A very good Super Coffee Machine that you can count on every morning. I don't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is looking for an Espresso Machine in this price bracket.
Positive Product Points
Ease of use. Rapidity of this machine to be ready to make a shot. Consistency of the coffee taste. Facility to froth milk. Ease of weekly maintenance. And a great design.
Negative Product Points
Plastic taste of the coffee for the first shots. It is not so easy to learn how to navigate in the menu but once you know it, it's OK. The Operating Manual could be better.
Before buying this machine, I hesitated between a Super auto and a Semi auto like the Expobar Office Lever. And I don't regret my choice. You can easily configure this machine from a complete menu accessible from the ring.
After trying many coffee grains, I settled for the Saeco Miscela Gold (100% arabica). If we refer to the Golden Rule which is "to pull 1 to 1.5 fluid ounces of water through approximately 7 grams of ground coffee in about 20 to 25 seconds", I systematically pull 1.4 fluid ounces of espresso through 7 grams of ground coffee in 23 seconds. My settings are 1) ground medium, 2) water 4/20 blocks, 3) pre-infusion time: long, 4) water temperature: medium and 5) full crema (center knob turned completely clockwise).
It is very easy to froth milk (2% skim milk) and the texture is quite rich every time.
What I also appreciate is the rapidity of this coffee machine to be in a ready mode to make a shot. It takes only 50 seconds ! And it is ready to froth milk if you decide to do so. Great in the morning.
The maintenance is quite easy as you pull the ground module from the machine and pass some water over it to clean it. This maintenance can be done in 5 minutes once a week.
I choose a Super Auto Seaco coffee machine because we have a service center in Montreal. I called these guys a few time for information and they always help me very efficiently.
Three Month Followup
Read the 1 year followup
One Year Followup
After 1 year of continuous use, no problems to report. The settings selected a year ago are the same because the coffee flavor is still excellent and unchanged. After reading critics regarding the Saeco Talea Series and the automatic process to froth milk, I think that future buyers of this coffee machine should consider to manually froth milk instead of leaving the machine to do so ! It's very easy to do and the froth is always thick and creamy. Would I buy this machine again ? Certainly, without hesitation !...