Saeco (website), perhaps a bit jealous of Illy's success with their art cup line, decided to release their own line of cups. Other companies are doing the same, notably Solis, Gaggia and from what I hear, Pavoni. Saeco decided to do it a bit different though, releasing three pairs of cup designs, with both an espresso and a cappuccino cup for each set of two. They include the True Love and Citizens of Verona set (!!!), The Passionate and Sensual set (!!!!!), and the Romeo and Juliet set, the last one which is the subject of this review.
My cups were bought from ECM Equipment, in Burnaby, BC, for $42 Cdn dollars.
Made by Shirnding of Germany, these cups have the second worst seams in this roundup, with the worst being the Francis! Francis! set. A bowl shape inside, but with slight flutey outer walls that expand as they get higher, never going a full 90 degrees.
The saucers are okay, but seem to be inferior to the espresso cups, especially in materials. Given the retail price, it feels like corners were cut.
Nice quality porcelain in the cup; however, the saucers seem to made of a different, and lesser quality porcelain. Super gloss glaze over the painted work. Says dishwasher safe right on the bottom!
Second thinnest in this roundup, but nowhere near as thin as the FF!! cups. The thickness is fine by me, but a bit thicker would have moved them up a notch.
| Saeco Art Cups |
In this Romeo and Juliet set, you can see the almost abstract artwork, the saeco logo inside the cup (which marks 1.5 oz), and you can get a slight idea of the different shade of white in the saucers.
This is the only espresso cup in this roundup that I can actually get my fingers through the handle on! Wide and jutting, you hold these differently from the other cups - your index finger is the main support. Nice solid weight to the cups.
It's there, but not as much as the Illys or the Tognana cups.
The artwork on these cups is more standardized... not limited edition or art series like the Illy and FF!! cups are. Still, they often draw 'wow's from people I serve espresso to. The saucers feature a scribbled circular line with the word "collection" in one part of it. On the bottom it says Saeco Collection with an unrecognizable signature. No numbers.
The shape of the cups is very classic, and pleasing to the eye. These, like the Illy cups, have a rudimentary indicator inside for measurement - the Saeco logo in black is at approximately 1.5oz (the illy cups are 2oz at the mark).
Great cups overall. The seams are a bit shoddy, the saucers are slightly suspect, but in the end, these are great cups.
Pricey at a $37 per pair (website). This puts them even higher than most Illy sets (by comparison, two Schwung cups and saucers are approximately $20 a pair once you factor out the cost of the can of coffee those sets include). Still, you can buy 2 at a time with the Saeco sets.