file $180 machines - Saeco & Breville

  • Bobby
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11 years 4 months ago #2749 by Bobby
Seems a few machines have gone under $200 recently. Any experience or buying advice on these machines, which are both selling for $180:

Saeco Via Veneto
Breville Cafe Roma

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11 years 4 months ago #2750 by colin
Replied by colin on topic $180 machines - Saeco & Breville
Regarding the Breville:

\"The thermoblock heating system and powerful pump produce plenty of hot water for brewing espresso coffee and steam for frothing milk for cappuccinos or steaming for lattes\"

Run, don't walk - from ANY espresso maker that uses an archaic thermoblock for a boiler versus a traditional boiler!

They (T-Block boilers) are hypersensitive to scale build-up and are more prone to failure than a Hyundai Pony!

Their steaming capability is legendary... legendary BAD!

You have been warned.

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11 years 4 months ago #2752 by colin
Replied by colin on topic $180 machines - Saeco & Breville
The Saceco Via Veneto has a real boiler... made out of stainless steel.
It is not a thermoblock system.
It is better. Much better.

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11 years 4 months ago #2754 by Bobby
Replied by Bobby on topic $180 machines - Saeco & Breville
Thanks for the quick response, the Breville is out.

I saw the Saeco Via Venezia at Starbucks for $299, but I can't seem to find much info on it online. Are there any significant differences between the Via Venezia and the Via Veneto that justify the price difference?

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11 years 4 months ago #2755 by colin
Replied by colin on topic $180 machines - Saeco & Breville
The difference in the Saeco (and the Gaggia line) where price versus product is concerned is in the \"packaging\" - that is, the shell that surrounds the innards; the pump, the group, and the boiler. And to a lesser extent, whether or not the group and portafilter are steel, brass or a composite.

As I have stressed before in other forum threads - the basic building block for a good espresso machine remains the same; a boiler (not a thermoblock), an Ulka pump (every espresso maker has the same Italian made vibration pump)and a brewgroup which incorporates the shower-head and the portafilter clasps.

Ideally, the group and the boiler are intimately connected to keep water travel to a minimum - and therefore - energy loss or heat loss LOW.

A water storage and delivery method, a brace of switches and thermostats pretty much wraps up the 21st century espresso machine - virtually unchanged for the last 50+ years.

Back to your questions - Cheaper machines are clothed in a thermoplastic skin. More expensive ones have a heat-retaining steel or composite shell.

It all comes down to weight of components and its ability to retain heat and deliver a flow of water to the ground coffee that is stable in temperature.

I hope this helps - a little long winded but necessary explanation.

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  • JHRichards
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11 years 4 months ago #2758 by JHRichards
Replied by JHRichards on topic $180 machines - Saeco & Breville
But... regardless of its durability and agility in making steam, does it make bad coffee? I mean, does the Breville, with its lousy thoermoblock thing, make inferior coffee - or is it just a lousy way to make a machine that is intended to last awhile? Your comments only go to the durability of the machine, and the archaic nature of the mechanism - how does the coffee taste?

Thanks. Nice website. // JHRichards //

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