This Saeco PicoBaristo Review is an excellent machine but we also looks at Saeco which is owned by Philips. We ask if you are better off buying from a huge company that makes a lot of appliances, like Saeco, Miele or Breville or sticking to a super automatic espresso machine maker like JURA or Gaggia? What we concluded is that you get a lot of great features in the Saeco PicoBaristo and good value that is perfect for most premium home users but not as strong in espresso and milk quality for the connoisseur as the specialty firms.
Overall, Saeco makes excellent super automatic espresso machines. They earned three slots on The Coffee Insider’s 20 Best Super Automatic Espresso Makers for 2020 list. This is a true super automatic so you place in whole, roasted beans and in one touch the Saeco PicoBaristo will grind them, brew espresso and, if needed combine is with steamed and frothed milk.
The Saeco PicoBaristo has a ton of features and is very flexible while remaining easy to use. It has one-touch programs for 15 beverages which is more than many in this class. You can customize these a lot as well and save those in 6 profile, compared to 4 or 5 profiles for most comparable espresso makers.
The espresso the Saeco PicoBaristo brews is very good. It pre brewing feature both the espresso crema foam and texture are very good. It does this because of a few decisions, including a pump that produces 15-bar of pressure which is the standard for an espresso maker.
While we like that the PicoBaristo has a single, Quick Heat Boiler, the combination of light aluminum and stainless-steel isn’t ideal. Full stainless is better and copper is ideal (but usually found in commercial or high-end machines). At this price, they could have sacrificed a few features and included double boilers, but this probably isn’t intended to be used by people who will make a lot of espresso and mil and espresso-based drinks back to back. So, most people may not notice this.
You really wouldn’t want to buy a super automatic if you just wanted espresso. Milk based drinks like cappuccinos and latte macchiatos are the real strength of machines like the Saeco PicoBaristo. Here it did well but if you are expecting commercial quality, microfoam in your milk then you should consider an alternative. If a teenager at Starbucks froths your milk, then you will be very happy with this.
Other “pros” include a good grinder with 10 settings, again this is on the high side. It’s unlikely you will use all them. The noise level is fine, and the coarseness looks accurate and consistent enough. The documentation says that the grinder will work for 20k shots, which is a lot. My guess is the machine wouldn’t make it that long.
Large appliance companies like Phillips Saeco do an excellent job designing their machines for cleaning and maintainability. It comes with a measuring scoop, cleaning brush, water hardness test strip and the AquaClean water filter. This will need to be replaced at some point.
Our Saeco PicoBaristo Review concludes that the PicoBaristo does very well here. It has a descale indicator and automated program and comes with an AquaClean filter. The AquaClean is advertised to work for 5000 cups.
As you may expect the PicoBaristo has automatic milk system cleaning and an automatic rinse cycle. One area we like is their “hygiesteam” system does a good job of flushing the milk system with steam. The PicoBaristo has a lot of dishwasher safe, removable parts.
Saeco PicoBaristo One Touch Beverage Recipes
The PicoBaristo has 15 presets. With one touch it does everything from grinding to milk frothing and steaming based on however you may have customized it. A lot of people are surprised that lattes are not in the list of recipes. But the cappuccinos and latte macchiatos are very good.
In addition, the Saeco PicoBaristo will make single or double espresso shots, espresso lungo, ristretto, caffe crema, cappuccino and baby cappuccino, flat white and latte macchiato. It also will just heat water and froth milk. Frothed milk makes the best hot cocoa.
For the price, the Saeco PicoBaristowill produce great espresso, but nothing remarkable. While it is great that this is a true boiler system and it has an integrated milk carafe neither of these are leading in their class.
PicoBaristo expresses espresso reasonably fast but the milk cycle is longer and noisier than it needs to be. We found that their estimates of 45 seconds for a shot of espresso and 100 seconds for long coffee is accurate but a little slow.
The TFT touch screen display is small and a little cluttered. This isn’t uncommon, especially in older models. Models like the new Gaggia Cadorna line have better, more attractive and intuitive controls.
Saeco Pico Baristo Review
In the end our Saeco PicoBaristo Review concluded that the Saeco PicoBaristo is an excellent machine worthy of most people’s homes. If you love coffee this will keep you out of the coffee shop and happy for many years. It does everything well and packs a lot of features. If you are looking for the absolute best espresso and microfoam then you may want to consider the alternatives we suggest.