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Saeco Via Venezia Espresso Machine

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$64.00 of free extras with purchase!
  • SCG $25 Gift Card $25.00
  • Seattle Coffee Gear 1 Year Extended Warranty - 0 to 499 $39.00
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Regular Price: $400.00

$299.00

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Product Description

The Saeco Via Venezia is beautifully constructed with a stainless steel casing. It incorporates some of Saeco's most time-tested features. The Via Venezia produces creamy, robust espresso each and every time thanks to the ease of a pressurized portafilter. You'll also find the panarello has a frothing tip for perfect foam, a large water tank, a powerful pump rated at 15 BAR of pressure and a safe, and a rapid recovery boiler that keeps the hot water coming.

Features & Functionality of the Saeco Via Venezia

  • Simple Brewing: Fill the pressurized portafilter to level with finely ground espresso and twist the portafilter onto the brew head. Press the brew button to initiate brewing and then press again to stop.
  • Frothing Tip For Perfect Foam: Like magic, your Via Venezia steaming wand will make beautiful foam just by slipping on the panarello frothing tip. Mounted on a swivel joint, the wand conveniently swings aside and clean up is a snap.
  • Don't Let the Grind Get You Down: The right pressure used to pack a portafilter makes a huge difference in the quality of espresso produced. The Via Venezia's heavy-duty pressurized portafilter does away with that concern by pressurizing the brewing chamber to improve extraction, promoting the perfect brewing conditions.
  • Big Water Tank: The 98 ounce water reservoir is prefect for home entertaining. You can brew a number of espressos and then refill the reservoir right where it's at, even if it is still brewing. Simple to remove, the reservoir can also be carried to a faucet.
  • Powerful Pump: The Saeco Via Venezia boasts a powerful vibratory pump rated at 15 BAR of pressure, the same pump found on top of the line Saeco espresso machines to pull maximum flavor from the coffee beans.
  • Removable Cup Tray, Drip Pan & Cup Warming Shelf: Removable cup tray and plastic drip pans make clean up simple. The drip pan can be removed during brewing to provide additional clearance for taller cups. The passive cup warmer keeps your mug toasty.
  • Safe, Rapid Recovery Boiler: A large stainless steel, 950-watt quick recovery boiler has burnout protection-- a thermal fuse to shut down the heating element should the machine run dry during operation.
Pros
  • Mon Petit - The Saeco Via Venezia has a compact and sturdy all-metal design and fits easily into compact spaces.
  • Easy to Use - With its pressurized portafilter, this is one of the easiest espresso machines to use that we have tested.
Cons
  • Messy Portafilter - When using the pressurized portafilter, the puck will be a little messy after brewing.
How Does it Compare?

The Via Venezia is larger than the Saeco Aroma and Poemia, has a larger reservoir and offers more room for your steaming pitcher. It also sports a removable accessory drawer under the drip tray to provide more clearance for larger cups.

Additional Information

Manufacturer Saeco
Width 9.625 inches
Depth 11.5 inches
Height 13.0 inches
Watts 950 watts
Volts 120 volts
Programmability No
Case Material Stainless Steel
Boiler Material Stainless Steel
Cup Clearance 2.75 inches
Reservoir Size 98 ounces
Solenoid Valve No
Cup Warmer Yes
Available Portafilters Pressurized and Non-Pressurized
Warm Up: Brew Time 1 minute and 35 seconds
Warm Up: Steam Time 50 seconds
Boiler Design Single Boiler
Pod Friendly Yes - without adaptation
Water Sources Reservoir/Internal Tank
Pre-Infusion/Aroma No
Material Stainless Steel

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Resources

Warranty Information for the Saeco Via Venezia Espresso Machine

What it Covers:

Saeco espresso machines, coffee makers and grinders

Length: 1 Year
Who Supports the Warranty: Saeco
Warranty Contact Information: 800-933-7876
Eligible for SCG Extended Warranty? Yes (Espresso machines only).
Can SCG Repair? Yes. Read more about our out-of-warranty repair services.

Caring for the Saeco Via Venezia Espresso Machine

  • Descale every two to three months. We recommend using Dezcal.
  • Wash all removable components with soap and water on a regular basis. (Many are not dishwasher safe.)
  • Remove and clean the panarello wand weekly.
  • Clean brew head with group head brush weekly.

User Manuals for your Saeco Via Venezia Espresso Machine


Videos Featuring the Saeco Via Venezia Espresso Machine

Brew Tip: Switching Roasts and Grinds

Reviews

best buy for its price, very reliableReview by Prarabica fan
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Some one asked about water temperature. I have not measure water temp but it has been hot enough to use it for hot chocolate/tea. Espresso is hot that I have to wait a few minutes before drinking it. Very hot steam for frothing milk. (Posted on 2/5/2016)
Fine machine, but could be improved.Review by John Wells
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I live with this thing every morning, using it with my Breville Milk Cafe to make a fab latte. The one thing lacking to make my expresso non-pressurized portafilter machine perfect is that I must use a flashlight to check the water in the reservoir. The result is that I sometimes add too much water and it overflows creating a spill that's an unnecessary chore to wipe up. A small LED light to illuminate the water level would add wonders and make it perfect. (Posted on 2/5/2016)
Fine machine, but could be improved.Review by John Wells
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I live with this thing every morning, using it with my Breville Milk Cafe to make a fab latte. The one thing lacking to make my expresso non-pressurized portafilter machine perfect is that I must use a flashlight to check the water in the reservoir. The result is that I sometimes add too much water and it overflows creating a spill that's an unnecessary chore to wipe up. A small LED light to illuminate the water level would add wonders and make it perfect. (Posted on 2/5/2016)
Excellent Espresso machineReview by Peter
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I purchased a refurbished Saeco Via Venezia and it is awesome, most excellent espresso right out of the box. I have a Cuisinart burr grinder which produces a decently fine grind. The Via is easy to use and the steamer creates exceptional dry foam, I use whole milk thats 6% which I think helps. This machine produces exceptional espresso with a beautiful deep colored crema and the flavor is outstanding. My standard for the finest espresso I have ever had is Joe's Coffee in NYC. While this is not to that standard for home espresso I'm a happy camper as my last machine the switch went out after 9 to 10 years of consistent use, but it didn't even come close to the flavor from the Via Venezia. (Posted on 12/26/2015)
Great value, quality for the moneyReview by Roy
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Like many here, I had a Starbucks Barista for many years and replaced it with this. The Barista could probably have been repaired (the pump was dying and needed replacing), but I foolishly didn't keep it completely dry and it was badly rusting in spots. This one works at least as well. I bought the bottomless non-pressurized portafilter from Seattle Coffee Gear as well, and after a bit of experimenting with the grind, get even better espresso -- far more concentrated and intense than was possible with the pressurized portafilter.
A major added benefit to this machine is the availability, from Seattle Coffee Gear and others, not only of instructional videos on youtube, but also detailed diagrams and parts that can be ordered online that make minor repairs and adjustments easy even for non-technical people like me. The steaming wand on my unit was leaking, but some online research showed that all that was needed was a minor adjustment, and there was a video demonstrating exactly how to do it. If that fix didn't work, it would have been simple enough to order and replace the part in question, but the fix did work and I didn't need any new parts.
Of course, it doesn't have the build quality of a commercial machine, nor does it have a PID temperature control as is found in much more expensive machines. It has a single small boiler and so may not be ideal if you are making many cups of espresso at a time. But for one or two cups each morning, it works very well. Also, it takes up very little counter space and is easily maintained. I'm very happy with it.
(Posted on 8/29/2015)
Love the Via VeneziaReview by jaycee
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I just retired my old Starbucks Barista after 20 years of faithful service (it was still working). I bought the Via Venezia knowing it was basically the same machine except with some nice upgrades. I am very happy with my purchase. The improved steam wand foams the milk in half the time and the foam looks like heavy whipped cream. The quality of the coffee is noticeably better too. I tried the Equator Tigerwalk coffee and found it makes a great cafe' mocha. I'm looking forward to another 20 years of great espresso! (Posted on 8/5/2015)
Perfect entry machine!Review by Kathryn
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I LOVE this machine! It's perfect for me, and will be for a good long time: quick & easy to get started, small footprint, minimal mess, great brew, easy cleanup.

The -only- shortcoming is the difficulty to steam microfoam -- I've been working on it for about 3 years, and am probably 70% there. I've found a good technique by icing the pitcher, steaming off the condensation in the panarello (directly into my cup, as a primer before sitting it atop the cup-warmer), dumping the ice & pouring COLD milk into the pitcher, then steaming with minimal swirling, swirling & tapping the pitcher on a wooden countertop board to settle the froth back into the milk, and finally, SLOWLY pouring the milk through the crema.

Also, I had bought this machine a year ago, after having used an Aroma for several years. This is a significant upgrade to that machine -- love the rotating steam wand, option to brew directly in the cup thanks to the removable drip pan, and easy-to-fill water tank -- and it seems to have almost eliminated the condensation in the steam wand, which plagues the Aroma.

LOVE IT! GET IT! (Posted on 6/23/2015)
Bought non-pressurized filterReview by DH
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My previous machine was a Baby Gaggia, and I was quite happy with it. When it finally broke, I replaced it with the Via Venezia because I wanted a stainless steel boiler and because SCG carries a non-pressurized portafilter. The availability of the non-pressurized portafilter is the only reason I was willing to buy this machine. I also bought a stainless steel tamper (never knew how important that was). It took me a long time to "get it right," but I am happy with my espressos. I stopped trying to get the shots to come out in 5 to 6 seconds like on my old machine and now accept 3 seconds as the best I can do. An attempt to slow it down by grinding finer or using more tamping pressure makes for a bitter shot. I also have trouble drawing a steady, thin stream. I haven't consulted with SCG about this, but I assume that it has to do with the fact that the machine was built to use a pressurized portafilter. I just came back from France where the best espresso I got was in an Italian restaurant. The first espresso from my Via Venezia tasted fantastic. I've got my stainless steel boiler, I can control the process with the non-pressurized portafilter, and the price was right. (Posted on 5/8/2015)
It was good while it lastedReview by Debra
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I bought this machine back in 2013, while I gave it rave reviews the first 8 months. That is no longer the case. The pump went out in Nov. 2014 which Seattle coffee gear replaced, my machine was still under warranty. Now 2 months after the pump was replaced it is leaking where SCG attached the new pump. Note the water runs out right past electric components. Safety issue....YES. My warranty has expired 12/4/14. It is now my problem. They offered to diagnose and fix it, for an estimated cost. Not worth it, if you are thinking of buying a machine; go to the next level. Pay more and get a better machine. The money I paid for the machine and all the extras I could of had a much nicer espresso machine that is more durable. When your warranty is up that's it. Everyone at SCG was nice and very helpful.
(Posted on 2/15/2015)
Perfect for those NOT pickyReview by drbrousters
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Had a Starbucks Barista for many years; used it daily. The pump gave up the ghost a short while ago, and I needed to replace it. Had a Sirena and I tried a new grinder because the one I use isn’t consistent with the grind. It also meant more skill was required, but better espresso would be the result. I was working hard, trying to perfect the grind and tamp…but…my wife was sad...because she missed the ease and pleasure of finding a decent but less perfect grind, tamping as needed, and soon enjoying her morning Americano...with lots of "Crema."
Enter the Via Venezia, and happiness has returned to the household. I get up early and prepare my “double, double.” Then I grind and tamp her coffee and go to work. She gets up and, with no fuss, has her cup of coffee. The V. V. is, relatively, easy to use, the coffee is never bad, and she loves the return of the Crema. I've been told it isn't REALLY Crema, but it certainly looks like it...and it makes your coffee beautiful...and taste better? I didn’t mention the WHOLE experience…returning the (well-cleaned and repackaged) new and much better grinder…and the tamper that was the right size for the Sirena but the wrong size for the V.V. Gail had offered to teach me how to succeed with the Sirena…but…Did I mention I’ve been happily married for 44 years?
The Via Venezia is a great "starter" machine...and evidently I am locked into being a starter. It's solidly built, but I'm not sure the pump is as strong as the Barista. No real worries because it came with 2 additional years of warrantee, and Seattle Coffee Gear is a wonderful place to do business. If anything goes wrong, I know they’ll treat me right.
My only regret is not having learned the art, and refining my ability to make an espresso...but...I still enjoy how well this machine performs for those who are satisfied with its product. Count me as one of those. For those of us considered awkward, and primitive in both making and tasting espresso, you can’t go wrong with this machine. It’s like the rock and roll of espresso makers: unappreciated by the well- educated and refined, but the rest of us love it because it’s just plain good.
(Posted on 12/22/2014)
great for beginners!Review by tanya
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This is my first espresso machine ever and I love it! After a couple of weeks of learning everything about it I fell like I know what I am doing. Latte's, Americano's and so on.... I choose this machine because I would not have to deal with grinding my own coffee beans (I leave this to the experts). I have tried 5 different coffee's in it and my favorite is Lavazza crema e gusto. I had it now for 5 month and descaled it once (just because of the use time), I make 1 to 2 drinks per day. Overall I think its a great little machine, works well and looks nice. (Posted on 11/9/2014)
I was hoping but it was not to beReview by Dotsy
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Did not come close to lasting a year. It started throwing breaker when turned on, impossible to use and steam knob broke off. It is not even one year old.It was used daily to make 4-6 cups of latte for the two of us. Hope it cannot be fixed because I don't want another it's too expensive to ship it back & forth for repairs from Texas. (Posted on 9/26/2014)
Getting BetterReview by houston girl
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Said machine was just OK in previous review; however, like me, the machine is getting better with time (maybe I'm getting better). It makes really good espresso shots and does a really decent job of foaming milk. I stand by my former statement that it beats Starbucks' stuff all to pieces. Glad I bought it. Use it every morning and on days off every afternoon, too. It is holding up well. (Posted on 7/19/2014)
My Starbucks ReplacementReview by KC Redhead
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I have owned a Starbucks model since 2006 and absolutely loved it for my lattes and my limited kitchen space. Still works but the steam wand doesn't froth like it should and the expresso is sluggish. I faithfully descaled the machine but age probably is getting the best of it. So not bad for 8 years of ownership. I purchased the Via Venezia in Stainless Steel based on the video and the reviews of other Starbucks machines owners. Only a few differences that I will get used to such as the steam wand (Starbucks is all steel), different control buttons and a different sheen of the stainless steel as compared to my Starbucks. I actually had a defective portafilter (the orange seal inside is not sealed completely) but I have been using my Starbucks portafilter. I contacted Seattle Coffee Gear today (Sat). The associate was so helpful and located one for me while I was on the phone! I wish I could remember her name. So I have to say- excellent customer service! The new portafilter will be shipped on Monday. And in closing both expresso and lattes are awesome. (Posted on 7/12/2014)
Perfect MachineReview by ultrafred
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I bought this machine to replace my Starbucks Barista, virtually the same machine. I had thought that when the day came I would upgrade to a fancier machine, but it appears that all the machines with in the price range, or even hundreds of dollars more, have the same output pressure in the end. I don't need programmable shots or anything, just proper pressure and temperature.
I like this machine because I can turn the tray sideways, lowering it to fit a normal coffee cup underneath.
This machine is well designed and made, with all metal parts, except the drip tray. So many of the others are plastic. I had to take my Barista machine apart to fix a leaky steamer valve, and I can attest to the refinement of the quality.
I used the Barista for over seven years, when it finally just stopped working. I got a great price from SCG, along with some free extras.
I used the Barista with pressurized PF all those years as instructed, not tamping the coffee. After reading about upgrading to non-pressurized, I decided to try tamping the coffee in the pressurized PF. Got a dramatic improvement! I can't imagine that buying the non-pressurized PF would be that much more of an improvement. The pressure valve still functions, but now the coffee is pressurized, forcing the water through the coffee rather than just the pressure valve. I bought the inexpensive 53mm Rattle Ware tamper, which fits perfectly. I found that you don't need exactly 30lbs pressure; just lay into it a little. Easy!
The new steamer wand is much quieter than the Barista. They have certainly optimized the frothing. I don't need all that froth, but am learning to love the overall function.
I am completely happy with this machine, and can't imagine what any machine under $1,000 can improve on with the functions I want. (Posted on 6/16/2014)
updated review over one year after purchaseReview by Deb
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After one year of daily use, my machine is now leaking all over the place. Waiting for the tune up kit parts to be in stock to see if this helps. Great Lattes up until that point. Maybe leaking is the problem with the taste now. I bought all the extras to make a great latte, but now it tastes awful. I clean my machine regularly. Sour bitter espresso. Not sure what the problem is. (Posted on 6/4/2014)
Easy espressoReview by John
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I was fortunate enough to have had for several years a Maestro conical burr coffee grinder, and found that setting it on eight made a grind about the size of table salt, which works great for the heavyweight pressurized portafilter, so from the get-go I was making wonder espresso, latte, and cappuccino. The best advice I received comes from online videos. Keeping everything clean seems essential, and one tip about cleaning the portafilter after each use by running a demitasse cup of clean water through the empty portafilter is good advice.
I'm a senior (82 years old), so decaff coffee beans ground before each use in my Maestro, and 2 percent Lactaid milk frothed with a steam Panarillo, then sweetened with either Splenda or Sugar-in-the-Raw makes a delicious cappuccino or latte. Fortunately, Annapolis has a top notch coffee roaster, so freshly roasted beans are available.
Wish I'd got into this sooner, but better late than never. This is a fine source of material with A-one support. (Posted on 4/15/2014)
great machineReview by Sherrie
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The videos are a excellant idea as I have learned many details that were unclear before and I can now produce a good espresso. I am still practicing frothing and each time it becomes easier. The water is very hot which is important for me as I love hot espresso. Outside of excess water on bottom I love the machine and recommend it to others easily. (Posted on 2/19/2014)
Superb machineReview by MSK
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I have had my Via Venezia for a few weeks. I carefully follow the procedures for streaming the milk, cleaning and the critical cooling before brewing. Not complicated nor time consuming. Cup after cup of excellent lattes are enjoyed by my wife and me. Thanks for this excellent machine and the support for its correct usage. (Posted on 1/28/2014)
Excellent Machine, Easy to useReview by Maureen
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I've always wanted an espresso machine but thought it would be too difficult. The Saeco Via Venezia is easy to use and great tasting espresso every time. I love being able to do a latte or just a shot.
It is very hard to go back and use my old Keurig, the espresso is just wonderful. Very Happy with the Saeco, highly recommend. (Posted on 1/27/2014)
Molto beneReview by Patrick
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I had a Simona for 20 years and loved it. But it finally died. After shopping for a new machine, I spoke to someone at Seattle Coffee Gear and was sold on their knowledge and service. I was looking into a lot more expensive machine but was recommended the Saeco after answering their questions. Happy with it. (Posted on 11/13/2013)
Great Machine for an Espresso RookieReview by Matt
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First of all, a big thank you to Seattle Coffee Gear. You guys answered every single question I threw at you before making this purchase. Your YouTube videos are also extremely helpful (and entertaining).

This machine is great for me, because even though I'm 21, I am not extremely tech-savy when it comes to espresso machines. The tamping, the grind, the angle to froth the milk... it's a science.

This machine is simple for anyone who is looking for a good brew, but not having to touch and control multiple buttons. The stainless machine is very beautiful to look at and the froth wand does a good job... PLUS the mug heater at the top of the machine is an added bonus. (Posted on 10/17/2013)
Fantastic quality/priceReview by Axld
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The machine has been in use every day to make cappuccinos for the past 5 years and has shown no signs of fatigue. Easy to use and reliable (thanks to portafilter). Definitively recommend if you're look for convenience, price and consistently good espresso drinks. (Posted on 7/13/2013)
Good Expresso, Great FoamReview by Abuelita
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I' wanted to replace my faithful old Barista Espresso Machine and learned from the Seattle Coffee Gear website that the Saeco Via Venezia is the updated version of the Barista. I purchased the machine from them, and for the most part, have been very happy with it. Comparing the Venezia to the Barista, I did find that it took awhile to get used to the control buttons being on the opposite side of the machine. The lights behind the buttons that indicate the machine is ready are orange instead of green and are difficult to see if there is much natural light in the room. I also have to pry the filter out of the portafilter with a small flat screwdriver when I want to clean it. The Venezia has a panarello for frothing attached to the steam wand, but I find that the wand makes better foam when the panarello is removed. On the positive side, the Venezia makes much better and more foam that the Barista. Like the Barista, the wand is fully rotational which is useful when working with the milk. My husband drinks straight espresso shots and thinks that the shots from the Venezia are better than what he often gets at Starbucks. Apparently, it’s possible to upgrade by replacing the portafilter with a regular filter and filter basket to pull more “finely tuned” shots from the machine. The portafilter, however, is easy to use, relatively foolproof, and delivers a very good shot of espresso. (Posted on 6/20/2013)
Well made though developed problems within 1 yearReview by rlovi
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I purchased the Saeco Via Venezia as a gift for my wife. I can't comment on the quality of the coffee produced by the machine as she is the coffee drinker not I though I can comment on the quality of the construction since I am the one my wife turns to when something breaks.

I purchased the refurbished unit and after 6 months of use the brew button stopped functioning. The light would come on when the water reached brewing temperature but when the button was pushed in, nothing would happen. I've never been afraid to take anything apart so I removed the cover and examined the inner workings. The build quality looked outstanding, high quality parts and wiring. So before I called the manufacturer to see if I could order a replacement switch I sprayed the inner workings of all three switches with a product called DeoxIT (a product used to clean audio switches and potentiometers). Worked like a charm. No need to jiggle the switch any longer to get it to work. Hopefully this will be of help to another "do it yourself" repair person. (Posted on 6/11/2013)
A fun way to make a great cup of coffee Review by Holly in Phoenix
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I am really enjoying my new espresso machine. The site was easy to use and it arrived quickly. I would recommend the product and the site to anyone trying to take their morning coffee to a higher level than a drip or single shot machine from a big box store. (Posted on 5/26/2013)
Great lattes & great repair serviceReview by Brasnes
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Greetings from Maine!

It's now a year since we purchased our Saeco Via Venzia from SCG for my birthday. I was a little hesitant given the horror stories I'd read from people who had waited months for Saeco to repair their machines.

Sure enough, after a few months, our Via Venezia developed a leak in the steam wand that gradually progressed from a few drops to a steady water stream.

The Saeco website claimed it took 2-to-3 weeks to repair a machine under warranty. So, we sent it to Saeco two days before our two-week vacation, keeping our fingers crossed and hoping it would arrive back within a week-or-so of our return.

BOY WERE WE WRONG!

A few hours before leaving for vacation, we got an email saying that UPS was due to return our Saeco package the next day. "OMG!", I thought, "The return authorization number must have fallen off the package and Saeco refused to accept delivery!"

Wrong again. When I called the Saeco service number, they checked and found out that Saeco had repaired our espresso machine and sent it back out the same day it arrived! We had to pay UPS an extra fee to put our delivery on hold until the day we got back, but I ain't complaining.

The Via Venezia itself may not be a Rancilio Silvia, but I found it very easy to use, and following Gail and Kat's video advice on how to use it, I tamp the coffee into the pressurized portafilter just lightly (I just use the flat bottom side of the plastic measuring spoon that comes with the machine), and I make cappuccinos and lattes that I like better than the ones we get in just about any restaurant (not that I am at all biased). It is certainly a whole lot easier and much more satisfying to use than the $99 espresso machine we'd bought years ago in a department store.

Our sample size of one single warranty repair experience is not enough from which to draw a reliable conclusion and I figure that the people who have bad experiences are much more likely to write about them than the folks who are just plain satisfied, but I was so impressed that I just had to give Saeco a public thank you, and a thank you, also to Kat and Gail for demonstrating and recommending the machine (by video) in the first place. (Posted on 5/24/2013)
After 2 years still going strongReview by Dork bottom
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Purchased at SCG on their recommendation. Use it at least twice a day, every day without a problem. Great product, excellent value and great store. (Posted on 5/7/2013)
Very PleasedReview by ww
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I have had my machine for about 5 years and it just now is acting up. Until now I have NEVER had one issue with it. I use it every day to make at least 2 lattes. If I can't get mine repaired I will buy another one. Love, love, love it and totally miss it. (Posted on 4/21/2013)
good entry levelReview by psdavi01
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Very forgiving, makes good coffee. (Posted on 4/1/2013)
nice machineReview by paul
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I had a Delonghi for a year it broke took it back got another it also lasted one year decided to try the Via Venezia and am very happy with it. Much quieter and better tasting espresso. (Posted on 3/25/2013)
SWEET LITTLE MACHINEReview by JONI
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Have been using my Via for about a month now, and absolutely Love it! Also purchased the non pressurized portafilter which has been fun learning how to get a great shot. May never perfect it, but I keep trying. I am an Americano person, so I can't brag on the panarello, but I've read it works great.
This machine just works for me... Everything I need, and everything I expected. It's made well, functions well, and looks great.
It arrived on time and in great shape.
I have learned so much from SCG, the information, the videos, what a great company.
I have recommend this company to alot of people and will continue to do so.
All in all, I am really happy with my little VIA. I hope it lasts me for quite some time
(Posted on 3/22/2013)
Good value but wasn't pleasedReview by Jeff
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Being a noob on somewhat of a budget, this was an obvious choice. After 3 1/2 weeks, however, I decided it wasn't for me and traded it in for the Breville Infuser ($200 more) and I am very happy with that machine (see my review there).

PROS: This is a great value for the price. You can pull a fairly decent shot with little effort. It is forgiving on your grind and tamp (or no tamp).. Good size water tank.

CONS: It is messy. It drips, the pucks are soupy and really not-pucks at all. It takes a fairly long time to switch from espresso to steam. Even pulling multiple shots - it would sometimes go back to the readying process and make you wait. The panarello does not allow for much control on milk frothing. Got OK results but couldn't really do it perfectly like many videos show. The machine is very light weight. On all machines in the lower price range, they are of lighter weight and may move as you put in the portafilter -- but this one was bothersome it moved so much. The buttons are sticky and takes some jiggling (and I bought a new not refurb).

Probably most importantly, you aren't going to "learn" much because what you get is what you get. The added control of the Breville has taught me about the variances and nuances in espresso and frothing and ultimately allows me the control to make a superb shot, cup, whatever.

But at $299 it is a great value and will meet some people's needs/wants. (Posted on 2/24/2013)
Great little machine.Review by Deb
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I am a rookie and this is my first espresso machine. Thank you Gail and Kat. Your videos helped me to decide what machine to purchase and all the extras to make a great latte at home.

The instructions that came with the machine aren't the greatest, but the videos are very helpful. I did the upgrade and bought the non pressurized portafilter. Had an issue it; bent/misshapen but SCG sent me a new one. I believe it was a factory defect. Got the stainless Panarello upgrade too, very nice foam. With all the extras it makes a great latte, comparable to our coffee house in town, which has a $8,000.00 espresso machine. I can have 2 lattes in one day which are great. And save money doing so. Great machine for the price range.

I purchased my machine at Christmas, this was my present. Best gift ever!! SCG gave me free Bonsai espresso beans to try. Several gift cards, free 1 year extended warranty. I also purchased a Breville burr grinder. Which is great. They also e-mailed me how to videos with Gail and Kat. There was some very important information about a single boiler machine. I felt I was well taken care of. I could of bought this machine anywhere, but SCG was great. (Posted on 2/21/2013)
SCG is awsome!!!Review by mark
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This is my first espresso machine the Via Venezia.I was totally sold on this machine after watching all the informative videos from Gail and Kat!! They leave no questions unanswered and are fun to watch! Keep up the good work girls.I now enjoy my own espresso from the comforts of home. Mark (Posted on 1/26/2013)
Nice MachineReview by Artie
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I ordered the Via Venezia to replace a 12 year old Krups espresso machine. The Krups was OK, but did not match up to drinks we could get in coffee shops. I did a lot of research on line and debated between semi-automatic and super-automatic machines. I finally decided to get the semi-automatic, mostly because less things that can go wrong. I chose the Via Venezia over other similar models for the SS boiler and articulating steam wand. I also ordered the SS panarello upgrade. I have only had the machine for about a month, but so far, I really like the unit. Compared to my old Krups, the coffee is much better, and hotter. The steam wand is great. The milk gets much hotter than the Krups and the foam is fantastic. I mostly make lattes or mochas and they are great. The unit heats up quickly. So fast that I've been using it to make hot water for tea. SCG is great. Their site has a lot of information that I used for comparing units and the order process was seamless and fast. Thank you SCG! (Posted on 1/2/2013)
Great so farReview by Lucas
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This machine has been fantastic. Really easy to learn (first time ever making espresso, and if it is yours i recommend watching the Alton Brown Good Eats episode on Espresso). One minor gripe is that the ready light for brewing does not always come on without the steam button being pressed. And if steam is pressed, you cant brew. Other than that, fantastic. (Posted on 12/29/2012)
I love it!Review by Bren
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This espresso machine is perfect for the home-user who likes to make good-quality lattes with ease. I have had this espresso machine for several years and it's a beast. My kids gave it to me for my birthday and it's the best gift ever. For the price, this is a great machine. I would not recommend getting anything less than this in quality/price. For a decent, first home machine, this is the BEST pick. (Posted on 12/28/2012)
Gift for the hubbyReview by Aligirl
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Bought this gift for my husband. He's having fun learning the ropes of latte / cappuccino making. From his comments, this is a great "starter" machine. We're still just learning this machine and would love a better product manual. The manual is very basic and doesn't mention how to make anything other than "use 1 or 2 scoops of coffee for 1 or 2 coffees"! Also, an auto brew that shuts off after the perfect shot of espresso has been made would be nice...we're still guessing at this point...we got our first real "puck" today! Thankfully SCG has a lot of videos to help us along. (Posted on 12/26/2012)
Did not functionReview by pakkme
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So, we got this machine to work a total of 2 times. Followed all of the pre-use manual instructions which resulted in 2 decent shots of espresso (I wasn't expecting great shots for the first run and these weren't great, but they were a little worse than I had expected). The next morning tried pulling another 2 shots and the result was weak coffee. Third times a charm? Not this time. We were not able to get another shot through the portafilter. Seemed like things were still heating (the pump was still primed as water would come out of the steam wand - as well steam under the steam setting), but nothing would come out of the portafilter. We tried different coffee grinds and as last resort we tried running it without coffee grounds at all. No luck. I have no idea what is wrong with it, but I shouldn't have to be an expert in troubleshooting something like this. Seems like the technology has been around long enough that the kinks should have been worked out by now. It is going back as soon as stores reopen. Very disappointed. (Posted on 12/25/2012)
Great Newbie machineReview by KC
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I don't know how I'll go back to Starbucks when I'm out of town. Now that I've perfected my own lattes in a week's time (to my taste), that other stuff tastes like over-extracted, scalded-milk swill. But on to the machine. This didn't take me long to get the hang of it and I'm the family klutz. I understand that pressurized portafilters can be limiting but for a newbie, trying to figure out tamping and whatnot was intimidating so I really appreciate the machine doing that bit for me.

I don't find the time between shot and steam to be an issue. Gives me a few seconds to prep the latte mug. I do it backwards from videos, however. Milk being the larger volume of the latte, I steam second so that the larger volume is hot, thereby making the entire drink hotter. Leaving the shots on the tray keeps them plenty warm and the crema holds up just fine during the steaming. Steaming didn't take as long as I expected given what video editing implied.

That said, if I were doing art in a proper latte cup, I might do it in the "proper" order.

I put the stainless panarello on my wishlist for Christmas but meanwhile I wrapped "Cling wrap" around the air intake on the plastic panarello. It's food grade wrap and not sensitive to the heat so it did a great job of restricting the air without making a mess. And it's temporary. I got MUCH finer foam with minimal effort. Could have attempted some art if I had a clue what I was doing.

I use a Baratza Encore set at 9 for the grind. Great little grinder for the price.

I bought a refurb. Clearly it was Denis' from above with the button problem. Ha! But it's not a big deal. Just takes a little finesse to snap the on/off button in and out.

Tempted to knock off a star because of the panarello but I'm having so much fun and getting such heavenly lattes that it's hard to complain about such a minor issue.

Thanks SCG. I stumbled on your videos and found MY machine. Now to see how she holds up over time. (Posted on 12/19/2012)
machine lasted 6 years!Review by jesslin
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Best machine for your money. I bought one 6 years ago and i used it daily until the motor blew out.
just bought the same one . FANTASTIC. pulls good shots and froths milk well (Posted on 12/17/2012)
Great, but for one thing...Review by Janet
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Maybe my husband and I are doing something wrong, if so, please someone contact us and let us know! This machine is easy to use, and make really nice HOT espresso. The problem we are having is that the portafilter doesn't create nice slugs (is this the correct term?). It's really hard to get the used coffee grounds OUT. In past machines they either had a button that pushed it out, or if you taped the portafilter on an edge it came out. No dice here. It's annoying for me, but it's really making my husband a very unhappy camper. (Posted on 12/11/2012)
Get it!Review by B Marie
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I love this machine. I used to be a barista and know a good enough amount about coffee and machines to tell you this machine is a good one. For the price range I think it definately does the job. I do wish there was a little bit more space between the base and the ports even with the drawer removed to add more space I'd stilll like another inch but it is manageable without the extra space. The crema that comes off the top is pretty darn good and this machine foams pretty darn good as well. Of course not the same as machines that cost thousands of dollars but for 300.00 bucks this one is a winner. It is worth the investment for sure. (Posted on 10/3/2012)
Great valueReview by blb
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Easy to use. Quick. Large water reservoir. Would recommend to anyone looking to buy. (Posted on 9/27/2012)
First Time MachineReview by Newbie
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This is my first espresso machine. After much research on the SCG website, I took the plunge. The machine has been a joy since the first shot. It appears to be of high qualityof material and of craftsmanship, and it hit my price point perfectly. My only upgrade was the steel panarello and has performed as predicted - a good addition. After several months, I have found the machine to be easy to use with the espresso consistently of superior quality. My compliments to the efficency of SCG in its order filment, and care in packing. I am very pleased, as a second order for a Baratza Virtuoso Preciso Grinder was recently placed which has only enhanced the total experience. (Posted on 9/6/2012)
So far, what I expected!Review by Hambino
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I have only had the machine for approx 2 months(daily use). So far it makes a very nice espresso/macchiato. It looks sleek on the counter top and it seems to be pretty solidly built. The pull is quite nice using an assortment of pre-ground Italian espressos(segafredo,Lavazza, Kimbo) The steamer works very well even without the upgrade( just note, I use Lactaid, fat free milk; so I'm sure with heavier cream the result would be even better). We'll see if this machine stand the test of time; the ultimate decider. My last machine was a Saeco Nina, and it lasted approx 3.5 years(daily use). Here's to longevity!! (Posted on 9/3/2012)
GOOOOOOOOOOOD YUMReview by Franko
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Anyone can make a good cup with this machine. Get your coffe, grind and quantity right and push the buttons. A affordable,reliable machine for the home. (Posted on 7/27/2012)
Great Machine, No More Coffee House!Review by MsWimsey
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I was spending almost $5 a week in my local coffee house for a decent Cappucino (sometimes more if I spoiled myself twice in a week). That's $260 a year!
I decided that was crazy and a huge waste of money. I did some research and asked around and this was the machine I wanted. The price alone was one years worth of Cappucinos for me.
I've had it for three weeks now and I love it! I have a friend who has owned one for several years and still sings it's high praise.
The Saeco Via Venezia Espresso Machine is a solid, hefty little gem. It's super easy to use and makes a great Cappucino. The video on the website is spot on as to how easy it really is to use.
It's heavy and durable and I'm well on my way to saving money with it because I now have a Cappucino Every Day!!
I (Posted on 7/11/2012)
Update: Awesome affordable home espresso machineReview by Go IU Hoosiers
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I thought someone might find it of value if I updated my original review 6 months later. So, not knowing a better way, I've pasted my 1/6/12 review below the squiggly line. Here are my new comments:

After 15 years of using this model machine, it wasn't likely we would suddenly stop liking it, and we haven't. I still consider it to be the best value out there. At this price point, I recommend just buying this and not second guessing yourself. Cheaper machines exist, but it doesn't appear they will satisfy anyone who really wants good espresso at home. If you can afford more, go for it, but I think you'll have to pay a lot more to get much improvement.

Here are 5 things I have done to (or with) the stock machine that you might be interested in. Some were in the original review, some not.

1. De-pressurized the portafilter. It's very easy to do. Just remove the two screws on the bottom, and you'll figure it out. Save the parts, obviously, so if you want to go back to pressurized, it's easily reversible. Nothing is damaged. But the pressurized portafilter just doesn't make as good espresso--consistently--as you can by removing the valve and learning to control grind and tamp. Go ahead, be brave, be confident, be patient, and you'll get there. And you'll be so proud of yourself! (Remember when your dad removed the training wheels on your bike for the first time and you didn't fall! That's what you'll feel like, only older.)

2. Remove plastic Panarello wand, but leave the inner plastic part attached to the stainless steel tube. I found that I can steam much better by using the little nozzle of the inner part of the Panarello and learning (not hard) how to stretch and control the foaming/steaming manually. Makes much better foam! Seriously! And it's not at all hard. I found this makes slightly better foam (smaller nozzle hole) than the naked stainless tube, and you don't burn your fingers nearly as often!

3. I bought an awesome stainless steel tamper. I got a Rattleware 53mm angular. Unfortunately, not from here. If I recall, they had one but not with the angular handle. Hopefully they'll carry that by the time you read this. I love it cuz it just seems easier to hold and to tamp with that handle, but the key is, get a quality 53mm tamper. Not 54mm. Not 52mm. 53. They're common. Some love flat, some love slightly convex surface. I dunno. I read a lot, decided on flat, got this one and we LOVE it. The point is, get a really high quality tamper. I wish we'd bought one a decade ago. I can't believe how much easier it makes it to tamp properly with a high-quality tamper. A few dozen bucks and it'll last 10 lifetimes. Will it to your great-great-great grand-childen.

4. I made a steam shield. (A what?) OK, this is dorky, but my grinder (A Mazzer Mini, that's another story) sits a few inches to the right of my Saeco. Saeco is a few inches to the right of the sink. Makes life simpler. But when priming and clearing the wand, you'll be shooting a spray of water/droplets/steam directly into your drip tray. Surprise: it splashes a bit. Second surprise: the splash goes next door to my grinder. I want to steam my milk, not the grinder and it's ground and unground coffee, so my solution was to experiment with plastic wrap and black electrical tape. I made a rectangular sheet (carefully double layered it) of wrap, and used the black tape to tape it to the right side of my espresso machine, covering the open gap on the right side. It works great. You can't even see the tape; it blends with the finish perfectly. After several tries, I finally made one that looks pretty innocuous and isn't really offensive looking; almost not noticeable. It keeps the water and steam away from the grinder. If you don't have this problem, just ignore this one. If not, it's an option for you to try. Works for me.

5. I bought a timer, always keep the Saeco on/off switch "on," (I even taped over it to reprogram our brains not to turn it off...one strip of black electrical tape across either side of the button leaving a narrow slit in the middle exposed so I can see the "on" light). Timer set for 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., or whatever I want the next day. Change it the night before if necessary.

Why? I think hitting the right brew temperature is one of the most critical aspects of consistently brewing excellent espresso with this (or any other) machine, so I have really focused on being consistent with temperature. One way is to temperature surf as discussed in my original review, which references Gail's videos on Seattle Coffee Gear's site. I draw water until the ready light goes out, wait for it to come back on, count to 5, then draw. Seems to work for me. But I want the brew head assembly to be all warmed up and be as close to brew temperature as it will ever get when I start drawing (so that it will maintain its temp as much as possible through the 20-25 second draw). So I set the timer to 30-60 minutes before we're going to wake up and draw our first shots.

Is it wasteful of energy? Yeah, I'm sure a little. But once it's up to temperature, the element doesn't come on all that often to keep it there. And in the months when we need to heat our house, what energy we're "wasting" isn't really wasted, it just helps heat the kitchen a little, right? Anyway, I guess it's my contribution to global warming, but it's not keeping me up at night. Well, not unless I have too many shots of espresso that day!

I'm not 100% happy with the timer I bought (Westinghouse T00448 from that other, not-to-be named, ubiquitous, successful Seattle online retailer) for $10 or so, so I won't recommend it, but it works. It's solid. It's just that I would recommend buying one that has "off-auto" and "on-auto" features. In other words, you program a 24-hour cycle. If you use the espresso maker early in the morning and are going to leave home well before usual, "off-auto" would let you turn off power from the timer, but the next time it's programmed to come on, it'll resume auto mode. Ditto in reverse for the "on-auto" feature. Mine just has little plastic pins for each 15-minute period. I have an "ON" override mode that takes it out of "AUTO" (but no "OFF" override) but if I want to turn it off early, I have to flip all the little pins to off, requiring me to reprogram it that night for the next day. That doesn't take long, but I forget sometimes, plus it's not so elegant and easy. I recommend a little more expensive timer that has more features, even a 7 day programming feature that handles changing workday/weekend schedules. That would be cool. But I'm very happy I "invested" in a timer.

Those are the 5 things I've done. I should add that when you depressurize the filter, you'll have to pay a lot of attention, and some trial and error, to getting the grind and tamp pressure exactly right. It can take a month or more to get to where you almost never get it wrong. There will be days when you would have done better using the pressurized portafilter. But if you stick with that, you'll never learn to do it consistently perfectly and draw the best possible espresso you can from your machine. And with the steps I've suggested, if you grind and tamp properly, pre-heat, temperature surf, draw the right length of time (either into measured shot glasses or learn the right level in your mugs), and obviously if you use great beans!, I'm hard pressed to see how much better you could do with a fancy machine costing 10x this much.

So the bottom line is this. If you do none of these things and just use it as intended, following Saeco's instructions, it's a great machine and you'll be happy. If you want to do better than that, for little/no extra money, and mostly just some time and trial and error, you can go way beyond that and rival espresso you would get from a machine costing way, way more. It's a win-win.

I love this machine. Can you tell? :)

~~~

Original 01/06/2012 review:

This is my 3rd nearly identical espresso maker from Saeco. Previous two were Starbucks Barista models, made by Saeco. Why buy 3? Previous two each lasted about 7 years, being used daily by two coffee/espresso lovers. When first one became unusable, rather than getting it fixed, we just bought another nearly identical one because we liked it so much, knew how to use it, and were happy with it overall. Plus the price was right. You can buy cheaper espresso makers, for sure, but they're pretty much junk. To get something better than this one, it seems you need to move up a lot in price. This is the 3rd time I've researched from scratch what to buy in 15 years, and each time I've ended up with a Via Venezia or its predecessor, the Barista.

Watch the video on this model. Gail does a great job of demoing it.

Compare the Via Venezia to Saeco's similar model: the Aroma. I think the Venezia is worth the small increase in price. Again, there's a video on this site that compares the two.

The Via Venezia offers two "espresso for dummies" features you may or may not like: panarello frothing wand, and pressurized portafilter. Both have their pluses and minuses. Nice thing is that both are included and you can choose not to use them if you prefer. Panarello makes good but not great foam, and makes it very easily and consistently. Since I learned how to foam well on my two previous machines, after trying the panarello a couple times, I chose to remove it. If you are going to use it sometimes and not others, like if multiple people in your house use the machine, you can just unsnap the main part of it and use the small plastic internal nozzle when you want to opt out of panarello foaming. I just removed the panarello entirely and am using the stainless steel tube; easier to clean and I'll keep the panarello pristine in a cabinet if I decide to use it later. One advantage of panarello is that it's plastic and doesn't heat up, so it's an easy painless way of repositioning the wand. Without it, the stainless steel tube gets HOT (obviously) so be careful how you position it. No biggie.

The other option is the pressurized portafilter. I'm undecided if I'm going to keep using it. My first Barista had unpressurized portafilter, and I became pretty good at controlling grind and tamping pressure to get proper draws. Then my second machine had pressurized portafilter. Hmmm. OK, got used to that. Supposedly, I hear it doesn't do quite as good a job of drawing out proper flavor as a non-pressurized one, but it is much more foolproof. Since I no longer consider myself a fool (lol) when it comes to drawing shots, I'm undecided if I'll keep using this. It's easy to disassemble the portafilter and remove the internal valve so it can be used as a traditional unpressurized unit. I might do that, but my wife uses the machine 10% of the time and might prefer to have as much help as she can get with consistency and ease of use, since it's hard to hit the mark on tamping perfectly when you sometimes go weeks at a time without doing it. I still have the portafilters from my previous two Saecos, so I may just keep both in service and let each of us have our own portafilter.

As for the machine itself, just follow the directions and you'll be happy. Descale as frequently as they recommend. I didn't on my previous two machines, so that no doubt cut short their life. I still may get one or both repaired. If so, I'll probably not need another espresso machine for 20 years or more!

Read about "temperature surfing." Gail has a video on it. It's important, as is the grind and tamping pressure. It's amazing how easy it is to get slightly (or not so slightly) bitter espresso one time and perfect the next, using the exact same coffee and grind. The variables: water temperature and extraction time. You can optimize water temperature by "surfing" to get the water at the exact right temperature. Like any thermostat, the Via Venezia's has a high and low setting. When water in the boiler cools to the low point, heating element kicks on. When temp reaches high setting, element turns off. So there's a range of temps that you can draw shots with. By timing when you draw relative to the light going out, you can hit the proper temperature.

What else... Drip trays on this machine are really nice. There are two. One is considered a drawer...well, I never considered it that, but Gail called it that on her video. I never use it that way. I remove the top plastic drip tray and put the stainless grid on the bottom one (with rounded base). That gives me enough room to draw espresso directly into the coffee mug. I wouldn't do it any other way. Simplifies things, doesn't waste espresso, less to clean up. Only disadvantage is it's harder to measure when you've drawn the right shot volume when you're drawing into a big mug. Solution, test and practice first. Figure out what the proper volume is and what it looks like in your favorite mug or mugs. Then you can skip the shot glasses forever and save yourself time and hassle. Even tall mugs fit under the portafilter if you use the rounded-bottom drip tray. When I want to brew directly into a tall travel mug, even that is possible. Just remove the drip tray. You should probably stick a paper towel on the base. Either way, make sure you clean up any drips. One disadvantage (minor) on this unit is that the base can rust. Both of my previous ones did, but not that badly. If you're really finicky and want it to look showroom new all the time, you probably will be disappointed in a few years unless you're a lot better than I am at keeping moisture off the base of the machine. I did reasonable job of cleaning up, and 7-year-old machines have a few areas around the welds on the base where there is a small amount of rust and paint bubbles. No biggie, and not that noticeable. If you're that picky, you probably want to buy a $2,000 all-stainless model anyway. :) This one is perfect for me.

Lastly, I usually drink coffee, make lattes for wife. Coffee is excellent: just brew espresso, then clean brew head by alternating between "brewing" (running hot water through it) for one second and wiping with a damp cloth. Two or three such cycles and brew grate is clean. Now let boiler heat up until light goes out, if it 's not already out. Now push brew button and fill your cup to desired level with water. Voila, cafe americano. Better coffee than you'll get from a coffee maker, at least once you master the machine, grind, and tamp. It's also much easier for me to know how good my espresso shots are when I drink plain cafe americano. No milk, sugar, cinnamon, whatever, to get in the way. You'll detect bitterness or sourness, if present, and be able to adjust the variables quickly until you're making consistently good espresso.

To sum up, I bought this because I owned two previously and was very happy with them. It should last 10-15 years if you descale regularly and properly. Or 6-7 if you're lax like me! Even then, $40-$50/year for a good home espresso machine is a deal. $1/week. Go for it!

Pros:
Affordable, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Reliable, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing

Cons:
None at this price (Posted on 7/7/2012)
At the top of the "pressurized portafilter" listReview by Pam
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I am a paltry "steam espresso" user so not qualified to rate this, but I did own one other and can compare it to lesser types of machines. It is quick to warm up and if you use it correctly it does exactly what it's designed to do. It is well made and both the steam temperature and brew process seem to work flawlessly. There are personal things I don't like about it--it's shaped such it's hard to move around and the water is hard to refill. I wouldn't avoid it because of that, but it's a "con." The steam frother works consistently and is FAR better quality than anything at or below this price range and easy to clean. The only think I don't like about it is I could not keep our coffee from being bitter, but it might have been my coffee. It also wasn't strong enough for the way we use espresso (used to 4 shots at once vs. only 2). So our problem was with how we need to use it, not with the machine!! It's well made and nice looking. (Posted on 7/5/2012)
Good ValueReview by Vicki
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I didn't know what machine I wanted so got good email advice before the purchase. The order was quickly and efficiently sent. We had only used the machine a few times when the steam button stuck and would not work The staff was super on giving us options then sending out a replacement button and walking us through replacing it over the phone. Couldn't ask for better service, just wish we were close enough to visit in person!!! (Posted on 7/5/2012)
So, So Pleased!Review by JavaSyd
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We previously had a "Barista" Espresso Machine we purchased in January 1998 at a local [@] (but I believe it might have been made by the same company) and it served us for 14 years! We were very disappointed that we could no longer find that machine and opted for this one. It is virtually identical and has worked fabulously for us. With the warmer weather we currently use it mostly to brew our espresso for homemade iced mochas and lattes. We've used the steamer only once on a chilly evening--worked great!

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Use, Commercial Grade

Cons:
None (Posted on 5/30/2012)
Good entry level machineReview by Ray the Polak
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I have had this machine for several weeks and I am completely satisfied with its performance. I get acceptable results using ESE pods, and using the pressure filter. I get excellent results with the bottomless filter. This machine is paired with the Rancilio Rocky grinder and I get fresh espresso blend roasted locally. The only problem I had was the brew button started sticking. Saeco Support was extremely helpful. They provide postage paid shipping both ways to a repair facility and extended the warranty an extra year.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Quiet

Cons:
Panarello wand (Posted on 5/28/2012)
Saeco venezia espresso machineReview by coffee guzzler
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coffee reservoir never dries out and it is messy to clean. Wish it had an automatic shut off button.

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Large Water Container, Great Taste

Cons:
No automatic shut off, Coffee reservoir never dr (Posted on 5/27/2012)
Yep, it's good!Review by Snippie
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After spending all day watching all your videos...thanks! I decided on my first machine, grinder and extra goodies. I am not disappointed. This is easy to use, makes great espresso and I can't imagine a better starter machine. I did upgrade the panerello (don't know if I spelled that right). Pulled a good shot first try and was able to do some customizing with finer grind and a little tamping...too much and it won't work. I will be getting the bottomless portafilter next week. Watch for my order, that and the mocha syrup yum!

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 5/12/2012)
Fast Quick EasyReview by Bev
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What a great machine so far. I will be cleaning it for the first time this weekend - hoping it won't be too hard since it is not a favorite thing. Great quiet steamer - love the foamy froth it gives! Awesome taste especially with the Organic Coffee beans from Camano Island Coffee Roasters!

Pros:
Quiet, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Fits in my small space, Quick Brewing, Easy To Use

Cons:
(Posted on 5/11/2012)
I would buy it againReview by jarca
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i have this machine just for 3 weeks and so far so good- i love it. Espresso has a nice foam and froth on milk is quick and easy.

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Easy To Use

Cons:
(Posted on 5/10/2012)
Great little machine!Review by Lori South
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This is my second machine. My old Barista is 8 years old and still going strong. The only reason I bought a new one is so I can take my old one to work and enjoy lattes all day long. I love that it is easy to make a great latte or espresso. It is a wonderful machine and my only complaint is, it is a little bit noisy.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Quick Brewing, Large Water Container

Cons:
Noisy (Posted on 4/10/2012)
You'll love it!Review by Edla
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Value
I'm happy I bought this machine and not one of the more expensive machines that require more time, patience and precision to make a decent shot. I thought I was going to upgrade from a Gaggia Carezza but then had second thoughts after thinking about what I wanted in a machine. Actually, this machine, I believe, is an upgrade to a machine with an aluminum boiler.

Since I use it daily while rushing to get to work in the morning, I didn't want to continue tweaking a machine, or having to repeat shots because something was off. Who wants to wait 15-20 minutes for a machine to warm up?

I've had it for about three months and continue to make consistently decent shots, using canned (espresso) or freshly ground coffee. I have to admit, the Rocky grinder makes the better shot over the Capresso grinder. I tamp (not too hard) just enough to push the grinds below the lip of the portafilter, even though tamping isn't required.

If you are not trying to keep a "macho barista" image, and want to make a quick, great tasting espresso without all the fuss, then take the plunge and buy the Via Venezia. As far as people saying that this machine doesn't make "real" crema...Bah!It's only coffee.

Last...the frother doesn't make a "tight" froth but this isn't a big deal.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Quick Brewing

Cons:
Froth is loose (Posted on 4/5/2012)
I love it!Review by EL
Price
Quality
Value
I love my new Via Venezia! I upgraded to a stainless steel frothing wand and it creates beautiful foam for my daily latte plus it looks so much better than the plastic. Every shot I pull has lovely crema. I would highly recommend this machine.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 4/3/2012)
Love my Espresso MachineReview by Donna
Price
Quality
Value
Love the fact that no matter how many times I call with questions they are more than willing to answer them.

Pros:
Quiet, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Commercial Grade, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 3/21/2012)
Good first machine!Review by Brian
Price
Quality
Value
I use this to make mostly lattes for myself and sometimes for myself and a friend. Making more than two drinks in a row would be a challenge I think. The pressurized portafilter and special steam wand do give you more consistent, decent results, but you definitely have less control over the taste of the coffee. This is not necessarily bad however if you're a beginner like me.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Great Taste

Cons:
(Posted on 3/17/2012)
I love this machine!Review by Sds1234
Price
Quality
Value
We have had this machine for about 3 weeks and are very happy with it. My husband steams milk for his tea and I make a cap/latte type drink, each about twice a day. This machine is simple to use, makes good coffee and steams well. Steaming the milk really makes a positive difference compared to just heating or frothing. Steamed milk is so much sweeter - I no longer put sugar in my latte. We are glad we purchased this over the Aroma because steaming is very important to us and the Via has a reticulating steam wand which is much easier to use. We looked at other machines that were more expensive, but did not feel they were necessary for our needs. We also bought the Barazata Maestro Plus grinder to go with it and the 20 oz. steaming pitcher. Love the grinder for the pressurized portafilter (and love the no hassle pressurized portafilter) and the 20 oz pitcher is perfect size for this machine. Kat's and Gail's videos were extremely helpful and are the reason we bought from Seattle Coffee Gear, thank you. We are very happy with this machine and would buy all of the same things if we had it to do over again.

Pros:
Great Taste, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Easy To Use

Cons:
(Posted on 3/14/2012)
Via Venezia StainlessReview by Greg
Price
Quality
Value
I use the product multiple times per day, and use the steamer for other than coffee. My first really high quality espresso machine and I am very happy with it. Need to figure out the leaking steam wand, which started after about 3 weeks of use.

Pros:
Great Taste, Extenede Steaming Ability, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Easy To Clean

Cons:
Wand leaks sometimes (Posted on 3/7/2012)
Great machine, great service!Review by Have to have coffee
Price
Quality
Value
Mostly weekend use

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Great Taste

Cons:
(Posted on 3/4/2012)
Excellent value in a machine...worth it!Review by Andy
Price
Quality
Value
After a couple weeks and getting over my initial impressions, I have really come to like my Via Venezia. The machine is well built as a whole, pulls espresso quite speedily, and it quite consistent actually. The price is well worth it and I have never enjoyed making espresso at home with any other machine I've owned.

I dislike only two elements of the machine. The majority of the frame is made of a tough powder-coated steel which is a pleasure to clean and will look good for years. The back of the unit (can't see in the photos) has a thin piece of stainless steel curved over the back. I was expecting the whole machine to be the thick black steel, but it's not. This part just seems cheaper and doesn't match the rest of the design. My only other complaint is with frothing time. It takes a fair bit of time to get milk to my optimal 180 degrees. Other than that the pressurized portafilter produces surprising crema each time and I have even been able to adjust the brew quite a bit just with tamp and grind level - EVEN though a pressurized portafilter seemlingly favors consistency over tweakability.

Bottom line, this machine is well worth the investment and it has performed admirably every day I have used it!

Pros:
Large Water Container, Well built quality, Great Taste, Quick Brewing

Cons:
Slow Frothing, Messy, Rear Build Material (Posted on 3/4/2012)
As simple as it getsReview by Dickn52
Price
Quality
Value
Pre heat the water and cups every chance you get. The pressureized system makes it foolproof and a joy to use. I am buying the non pressure handle next as I want to experiment with the tamping, more later.

Pros:
Easy To Clean, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing

Cons:
(Posted on 3/4/2012)
Great product for the priceReview by bagel and latte cop
Price
Quality
Value
Very happy with the product. Easy to use with many thoughtful designs and features. Have previously owned 2 lesser quality machines from other mfgs that both broke in less than 2 weeks. The articulated frothing wand is built like a tank. Usually the weak point of other lesser brands. Very easy to use and clean and the hot water feature is great for teas. For a good micro foam I would upgrade to the stainless panerello but I will admit I never even tried the plastic one that came on it.

Was reluctant to place an internet order but Seattle Coffee Gear certainly came through in perfect fashion. Would order again from them.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 2/27/2012)
I love my Saeco Via Venezia Espresso-SSReview by James
Price
Quality
Value
The new machine is a treat to operate. I use it every day and have increased my coffee consumption. My now-retired Aroma had a straight Panarello Assembly which allowed plenty of control concerning the amount of froth produced. This new machine not so much. We have removed the plastic part of the Panarello Assembly and use the stubby stainess part - more fidgety and more control

Pros:
Great Taste, Large Water Container, Makes great coffe, Quiet, Quick Brewing, Controls are fine

Cons:
Panarello too frothy (Posted on 2/9/2012)
Easy machine for a newbieReview by KVCooks
Price
Quality
Value
Just purchased this machine as a gift for my husband and unpacked it today. We've only used a stovetop maker prior to this. It is much heavier than I expected and feels very sturdy. Looks nice on the counter, too. The setup instructions were very clear, and I had it ready to pull a shot immediately. I made him a double shot and myself a latte. They both came out great, but I'm sure they'll be better still with practice. Need to watch some of Gail & Kat's videos for tips!

Pros:
Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Nice-looking, Great Taste, Quick Brewing

Cons:
(Posted on 1/15/2012)
Saeco - Reliable as alwaysReview by Chrissie
Price
Quality
Value
Sturdy stainless steel machine that produce good quality espresso. Great value for the price. Best for domestic use.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Large Water Container

Cons:
Noisy (Posted on 1/10/2012)
Awesome affordable home espresso machineReview by Go IU Hoosiers!
Price
Quality
Value
This is my 3rd nearly identical espresso maker from Saeco. Previous two were Starbucks Barista models, made by Saeco. Why buy 3? Previous two each lasted about 7 years, being used daily by two coffee/espresso lovers. When first one became unusable, rather than getting it fixed, we just bought another nearly identical one because we liked it so much, knew how to use it, and were happy with it overall. Plus the price was right. You can buy cheaper espresso makers, for sure, but they're pretty much junk. To get something better than this one, it seems you need to move up a lot in price. This is the 3rd time I've researched from scratch what to buy in 15 years, and each time I've ended up with a Via Venezia or its predecessor, the Barista.

Watch the video on this model. Gail does a great job of demoing it.

Compare the Via Venezia to Saeco's similar model: the Aroma. I think the Venezia is worth the small increase in price. Again, there's a video on this site that compares the two.

The Via Venezia offers two "espresso for dummies" features you may or may not like: panarello frothing wand, and pressurized portafilter. Both have their pluses and minuses. Nice thing is that both are included and you can choose not to use them if you prefer. Panarello makes good but not great foam, and makes it very easily and consistently. Since I learned how to foam well on my two previous machines, after trying the panarello a couple times, I chose to remove it. If you are going to use it sometimes and not others, like if multiple people in your house use the machine, you can just unsnap the main part of it and use the small plastic internal nozzle when you want to opt out of panarello foaming. I just removed the panarello entirely and am using the stainless steel tube; easier to clean and I'll keep the panarello pristine in a cabinet if I decide to use it later. One advantage of panarello is that it's plastic and doesn't heat up, so it's an easy painless way of repositioning the wand. Without it, the stainless steel tube gets HOT (obviously) so be careful how you position it. No biggie.

The other option is the pressurized portafilter. I'm undecided if I'm going to keep using it. My first Barista had unpressurized portafilter, and I became pretty good at controlling grind and tamping pressure to get proper draws. Then my second machine had pressurized portafilter. Hmmm. OK, got used to that. Supposedly, I hear it doesn't do quite as good a job of drawing out proper flavor as a non-pressurized one, but it is much more foolproof. Since I no longer consider myself a fool (lol) when it comes to drawing shots, I'm undecided if I'll keep using this. It's easy to disassemble the portafilter and remove the internal valve so it can be used as a traditional unpressurized unit. I might do that, but my wife uses the machine 10% of the time and might prefer to have as much help as she can get with consistency and ease of use, since it's hard to hit the mark on tamping perfectly when you sometimes go weeks at a time without doing it. I still have the portafilters from my previous two Saecos, so I may just keep both in service and let each of us have our own portafilter.

As for the machine itself, just follow the directions and you'll be happy. Descale as frequently as they recommend. I didn't on my previous two machines, so that no doubt cut short their life. I still may get one or both repaired. If so, I'll probably not need another espresso machine for 20 years or more!

Read about "temperature surfing." Gail has a video on it. It's important, as is the grind and tamping pressure. It's amazing how easy it is to get slightly (or not so slightly) bitter espresso one time and perfect the next, using the exact same coffee and grind. The variables: water temperature and extraction time. You can optimize water temperature by "surfing" to get the water at the exact right temperature. Like any thermostat, the Via Venezia's has a high and low setting. When water in the boiler cools to the low point, heating element kicks on. When temp reaches high setting, element turns off. So there's a range of temps that you can draw shots with. By timing when you draw relative to the light going out, you can hit the proper temperature.

What else... Drip trays on this machine are really nice. There are two. One is considered a drawer...well, I never considered it that, but Gail called it that on her video. I never use it that way. I remove the top plastic drip tray and put the stainless grid on the bottom one (with rounded base). That gives me enough room to draw espresso directly into the coffee mug. I wouldn't do it any other way. Simplifies things, doesn't waste espresso, less to clean up. Only disadvantage is it's harder to measure when you've drawn the right shot volume when you're drawing into a big mug. Solution, test and practice first. Figure out what the proper volume is and what it looks like in your favorite mug or mugs. Then you can skip the shot glasses forever and save yourself time and hassle. Even tall mugs fit under the portafilter if you use the rounded-bottom drip tray. When I want to brew directly into a tall travel mug, even that is possible. Just remove the drip tray. You should probably stick a paper towel on the base. Either way, make sure you clean up any drips. One disadvantage (minor) on this unit is that the base can rust. Both of my previous ones did, but not that badly. If you're really finicky and want it to look showroom new all the time, you probably will be disappointed in a few years unless you're a lot better than I am at keeping moisture off the base of the machine. I did reasonable job of cleaning up, and 7-year-old machines have a few areas around the welds on the base where there is a small amount of rust and paint bubbles. No biggie, and not that noticeable. If you're that picky, you probably want to buy a $2,000 all-stainless model anyway. :) This one is perfect for me.

Lastly, I usually drink coffee, make lattes for wife. Coffee is excellent: just brew espresso, then clean brew head by alternating between "brewing" (running hot water through it) for one second and wiping with a damp cloth. Two or three such cycles and brew grate is clean. Now let boiler heat up until light goes out, if it 's not already out. Now push brew button and fill your cup to desired level with water. Voila, cafe americano. Better coffee than you'll get from a coffee maker, at least once you master the machine, grind, and tamp. It's also much easier for me to know how good my espresso shots are when I drink plain cafe americano. No milk, sugar, cinnamon, whatever, to get in the way. You'll detect bitterness or sourness, if present, and be able to adjust the variables quickly until you're making consistently good espresso.

To sum up, I bought this because I owned two previously and was very happy with them. It should last 10-15 years if you descale regularly and properly. Or 6-7 if you're lax like me! Even then, $40-$50/year for a good home espresso machine is a deal. $1/week. Go for it!

Pros:
Affordable, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Reliable, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing

Cons:
(Posted on 1/6/2012)
Great StartReview by Jerry
Price
Quality
Value
Great introductory machine. Seattle staff very helpful in assessing what we were looking for and steering us in the right direction. Simple to use and satisfying flavor for everyday use.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quick Brewing

Cons:
(Posted on 12/31/2011)
Great Machine - excellent ValueReview by Chris
Price
Quality
Value
This was a replacement for my old trusty Starbuck's Barista machine that finally died. Very similar, and a tad better. I like the steam wand more. Steaming is much quieter than the old machine and makes better foam.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Quiet

Cons:
(Posted on 12/15/2011)
Great machine at a good price!Review by Jodi
Price
Quality
Value
First espresso machine I've owned - it's so easy to operate and have the best coffee ever!

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste, Quick Brewing

Cons:
Messy (Posted on 12/15/2011)
Great machine !!Review by Yvonne
Price
Quality
Value
I love this machine !! I use it everyday at least once. I have had no problems after 1 1/2 years of daily use. Looks good on the counter too !! You can make one or two shots at a time. Great beginner expresso machine, not picky on the grind. Highly recommend !!

Pros:
Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Quick Brewing, Large Water Container, Great Taste

Cons:
None (Posted on 11/29/2011)
Excellent espresso machine for everyone!Review by S. Freeman
Price
Quality
Value
The Saeco Via Venica is used daily and convenient to use. The shot of coffee produced by this machine always makes you look forward to the next. I am excited to recommend this espresso machine to future buyers. All you have to do, try it, you will like it! What do you have to loose?

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great shot of coffee

Cons:
None at this time (Posted on 11/20/2011)
Best Machine for the Price.Review by Magilla
Price
Quality
Value
My old "basic" espresso machine finally gave out after many years of excellent coffee. I wanted to upgrade to a semi-automatic but still needed to keep the price at a level that my wife would accept. I bought this after much research and watching many videos from Kat and Gail. (including temperature surfing and refilling the boiler after steaming -- things I didn't know were a concern) I immediately upgraded the panarello to the chrome offered on this website -- much better results with 2% milk. It is very easy to get a great, smooth tasting shot using pre-ground or my old grinder. I will be upgrading to to a non-pressurized portafiller soon, just as soon as I can convince my wife that I need an upgraded grinder (current is not fine enough).

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 9/21/2011)
Totally Amazing MachineReview by Erjohns
Price
Quality
Value
Really LOVE that you don't have to tamp the grounds, you just put the ground coffee in and level it off, because its pressurized it doesn't need you to do anything. LOVE how easy this machine is to use and how consistent the quality of the shot is, we are averaging about 20 Mocha's and Latta's a week - doing the math its only costing us about $15 a week in beans, milk & syrup, that's down from $100 a week at the stands!

Pros:
Easy To Clean, Quiet, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, No Tamping

Cons:
(Posted on 9/17/2011)
Fantastic machine for the priceReview by John
Price
Quality
Value
I've had this machine for about 3 years and as a daily espresso machine, it's very hard to get much better for this money. I'm an espresso / occasional americano drinker rather than a latte / cap. person; but on the few occasions I've made the milk based drinks, they seemed good enough.
Warm up time is pretty quick and the shots are full of flavour and with a crema that lasts right through to the end.

Go ahead and spend a thousand bucks on another machine if you like, but you won't get a better semi automatic espresso machine.

Unhesitatingly reccomend.

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Use, Great Taste

Cons:
Noisy (Posted on 5/31/2011)
Excellent for daily use for beginnersReview by Teddy
Price
Quality
Value
