SCG Tech Tips: Saeco Superautomatic Brew Groups

Saeco Superautomatic Brew GroupsThere are many things in life that have been attributed to such nebulous sources as 'science' or 'engineering' that are actually deeply rooted in magic. The chromatophores of cephalopods, gelatin-based foodstuffs, magnets -- these are just a few examples of magic being passed off as ordinary. It's unfortunate that their provenance isn't more keenly celebrated, but we understand why: It's far easier for people to get their head around these experiences if they disregard their obvious mojo.

And while it's tempting to add the brew groups of Saeco Superautomatic Espresso Machines to this list, these are actually not operated by tiny magical beings inside your espresso machine; they truly are the result of some fine-tuned mechanical engineering. But don't take our word for it! Learn all about them with Brendan -- what they do, how they work, how to care for them, troubleshooting tips and more.

11 thoughts on “SCG Tech Tips: Saeco Superautomatic Brew Groups”

  • Aaron

    What Rack do you put the brew unit on in the dishwasher, top or bottom?

  • Darin

    I have an odea go, and there does not seem to be a way to extract the screen screw from the top. I took the entire piece holding the screw off of the unit, and am trying to remove the screw from the front (screen side). am i missing something? thanks.

    • Kat

      Apparently, some of the older Odeas didn't have the brew screen screw, but you can release the screen from the top part using an allen wrench (our techs think it's a #5) and then, once you unscrew it a bit, you can continue to remove it by hand. Let me know if that helps :)


  • […] Brendan talked to us in detail about best practice in the care and maintenance of Saeco’s superautomatic espresso machine […]

  • brent

    many other websites state to never put the brew group in the dishwasher or it might warp. have you ever seen this happen? thanks for the videos!

    • Kaylie

      While I have not directly seen warping from placing a brew group in the dishwasher, you can certainly put it into the dishwasher! It is important though, not to choose the “Sanitize” cycle, as this is a hot cycle, and to put it in the top rack so it’s not too close to the heat at the bottom.

      Typically, brew groups should be removed roughly once per week and sprayed down with hot water (with or without soap) to clean. This is the most common practice, but occasionally you can put it into the dishwasher on the top rack.

  • Jan

    I've had my Saeco Odea for 3 years now. The machine is used daily to brew an average of 6 shots. I decided to do some maintenance after watching some video on the net. I replaced the large red 0-ring on the top piston as well as the small black 0-ring in the top. To be able to do that I had to press 4 tabs inwards to remove the part in the top of the brew unit. The 2 fasteners at the top and the one holding the screen are small T10 torx screws, so a torx bit is required. I used the -rings provided with a previously owned Saeco Magic machine. The instructions in German advised to rinse the brew group weekly in lukewarm water and warned never to place the unit in a dishwasher. It further stated the large 0-ring should be replaced annually and greased monthly. The small diameter piston rod at the bottom of the unit should also be greased regularly. I feel I am confronted with different opinions on how to maintain the Odea. Is this just because the Odea and the Magic are different? Your advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Felicia Kloewer
      Felicia Kloewer April 4, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Hi, Jan!

      There are definitely lots of resources available, so we understand how it could be overwhelming. You're on the right track, though! We recommend following the manual, but that being said there are some ways to make maintenance easier on yourself! The o-rings should only need to be replaced if it's not getting a good seal--you'll know if it's not working properly if coffee starts leaking and if you hear squealing noises (not related or fixed by lubricating the machine). We have read lubricating the machine every month and in this case, it looks like the manual on the Odea recommends lubricating after 500 brew cycles. If you're doing about six shots a day you can lubricate the machine every three months or when you start to hear the brew unit squeaking or not moving properly. We also recommend descaling every three months, so maybe you could have a maintenance party every three months :)

      If you're brewing six shots a day, you should go ahead and wash the brew unit at least once a week or even more frequently. As for how it should be cleaned, the manual doesn't want you to put any parts in the dishwasher and it should be enough to rinse it off under the tap. The biggest concern with using the dishwasher is because the pieces are plastic they could potential melt. If you did decide you wanted to use the dishwasher, the top rack is the safest and don't use any extra hot mode or sanitize cycle as that could overheat the parts and cause melting or deformation.

      Thank you for the question and we hope that gives you a better idea of how to maintain your Saeco Odea!


  • Jan

    Thank you, Felicia :)

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