Saeco Incanto Sirius

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Feb 3, 2005
Freehold, NJ
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I recently purchased a Saeco Incanto Sirius. Has anyone else purchased one and can you share your experiences? Here are some preliminary observations:

SETUP: This machine is sensitive to being "level". The double spout distributes the liquid coming into it by flowing on a flat surface and the liquid then drips from the two spouts. If the unit is tilted the liquid will come out one side more than the other. Mine was tilted and when I chose 2 cups more liquid flowed into the left side. When I adjusted the SBS to full clockwise I got NO liquid out of the right spout. So I have had to place a thin pad under the swivel on the bottom to adjust the tilt until there was none, a level helps.

CLEANING CYCLE: In setting up the machine, as the last step before making some espresso, I ran a cleaning cycle as described on page 20 of the manual. I emptied the drip tray. When the cycle ran, over 5 oz of water overflowed on the counter top.

Per Ryan at Saeco: "Just keep a larger container underneath the steam wand, as all the water is pouring out of that into whatever container you choose to keep under there, It makes it a lot easier than letting it run into the drip tray."

He also suggested: "You should descale about every 2 months on average. I always recommend making it a once a month thing to keep your machine up and running well."

LCD LIFE: When the machine goes into STANDBY mode, the LCD display stays on.

Per Ryan: "The LCD will not burn out, baring some totally random problem, but otherwise it should work fine. The only way to turn the display off is too turn the entire machine off. "

12g: The manual says the "Quantity of ground coffee" is "6 - 10g" (page 3) but is advertised as going as high as 12g.

Per Ryan: "I am not sure why the manual says only 10g's but it goes to 12'gs, which on the displays is all 3 of the beans lit."

Brew Goup Maintenance Kit: There are no instructions on a brew group maintenance in the manual that comes with the Incanto but I received a reply from Saeco that included instructions and how to order the maintenance kit

Per Dana of Saeco: "All of our brew groups are the same essentially...just different designs. The kit should last you at least a year. The kit does contain 3 different o-rings for the brew group.":

Attached are the brew group maintenance instructions for you (to large too post here). If you'd like to purchase a brew group maintenance kit, here is the information to order:

Brew group maintenance kit - 830127278 - $4.00
Shipping - $3.50 (US Mail)

If you'd like to place an order, please call us at 1-800-933-7876 (Monday thru Friday, 8am to 5pm EST (we accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover).
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I'm not sure how it "sounds" like an advertisement when I criticized the unit with the problems it has with setup, the cleaning cycle, the incorrect documentation on the 10 versus 12 grams, and the lack of any documentation on the brew group maintenance kit. I don't know of many advertisements that point out problems with their products.

As for why it LOOKS like an advertisement, maybe it's because I spent a large part of my career doing documentation, training and organization. I try to make my posts easier to view and understand, as I did in my documentation days.

I only posted this after having the unit for 2 days and was hoping to share my experiences, provide some missing information on the unit for those thinking of buying/using it and hoping that others that purchased one would also share their experiences and brewing experiences. I am still evaluating the unit to determine if it makes good enough espresso for me to keep it and not return it for a refund as it is fairly expensive.

As I gain experience with actually brewing with it I will also post that experience and hope to get others to post what settings and espresso they are using to get the best shots.

Saeco Incanto Sirius S-Class

I had previously purchased the Vienna Digital and was positive delighted with the performance of this machine. My only regret was that it didn't have a bypass doser, for the occassional decaf, etc. When the Incanto model finally became available in 120V 60Hz, I immediately ordered it. Not only is it a smaller machine, but it seemed to have everything I wanted. Now for my observation after a month of using it:

I immediately felt as though the Vienna produced a more creamy, aromatic cup...was this my imagination? Well, it took a while to get used to the SBS feature and I'm still not entirely convinced any of its positions makes the coffee as good as the Vienna did. Anyway, I now know that you get more coffee and better crema if you go more to the left.

Another little thing is the permanent panarello wand...with the Vienna, I just removed that silly thing and could produce the most velvety froth in any container by learning to use the point of the wand like the real Baristas do. That's all been eliminated with the Incanto since you really can't remove the panarello for use of the wand. But, I am getting used to that thing as well.

Just a few other oddities...the Vienna left hard perfectly rounded pucks in the drawer, while the incanto seems to be more muddy and moist (I think this is the result of the SBS restricting some of the water from getting through. And the Brew Group gets a lot messier than the Vienna's did with coffee smeared all up and down the shaft (even beyond the rubber seal), which is something the Vienna never did...the brew group remained relatively clean except where it slid the puck into the drawer.

In conclusion, I miss the Vienna and it worked so well I became used to it. The Incanto is a very different machine...looks better, has the bypass doser and I am slowly getting used to it as well. My feeling is it gives you too many options...the Vienna was a simpler unit (if it only had a bypass). Alas, I am a coffee lover and have now begun roasting my own beans and there's nothing in the world like it!!!!
Please post review/update on Incanto Sirius

I am curently trying to decide between the Magic Comfort+ and the Incanto Sirius.
Saeco claims SBS is a revolutionary invention that changed the world of coffee, i'd like other comments on that feature since according to previous reviewer it is not that great.
What about the ceramic grinder, does it make much of a difference?

