Another of my 'what is the difference questions'. The specs of the machines are almost identical. However, the Via Venezia seems the better choice as it can be bought for $70-$130 less than the Aroma (from local retailers).
From the info I can find they are almost the same size and weight. Both seem to have the same pump and stainless steel boiler (I haven't been able to find the boiler sizes), but the Via Venezia has a much larger water resovoir (2.9L v 1.5L).
Anyone have any experience, comparisons or other thoughts on which is the better machine to buy?
I was shopping last night and saw both..... (bought the Aroma in the end).
Like you mentioned, they both look the same on paper. The big differance is the Venezia has a fancy plastic outer body, while the Aroma is very simple and square, yet all steel construction. Some might think the Venezia is 'prettier', but I prefered the plain, yet solid build of the Aroma.
As well, the froth wand on the Aroma comes out further to the front, while the Venezia sticks out the side, and doesn't seem to have as much reach.
I think what Some Dude is talking about is the Saeco Via Veneto. The Veneto is the cheapest in the Saeco line that has plastic outer body.
Bobby, is the Via Venezia the new one Saeco made for Starbucks? If so, yes, it looks similar to the brand new Aroma. Aroma is more traditional in styling. Square body. Via Venezia looks more like the Starbuck Barista. The Via Venezia's steam wand is on the left side. Other than the steam wand and the slightly different body style, they both have the same internals.
I used to own an Aroma. Two of my friends have the Barista. I played with their Baristas before. I can't tell there is any difference other than the location of the steam wand.
Where are you located? If you are here in Vancouver, you can go to Espressotec to check out espresso machines and grinders. Unfortunately, they don't do demos. If you want demos of Saeco machines, you can go to Saeco West on Boundary Road. They'll gladly show you how to use any of the machines in their show room.
As for Via Venezia....if you have your mind set on buying a Saeco machine....what I would do is buy from Starbucks. Only because Starbucks has good customer service and will take back any machine without question.