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Old 06-29-2011, 02:04 AM
 
2,186 posts, read 7,525,773 times

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Saeco Stainless Steel Aroma Espresso Machine

Rating: 3 out of 5
  • Currently 3.0/5.0

I owned the predecessor to the Aroma, the Starbucks Barista. I adored this machine for its style, quality build, and ease of use. But after years of abuse and one too many rough moves, it gave up its will to live. I retired it and returned to Starbucks hoping for another quality machine to replace my old friend. I found the Aroma, which seemed similar in appearance and boasted similar specs. So I shelled out $329 and took it home with great expectations. I was disappointed. As an espresso machine, this product is decent. It is compatible with both loose grounds and espresso pods, is easy to use, and makes a consistently good shot of espresso. The finish is also attractive and modern, and would compliment practically any décor style. It is tall, like many others on the market with comparable capacity, and can be a little cramped if you are storing it on the back of a counter that has cabinets overhead. Ultimately, the design of the machine is poor, particularly the position of the steam wand. The awkward location makes it difficult to slide the milk jug in place without having to moving the entire machine. The Aroma espresso machine is a perfect example of functionality and beauty being compromised by inferior design, and is incapable of justifying a $329 price tag. Other brands, such as Breville or Gaggia, offer superior machines for the same price. Unlike the Aroma, these machines were designed with the user in mind, yet still win high marks for style, efficiency and price. I returned the Aroma the day after I bought it and the Starbucks manager was very apologetic and accommodating with the processing of my refund. I hope they will scratch this line and start again, but until then I'll be investing in a Breville.

Review by professional reviewer, Dec. 26, 2010
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