A consistent shot with good frothing. I would suggest this machine for the newbi.
Positive Product Points
Easy to use with streight forward opetation. Delivers a consistent shot with a good thick creme and a good heat point. Atractive unit.
Negative Product Points
All ABS body, stationary bean hopper, no cup warmer.
My wife calls me a espresso snob and I have to agree. I spent two years in Le Mans France and grew to have a strong addiction to a good pulled shot and cap. With caffeine as my drug of choice, I want perfection when it comes to espresso and caps. I grew tired of paying $4.00 - $5.00 for a cap and $2.00 for a shot when the end product ( here in the States) is moderate at best.
I tried manual and semi auto machines with good results but was growing tired of the time and effort I had to devote to gain consistency in a good shot with a nice thick caramel colored creme. Well after a exhaustive two months of research for price and quality in a Super automatic I settled on a refurbished Saeco Vienna that I purchased on eBay from Aabreecoffee.com. I considered the Vienna digital and Deluxe however, I could not justify the difference in cost for the few features I would gain. The Vienna is a good machine and delivers a good consistent shot. Since it is a lower end Super Automatic it is lacking some features but it performs well. The temperature of the shot is good and milk frothing is better than I ever achieved in a semi. This is because of the double boiler and that was one feature I was looking for. Because this is a lower end system I do see some features that I will need in my next Super. I would like to have a double bean hopper so I could switch to decaf as well, I would also like to have a cup warmer, and the ability to dose the coffee as part of the package. I did get around this by frothing in the cup that I am serving in or dispensing hot water into my shot cup, and using a double shot.
After a whole weekend of experimentation, and my hart pounding out of my chest from the effects of consuming 10 ounces of beans, I reached what I would call the perfect shot! Here are the settings for those that are interested.
For the shot:
1.) My bean selection is Star Bucks Italian roast. 2.) Grind setting is #2 3.)Volume is three dots up from the left. 3.)I use a double for strength
For the cap: Froth your milk in the cup that you will be serving in and use a double shot as well.
Aabree Coffee is easy to deal with and my system arrived in three days.
Three Month Followup
I am still using the Vienna and my opinion has not changed. I have changed my selection of coffee and my settings slightly. I am not sing a espresso and other coffees in whole bean form http://www. thejavaclub.com I am using the Red White and Blue espresso roast and I have also used the Caffe in Rome blend as well. My grind setting is now 3. I get a good creme and a smooth espresso from this machine. If you plan to get this system please use a high quality espresso for best results.
Between me and my wife we pull 6 – 12 shots a day and the system has not given a it of trouble. For price vs. value vs. functionality I like the Vienna and do not regret buying it. If you are looking for a entry level system and do ont want to break the bank this is the noe to buy.