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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Saeco V'Spresso?  
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tinks
Senior Member
tinks
Joined: 4 Sep 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Conway, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Oct 26, 2012, 11:01am
Subject: Saeco V'Spresso?
 

This morning my beloved DeLonghi died. It was inexpensive and as I learned over the years, I could make this little guy draw a very nice shot. My family used to have one espresso drinker...me. As my love of coffee has grown, so has my family's love for coffee. Now we have three drinkers in the house. I generally draw four shots per day but sometimes on weekends, six shots. I have a hand burr grinder that does a great job albeit a lot of work.

I came across a local individual selling a Saeco V'Spresso machine. His father owned it, had a heart attack and cut out caffeine,boxed up the machine and wasn't used. The father finally decided to actually sell it, so the son has taken it out of the box, learned to use it only for the purposes of selling it. He reports it to be gently used and in perfect condition, including both the box and instructions. They are listing it for $250. I see the original MSRP was ~ $1,300, and most recently (several years ago) sold for ~ $899-999 but it is no longer sold in the US.

This is far more machine than I was looking for, since this is a super automatic machine. I explained last year to my husband that if/when my machine gave up, it would likely cost a few hundred for my next upgrade. I am in school and our budget is limited but my coffee habit is my biggest indulgence and my beans run me about $4 a week so it has always been low cost/high yield indulgence. I did not expect to find such a fully featured machine in my budgetary range. I don't use the milk frother, I only draw shots. I would use the coffee grinder and have started to roast my own beans (though I still need work in this arena). I just enjoy the process and the challenge.

When looking at research for this machine, I see mixed reviews. Either people really love it or they had some sort of problem with something malfunctioning. My worry is the machine is obviously older, no warranty albeit gently used. The owner is out of town and my first opportunity to evaluate the machine is next Tuesday. He is very happy to let me bring beans and draw some shots to see how it works and if I like the product. I would like some advice whether this would be a good investment at $250 if everything looks okay, or whether I should pursue another set of options. I will be happy with the best machine I can get at my price point and I only need to be able to draw 4-6 shots of espresso every day. Any additional features are considered nice but not necessary for me. I am also looking for advice on any details I may need to check when evaluating the machine if it is worthwhile to evaluate.

Thank you.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Oct 26, 2012, 11:53am
Subject: Re: Saeco V'Spresso?
 

Superautomatic is a machine that does everything for you.  Because of that it has a lot of things that can and will go wrong.  They are expensive to fix and because of that are mostly considered disposable because they are not worth the cost of fixing.  If you know how to make espresso consider getting another type of machine.  Also, the coffee you made on your Delonghi probably tasted better most of the time than the best shot on the superauto.

I personally would not buy a used superauto and especially if the $250 was a lot of money to me.  If it is nothing to your budget and it will be no big deal to toss the machine away in a few months or a year then go for it.   Personally, I would rather see you spend 80-120 on a used starbuck barista machine to get you by till you can get a better machine.  At least for the most part you can fix that or replace it a few times before you spend $250.  You can also get them refurbished at seattlecoffeegear.com for about 200 I believe.


The grinder is the most important part of the set up.  If you get a non pressurized machine you might need a better grinder as well.  The starbucks barista and the delonghi have pressurized baskets so the grind is less important.  What is your hand grinder?

Please read:
http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine

It will help you understand your choices.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Oct 26, 2012, 12:21pm
Subject: Re: Saeco V'Spresso?
 

Helen +1
A super auto will give middlin espresso AT BEST and they are VERY prone to break down. Even the commercial ones are not known for high quality though when mixed with a LOT of milk, sugar, syrups etc you might be able to mask the .... flavor.

If you only spend $4 per week and you pull ~6 shots a day, you are not using high quality coffee.
For espresso, you NEED your own espresso able grinder, not all can do the job and that is even more so at the lower price points. For a hand powered espresso grinder expect to pay ~$100 and for a motor powered one about ~$300.

The grinder is MUCH more important than the machine, please PLEASE  PLEASE   PLEASE read our how to buy an espresso machine FAQ
http://coffeegeek.com/guides
before doing anything else to get a BASIC understanding of what espresso is and what it is about.
In addition to a good grinder AND a machine of some sort, you MUST have fresh, no more than 14 days FROM THE DAY THEY WERE ROASTED beans. The bag MUST have a roasted on date not a BEST BY date.
Fresh beans alone will be a HUGE improvement in your coffee regardless of which brew method you use.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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tinks
Senior Member
tinks
Joined: 4 Sep 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Conway, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Oct 26, 2012, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: Saeco V'Spresso?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

The grinder is the most important part of the set up.  If you get a non pressurized machine you might need a better grinder as well.  The starbucks barista and the delonghi have pressurized baskets so the grind is less important.  What is your hand grinder?

