Saeco Picobaristo Review: Deliciously Descalable
- Ten adjustable grind levels
- Aquaclean filtration system
- Adjustable spout fits up to 6.5-inch cups
- Large capacity – 56 oz water reservoir and 9.3 oz bean hopper
- Easy to use programmable LCD screen
The PicoBaristo Super-automatic can brew 5,000 cups before descaling.
Yep, this lovely machine has said goodbye to the Intenza water filter and hello to the Aquaclean water filtration system. With this new system, the PicoBaristo will ask you to change out the Aquaclean filter about eight times before requiring descaling.
For many home espresso drinkers, descaling can be a pure pain in the backside experience that slows you down when you’re waiting for some caffeine to wind you up.
The convenient Aquaclean filtration feature combined with the button to cup automatic espresso brewing and milk steaming make this machine an attractive choice for espresso lovers looking for low maintenance, high frequency, high capacity super-automatic espresso machine.
Review & Breakdown
The PicoBaristo is a high capacity, nicely polished, highly programmable, one-touch bean to cup machine. User-friendly is the keyword of the day when talking about this super-automatic.
Talk about large capacity… the top mount bean hopper and water reservoir hold 9.3 oz of beans and 56 oz of water respectively. And to keep up with the input, the dreg bin on the output side is just as capable, holding a large number of pucks before needing to be dumped. The quality stainless steel drip tray is wide and roomy and will let you know when it needs to be discarded.
Clean lines… the overall look of the machine is all about angles. Its boxy but slim profile, at about 8.8” wide, fits well on any crowded counter. A mix of black and chrome accents, lean lines, and sharp bends blends in well with most modern kitchens. The apparent attempt to avoid over-designing allows the focus to be on the machine’s capabilities instead of any flashy appearance.
Totally Customizable… programmability is synonymous with most Saeco super-automatic machines, and this one is no different. The easy to read LCD screen and button combo provide customization of espresso pull length, brew strength (5 options), milk volume, and temperature control.
Straight to the point… three programmable espresso profiles and two programmable milk profiles are easy to set with this machine. Just select the profile and customize. Or just push a couple of buttons, and the PicoBaristo will produce a high-quality default drink for you.
Either way, whether you want to fully customize or go with the default, any drink is accessible as a touch of a couple of buttons.
- Stainless Steel-lined aluminum thermoblock boiler
- 8.8” W x 13.3” H x 17” D, 18.45 lbs weight
- Stainless Steel/Plastic Casing
- Dose, Milk Volume, Shot Time, Temperature programmability
- Bypass Doser for decaffeinated or specialty beans
- 1 min 45 sec warm up to brew time
Ease of Use & Reliability
Saeco is known for building high quality, easy to use machines relative to their respective price point. The PicoBaristo is no exception. It features several customizable profiles and user-defined variation in brewing and steaming profiles at the touch of a button.
Cleaning is as comfortable as emptying the dreg bin and giving the removable brew group a rinse once a week. Unlike other machines, the PicoBaristo only needs to be descaled once every 5,000 cycles. Hallelujah!
And, the milk steaming is no fuss, fridge to cup carafe steaming. Though you’ll need to do some light cleaning with the carafe mechanism to make sure no milk gets left lying about.
However, to get hot water, you must remove the carafe attachment and insert a hot water attachment – a cumbersome process for a quick cup of hot water. Also, there is no cup warmer – for such a lovely machine, having no cup warmer is a shame.
At between $1000 to $1500 the PicoBaristo is sitting at the midpoint for middle grade super automatic espresso machines made by Saeco.
It’s still a reasonable price to pay given the versatility, capacity, programmability, and no fuss aspects of the machine. This machine can handle a lot of use in a busy household without much complaint and with a little TLC.
Is it Worth Your Money?
If you don’t mind descaling often, then you can save a little cash and purchase another Saeco machine such as the Incanto or Intelia Deluxe.
But, if you want the ultimate in low maintenance, then this machine will not disappoint. Some additional customization options the PicoBaristo has over similar machines also makes this machine more worth shelling out a little extra dough.
What makes this machine a choice over other, similar Saecos is the filtration system.
If you could care less about descaling, then this machine may not be the one for you. But if you want to get the most from an espresso machine priced under $1500, then the PIcoBaristo is a good fit.
We love this machine for its reliability, its large capacity, it’s easy to use LCD screen controls, and its total convenience from bean to cup. Already a great machine, the icing on the PicoBaristo cake is the unique filtration system, which makes any home espresso consumer’s life that much easier.
Its water tank is huge, its milk carafe is ample, and it has a cup warmer! The milk foaming can be accomplished automatically or manually, whichever you prefer. And the adjustable spout will fit 12 oz cups.