79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2013
I bought a Philips Saeco and it broke after 2 weeks of good coffee making. They sent me a new one free of charge.
Happy with the exchange and quick service.
The second one has barely lasted 12+ months. Just a few days above the warranty limit. See here
I usually have about 2.5 cups of espresso every day. That makes about 900 in a year. Since I payed $149.64, it leads to 17 cents per cup of coffee. Perhaps less than 17c because sometimes I have 4-5 cups (Yes I know I need to bring my caffeine intake down but it feels so good!).
So despite being an unreliable model, perhaps, the cost after a year of usage is OK. The coffee quality is good/very good for a 15 Bar pump. It is much much better than my Starbucks' doppios downstairs.
Summary: good cup of coffee provided you use good inputs in the machine, unreliable model (note that it's hard to have a reliable coffee espresso machine though), but the costs may still be reasonable. So do not close the door to this model.
Conclusion: I've gone through quite a few models of espresso machines. They always break within 1-2 years of usage. So I'd appreciate that heavy coffee drinkers like myself provide in their reviews a cost per cup. That will give us a better statistics of the best model. We can all benefit of scientific analysis. Thanks!
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2012
This is a great espresso machine on a budget. I previously got a De'Longhi BAR32 Retro and returned it after a week of struggling to get good espresso trying any kind of tamping and grounding techniques. The Poemia is so much better. The key is that the portafilter is pressurized and there is no need to tamp the coffee grounds precisely. There is a valve that automatically opens when the pressure is optimal for brewing. The espresso comes out with great crema. I was able to even make the so called 'long espresso' (running the machine until I get 5-6 ounces instead of 2-3) while still keeping great taste and crema.
The user manual contains an error in the description how to prepare the machine for first use or after a prolonged period of non use. It says to lock only the portafilter without the coffee grounds basket and run the machine until it is out of water. This of course will not seal the filter and the hot water will spray out of the filter. The coffee grounds basket has to be inside the portafilter.
Lets hope this thing will last, I will update the review if something happens.
I got a used Saeco (or Starbucks) non pressurized portafilter from eBay. It turned out I like it more this way. I no longer use the original pressurized filter. Either way the espresso I'm getting is still better that the one from the De'Longhi BAR32 I tried and returned.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2013
The first cup of espresso I made with this machine was better than any cup I bought from a coffee shop. Usually I can't do anything in the kitchen very well so the result was surprising, to say the least. This was the cheaper black Poema which cost under $80.
I used JO JO ESPRESSO Medium Dark Roast beans (bought at Amazon) ground very very fine with a Zass turkish hand mill which costs about $75, about the same price as my black Poema. A $10 Krupps blade blender makes a good enough grind for this machine because a non pressurized portafilter is not fussy, as long as the grind is reasonably fine. Anything finer than regular drip grind should work fairly well.
I do not agree with some of the negatives posted here:
The angle of the frother tube does not make it need a shorter cup. The tube points slight out to the side of the machine which allows for a taller cup to fit underneath, that is exactly why Saeco made it point at an angle. The tube allows the cup to sit on the countertop that the coffee maker sits on. There is the same amount of room from the frother tube to the countertop as there is from the the portafilter to the slotted grill tray. I use a standard Pyrex 1 cup measure under both and it just barely fits under both, same amount of clearance, but have to tip it to make it fit. So a frothy cup filling the Pyrex full would spill.
The top is not attached to the maker with a hinge: good! So easy to carry it over to the sink and rinse it off. The very first time used, I knew that it would be no problem doing it another 100 times in one minute: how hard is that?
The slotted tray does slide right off. This is a feature not an issue. It has a bottom on it to catch any drops that spill into the slotted grate. Slide it off carry it to the sink shake it out. I do not spill any more than with a Mr. Coffee drip maker.
I am not a coordinated person, just the opposite. Yet I find this machine a snap to make top rate espresso. If you push the tank all the way down so that the indicator line can be seen, then it will not leak. Unless you turn the 3 position main knob the wrong way at the wrong time. I don't because I read the instructions and kept them handy the first day. By the way when the instructions say to turn the knob to the "|" position it means to the center position. If the instructions do not say the knob goes to the cup (left position) or the wand (right), then the knob should be in the center.
