Simple, basic but reliable machine with good performance.
Positive Product Points
Simple to use, very reliable, easy grind adjustment with small increments.
Negative Product Points
Noisy. Can, at times, throw fine coffee grounds out of the bin when the lid is opened. Has a tendency to clog and jamb up at times.
I chose the Saeco grinder just over three years ago as it complemented my Saeco Via Venezia machine which I have owned for about four years. The espresso machine has been reliable so I figured that the grinder would be as well. I have tried to work out how much coffee I have ground over that time and I think it is somewhere in the vicinity of 40kg or in the old language, something like 90lbs. Now, I am not sure if this is a lot or not much at all, but I sometimes feel like I run a coffee shop out of my kitchen as every weekend and most evenings, friends pop around for a cuppa as the stuff that comes from my place is without doubt superior to the stuff that you pay $2.50 for at the local cafés. There are many reasons for this but this is probably not the place to start complaining about stale coffee, indifferent staff and scolding hot water being forced at too great a pressure through the coffee grounds!
For some reason I cannot remember where I bought the grinder, nor can I remember unpacking it but I do remember the fact that once I had proudly installed it next to the espresso machine, I had no idea of what to do next. If the grinder came with instructions they were pitifully inadequate. I seem to remember that they didn’t have instructions at all so it was a case of see what happens. My first few grinds were way too coarse for the machine with water practically gushing through the grounds almost without changing colour. After a few quite disappointing attempts, I managed to dial something like the correct grind which made a world of difference. This is the first real plus of this particular machine. It is easy to alter the grind although the numbers printed on the side of the hopper are a little small for those who need reading glasses. Another plus is that the on/off switch is well located and requires only a single fingered flick to activate it.
I don’t want to sound like I am complaining, and I appreciate that this grinder is hardly in the upper price bracket but when it is switched on, it sounds like a cheap electric motor has sparked into life and is going for all it is worth. You cannot hear the seductive sound of quality burrs carefully cutting your grounds to perfection, you can only hear the motor, and it sounds like it is complaining. Having said this, the motor has worked without fault and gives the feeling that it will go on for years to come.
The most annoying thing that this grinder does from time to time is it has the ability to clog up at the outlet grille and jamb the motor which then makes the most startling noises. The only fix that I have come up with is to remove the bin and then dig between the grille outlets with a skewer and unclog compacted grounds. I have no idea why it does this as it seems to happen with all sorts of beans. Perhaps the humidity plays a part in this problem. Even though it is easy to unclog, it is very messy and I always end up with coffee all over the grinder as well as the kitchen benches.
It may sound like I do not like this grinder, in fact I like it a lot. It has proven to be very reliable which in my book gains it extra points. It grinds accurately and is easy to adjust. It suits the Saeco espresso machine well and they make a good pair. I am soon to purchase a nice new Elektra spring lever machine (I like all the fuss), and it will be very interesting to see if the Saeco grinder is up to the task. I cannot possibly afford the Elektra grinders so I am hoping that my present grinder can cope.
Would I recommend the Saeco grinder? Yes! It is basic, not too expensive, not too pretty either, but it is reliable and grinds good quality beans well.
Cannot remember where I purchased the grinder so I suppose that the buying experience must have been alright. Otherwise I would remember as I refuse to hand my money over to idiots.