Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012, 7:34am Subject: Re: Best Super Automatic For Under $1000
I have used the Gaggia Titanium Plus (list is around $1700 but you can always find them on sale under $1000) and the Saeco Incanto (Classic or Deluxe - Classic without LCD - Deluxe with LCD).
Most of them have the identical boilers and brew mechanism - I think Saeco makes the guts for many other companies. Of the two I've tried (the Gaggia vs Saeco) I thought the Saeco was better even though the guts were the same.
I see these on CL all the time for $200 or less (last one I bought was like new but steam valve leaking - I paid $75 and spent an hour cleaning it and lubing it and gave it away to a friend who thinks it's fantastic).
People buy these at Costo - use them without cleaning/maintaining them and then when they stop working because they are plugged up from never being cleaned they go on CraigsList.
I can see the attraction ... push a button and get some coffee. Guests are amazed and impressed. Main thing I don't like about them is the coffee beans sitting in a heated environment going stale very quickly and the way your first cup or two will be made with old coffee grinds sitting in the grind path (it has to grind enough beans to push the old beans through the grind path to the brew device - you are always about 2 coffees worth of old grinds before you get to the fresh grinds). It isn't anything like real espresso - but it can make a decent cup of strong coffee.
Give the first 2-3 cups to someone you don't like or who doesn't know the difference (or pour them down the sink) and then the third-fourth cup will be up to temp,fresh grinds and reasonably clean coffee path from the brew device to the spout.
Gig103 Senior Member Joined: 12 Feb 2012 Posts: 225 Location: Arizona Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Crossland CC1 Grinder: Baratza Vario Drip: French press!
Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012, 10:47am Subject: Re: Best Super Automatic For Under $1000
My co-worker had a Saeco, and even though he took care of it and cleaned it, the machine only lasted 40 days before he had to return it to Costco for continually having the 'red light of death'. It was probably a sensor issue or factory defective, but it left a sour taste in his mouth for the brand.
I think my advice on SAs would be to get one with a bypass doser. Not because you need to use preground coffee, but it allows you to use cleaning tablets which might help extend the life.
Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012, 12:23pm Subject: Re: Best Super Automatic For Under $1000
I enjoyed my Krups Superauto I bought for about $350, new. It lasted a couple years until I screwed up the grinder in it by trying to grind underroasted beans. Probably still be using it now if it were not for that. However, due to its annihilation I was forced to use my La Pavoni euro config lever. I must say that I now am making very awesome shots, much better than the super. Just way less convenient.
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674
given yr assumptions I would buy the cheapest of them all, just for the convenience.... and then see what happens.....remember that buying the best Stradivari does not make anybody a violin player, so do not let anybody lure you with the concept that expensive gear will make you the master of baristas...
If you're set on a SA, perhaps our "resident expert" CG member Pietro will see this and respond. He knows SA's very well.
I would ask members not to attempt to "change his mind" just yet.
Very appreciative Rob... I always made a clear and stubborn endorsement for good superautos that just do not happen to fit into the 1000 price range, in fact I saw the post last night and decided it was not worth wasting an answer, till I read yr post, and anyway you will agree that it is difficult to beat the convenience of a superauto, since quality of brew is strictly related to beans used and daily care with grinder...(I mean with a superauto...)and that it is much easier for a novice to make a prettty decent brew with a superauto compared to traditional gear. Ciao, Pietro
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