Saeco’s Aroma and Gaggia’s Classic both make a great choice for a compact and traditional-style espresso makers. They’re both manual espresso machines, yet they’re very beginner friendly and easy to use. In this post, we’ll look at the differences between the Saeco Aroma and Gaggia Classic to help you decide which one is best for you.
Features of Gaggia Classic:
- 17 1/2 bar pump pressure with high voltage boiler.
- Frothing wand that also doubles as a hot water dispenser.
- 72-ounce removable water tank.
- Stainless steel housing.
- Portafilter with brass group head for temperature stability.
- Includes single and double shot baskets, coffee scoop/measure and a tamper.
- Ability to brew using ground coffee or E.S.E pods.
- Measures 14-1/4 by 8 by 9-1/2 inches
Features of Saeco Aroma:
- 15-bar pump pressure, stainless steel boiler.
- Frothing wand with hot water dispenser.
- 85 ounce removable water tank.
- Portafilter with single/double baskets and E.S.E pod adapter.
- Full stainless steel housing.
- Measures 8 by 10 by 11-3/4 inches
What Is The Difference Between Gaggia Classic and Saeco Aroma?
Image Title Philips Saeco RI9376/04 Aroma Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel Feature Traditional espresso machine for making espresso, cappuccino, and lattes at home
Stainless-steel boiler; powerful 15-bar pump; pod-adaptable pressurized portafilter
Steam and hot-water wand with exclusive Pannarello milk-frothing device
Simple control panel; removable water tank; cup-warming surface; removable drip tray
Measures 8 by 10 by 11-3/4 inches; 1-year limited warranty
Coffee/espresso machine with 72-ounce removable water reservoir
Stainless-steel housing; brass portafilters and grouphead for temperature stability
17-1/2-bar pump with high-voltage boiler; hot-water dispenser; frothing wand
Single- and double-shot stainless-steel filter basket, tamper, and measuring scoop included
Measures 14-1/4 by 8 by 9-1/2 inches
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As you can see by reading the features of Gaggia Classic and Saeco Aroma, both machines are almost the same. The differences are very small:
- The Gaggia has a higher pump pressure, 17 1/2 bar vs. 15 bar for the Saeco Aroma. But this isn’t a huge deal really.
- The Saeco Aroma has a larger water reservoir with 85 oz capacity while the Gaggia Classic has 72 ounce.
- The Saeco Aroma is smaller in size, if that’s a priority for you.
If there’s one thing that we personally believe to make a difference it’s:
- The Gaggia Classic’s grouphead on the portafilter is made of metal entirely, this gives you better temperature stability when brewing and results in better espresso extraction.
- The Saeco Aroma has metal baskets but the grouphead is plastic like the handle of the portafilter, which is fine in general, but isn’t as good as the Gaggia Classic.
Which One To Buy?
We would recommend the Gaggia Classic simply for its superior grouphead/portafitler, which means a hotter and better espresso shot.
How To Install and Use Gaggia Classic:
Review of Saeco Aroma:
– Is there wait time between brewing coffee and frothing milk?
Yes, like any single-boiler espresso machine, you’ll have to wait between the two tasks. For the Gaggia Classic, it’s about 60 seconds.
– Can I Use Pre-packaged E.S.E pods?
Yes, E.S.E Pods work with both the Gaggia Classic and Saeco Aroma
-What Do I need to buy with my espresso maker?
The Gaggia already includes a coffee scoop and a tamper, so you’ll only have to include a frothing jug. As for the Saeco Aroma, no tamper is needed as the portafilter is pressurized, but you’ll still need a frothing jug. We recommend this one by Update International which will cost you less than $10.
-Do I need a coffee grinder?
A freshly ground coffee is one of the most important factor in espresso brewing. If you don’t have a grinder yet, have a look at our recommended conical burr grinders here.
Breville’s Barista Express espresso machine has been one of the best selling espresso maker through our website for a while. In this post, we’ll give our thoughts on the machine, why it’s worth your money and if you should buy it or not.
