If we could try the Gaggia, Rancilio and Saeco machine and all others... we could see right away what we want.But instead we have to read reviews to compare.Better than nothing I guess!
Positive Product Points
Good coffee made easy
Negative Product Points
Portafilter tampering is made automatically when you place the handle in place. Not the best for good compact coffee
I will tell you what I like and dislike about this model, and will compare it to a Breville Roma (Breville is well reviewed for it's price range and nice coffee taste)
Well it is my first espresso machine. My girlfriend has a Breville Roma and did not want to have the same as her(viva la difference). Went to her sister's house and she has a Saeco Aroma for 5 years. So I could see a difference in the 2 machines.
The Breville makes a thick crema but not a lot(about 3/16 of a inch).But surely taste really good. My Saeco makes more of a bubbly crema wich is a lighter texture and makes a lot of it(half a inch). So the difference in the texture and crema taste...advantage Breville but really good with both machines. The water tank is really big with Saeco(6 cups at least). You don't have to fill it often compare to the Breville (2-3 cups at most) The Saeco makes great foamy milk for cappucinos and fast.The rich foamy milk is made in apprx less than 30 seconds. Very easy to use.But please read the manual first.Once you know what to do you get a nice shot. The Breville makes it good but not as easy and fast.
I guess that's why they call it Rapid Steam!
Visually it's a very nice machine.The breville too, bu twhat I like it has a beefy look.
Also the portafilter is made of solid alloy compare to the Breville's Roma (mix of plastic and alloy). I called Saeco to buy a tamper and the saleperson told me I don't need one since it's a pressurised handle. But I recommend to buy one, and see the result. I'm not 100% sure it makes a big difference but I need to test it. It is not compact enough for my tatse.
Also the noise the machine makes compare to the Breville is a lot better. I prefer the electric sound it makes compare to the noisy pump the Breville has.
In the end they are 2 good machines, but I hope mine will last longer since it's made strong.
My first machine and the second one I test on a daily basis