Saeco Xelsis Review: High-End Machine at the Low-End of the Price Spectrum?

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

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In today's Saeco Xelsis review, I'll be looking at what happens when one manufacturer eats another. OK, that sounded kinda weird. What I mean is, when a large multinational corporation buys a smaller company and absorbs it, great products often fall by the wayside.

Saeco Xelsis Review

In today’s Saeco Xelsis review, I’ll be looking at what happens when one manufacturer eats another. OK, that sounded kinda weird. What I mean is, when a large multinational corporation buys a smaller company and absorbs it, great products often fall by the wayside.

In the case of the Saeco Xelsis, there’s nothing to worry about … yet. So, while this fantastic super automatic espresso machine is still available, I thought you’d like to know more. After all, buying this machine could mean you’ll soon own a piece of history!

Keeping it classy

Saeco Xelsis

An attractive price for top-of-the-line features

Easy, intuitive operation

Numerous setting options

Pleasantly quiet

Very good espresso and milk froth

Poorly conceived quick cleaning

Saeco Xelsis Review Overview

Have you noticed that Saeco has gone silent? That’s because the parent company, Philips, has decided to focus its marketing efforts exclusively on super automatic espresso machines. Now, that’s not only good for the brand identity but for us consumers, too. In fact, it’s why you need to consider the Saeco Xelsis.

Not seeing the upside yet? Well, look at it this way: if the Saeco flagship brand is slowly phased out, those machine models will suddenly start going for a song. I mean, you can already snap up the Philips Saeco Xelsis for $999.00. That’s reason enough for me to put my fingers to the keyboard and give this review a new spin.

Saeco Xelsis Overview

Before, the question was whether top-of-the-line Saeco espresso machines could compete with similar high-end brands, like DeLonghi or Jura. Now, we’re shifting gears to hunt for the best super automatic espresso machine deals.

Even with the new Philips world order, one thing is still the same: the Saeco Xelsis is a premium automatic espresso machine. Get the settings in line with your coffee beans, and you’ll enjoy truly flavorsome results.

I’ve done a lot of tasting and tweaking with some fair trade beans for automatic coffee machines to hammer out the perfect parameters for you. So, let’s not waste any more time before getting right into the nitty gritty of this Saeco Xelsis review!

Saeco Xelsis Features

Size and Design

Saeco knows looks matter and delivers a package that oozes class and style. From the moment your fingertips brush its glinting stainless steel housing, it’ll be clear that this is an automatic coffee machine designed for frequent use and many cups.

Usually, an automatic espresso machine priced comfortably above the $1,000 mark will boast a fully integrated milk carafe. So, the fact that the Saeco Xelsis has a cappuccinatore is a little outta left field. Still, for hygiene reasons alone, I like an external milk container. Besides, who can object to a jug of such high quality?

What’s more, this solution means that the Saeco Xelsis fully automatic espresso machine is exceptionally slim for its class and will fit neatly into almost any kitchen. Being able to position the milk carafe where it suits you and remove the water tank from the front means a lot when your coffee station is jammed in a corner.

Ceramic Grinder

Saeco Xelsis Ceramic Grinder

This beautiful high-end automatic espresso machine literally crushes it in the grinder department. Thanks to its patented ceramic flat burrs and 12 adjustment settings, the Saeco grinder is more than capable of producing the fine grinds required for espresso.

As usual, the ceramic grinder on the Saeco Xelsis can be easily adjusted via a dial in the bean hopper. Although the pump and brew group clearly have no problem handling the very finest grounds, I settled on level two of 12. In my experience, that resulted in the best tasting coffee.

The minute you start calibrating, you’ll notice that the grinder volume is pleasantly low. While it’s nowhere near as quiet as the Jura E8, it’s still pretty impressive.

The Saeco Xelsis product designers definitely put on their best thinking caps to resolve common super automatic espresso machine problems in unobtrusive and uncomplicated ways.

Case in point: the bean hopper. With a 16 ounce (450 gram) capacity, it’s not just seriously roomy but way too big. At least there’s a rubber aroma seal, which locks the hopper pretty tight. Still, don’t fill it up with coffee beans that will just sit around losing their aroma.