In this post:
- What Is The Barista Express
- Comparison Between Barista Express Models
- Is The Barista Express Worth The Money?
- Should You Buy the Barista Express?
What Is The Breville Barista Express and How Does It Work?
The Barista Express is a semi-automatic espresso machine that has an integrated conical burr grinder. The grinder grinds only the amount of coffee you need right into the portafilter, so your coffee is extracted only seconds after grinding, giving you a truly aromatic shot of espresso.
The Barista Express has the ability to work automatically with pre-set shot volumes, as well as manually. All pre-sets can be reprogrammed to your preference.
The grinder on the Barista Express has a dial where you can adjust your grind and a Grind Amount dial dose the amount of grind to suit the grind size.
Other Features of the Barista Express:
- 1600 watts thermocoil heating system.
- Electronic water temperature control for temperature stability.
- Purge function automatically adjusts water temperature after steam use for the best results.
- Pre-infusion function applies low pressure water to coffee ground at the start to allow for an even espresso extraction.
- Portafilter includes stainless steel baskets for a single or double shot.
- Removable 67 oz water reservoir.
- Hands-free cradle holds the portafilter when grinding directly into it.
- Bean hopper capacity: Half a pound.
- Breville’s patented Razor dose trimming tool
- 54mm stainless steel portafilter.
- single shot basket (1 cup and 2 cup)
- Double shot basket (1 cup and 2 cup)
- Coffee scoop and tamper.
- Stainless steel frothing jug.
- Cleaning tablets, cleaning brush.
- Water filter and water filter holder.
Comparisons Between Models of the Breville Barista Express:
The Barista Express is available under two model names: BES870XL and BES860XL. It is also available under variations BES870CBXL and BES870BSXL. Wondering what’s the difference between them?
Image Title Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine with Grinder Feature 15 Bar Italian Pump and 1600W Thermo coil heating system
Purge Function: Automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature
Stainless steel conical burr grinder with 1/2 lb. sealed bean hopper
67 fl.oz (2L) removable water tank with handle
Newer model of the Breville BES860XL Barista Express
Stainless steel conical burr grinder with ½lb bean hopper
15 bar Italian pump
1450W stainless steel thermocoil heating system
Adjustable grind size and grind amount settings
Preset, manual over-ride or re-programmable shot volumes
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We’ve done full comparisons between all these models in previous posts, which you can read by clicking here. But here’s a quick recap:
- The BES860XL is an older version, therefor slightly less expensive, where the BES870XL is the latest version of the Barista Express.
- The BES870XL has more power, 1600 watts compared to BES860XL’s 1450 watts.
- It has a redesigned bean hopper.
- The BES870XL has a hot water dispenser and it has an auto-off option that the BES860XL lacks.
- Lastly, the BES870XL gives you better control of coffee and water temperature.
As for the names BES870CBXL and BES870BSXL, these simply refer to the colors the BES870XL available in. The added CB refers to Cranberry, which is the deep red version and the BS refers to Black Sesame which is the Black version. The Barista Express BES860XL is only available in Stainless Steel.
Is The Barista Express Worth the Money?
As the Barista Express is at a range of $500 to $600, some might wonder if it’s worth your price.
If you’re keen on creating a coffee bar at your home that will last you a long time, you’ll have to buy:
- a high quality, nicely built espresso maker.
- a high quality conical burr grinder.
- All necessary accessories like a frothing jug, tamper and more.
If you do the math, you’ll find that the Barista Express is a cost-efficient purchase that includes everything you need in one unit.
The Barista Express is made of high-quality parts, stainless steel housing that is easy to maintain and clean, and it has storage within it for all its accessories like portafilter, cleaning tools and such. So for what’s included with the machine, as well as the machine itself, it is absolutely worth the price.
Who Should Buy The Barista Express?
This machine is perfect for beginners as well as intermediate at-home baristas. For a beginner, it could be tricky to use at first, but it’s a great learning tool and you should be able to get it right in no time. And there’s always the automatic option where the machine can do it for you if you can’t.
