Saeco Picobaristo Espresso Maker With Milk Carafe Review
Every macchiato and ristretto lover can finally breathe out with relief, now that Picobaristo is here. The super-automatic model has it all: multiple drinks on offer, a dozen customization settings, and a self-cleaning regime that will make even the most devoted tea addict into a coffee maniac. Of course, there are some drawbacks too, and we'll cover the most annoying ones to help you make the final choice. Ready to learn every dirty little secret about Saeco Picobaristo?
Saeco Picobaristo Espresso Machine
This is the only Saeco Picobaristo review you need to make a choice. Features, specs, alternatives, and potential problems are now in one place!
- Multiple drink customization options available via the control panel. You can change everything from grinding granularity to drink temperature, volume, and strength. What's best, once you change the default settings, the smart machine saves your preferences, and you won't need to repeat the setup.
- Intelligent and hygienic cleaning and upkeep features. These include the AquaClean filter that ensures you won't have to trouble yourself with descaling for up to three months, the automatic milk system cleaning cycle, and the easy-to-remove dishwasher-safe brewing unit.
- Ceramic grinders for outstanding coffee flavor and aroma. The durable parts can last up to 20,000 cups without overheating the beans, distorting the original taste, or adding unnecessary bitterness or sourness to the drinks' taste.
Every espresso drinker knows that when it comes to flavor and aroma, stainless steel burrs are out, and ceramic grinders are in. Saeco designers and engineers are well aware of this fact, so you won't be disappointed by the taste of your morning shot. And if you want to skip the grinding and have a cup of decaf in the evening, a bypass hopper for ground coffee is ready to go.
Multiple beverage customization options ensure you get a perfectly brewed cup of coffee every time, whether it's a ristretto, a baby cappuccino, or a flat white. You can even play around with adjustable cup volume to make your drink stronger or less potent. Pre-brewing is also an option for connoisseurs.
Even though the coffee maker relies on one boiler, brewing time is pleasantly short. It takes 45 seconds for an espresso, and you can enjoy your long coffee in 1 minute and 40 seconds. You know your espresso will be delicious if the machine uses a powerful 15-bar pump.
The milk carafe holds up to 16 oz of milk for your frothy drinks, and the capacity of the water tank is 60 oz. You can load up to 8.8 oz of coffee beans into the top container, and you'll need to empty the waste container after 15 cups of coffee or sooner.
Saeco Picobaristo HD8924/47 comes with a set of standard accessories, including a measuring scoop, a water hardness test strip, a cleaning brush, and a water filter. Descaling fluid and AquaClean filters are readily available online when the time for full-scale cleaning comes. Besides, Saeco is well-known for quality customer support even after the 1-year warranty runs out.
When choosing your Picobaristo, pay attention to the model numbers, as there are several versions. HD8924/47 and HD8927/37 are similar in every way, but the latter offers an all-black look with the same price tag, though the exact sum may be higher in some stores. It might suit your kitchen style better, but consider how quickly the shiny surfaces will be covered with fingerprint smudges and splashes.
The cheaper model, HD8924/47, is limited to 8 coffee beverages instead of 11. However, the critical difference is the use of an automatic milk frother or cappuccinatore instead of an integrated milk carafe. Still, beverage customization options are similar, and the design is close to model HD8924/47.
Aesthetics and build quality
Whoever designed this machine, knew how to please coffee lovers. Picobaristo looks sleek and modern, a perfect fit for most interior design styles. While some parts of the body are heavy-duty plastic, the front and top panels are stainless steel. This combination makes for durable and easy-to-clean cover while keeping the espresso machine's weight and cost down.
Picobaristo is not the smallest among super-automatic espresso makers, but neither is it the largest. You'll have to free up a space of 8.5 by 16.75 inches on your countertop to fit the coffee maker. While the top water tank and coffee hopper are invaluable for quick filling, they might present a challenge if there isn't enough space between the countertop and the wall-mounted kitchen cabinets. You may need to slide the whole thing from under the cabinet (and that's over 18 pounds) if you can't open the latches. At least the coffee and milk spouts are high enough to fit a cup up to 6 inches tall, and you can make even more space by removing the dispenser if you want to fill a taller glass.
You won't get a touchscreen control panel in this price range, but buttons are no less intuitive. With twelve of them, you can navigate the drink customization options, make one-touch beverages, and alter default settings. The text and icons of the screen will take you through the brewing process even if you don't have the time to deal with the user manual.