User Interface

Saeco Xelsis User Interface

There’s no denying the elegant, understated beauty of the Saeco Xelsis user interface. Featuring a touchscreen with brightly colored drink icons surrounded by a few capacitive buttons, the control panel is intuitive and easy to navigate, too.

The manufacturer obviously spent plenty of time developing the user interface, and I’d say anyone who has used a smartphone will feel right at home here. So, just about everyone!

Coffee Equalizer

Perhaps the most eye-catching feature of the user interface is its Coffee Equalizer, which used to be called the Coffee Concierge. While you might think the Coffee Equalizer is gimmicky, it actually works very effectively.

Just as an audio equalizer allows you to adjust the bass and treble on your tunes, you can tweak the temperature, milk froth and coffee dosage for your cappuccino via sliders. Thanks to the Saeco Xelsis’s super responsive touchscreen, making these adjustments is a breeze and actually quite fun!

Specialty Drinks

The Saeco Xelsis boasts a full menu of 15 specialty drinks, including flat white, latte macchiato and cappuccino. Here’s the thing, though, the number of adjustments you’re able to make to any given drink is quite staggering. So, in reality you can create any number of personalized beverages.

Say you’re preparing a cappuccino – you can adjust coffee strength, taste, volume and temperature. The fun doesn’t stop there though. You can also tweak milk settings for volume and amount of foam, as well as whether milk or coffee is dispensed first. All in all, that makes for an impressive array of customization options.

LatteDuo Milk System

Saeco Xelsis Milk System
Saeco Xelsis Latte

Earlier I mentioned the high-quality milk container that comes with the Saeco Xelsis. At this point I should thank Saeco for even including a milk jug. Especially given that some manufacturers charge a lot more for their machines and still won’t throw in a milk container. I’m looking at you, Jura!

The milk foam was a bit of a sticking point on many cheaper and – even – older Saeco coffee machines. What you got was rather old-timey – a stiff mass of large sudsy bubbles. Fortunately, Saeco has learned a few tricks since then, and the Xelsis fully automatic espresso machine has benefited.

Although the foam is still very dense, at least it’s also elegant and delicious. Plus, at 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius), it’s right in my Goldilocks zone for lattes and cappuccinos. Even so, I know that many of you will find it too tepid.

One thing that continues to seriously get under my skin is that after delivering milk into your cup, the Saeco coffee machine automatically flushes the milk system with steam. While that’s great and gets a thumbs up for hygiene, couldn’t the machine hold off for a second so I can move the cup away first?

I know, it’s not as if the water is dirty; you’re just getting a blast of steam deposited into your drink. But I still object. Am I being too fastidious? I think not.

User Profiles

Another truly impressive aspect of the Saeco Xelsis is its six user profiles. These days you usually have to drop some serious cash on an automatic coffee machine to get more than one or two user profiles. So, this is yet another reason to consider the Xelsis as a steal for what you get.

Anyway, once you’ve spent time personalizing your favorite espresso drinks you’re able to easily save them in your own profile. This is going to work out really well for households with multiple coffee drinkers. After all, is there anything worse than coming back to the coffee maker only to find that someone has messed with your espresso macchiato settings?

Dual Heating

In case you were wondering, the Saeco Xelsis heats up really quickly. Unlike many home espresso machines, the Xelsis is equipped with dual thermoblocks rather than a traditional boiler. So, you aren’t going to be hanging around waiting for your fix in the mornings.

Oh, and notice that I referred to dual thermoblocks – there’s one for coffee and one for heating milk. That means you can expect reliable and consistent temperature for each function. What’s more, the Saeco Xelsis can prepare espresso and milk froth simultaneously.

Water Reservoir

Earlier in this Saeco Xelsis review I quickly mentioned the front-loading water tank. Trust me when I tell you that this design will make your life so much easier than if you had to move the machine around to access the reservoir.

Anyway, the Xelsis water tank has a 57.5 ounce (1.7 liter) capacity, so you shouldn’t have to fill it more than once a day. More importantly, you can install an AquaClean filter in the reservoir. Not only will this improve the taste of your coffee, it’ll do a number on limescale.

If the manufacturer is to be believed, you’ll seldom need to descale the Xelsis if you’ve installed the filter. I don’t know about you, but infrequent descaling sounds pretty good to me!