Never drain the tank completely when it says to use all the water to prime or to do anything that has the knob left (cup) or right (wand). Leave a little bit of water in there because running a steam boiler without water blows up railroad engines! The knob should be in the center or the machine turned off or unplugged whenever the tank is removed or empty. This is why I don't mind the on/off switch located on the back. I turn on and off by unplugging and plugging in at the electrical socket. There is a light that goes off and when you flip switch off or unplug (which does the same thing). But I like to see the plug out of the socket too, no explosions !
First cup with this, best coffee I ever had!
EDIT: After using this thing a few days: you should see the wonderful foam head that came out every single time on top the perfect espresso shots, beats Starbucks hands down, the machine is very fast, easy, does not take a $200 grinder because the pressurized portafilter works with any fine ground coffee. Saeco invented the pressurized portafilter. I have not been happier with anything I purchased in my life. By the way the PF, the tank, the tray under the spout all is super easy to clean and keep neat.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2013
I'm a 4 shot Americano junkie and was spending a ridiculous amount a day at my local coffee shop. I decided I wanted my own machine but I was leery of spending $$$$ on my own machine seeing I have a tendency to buy coffee makers and then retire them because they don't produce to my liking. I found this machine on Amazon (at less than $ 100 and it came with a lot of positive reviews) and crossed checked it with other coffee maker websites which listed it as a good little machine. I am in coffee heaven every day and the pressurized filter ensures a lot of crema which is really what makes or breaks an espresso shot.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2014
I have rated the item 3 stars if it wouldn't have any issues I would give it a 4 stars. Customer service at Philips is slow they deserve 1 star.
You can make good coffee with it. Just warm it up and pump when the light is green. It is kind of obvious but seems like many people have issues with it.
Steamer is best when you don't let the light kick in, than you have contiguous pressure until you done. This is because the heating core heats up the water for steam till it reaches a point the green light comes on and it stops heating. If you don't let the green light kick in it will never stop heating and it will have even pressure.
It broke after a few months. It has a short circuit and tripps the GFCI in my kitchen. Still works from non-GFCI outlet. I have sent back the machine to Philips to get it fixed. Shipping back was free. After a week they have decided to replace the machine. Two weeks latter I have received a replacement machine (they have sent 3-4 email about it, saying we are going to replace it). The replacement machine arrived with a broken steam knob right out of the box. At least it was easy to pack it back. Contacted them right away they have requested an email with the shipping label and asked me to wait a week or two. Now I have a new machine in the box with a broken knob.
Do yourself a favor and don't buy Saeco product.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2015
5 stars because this is an entry level espresso machine and has pulled 700+ shots over the last year. Every month I take it to work and will pull upwards of 20 shots in 2 hours. (way over the manual suggestion)
A few things to take into consideration to get the most out of this machine;
-- Get a decent burr grinder. We're still in entry level territory but the rule holds you spend as much on the grinder as you do on the machine, maybe more at this level. I tried the $40 Black and Decker but it didn't grind fine or consistent enough to produce good creme. I went with the Baratza Encore after trying out a friends, Dial setting 9 for double shot, 11 for single on the settings works best.
-- Buy good beans ... no great beans. They cost the same anyway. I've tried everything at the grocery store, everything at TJs, even a couple local coffee shops/roasteries around town and nothing good came of them. Your world will change when you find a great roastery and make espresso with their stock. Currently, I buy beans online, they are shipped for free the day they are roasted, and the results are excellent.
-- Get a kitchen scale. Single shot 8g, Double 16g. Grind right before you pull a shot. If there's too much or too fine a grind, the pump will struggle.
-- Shots pull really fast on this type of machine, a little over 10 seconds once it starts flowing. This machine also doesn't require tamping. Results vary when you do from same taste to more acidic.
-- Get a 12oz frothing pitcher and a few cups from a restaurant supply store. Practice, practice, practice. Results will vary based on type of milk, brand of milk, temperature of milk before frothing. Practice, practice, practice.
-- I use the Taylor 9842 thermometer.
Trouble making foam? You'll want to steam milk till about 160F. Run the steam wand for a few seconds into a different container until steam is produced. I get better results when the steam wand is held high in the milk after 100F. Also milk has a HUGE effect on your foam. Try as many as you can from different stores and pick the best one producer. But even then you can get a bad gallon that just won't foam. Then get another gallon and it's fine.
