Saeco PicoBaristo Review: Going Smart
The newest version of the Saeco GranBaristo is Bluetooth enabled for a whole new vivid world of precise customization at your fingertips.
With 11 different drinks to choose from, the Saeco PicoBaristo is a people pleaser… especially pleasing to those of us who love our smartphones. This machine easily connects to your phone via Bluetooth and allows you to order your favorite drink using Saeco’s custom app.
All the customization that’s found on the actual menu panel of the machine is available in the app but with a sliding bar feature. Choose your drink, then customize the water temperature, milk amount, coffee strength, and coffee amount to your heart’s content.
If you think you’ve created the perfect drink, just save it to your favorites on the app, and you can choose it instantly the next time you’re in the mood. The only thing you need to make sure of is that there is a cup to catch what comes out!
- Detachable milk carafe
- Easy to use, full automatic espresso machine
- Adjustable spout will fit a travel mug
- Brew unit is easy to remove from the front and can be washed in the dishwasher
- Only 58 decibels at peak volume
- 9.3 oz bean capacity, 57 oz water tank, and ample size dreg bin
- Who’s going to attach the milk carafe while you’re ordering from bed?
- If you’re not a smart appliance junky, this machine can be a bit expensive
- If you want hot water, you can’t just push a button. You have to remove the milk carafe, detach the steaming head, and attach a hot water spout just to get hot water
- This thing is a massive beast that barely clears under the counter cabinets.
Is it Worth Your Money?
Well, that all depends. If you love your smartphone and you love espresso, then the PicoBaristo may be a match made in heaven.
The real draw to this machine is waking up in the morning, ordering your drink in bed, and walking into the kitchen to see it waiting there for you. If you like the sound of that, then this machine is worth the money.
All other aspects of the machine such as the capacity, engineering, and programmability are rock solid.
Review & Breakdown
- 8.3” W x 19.3” D x 14.5” H + extra for bean hopper and reservoir lid
- Weight 30 lbs
- Stainless Steel/Plastic combo encasement
- Cup warmer
- Carafe milk system
- Bypass doser
- Saeco customization and ordering smartphone app-enabled
Of course, there are several other items on the PicoBaristo to discuss besides just the smartphone menu app. For one, this machine comes with an interchangeable bean hopper. So if you like decaf, but hate pre-ground coffee like many of us do, you can fill the second hopper with beans.
Same goes for specialty coffee. If you love the blueberry undertones of a dry-processed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe , but someone else in the house or office just bought a bag of wet-processed, high-grade Guatemalan, you can both get your way.
Next up is the actual design of the machine. It is tall, slim, and deep. So while it fits well on the counter, it can still hold plenty of water and beans with its 57-ounce water tank and detachable bean hoppers. Once the amply sized dreg bin is full, it’s easily accessed for dumping through the front door of the machine.
Ease of Use and Reliability
Like all Saeco super-automatics, the PicoBaristo is simple to use, especially when you find yourself ordering drinks from your smartphone. The only extra step you need to take when ordering remotely is ensuring the user profile set on the actual machine is the “Saeco” profile.
This machine uses a carafe system for milk steaming, so someone will have to make sure the carafe is attached before you order that milk-based espresso drink. If you do find yourself ordering a drink from the actual machine interface, don’t worry. The interface contains the same user-friendly display we’ve come to know and love with Saeco.
The PicoBaristo is not so expensive for a single boiler super-automatic. You’ll be finding it for sale somewhere between $1000 and $1500. The extra bean hopper is an attractive plus, and the machine itself is a classic quality built Saeco.
While forward-thinking in concept, the PicoBaristo is meant for a niche crowd. We love the ability to dial in your drink preferences with razor blade specificity, but the practicality of it all may be lost somewhere in the weeds if you still have to come to the machine to attach the milk carafe.
The rest of the machine is outstanding, just like similar Saeco models. For a mid-grade, programmable, large capacity machine, the GranBaristo Avanti has everything you’re looking for, and then some. If you don’t need the “then some”, look elsewhere and save some money.
This super-automatic will brew drink after drink in quick succession thanks to its double boiler and vast water reservoir, bean hopper, and dreg bin. And it’s almost as programmable as the GranBaristo Avanti. You may not be able to use a slide bar to dial in your preferences with the Royal One Touch, but you can still get pretty specific with your tastes.
If you want a fully customizable machine, but you’re just brewing espresso for yourself, you won’t need something as big as the GranBaristo Avanti or the Royal One Touch. Try the Saeco Incanto instead. It’s a competent machine at a slightly smaller capacity, and its made with the same quality parts.
To add variety to your coffee-drinking experience, Here are the most popular espresso blends out there.