle or the Nespresso Pixie.

There are even machines available that utilize pre-ground coffee and/or capsules. If this is what you think you might be searching for, the Dedica by DeLonghi would be a great consideration, as this machine gives you your choice of using grounds or pods.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

Yes, it does. The built-in conical burr grinder for this machine has different settings for coarse and fine grinding, allowing you to go from bean to coffee in no time, and with no fuss or mess.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

The frother that is part of this machine gives you rich, yet light froth with every cup brewed.

Does it have a cup warmer?

One drawback found with this one is that it does not have a cup warmer.

If you have your heart set on an espresso machine with a cup warmer, you can check out either the Breville BES870XL espresso machine or the DeLonghi ESAM 3300, which both have cup warmers.

What colors is  this machine available in?

This home espresso maker comes in silver and graphite.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

The casing is made of plastic for this one. If it is a stainless steel exterior (and interior) you are searching for, consider the DeLonghi Dedica which is, in fact, stainless steel inside and out, and is rated one of the top home espresso machines available.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This machine features a stainless-steel boiler.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

No, this machine does not have dual boilers.

Is this machine noisy?

This machine, like most of them, is somewhat noisy, particularly when the machine is tamping the coffee grounds (extracting water through the grounds).

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What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

With this machine comes 15 bars of pump pressure.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

The Vienna has a 57-ounce water tank, which is one of the larger water tanks available on home espresso machines.

Is the water tank easy to access?

The water reservoir is on the back of the machine and is refillable by either removing it from the machine or filling it from the top.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

mrcoffee2With the removable drip tray, dreg drawer, and 57-ounce water tank, both the use and cleaning are very easy. The many detachable components of this machine ensure very simple cleaning and maintenance.

This machine has what is called a removable “brew group,” which means you can also remove the interior parts of the machine, such as the boiler, for much easier cleaning.

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine weighs 21 pounds.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

Measures 14 by 15 by 15-1/2 inches.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

Shipping is free if you are an Amazon Prime Member.

A 1-year limited warranty is included with this machine.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This machine is powered with 1,250 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • The milk frother was commented on as being absolutely wonderful, and producing very rich, creamy froth.
  • This machine was also noted by customers to have excellent extraction ability.

Cons 

  • Inability to handle large quantities of coffee beans quickly.
  • Water tank needs to be filled up about every three days if you are a person who makes two beverages per day.
  • There is no indicator to let you know when the spent grounds container is full. Therefore, you will need to keep an eye on this.

DeLonghi Dedica EC680 Review / The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly!

DeLonghi Dedica Espresso Machine Review

The DeLonghi Dedica is a great home espresso machine for someone who has little or no experience making espresso at home.

Although this machine is placed by the manufacturer (DeLonghi) into the semi-automatic espresso machine classification rather than automatic or super-automatic, it truly does work pretty much like an automatic for brewing up wonderfully tasty and aromatic espresso beverages!

Just some of the great features I like about this machine include the ease of use, the very affordable price as compared to other machines available, its compact size making it able to “fit” on virtually any counter top, its appealing and durable stainless-steel construction, and the ability to brew one or two shots at a time.

Below is my detailed, thorough, honest, and unbiased review of virtually all the features of this espresso maker, after having used this machine for about two months. Additionally, if you want just a really quick review, below are lists of the pros and cons wrapped up in a nutshell. If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to review any of the information below, you can also quickly get additional information about this espresso machine at Amazon.

What Else I Like About This Machine

  • Steamer wand included which makes high-quality froth
  • Quick shut-off time for safety
  • Uses ground coffee or pods…your choice
  • Fast water heat-up time of about 40 seconds
  • Consistently good shots can be had with this machine

What I Don’t Like

  • The included tamper is of low quality…you might want to consider buying a separate tamper if you do decide to give this one a try.
  • Fast shut-off time, which is sometimes too fast
  • Beginners will need to learn how to “froth” milk correctly
  • Single brews are 2 oz. maximum
  • The machine is somewhat noisy
  • Power cord is only 3 feet in length
  • Slow descaling (cleaning) time
  • Not as much “choice” in machine settings, for those who are accustomed to more complicated machines

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Very Affordable

If you have been looking around and comparing prices, and then letting loose some heavy gasps and/or groans when you have seen the prices of most of the machines available, you will be relieved to learn that the DeLonghi Dedica is, by far, one of the most affordable home espresso makers you will be able to find.

If you are tired of paying upwards of $5 or $6 per day for a cup of espresso at your local Starbucks and/or are weary of all the espresso makers available that are in a much higher price range, this machine would be a great alternative.

Incredibly Small Size Fits on Virtually Any Countertop

If you are one of the many people who has put off buying a home espresso machine because of the large size of most of them out there, consider the DeLonghi Dedica. Measuring in at just 15.8 inches deep x 15.8 inches wide x 15.0 inches tall, it basically fits on any countertop, as well as under standard above-counter cupboards.

Very Easy to Use

The DeLonghi Dedica EC680 is an excellent machine to consider if you are looking for a beginner machine and have never made espresso before, but want to learn how to make traditional espresso beverages in the comfort of your own home.

This machine does brew excellent espresso while at the same time requiring the home barista to not have to know about the different variations required of more advanced machines, such as the grind of the coffee, optimum temperature, and other variations that need to be addressed with more complicated machines.

The DeLonghi Dedica EC680 is probably the very best choice for you if you have not made espresso before and want a great intro. to making espresso at home.

There will be somewhat of a learning curve for a beginner, but much less of a learning process than most of the other machines out there.

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Read This Only If You Are An Experienced Home Barista…

If you are already a seasoned espresso brewer who knows the basics, or more, about making espresso, I would definitely recommend against this machine as a top consideration for you unless you are looking for a simpler machine than you have used before, that will give you a quick, easy brew when you want one.

Although this DeLonghi does make great espresso, if you have some experience messing with things such as machine settings and different grinds of coffee, you will probably want a machine that has more options available for variations in setting these types of things unless, of course, you are wanting to switch to a less complicated machine. The Dedica brews basic, although delicious espresso while at the same time minimizing the need to know a lot about different settings involved with advanced espresso making.

Some Clean-Up After Use Is Needed

You will need to be prepared for some clean-up after brewing. If you want something more super-auto and self-contained, which will prevent the need for as much clean-up, then consider a machine other than the Dedica. Clean-up with the Dedica will involve wiping up any spilled grounds and water. Most machines are going to require at least some clean-up.

Cup Warmer Works, Although Not Instantaneously

Although the Dedica does boast a cup warmer on the top of the machine that does actually warm cups, I did notice when I used this machine that there is a wait time before warming of cups begins. The boiler must first become heated, as the boiler is the part of the machine that warms the cups; therefore,  cup warming is not instantaneous.

Be Warned…Milk Frothing Does Take Some Practice!

As with virtually any espresso machine, whether it be commercial or for home use, some practice by the user is needed to correctly froth milk to that glorious creamy texture that espresso aficionados expect. For specifics regarding the correct technique for frothing milk, here is a great resource.

You May Want to Consider Some Separate Accessories

The Dedica does come complete with all needed components (other than the coffee) to brew espresso, and although it does have the capability to use pre-made coffee “pods,” it is highly recommended that you consider purchasing a good burr grinder, and possibly even a puck remover (used to remove the “puck” of grounds from the portafilter after brewing) if you are considering using ground coffee rather than pods.

Additionally, although there is a very low-quality plastic “tamper” included on the end of the coffee grounds measuring spoon that comes with the machine, although you would be best to consider investing in a more high quality tamper. (A tamper “tamps” [compresses] the grounds in the machine just prior to brewing.) A good-quality tamper is very important in brewing espresso.

We also want to bring up one other accessory you might want to consider if you are considering this machine…a separate frother. Although many people who have used the frothing wand on this machine have been completely happy with it, there are others who felt the wand was not long enough to sufficiently foam milk.

Brews One or Two Shots At a Time

This machine gives you the choice of brewing either one or two shots of espresso at a time, the choice is yours, whether you want both shots for yourself, or you actually want to share! So, if you have an espresso “buddy” you like to drink espresso with, rest assured that both cups will be served to each of you at the same temperature.

