I really wanted to love the Phillips Saeco Aroma espresso machine, One, Phillips at least still has a presence in the US and two, it seemed to be a good quality yet very reasonably priced machine. This review is even for the stainless steel model because the plastic version just had too many issues. In the end, while I liked it, I just couldn’t fall in love with it.
The Phillips Saeco Aroma is a sharp looking machine and it is extremely compact. The water tank is removable to fill and clean – a definite plus, The drip or waste tray is also removable for cleaning and the metal grill is stainless also to help prevent rusting. Though reviews are somewhat mixed, all in all the Phillips Saeco is a solid, German built basic espresso machine. Unfortunately, the only issue with the machine is in the design and layout, not the build quality (see recommendation below).
Philips Saeco Aroma Features
- Traditional espresso machine for making cafe style drinks at home
- Stainless-steel boiler
- 15-bar pump
- Pressurized portafilter adaptable for using pods
- Steam and hot-water wand with exclusive Pannarello milk-frothing device
- Simple control panel and cup-warming surface
- Removable water tank and drip tray
- Measurements: 8 by 10 by 11-3/4 inches
- Limited one year warranty
What Others are Saying
The best espresso machine I owned
5 out of 5 stars
This machine works great, it is heavy duty metal case and does delicious creamy espresso. This machine does not leak like the gaggia I tryed before and for the price it is far the best I used… The water tank on the back is removable to fill and clean, the water retention tank for the coffee drops below is also removable, easy to clean,.. The metal grill does not rust and the portafila is solid.
Good Machine with Limitations
3 out of 5 stars
I have had the Saeco Aroma machine for 2 months now. My main criticism regards the milk steamer wand with panerello. Because of the configuration and compact size of the machine, the panerello is very awkward to use… I have yet to coax a superior shot out of the pressurized portafilter… I was also disappointed to find that the steam valve knob is of plastic, not stainless steel… The jury is still out. Maybe for the price this is as good as it gets.
Recommendation and Price
As stated before, the Aroma is a very compact machine. However, in this case, it may be a little too compact. First, you can only use very small espresso or possibly double-shot cups and two, the milk frother is difficult to reach at best. The design of the plastic extension on the frother is not good. However, as one reviewer noted, if you remove the extension the frother is almost impossible to use unless you move the machine each time and hang it over the counter. The Aroma is made of stainless steel, which is great, but where they cut costs is in the control panel knobs, which are cheap plastic. Other than that, this is a very good, basic machine and if counter space is limited or you mainly want espresso and are not as concerned with frothing milk for cappuccino and lattes, then the Aroma may be the machine for you. Just remember that it does not include a grinder.