How to Use the Saeco Xelsis

Saeco Xelsis Espresso

Throughout this Saeco Xelsis review I keep coming back to the fact that this machine represents everything a fully automatic espresso maker should be. That’s especially apparent when it comes to using the thing for the first time.

Of course, you’ll need to jump through the usual hoops when it comes to rinsing components, filling the bean hopper and programming your water hardness. However, after that, no one will have problems getting started making quality coffee drinks.

Honestly, the Saeco Xelsis is just so user friendly that it’s just a case of experimenting until you find your ideal settings for strength, volume and so on.

Saeco Xelsis Observations

I’ve come to the conclusion that you can – and should – count on a premium super automatic espresso machine to deliver premium coffee.

Though I don’t have any hard-and-fast figures, having gotten my hands on a number of other “expensive” automatic coffee machine models besides the Saeco Xelsis, I can see a definite correlation between flavor and price.

The Saeco espresso machine did a great job of teasing out subtleties in my chosen beans. In addition to the chocolatey and nutty notes, the almond (which often gets lost with other machines) also shines through. In addition, the Saeco Xelsis espresso machine nails the temperature, crema and body.

Of course, the opposite is also true. Expect that every nasty nuance of cheap supermarket beans will also be more pronounced. That’s especially true seeing as the espresso doesn’t have any unpleasant bitterness that would otherwise mask an undesirable flavor profile.

In that sense, the Saeco Xelsis is kinda like the quality police. I say, give that machine a medal!

While I’m doling out kudos, I have to admit that the “ordinary” coffee from the Saeco Xelsis doesn’t disappoint, either. With its full body and multifaceted flavor profile, it’s anything but a nondescript, watery black brew.

Sure, the Philips coffee maker doesn’t quite knock the Jura Z10 off its perch, but it’s definitely closing in on the Swiss espresso machine.

Best Coffee for the Saeco Xelsis

We have developed a coffee blend for all super automatic espresso machines, including the Saeco Xelsis. We tested espresso, black coffee and latte macchiato, all of which displayed pleasant chocolate notes with a hint of hazelnut.

It all depends on the beans: if you put something good in at the top, something good will come out at the bottom!

Coffee for Fully Automatic Espresso Machines

Specialty Coffee for Super Automatic Espresso Machines

Experience the Finest Coffee Beans, Tailored for Your Machine!

Freshly Roasted Right in Brooklyn

Notes of Chocolate & Hazelnut

Optimized for Automatic Machines

Smooth, Low Acidity Brew

Shop now

Here are the ideal settings for our coffee with the Saeco Xelsis:

  • Grind setting: 3

  • Attention: Only adjust when the grinder is running!

  • Espresso volume: To taste

  • Coffee volume: To taste

  • Temperature: Factory setting to start

  • Coffee strength: To taste

Saeco Xelsis Cleaning

Saeco Xelsis Cleaning

Automatic steam cleaning is the order of the day for the Saeco Xelsis super automatic espresso machine’s milk system. Press the appropriate button, and the HygieSteam technology thoroughly blasts the entire milk circuit. Oh, and don’t forget to anchor the hose in the drip tray using the connector before doing so.

There’s really no excuse for skimping on cleaning the rest of the Philips Saeco espresso maker. Since the brew group is removable, a combination of cleaning programs and elbow grease ensure that no stray coffee granules are left to hang around and cause problems.

The used coffee grounds container, drip tray and water tank all pull out from the front, so you don’t even have to move the machine to access them.

The only thing you have to pull out from the side is the brew group. Be careful with this precious component and give it a good rinse at the end of each day’s use!.

Saeco Xelsis Service Flap
Saeco Xelsis brewing group outside

Of course, appropriate descaling programs are part of the package, and as always, you can — and should — adjust the intervals manually, especially in big cities. Although I talked up the AquaClean filter, there’s only so much it can do when faced with the incredibly hard water in cities.

If you know your water has high levels of minerals, you can also get yourself prepped and ready by buying the Saeco Xelsis as part of an Amazon bundle with a bottle of decalcifier. There’s also a bundle that comes with an extra water filter.

All in all, this fully automatic espresso machine is as easy to clean as it is to operate. While that’s no longer the exception to the rule in any machine class, it’s still a real pleasure when everything comes together as nicely as it does here.

