Review of the Saeco Aroma Electric Espresso Maker

In this article you will learn about the pros and cons of the Saeco Aroma electric espresso maker. I bought mine about 3 years ago now. I chose it for the pressure (15 bar) the compact size and the price. Not having owned an espresso maker of any kind before I only knew what I had gleaned from discussions with a few people and what I saw at Starbucks. I also liked that I could get it in black which fit the d├ęcor of my kitchen. As far as it goes it does the trick. Keep in mind it is a manual machine, sort of the bottom of the heap in the espresso maker hierarchy. You grind your own beans in a separate grinder, you pack the portafilter by hand and insert into the receiver. You control the amount of espresso produced with a switch and froth or steam your milk completely to suit. It is a good way to learn the art of making espresso at a reasonable price (about $ 300).

As for the espresso quality, let’s characterize it as being decent once you gain some experience. The main hurdle is not so much the pressure but, how long it can be maintained. This is a function of tank size. Let’s say you want to make a double shot (about 2 oz). About half way through you trip the pressure switch in the unit which means that the steam pressure is lost. I tend to stop at this point to let the pressure build again so that I can maintain some crema all the way through the session. So, that picture you see above with two cups is a bit misleading. Not that you would necessarily approach it that way any ways. To be fair, this is a problem with all the smaller machines out there that I have seen.

Now, let me go over some of the particular shortcomings of this machine (in my view). First, the portafilter is pressurized. What this means to the user is that you have to force it into the receiver once you have the portafilter filled and packed. At times, unless you are very careful about how much coffee you pack, you need to be Hercules to get it all the way in place. Another complaint I have is that while the steam wand does a good job at its primary task, the placement of it leaves a bit to be desired. It is not very high and close to the machine which limits the size of the cup you can use and makes it a bit awkward to do a complete steam job. You are always trying to work around the machine which only allows access to about half of your cup.

All in all this machine is a good entry level espresso maker. Once you gain some experience with it you can make good espresso and latte/cappuccinos. I wish the tank were a bit bigger and it was a little easier to use but, it gets the job done.

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Michael Cress is an espresso enthusiast and home espresso consumer. He blogs at his website and enjoys a latte just about every day.

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