The one downside you won't notice until well into your first year of using this model is the flimsy plastic water tank handle. It will break if you are not careful when removing or installing the reservoir. Luckily, replacement parts are readily available, but you should pay attention to this detail when washing your coffee maker.
Ease of use
Let's be honest. You wouldn't buy Saeco HD8924/47 if you did not want it to produce any number of your coffee-based guilty pleasures. It might not prepare every drink at a single press of the button, but the controls are still very comfortable and intuitive. There are five buttons for individual beverages, including espresso, espresso lungo, cafe crema, cappuccino, and latte macchiato. The remaining six options are available via the LCD menu display and navigation buttons.
Select among five strength options, three temperature settings, and ten levels of granularity. The latter feature is crucial for espresso enthusiasts who should opt for the finest grinding setting. Temperature controls could make a world of difference for milk-based drinks that can sometimes be too cold or too hot for your taste.
Hot water is on the list of beverage options, which is great news for tea lovers in your family. However, you should be extra careful when learning to use this setting. You need to remove the milk carafe and attach a hot water spout before choosing the hot water option. In the end, it might not be worth the fuss.
Unlike many automatic coffee makers, Picobaristo is a dream come true when it comes to cleanup and maintenance, as it actually does most of the work for you. For example, the display will suggest a milk system cleaning cycle after you brew yourself a cappuccino or another milky drink. The carafe, drip tray, and brew group are easy to remove and rinse with warm water, and you can only do it once a week to keep your helper in top shape. The manufacturer suggests replacing AquaClean filters every three months, and the machine will remind you to do so even if you forget. You won't need to descale for a while, and once again, Picobaristo will notify you and do all the work without much input from you.
Money for the value
Saeco HD8927/47 Picobaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Picobaristo is a very enticing option, considering the variety of drinks on offer, the ease of cleaning, and the mostly stainless steel body. You could find a cheaper model, but it would not be able to compete. Besides, the Saeco HD8927/47 Picobaristo super-automatic espresso machine has been around for a couple of years, so you know there are plenty of accessories and parts available, and most outlets sell this model at a discount price well under $1,000.
Find the best price for Picobaristo here.
If you are still in doubt about this machine, we've got your back. Check out our list of possible alternatives to fit any taste below.
What do you do if, upon reading this Saeco Picobaristo review, you've realized it isn't right for you? Choose among the three alternatives we suggest. We've prepared a quick overview here, but you are welcome to read our detailed posts on each of these models to help you make up your mind.
If you like what you see with Picobaristo but wish it were a bit more affordable, Delonghi Magnifica might be just right for you. It comes with the same mix of self-cleaning and drink customization perks, but lacks a few top-of-the-line details that lower the price. The grinder is stainless steel, not ceramic, and the frothing relies on a steam wand instead of being fully automated. Finally, the cover is made of quality plastic with no exterior metal parts in sight.
Ready to splurge to make your kitchen look like something out of this world? Jura Z6 can certainly accomplish that with a price tag almost four times higher than that of Picobaristo. The Swiss-designed and manufactured machine comes with an aluminum cover and a clear, brightly lit water tank. Additional bells and whistles, like the pulse extraction process and intelligent water system, make Jura stand out among other models, as does the lack of a milk carafe among the accessories included in the price. Cleanup and maintenance might be a pain, though, taking up to 30 minutes every week, and that's without descaling time.
Nor a fan of fully-automated coffee makers? Check out Rancilio Silvia, if you love the art of brewing your own morning espresso shot or steaming a perfect foam for Sunday brunch cappuccino. With its full-metal body and professional-grade portafilter+tamper combo, you will feel like a barista instead of relying on electronics to do the job. Silvia cannot boast a wide range of beverages, but it is smaller and cheaper than Picobaristo, and that's always a plus.
Saeco Picobaristo is a hard-working beauty that will spoil you with the number of coffee drinks on offer. When making a latte macchiato is as easy as pressing one button, why would you deny yourself the pleasure? Considering the machine automatically takes care of cleaning, you are left with coffee, water, and milk top-off duty. You could go for a cheaper model of the lineup (HD8924/47), but the milk carafe is a more comfortable and hygienic option well worth the extra money, in our opinion.
Look around, research some more, but we believe Picobaristo is a winner.
Founder and owner of Lion Coffee and 3ChampsRoastery, 1st place winner of Ukrainian Barista Championship 2017. Interested in travelling, football and Formula-1 (besides coffee, of course).