Saeco Vienna Plus
Welcome to this short Saeco Vienna Plus review. It might be a short review but I hope that it will be a thorough enough review of the Saeco Vienna Plus so that you’ll have an idea of whether this particular super automatic espresso machine is worth further consideration. Saeco for just a bit of a background is quite the success story, having only been founded since 1981, they were the first espresso machine manufacturer to bring to market a super automatic espresso machine for home use back in 1985 and in 1999 they bought Gaggia.
Like most other great espresso maker companies, Saeco was founded in Italy but were recently bought out by the Dutch giant conglomerate of Philips. Philips makes the popular single serve coffee maker known as the Senseo pods coffee maker. However, I usually have a concern whenever a company is bought out by a conglomerate that their products suffer. Is this the case here? In a word no. Let’s see how Saeco has survived being bought out.
So what does it mean when we say that the Saeco Vienna espresso machine is a super automatic espresso machine? Well, basically it does everything for you except clean your espresso cups and saucers! I joke… just a bit 🙂 A super automatic cappuccino machine will grind the espresso coffee beans, it will pack them into the portafilter and tamp the grounds to the correct pressure and then pour your espresso and discard the used espresso puck. Some super automatic espresso makers will also froth and steam your milk. The Saeco Vienna super automatic espresso machine doesn’t froth your milk but it does everything else.
I personally prefer the semi automatic espresso machines or as I like to call them, the manual espresso machines as they allow for more finesse and control… and dare I say more opportunities to mess up the coffee and/or lattes! But hey, I like to learn from my mistakes and I also like to roast green coffee beans so maybe I’m a little weird that way. However, I find that having your own espresso tamper and silver coffee spoon to measure out your dose 🙂 and to tamp it to your own liking to be very rewarding and not all that challenging. I also find it to be part of enjoying coffee culture and coffee art.
And really folks, it’s not that hard to make a good espresso if you’re just willing to go out on a limb. Regardless, this is my own preference and I recognize that many of you prefer to enjoy your espresso and cappuccinos with a hand’s free approach. In that case, the Saeco Vienna superautomatica is definitely worthy of your consideration. As I said, it doesn’t froth the milk for you – but you can do that cant you! – and besides if you’re looking to have your milk steamed and froth by a machine you’ll usually pay over a thousand dollars for that privilege! The Saeco Vienna Plus price is a little over half of that. But if you’re looking for a really terrific super automatic cappuccino maker then check out the Jura Capresso espresso machine.
Here are some of the many features of the Saeco Vienna Plus espresso machine:
- The built in burr grinder is adjustable for different coffee grind fineness
- Excellent 15 bar pump with brew group that is removable for easy cleaning
- 12 ounce bean hopper and dreg drawer will hold up to 15 used espresso pucks
- The large 57 ounce water reservoir is easily removable and the Panarello wand makes frothing easy
- OptiDose also allows for adjusting the strength of your espresso and the pump is durable stainless steel
I’m a huge fan of pump driven cappuccino machines like this Saeco Vienna Plus. Pump driven espresso machines allow for greater pressure of water forced through the ground espresso beans for greater and fuller flavor extraction. I also look for 12 bars of pressure or more as in my experience this helps develop a richer flavor but also a great thick and smooth crema. This Saeco Vienna cappuccino machine has 15 bars of pressure so that’s right in my wheelhouse ;).
I also like to see brass or stainless steel pumps as this is where the water is obviously pumped through and it is hot. A lot of the cheaper machines will use aluminum. Now aluminum can pass through a bit of that metallic flavor on occasion, but more disconcerting for me is the fact that I’m not fully convinced of the safety of aluminum when used to heat foods and liquids for human consumption. To me, there just isn’t enough hard proof that aluminum is harmless in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
So all in all, I’d say the Saeco Vienna Plus is a worthy contender if you’re looking for a cheap super automatic espresso machine which offers quite a bunch of decent features that will help you control to some extent the flavor extraction and strength of espresso from your espresso maker. But I’m not the only one who thinks so, there are many positive reviews on Amazon from satisfied customers. Let’s take a look at one.
Here is what one happy user of the Saeco Vienna Plus superautomatica espresso machine had to say:
The first thing I noticed is that it is Italian made like many of the great espresso machines. I also like that the footprint is pretty small thus taking up little counter space. The Vienna has three buttons–on/off, coffee, and steam. It also has a steamer control knob and a water volume knob. I observed the cup: nice crema, plenty hot, and smells like the genuine article. I gave it a taste–wow, step aside Capresso, this espresso is richer, hotter, and a lot closer to coffee bar espresso… the Vienna is now my favorite inexpensive espresso maker. – Evan G.