While some might advice beginners to start with a small and easy to use espresso maker, we advice against this. It’s better that you pay more for something that will last you for a long time than spend less money on a machine that you will outgrow soon enough. So why not invest in a proper espresso maker that you won’t get bored of or have to replace soon after.
Fans of illy’s coffee should be really excited about Francis Francis’ single-serve coffee maker named Y5 which uses illy’s IperEspresso single-serve capsules. While this isn’t the first machine that uses iperEspresso capsules exclusively, there’s Gaggia for illy and the X7.1 which is also by Francis Francis. However, the Y5 has a twist that makes it special.
What Makes The Francis Francis Y5 Duo Different That other iperEspresso Machines?
For the first time, the Y5 Duo by Francis Francis combines an espresso machine and coffee maker. It is able to brew a shot of espresso as well as a regular cup of coffee using the same machine!
Features of the Y5 Duo:
- A compact single serve coffee maker.
- Premium build that combines aluminum and tempered glass.
- Can brew espresso using illy’s iperEspresso capsules.
- Also brews traditional cup of coffee using illy’s iperCoffee capsules.
- Adjustable cup holder to accommodate different cup sizes.
- Touch-sensitive buttons.
- Adjustable coffee volume settings.
- Automatic capsule ejection.
- 30 oz water tank capacity.
What Is The Francis Francis Y5 Milk?
Francis Francis Y5 Milk is an upgraded version of the Y5 Duo. It has an integrated milk tank and frother to make milk based drinks like Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato and more.
Features of Francis Francis Y5 Milk:
- 6 pre-set beverage settings: espresso, coffee, cappuccino, latte, steamed milk and hot water.
- Premium machine housing with aluminum exterior and tempered glass.
- Touch-sensitive buttons.
- Adjustable cup sizes.
- Adjustable coffee volume.
- Removable milk tank.
- 30 oz water tank capacity.
What Is The Difference Between Francis Francis Duo and Milk?
Image Title Francis Francis for Illy 60072 Y5 Duo Espresso & Coffee Machine, Silver/Black Francis Francis for Illy Y5 Milk Espresso and Coffee Machine Black Feature Make exceptional espresso and traditional coffee with one touch simplicity
Uses illy iper capsules exclusively
2 adjustable volume setting
Automatic capsule ejection into used capsule drawer
Power Save Mode
6 beverage options: espresso, coffee, latte macchiato, cappuccino, steamed milk, hot water
Uses illy iper Espresso and Coffee Capsules
Programmable volumes and auto-stop
Compact size and easy front accessibility
Removable milk tank can be stored in refrigerator
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The biggest difference between the two machines is the integrated milk frother on the Y5 Milk. The Y5 Milk gives you a larger range of coffee drinks at a push of a button, while the Y5 Duo only makes espresso and coffee.
Francis Francis Y5 Duo:
Francis Francis Y5 Milk:
illy’s iperEspresso and iperCoffee Capsules: How Much It Costs and Where To Buy Them?
We’ve posted a detailed about illy’s iperEspresso capsules before when we compared them to Nespresso capsules. illy, which is one of the best Italian coffee brands out there, created iperEspresso to give you the same high quality of coffee you’d expect from any illy cafe, right in the comfort of your own home.
iperEspresso is available in a range of blends and intensity, from dark to medium or decaf. The capsules are packed in a can that seals in all its freshness, which results in an absolute fresh cup of coffee.
As for iper Coffee, which works with Y5 Duo, it is a newcomer to illy’s capsule selection. It works the same way as iperEspresso, but instead of espresso, it has a coffee blend for brewing a large cup of coffee.
Are iperEspresso and iperCoffee Capsules Refillable?
No, none of illy’s capsules are refillable. They’re made for a single use only.
How Much Do They Cost?
Each can of iperEspresso has 21 capsules, while iperCoffee has 18 capsules. The price depends on which blend you choose, but you should expect to pay from $0.79 to $1 per cup/capsule. It isn’t exactly cheap, but you have to keep in mind that you’ll be getting a quality cup of coffee that would cost you up to $3 or $5 at a local coffee shop. So you’ll actually be saving lots of money by making your coffee house style drinks at home.
