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on January 15, 2004
After spending weeks reading reviews and comparing features on SuperAutomatic espresso machines, I picked the Saeco Royal Exclusive.
The SuperAutomatics grind the beans, tamp the grounds, adds the amount of water you have preprogrammed, and disposes of the used grinds in a box inside the machine. And all of this is done with just a push of a button.
When you first get the machine you set 2 leavers. One is for course to fine grind. The other leaver is for the amount of coffee grinds to be dispensed. Then you program the amount of water (volume) for your espresso, café Americano, or whatever. You can program each of the 3 buttons for different water volume amounts. Obviously, the more water, the weaker the drink. Tip: Use the factory default settings first. Then adjust the various settings to your personal taste.
I do not use the frother because I have a separate froth machine, Froth-au-lait. So, I do not know how well that part works.
This machine has a digital display that will warn you if the water tank is empty, or the coffee beans need to be added, or the brew group is out of place, or it needs decalcifying, and much more. You and even set the temperature of your drink and the time you want it to go into stand-by mode. It even has a cup warmer. The features on this machine are just too numerous to list.
Cleaning is a snap. Every couple of days just slide out the drip tray and dredge box, where the used grinds are dumped, and rinse them. About once or twice a week remove the brew group and rinse it. Decalcify about every 3 to 4 months depending on your water hardness.
I was unsure about spending that much money for such a machine, but I am glad I did. I love it! And thanks to Aabree.com for all their help.
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on December 31, 2003
Just to start off, this is a good machine. It is not overpriced, and has a lot of features. It can produce the same quality espresso as any other super automatic in this price range. It is no better than any of the machines from the Saeco Viena Series, and no worse then Jura Capresso's S9. The crema coming out will be EXACTLY the same.
Now my complaints - the housing on this machine is awful. It is basically painted plastic which easily chips off. Next, like all the other Saeco machines, all of the parts are made from plastics or cheap metals, which reduces the reliability significantly. This does have the best record in terms of reliability in the Saeco line, but still is lacking. The automatic frother is nice, but produces bad quality foam. The panarello want is SO BAD!! When compared to froth produced by a commercial quality machine, you can taste and feel the difference. The nice thing about the panarello wand is it injects the air for you, but produces lower quality. Again the comparison comes up between quality versus ease of use. That is one of the major things that one should go over before buying a super automatic.
The semi automatic machines produce higher quality espresso, and when equipped with a commercial style steamer, the frothing quality is much higher. So as super automatics go, this is a pretty good machine. The Gaggia Syncrony has about the same features (you can buy the cappacinotore attatchment for the gaggia for automatic frothing) and is 600 dollars less. It is a good machine, but is comparable to other machines that are less money.
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