Saeco Incanto vs Breville Barista Express: Is Super-automatic Machines Always Better Than Semi-automatics?

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In the debate between the Saeco Incanto vs Breville Barista Express, the Breville model comes out on top. I have tested from the grinder to the one-touch recipes of these machines, and Breville almost always impresses me more.

The Breville Barista Express winner has a more consistent operation and can make full-bodied, strong espresso without producing a lot of noise. Barista Express froths good milk foam for a machine in this price range. It may be used to make cappuccinos. This gadget is highly recommended for couples and small families. And despite being semi-automatic, it gives Seaco Incanto a run for its money.

Saeco Incanto, the runner-up, specializes in strong coffees, as does the model above. It also offers four one-touch drinks, making brewing considerably easier. However, I don’t appreciate the leaking problem of this machine, which is a big minus point.

Saeco Incanto vs Breville Barista Express: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Saeco Incanto Carafe Super Automatic Espresso Machine with AquaClean filter, Stainless Steel, HD8917/48
Model
Breville Barista Express
Saeco Incanto
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 inches
8.5 x 16.9 x 13 inches
Color / Material
Silver/ Stainless steel
Silver/ Stainless Steel + Plastic
Water Tank Capacity
67 oz
61 oz
Weight / Power / Voltage
23 Pounds/ 1600W/ 110–120 V
15.8 Pounds/ 1600W/ 230V
Bean Hopper Size
8.8 oz
8.8oz
Grinder type
Steel conical burr grinder
Ceramic disc grinder
Used Coffee Drawer Capacity
No Coffee Drawer
Up to 15 servings
Grind Settings
16 settings
5 settings
PID Temperature Control
Heating system
Thermocoil
Single boiler
Clean/ descale indicator
Front-access water tank
One-touch milk-based recipes
Milk frother
Manual steam wand
Milk carafe
Programmable Drinks
2
4
What I Like
Price
$599.95
Price not available
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
Model
Breville Barista Express
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 inches
Color / Material
Silver/ Stainless steel
Water Tank Capacity
67 oz
Weight / Power / Voltage
23 Pounds/ 1600W/ 110–120 V
Bean Hopper Size
8.8 oz
Grinder type
Steel conical burr grinder
Used Coffee Drawer Capacity
No Coffee Drawer
Grind Settings
16 settings
PID Temperature Control
Heating system
Thermocoil
Clean/ descale indicator
Front-access water tank
One-touch milk-based recipes
Milk frother
Manual steam wand
Programmable Drinks
2
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Saeco Incanto Carafe Super Automatic Espresso Machine with AquaClean filter, Stainless Steel, HD8917/48
Model
Saeco Incanto
Dimensions (LxWxH)
8.5 x 16.9 x 13 inches
Color / Material
Silver/ Stainless Steel + Plastic
Water Tank Capacity
61 oz
Weight / Power / Voltage
15.8 Pounds/ 1600W/ 230V
Bean Hopper Size
8.8oz
Grinder type
Ceramic disc grinder
Used Coffee Drawer Capacity
Up to 15 servings
Grind Settings
5 settings
PID Temperature Control
Heating system
Single boiler
Clean/ descale indicator
Front-access water tank
One-touch milk-based recipes
Milk frother
Milk carafe
Programmable Drinks
4
What I Like
Price
Price not available
More Info

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Saeco Incanto vs Breville Barista Express: Differences

After comparing the pair’s most important features, Breville Barista Express wins 4-1 against the super-automatic Saeco Incanto, and they tie in milk performance. Its temperature control and espresso flavor are all more potent than Saeco Incanto. I will give further details below. You will also learn the disadvantage of the winner of today’s comparison.

Espresso flavor

Winner: Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express will satisfy you if you are a bold espresso fan. This machine’s flavor performance is much better than Saeco Incanto. It has all the flavor notes that true coffee drinkers need, from sweet to bitter at the right level. Even the espresso texture is worth praising. I find it to be very full-bodied.

Breville Barista Express brews robust espresso
Breville Barista Express brews robust espresso

Does this mean that Saeco Incanto is no good at making delicious coffee? Not quite. The biggest difference I notice is that Saeco Incanto is more gifted in mellower espresso. This means the tastes lean toward the sweeter side, and the bitter note isn’t too prominent. This model is extremely suitable for coffee drinkers who aren’t fond of strong espresso.

Heating element and temperature performance

Winner: Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express is equipped with a Thermocoil heating element, while Saeco designs the Incanto line with a single boiler system. Without a doubt, the Thermocoil system wins me over. The benefits of a Thermocoil is that water is boiled to the ideal temperature without a flaw and there is a much lower chance of leaking.