No or quickly dissipating crema? Buy better beans. Check your grind. Use the finest grind that doesn't cause the pump to work too hard. You'll see a nice stream of espresso and this machine loves to make crema. The double portafilter will make more and deeper crema than the single shot. Remove the cup after you've extracted enough. I use a ramekin to reduce the mess.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2013
i sent this back and upgraded to the 'aroma', which is basically the same as my 'classico' that i had for 10 years. thought i would try the cheaper poemia, but you get what you pay for with saeco. poemia is flimsy, seems like it will fall apart in a short amount of time. drip tray slides out way too easily, seems like a safety hazard. maybe this would be okay for someone trying out an espresso machine for the first time, or for just occasional use and you don't want to spend too much. but if you're serious about your espresso/ make it every day, you'll probably be better off with a better machine than this.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
The machine I received did not work properly. I had to return it because the heating element did not work properly.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2014
Ive used this machine for almost a year now and I use it almost everyday. Always start the morning with the cappuccino w/ cinnamon sprinkled on top and this machine does the trick.
This machine is a tiny and light little fellow, has a smaller footprint than my 2 slice toaster.. (maybe a little wider). It uses a 53mm portafilter thats pressurized, but is very easy to convert to non pressurized which I HIGHLY recommend. Hard part is finding a 53mm tamper to press down the grounds.
The machine is very short and if it does not fit underneath your cabinets... you really need to buy a new house. Who doesnt have at least 2 feet of countertop height. But because it is very short... you will have a hard time fitting any kind of mug underneath the portafilter.. which is kind of its bigger downfalls. You basically have to use shot glasses or a double shot glass since they are the only things that will fit under the spouts.
The machine is a single boiler (its less than 100$ so it has to be a single boiler) which means you have to steam first, then cool down the boiler by dispensing hot water till the ''ready brew'' light turns off. Its not a big deal however and I usually use that hot water to keep my cup toasty.
The steam wand is very easy to make frothy milk with. it has a pannarello which injects air through a tiny hole very close to the top of wand. It usually makes way too much foam and the hole has to be covered early if your making milk for a latte. The wands biggest downfall is that it is not on a balljoint... I use a 12oz pitcher which is one of the shortest pitchers you can buy and I can barely fit it under the wand when the machine is on the counter. I have to tilt the machine 45 degrees just to get the pitcher out, and if I dont and tilt the pitcher.. Half the milk would spill out. It does rotate horizontally to aim the wand to the drip tray, but is basically useless. I wish they had it rotate vertically out of the side which would make the problem of fitting the pitcher non-existent.
Quality of the brew..... Better than most superautomatics and prefer this espresso over the starbucks store... Unless your starbucks still makes it the old school way. Also if you want the best taste out of the coffee, remove that pressure fitting on the portafilter and buy a 200$+ grinder... Yes odd that the grinder costs double what the espresso machine costs but a lot of flavors will either be good or bad depending on your grind. I use a baratza encore and although its not 200$+ it works pretty well with this machine.
Ive had no issues with the machine ever since Ive owned it and it survives the filtered, softened water from western chicago suburbs well water tables. Maintenance is basically clearing the shower screen and steam wand after EVERY drink. This insures fresh tasting and reliable coffee making for the years to come.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2013
This is my first Espresso Machine. My wife and I decided to go with the Poemia after watching and reading countless reviews, this was clearly the best option for the entry level machine, considering our budget.
We got home, did the first use cycle and prepared. We were able to froth our first pitcher with no issues or complications thanks to the Panarello steam wand and we pulled our first shot, which turned out to be pretty easy and good. We didn't even add sugar to that first cappuccino as it was really good by itself. Since the Panarello does all the frothing work for you, when using the right sized pitcher, the clearance from the wand to the counter shouldn't be a problem.
We pulled a couple of more drinks for the family and everybody seemed to enjoy it very much.
My only complain might be that the passive cup-warmer doesn't get hot enough until after a couple of uses, but this was expected and is really not a major problem at all. As other reviewers note, the dip tray does have a loose connection from the rest of the machine, but the bright side is this makes it easy to take off and clean.
This turned out to be a great purchase and a whole lot of fun.