Quick Heat-Up Time

If it’s quick heating time you want in an espresso machine, this DeLonghi has a very quick heat-up time of 40 seconds because of the thermoblock technology it uses for heating the water.

Thermoblock technology replaces the need to heat up the entire “boiler” (container) of water, and instead draws the water out of the container into a coil, where the water is heated. Heating the water in a thin coil allows for much faster heating times.

Other Things You Should Know About

Single Brew Amount

The machine only holds enough grounds for a 2-ounce shot. If you are someone who wants your single shots to be 3 or 4 ounces, you will need to do your first brew, refill the portafilter (coffee ground holder), and run a second brew to add to the first.

Noise Level

The DeLonghi Dedica is, like most home espresso machines, somewhat noisy, so if it is your plan to arise and start brewing in the early morning hours, particularly on weekends or other days off when others are still snoozing, then do be aware that there is some noise involved during the operation of this machine.

Power Cord Specifics

The power cord on this machine is 3 feet long. This should be sufficient for most people, although if you are needing a longer cord to reach your power source, just be aware that the one on this machine is only 3 feet and you would need to utilize an extension cord or possibly a power strip.

Additionally, unlike most kitchen appliances, the plug at the end of the cord for this machine is a 2-prong rather than a 3-prong cord. If you prefer a machine that has a plug with 3 prongs, this may not be the machine for you.

Slow Descaling (Cleaning) Time

One thing you will need to be able to “deal with” when it comes to this machine is the very slow process when you are cleaning the interior parts of it.

Descaling is performed exactly as it is with vinegar and water in a normal drip coffee machine, by running a cleaning (descaling) product through the inside of the EC680, which takes an estimated 10 to 15 minutes. You then need to run another round with plain water to remove the descaling product.

Automatic Sleep Mode

For safety, the Dedica EC680 has an automatic sleep mode that programs the machine to shut off after 9 minutes of operation. Someone wanting to make many beverages in a row may find this cumbersome, as the button to bring the machine out of “sleep” will need to be pushed every 9 minutes.

However, the sleep mode time can be adjusted, and instructions are provided with the included manual.

We would like to add, however, that if you plan on brewing many cups of espresso at a time, you would probably be best served by choosing a higher capacity machine than the DeLonghi Dedica.

The Need to “Seat” the Water Tank Correctly

The Dedica EC680 has had problems with people getting it ready to brew and it then making the appropriate noises that sound like it is brewing, with nothing coming out. Another associated problem is the appearance that the machine leaks when the brewing process is started.

Both of these problems are related to the user not “seating” the water container correctly into the machine. This problem is solved by simply making sure all points of contact are correctly seated and well-sealed. Normally, pressing down firmly on the water tank does the trick.

See the DeLonghi Dedica in Action…

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My Conclusion…

In summary, the DeLonghi Dedica is an excellent choice for someone who wants to make espresso at home affordably, as well as those who are beginners wanting to dip their toes into the world of espresso making, but don’t want to be required to have knowledge about getting the perfect grind, the optimum water temperature, and other settings that need to be learned with more advanced machines.

Although it will require a small learning curve and there will be some required clean-up after brewing, it is, all in all, a great machine for a beginning home barista to consider.

This machine will, with some practice, allow you to draw consistently good shots every time you use it, and its fast heat-up time of 40 seconds means you won’t be waiting around for long.

However, if you are already an espresso aficionado who knows the basics, and beyond, of making espresso, whether it be at a business or in your home, you likely have already developed specific tastes and preferences that you want to be able to accomplish. Because there are not a lot of available options for changing settings on this machine, you likely will want to consider a more advanced machine that will allow you to program your preferences.

Philips Saeco Intelia One-Touch Cappuccino Review

Philips Saeco Intelia Review

The Philips Saeco Intelia is a higher-end super-automatic home espresso machine that boasts the ability to basically do everything for you, including grinding the beans in a “beans-to-brew” process within the machine. It does not have the ability to utilize coffee “pods,” so if you are searching for a machine that uses those, then this machine likely is not one you would want to consider.

This machine also has a built-in Quick Heat Boiler, so if it’s a machine with a fast process from start to finish that you are looking for, this one definitely fits that bill.

 

Do you enjoy a variety of different espresso beverages? If so, the Philips Saeco Intelia boasts the ability to brew up espresso, cappuccino, and many other coffee beverages.

If you are a beginning home barista who has never brewed up an espresso type of beverage at home, rest assured that you will be able to brew your own espresso beverages with just a very small learning curve.

 

 

Top Features include:

  • Super-automatic machine that is very easy to use.
  • Fully programmable options provide you with complete control over espresso flavor strength, water temperature, auto cleaning/descaling, different cup sizes, and more.
  • Coffee bean grinder built right into the machine, for the freshest espresso flavor possible.
  • Ease of use and clean-up.
  • Constructed of durable, long-lasting, high-quality materials.

FEATURES

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Machine Classification

This machine is in the super-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Info. Regarding Programmability

This one has fully programmable features, including adjustable coffee strength and temperature, cappuccino making capability with just one touch, and automatic rinsing and descaling/cleaning, just to name a few. Also included is a programmable feature for adjusting the espresso brewing to your particular taste, and programming options for different cup sizes.

Ease of Use

Because of all of its super-automatic features, this machine is very simple to use. Many customers who have used this machine and gone back to write a review have praised the ease with which they were able to be up and running, making espresso from home.

Beverage Types That Can Be Made With This Machine

This machine has the ability to make all types of cappuccinos, lattes, and espressos. Basically anything you can order at your local Starbucks or other coffee shop can be made with this machine, provided you have a good recipe book.

Cup-Height Clearance Information

This machine allows for cup height clearance of about 4.25 inches (in other words, a coffee mug or espresso cup that is no more than 4.25 inches in height). This clearance amount is much greater than the allowance that a large number of machines available provide, which oftentimes is only 2.5 inches.

Info. Regarding Use of Pods Or Grounds

This machine utilizes either coffee beans or pre-ground coffee. It does not use pods/capsules.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

This home espresso brewer has a built-in ceramic grinder. Ceramic, as opposed to stainless steel or metallic grinders, allows for greater preservation of coffee bean aroma and flavor. Ceramic also prevents that “burnt coffee” taste that some machines produce from their metal grinders. The machine has five different grind settings, from very fine to coarse.

If you are not interested in a machine that has a built-in grinder and perhaps instead are looking for a home espresso machine that uses capsules, Nespresso has a great selection of just these machines. A great consideration would be the Nespresso Citiz with Milk Aeroccino Frother.

Bean Hopper Information

The coffee bean hopper in this homemade espresso machine allows for 300 grams (10.5 ounces) of coffee beans, which is sufficient for about ten servings.

LCD Display Info.

This Philips espresso machine has a great front panel LCD display, as well as many different programmable buttons.

Frothing Capability Information

Milk frothing with the Philips Saeco Intelia is completely automated, based on the patented dual chamber milk carafe. All that is required is for you to pour milk into the milk carafe, insert it in at the front of the machine, and choose which coffee beverage you want to have. Because of this dual chamber feature, you can be guaranteed professional quality espresso beverages with thick, creamy, and long-lasting froth at an optimum temperature.

Brew Time Length Of This Machine

The actual length of brew time was not determined. However, as with most of the higher quality home espresso machines, the wait time is far less than waiting for a pot of coffee to brew.

Single or Double Shots

One or two cups at a time can be made. The quick-heat boiler technology allows for brewing cup after cup with no wait time in between. Thus, you can quickly brew up several espresso beverages, one right after the other, without worrying about losing heat with the first cup you have brewed.

Info. Regarding Cup Warmer

There is no cup warmer with this machine. If you are interested in getting a home espresso maker with a cup warmer, consider the DeLonghi ESAM 3300 Magnifica, which does have a cup warming tray.

Available Machine Colors

This machine comes in a black and silver combo, which fits in with pretty much all kitchen decor. It is not available in any other colors.

One great home espresso maker that is available in silver, red, and black is the Breville BES870XL.

Machine Casing (Housing)

The housing of this machine is constructed of a stainless steel front panel, grid, and cup holder, and ABS Thermoplastic on the sides and rear side.

If it is something that has more metal/steel in it that you are looking for, consider the Dedica EC680 by DeLonghi, which has a completely stainless steel exterior, as well as all stainless steel interior components.