Saeco Xelsis Specifications

Saeco Xelsis
Manufacturer

Saeco

Model number

SM7684/04

Product category

Super automatic espresso machine

Removable brew group

Housing material

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Color options

Titanium

Milk frother

Cappuccinatore

User interface

Touchscreen

App

User profiles

6

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

57.5 fl oz / 1.7 l

Number of boilers

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

Maximum cup height

6.0 in / 15.2 cm

Minimum cup height

3.0 in / 7.6 cm

Grinder

Ceramic flat burr grinder

Grind adjustment levels

12

Bean hopper capacity

12.0 oz / 340.0 g

Pre-ground coffee bypass

Grounds discard container capacity

14

Specialty drinks

15

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

Adjustable milk temperature

2-cup function

Yes

Pot function

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1400 W

Weight

25.8 lb / 11.7 kg

Dimensions

15.5 x 11.1 x 19.3 in
39.4 x 28.2 x 49.0 cm

Warranty

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Grease tube, Cleaning brush, Water filter, Measuring scoop.

Current price on Amazon

$999.00

All specifications

Saeco Xelsis vs Other Super Automatics

Although I’ve already mentioned other manufacturers in this Saeco Xelsis review, you probably want specifics. So, let’s see how the Xelsis fares in comparison to a couple of other automatic espresso machines.

Saeco Xelsis vs Jura S8

Jura S8

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Jura coffee machines, but I’ve never been fully convinced by the Jura S8.

Sure, this beautiful machine has everything you’d expect from Jura, including Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.) brewing technology and an Aroma G3 grinder. It’s just that $2,698.89 is a huge amount of money to spend on any machine.

Plus, when put next to the Saeco Xelsis, I don’t think the Jura S8 seems nearly as special as it should, especially given its price tag. And the fact that Jura doesn’t include a milk container. I’ll never stop complaining about that until the Swiss change their ways!

See Also: Jura S8 Review 2024

Saeco Xelsis vs DeLonghi Dinamica Plus

DeLonghi Dinamica Plus Review

Now we’re talking! This is a battle for the ages. At $1,336.00, the DeLonghi Dinamica Plus is a real competitor, both price-wise and in terms of its features.

For starters, the Dinamica Plus has a beautiful touchscreen display. What it has that the Saeco doesn’t have is a pretty cool app, so you can control the machine remotely. While that won’t matter to a lot of folks, some will be swayed by that kind of feature.

Elsewhere, the DeLonghi has always impressed me with the quality of its espresso and milk foam. I know I said I prefer external milk containers, but the integrated LatteCrema system is pretty darn special!

See Also: DeLonghi Dinamica Plus Review 2024

Saeco Xelsis vs Others Comparison Chart

Saeco XelsisJura S8DeLonghi Dinamica Plus
Manufacturer

Saeco

Jura

De’Longhi

Model number

SM7684/04

15212/15210/15358

ECAM37095TI

Product category

Super automatic espresso machine

Super automatic espresso machine

Super automatic espresso machine

Removable brew group

Housing material

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Color options

Titanium

Chrome, Moonlight Silver, Piano Black

Titanium

Milk frother

Cappuccinatore

Cappuccinatore

Integrated carafe

User interface

Touchscreen

Touchscreen

Touchscreen

App

User profiles

6

Memo function only

3

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

57.5 fl oz / 1.7 l

64.2 fl oz / 1.9 l

60.9 fl oz / 1.8 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

19 bar

Maximum cup height

6.0 in / 15.2 cm

4.6 in / 11.7 cm

5.5 in / 14.0 cm

Minimum cup height

3.0 in / 7.6 cm

2.8 in / 7.1 cm

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

Grinder

Ceramic flat burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Grind adjustment levels

12

Infinitely variable

13

Bean hopper capacity

12.0 oz / 340.0 g

10.2 oz / 290.0 g

10.6 oz / 300.0 g

Pre-ground coffee bypass

Grounds discard container capacity

14

16

14

Specialty drinks

15

8

16

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

Adjustable milk temperature

2-cup function

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Pot function

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1400 W

1450 W

1250 W

Weight

25.8 lb / 11.7 kg

22.0 lb / 10.0 kg

21.0 lb / 9.5 kg

Dimensions

15.5 x 11.1 x 19.3 in
39.4 x 28.2 x 49.0 cm

13.8 x 11.0 x 17.3 in
35.1 x 27.9 x 43.9 cm

13.7 x 9.3 x 16.8 in
34.8 x 23.6 x 42.7 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Grease tube, Cleaning brush, Water filter, Measuring scoop.

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Container for milk system cleaning, Measuring spoon, Hot water nozzle. App connectivity with optional Jura Smart Connect (not included).

Included Accessories: Carbon active filter, measuring scoop, hardness test, cleaning brush, descaling solution, removable water spout, milk jug. TrueBrew Over Ice technology.

Current price on Amazon

$999.00

$2,698.89

$1,336.00

Saeco XelsisJura S8DeLonghi Dinamica Plus
Manufacturer

Saeco

Jura

De’Longhi

Model number

SM7684/04

15212/15210/15358

ECAM37095TI

Product category

Super automatic espresso machine

Super automatic espresso machine

Super automatic espresso machine

Removable brew group

Housing material

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Color options

Titanium

Chrome, Moonlight Silver, Piano Black

Titanium

Milk frother

Cappuccinatore

Cappuccinatore

Integrated carafe

User interface

Touchscreen

Touchscreen

Touchscreen

App

User profiles

6

Memo function only

3

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

57.5 fl oz / 1.7 l

64.2 fl oz / 1.9 l

60.9 fl oz / 1.8 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

19 bar

Maximum cup height

6.0 in / 15.2 cm

4.6 in / 11.7 cm

5.5 in / 14.0 cm

Minimum cup height

3.0 in / 7.6 cm

2.8 in / 7.1 cm

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

Grinder

Ceramic flat burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Grind adjustment levels

12

Infinitely variable

13

Bean hopper capacity

12.0 oz / 340.0 g

10.2 oz / 290.0 g

10.6 oz / 300.0 g

Pre-ground coffee bypass

Grounds discard container capacity

14

16

14

Specialty drinks

15

8

16

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

Adjustable milk temperature

2-cup function

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Pot function

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1400 W

1450 W

1250 W

Weight

25.8 lb / 11.7 kg

22.0 lb / 10.0 kg

21.0 lb / 9.5 kg

Dimensions

15.5 x 11.1 x 19.3 in
39.4 x 28.2 x 49.0 cm

13.8 x 11.0 x 17.3 in
35.1 x 27.9 x 43.9 cm

13.7 x 9.3 x 16.8 in
34.8 x 23.6 x 42.7 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Grease tube, Cleaning brush, Water filter, Measuring scoop.

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Container for milk system cleaning, Measuring spoon, Hot water nozzle. App connectivity with optional Jura Smart Connect (not included).

Included Accessories: Carbon active filter, measuring scoop, hardness test, cleaning brush, descaling solution, removable water spout, milk jug. TrueBrew Over Ice technology.

Current price on Amazon

$999.00

$2,698.89

$1,336.00

Verdict: Saeco Xelsis Review

Keeping it classy

Saeco Xelsis

An attractive price for top-of-the-line features

Easy, intuitive operation

Numerous setting options

Pleasantly quiet

Very good espresso and milk froth

Poorly conceived quick cleaning

Having reached the end of my Saeco Xelsis review, none of you will be surprised to hear me giving it close to maximum points. In buying this machine, you’re assured of technology devoted to preparing delectable coffee.

Thanks to its finely calibrated settings, this super automatic espresso machine caters to your every coffee need.

Slick looks – irrespective of how much stainless steel cladding is involved – quality engineering and solid construction add up to a pretty desirable package.

No, it’s not the perfect super automatic coffee machine – remember that annoying burst of steam into your freshly made coffee?

Then again, the flawless dream machine has yet to be invented or costs an arm and a leg.

I love reading your comments, so please keep them coming. Your contributions are a big part of these reviews. Let me know what you think of this Saeco espresso machine!

Saeco Xelsis Review FAQ

While the Saeco Xelsis doesn’t have a cup warmer, it’s easy to preheat your cups before making coffee to keep things hot.

The Saeco Xelsis is designed and made in Italy.

The Saeco Xelsis brews coffee at around 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius).

Although Saeco was originally an independent Italian company, it was bought by Philips in 2009.

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Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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