As a fan of single-cup home coffee brewers, I decided it was time to take the next big step and consider adding an espresso machine to the lineup of fun kitchen electronics and end my daily trips to the local coffee shot.
An initial search at an online retailer yields around one thousand results. Trying to figure out which brewer is best can be a very intimidating however, with some research and analysis of the different options we can narrow down our selection.
Here we take a look at the Saeco 641 Odea Go Super Automatic Espresso Machine. This product at a glance is appealing as a, “Super Automatic,” machine, which means that the entire process from grinding to brewing is done at the push of a button. Let us see what the Saeco 641 Odea has to offer.
The Saeco Company
Saeco has been present in the coffee world for over 20 years specializing in products that can bring specialty coffee to any home. Their goal, as stated on their website, “is to produce high quality services aimed at providing customers simple and convenient luxuries in their daily lives.”
To achieve this goal, they have remained innovative and constantly improved their machines. Today, they strive to merge design and technology in all products landing them among the top competitors of automatic coffee makers.
This sounds like something I would love in a company, but how does this translate specifically into the Saeco 641 Odea?
Voices of Experience
The best way to assess the success of a product is through those who have experienced the machine. Overall this product receives mixed reviews on retail websites such as Amazon averaging about three stars. Looking at the pros and cons of this product through the eyes of the consumer, the following conclusions are drawn.
The Pros: There were more positive reviews than negative ones which shed a very positive light on the product.
- The first benefit is the ease of use. This product is a, “Super Automatic,” machine which means that it will grind coffee beans for you, brew and dispense the coffee in one step.
- Another benefit to this machine is the quality of coffee it produces which is customizable with different settings.
- One review did mention however that the coffee will only be as good as the coffee beans used and to keep that in mind.
The Cons: There were three drawbacks to this product that stood out among the reviews.
- The first being the small water tank, which is only large enough to make four cups of coffee before requiring a refill.
- Secondly, many people found that beyond a year, the product’s reliability diminished.
- The third drawback is the amount cleaning required. Many people found that after about 8 cups, it was time for a full cleaning. This however, should not be a drawback for many people because any espresso machine will require cleaning of spent water and coffee grinds.
[easyazon-image-link asin="B000PU7CU6" alt="Saeco SMK-06 Automatic Espresso Maker Maintenance Kit" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VFHwc4EJL._SL160_.jpg" align="left" width="160" height="160"]Unlike other brands however, Saeco does offer a product called the SMK-06 Maintenance Kit which is a maintenance kit for their machines to make the cleaning process easier.
The most important factors in the use of an espresso machine are flavor and ease of use and based on these reviews, I say it is a success.
Saeco warranties their products for one year. The specific terms and conditions vary per product. Saeco has a customer service department accessible by phone or e-mail for any questions or concerns regarding their machines.
They also have an online live chat feature on their website. They have service centers available across the United States should something go wrong with the product offering repairs.
What’s in the box?
Now that we have the basics, it is time to take a look at what this model, the Saeco 641 Odea, has to offer.
- Ceramic Grinder – The ceramic grinder is a perfect example of Saeco’s innovations in the industry. Ceramic is preferred over a metal in a grinder because it preserves the flavor of the espresso.
- Frothing Device (Pannarello) – While this device is meant to froth milk for cappuccinos and lattes, it also will dispense hot water for all purposes such as tea or hot chocolate.
- Removable Brewing Unit – This feature that is patented by Saeco and allows the brewer to complete three steps in one. (tamp, brew and dispense). This unit can be removed from the machine at the push of just one button for easy cleaning.
- Energy Safe Mode – Always have your machine ready to brew without wasting energy.
- Giro Interface – This feature unique to the Odea which provides a dial to easily and efficiently select the type of brew on the go.
- Rapid-Steam – Allows minimal waiting time between brewing the coffee and the steam output.
- Cup holding surface – for conveniently stacking espresso cups.
- Adjustable drip tray – for differently sized cups.
- Accessories include; grinder adjustment key, power cable and optional water filter.
Out of the box, the machine is ready in just a few simple steps.
- Fill the container with coffee beans and place cover over hopper.
- Fill the tank with fresh drinking water.
- Attach power cable to machine and wall.
- When turning the machine on for the first time, a self-test will be performed.
- Place container under steam spout and turn the knob for water.
- Once finished, turn the knob to the reset position and remove the container.
The steps seem easy enough to follow and the best part is that the machine is assembled in the box. The only requirement to get the machine on its way is the steps above, which include initially moving water through the system.
- 11.41” w x 14.57” h x 15.18” h
- 17.63 lbs
- 50.72 oz water tank
How to Use:
The manual includes detailed instructions and clear images describing best practices for lattes and a cappuccinos and lattes which require different steps.
All espresso machines, no matter which brand you choose will require cleaning, however each brand has different considerations when doing so. The Saeco 641 Odea recommends a thorough descaling every three months or when indicated by the machine.
The process seems incredibly simple. Saeco offers a descaling solution but another brand may be used. Simply run the solution through the machine into a cup or container until the water tank is empty. This will prevent clogs in the machine from hard water or coffee grinds.
The machine also offers many removable parts that can detach and be cleaned as necessary between the recommended three month descaling. This is not difficult and can extend the life of the product.
With an objective viewpoint of the product, I would say that three stars are lower than the product deserves. If the only negative aspects are a small water tank and a need to clean out the coffee grinds, then the product is a success.
The Saeco 641 Espresso machine is a very exciting product and had sparked my interest into the investment of an at-home espresso. After additional research into other brands of espresso machines, I would only consider them if they had the prominent features of the Saeco brand such as the ceramic grinder and detachable brewing unit.
Where Can I Buy It And How Much Should I Pay?
Check out Amazon for the best price. Should be around $600.