Posted Sat Apr 30, 2005, 6:01am Subject: Re: Saeco Classico or Delonghi EC701?
I had a Saeco Cappuccino (Classico in plastic clothing, I 'm pretty sure) for 4 yrs with a non pres PF and it was a great little workhorse of a machine. Replaced a couple of gaskets along the way, but it certainly produced good if not great espresso very reliably. Finally gave it to a friend who was using a steam Krups and it was a quantum leap for him. Poor guy is on the upgrade treadmill now. I seem to recall that the PF cost about $30 from Saeco USA, which of course you have to add to the initial cost of the machine when comparing prices (you can get a refurb black Classico at Wholelattelove for $240 today). It's not flimsy, but it is a lighter metal and probably half the weight of the comparatively massive 58mm brass PF of the Gaggia. The Gaggia group head also has alot more mass. I 've had a used Gaggia Espresso for 8 mos and it certainly is a different machine; better in some ways, and for me, much more sensitive to proper grind. I got away with a Solis Maestro for the Saeco, but had to upgrade to a "real" grinder with the Gaggia. I still get somewhat inconsistent results, so for me the Gaggia is a very solid machine that is a bit "twitchy". And yes, the operator may be the problem.
MEP Senior Member Joined: 11 Feb 2004 Posts: 76 Location: Metro Detroit Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Isomac Relax Grinder: Simonelli-MCI Vac Pot: na Drip: French Press Roaster: Toastmaster
Posted Sat Apr 30, 2005, 5:35pm Subject: Re: Saeco Classico or Delonghi EC701?
No offense taken at all, just want to help someone looking for an affordable and very durable starter machine.
The nppf is of good construction. Not as heavy as the 58mm pf's on my relax, but very solid. If you go with a Saeco, I remeber paying $18.00+ s/h for my nppf a year ago. The only thing they lack is the ability to be converted to crotchless without some loss of structrual integrity since you would cut through a great deal of the handle threading.
singforsupper Senior Member Joined: 22 Feb 2005 Posts: 539 Location: NY State Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Fiorenzato Bricoletta Grinder: Mazzer Mini E Vac Pot: - Drip: French Press Roaster: Caffe Fresco-Tony Sciandra...
Posted Sat Apr 30, 2005, 7:15pm Subject: Re: Saeco Classico or Delonghi EC701?
I had forgotten that the PF and the group of the Gaggia coffee is 58 mm. and that the brew group is heavier. That is important. I would consider the gaggia on that principle alone, but remember that you will need a real grinder like the Rancilio Rocky or the Gaggia MDF. The Gaggia coffee ($299) and the Gaggia MDF ($199) would be a good lower end paring to produce some real espresso. I wish I had started out on that! after 3-4 years on that pair you would be well positioned to be able to get the most out of a higher end HX E61 machine and a Mazzer grinder. (in my opinion)
Personally, I think you would not regret biting the bullet and getting a Rancilio Sylvia ($499) and a Racilio Rocky ($290). They are a match made in heaven and you will want to keep them longer and you can make really good espresso. But the next level down would, for my money be the Gaggia Coffee and the Gaggia MDF grinder. They will get you in the ballpark of really good espresso and keep you happy for some time.
Coffee, I must have coffee, And if anyone wants to give me a treat, Ah!, just give me some coffee!
Sleepless Senior Member Joined: 11 Jan 2005 Posts: 129 Location: New York Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale S1 VII Grinder: Mazzer SJ, KA Pro Line Drip: Braun FlavorSelect Roaster: Behmor 1600, HotTop
Posted Sun May 1, 2005, 5:33am Subject: Re: Saeco Classico or Delonghi EC701?
I have the black Saeco Classico and it a good starter machine. I have been using it daily for about 5 months at 5 doubles per day. I am currently yearning for/saving for a more advanced double boiler machine so that I can froth milk without waiting for steam, but for my current needs, it is fine. Bear in mind, once you get started, the odds are that you will quickly decide you need more machine, so spending only $300 or so for the Classico is not a lot wasted, and if other's comments about longevity carry over to my machine, I will be able to pass it along to some other newbie.
Regarding the 53 mm PF, I had read in a post of the La Spaziale S1 (also 53 mm) that there are many who prefer the smaller diameter filter basket, and it is not necessarily the sign of a entry level machine.
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