The Saeco aroma is an espresso machine made by the Italian appliance manufacturer Saeco. As you’ve heard me say before, Saeco is reasonably new into the appliance market, having only been founded in 1981. Though their rise to the top has been nothing short of meteoric. They were the first coffee company to develop and market an automatic espresso machine for household use. This they accomplished in 1985. So when you think about it, the automatic espresso machine has only been around a couple of decades or so. Yet we take it for granted as if it has been around since the dawn of time.
Anyway, Saeco bought out Gaggia in 1999 and they themselves were bought out by Philips in 2009. Yet they’re still on track to produce some great machines and develop cutting edge features in the coffee maker market. For example, in 2008 they introduced Energy Save which gave their Saeco espresso machines some of the best energy efficiency on the market. In 2010 Saeco introduced Digital ID which allowed for pre-programming of several user coffee profiles and you could have the coffee maker brew your perfect cup of coffee or espresso with just fingerprint recognition. Now that’s pretty cool I think.
The Saeco aroma espresso machine is part of Saeco’s line of manual espresso machines. What this means is that you have to grind and tamp the beans yourself in the portafilter. This is how I have been making espresso at home for a long time. I find I just have more control over the flavor profile this way. I can control the fineness of the coffee grind, the pressure I tamp the beans and the amount of water I let through the beans better this way. Not to say that I am against an automatic espresso machine.
I have friends who swear by them. I’ve used them, they’re good for the most part and they do allow for some personal control in the strength of the espresso, the fineness etc. I just find that the manual machine allows me more control and I guess I’m used to that. I’ve also had my manual espresso machine for several years now and it has never given me a problem. With automatic cappuccino machines you’ve got more moving parts and more things that go wrong. Some of them are very reliable, but you’ve got to be aware of that.
Other manual espresso machines like the Saeco Aroma
So along with the Saeco aroma espresso, there is the Saeco via venezia machine that is also manual. Though we’re going to focus on the Saeco aroma.
With the Saeco aroma espresso machines, you have your choice of the Saeco aroma black and the Saeco aroma stainless. Personally, I can’t see the need for another color of espresso machine. Black or stainless steel seems to work well in practically all kitchens. The Saeco aroma black espresso machine seems to be the better selling of the two, but the features that I’ll describe are applicable to the Saeco aroma stainless steel as well.
Additional features of the Saeco Aroma
As with most of the Saeco espresso machines with the aroma, you can used the Pannarello wand for both frothing milk into nice velvety texture or to provide hot water for teas and other beverages like that. The Saeco aroma also provides a pressurized portafilter which allows for the controlled amount of pressurized water to disperse through the espresso beans to provide excellent crema and taste. Although you can tweak the strength of the brew with their easy to use brew switch on the front control panel. Another neat and handy feature is the warming tray located on the top of the machine which allows for easy storage of your fine espresso china, not just for display but also for warming.
The Saeco aroma is Italian made, which for me is a plus and both the drip try and water tank are removable for easy cleaning. The water tank is a very decent size for an espresso machine this small. It comes in at around 85 ounces or 2.5 liters. Larger than most kettles. And with the Pannarello wand you most likely won’t need a kettle any more.
I like this cappuccino machine. For a number of reasons. Not least of which is the simple elegance of its design, the fact that it is Italian made and the more I use the Saeco Aroma, the more I enjoy their simple elegance and quality.