Water Heating System Info.

This home espresso maker has a stainless-steel boiler. Because the boiler is stainless steel, it is BPA safe.

Boiler Info.

This machine has a single boiler that has a rapid steam production capacity.

Noise Level Of This Machine

Because this home espresso machine has built-in grinding capability, there will be some noise when the beans are grinding.

You should be aware that there is some noise involved with virtually all home espresso machines, more than you would find with a standard coffee brewer.

Bar-Pump Pressure Information

This machine has 15 bars of pump pressure.

Water Reservoir Size

This machine has a 1.5 liter (50.7 ounces) water tank size.

Water Reservoir Ease of Access Info.

The water tank is easily removable from the front of the machine, so you are not required to slide the machine out from underneath your cupboards.

Machine Clean-Up Information

This product has auto programming for cleaning and descaling (removal of water mineral build-up). All you need to do is add water and descaling solution, and then push a button or two.

The removable drip tray and milk frother are dishwasher safe, allowing for easy clean-up of these parts.

Machine Weight

This product weighs 19 pounds.

If it is something more lightweight that you are searching for, check out one of the Nespressos at this site. The Nespresso CitiZ Milk Aerocchino Plus Frother, which weighs in at a mere 10 pounds, although not the lightest weight of the Nespressos, definitely falls into the lightweight category.

Machine Dimensions

This home espresso maker measures in at 13.4 x 10.1 x 17.5 inches.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

Shipping weight is 23.8 pounds. If you are an Amazon Prime member, shipping is free for this product.

This machine has a one-year warranty.

Machine Wattage Information

The Philips Saeco Intelia operates off of 1900 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Philips Saeco Intelia One-Touch Cappuccino Review

Below are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • No guesswork – one customer noted that there was no guesswork needed to make excellent cappuccinos each and every time.
  • Noise level – although we did find one customer who said the grinder in this machine was noisy, another said it was much quieter than another previous machine owned by that customer.
  • Appearance – The Philips Saeco Intelia is held in high esteem as far as looking great on counter tops, as well as its compactness.

Cons

  • Noise level – one customer at the Philips Saeco site reported that this machine was very noisy. Although grinding of coffee beans does make some noise, the customer was encouraged to explore whether maybe something had become stuck, such as a pebble or a piece of wood.
  • Cup Height Accommodation – one customer advised that they felt the spout was not able to accommodate tall enough cups.
  • Cost of Filters was considered pricey – however, using filtered water will greatly decrease the need to change the filter.
  • Beans feeding into the grinder was also a problem with some first user, which soon was resolved by removing the plastic protective shield used for shipment..
  • Inconsistency regarding coffee bean type used – one customer made mention that this machine was very “picky” as far as the types of beans that would grind effectively in this machine. Note that most machines that have built-in grinders do not tolerate really oily coffee beans very well, and you are better off using a less oily bean, such as a medium roast, rather than a dark roast, which tends to be oiler.

Nuova Simonelli Oscar Espresso Machine Review

Nuova Simonelli Oscar Review

This one-group semi-automatic Oscar Nuova Simonelli machine arrives packaged into a gorgeous, lustrous design that produces, in a nutshell, absolutely incredible espresso. Features include commercial-grade components which include durable, longlasting brew group made of marine-quality brass and an extremely efficient 2.3-liter heat exchange boiler system. Another feature that sets this machine apart from most of the others is the heat exchanger in this one, which enables brewing espresso and steaming/frothing the milk simultaneously.

Product Description

Read this Nuova Simonelli Oscar espresso machine review if you are searching for a great espresso maker that is fully capable of making all of the espresso beverages that your local Starbucks or other coffee shop can, as well as one that allows you to brew beverages with the same quality you get from your local barista.

Top features include its ability to froth milk and brew espresso at the same time, durable construction made to last many years, and ease of use, as reported by customers who have bought and used this workhorse!

One customer even reported having this machine for 8-1/2 years and using it for their customers before needing to purchase another one.

FEATURES

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Is this machine in the Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

This machine is in the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Is this machine programmable?

No, this machine has no programmable options. It is operated with a series of front panel push buttons.

One customer commented that although there are not the “bells and whistles” on this machine that there are on some of the super-automatics available, this machine produces fantastic, precise shots and great froth, at the same time, each time a beverage is brewed.

Another customer praised the labeled status lights on this machine, which they felt left no question as to what “status” the machine was at.

Is this machine easy to use?

Although dosing and tamping does take some practice if you are new to espresso making, customers who used this machine reported it really was very simple to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

Nuova Simonelli Oscar Espresso Machine ReviewThis machine makes all types of espresso beverages that you could order at your local coffee shop, including Americanos, lattes, macchiatos, and more!

In addition, one customer reported that the steaming wand also steams water to incredibly hot in about a third of the time it takes to heat up water in the microwave, leaving open the option for a quick cup of tea now and then.

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to three inches tall.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This machine uses only pre-ground coffee.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

No, this machine does not have a built-in grinder. You would need to either purchase/use a separate grinder or buy your coffee pre-ground.

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

Not applicable – espresso machines without built-in grinders do not have bean hoppers.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

No, this machine does not have an LCD display.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

This machine has a stainless-steel, articulating commercial type of frothing wand that produces great froth, once you have the hang of the concept of frothing, which does take some practice if you are new to the world of making your own espresso.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

Although this one apparently takes 25 minutes of warm-up time before being ready to brew, once it has heated the water, the heat exchanger that comes with this machine allows for making brew after brew with no wait time in between.

In addition, we located a tip from a customer who purchased and used this machine, who advised that a great way to heat the water up much faster in this machine is to release the steam after 5 minutes of heating, close up the steam valve, wait another 5 minutes and then it is brew time!

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

This machine can brew either one double shot or two single shots at the same time.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, as with most home espresso makers that have a cup warmer, simply placing the cups on the top of the machine heats them with the heat dispensed out of the top of the machine.

One customer who had purchased this machine reported that the top of this machine works very “decent” as a cup warmer.

What colors is  this machine available in?

 From what we could determine from our research, this machine is available in either black or red.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine is housed in plastic. Also made of plastic are the drip tray and the drip tray cover. One customer made note that because the machine is housed in plastic rather than steel or metal, it weighs much less than some of the ones cased in metal or steel. Plastic is also noted not to show scratches or nicks as easily as stainless steel.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This machine has a copper boiler that is 2.5 liters. Also features a “heat exchange” system to ensure no wait time between beverage brewing, if brewing more than one at a time.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

No, this machine has only one boiler. However, the heat-exchange system built into this machine ensures there will be no waiting between brews, and this heat-exchange system is actually much better than dual boiler machines.

Is this machine noisy?

It was impossible to find any information that told us whether this machine makes a lot of noise. Most home espresso machines, however, do make some noise, so we can only assume that it does make some noise, although likely less than those with built-in grinders.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine offers a 15-bar pump pressure.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

The water reservoir on this machine is 77 ounces.

Is the water tank easy to access?

The water tank on this machine is not removable and is accessed from the top of the machine. This would require the home barista to slide it out from under a cupboard if, in fact, it is stored under a cupboard when not in use.

In addition, one must keep an eye on the water level, as there is no water level indicator or visibility from the outside of the machine.

Lastly, the opening of the water tank on this machine is smaller than most, making it somewhat difficult, although by no means impossible, to refill the water tank.

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine is one of the heavier ones, weighing in at 39 pounds.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This machine measures 21 x 16 x 22 inches.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

This machine has a 2-year warranty.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This machine is powered with 1,200 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Nuova Simonelli Oscar Espresso Machine Review

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • Ease of use.
  • Incredible steaming ability.
  • Although not the cheapest machine you could consider, it is also not anywhere near being the most highly priced. Customers have reported that it is very well-worth the money they have paid for it. For the price, it is an extremely great deal.
  • Provides the home barista with the ability to brew and steam at the same time, which tremendously decreases the actual time spent brewing.
  • The incredibly sturdy construction of this machine ensures it will last for many years.
  • Although the casing of this machine is plastic, note that the plastic it is constructed of is very heavy duty, preventing scratches and nicks like you would get with the machines that are constructed of stainless steel or metal.

