I purchased this machine 4 years ago and it has been awesome. I purchased it new from amazon. It replaced another Saeco machine that I got refurbished from woot that lasted 2 years. I went new and paid big bucks, over $900. For $249 I would gamble on this if I needed to replace my machine. Almost want to but it just in case. This is a sweet deal for this Saeco machine. I use mine up to 5 times a week. The drain stand broke during a move, not the machine fault per say, but there is some plastic parts. It makes a great expresso and is super easy to use. Clean up is minimal and I give it a good cleaning every month or two. When new I did it more often. I’m just waiting for mine to break to upgrade. But that may be never, because this is a great expresso machine for someone who wants expresso fast in the mornings. I get to sleep an extra 20 minutes not having to wait at a Starbucks line. Plus the money I have saved has paid for this machine 5 times what I paid. I figure I am saving over $800 per year, maybe a $1000 a year. The savings is worth buying this machine. Plus I get different beans to try. Wow, this is a great deal.
So, I realize this makes espresso, but will it make an actual cup of coffee? Or would I pull the espresso shots and then make a second step of adding water to make my coffee (americano)? No big deal either way, it’s just something I’ve always wondered.
You can choose more or less water (the upper dial on the front), or make a shot and press the water button to the right of that dial for hot water and open the valve up top.
To sort of elaborate on it a bit more, the dial up top is the amount of liquid [water], the coffee bean button at the bottom of the dial selects the amount of coffee to grind for that cycle (IIRC it’s .7 to 1.0 grams) or the bypass dose. The dial above where the coffee comes out changes the pressure for more or less crema.
Bought one last time Woot had it to replace my 18 year old Saeco super automatic which was getting a little long in the tooth. Fabulous little machine that makes excellent espresso at the touch of a button, and very reliable.
Costco has the mini version of this on sale for black friday for $250.
If you like espresso, this machine is a total no-brainer. It makes better coffee than the pod machines and costs you a fraction of the price per cup. Make sure you use good coffee! For good coffee at a reasonable price I recommend the Lavazza Super Crema (about $25 for 2.2lbs on Amazon); Illy is the best but doesn’t come cheap (around $13 for a 1/2lb of beans)
As I said, I’m hoping they were able to isolate some of the production issues and get things resolved for these refurbs. With a 1 year warranty, I am comfortable giving this a shot as my first automatic.
You had me worried that I should have waiting when I saw you mention that Costco black friday deal. Once I looked at it, the Xsmall model doesn’t really seem to be nearly as nice like this machine in terms of features and quality.
I can’t imagine anyone passing on this in order to get the Xsmall unless they had zero counter space, or were totally against the idea of getting a refurb.
I’m going to check out this roast, but I would also recommend folks drop into some of the local roasters (if they have any). Most of the small independent coffee roasters where I live (midtown Sacramento) produce amazing beans that are delicious, fresh, and obviously oil free.
I would venture to guess that the bad reviews come from people who are mechanically challenged. This model has a range of sensors (beans hopper lid, water tank, receptacle in place, receptacle full, door open…) and cryptic red error lights.
If you’re not willing to invest the time to understand how to properly handle the machine, it will drive you nuts because the error light is always going to go on for one reason or another and you won’t be able to make coffee.
Being methodical and making sure beans are in, the lid is on, the water tank is full, the receptacle is empty and properly in place, and the door is closed, goes a long way towards painless operation.
Empty out the receptacle every night, replace the water every morning, and rinse out the brew group under the tap daily – that’s all you need to do to ensure long, reliable service.
Also make sure you descale every three months (there should be a descaling warning light on this model)
My thoughts exactly. I just imagined some vapid housewife dumping a bag of greasy kirkland beans into it and becoming enraged when it didn’t magically produce a Venti pumpkin white chocolate eggnog spice mocha frappe with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top.