Are Any Capsules Included with the Purchase of a Machine?
Unfortunately, no capsules are included with the purchase of your machine, which is the only CON to this. You’ll have to buy some capsules to get started with your machine.
Where To Buy iperEspresso and iperCoffee Capsules?
When it comes to the Evoluo and Evoluo Delxue, the difference is only in the capacity. That is the capacity of the water reservoir and the capacity of the used capsule drawer:
- The Evoluo Delxue has a water reservoir capacity of 54 ounce and a drawer that holds up to 17 used capsules.
- While the Evoluo has a water reservoir of 40 ounce and a drawer that holds up to 13 used capsules.
Is It True That the Nespresso Evoluo Hotter Than the VertuoLine?
Yes, that is certainly true. Some of Nespresso customers have complained that the Vertuoline wasn’t hot enough to their taste, so they fixed this issue in this new addition to the VertuoLine collection. You can watch this video of a customer doing a temperature test on the Evoluo to confirm this…. (Temperature testing starts at minute 20 of the video)
Who Should Buy the Nespresso Evoluo and Evoluo Deluxe?
With the Evoluo, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious coffee and espresso drinks with a push of a button. Whether to get the Evoluo or Evoluo Deluxe mostly depends on how many people will be using the machine.
- We predict that the Evoluo is prefectly sized for one to two people usage. You’ll be able to brew at least 5 cup of coffee or around 10 shots of espresso (using default sizes) before the need to refill the water reservoir.
- The Evoluo Deluxe is certainly better suited for a larger family or an office where you can brew more cups on a daily basis without the need for constant refilling of the water reservoir.
Want to learn the difference between Nespresso Evoluo and VertuoLine? Click here.
Best Nespresso Evoluo Deluxe Bundle:
Nespresso Evoluo Deluxe With Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother, Set of Espresso Cups and Descaling Solution:
This great bundle includes:
- The Nespresso Evoluo Delxue.
- a Nespresso Aeroccino Plus Milk frother for creating delicious coffee drinks like Cappuccino or Latte.
- a set of 6 espresso cups and saucers with rack.
- Descaling solution to help you clean the machine when needed.
We’ve been getting a number of emails asking about Nespresso’s Decaf capsules. So we decide to put all the questions together in this post to help everyone out. If you have a question that hasn’t been answered, feel free to contact us by clicking here.
What Color Are The Nespresso Decaf Capsules?
Right now, Nespresso offers four of its original blends in the form of Decaf. The Arpreggio, Volluto, Vivalto Lungo and Intenso. Each of these blends has a different intensity that ranges from 9 to 4. They’re the same color as the original blends: purple, gold, blue and red. So how do you tell if they’re decaf?… read the next question.
How Can I Tell Which Nespresso Capsule Is Decaf?
Very simple, you’ll notice there’s a red dot at the bottom where the capsules get punctured. The box of the capsules will have the same red dot and will be labelled Decaffeinato.
How Much Caffeine Do Nespresso’s Decaf Capsules Have?
While decaf coffee is supposed to have no caffeine at all, truth is still has some traces of it. The average Nespresso capsules has about 60mg to 70mg of caffeine in it, while the Decaf has 1mg or less. This very tiny amount has very little to no effect on the body. So you can enjoy your decaf without any worries of caffeine kicking in.
Best Nespresso Decaf Capsules:
The following are the best rated Nespresso Decaf capsules from Nespresso or Nespresso compatible brands.
Nespresso Decaffeinato Mix includes 30 capsules of Arpeggio, Volluto and Vivalto Lungo.
Gourmesso Nespresso compatible capsules, Colombia Decaf Dolce with an intensity of 3.
Bestpresso Nespresso-Compatible Decaffeinato Capsules. This box contains 20 total capsules of medium intensity certified Italian coffee.
Review of the Gourmesso Nespresso-compatible capsules: