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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    3

    Saeco Xsmall - Weird feelings

    Hi. I am just a coffee lover, not an expert, but I'm very curious and I like to understand how things work.
    Last year I bought a DeLonghi manual machine and a grinder. Since then I've been improving my techniques and brewing better coffee.
    After all the learning I decided that, although I enjoy making coffee, I hate not being able to prepare a coffee when I'm in a rush, because of the time it takes (grinding, tamping, cleaning, etc), so I decided to buy an automatic machine.
    I saw all the machines and configurability that they have, but the truth is that I always drink coffee with milk and syrups, I don't have THAT taste, I wouldn't care buying a machine that complex.
    So, today I bought the Saeco Xsmall. It's the most basic automatic machine available in Argentina.


    With the manual machine, I would normally fill a tiny cup with the amount of coffee beans for filling the 2-shots basket, grind it (25 sec in a blade grinder), put it in the basket, tamp it, and extract a total of ~70ML of coffee (in ~25-30sec).


    The new machine has 2 buttons, one for a "long" coffee and one for a "short" one. Basically it changes the length (time) of the brew, not the amount of coffee. You can configure a different amount of water / time for each button (by holding the button down until you want it to stop).


    The default setting for the first button gave me 70ml of coffee and the second button ~180ml. I only care about one button, the short one.
    I understand that the machine grinds the amount of coffee for 1 shot, so I first configured it to brew 30ml, but the resultant coffee was too weak.


    So I opened the machine, took the brewing group out, pressed the sensors (so the machine would believe it's closed), and pressed the 1-shot button. The amount of coffee that the machine grinds is not even half of the coffee needed to fill the 1 shot basket of the DeLonghi. This means I'd need to set the machine to brew ~15ml of coffee and press the button 5 times to get "something similar" to what I used to drink.


    I also see in the residue basket that it doesn't fall as a compact "pill", it is too wet.


    I still need to try with another type of coffee beans (this is Kenya, from Starbucks), the manual mentions that some coffees are "more compatible with the machine" than others. Not being an expert, I don't know if this weak resultant coffee is normal for some people or if there is a clear problem with my machine.


    Any ideas? Recommendations?


    Thanks in advance,
    Rodrigo.
    Last edited by rsilves; 06-25-2011 at 03:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3
    During the weekend I got it to work very well with the Kenya beans. The dregs were coming out more compact (I understand that's a good sign).

    I didn't mention another problem in the previous post as I was considering it was normal:
    Every one or two brews, when I press the button the machine grinds the coffee but the red light turns on and it spits the grinded coffee directly to the dregdrawer without brewing it.
    The manual says this (and other issues) are part of the processes of the Saeco Adapting System and that it should take 2 to 3 coffees to automatically calibrate. It also says that if these problem persist I should try with other types of coffees.
    For the Keya blend it took around 10 coffees to start working better. I had also (without any precise indication) turned the grinder screw (for adjusting the grind) one point finer.

    After a lot of testing I ran out of that blend, so I used one I had stored: Starbucks Tribute blend.
    It worked bad again. Half of the bag went directly to the dregdrawer.
    Then I bought one bag of Italian Roast (Sbux again) and the same happened.

    I am tired of seeing the machine throw the coffee. Today it reached its maximum with a total of 4 fails in a row and I ran out of the Italian Roast.

    I went to buy another Kenya bag but they didn't have it in stock so I took the Tribute blend. I didn't put it in the machine yet. I want to hear recommendations about this.

    I've been working all the week and didn't have the time to call the support. I think I'll call tomorrow.

    Does anyone know why does the machine throw the coffee after grinding? I understand the noises and the mechanism of the machine. When it fails, it grinds de coffee and the red light turns on immediatly after the grinder stops, then the brew group throws the grinded (dry) coffee. It doesn't try to brew it.
    Any recommendation about the grinder setting? (I'm only able able to set a coarser/finer grinding).
    Any idea of if the fact that I set the machine to brew only 15ml could affect anything?

    Note: I'm not a fanboy of Starbucks, it's just that among all the coffees I tried I liked those and I have a store one block away. There are not so many good coffee stores in Buenos Aires.

    Thanks to everyone.
    Rodrigo.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2
    Hei, I don't own a Saeco XSmall yet, but its on order and should arrive in a couple of days. I read about a couple of machines upon deciding on this one, and I mostly read good experiences with this machine - thats why I bought it - so the problem you describe sounds a bit weired. But another reason that the machine would eject the ground coffee without brewing would be that the circuit is not primed. Did you try to run a bit of water through the machine using the hot water function prior to brewing a coffee? Then the manual says that the brewing unit might be dirty when this fault occurs. How long do you own the machine, did you rinse the brewing unit sometimes?
    One negative video what I saw about this machine was one guy brewing a coffee, but only water came out - even though the machine ground the coffee and brewed. There it was written in the comments that someone had to change the type of beans to ones that were less oily and wouldn't clog the brewing unit. He wrote as well that it worked fine with illy beans.
    Hope something helps!

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    23
    Hmm, not good, sorry you are having a problem this early with your new machine, hope you get it sorted out soon. As Buzzp has suggested it may be worth trying a different brand/type of bean. Try contacting the place of purchase or the manufacturer should have a customer support department, either should be able to help. Good Luck

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2

    update

    Hei,just to update, we received our Saeco xsmall now, and are very happy. We are using Lavazza coffee beans and don't have any problems.

 

 

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