Posted October 26, 2012 link

Hario Mini Mill. It was the cheapest well-rated hand grinder I could possibly find and it grinds coffee pretty well if you don't mind the workout. I also have an antique burr grinder I found and refurbished from a pawn shop.


I get my beans from a local roaster and the coffee is very enjoyable for us and am not unhappy with the product or quality of the product we use. I also have a MyPressi twist 2 (that I use for travel and now while my home espresso machine has broken). If I were only drawing one or two shots a day I'd probably just continue to use that, but unfortunately it is too slow and cumbersome for daily use.

My budget is very tight. I wouldn't be looking to spend even this much right now but my husband is pressing me because tomorrow is my birthday and it is the first thing that has come up to get me. LOL!
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Oct 26, 2012, 12:46pm
Subject: Re: Saeco V'Spresso?
 

She might have a cheap roaster in AR.  That doesn't mean it is bad.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Oct 26, 2012, 1:06pm
Subject: Re: Saeco V'Spresso?
 

Well, Happy Birthday!

Honestly, I really mean it, for just less than that machine, you can have a grinder that will work for espresso and other brew methods, then keep using the twist and check out the local goodwill and thrift stores for a pump driven espresso machine when you get a few dollars to do this.

A Good grinder and a basic espresso machine will give you darn good coffee, a superauto, not so much and and they are very break down prone.

Please check out. The referb is almost $100 off the list price.
Click Here (www.baratza.com)

This is for sale in our BST forum and if you don't mind buying quality used, at $150 it will do the job.
"SOLD: Cunill Tranquilo grinder $150 + shipping"

Rocky is getting a little long in the tooth but again $150
"** SOLD ** Rancilio Rocky Doserless Grinder"

This is a $500+ grinder, $250
"La Pasquini Livia 90 Auto, K2 Grinder, 2 Drawer Base and more"

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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tinks
Senior Member
tinks
Joined: 4 Sep 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Conway, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Oct 26, 2012, 1:25pm
Subject: Re: Saeco V'Spresso?
 

I believe you when you talk about a good grinder, I just really can't afford it right now. $250 is pushing it for me to find a replacement espresso machine and unless I can find a good machine and grinder both for that price it will have to wait until I graduate from Nursing school. It isn't about my ignorance of coffee...just about what I can afford now and put off until later for my family's sake. ;)

calblacksmith Said:

Well, Happy Birthday!

Honestly, I really mean it, for just less than that machine, you can have a grinder that will work for espresso and other brew methods, then keep using the twist and check out the local goodwill and thrift stores for a pump driven espresso machine when you get a few dollars to do this.

A Good grinder and a basic espresso machine will give you darn good coffee, a superauto, not so much and and they are very break down prone.

Please check out. The referb is almost $100 off the list price.
Click Here (www.baratza.com)

This is for sale in our BST forum and if you don't mind buying quality used, at $150 it will do the job.
"SOLD: Cunill Tranquilo grinder $150 + shipping"

Rocky is getting a little long in the tooth but again $150
"** SOLD ** Rancilio Rocky Doserless Grinder"

This is a $500+ grinder, $250
"La Pasquini Livia 90 Auto, K2 Grinder, 2 Drawer Base and more"

Posted October 26, 2012 link

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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Oct 26, 2012, 2:03pm
Subject: Re: Saeco V'Spresso?
 

Then I repeat my suggestion of about 100 for a used saeco that is rebranded Starbucks.  That should last you a year or 2.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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tinks
Senior Member
tinks
Joined: 4 Sep 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Conway, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Oct 26, 2012, 2:58pm
Subject: Re: Saeco V'Spresso?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Then I repeat my suggestion of about 100 for a used saeco that is rebranded Starbucks.  That should last you a year or 2.

Posted October 26, 2012 link

I saw that about the Starbucks brewer. Heard good things about some of them. Didn't catch it was a rebranded Saeco. Thank you! At the end of the day, I'm not at all concerned about the brand, just that I get a good machine. ;)
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