My husband has wanted an automatic coffee machine for a long time - the kind that grinds its own beans and dispenses 1-cup-at-a-time fresh coffee. After years of window shopping at Williams Sonoma and others, we received the Saeco machine for Christmas from my parents.
It's a sweet compact little machine that grinds its own beans, dispenses 1 cup at a time, has the option of "short" (i.e. espresso) or "long" (i.e. Americano, or "regular") by the push of a button, has a hot water dispenser for tea and a milk frother for cappuccino. In other words, it's the perfect machine for our family. you can also adjust the strength of the brew and how fine/coarse you want your coffee ground. However, you must use whole beans - no preground or instant coffee can be used with this machine.
The only small issue I have is that it's a bit of a pain to clean. We didn't realize the need to do regular maintenance until our machine appeared to be malfunctioning, but a quick read through the owner's manual and a 5 minute cleaning session was all it took to get back on track. Since that time the unit appears to need cleaning more frequently than the recommended 1x per month, but that's a very small inconvenience.
We love this machine, and although the price is very reasonable compared to other machines out there, I'm glad we received it as a present because we would have probably just made do with our cheapie $15 drip coffee machine instead of springing for this baby. It's a great gift idea for the coffee lover in your life!
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.