Saeco Syntia Focus vs. Syntia Cappuccino

There are three espresso machines by Saeco that are mid-ranged super-automatic types. They are Saeco Syntia Focus, Saeco Syntia Stainless Steel and Saeco Syntia Cappuccino. If you find yourself confused on which is which and what makes them different from one another, you are definitely not alone.

Syntia Focus and Syntia Stainless Steel are really the same machine with different exterior finishes, i.e. Syntia Focus in black and Syntia Stainless Steel in stainless steel. I’ve covered the features and benefits of the design in the detailed review. In this post, I’d like to help you pinpoint the differences between Syntia Focus/Stainless Steel vs. Syntia Cappuccino.

Differences

Milk Frothing

The most significant difference between the Syntia Focus and Syntia Cappuccino is the milk frothing/delivery system. In the case of the Focus, the milk is frothed or steamed via an external pannarello wand after the espresso is brewed. But for Syntia Cappuccino, the milk frothing is integrated automatically into the system with a milk carafe inserted into the side of the brew head. No external wand available. The machine will grind the beans and siphon the milk from the carafe. The frothed milk is delivered to the cup below the dispenser and then the espresso is brewed.

A word about flushing the milk wand or the dispensing tube. A purge is done before and after each frothing or steaming via the steam wand for the Focus. A similar process is performed through the brewing dispenser in the Cappuccino.

Hot Water Dispenser

In the Focus, the hot water is delivered through the wand while it’s through the same brew dispenser for espresso and hot water in the case of the Cappuccino.

Cappuccino vs. Latte

In the Syntia Cappuccino, the unit features an automatic cappuccino system designed for making cappuccinos. In case you are not that familiar with the difference between a cappuccino and a latte, the former consists of 1/3 of espresso, 1/3 of steamed milk and 1/3 of foam from the frothed milk. The frothing process requires somewhat different technique to steam the milk while also creating microfoam.

A latte is made of espresso and steamed milk. It has more milk and hardly any foam which weighs heavier than a cappuccino.

Strictly speaking, the Syntia Cappuccino is not made for lattes but for average latte drinkers, the difference in frothed vs. steamed milk may not be even noticed.

Dimensions

Another noticeable difference between the two models is the depth of the product. The Syntia Cappuccino is about 5 inches or so deeper (17.7″) than the Focus (12.4″). For those people who have very limited counter depth, it’s important to take note of it.

Consumer Ratings

At the review, the ratings for the Syntia Focus is better as 3.9 out of 5 vs. 3.3 for the Cappuccino.

Price

The Syntia Cappuccino is more expensive than the Syntia Focus or Stainless Steel. It’s about $100 more expensive than the Syntia Stainless Steel and about $500 more than the Focus in black. Granted the price differential may fluctuate depending on the demand and supply of the market.

Similarities

The similarities are the norm for these two units from external style, features and functionality. Here is a comparison table highlighting both the differences and resemblances.

ModelSaeco Syntia Focus HD8833Saceo Syntia Cappucino HD8838
Product Imagesaeco-syntia-focus-espresso-machine-black
Differences
Frothing/SteamingExternal pannarello frothing wandIntegrated automatic milk frothing
Hot Water DispenserYes via steam wandYes via brew dispenser
Dimensions (L x D X H in inches)10 x 12.4 x 16.313 x 17.7 x 16.3
Color ChoiceBlack or stainless steelStainless steel
Consumer Ratings3.93.3
Similarities
BoilerStainless steelStainless steel
Pump Pressure15 bar15 bar
Espresso TechnologySaeco adapting system and pre-infusionSaeco adapting system and pre-infusion
Water Tank in (oz.)4040
Integrated Coffee GrinderYes/ceramic burr/5 adjustable settingsYes/ceramic burr/5 adjustable settings
Coffee Bean Capacity (oz.)8.8 oz.8.8 oz.
By-pass DoserYesYes
Used Coffee Bin8 pucks8 pucks
Customization OptionCoffee strength and brew volumeCoffee strength and brew volume
Frontal Access to All FunctionsYesYes
Cup Height (inches)3.75 to 4.53.75 to 4.5
Brew GroupRemovableRemovable
Hot Water DispenserYesYes
DisplayColor-coded in Green-Ready to Use, Yellow-Unit Is Busy and Red-Action RequiredColor-coded in Green-Ready to Use, Yellow-Unit Is Busy and Red-Action Required
Weight (lbs)2020
Power (watts)14001400
Voltage/Frequency120V/60Hz120V/60Hz
Warranty1 year1 year
Read ReviewRead ReviewN/A
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Which One to Buy?

If you are primarily a cappuccino drinker, having the automated frothing feature in the Syntia Cappuccino is a sure benefit as it saves time and hassle in frothing your own milk.

But if you’d like to control how the milk is frothed or steamed and the temperature of the milk, the Syntia Focus might be a better choice.

The price difference is minor in the grand scheme of things. According to Saeco, a cup of cappuccino using its machine costs about $0.30 vs. $3.50 from a coffee shop. If you need to have your cappuccino every day, the cost will add up and the saving will be substantial by making your own at home.

The bottom line is that Saeco is one of the well-known manufacturers in the world when it comes to espresso machines. It’s hard to go wrong choosing one versus another model as far as being able to enjoy a delicious coffee drink at home goes.

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