SocalLatteLover Senior Member Joined: 14 Aug 2013 Posts: 3 Location: san diego Expertise: Just starting
Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 12:08am Subject: Guidance needed on Breville BES900Xl vs Saeco Exprelia One Touch SuperAutomatic
Sick of paying everyday for a latte and would like to learn the art of pulling a good shot and making espressos and lattes at home. I've been doing some research and have narrowed down to two machines, the Breville BES900XL and the super auto Saeco Exprelia One Touch. The Saeco is $600 more than the Breville but has a built in grinder and is pretty much one touch. I also like that it pulls and steams the milk directly from a milk container. Downside is that it probably doesnt microfoam the milk as well at the breville's steam wand does.
What do you guys recommend between these two machines? I figure the $600 difference would let me purchase a pretty decent grinder so other than the convenience factor am I missing anything else between these two machines?
DeanOK Senior Member Joined: 24 Sep 2012 Posts: 757 Location: OK Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B Grinder: Fort'e GP
Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 6:55am Subject: Re: Guidance needed on Breville BES900Xl vs Saeco Exprelia One Touch SuperAut
The BES900 will make better espresso than the Super Auto... no super auto can compete with a semi auto on brew quality as long as you have a decent machine and grinder. 600 will get you a decent grinder.
There is a big following of the Breville here in the community and several detractors. You probably should investigate it from both directions to make an informed decision. What is important to one person may not necessarily be important to the next.
CMIN Senior Member Joined: 14 Jun 2012 Posts: 1,581 Location: South FL Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Crossland CC1 Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 7:09am Subject: Guidance needed on Breville BES900Xl vs Saeco Exprelia One Touch SuperAutomatic
Breville.... that's like bringing a knife (superauto) to a gun fight, even Starbucks $$$$$$ superautos aren't good. Superautos don't have the temp stability, let alone correct temps for espresso, the right pressure, the built in grinders suck big time etc. And the "espresso" they make is nothing like real espresso, more like a 10-20 second weak gusher of a shot. Superautos are about convenience, people who don't care about coffee use them as they just want a cup even if its not good. I have a friend with a Jura C9, that's an almost $2k superauto, it sucks lol, but to him it's about convenience (type of people who'd be just as happy with a nasty cup of preground Folgers).
If you get the Breville, or any similar semi-auto machine, you need a grinder, a capable espresso grinder at that. Breville's been pretty good, people on here have had machines swapped out, but the machines weren't necessarily in "not working" mode, was simple glitches of which quite a few could be remedied at home, but Breville swapped out for new machines. I know quite a few owners of it, one whose had two since they came out, not a single issue, and the one he keeps in the office is used non stop for employee's. And plenty of people would I'm sure enjoy that service vs other companies. That same guy bought an Gaggia Classic originally after I told him too, machine shipped D.O.A., was sent back for warranty, and after almost a week they sent him another new machine, that one just never worked right and leaked. You just never know. Can't personally descale the current model though, will have to sent to Breville, the new one coming out will allow self descaling at home. If you want a machine to keep for like years and years to come (like 10+) I wouldn't look at Breville since parts are proprietary and not "off the shelf" like others and would pry be hard to source by then, and same for a superauto, superautos are completely proprietary with internal parts and pretty much impossible to work on, they break after warranty, you either junk them or send to company to repair for $$$.
But there are other machines to consider as well, you have some nice h/x machines in that price range, Cuadra II h/x as an example.
Lots of things to consider... parts availability, local service availability, and little things like the kind of look you want on the kitchen cabinet. A good machine will last many years and if you are handy enough to do mild maintenance yourself, you probably can keep the same machine for years and it never leave your possession.
You'll have a hard time getting any coffee geek to recommend any superauto. Is the quality of what's in the cup or convenience more important? If you want to learn the art of pulling a good shot and making espressos and lattes at home then you won't do so with a superauto. That is, unless you consider button pushing to be an art and your bar for "good" is extremely low. If you want a convenient coffee solution then a superauto is the way to go.
Ha. Yes, in pictures. It's actually quite plasticy. It is a decent HX machine. From the front wall forward, it is a quality E61 machine. If you're looking to "Learn the art", you'll have your chance. It's an easy machine to work on and will need to be set up to your liking when you want to start using it. The relief valve will be closed, never set from factory, and when you go in to set it up, you'll see how cheap a lot of the components are... But then you'll start pulling shots and you will forgive it. It's a thousand dollars cheaper than the more robust machines of its size. You can use that money to replace the cheap plastic hoses, the sacrificial relay and still have savings. It really makes it easy for a new user to quickly rise up the learning curve. The machine is capable of helping you produce some really excellent espresso.
Super-autos are very much the opposite. They arrive from the factory set up in a configuration that should allow them to operate for a while, producing an espresso that's good enough for the masses. You won't rise up a learning curve with the super-auto, except in terms of not referring to the manual for the cleaning or other functions. They're for people who prefer automatic transmissions in their cars and don't crave excellent espresso. Nothing wrong with that, but excellent espresso is a treat.
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