Saeco Vienna Plus Superautomatic Espresso Machine Review

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saeco-vienna-plus-silver

Saeco Vienna Plus is the most affordable superautomatic espresso machines in the Saeco lineups. It offers all the critical features to brew a great cup of espresso without the frills and complications. It’s so reassuring to know that many customers have owned more than one units of this model for home and small office uses.

This is an improved iteration of the Saeco Vienna with a better frothing wand and speedier switch from brewing to steaming cycle. It comes with two colors of silver and graphite to fit right in a modern kitchen décor.

  Table of Contents
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1. Introduction
2. Features & Benefits
3. Brewing
4. Steaming
5. Display & Control
6. Additional Features
7. How to Clean
8. Accessories
9. Power & Cord
10. Dimensions & Weight
11. Warranty
12. Pros & Cons
13. Consumer Reviews
14. Price
15. Summary

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Features & Benefits

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  • 15-Bar Pump Pressure and Stainless Steel Boiler: Anything made from stainless steel speaks of durability and the boiler is no exception. With an industry standard 15-bar pressure pump, the hot water is delivered to the brew group for preinfusion and fuller extraction in seconds.
  • Conical Burr Grinder: It has 18 settings to allow you to adjust for your brewing method. Always adjust the setting when the grinding is on.
  • 57-Ounce Water Tank: This is considered a medium-size as far as capacity goes. A typical espresso shot is about 1 fluid ounce in volume and extra water might be dispensed switching between brewing and steaming cycles. So for an average coffee/latte drinker, there is no need to refill the tank multiple times a day. Just one fewer chores to remember. Make it a good habit to check the water level before brewing as you’ll never know if multiple people in the same household use the unit.
  • 12-Ounce Bean Hopper: Again one espresso shot requires about 7 grams of coffee (0.25 ounces based on the grind size). If you want to have fresh tasting coffee, just fill the container right before to prevent beans from getting oxidized and stale. There is a variable dosing amount knob inside of the container so you can adjust it up or down to suit your preferred coffee intensity.
  • Pannarello Steaming Wand: Saeco made it fool-proof to froth or steam milk to make cappuccinos or lattes. The same device is also used for dispensing hot water to make tea or even soups. The wait time from brewing to steaming is about 15 seconds and from steaming to brewing can be shorter if releasing hot steam from the wand to help cool down the temperature for brewing.
  • Removable Brew Group: This feature has a huge advantage comparing to many models on the market that are not removable. You can easily take the group head out for easy cleaning every week to reduce the scaling from mineral deposits.

Brewing

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A few things to do to brew a coffee or two. First off, fill the water tank with cold and fresh water, tap, spring or filtered. By using filtered water, it helps minimize the need for descaling especially if you live in an area with hard water. Fill the bean hopper with freshly roasted coffee beans, preferably non-oily and non-flavored kind. You can always add flavor syrup to your brew. Adjust the grind setting, dosing amount and the water volume to please your taste buds.

The Saeco Vienna will grind, tamp, moisture the grounds followed by extraction all under one minute. Two dispensing spouts are for one or two shots and adjustable up or down to fit different sizes of cup up to 4 inches.

Steaming

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Some steam the milk first while others do it after the coffee is made. Try both sequences to see if there is any major difference and more important to taste the outcome. Fill a pitcher with fresh cold milk of your choice. Press “Steam” button until the indicator light becomes steady. Turn on the Steam knob to release steam and evaporation. Then insert the tip of the wand right into the milk surface to create microfoams. After the frothing is complete, dip the wand deeper into the pitcher to heat up the milk. Gauge the temperature by either the feel on your hand or a liquid thermometer from 140 to 150 F. This is entirely subjective from one person to person. Some people like the milk piping hot whereas others may not.

Add milk to your espresso or the other way around. Top with your favorite spices and sweets. For me, it’s a perfect time to sprinkle some pumpkin spice for visual effect as well as for taste.

Display & Control

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The benefit of an entry-level model is that the control panel is very straight forward. From left to right, it has On/Off, Brew, Steam, Water Volume, Malfunction. The corresponding lights are either flashing to indicate a recovery time or steady for being ready to brew or steam. The Steam/Hot Water knob on the right side panel is used for steaming or dispensing hot water by turning it counter clockwise for On and the opposite for Off.

Additional Features

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None

How to Clean

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Remove the steaming wand and rinse it under warm water. Wipe it down with a damp cloth after every use, empty the dreg drawer and drip tray when they are full.

Remove the brew group and wash it with warm water and let it air dry. Refer to the instructions in the User Manual for removal and reassembling.

Descaling varies depending on the water hardness and frequency of use. If you notice a reduced water flow, it’s an easy indication for descaling. Once again, follow the manufacturer’s procedure for descaling and use the Saeco descaling product specifically formulated for its espresso machines.

Accessories

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Included Accessories

A cleaning brush and Instructions are included.

Optional Accessories

If you don’t have a milk pitcher, get one from Amazon for under $10.

Power & Cord

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  • Input Power (W): 1200
  • Voltage/Frequency (V-Hz): 110/60

Dimensions & Weight

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  • Dimensions (W x D x H inches): 13.26 x 12.80 x 14.80
  • Weight (lbs): 18.7

Warranty

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1-year limited warranty

Pros & Cons

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Pros

  • Brews great coffee/espresso that are rich in flavor, dark in color topped with crema.
  • You will be sipping your own creation in under 2 minutes from the time the machine is turned on to the brew is complete.
  • So easy to use by adjusting the grind size, dose amount, water volume by pressing a button or two.
  • Two neutral colors with modern and sleek appeal.
  • Very affordable comparing to many similar machines available.
  • Removable brew group for easy cleaning.

Cons

  • The exterior is made of thermoplastic vs. stainless steel.
  • Not much programming options nor a by-pass doser.
  • Noiser.

Consumer Reviews

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3.8 out of 5.0

69% of the Amazon reviewers have rated it as 4-5 stars due to its durability, ease of use and great coffee. A small percentage of customers experienced one issue or another from water leakage to the unit stopped working. It seems that the customer service at Saeco is somewhat inconsistent.

Price

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Depending on different retail outlets, you may expect to pay anywhere from under $400 to more. A few customers said they had bought theirs from Costco during the holiday promo for around $300. I did check the price at Costco at this review, it was under $400. So if you have the Costco membership, watch out for sale in the coming months.

Summary

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The Saeco 4045 Vienna Plus allows you to make great coffee, cappuccinos or lattes without nauseating complexity that typically comes with a superautomatic espresso maker.

With a relatively compact footprint and easy operation, it’s perfect for a home barista or a small office up to 10 people. Your wish is the Vienna Plus’ command for a tasty coffee drink in under 2 minutes. You don’t have to leave to chances in the hands of an inexperienced barista in a coffee shop for an overextracted or underextracted with a burnt or sour note.

If you drink a latte a day like me, you can recoup the investment in less than four months (my fuzzy math: $4.00/tall latte at Starbucks x 365 days/year/$400 (cost of this machine). Don’t have to take my word for it and head over to Amazon to see how many people have owned this machine for up to 10 years.

 

For current price information, click on the button below.

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