I have tested the brewing temperature of the machines with a thermometer. And from Barista Express’s beverages, the temperature varies around 160-170°F but never over 170. As for Saeco Incanto, 148-152°F is the common range.

Speaking of leaking, I want to comment on Saeco Incanto’s leaking problem. I have spotted the machine leaking too much water when it brews, which makes the drinks watered-down. It doesn’t leak much outside of brewing hour, though it is still a recurrent problem.

One-touch recipes

Winner: Saeco Incanto

If you are a cappuccino fan but don’t want to froth your milk in the morning, Saeco Incanto is your machine. This model is able to brew some exquisite cappuccino with microfoam on the top layer. The microfoam quality is even more noticeable with latte macchiato.

Saeco Incanto brews delicious latte macchiato
Saeco Incanto brews delicious latte macchiato

In opposition to Saeco Incanto, Breville Barista Express doesn’t have an elaborate set of one-touch beverages. It can only brew single or double espresso. Other than that, there isn’t any other milk-based automatic recipe for users to enjoy.

Grinder‘s design and performance

Winner: Breville Barista Express

Barista Express performs better due to its extensive grinder settings, which enable us to modify between 16 levels. In addition, we really like the machine’s conical burr grinder.

From my experience with the machine, it consistently grinds uniform coffee grounds while producing little noise. Jamming is also not an issue. Therefore, I’m pleased with the results.

Saeco Incanto’s grinder only has five settings, giving you a lower probability of getting the perfect coffee grind for each variety of coffee beans. However, I don’t think non-professional users will have an issue with it because it makes deciding on the texture simpler. Saeco Incanto’s grinding process is also rather quiet.

Milk system and foam quality

It’s a tie!

I can make the milk foam texture creamy and thick using Barista Express, which is ideal for lattes. When I froth, I don’t move the jug too much, but it is absolutely necessary to produce the desired thick foam texture. As for Saeco Incanto, it definitely can make drier foam for latte macchiato and cappuccino. But it’s harder to adjust the milk texture on this device because it’s too “super-automatic,” meaning it follows its preset recipes and doesn’t offer much chance of customization.

Breville Barista Express can froth creamy foam
Breville Barista Express can froth creamy foam

Saeco Incanto vs Breville Barista Express: Similarities

There aren’t many similarities between Saeco Incanto and Breville Barista Express, so I will briefly talk about 2 details that I find most relevant: the position of the water tank and its size.

No frontal-access water tank

This is more about the disadvantage of the machines, even though it’s not a major one. Saeco Incanto and Breville Barista Express feature a vertical-pull water tank. Still, the one on Beville Barista Express is located on the back, while the one on Saeco Incanto is placed on the side of the machine. This means that both models must be put in a space where removing the water tank has no restriction. So Breville needs extra back and top space, and Saeco needs top space.

Water tank size

Regarding the tank size, 67 oz and 61 oz is the respective reservoir capacity of Breville Barista Express and Saeco Incanto. Therefore, the sizes are perfect for 2-3 users to brew daily without having to refill the tank too frequently.

Quick Rundown of Breville Barista Express

Sale
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
  • The Breville Barista Express delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Barista Series that offers all in one espresso machines with integrated grinder to go from beans to espresso in under one minute
  • Dose Control Grinding: Integrated precision conical burr grinder grinds on demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for your preferred taste with any roast of bean
  • Optimal Water Pressure: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup. Grind Settings: 16 precision grind settings
  • Precise Espresso Extraction: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
  • Manual Microfoam Milk Texturing: The powerful steam wand performance allows you to hand texture microfoam milk that enhances flavor and enables creation of latte art

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Offers a lot of control over your coffee
  • Uses a Thermocoil heating system
  • Precise espresso extraction through a digital temperature control system
  • Manual and potent milk wand
  • Modern design and stainless steel finish
Cons
  • Simple features and doesn’t offer modern recipes like latte or cappuccino

Quick Rundown of Saeco Incanto

Saeco Incanto Carafe Super Automatic Espresso Machine with AquaClean filter, Stainless Steel, HD8917/48
  • Elegant design, best materials, and high quality workmanship
  • Creamy cappuccino and latte macchiato at the touch of a button thanks to detachable, hygienic milk carafe
  • Professional disc grinder made of 100% ceramic for consistent performance and natural taste
  • Easy maintenance and cleaning thanks to removable brewing unit and automatic cleansing and descaling procedures
  • Large capacities in compact design: 8.8 ounce bean container, 15x waste container; 60.9 ounce

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • 4 preset drinks with milk-based recipes
  • Full and aromatic coffees
  • Quiet operation during the bean grinding step
  • Hot coffee temperature
  • Simple interface and control
Cons
  • Leaking problem
  • Vertical-pull water tank

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