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Today we’re taking a look at the Saeco Minuto Class. It’s a machine that’s worth a look for someone who’s considering a capsule machine for the convenience of a quick cup of coffee, but also wants the ability to make espresso, cappuccinos and lattes.
This machine has a lever that switches between a high pressure espresso brewing process and low pressure pulse brewing for a milder cup similar to drip coffee. So with the press of a button you can have espresso, then flip the lever and press a button and it makes regular coffee.
The exterior of the machine is all plastic and the Minuto is small when compared to other similar machines at just 8.5 inches wide, 13 inches high and just under 17 inches deep including the drip tray. It’s a unique and efficient little machine making espresso and drip style coffee plus it’s got the easy milk frothing for cappuccinos and lattes.
For capacities, The water reservoir holds 1.8 liters and can be filled at the machine or removed for filling at the sink, the bean hopper is 250 grams which is enough for about 20 cups and the coffee grounds drawer is easy to access by sliding out a very large drip tray and holds the results of 15 brewing cycles.
Of course the big difference between a machine like this and one that uses capsules is you’re always brewing with freshly ground whole beans--and coffee lovers know there’s no flavor comparison between fresh ground and pre-ground coffee that’s been going stale in a plastic cup for who knows how long.
Putting the best coffee flavor in your cup starts with a ceramic disc grinder. That grinder has five settings to adjust the fineness of the grind. There’s also a bypass doser up top where you can use pre-ground coffee for a quick decaf or other specialty coffee.
Using the strength button, you can adjust how much coffee is used for a brewing cycle. There are 5 levels to choose from. Now that’s important because one thing I really like is you can fit most travel mugs under the spout. So if you want a big strong cup you can up the strength and get it. I hate to pick on the capsule machines but on those, the only way you’re getting a strong travel-mug size is to use more than one capsule.
Another nice feature is you can make 2 cups at once. You’ve got 3 volume programmable buttons on the front. Just push any of those twice and with the dual spouts it can make 2 cups at the same time, grinding 2 times so the strength stays the same. You can program those buttons for any volume you want. Just press and hold until “memo” comes up in the display and when you’ve got the volume you want, press again and that amount is stored.
For cappuccinos and lattes the Minuto Class has an automatic frother that delivers milk right into your glass. You’ll just need to move the cup over and brew a shot of espresso and you’ve got yourself an easy cappuccino. For milk, just place the pick up tube in milk, press the steam/hot water button and select steam and it froths into your cup. Again, for that cappuccino just move your cup over and press the espresso button and that’s it.
The Minuto has a very easy to use menu system. With it you can program 3 different temperature levels for your coffee, an energy saving auto-off time ranging from 15 to 180 minutes, water hardness which you’ll measure with an included test strip and whether you are using a water filter or not. Also from the menu you can start a descaling cycle. Now the Minuto doesn’t come with a water filter, but we do suggest using one. It’ll increase the time between descalings and of course that filtered water makes tastier coffee.
So the machine doesn’t require much attention. About once a week, you’ll want to remove the brew group and give it a rinse under cool water at the sink. That brew group is the business end of the machine and has a 1 year warranty. But register your machine and opt-in for email communication from Saeco and they up the brew group warranty to 5 years.