Intelia is one of the best fully automatic espresso machines on the market. This is not a surprise for a Saeco product. With a long history in the industry, Saeco confirms even after joining Philips.
Intelia automates all of the steps for brewing an espresso shot, or a cappuccino, and minimizes your work, and the risk of brewing errors. With this machine, even the least talented home barista can pull a great espresso shot, and make a stunning cappuccino.
But all these are the norm for any machine in its class, so it is somewhat expected. What impressed me most about Intelia were the little improvements and tweaks meant to ensure a shot above the average. Maximum flavor and aroma were clearly one of the main objectives when Saeco designed this machine. Some of these improvements are a ceramic grinder, which ensures a minimum heating of the beans during grinding. The pre-brewing function helps with a uniform extraction, so that no flavor is lost during pulling the shot.
The Features of the Saeco Philips Intelia
- The machine has two pre-programmed buttons for easy selection of one or two cups.
- Adjustable ceramic grinder, with 5 settings to choose from. The ceramic grinder insures the beans are not overheated during grinding, and it is less noisier. Ceramic burrs will also last twice as long as steel burs.
- You can put up to 300 grams of coffee into the grinder, and they don't go stale very easy, because the cover is sealed.
- Intelia allows you to use pre-ground coffee, or beans with a touch of a button, and it has a bypass. The same button allows you to change the strength of your coffee, by dossing less or more coffee into your shot, (one bean, two beans, or three beans).
- Adjustable spout for cups, and mugs of of different sizes.
- The adjustable spout also prevents your beverage from cooling down before getting into your cup, and will also prevent splashes.
- Pre-brew function to properly extract the goodness in the coffee grounds.
- The machine auto adjust every time you change the beans or the grind settings, but it takes about two or three cups to get the shot completely adjusted.
- Cappuccino device that attaches to to the frothing wand for frothing automatically. Manual frothing also possible.
- The machine allows you to save your favorite setting when you have perfected your recipe.
- Automatic self cleaning.
- Easy to access water tank, and grounds container.
- Energy efficient with stand by mode after 30 minutes.
- The display is very bright and quite large, so operating the Intelia is perfect.
- The quick-heat boiler ensures you can brew without waiting between shots. The water gets heated up immediately.
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Saeco Intelia Pros and Cons
- Saeco Intelia is a great machine but like many automatic machines has a weakness, oily coffee beans. Avoid at any cost oily beans, or you will hate your machine.
- You have to remove a plastic shield in the grinder for the machine to operate properly. Not entirely sure what is the purpose of that piece, but even Philips recommends to remove it.
- People complain about cappuccinos being not hot enough. In my experience that can be fixed by cleaning the frother.
- Consistent espresso shots even for beginners
- Easy to clean, with an easy to remove brewing group. This is amazing for machine like Intelia.
- Automatic descaling program and auto-cleaning feature.
- Small footprint, it doesn't take a lot of counter space.
- Cappuccino greatness without the guess work
- Very easy to operate in every sense
- Designed to pull great shots, not just average
- Silent grinder, compared to most in its class
Saeco Philips Intelia HD8753/87 feels like a professional espresso machine. All the features of the Intelia make it very easy to customize your shot, and tweak it to perfection. Don't use it as an office espresso machine, because it will eventually die. It's just not meant for such a volume.