Cons

  • Taller coffee mugs do not fit under the spout.
  • There is no way to keep track of the water level in the water tank, other than to open the water tank and look inside.
  • Customers reported that the drip tray could have done well to be larger.
  • No LCD display – many people prefer home espresso machines that have an LCD display, which this one does not.

Elektra MicroCasa a Leva S1C Espresso Machine Review

Elektra Micro Casa Leva Review

If you are interested in a very beautiful and elegant-looking lever home espresso machine that performs excellently, as well as presents with high recommendations regarding the ability to produce great espresso, read this Elektra MicroCasa A Leva S1C espresso machine review to help you decide if this would be a good choice for you to consider.

If it is a genuine Italian-made espresso maker you are considering, the Elektra Microcasa would fit right into that bill. Also important to note is that Italian-made espresso machines are highly regarded as being the most authentic and high quality home espresso machines available.

Product Description

Read this Elektra MicroCasa a Leva S1C espresso machine review if you are searching for an espresso machine that is perfect for making exceptional espresso in the comfort of your own home.

If it is a genuine Italian-made espresso maker you are considering, the Elektra Microcasa would fit right into that bill. Also important to note is that Italian-made espresso machines are highly regarded as being the most authentic and high quality home espresso machines available.

The built-in thermostat prevents a “meltdown” if the machine is inadvertently operated with no water in the boiler, which is a definite possibility.

Additionally, this machine has an internal pressure regulator, for automatic temperature regulation.

Other features include:

  • A durable brass boiler that emits extraordinarily dry steam for creating perfect micro foam each and every time.
  • A very quiet noise level so those snoozing later than you in the morning won’t be disturbed by your early morning espresso making.
  • A spring-operated lever, which allows for consistent pump pressure at each point of the lever, from one pull to the next.
  • An absolutely stunning and gorgeous chrome finish, in addition to wooden handles and a large brass eagle situated on the dome.
  • The water level in the boiler of this machine is always visible, thanks to the water level sight glass.

For now, read on to discover the features that truly put this machine at the top of its class.

  • This machine is praised for its incredibly low noise level, great for those early mornings when you are up but others are still snoozing.
  • It also has a built-in thermostat to prevent the heating element from being damaged if the machine is accidentally run without having water in it.
  • Also built in to this machine is an internal pressure regulator, for exceptional regulation of water temperature.
  • The Elektra MicroCasa a Leva is an incredibly durable home espresso machine that is definitely built to last many, many years.

FEATURES

Product Details – This Page (Click Ahead!) [show]

Info. Regarding Use of Pods, Grounds, or Both

This machine uses ground coffee only, and does not use E.S.E. pods/capsules.

Easy to Use?

Because this machine is classified as a manual (more commonly called a lever) espresso machine, some knowledge of making espresso is either already required or needs to be learned in order for someone to be successful at using one and making optimal espresso. Most new users of manual espresso machines normally get quite a number of practice brew cycles under their belts before they will successfully be able to make espresso.

In other words, using this type of espresso machine and successfully brewing top-of-the-line espresso definitely requires lots of practice before success will be seen.

There are two key factors to successfully making espresso with a lever espresso machine which, although sometimes difficult to learn can be learned, and include the following:

  • Learning how to correctly grind the coffee beans. Manual espresso machines are very temperamental when it comes to requiring the correct grind coarseness to be able to extract good espresso. If you don’t grind the beans fine enough, you end up with what we call “tea espresso” (very weak espresso that has no flavor). However, if you grind the beans too finely, the water cannot run through and extract the espresso flavor, leaving you with nothing in your cup.
  • Learning how to correctly “tamp” (compress) the ground coffee in the portafilter. This is the other key step to successful espresso brewing in a lever espresso maker. Even if you have discovered the correct grind coarseness, keep in mind that tamping (compressing) the grounds too tightly in the portafilter will result in a big nothing that ends up in your cup, while tamping too loosely will result in that good ol’ “tea espresso” (weak, light-colored espresso) that we mentioned above. Learning the correct compression of the coffee in the portafilter is the other key “ingredient of knowledge” that needs to be learned.

The above are the two key factors that definitely need to be mastered. However, keep in mind that those “in the know” regarding espresso making have commented that this machine is incredibly easy to use compared to some of the other manual/lever home espresso machines available. In other words, if you are new to making espresso with a manual machine but want to learn, this machine would be a good one to consider.

If you do not know what using a manual espresso machine entails, as far as the working parts and the actual use of one, but want to learn more you can find more detailed information here.

Conclusion/Summary about ease of use
  • If you are someone who loves to fiddle and experiment with a new “somethingorother” and does not easily give up until you have learned exactly how to work it correctly, AND you are someone who has never used a manual/lever home espresso machine before, this Elektra espresso machine would probably be a great choice for you.
  • If you are, however, someone who just wants to be able to make your espresso with your new machine virtually right out of the box, and don’t really want to take some time to learn what basically boils down to being an entire new skill, you probably would do much better with a super-auto, or at the very least, semi-automatic espresso machine.
  • Thirdly, if you have previously used a lever espresso machine and are just looking to either replace the one you have or obtain your first home machine, this Elektra home espresso machine would be a great choice for you. Many customers who have used lever machines before and have tried this one have praised the ease of use this one offers as compared to others that are available.

The two primary factors a beginner will have difficulty with are grinding the coffee beans to the correct coarseness/fineness, and the amount of tamping (compression) is required of the ground coffee beans into a portafilter.

Some (probably lots) of practice is more than likely going to be required, which will involve trying different coarseness of grinds, and different amounts of tamping (compressing) the grounds before a good end result will be achieved.

What To Do With A Brand-New One (of these “thangs”)

Although the manufacturer of this machine does not provide truly clear-cut instructions for the first use of this machine, it is definitely a great idea to run a first-time-use “flush” just to clean out any debris that may have ended up inside the machine during production and/or shipping.

This should include wiping down the outside, rinsing and drying the portafilter (where the coffee grounds go), filling the boiler with water, allowing it to heat up, and then running a cycle with plain water.

Necessary Standard Maintenance Info.

Daily Maintenance

With the Elektra MicroCasa a Leva, there is not a ton of daily maintenance that needs to be done, other than that which would be done with any espresso machine, even super-automatics.

Daily clean-up/maintenance includes wiping up any splashes, drips, and spilled grounds, a quick empty of the drip tray at least after every couple uses, and a wipe-down of the outside of the machine to keep that beautiful chrome exterior sparkling clean. In addition, a quick rinse of the portafilter after each use will be the only other task required.

Occasional Maintenance

Most, if not all, lever espresso machines have gaskets that need to occasionally be replaced with new ones. This machine falls into that category, and you should plan on doing a gasket replacement about every one to two years, just to keep the machine running optimally. This is something that you can do yourself at home with the available gasket kits on the market, and should only need to be done, again, once every year or two.

Piston Group Maintenance

The piston group needs cleaning and lubrication periodically. This is done much more easily on this Elektra machine than most others, and requires simply unscrewing two bolts at the top of the piston group, which allows the piston group assembly to slide out, followed by a good cleaning every now and then. Piston group maintenance also requires the moving parts of this device to be lubricated with silicon grease.

Does this machine have a spring lever or direct lever?

This machine has a spring-assisted lever, which makes “pushing” the water through the ground coffee beans somewhat easier than with a direct-lever machine.

If you would like to learn more about the difference between a spring-assisted device vs. a direct-lever device, more detailed info. can be found here. The spring-piston feature does help to provide you with consistent pump pressure with every “pull” of espresso.

Although having a spring-assisted lever means that some of the work is done for you, some knowledge of making espresso is still required.

In addition, although the spring does help with some of the work, the power of the spring requires some people to use both hands for bringing the lever down. The spring has also been known to raise up very quickly after being lowered, and some caution must be used regarding this.

Material Housing (Outside Casing) Information

This machine is finished in all chrome on the outside.

It also features “Bakelite” handles, which are made of very high-heat-resistant plastic.

Drip Tray Information

The drip tray on this machine needs to be emptied fairly frequently. It is smaller than the ones that many espresso machines have, and thus fills up much more quickly than them.

Tamper Information

The tamper needed for this machine is 49 mm.

Milk Frothing Info.

Because the Elektra MicroCasa a Leva S1C produces what is called “dry steam,” this machine allows you to create incredibly wonderful micro-foam.

