Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
coffeegeek product reviews
the detailed review - saeco via veneto
Saeco Via Veneto - Overview of the Via Veneto
Introduction | Overview | Detailed Review, Pt. 1 | Detailed Review, Pt. 2 | Conclusion
Saeco Via Veneto
Members' Reviews
Write a Review for the Saeco Via Veneto
Great learner tool if bought on the cheap.
Alexandre Enkerli, Jan 23, 2006
More of Alexandre Enkerli's Review:
It's hard to say anything after Mark has written a detailed review and several experienced espresso enthusiasts have offered thoughtful comments on the same product.
But the Via Veneto is a decent starter machine and it might be a good idea to go over a...
Read More...
As an entry level pump machine, it will provide many years of good cappuccino.
Byron Ala, Aug 25, 2007
More of Byron Ala's Review:
I bought this machine in 1998, after trying to fix my Saeco Classico (I think). That was a mistake, and when I brought it to the shop, it turns out I burnt out the pump and the boiler. At that point, I had been using the machine for about 1.5 years. So,...
Read More...
18 Reviews have been written for the Saeco Via Veneto so far by our members.
Discuss this Detailed Review for the Saeco Via Veneto in our Forums.
You can rate the quality of this review on our conclusion page.

I am often emailed and asked to recommend a good home machine setup. My pat response is "Rocky and Silvia", meaning the Rancilio Rocky grinder and Rancilio Silvia espresso machine, but recommending a setup that costs $600 plus shipping can be viewed as expensive by many folks.

The problem is, with a more reasonable budget of under $200, the market simply doesn't have anything new that is noteworthy to recommend - after all, I won't recommend a "steam toy" (the cheapie "espresso" machines that only use boiler pressure). But now, for a limited time possibly, there is a "new" machine on the market at one store that can possibly be recommended: the Melitta Café Express machine from damark.com. Many thanks to Jack Denver (regular in the newsgroup alt.coffee) for finding this deal.

I ordered two of these machines to check them out, to do this detailed review, and to find out if the machine is suitable for low budget setups in the home. At the price damark.com is offering these for, I figured anyone even remotely curious could afford it, and maybe someone should find out if the machine will help or hinder their espresso experience.

Before receiving the machines, I spoke with a Saeco importer, as well as a few resellers of Saeco products, asking their opinion on the Via Veneto. Once I got them to talk a bit, the universal opinion was that "an okay machine, but you can do better". As a starter machine, they said it was a good purchase, but for someone wanting serious espresso, they may come away disappointed.

Okay. Reading between the lines, I could tell these folks were not very impressed with the machine, but because the purpose of this review is to describe, use, and advise on a machine who's intended market is not those shopping for a Rancilio Silvia or a Livia 90, I won't let any preconceived notions cloud my words too much. I can't help the fact that I don't like froth aiders or crema enhancers (a justified dislike, btw), but I also realize that not everyone can froth the first time they try.

Once the machines arrived, I can't say I was terribly impressed with what I saw. The machines were clean and shiny plastic, and barely 9 pounds dry. The fit of some of the switch housings was poor, and well, the machine definitely called out "lightweight!!" to me. To a newbie, this machine might instill a few oohs and ahhs, but the attention to outer details was lacking. Maybe the interior is a bit better, we'll see.

Top View
The finish of the crema with all shots on the Cafe Express (with its pressurized crema enhancing portafilter) are always a bit scary, with huge-bubble frothing.

I read the instructions carefully but still had some problems priming the machine for the first time. See the detailed review for why and how I fixed it. My initial shots looked promising, crema-enhanced portafilter notwithstanding - the crema was nice and dark except for the finish, and the shots looked good, until the finish. The general espresso taste was bitter, especially the afterbite.

A note on this - I will cover this more on the following pages, but let me say that bitter aftertaste is not necessarily that bad a thing, especially if you like cappuccinos and lattes. But for espresso, there was a bit too much bite for my liking. I blame it squarely on the crema enhancer.

The machines stood up to a hard month of testing, where I probably used the machines about 4 times more than a typical user would in a month. There were a few quirks noticed, some nit picks, and one genuine complaint, but overall, they came through the month okay.

Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image
Front
Right Side
Back
Left Side

Next Page...

Introduction | Overview | Detailed Review, Pt. 1 | Detailed Review, Pt. 2 | Conclusion
This review and all its parts are ©2003-2005 CoffeeGeek.com and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author or this website. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) or if you would like to purchase a printed version of this review for commercial or private use, please contact us at info@coffeegeek.com for further details.
Interactive
Search
Login Password
forgot pw | signup
quickNav
Detailed Review Sections
Arrow 1. Introduction
Arrow 2. Overview
Aarow 3. Detailed Review, Pt. 1
Aarow 4. Detailed Review, Pt. 2
Aarow 5. Conclusion
advertisement
sponsorad
Saeco Espresso Machines
Large selection in-stock, includes Free Gifts and Free Shipping!
www.espressozone.com
sponsorad
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repair - Parts - Sales
Factory Authorized &
Trained Technician
www.espressocare.com
sponsorad
Cafe Solutions
Commercial sales and service, nationwide installation, equipment leasing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.294378995895)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+