Hi, I just joined coffee snobs to thank you for info on saeco wand , I went ahead and ordered one for myself,cheers mate.
After finding helpful information on this forum I wanted to reciprocate. This is my first post so unfortunately I cant add any links or photos until after the 5th post. I bought a used current model Saeco Via Venezia at a good price recently but was unhappy with the Panarello which over-frothed milk. After lots of searching I discovered that the Steam Wand from the USA sold Starbucks Barista coffee machine (rebadged Via Venezia) fits the Saeco perfectly and works exactly as it should. Do a Google search for Espressotec and when you are at their homepage, enter Starbucks Barista in their search box at top right of the page. There are 5 pages of results. In amongst the results are quite a few spare parts including the steam wand assembly at US$25.50 on page 1. Shipping cost is the killer at US$39 so I ordered a few other spares to make it worthwhile! Youtube has a video that shows this steam wand in action on an older model Starbucks Barista. Go to the Youtube website and search for Starbucks Barista home espresso machine - Part 1. In the results of the search is a video with this same title. Hope this helps those frustrated Saeco Via Venezia owners who wish their machine came with this as standard. You can now rectify the Panarello issue! Just be careful when removing the original steam arm/panarello to note the order of the 2 white ball seat pieces and the black seal. I replaced these with the new ones supplied with the new steam wand to be sure of no leaks. The steam-arm nut is re-used from the original assembly but be sure not to overtighten!* :)
Hi, I just joined coffee snobs to thank you for info on saeco wand , I went ahead and ordered one for myself,cheers mate.
Hope you enjoy the upgarde as much as I did. I also just ordered a bottomless Portafilter made for this machine. The only one I could find was from Seattlecoffeegear. It sells out pretty quickly so I had to check back frequently until I managed to snare one. Google Seattlecoffeegear and go to their homepage. Click on the Accessories pop-menu at top of screen. Select Portafilters & bases from the displayed options at left of screen. Then select Yes under Available Internationally at top left of screen. They require registration for ordering and use Bongo International for processing International orders. If you go to Youtube there is a video of these in action. Search for New Portafilters for Saeco and Starbucks machines. The video by Seattlecoffegear is in the list and has this title. They look like just the ticket to cap off the perfect Via Venezia upgrade! Im looking forward to receiving mine! :DOriginally Posted by 6D786B7676747B7660190 link=1339474948/1#1 date=1339570375
:-/ Originally this item was on page 1 of the Espressotec search results for Starbucks Barista. Today when I checked it had gone to page 3. I suppose if youre looking for it just read through the pages until you find it!Originally Posted by 56747370597A616174150 link=1339474948/0#0 date=1339474948
P.S. Yesterday I noticed someone locally selling Steam wands for a Breville 800ES that look suspiciously like the Starbucks Barista ones except maybe a touch longer (which might be nice). The ball fitting that attatches to the machine looked the same in the photo. At $11 for the wand, curiosity got the better of me so I ordered one to try. Ill report back if it fits and works correctly. The seals are $11 extra.Total of $23 posted within Australia, it may be a cheaper alternative if it works. Ill let you know! (No I dont sell them, Im just a fellow private member). :o
Just wanted to update re: ordering bottomless Portafilter. I was notified this morning my order was cancelled because item was out of stock. This was despite the item finally appearing as In Stock in their international store and my credit card payment being accepted upon ordering. This is the 2nd issue I have had with this online store trying to get hold of a Portafilter so I dont know whether I can recommend using them. If you do beware of potential issues. Not happy Jan!!! :-[Originally Posted by 5E7C7B78517269697C1D0 link=1339474948/2#2 date=1339637319
I can now post photos so here is one of the Starbucks Barista Steam Wand on the Saeco Via Venezia. Works a treat! Movement is in all directions as per the original Saeco steam arm with Panarello which was fitted to this model as standard.Originally Posted by 496B6C6F46657E7E6B0A0 link=1339474948/0#0 date=1339474948
I tried the Breville 800ES steam wand and it does fit the Saeco Via Venezia. It is a little longer than the Starbucks Barista steam wand. Using a small jug I found it comfortable to steam out front of the machine whereas with the Starbucks wand I found myself at a diagonal to the left of the machine and feeling a little close when steaming for 1 cup. The Breville wand tip has a smaller hole which increases steam pressure. I found the whirpool effect alot stronger at the same steam setting and milk stretching quicker. Ive only tried it once but I found it overfrothed quickly, which I guess reflected a need to become familiar with this wand and the increase in steam pressure. Milk temperature came up quicker at the same steam setting and interestingly, the light on the steam button stayed on throughout the process. Using the Starbucks wand I found the steam light went out but it did complete the steaming process. My machine is 1 y.o. so the heating element may not behave the same as a new one would. I have no idea how the previous owner treated it before I bought it. The smaller hole in the steam tip of the Breville increases pressure both in steam coming out of the tip as well as back-pressure for steam out of the boiler. I imagine the steam light staying on with the Breville reflects a smaller volume of steam but at a higher pressure.Originally Posted by 745651527B58434356370 link=1339474948/3#3 date=1339718254
At this early stage my thoughts are that either one would do the job. It would come down to how easily and cheaply either one could be sourced. I feel the Starbucks wand is more forgiving as far as overfrothing goes. The Brevilles extra length is handy to have and the extra steam pressure probably not a bad thing once mastered but I am yet to verify this. If I had to choose I would say I do like the extra length of the Breville wand but need to use it more to see if the extra steam pressure has the benefit I suspect it might. The Starbucks Barista (rebadged Via Venezia) wand was supplied standard with that machine so I guess designed for it. Pricewise the Breville and Starbucks are similar but there is that hefty shipping charge for the Starbucks wand from Canada. With either wand I would suggest to replace the 2 half-seats for the ball end including the washer above the top seat.
Please note I dont know what the longer term effects, if any, will be on the machine by fitting these steam wands so be aware that if you choose to fit them it is at your own risk! Do remember to prime (fill) the boiler before and after steaming to protect the health of your machine. :) :) :)
P.S. After using the Breville wand a few more times I found* it did seem to produce velvety microfoam much easier than with the Starbucks Barista wand (on my machine). If the Breville tip was kept just below the surface and not allowed to introduce excess air, (which would happen quickly if the tip raised above the surface) and with the whirlpool generated correctly, the result was excellent microfoam.
With the Starbucks wand on my machine, I needed to work the wand alot more and didnt achieve the same velvety microfoam. Might be my technique, lower steam pressure than new machine, type of milk? Either way I have left the Breville wand on my machine as it seems to do the job easier for me. The steam tips are interchangable between the 2 wands. The Breville came with a silicon washer whereas the Starbucks didnt. When I removed the Starbucks tip after only a few weeks use it was very tight and I thought maybe loctite had been used. After closer inspection I think it was baked on milk that had crept up the threads due to a lack of a washer between the tip and wand. I reassembled using food grade silicon grease just in case.* ::)
Below are some photos comparing the 2 wands :-
Breville 800ES wand on left includes safety grip which can be bought seperately. Starbucks Barista wand on right.
Smaller hole in Breville 800ES steam tip at left.
Starbucks Barista wand fitted to Saeco Via Venezia
Breville 800ES wand fitted to Saeco Via Venezia
I registered with Coffeesnobs today to thank Cafelotta for his work and to say that I bought a Breville 800ES wand from appliancepartsrus on eBay. Ordered Sunday despatched yesterday and received today. Their business name is Ewing Electrical of Nowra. Im nothing to do with them but bought a Via Veneto 3 weeks ago and have been searching for a replacement steam wand since as the original supplied is, in my opinion, quite disappointing. Im no tradesman but it took less than 5 minutes to fit and have already textured some milk - its much more convenient than the original. Now to start on depressurising the portafilter - seattlecoffeegear dont have any more depressurised ones in stock according to their website.
Hi, I received my starbucks wand today,put it on machine ,i now seem to have to much pressure ,talk about creating a whirlpool more like a cyclone ,heats the milk is all ,anyway cheers ill keep trying.
Ive had my order cancelled twice now by Seattlecoffeegear after the non-pressurised portafilter showed as In Stock and I ordered and payed for it through their Bongo International alliance. Ive then received emails telling me that the item isnt in stock and my money will be refunded. Problem is the bank charges for transactions involving currency exchange so I am out of pocket with nothing to show for it. Not sure what to make of it all.Originally Posted by 7D74657974637C7872110 link=1339474948/7#7 date=1340687865
Takes a while to get the hang of it. Make sure to only half fill the jug (usually to the bottom of the spout) and use cold milk and preferably a cold jug. Start with the nozzle tip just below the surface and slightly off centre. If youre getting big bubbles lower the tip into the milk until they stop. If the whirpool gets too quick change the tilt of the jug or move the tip back towards the jug centre. Try just opening the steam knob too. Keep experimenting until you get it right! Its all about technique. The Starbucks wand is a little bit on the short side which makes things a bit harder. I found pointing the wand to the front left corner of the machine the best position for me. There are heaps of videos on YouTube re: milk steaming. Below is just one. Just be aware that the Saeco Via Venezia doesnt have as high Steam Pressure as larger machines so adapt your technique and experiment as mentioned above. Good Luck!Originally Posted by 7065766B6B69666B7D040 link=1339474948/8#8 date=1340694179
Just received and attached my Breville 800ES steam arm (from appliancepartsrus) with the rubber handle to the Via Venezia and wow what a difference it makes. The microfoam is awesome. All I can say is keep up the great work CafeLotta.
The Via Venezia is a great platform to train on before progressing to more expensive machines if that's the path you choose.
Forces you to master temperature surfing due to the stainless steel boiler which heats/cools quicker than a brass boiler but is still capable of producing a very good coffee when you get it right.
Well I guess I still need to consider getting myself a dedicated non pressurized portafilter, (+ 53mm Tamper to go with it) the ones that I have seen are not cheap.
Initially I was grinding my beans using the Hario Slim Hand Grinder (some people recommend these for espresso machines while others don't) but recently I bought the Breville Smart Grinder in DJ's for 165 dollars to make things a little easier however I've noticed I have to change the grind settings to suit the weather. A courser grind for hot weather seems the go. It can be a little annoying when you purchase freshly roasted beans and have to dump a coffee or two every time to set it up.
Non-Pressurized Portafilter 53mm Upgrade | Seattle Coffee Gear
I bought the bottomless version of the same and it was very good quality. Made a huge difference being able to see when tamping/grinding wasn't up to par. Good training tool. See video on this link also further down page -
Bottomless Portafilter 53mm for Saeco and Starbucks Espresso Machines - Accessories - Seattle Coffee Gear
The killer on cost for this stuff is shipping so I bought a few spares at the same time to make it worthwhile. Maybe check if other CSrs might want to share cost on combined order with you?
The advantages the Gaggia has is a 58mm filter basket v 53mm on the Saeco and the Gaggia has a 3 way valve.
For me, it still wasn't enough to overcome the fact it had an aluminium boiler.
I still have a soft spot for the Via Venezia even though I'm currently using a Silvia. Very nice ergonomic feel about the Via Venezia and easy clean-up and no worries about rust due to being all Stainless and plastic.
Temperature control is definitely easier on the Silvia due to a Brass boiler but both require temperature surfing to get a good brew. The Silvia Brass boiler is slower to fluctuate in temperature than the Stainless Steel boiler of the Via Venezia which heats and cools very quickly. The Via Venezia needs more concentration to get it right but that's not neccessarily a bad thing early in the learning phase!
Just a few quick questions. I have a VV as well but the older version (Starbucks barista) with the panarello wand. I've tried to shimmy the nut for the steam wand loose but it doesnt seem to budge. How did you manage to turn it? Maybe I just need to use more elbow grease... Also do you know if the BES800 wand fits on my older VV?
Last edited by CafeLotta; 13th June 2013 at 11:51 AM.
Thanks for that! I shall try it when i get the chance I can't really get the microfoam going with the panarello wand...hopefully the new wand will improve this. Just curious, how long have you had your VV for?
I've had the VV for over a year now. In fact I bought a second one also with the round silver buttons, in as new condition for the grand price of $90 in the original box!
I'm currently using a Silvia though. Originally I only wanted to upgrade my grinder and bought a used grinder/machine package with the intention of selling the Silvia. Unfortunately the seller misrepresented the Silvia's condition and I had to replace the boiler/element and the usuage test ended up with the Silvia staying on the kitchen bench. The main reason was that it steamed a 2 cup milk jug easily. The smaller boiler on the VV meant it took longer due to the boiler needing to be refilled. The VV had a quick heat-up and was great for that quick 1 cup on the run though.
Just yesterday I was looking at the Via Venezia and thinking I should give it a run for old time's sake as I really enjoyed using that little machine. Never did try it with the new grinder.
I still think it made better microfoam with the Breville 800ES wand than the Silvia does. Took a little longer but once you get the hang of it, very consistent. Brewing was a case of temp surfing to get the best out of it. The bottomless portafilter was a great addition too but the original portafilter can be depressurised also.
nice catch! Yeah I was thinking of upgrading to a Silvia but just waiting and seeing how the VV goes. It's a good machine from the cups that I've been making (except for the poor milk foaming and the small boiler which prevents steaming many cups of milk) but besides that I've been able to extract some good shots
Hopefully I'll be able to upgrade the steam wand for it or maybe just upgrade to another machine... oh upgradeitis ...
I have finally upgraded my VV with an 800ES steam wand and yeah the new wand does make a difference! BTW for future, I realised you don't need to replace the whole steam arm (for the old VV at least), you just need the tip of the 800ES steam wand. It screws in nicely to the VV steam wand. So it would cost much less if in the future people were wanting to modify
If you check the ball on your existing wand and it looks shiny and smooth with no scratches then the existing seals should be OK. You can always replace them later if need be.
One last question: I accidentally trashed my upper seal when I tried to remover the old steam arm. The new seal set seems to come with a small ring that sits above the upper seal, but my ild one didn't have one in it. Did you put these in when you installed the breville steam wand? Thanks!!
Yes there is a washer above the upper half cup seal. See picture below. It may be difficult to see when installed. Use a torch to shine up inside the threaded mounting spigot on the machine. A bent papercilp with a hook on the end can help remove the old one if it's there. Remove any sharp edges on the hook so you don't scratch up the inside of the spigot.
You've probably worked out that you need to remove the steam tip from the wand to fit the lower half cup seal to avoid stretching it when fitting.
Check your PM also for a link.
Sorry to be a bother - I did get those seals, and installed them as per the instructions, but they're heaps looser than the original seals (and why my original seal got wrecked - it was so tight getting it out that it went sideways and got bent). Has anyone else had trouble with the 800ES seals not fitting the VV properly? Any ideas where I can get actual VV seals?
Last time I checked the local supplier of Saeco parts was South Side Electronics as per the first link. May be expensive though. The 2nd link is for an overseas supplier. The Starbucks Barista is a rebadged Saeco Via Venezia for the US market. Could be the outside diameter of the Breville 800ES seals are smaller the the Via Venezia. Its possible I may have used the Starbucks seals that came with the Starbucks wand I originaly tried and not the Breville. Apologies if this was the case which sounds likely after reading your post.
Electrical Appliances | Online Electronics Store Australia | Appliance Repairs | Electronic Component | Online Electronic Components Shopping | Philips & Hitachi Spare Parts Distributor | Factory Seconds Appliance | Southside Electronics Melbourne, S
Last edited by CafeLotta; 18th July 2013 at 04:44 PM.
i second southside electronics, i use them for saeco parts for work and for my machines (that is until i become an agent for saeco which is hopefully within the next month or two) and their prices are great. when i did up my via venezia, the part costs that southside offered were less than pretty much anywhere else.
i needed to get parts for a saeco talea touch plus, big automatic thing, and they were also pretty cheap, way cheaper than i expected.
the best thing to do it give them a call, speak to spare parts and they can email you the exploded view of the machine. that way you can just use the part numbers on the exploded view, copy them into southside's catalogue search and it'll find them and display the cost. take note, when it says "on backorder" it just means there's none in stock and they need to order them in.
Thought it might be worthwhile including some information here on an alternate shower screen for the Saeco Via Venezia. The later machines came with a pod ready screen which had fewer holes in them to suit the pod diameter. There was/is an alternative screen that has greater coverage over the filter basket if like most people, you never use pods. The photos below show the difference. I didn't get around to hunting one down but it might be worth a try if you're keen. The standard pod screen is on the left, the alternate screen on the right. If you're trying to Google it, try searching "Starbucks Barista" as this is a rebadged 110V version for the USA.
pod screen.jpgfull screen.jpg
Thanks to the great info in this thread I purchased a Breville wand for my recently acquired VV. It arrived in the post today and I cant wait to try it out tomorrow morning!
Hi, ive just recently bought a VV, and plan to buy the breville wand, just wondering if their is a guide out on how to retrofit it, since ive never done anything like this before, and dont want to mess it up.
Take washers off, take panarello wand out of the nut, put Breville wand in place (remembering to place the lower cup washer beneath the ball joint), place upper cup washer on ball joint then screw it all back into the machine. Be careful not to overtighten it, just tight enough that the wand maintains it's position without drooping.
I bought a VV on Gumtree for $80 a couple of weeks ago and have since upgraded with the Breville 800es steam arm. The new steam arm is a huge improvement on the Pannarello.
My next purchase will need to be a proper grinder and I have now ordered the bottomless portafilter and non-pressurised portafilter from Seattle Coffee Gear as per CafeLotta's advice. If you order online from overseas (even using PayPal and BongoUS) it might be a good idea to call their sales helpline to confirm the transaction as sometime overseas orders are flagged as a fraud risk, purely based on the Credit Card address distance from Seattle! That happened to me and they fixed it as soon as I called them.
I get a buzz out of simple, inexpensive modifications to entry level equipment that make them work as the original designers/engineers probably intended (before the marketing department insisted they dumb them down for the domestic user). I fully intend to upgrade to an E61 machine in the next year or so but I like having a cheap machine to perfect my technique on in the meantime.
Glad I found this forum. Keep up the good work.
Definitely! Good harmless fun. And even better if the "significant other" enjoys coffee!
thanks for all this info. managed to grab one of the steamwands for $18 delivered and makes a big difference!
I know this is a very late post , however have come across this thread and I was convinced me to purchase the Breville steam wand everyone has been talking about for my Saeco Via Venezia.
My husband installed it for me last night and tried it out this morning. First thing I found was that it only heated the milk up, however looking back on this thread it is probably my technique. The second thing I noticed is when I placed the steam wand into the milk it literally screamed at me, it was so loud and piercing I thought something was wrong.
Has anyone else had this issue? Could it be the bolt is screwed on too tightly after installing the new wand?
You should initially get a small spray of watery steam as it purges from the wand and then powerful steam. After around 10 seconds, the boiler will be losing steam but the steam thermostat hasn't switched back on yet so the pressure will drop. This will cause the screaming noise.
Don't attempt to froth or spin the milk at this stage, wait until the pressure starts to build up again as this means the heating element has switched back on and the boiler is producing steam.
You will audibly hear the pitch change and the milk will start to move faster. This is the final stage where you will be finishing the milk.
You will need to practice as the technique is vastly different from the standard panarello wand. Watch some youtube videos on steaming milk and that should serve as a basic guide for you to work with.
I've done the Breville wand mod for many of my customer's machines and they're all happy with it, it just takes time to learn and a whole different skillset.
I installed the Breville wand for the micro foam effect about a year and a half ago. It is definitely a technique as it has taken a little while to perfect. I've found the position of the wand needs to be facing towards the porta filter and when holding the jug have the spout facing at the front, this helps to position the wand on the lip of the jug. The screaming happens but changes as the pressure and milk change and heat up. The pressure tends to drop and slows, but it then builds up the second time this is when you need to slowly lower the jug so the end of the wand is just below the surface to start the main frothing process, then you just slowly turn the steam off. BTW I like to put alot of cream in my coffee in the milk mix, usually 60% cream, this makes the coffee nice and thick as we all know now that fat is actually good for you. Hope this helps.
I just found this thread and I too want to upgrade the wand on my VV. Can someone help with what parts I need though? Do I need something like this:
Breville 800ES Coffee Machine Steam ARM Assembly Handle ARM Frother eBay link removed as per Site Posting Policy
Otherwise, where Paul mentions above that you just need the tip of the 800ES steam wand - what part is that?
Last edited by Javaphile; 23rd June 2016 at 07:48 AM. Reason: eBay link(s) removed