The milk frothing wand has three holes at the end, which allows for very simple “swirling” of milk that is required to successfully produce great milk froth suitable for things such as latte art. If you are not sure how milk frothers work, here is a great place to check out additional information regarding that topic.

Steam Pressure Information

This machine provides optimum extraction of flavor, starting at 8 bars of pressure that slowly and steadily decrease, for optimal extraction of espresso flavor.

Boiler Pressure Gauge Information

This machine does come with a pressure gauge. Although not an absolutely necessary component to have on a home lever espresso machine, it most definitely is a handy feature to be able to use if desired.

Boiler Capacity Information

This machine has a 61-ounce (1.8 liters) water capacity. In addition, this machine does have a water level indicator, to let you know when water is running low prior to it all being used.

This is one of the larger boilers among lever espresso machines available, and will allow you to brew up approximately eight to nine double shots of espresso, although a few less than that if you plan on steaming milk also.

One very important thing to note about this machine: A lot of these “fancy” lever espresso machines have what we call an “exposed boiler,” meaning that the part of the machine that holds up and heats the water is exposed, with no box cover like you see with many of the semi-auto and super-auto home espresso makers. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that much caution be used with these types of machines that have exposed boilers, as they do become incredibly hot on the outside, and burns can result.

Machine Materials

The sturdy brass boiler in this machine is notorious for giving this machine the capability of producing amazingly dry steam, which allows for much easier creation of micro-foam.

The remainder of the machine is polished chrome.

Information Regarding Heat-Up Time

The heating element in the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva heats up water to brew-ready temperature in approximately 12 minutes’ time.

Machine Dimensions

This machine measures 18 inches high to the top of the machine itself, and when the lever is in the “up” position, the total height of the machine is 19 inches. Other measurements include 10 inches wide and 10 inches deep. This means that it won’t take up a ton of counter space. The round base has a diameter of 10″.

You do need to be aware, however, of how much space is available between the bottom of your cupboards. If there is only the standard 18″ of space available between the counter top and your cupboards, this will be a problem unless you have some available counter top space that has no cupboards above it.

Wattage Information

This machine requires 800 watts of power to operate.

Customer Reviews

Pros — Elektra MicroCasa a Leva S1C Espresso Machine Review

  • Very low noise level compared to most espresso machines.
  • Easier to use than many other lever espresso machines.
  • Absolutely gorgeous design and shiny chrome appearance that will have all of your guests “ooing and ahhing” every time they see it.

Cons

  • As with all manual/lever home espresso machines, this one will require some learning and practice before you will be able to make your desired espresso with it.
  • Some machine maintenance is required, which includes periodically replacing the gaskets and lubricating the moving parts of the piston group.
  • Because the boiler on this machine is exposed on the outside of the machine, possible burns can result due to high temperature. Caution must be used, particularly around small chidren.

Breville The Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL Review

Breville the Oracle Espresso Machine Review

Get in the swing of things during your mornings with Breville the Oracle!

View additional information at Amazon!

If it is genuine coffee shop quality espresso that you are wanting, while at the same time having it in the comfort of your own home, this machine is most definitely a wonderful consideration to add to your list of top home espresso machines available in today’s market.

Product Description

If you have always wanted a manual or semi-automatic espresso machine, due to the quality of the espresso produced by these machines (by someone who was knowledgeable in making them) but were scared off by all of the knowledge you felt you had to acquire prior to being able to decently use it, here is your chance to get quality espresso that tastes and presents like that made with a manual or semi-automatic machine, while at the same time being made by a machine that does it all for you.

Includes completely programmable features; built-in grinding, dosing, and tamping ability; programmable milk frothing capability; and more.

Top Features Include:

  • Tons of programmable features.
  • Great LCD front panel display.
  • Stainless-steel dual boilers and dual Italian pumps.
  • Very large water reservoir at 84 ounces.

FEATURES

Product Details

Is this machine in the Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

Although this machine has been placed into the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines according to its specifications, it truly much more closely resembles a super-automatic espresso maker due to all of the programmable options and auto features available with it.

Is this machine programmable?

Yes, this machine has tons of programmable options, to include milk-texturing (frothing),  shot temperature programming ranging from 190 to 205 degrees, completely customizable settings for beverage preference (i.e., Americano, etc.), automatic on and shut-off features, and much more.

Is this machine easy to use?

This machine is, per customer report, with all of the available programmable options, very easy to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

This machine makes any kind of espresso beverage you would find at your local Starbucks or other coffee house.

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to 4 inches tall. If you prefer a machine that has a taller cup clearance space than this one, consider the DeLonghi Magnifica, which offers up to 6 or 7 inches of cup height clearance, almost an unheard of amount with this type of appliance!

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This machine does not use pods or capsules. It instead uses only coffee beans, which are placed into a hopper that is built in to the machine and fed into the grinder when a cup of espresso is brewed. This guarantees the most fresh espresso, much more so than when using pods or capsules.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

Yes, this machine does have a built-in coffee grinder.

View additional information at Amazon!

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

The bean hopper that is built-in to this machine holds approximately 1/2 pound of your favorite coffee beans.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

Yes, this machine has a wonderful LCD display, as well as numerous buttons for different programmable settings.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

This machine has a fantastic frothing ability that is made so much easier than it is with most other machines. Frothing with the Oracle is actually an automated process from which excellent milk froth can be obtained without a lot of practice and wasted milk.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

Very short brewing time – this machine provides the user with the capability of having two completely finished cappuccinos or other beverage in 90 seconds.

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

There are two spouts that dispense espresso on this machine, thus allowing for either one or two beverages at a time.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, this machine does have a cup warmer. In addition, the cup warmer on this machine heats cups with the use of a heating element, as opposed to most machines in this price range, which normally heat cups with heat generated by the interior heating system.

View additional information at Amazon!

What colors is  this machine available in?

The entire body of this machine is silver. There are no other colors available.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine’s casing is brushed stainless steel.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This home espresso maker has stainless-steel dual boilers that heat the water for brewing espresso while at the same time heating/steaming milk.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

Yes, this machine has dual stainless-steel boilers.

Is this machine noisy?

It was unable to be determined whether this home espresso machine is noisy or not. You should assume that some noise will be generated when the built-in grinder is grinding the coffee beans; however, it is unclear whether noise is generated during brew time.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine has dual Italian pumps for super high pump pressure.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

This machine boasts a huge water reservoir that holds approximately 84 ounces — the largest seen thus far among the reviews at this site.

Is the water tank easy to access?

This machine has one of the most easy-to-access water reservoirs available with today’s home espresso makers, enabling the home barista to add water from the top-front of the machine.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

This machine is incredibly easy to clean, as the machine itself does the work. Features include auto-purge of the steam wand after brewing,

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine weighs approximately 34-35 pounds. Not one of the lighter machines, but definitely one of the more sturdy ones.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This home espresso machine measures 16-1/4 inches wide x 15 inches deep x approximately 18 inches in height.

The bean hopper that sets atop the machine is what makes it 18 inches tall. When the bean hopper is removed, the machine stands approximately 15-1/2 inches tall.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

This machine has a 2-year warranty.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This wattage of this machine is 1,800 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Breville The Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL Review

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • Great automated features – one customer reported that this machine has “superb automation.”
  • Quality of construction – this machine is felt to be constructed very durably and made to last for a number of years.
  • Ease of use – per customer report, this machine is incredibly easy to use.
  • Hot water outlet that is dedicated to dispensing only hot water, for those hot chocolate or tea lovers!

Cons

  • Cost – This definitely is not one of the cheaper home espresso machines.
  • At 34-35 pounds, this machine most definitely is not one of the more lightweight machines available.

Breville BES920XL Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Review

Breville BES900XL Espresso Machine Review
View additional details on Amazon!

Although this machine is classed, even by Breville, into the semi-automatic espresso machine group, its ease of use and ability to produce excellent coffee-house quality espresso makes it much more than just the average semi-automatic espresso maker!

Product Description

If you are looking for a semi-auto home espresso machine that almost seems as if it is super-auto, then read this Breville BES900XL semi-automatic espresso machine review to see if the few things that separate it from the super-auto class will still make it a machine that fits the bill for you.

