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  • An indecisive green been requests your help

    Hello from soon to be snowy British Columbia, Canada.  I was happy to discover this site and have read many of the posts on this forum.  Now, Id like to ask your help.
    Ive narrowed my decision of espresso machine to two choices.  The Breville Ikon and the Saeco Via Venezia.  At the moment both are on sale for the same price of 199.00.  Im looking for a machine primarily for (close your ears, purists) blended milk drinks.  So a good steamer/frother is important to me.  Thats not to say though that I dont appreciate esspresso with a rich creamy crema.  My biggest concern with the Via Venezia is the plastic attachment on the steam wand.  Apart from the cleanliness aspect, I fear about the plastics leaching into the milk.  Not terribly appetizing.  My biggest concern with the Ikon, is reports of inconsistancy and possible trouble getting the double port  to pour evenly into two cups.
    A lifetime ago I was a barista for a very large coffee chain, and so Im familiar with "coffee skill",  and know the value of the grind and beans in the equation.  What do you all think?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: An indecisive green been requests your help

    gday mmmusic,

    i owned the saeco vv for a number of years and found it to be very reliable.  i detached the outer plastic "froth enhancer" on the steaming wand, but the interior plastic sleeve is still necessary.  You may be able to replace this?

    it is only a small boiler (6 fl.ounces maybe) and  steams fine for 2 drinks and a time.  to get the best out of this machine you really need to replace or dismantle the pressurized portafilter (search the forum for instructions).

    i havent owned the ikon, but its a favourite among the cheaper machines.  

    for 200 bucks could you look at getting a second hand gaggia classic or even second hand silvia.  they would be a much better option.  theres a second hand gaggia from NY for sale on the forum from memory.

    cheers,

    sd


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    • #3
      Re: An indecisive green been requests your help

      Originally posted by makemynemusic link=1229057431/0#0 date=1229057431
      My biggest concern with the Via Venezia is the plastic attachment on the steam wand.
      I wouldnt worry about that. I used to have one and it was never an issue for me. As Smokeydeck said, remove the outer plastic part of the steam wand (it just pulls off). You get better microfoam (finer bubbles) without it - just use the inner plastic part.

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      • #4
        Re: An indecisive green been requests your help

        Ditto on the VV steam wand, take off the outer cover and it steams quite well. Its a good little machine and should be ideal for your requirements. It was my starter machine before I found this forum and got infected with "upgraditis"...................

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        • #5
          Re: An indecisive green been requests your help

          the via venezia is made in Italy and meets the EU and US health laws
          the brevill is made in Asia

          wouldnt even consider the brevill over the saeco

          some of the older style milk enhancer have a small hole in the top of the sleeve, this is were they suck the air in
          if you cover the hole with your finger, it gives you better control over the froth

          new saecos in Aus have the new style Short top section ( like the gaggias) so it makes it very hard too froth without the ext

          graham

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          • #6
            Re: An indecisive green been requests your help

            Thanks alot for the input, everyone. One thing that is a definite plus for the VV is the two year warranty vs the one year for the Breville.

            Fix, would you mind elaborating on why you wouldnt consider the Breville over the VV? I must say that the layout on the Breville suits me more...I prefer the steam wand and steam control button on the right hand side, whereas the VV has then positioned on the left-although Im sure Id get use to it.

            Thanks again everyone.

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            • #7
              Re: An indecisive green been requests your help

              Fix, would you mind elaborating on why you wouldnt consider the Breville over the VV? I must say that the layout on the Breville suits me more...I prefer the steam wand and steam control button on the right hand side, whereas the VV has then positioned on the left-although Im sure Id get use to it.
              i rate machines like this under servicable life

              some machine layouts suit different individuals

              the vv is fully servicable
              we are doing full seal replacements in these after 5 + years

              the breville has limited parts available
              if the thermoblock leaks, throw the machine in the bin

              if the vv boiler seal leaks, replace the seal

              150mm brass / Ssteel boiler gives me more steaming control, and better heat stability

              it doesnt matter what others think or feel

              it is in your kitchen and the breville might suit you

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