Top positive review
82 people found this helpful
on January 29, 2014
My seven-year-old Delonghi Magnifica started leaking, so I replaced it two months ago with this machine. The things I like better about the Saeco are:
(1) the milk frother takes most of the effort and guesswork out of making really good cappuccino,
(2) adding water to the Saeco is easy - just pull the container out a few inches and pour water in. With the Delonghi, I had to completely remove the container to add water,
(3) you can see the coffee beans in the Saeco, so there's no guessing when to add more,
(4) Saeco's grinder is quiet compared to Delonghi's, and
(5) the Saeco is shorter and smaller (making it easier to add beans at the top even though I have it under a kitchen cabinet) and as such, the Saeco looks better on the counter-top than the Delonghi did.
One thing I need to mention: When I first bought the Saeco, the coffee was usually good, often excellent, but inconsistent due to a problem I had with the coffee beans. The beans rest on a plastic shield with holes in it, which I guess is supposed to regulate delivery of the beans to the grinder. Entirely too often, I had to shake the shield because the beans did not drop into the grinder. Even when they were dropping into the grinder, there were gaps during which the grinder was turning with no beans. This machine does not recognize when it's not receiving beans, so the result was that each cup of coffee was different, sometimes ending up with just a cup of lightly brown water. I was on the verge of returning the machine when I read elsewhere that Saeco customer service recommends removing the plastic shield. I did that yesterday (simple, just remove the phillips-head screw holding it in place) and so far I have had no more problems with the beans, and the coffee has been consistent.
April 10, 2014 update: For some reason, without the plastic shield, the machine does recognize when the bean container becomes empty, and prompts for more beans. I've had absolutely no problems since removing the plastic shield. I'd up my rating by half a star if possible, and if the coffee brewed hotter, I'd give it 5 stars.
I increased my rating from 3 stars to 4 stars after testing the machine without the plastic shield.
Other issues that are not a big deal to me, but might be to you:
Even though I have the Saeco programmed to the hottest setting, the coffee is dispensed at 135.6 degrees Fahrenheit (measured after dispensing into a pre-warmed cup). If you add milk, or if you use a cold cup, you likely will need your microwave for the coffee to be hot enough. The Delonghi brewed at about the same temperature, so maybe this is common for espresso machines.
The Saeco water container holds 6 ounces less than the Delonghi container, and the Saeco frequently flushes the machine with a surprisingly large amount of water. So I have to fill the water container and empty the drip tray almost daily. This was only necessary once or twice per week with the Delonghi. Maybe the process helps prevent leaks, so I'm not complaining.