Just some of the great features of this machine include programmable options, ease of use once learned, and providing the home barista, both seasoned and newbies, with the opportunity to create all types of different espresso beverages, just like those found in local coffee shops.

FEATURES

Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

This machine is in the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Programmable?

Yes. Programming options include volumetric control preset and programmable shot volumes, providing everything even a beginning home barista needs to make customized espresso according to personal preferences, as well as preferences of other. In addition, the programmable aut0-start feature ensures the water will be heated up and ready to roll when you are in the morning. Also includes an auto shut-off feature.

Easy to use?

Although a new user will need to get the hang of the different options available with this machine, once learned it has been reported that this machine is easy to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

This machine basically makes any type of beverage you can order at your local espresso stand. A good espresso recipe book would go a long ways with the purchase of this machine!

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to 3 inches tall.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This machine uses only ground coffee beans, and does not have the capability of using pods or capsules.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

No, this one does not have a built-in grinder. You will need to either grind up your own beans or purchase pre-ground coffee.

Because the grind is very important for obtaining perfect espresso extraction with this machine, it is recommended that the owner of this machine purchase, and learn how to use, a high-quality coffee bean grinder.

View Additional Info. on Amazon!

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

Not applicable – because this machine does not have a built-in grinder, there is no need for a bean hopper, which is used to store beans in the machine just prior to grinding them.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

Yes, it does have an LCD display which shows brew temperature, shot clock, or the time. Also helps the user with shot temperature and volume programming, duration and power of the pre-infusion process, and auto-start feature.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

This machine, by all reports, has fantastic frothing capability. Comes with a 360-degree swiveling commercial-grade frothing wand. A stainless steel frothing jug is also included with the purchase of this machine.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

The time it takes to warm up the water in the machine is 6 minutes. The auto-start programming feature,  however, is an excellent way to avoid having to wait 6 minutes for heat-up in the morning.

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

The double spouts on this machine allow for making either one double-shot beverage or two single-shot beverages.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, this machine has a cup warmer.

What colors is  this machine available in?

Available in stainless steel housing only.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine is housed in plastic and some metal.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This machine features two Italian-made stainless boilers, one for steaming and one for heating water.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

Yes, this machine has dual stainless steel boilers.

Is this machine noisy?

There is some noise involved when using this machine, although there are basically not any that we have found that do not make noise.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine features 15-bar pump pressure via two Italian-made pumps.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

This home espresso maker packs with it an 84-ounce water tank, allowing for brewing of many beverages before needing a refill.

Is the water tank easy to access?

Yes, the water tank is very easy to access, no matter what your preference is. Water tank is either removable or able to be filled from either the top or the rear, depending on the kitchen set-up.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

There is a “clean me” indicator on this machine. Other than the normal descaling process that is required with any appliance that runs water through it, clean-up generally involves a wipe-down, emptying and rinsing of the removable drip tray, and cleaning of the the frothing wand after each use, to prevent milk from drying on it, which is as simple as wiping it with a damp paper towel.

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine is one of the heavier ones available today and weighs in at 30-36 pounds. The reason for this discrepancy (30 vs. 36) is that we found one seller who reported it weighs 30 pounds and another who reported it weighs 36. Either way, this is definitely one of the heavier machines when it comes to home espresso machines.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This machine measures 16-1/4″ x 15″ x 15″.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

This machine has a one-year warranty.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This machine is powered with 1,700 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • One customer reported their opinion that this is the “Lamborghini” of home espresso machines…enough said!
  • Although the weight of the machines is considered by some to be a drawback, there is a wheel on the bottom of the machine that can be released and lowered, for ease in moving the machine across a countertop.
  • One customer who purchased this machine came back to Amazon and provided updates every few months. The time span of these updates was from 2011 up to February 2014, at which point that customer advised that it still was working wonderfully.

 Cons

  • One customer reported on the large size of the machine and difficulty finding counter space for it. Therefore, if you don’t have a lot of counter space, this likely would not be a good choice for you.
  • One customer commented that this most definitely is a semi-automatic class espresso machine. Although it does have lots of programmable features, you do need to ensure that all of the features are set to preference in order to pull a good espresso to preference.
  • You likely will need to also purchase a good coffee bean grinder for this machine. The level of grind used with this home espresso maker can be the difference between making producing superior vs. non-superior espresso.

Rancilio HSD-Silvia V3 Silvia Espresso Machine Review

Rancilio HSD Silvia Review

Some of the great features of this home espresso machine include its articulating steam wand, ability to produce a great number of different espresso beverages just like those you can get at your local coffee shops, and a relatively short complete brew time of about 3.5 minutes.

Features include:

  • Industrial-quality head for exceptional water heat stability and premium extraction quality.
  • Ergonomic 58-mm porta-filters, which also provides the home barista with outstanding extraction of coffee from grounds. The porta-filters that come with this machine are the same ones used with Rancilio industrial espresso makers.

The prominent and traditional design of this semi-auto espresso maker has been constructed to last. Its solid linear design has been constructed of an iron framework, as well as stainless-steel side panels, in keeping with the commercial quality that the Rancilio Team always provides for outstanding heat stability, as well as premium extraction of high-quality espresso beverages.

Product Description

Read this Rancilio HSD-Silvia V3 Silvia espresso machine review if you have been considering a machine that is very sturdily constructed of iron framework and stainless steel side panels, designed to last for many years.

The trademarked 58mm portafilter provides for outstanding tamping of grounds and extraction of flavor, and this type of portafilter is the same that is utilized on the Rancilio industrial espresso machines used by professional baristas.

Although the Silvia has just a single boiler, this boiler holds the largest volume of water than any other in its classification of machine, by holding at one time a whopping 0.3 liters (12 ounces) of water. In addition, the other exceptional quality of this boiler is that it is brass with a chrome-plated exterior, which generates superior steam power and exceptional recovery time in between espresso shots.

In addition, the 2-quart water storage tank can be refilled either by removing it and refilling it at the sink, or filled up while still affixed to the machine via the top of the machine at any point throughout the espresso-brewing process.

Additionally, the Rancilio Silvia showcases an articulating stainless-steel steam wand allowing for total range of movement for frothing milk with the best result imaginable.

Steaming power is controlled with the steam knob which has been designed with the commercial industry in mind.

Also arrives with a 7-gram scoop for measuring coffee, a plastic tamper, and filter baskets for both singles and doubles. Below are additional details regarding this semi-automatic machine that we consider to be a super choice!

  • Single brass boiler with the largest volume capacity of any home espresso maker in its class, which holds 12 ounces of water at a time, provides superior steaming power and very fast recovery time between shots.
  • A 2-quart water tank that can either be removed for refills, or filled from the top, even during the brewing process.
  • An articulating stainless-steel steam wand, which allows for great range of movement and provides excellent steaming of milk, with the steam power controlled with a commercially-designed steam knob.
  • Also included are a 7-gram coffee scoop, plastic tamper, and two filter baskets for either single or double shots.

FEATURES

Product Details – This Page (Click Ahead!) [show]

Is this machine in the Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

This machine is in the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines. If it is a super-automatic home espresso machine you are leaning more toward buying, the Philips Saeco Intelia is a very highly customer-rated one to consider.

Is this machine programmable?

No, this machine is not programmable. Most semi-automatic espresso makers are not programmable.

Is this machine easy to use?

Some people report this machine is not very easy to use, while others state this machine is very easy to use, as long as you have a good coffee bean grinder. Some practice is apparently needed to get the right grind with this espresso machine, in order to draw good shots. Other than that, it is easy to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

This machine can virtually make any espresso beverage you can find at your local coffee house or Starbucks.

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to 3 inches tall. If it is more cup clearance you are looking for a machine that allows for more cup clearance, you might want to check out the Mr. Coffee Cafe Baristamachine.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

Although this machine, purchased as is, uses coffee grounds only, there is an optional pod and capsule adaptor kit available that can be bought separately.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

No – There is no built-in coffee grinder with this machine. You would need to either have pre-ground coffee on hand or purchase a separate grinder to grind your own whole coffee beans. If it is a home espresso machine with a built-in grinder you want, the Krups Espresseria Bean To Cup machine is a top-rated one that offers this option.

