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Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
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01tj
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Location: WV
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 7:19am
Subject: Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
 

After reading this thread

http://forums.mwerks.com/showthread....light=espresso

I recently picked up a Saeco Vienna superautomatic off of ebay. The seller had really good feedback so after reading the reviews I decided I'd be okay with a used machine. Once I got it I realized it was missing the drop box and would not work without it so I had to spend more money to fix that. Now that I have the drop box in it is dumping dry grounds into the box and also does not produce steam but I can smell the heating unit heating up. Does anyone have an idea what I could do to get this thing to work?
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 8:17am
Subject: Re: Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
 

Unfortunately for your purchase, super-autos tend to be disposable appliances, not "fix it up and keep it running for years" things. You should have returned it to the seller and gotten a refund as soon as it was apparent that what you received wasn't working and wasn't complete.

You won't find much love for super-autos around here (and I used to own a Gaggia Synchrony Digital, which is very similar to the Saeco Vienna, having many parts in common). They tend to have crappy grinders, bad temperature control and make mediocre espresso, if you're lucky. Better than *$ is about the limit of what they can do, and that's a pretty low bar. Sorry.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,376
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 10:16am
Subject: Re: Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
 

Sadly . . . what he said x2.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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01tj
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Location: WV
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 11:22am
Subject: Re: Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
 

Thanks for the reply, I was kind of afraid of that.  The seller keeps saying it worked fine when she sent it which is impossible without a dumpbox but I guess that was the risk I took.  My reason for the purchase is I love espresso but I don't have the pallet (good espresso tastes great to me) that most of you guys seem to or the money to buy a really good machine or time it takes to make good espresso.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,376
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 11:41am
Subject: Re: Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
 

Well, hopefully you have good water . . . .

You don't need to spend thousands of dollars to make excellent espresso (although many of us have), and as for your palate, it matters not . . . as long as it tastes good to you!

When ready to try again, my advice would be to stay off eBay and/or craigslist -- keep an eye on the Buy, Sell, Trade Forum HERE on Coffee Geek.  At least you know that -- relatively speaking -- the people will know what they're talking about and will (probably) have cared for the equipment.  Look for things like a Silvia or Gaggia Classic; for a Compak K3, Mazzer Mini, or Macap M4 . . . among others.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 11:49am
Subject: Re: Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
 

01tj Said:

Thanks for the reply, I was kind of afraid of that.  The seller keeps saying it worked fine when she sent it which is impossible without a dumpbox but I guess that was the risk I took.  My reason for the purchase is I love espresso but I don't have the pallet (good espresso tastes great to me) that most of you guys seem to or the money to buy a really good machine or time it takes to make good espresso.

Posted January 17, 2014 link

Depending on your budget you can start off fairly cheap, plenty of us did... and then the bug hit and upgraded lol. But even something like a used Gaggia Classic can be snatched for a deal (wholelattee I think sells refurbs on Ebay for like 270), used grinder options to refurb (a refurb Preciso is like 250 I think), you can even get away with a cheap hand grinder like a Hario Mini or Skerton and do the stepless mod. Just order fresh roasted beans and your set.

Problem with super autos is like mentioned the temps and temp stability suck, internal grinders are bad, internals themselves are all proprietary so if something breaks your basically SOL or have to send back to manufacturer and spend $$$ to fix, don't even steam milk well. Some of the newer ones have gotten a little better. But you can spend like 3 grand on pry the best one for home use (Monza Deluxe which is same machine McDs uses) and a cheap setup like I mentioned before will still easily outperform it. Superautos are all about convenience, putting coffee quality dead last.

Or if even that is out of budget for espresso, you have other coffee means. Heck a Hario Mini or Skerton + Aeropress + Fresh beans = excellent coffee and cheap, Aeropress is only $25. Other means too like pour over that can be done affordably.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,726
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 Jan 17, 2014, 12:34pm
Subject: Re: Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
 

Jason, I will also add my name to the list of regrets for being burnt by the sale.

I really hate to hear of people not getting what they hoped for. You have been a member a long time but have not said much. I am wondering why, is there a reason for it or was espresso a passing interest years ago and you are only now getting back to it?

If you are handy, you might be able to find the issue(s) and get it working again but SA machines tend to be, as said above, disposable items.

I know when I first was interested in espresso, I had the mistaken idea that the SA was the peak of machines and lusted after them but had to "make do" with Semi auto machines. As I learned more, I was glad I did not have the money to "invest" in what I had mistakenly thought was the best.

There are places for the SA machine, mostly where people do not know anything about coffee or espresso and just want something to drink, like in an office situation where lots of people use it but could not care less about making coffee. For them, it fills a need in the "break room" but at the expense of shorter useful lives and higher cost both in the purchase and in repairs.

 
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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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 968
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 1:27pm
Subject: Re: Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
 

01tj Said:

Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?

Posted January 17, 2014 link

They're really not the focus of CoffeeGeek.  A site line SingleServeCoffee is more geared to users of such machines.

01tj Said:

My reason for the purchase is I love espresso but I don't have the pallet (good espresso tastes great to me) that most of you guys seem to or the money to buy a really good machine or time it takes to make good espresso.

Posted January 17, 2014 link

Palates get developed with experience.  As indicated above, you don't need a lot of money to make good espresso.  You can go used and get an entry level single boiler.  If you have to you can go with a hand grinder.

01tj Said:

or time it takes to make good espresso.

Posted January 17, 2014 link

It really doesn't take much time unless you're trying to make milk drinks with a single boiler.
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01tj
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Location: WV
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014, 7:38am
Subject: Re: Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
 

What about the ROK

http://www.rokkitchentools.com/

Or would I be better off spending $150 on a grinder and getting a cheap $50 espresso maker

Hopefully I'll be able to send the SA back and maybe pick something else up.
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014, 8:37am
Subject: Re: Anyone know anything about superautomatic (or automatica) espresso machines?
 

01tj Said:

What about the ROK

http://www.rokkitchentools.com/

Or would I be better off spending $150 on a grinder and getting a cheap $50 espresso maker

Hopefully I'll be able to send the SA back and maybe pick something else up.

Posted January 18, 2014 link

The earlier version of what they're now calling "The Rok" had safety issues and the handles were known to break. It was redesigned, but still has some issues, from what I've heard. You'd be better off with a Handpresso or similar.
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