Thank you
Incanto Sirius Canadian/European OR American

I was made aware after reading an explanation that the Canadian and Euro models have Stainless Steel boilers and improved thermoblocks over the Aluminum boilers used in the American models. Is this news to anyone? What's your opinion of the longevity of the aluminum boiler? They said descaling the st.stl. is easier.

So, you think this is a case of we Americanos getting screwed over because we're just willing to settle for a cheaper version? The Canada version costs $1863.00 converted to USD.

I really like this model and am thinking hard about it being my first machine but aluminum....Aluminum??!? Remember those old percolators made of aluminum with the glass bead on top? Aluminum is NOT inert.
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Stainless Boiler AND Aluminum Boiler

I have the Incanto (US model) and it has 2 boilers and per the technical specifications in the manual:

Brew Boiler - Stainless Steel
Steam Boiler - Aluminum

I downloaded the manual from the Saeco site on the European side. They don't provide a DL manual on the US site. Anyway, the spec for the Euro model says 2 stainless steel boilers so that's one documented difference at any rate.

I'm glad to hear that the US model is st.stl. on the brew side at least. I suppose if we were running tomato juice or some other very acidic liquid through an aluminum pressure container this would be more of an issue than just water. I don't think the price of a few hundred dollars is worth one st.stl. boiler upgrade. By the way, anyone reading this, what price have you paid or best deal have you seen on the Sirius? I don't know anything more about the thermoblock than what was said on the site. Here's the quote:

Canadian Saeco machines have stainless Steel Boilers (and 90% of US machines do not)! When you are checking out reviews and prices on the Saeco Superautomatic machines, remember that Canadian and European models are equipped with the much longer lasting and trouble-free Stainless Steel boiler and Thermobloc system. US models and Starbucks re-branded models use aluminum boiler and thermoblocks which are cheaper to manufacture and do not last nearly as long. This is because Saeco tailors the specifications to each countries particular market demographics. Saeco Canada, the exclusive importer for Canada has chosen to specify Stainless Steel Boilers and Thermoblocs on ALL Canadian Saeco models since January 2004. So doing a direct price comparison with what appear to be similar models is not valid since Canadian Saeco machines have improved internals making them last much longer, and are more resistant to scaling! So making the wise choice is as easy as buying Canadian!

If you watch West Wing you'll know that last week they were talking about dusting off an old US contingency plan to invade Canada. The quote above may just be fightin' words! :wink:
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Price Paid

The only current US distributor is Williams-Sonoma and they are list price ... $1,499. We really needed a new one ASAP so we just bit the bullet.
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Grinder on the Sirius

How do you like the grinder on the Sirius? Does it provide consistent results?

So far I am very pleased. It seems very consistent. I adjusted it to the finest grind possible. I have seen comments that say it is a potential problem going to the finest setting on these type of machines, but I guess time will tell. I may have to replace the grinder sooner that if I keep it at a coarser setting, but the finer grind gives a better espresso.
JerseyGuy is your Sirius pooping out muddy grinds like Mikelev reported?

The SBS is supposed to allow you to lower water pressure by way of a bypass valve, that should allow you to fine tune extraction time. How would you rate this feature?
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cravingman said:
The SBS is supposed to allow you to lower water pressure by way of a bypass valve, that should allow you to fine tune extraction time. How would you rate this feature?

This works very well. I just tested 4 Espresso shots (12g and 1.5 OZs water) from full counterclockwise (9pm on a clock face) to Full Clockwise (3pm on a clock face):

Full Counterclockwise (9pm) - 8 seconds (suggested "Strong black coffee")
MIDWAY (Noon) -------------- 15 seconds (suggested "Espresso")
1 PM ---------------------------- 25 seconds (My setting for Espresso)
Full Clockwise (3pm) -------- 48 seconds (suggested "Rich Espresso" or Rissetto)
MikeLev also mention messy brewgroup

Mikelev sez: "And the Brew Group gets a lot messier than the Vienna's did with coffee smeared all up and down the shaft (even beyond the rubber seal)..."

JerseyGuy..... Is the brewgroup typically messy when you pull it out? I wonder if there's a difference in procedure between the way you and MikeLev use your machines?

PS-I spoke with a gentleman who runs another website and he said that 'none of the superautomatic machines brew espresso, they brew swiss coffee.' Any opinions on his take on things? He's used the Solis 5000 and prefers its taste to the Sirius but I'm certain he still brews using more traditional machines. He also said 'temperature and pressure mean everything when brewing.' He doesn't believe that the superautos really make the 15 bar that they advertise.

Please throw your two cents in everyone. I'm collecting data, doing research and crunching numbers before I shell out the big bucks. The Sirius looks great to me but I'm a gadget guy and I may be unfairly swayed by the hitech display. What's a coffee geek to do? :?
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