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

This is not applicable, as this machine does not have a built-in grinder; thus there is no need for a bean hopper.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

Although this one has no actual LCD display, it does showcase a very impressive front panel.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

Rancilio HSD-Silvia V3 Silvia Espresso Machine ReviewThe stainless steel steam wand that this machine has is commercial grade and is great for producing rich, creamy froth as well as steamed water for beverages such as hot cocoa.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

Warm-up/brew time takes about 3-1/2 minutes.

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

The double spouts on this machine allow for brewing either two single shots at a time, or one double shot.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, this one does have a cup warmer.

What colors is  this machine available in?

 The Rancilio Silvia is available in stainless steel (silver) only. If you are unsure which color you want, the Nespresso Inissia comes in a multitude of colors including red, blue, black, orange, and white.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine his housed in stainless steel. It also has a very sturdy framework made of iron, guaranteed to last many years.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This machine has a single boiler made of brass.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

No, it instead has a single boiler made of brass.

Is this machine noisy?

This is about the only machine reviewed thus far where a customer actually made note of how quiet this machine is while running.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine features a very heavy-duty 15 bar pump.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

This machine has a very large 67-ounce water reservoir.

Is the water tank easy to access?

Steaming/Hot Water: Featuring a commercial grade chrome-plated steam wand, the Rancilio Silvia quickly delivers plenty of steam for milk frothing and hot boiling water for your Americano or a cup of tea.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

This machine is rated as being easy to clean up after using, although the drip tray apparently needs to be emptied quite frequently due to its small size.

What is the weight of this machine?

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This machine is approximately 9-1/2 inches wide x 11 inches deep x 13-1/2 inches tall.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

Although this machine has a one-year warranty, customers have reported they had no need to even think about using the warranty, based on the long life of this very sturdy and durable machine.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This machine is powered off of 1,100 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Rancilio HSD-Silvia V3 Silvia Espresso Machine Review

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • Ease of use – most customers who purchased this machine noted how easy it was to use.
  • Commercial-grade steam wand is one of the best available among the range of home espresso machines.
  • High quality and durable construction, both inside and out, ensures many years of use.
  • Great price when you consider the many years of use you likely will get out of this machine.
 

Cons

  • Grind of coffee needs to be exact in order to extract great espresso – this will take some practice, trial, and error in most cases, unless you are a professional barista.
  • There are no programmable options available with this machine.

La Pavoni Europiccola EL Espresso Machine Review

La Pavoni Europiccola EL Espresso Machine Review

If you have been considering a manual/lever home espresso maker, the Europiccola by La Pavoni is one of the top choices to consider.

This is a genuine Italian-made machine. Many people strongly feel that Italian-made home espresso machines are of much better quality than anything else available.

This is a manual home espresso machine (also commonly called a lever espresso machine). These types of espresso machines are considered by most people to produce the best espresso possible, much more so than semi-auto and super-auto machines.

Product Description

Here is a complete, in-depth, thorough, and honest La Pavoni Europiccola EL espresso machine review, both the good and the bad features included, to help you decide if this machine would be a good choice for you.

Top features that we really like about this manual home espresso machine include the following:

  • Constructed of durable steel with chrome finish on the outside.
  • Large boiler capacity of 0.8 liters (8 cups).
  • Heats up and ready for steaming water in just 10 minutes.
  • Water level indicator.
  • Included with the machine in the box are a screen holder, measuring ladle, cappuccino attachment, and a tamper.
  • Also arrives at your door with a video instruction manual to help you get started.

This machine is a direct lever espresso maker. Although the direct lever feature means you will have complete control over your espresso brewing and the end result, it also means that a ton of practice and patience will likely be required prior to you becoming an excellent espresso brewer. Just keep in mind that this is definitely not an espresso maker that comes with a ton of push buttons.

Because this is a manual espresso machine, there are many less components that can break down. This is just one of the reasons many people opt for a machine such as this one. When speaking of today’s super-automatic and even semi-automatic espresso machines, many are considered to be “throw-away” machines due to the small life length they provide. However, with espresso machines such as this La Pavoni, you can pretty much rest assured it will be something that is likely to last you a lifetime.

In addition, not only does this machine make some of the best espresso you will ever experience, once you get the technical skills learned, it also presents as a virtual work of art sitting on your countertop.

Info. Regarding Use of Pods, Grounds, or Both

This machine has the capability of using either ground coffee beans or today’s E.S.E. pods.

Easy to Use?

Because this machine falls into the classification of manual/lever espresso machines, it most definitely is not the most easy to use, push-button type of machine like your standard super-automatic or even semi-automatic machines are. Beginners who have no experience using espresso machines with a lever will likely need some practice, although this skill is definitely able to be learned by someone determined to learn how.

Any machine that is classified as a manual lever espresso machine most definitely will take some practice for people who have never used one of them before. If you want to learn more about exactly what using a manual/lever espresso machine entails, you can read more detailed information here.

The two primary objectives that a beginner will find difficult to perform correctly include achieving the correct grind coarseness of the coffee beans, as well as the amount of tamp (compression) of the ground coffee beans into the portafilter. A beginner will need some practice with both trying different coarseness of grinds, and different amounts of tamping (compressing) the grounds before a good end result will be achieved.

Spring lever or direct lever?

This machine is a direct-lever machine, meaning there is no spring-assisted device inside the brew group to help with the pumping of the water into and through the grounds. This task, therefore, is completed manually by the home barista.

Material Housing (Outside Casing) Information

This machine is made to last a lifetime with its durable, all-steel exterior and beautiful heavy chrome plating.

Drip Tray Information

This machine has an easy clean drip tray, which means all, or at least most, of the spills and drips that are bound to happen will be caught in the drip tray.

Coffee Ground Tamper Information

Although this machine does come with a tamper, customers have reported that the one that arrives with the machine is the incorrect size. A 51-mm tamper is the correct size tamper for this machine.

Milk Frothing Info.

Picture of Latte ArtThis machine heats water up incredibly quickly, with a total approximate time of 10 minutes prior to being able to froth milk.

Of note is that the frothing wand is located very close to the boiler, and the wand does not swivel outward.

Steam Pressure Information

Customers who have purchased and used this machine have reported that the steam pressure of this machine is very ample for steaming/frothing milk to perfection.

Boiler Pressure Gauge Information

This machine has no pressure gauge; however, no worries! The La Pavoni Europiccola features a steam escape valve that regulates the pressure, thus there is no need for a pressure gauge.

Boiler Capacity Information

This machine has a boiler capacity of 0.80 liter, which is equal to 8 cups of water.

Boiler Pressure Information

This boiler provides pressure of 0.7 to 0.8 bar pressure.

Information Regarding Heat-Up Time

This machine heats water for brewing in about 5 minutes average, and it is capable of heating enough to produce steam in approximately 10 minutes.

Machine Dimensions

This machine’s dimensions are very small compared to a lot of the espresso machines available, which means people with less counter space could easily consider this machine, which measures just 11  x  7  x  12 inches.

Wattage Information

This machine is powered with 1,000 watts.

Warranty Information

This machine has a 1-year warranty.

Customer Reviews – La Pavoni Europiccola EL Espresso Machine Review

Pros

  • Incredibly compact size — this means it won’t take up much counter space.
  • Complete control of your espresso brewing experience — Because this is a manual lever espresso machine, you have complete control of the end result. (However, keep in mind that this could also be a not so good thing, if you have no experience making espresso with a manual lever espresso machine.)
  • Very durable construction, consisting primarily of steel.
  • Very fast heating ability of about 5 minutes for a full water reservoir, which ensures you won’t be waiting around for 20 minutes (or longer) for the water to heat up.
  • Water level indicator, which ensures you will know when a refill is needed without having to peer down into the water reservoir.
  • Great steaming/frothing ability. Provides the capability of being able to steam 12+ ounces of milk.

Cons

  • Lightweight base — customers have reported that the base could have been built more solidly, particularly when compared to the remainder of the machine, which is constructed of very durable steel.
  • Steam wand that does not swivel and is located very close to the boiler — this means that milk must be steamed very close to where the boiler is located.
  • Difficult to learn for beginners who are new to making espresso – although practice makes perfect, if you are a newbie to making espresso, you definitely will need some practice before you will get that desired end result. Do keep in mind, however, that the goal of superb espresso made at home is absolutely a goal that can be within your reach, with just some practice and experimentation!