The machine makes very good espresso and cappuccino and should be the next machine for those hooked on the espresso with cheaper less reliable machines. It seems to be very sturdy. The size is a little larger and the machine is a little heavier than expected. But that's fine. It is good to have access from the top to fill water via top cover; otherwise, you have to slide the water tank out to fill it separately, a clumsier procedure. Everything is great but it would help if I could see the water level better. Black background does not help. My machine is in a moderately lit area but I have to use a flashlight or bend my face to read the water level.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Makes great expresso, Great Taste

Cons:
Difficult to read water (Posted on 5/27/2011)
Best machine in it's price classReview by Pasquale
Price
Quality
Value
My wife and I have used this every day for the past couple of months and love it. I drink an espresso or two, and she likes her cappuccinos. (I occasionally have one too.) I have only used of couple different Lavazza brand espresso so far and the flavor and crema can't get much better than this. I've tried both grinding myself, and pre-ground with similar consistent results. Grinding myself produces a better flavor and a slightly better crema that "lingers" in the cup much longer.

The only reason I would ever consider getting an upgraded machine, is if I want to serve several people at parties. The boiler heats up fairly quickly, but it is only a single boiler. It's a little slow if you are trying to make several cappuccinos, and a machine with double boilers would definitely help produce faster.

For my wife and I, this is perfect!

Pros:
Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Consistent Crema, Quick Brewing, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 1/24/2011)
"Amazingly good"Review by Bobo 77
Price
Quality
Value
We make about five or six double espressos per day - they are delicious - just searching for the prefect coffee.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Delicious espressos, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 1/12/2011)
Great for new baristasReview by Mrs. Jones
Price
Quality
Value
The coffee I brew with Via Venezia tastes better to me than many of the professionally brewed coffee drinks. Making a latte every morning before work and taking the time to enjoy it improves my day.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing

Cons:
(Posted on 1/6/2011)
Great coffee from the first tryReview by K1dworkin
Price
Quality
Value
My comparison is with a Nuova-Simonelli Oscar. With the Via Venezia I get great crema, good taste, and it froths very well. Reading the manual, I discovered the 'trick' to getting a hot cup of coffee, but haven't tried it yet. I hope it works!

Pros:
Great Taste, Large Water Container, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean

Cons:
Coffee is not hot enough (Posted on 1/5/2011)
Just good quality machine, no frillsReview by Shootbirdi
Price
Quality
Value
Had a Barista for 7 years(by Saeco) that is identical to the Via Venezia. Loved it so much that we had it repaired to use in our RV.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Steamer is great

Cons:
(Posted on 1/2/2011)
Great Machine!Review by robotsari
Price
Quality
Value
I bought this as a Christmas present for my husband, paired with some whole bean espresso from some excellent San Francisco area roasters. It's our first espresso machine and it's totally perfect for us - within 10 minutes of unwrapping it, we were drinking steamy lattes. It took me about 10 times to get the espresso shots perfect to my liking, which is a lot quicker than I expected. We use it nearly every morning to make espresso, cappuccino, or lattes; it takes about 15 minutes total to start up, brew four shots, and steam 10 oz milk. We only resort to drip coffee when we need to be up early (our drip machine has an auto-timer so we can brew in advance).

We live in a small flat in Boston, so the compact size of the machine is perfect for our cramped kitchen. The steam wand is kind of awkwardly placed, making it difficult to use a pitcher larger than 12 oz on a flat counter. We're lucky that our countertop drops off, so we put the machine at the far left of our counter so we can use a 20 or 32 oz steam pitcher over the empty space.

All in all, for our first machine this is totally perfect. We've read more about machines and will probably upgrade in a few years to something more fancy - but this more than does the trick. We love it!

Pros:
Compact, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Great for beginners, Easy To Use

Cons:
(Posted on 12/30/2010)
Wonderful little machineReview by Basil the rat
Price
Quality
Value
I was attracted to this machine for its compact size, the pressurized portafilter, and the swiveling steam wand. I've been satisfied with all these features. It's very easy to use, makes great crema, and steaming is much easier than with my old machine (a Gaggia) because you can adjust the wand in different ways. And the price was definitely right.

Pros:
Small footprint, Very simple to use, Makes fine crema, Steam wand swivels, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 11/13/2010)
Saeco Via VeneziaReview by Montano
Price
Quality
Value
Saeco equipment is great. A word to the wise: now that espresso has become so popular, many imitation espresso units have hit the market; be sure what you buy is MADE IN ITALY.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 9/10/2010)
One Great Expresso MachineReview by Roland
Price
Quality
Value
This is my first pump expresso machine and so far, I love it. I make a double expresso every morning and I have not yet been disappointed. My wife likes Cappuccinos so we also use the Panarello steam wand to froth milk and it works great. The pressurized portafilter takes the guesswork out of grind and tamping so it's very easy for casual or inexperienced expresso drinkers to use. The only negative is that the portafilter leaves wet grounds so it's not easy to empty with a knock-box, but that's a minor irritation. It produces an excellent expresso with crema and is an excellent value for the money. I would definitely recommend this machine for any expresso lover.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 8/11/2010)
A Good MachineReview by Isabella & Marcello
Price
Quality
Value
I typically make a double shot of espresso and add a little sugar. Since the crema isn't as white as I like, on the weekends I will also froth milk and make a dry cappachino, which is awesome. The frothing is very easy and does a great job, quickly. I don't like the fact that you can't see how much water is in the container and you have to pull out the shelf/drawer before you can pull out the water container. I've had several different brands of machines but this is the heaviest/sturdiest I've ever had and I think it is extremely well made and a solid piece of machinery.

Pros:
Parts are solid heavy, Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Large Water Container, Great Taste

Cons:
Can't view water level, Crema isn't the best (Posted on 7/20/2010)
The Best Coffee I've ever made at home..Review by Coffee Mama
Price
Quality
Value
I got an incredible price, on sale (and I thought it was good before!) It took me three tries to find the blend I love most for the perfect cup of espresso, and the amount of lovely, frothy milk for a perfect latt (Posted on 6/22/2010)
Molto bene!Review by Spoiled Italian
Price
Quality
Value
I am a coffee addict. I have endured the local well known chain espresso, not because of taste but convenience. After a trip to Italy where I experienced amazing espresso, I decided it was time I brake down and buy my own machine. I spoke to the sales person for recommendations and was preparred to shell out $700+, but the sales rep recommended this one. I am so happy and have saved tons of $. Great espresso for the price.

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Easy To Use, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 6/12/2010)
Easy to use. Great microfoamReview by Mr. Easy
Price
Quality
Value
We use this on weekends to make our lattes and cappuccinos, replacing a 10 year old Krups. In all those years we never really got good foamed milk, so that was a high priority for its replacement.

We were going to go for a Rancilio Silvia, but didn't want to have to grind our own beans. The crew guided us to this machine and we're very happy with it and saved $$ too!

Pros:
Easy To Clean, Easy To Use

Cons:
Puck is slightly wet (Posted on 4/30/2010)
Love itReview by K
Price
Quality
Value
My fave

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean

Cons:
(Posted on 4/29/2010)
Just like the Starbucks BaristaReview by Ken
Price
Quality
Value
My wife and I have owned a Starbucks Barista for five years until the pump gave out. Since Starbucks doesn't sell them anymore we had to look elsewhere for a replacement. We first looked at the Saeco Aurora and almost purchased one but learned that the Via Venezia was almost identical to our old Barista. Saeco obviously made the Barista for Starbucks. Anyway we love it! I works exactly the same way. But just like the Barista we find that the amount of crema we get is sometimes inconsistent even though you don't have to tamp with this machine because of the portafiler system. But since we never drink expresso straight it isn't as important to us. We are always making mochas or fraps. It does seem to help to have the machine on for awhile (5-10 minutes) before brewing to get a good head of crema, but not always. But then sometimes it brews a huge head even without being on for awhile. Like I said--inconsistant. But other than that we love the machine and would recommend it.

Pros:
Easy To Use

Cons:
(Posted on 4/22/2010)
love my morning espressoReview by Carol
Price
Quality
Value
It's very easy to use..makes a hot espresso with great crema..
still not getting perfect froth for my macchiato...
I love the weight and feel of the pull...

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean

Cons:
Slow to heat for froth (Posted on 4/18/2010)
Very Happy w/Venezia!Review by Michael
Price
Quality
Value
I rate myself as a espresso snob, crema is everything! After researching the countless sites and offeres, I decided on the Via Venezia for the price [...] Finally ordered and very happy so far! Only disappointment is the time in-between pull and steam. Next time I will spend the $$$ and get a double boiler and the extras. [...]

Pros:
Easy To Use, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 4/10/2010)
HappyReview by denis
Price
Quality
Value
seems great so far . first one we ordered had a bad switch . [...]

Pros:
Great Taste, Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Commercial Grade

Cons:
(Posted on 4/10/2010)
great cup of espresso!Review by Cinzia
Price
Quality
Value
We enjoy espresso every weekend when we can take the time to savor the flavor! Machine works great, makes a terrific tasting cup of espresso and makes it fast.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste, Commercial Grade, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 3/30/2010)
Perfect Machine for latte drinkers!!Review by coffeeaddict
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Value
I am a coffee addict. Everyone knows that to see me is to see my mug of coffee. My prior machine was an older Barista Athena (pretty sure that is also made by Saeco). When it died I cried and then went on the hunt for its replacement. I am picky about how I drink my coffee. I like my milk very hot (180-190) and plenty of it with my espresso added just right. I wanted to pretty much have what I had with my Athena. I use my machine every day so I needed something durable (too many machines out there don't feel solid so don't be fooled by images make sure you see the machine you want or at the least see it in action). I saw the Via Venezia online via a youtube demo and that's what sold me (that's also after looking at machines in the same price range at various retail stores). This machine comes very close to what I had before. My old machine was loud and took a while but I had a routine (dry my hair while the milk steams that kind of routine). I have been using the Venezia for about a month now and I have not regreted it once. The only complaint I have is that I have to prime the machine after about 4 minutes of constant steaming (my old machine could steam for about 10min. w/o priming) so I have to go through the priming process 2x to get my coffee made. And because it is so fast I can't leave it like my old machine so I am still trying to figure out the best routine in the morning. But most people probably aren't making as much as me :) so the priming thing should not be an issue (and it really isn't for me now that I am getting used to it).My latte's taste just as good as before and it makes a beautiful froth. So if you ever want to impress anyone this machine will bring it!If you don't want to spend a lot (or even if you do) this is the best machine for under $500 because it does all you need to get a great latte. I am sure it will do other things but I only make latte's so that's all I can speak to.So if you find yourself at the coffee houses every day buying latte's stop wasting your money and make them yourself. Give it a month and I bet by then you will be used to the routine of the machine. This machine will pay for itself in no time. A few things that gave me problems in the beginning was the panarello (steaming wand). The plastic one that comes with it sucks so you have to get the stainless steel one. And always steam the milk first and then pull your shots. Don't overfill the pitcher because you will get milk everywhere!And don't be fooled by the water tank. There is a review out there by someone who didn't like that you had to pull the water tank out everytime to fill it up with water. NOT TRUE...This machine has a nice access where you just pop the lid and add your water. I only pull out the water tank to clean it about once a week. I love this machine and I use it every day. I get the same great coffee every time so I know I can trust this machine to keep me in the coffee for a long time.If you are reading this review that also means you are browsing the seattle coffee gear website. I recommend buying from them. [...] The problems I had with the machine all happened the first few times I used it. [...]

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Use, Excellent froth, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Fast, Easy To Clean, Quiet

Cons:
Priming after 4min (Posted on 3/29/2010)
Love this machine!Review by crazyforcoffee
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I love this little machine! The price was right and the quality of the coffee is great. I spent alot of time looking and made a few inquisitive phone calls to Seattle Coffee Gear before deciding to go with the Via Venezia (the less expensive of the ones i was comparing) and am very happy i did. Not only did i spend less money but the quality of this machine is unbeatable. if you are looking for a easy to use machine with a great shot of espresso this is the best bang for your buck without stepping it up a notch to a much higher priced machine. I was a barista for 7 years and really didnt think i could have such great quality coffee at home without getting a pricy machine. Glad i found Seattle Coffee Gear and that they pointed me in the direction of the lesser cost but great quality machine. [...] The water tank is listed as 98oz, but it is a 68oz which is plenty big and easy to fill from the front or top. Great buy!

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Large Water Container, Great Taste, Easy To Clean

Cons:
Messy (Posted on 3/29/2010)
Saeco Via Venezia lives up to the hype!Review by Chris
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Value
Great espresso maker [...]

Pros:
Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 3/20/2010)
EASY TO USE... GREAT CAPUCCINOReview by BOB
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Value
THIS MACHINE IS EASY TO USE. WE LOVE CAPPUCCINOS AND WITH THIS MACHINE WE GET PERFECT COFFEE EVERY TIME, BETTER THAN THE GREEN COFFEE SHOP. YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Quick Brewing, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Large Water Container

Cons:
(Posted on 3/18/2010)

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