Philips Saeco Aroma Espresso Machine

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Saeco may not be the most well known manufacturer of espresso and coffee machines, but they are nonetheless very popular. With the Aroma model they’re aiming at the high entry level $200 market, a very popular segment. Let’s see what the Saeco Aroma can offer you.

Saeco Aroma Espresso Machine Features

As with most espresso machines in this price range, the Saeco Aroma features a 15-bar pump and a stainless steel boiler. You have an exclusive Pannarello device for milk frothing to go with the standard steam and hot water wand.

Other standard features include a streamlined backlit control panel, drip tray (removable), a convenient 85-ounce removable water reservoir and a cup warmer. The pressurized portafilter can accommodate both coffee grinds and E.S.E pods thanks to a pod adapter. With 950W of power, this should be a speedy little machine.

So, this far, the Saeco is bang on with regards to features in this price range. Here is a video of the Saeco Aroma in action. We’ll continue the review below that.

Saeco Aroma Espresso Machine Review

This is a fairly compact machine that will fit in almost anywhere. Not quite as small as the more basic DeLonghi EC155, but even if you’re low on counter space you should still be fine. It’s not the most exciting machine to look at, being fairly simple in design, but you won’t feel the need to cover it up when not in use either.

To steam milk with the Saeco Aroma, all you need to do is insert the pannerello into your pitcher of milk and open the steam wand. The wand is swivel mounted, which makes it easier to use. Unfortunately, you may have a hard time getting larger pitchers inserted under the wand. This is a small machine and that is one of the prices you pay. To combat this, stick to a small pitcher or try to elevate the machine.

We like that the machine has both a stainless steel boiler and stainless steel frame. This gives a sturdiness and a quality feel to it, more so than most machines in this price range.

The pressurized portafilter makes is fairly easy to get a decent espresso out of the machine. Now, this may not be for everyone, and if you want really high quality results you may need to purchase a non-pressurized portafilter, which you can use with your own fresh coffee grinds. For most people though, the pressurized portafilter will be fine and produces decent crema and great tasting espresso. It also makes the machine extremely easy to use.

The cup warmer is a nice touch, but this machine heats up so fast that your coffee is done before the cup warmer is properly heated up. When it comes to fast coffee or a warm cup, fast coffee wins every time for me, and the Saeco delivers just that. Just run boiling water into your cup to heat it prior to pouring your shot. Allow about 2 minutes for the machine to be ready to brew from when you switch it on.

Pros & Cons:
+ Heats up and brews fast
+ Stainless steel construction
+ Large water reservoir
+ Adaptable to E.S.E pods
+ Good crema and espresso
+ Easy to use

– Temperature control lacking
– Steam wand difficult to use with taller pitchers
– Filter can be hard to remove for cleaning, and gets messy

Summary

The Saeco Aroma Espresso Machine is an impressive piece of equipment with a quality feel about it. It lacks decent water temperature control and the frothing wand can be uncomfortable to use, but the ease with which it produces good espresso shots and the solid construction more than makes up for it.