Krups Bean To Cup Espresseria EA8250001 Review

Krups Bean To Cup Espresseria EA8250001 Review
View additional details on Amazon!

The Krups Espresseria EA8250 is one of the top contenders for you to consider if you are interested in achieving that perfect espresso aroma, flavor, and crema via a super-automatic espresso machine, in the comfort of your own home.

After using this home espresso maker for a little over six months, I came to various assorted conclusions, which I have briefly listed below.

Following these summaries, I have provided a complete list of product features.

If you are in a hurry or simply don’t want to weed through all of the information I have provided below, you can obtain additional information at Amazon by clicking here!

One of the most important aspects of getting that unbeatable end result is brewing espresso with beans that are as fresh as possible.

With this Krups espresso machine, you get just that. The beans are stored in a sealed hopper and then freshly ground at the time you start the espresso brewing process. Even a few minutes after being ground, coffee beans can lose up to 40 percent of their flavor. Therefore, Krups decided that it was of the utmost importance to create a machine that would grind the beans just a few seconds prior to starting the brewing process, to allow the full flavor of the beans to truly be enjoyed. This machine is, therefore, definitely one of our favorites!

Things I Like About This Machine…

  • Super-automatic build means the machine does most of the work for you.
  • This machine has the ability to brew a large number of different beverages and can make cappuccinos, espressos, rich coffees, scrumptious hot cocoa, or even flavored teas.
  • Very easy to use after a small learning curve.
  • This machine has a built-in grinder, meaning you don’t need to have a separate whole-bean coffee grinder taking up extra space on your counter top.

Things I Didn’t Like About This Machine…

  • There aren’t a lot of programmable features, so if it is that you want, you might want to instead consider the Saeco Vienna PicoBaristo espresso machine, which is also super-automatic and includes many programmable options.
  • The “cup clearance” (height of the space below the espresso dispenser) is only about 3-3/4 inches tall, which means a taller coffee cup will not fit beneath it.
  • If you prefer to use pre-prepared pods, like those that are used in the Nespresso machines, this machine is not a good choice for you, as it only uses whole coffee beans.
  • Although there is a built-in-grinder, it is a stainless steel one. I prefer ceramic grinders myself. If you are searching for a super-auto espresso machine that has a ceramic grinder rather than a metal one, you could check out the Saeco PicoBaristo, which has a ceramic grinder.

View This Product On Amazon!

Product Description

Here is a complete review of the Krups bean to cup Espresseria for you to glance through if you have been considering some kind of bean-to-cup home espresso machine to wake up your morning coffee.

If you no longer wish to make those daily treks to the local Starbucks, consider bringing the coffeehouse to your own home, and become your own personal barista! Your taste buds will love you for it!

Krups, in its continuous pursuit of excellence, has chosen to offer this completely automatic home espresso machine which, in a matter of a a very short time, allows the owner of this machine the opportunity to appreciate an excellent mug of cappuccino, espresso, and more, from the most fresh state possible when it comes to ground coffee beans. This is due to the built-in bean hopper and built-in bean grinder that come with this machine.

Grinding up the beans immediately prior to extracting the flavor from them provides for the best possible outcome when it comes to espresso.

FEATURES

Is this machine in the Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

This machine is in the super-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Is this machine programmable?

There are not a ton of programmable features with this machine, and basically only include a programmable clock, as well as automatic start and automatic shut-off.

This home espresso maker also has what is called an “integrated potentiometer,” allowing for the perfect coffee quantity setting needed for each coffee recipe, depending on your particular taste preference. Once programmed, this machine remembers and gives you that same setting each and every time.

Is this machine easy to use?

Customers who have bought this say that this this espresso machine makes brewing your own espresso at home a breeze.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

With this one, your choice of beverages is basically boundless, and you will have the ability to produce cappuccinos, espressos, rich coffees, scrumptious hot cocoa, or even flavored teas.

How much cup height “clearance” does this machine allow?

The cup clearance for this machine allows for cups that are approximately 3-3/4 inches tall.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This product uses coffee beans, and does not utilize pods/capsules. If you are searching for a machine that uses today’s E.S.E. pods/capsules, you could consider either the Nespresso Citiz Bundle, which uses Nespresso pods, or the DeLonghi Dedica, which uses either grounds or pods.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

Yes, a built-in metallic conical burr grinder is included as part of this machine.

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

A large bean hopper with a 9.7-ounce capacity remains sealed with the coffee beans in the hopper, ensuring the freshest coffee beans at all times.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

This one has a great front-panel LCD display. Also includes settings to select preferred homemade espresso and cappuccino recipes.

Krups Bean To Cup Espresseria EA8250001 Review

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

Included as part of this home espresso maker is a automatic cappuccino system for frothing milk in a very short amount of time, with an end result of hot and creamy lattes or cappuccinos.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

There is very little brew time wait time with this machine.

Because it has such as large water tank, as well as a built-in bean hopper and grinder, when you have it filled you can, with just the push of a couple of buttons and about 2 minutes to spare, have a freshly brewed home espresso or cappuccino any time of the day or night.

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

Based on the large size of both the water tank and the bean hopper, you can rest assured you will be able to prepare many beverages with a single refill of beans and water. The number of beverages at one time will depend on whether you are making single shots or double shots.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Krups Bean To Cup Espresseria EA8250001 Review

This espresso maker has no cup warmer. If you want one with a cup warmer, consider the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300.

What colors is  this machine available in?

Currently available in black and red.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine is made of plastic that appears to be stainless steel. If you are looking for a truly stainless steel machine, both inside and out, and not only in appearance on the outside, the Dedica by DeLonghi would likely be a good choice.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This machine features a patented, unique Thermoblock system, for quick and even heating every time. The Thermoblock system technology provides for much quicker heating, as well as the perfect coffee temperature every time a cup is brewed.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

This machine has what is called a Thermoblock system. It does not have dual boilers.

Is this machine noisy?

Customers did comment on how noisy this machine can be — not the loudest they have ever heard, but noisy, particularly in the morning. The general deduction is that there is not a home espresso machine available that does not produce some noise when in use.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This one has 15 bars of pump pressure.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

Features include a 60-ounce transparent water tank, as well as an indicator to let you know when the water tank is empty.

Is the water tank easy to access?

Some people might not feel the removable water reservoir for this machine is easy to access, due to its location on the back of the machine. However, because it holds 60 ounces of water, accessing the water tank is not needed as frequently as with many other machines.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

The removable drip tray and cake container (where the spent grounds go) make cleaning this machine very easy. In addition, included with your purchase of this machine are cleaning tablets and descaling powder.

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine weighs 10.4 pounds.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

Product dimensions are 11.5 x 8 x 12.5 inches.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

Shipping weight is 23 pounds, although if you are an Amazon Prime customer, shipping is free with your purchase.

If you are considering something that is lighter in weight, a good choice would be the DeLonghi Dedica.

This one comes complete with a 2-year, 6,000-cup warranty.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This super-automatic home espresso machine operates with 1,450 watts of power.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Krups Bean To Cup Espresseria EA8250001 Review

Pros

  • Coffee quality and ease of use – Customers who rated this product highly reported things including the quality of the coffee this machine produces, even better than coffee shops or restaurants, as well as how easy this machine is to use.
  • Automatic disposal of spent coffee grounds.
  • No need for a water line.
  • Compact – requires just a small amount of countertop “real estate.”
  • Steamer nozzle – a favorite for instantly dispensing hot water for tea and hot-cocoa lovers.
  • Quick brew time of less than 2 minutes from start to finish.
  • One customer felt this home espresso machine would make a wonderful wedding gift.
  • Easy set-up and push-button technology, allowing that first cup in the morning to be enjoyed without the “messing around” you get with other coffee machines.
  • Auto clean and rinse cycle which only needs to be utilized once every 360 cycles.
  • Alert to let you know when the cleaning needs to be done.

Cons

  • High cost. However, although this machine has a list a price of over $1,000, it is regularly on sale for several-hundred dollars less than that price.
  • The need to replace water filters every two months – Note that if you use filtered water, there is no need to replace the filter.
  • A frother wand with limited flexibility.
  • Somewhat high noise level – at least for those still snoozing in the morning.
  • Clock does not display when the machine is not being used.

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