Capacity: 1.6 litres
It is difficult to single out any one of the coffee machines in the high end of the market Saeco super-automatics. Of all the classic models that are already well known (Exprelia, GranBaristo, PicoBaristo…) today we are going to talk about one that competes with great merit for the symbolic award of best coffee machine in the world. We are talking about the Saeco Xelsis.
The Xelsis, also known as the Philips Xelsis or Philips Saeco Xelsis, follows the pattern of so many other machines of its brand: the manufacturer is Philips, but the marketing brand is the Italian Saeco. This corresponds to the Saeco HD8946 or Philips HD7580 nomenclature, depending on where you look. It is important to clarify this, because even if the nomenclature changes, the machine is exactly the same. Be clear about this before you buy your Philips Xelsis online (at Amazon or elsewhere).
The Saeco Xelsis is one of the best super automatic coffee machines on the market, and within Saeco we would perhaps only place it below the GranBaristo. It is a 15 bar pressure coffee maker that allows you to make up to 9 specialities automatically, with the maximum quality and speed, but with unbeatable simplicity: you only need to press a button.
What does this achieve? Well, that anyone, even those who have no knowledge of barista, can enjoy excellent espressos and coffees at home (something that is not possible to achieve with a manual espresso machine, unless one already has a certain level of skill).
Of course… this can be done by many automatic espresso machines. And yes, it’s true. So let’s focus on the aspects that distinguish this Philips Xelsis model from the rest of the “pack“.
How about 6 user profiles to set up and memorise everyone’s favourite preparations? Or the double steam cycle to clean the steamer and milk lines twice automatically after each use?
You can also enjoy two independent boilers, allowing you to use the steamer and the brewing unit at the same time; an integrated milk tank; or an innovative back pressure adjustment system, to be able to calibrate the body-cream ratio 100% to your taste. How about it?
Do you now understand why we say that the Philips Xelsis is a top-of-the-range automatic coffee machine in its own right?
Philips Saeco Xelsis: review and comments
To begin with, as soon as we come face to face with the machine, we notice that this is not just any coffee machine. Stainless steel finishes, a huge TFT touch screen (but huge, it takes up the whole width of the machine) and full colour, ceramic grinders, an exclusive milk container… aesthetically the Philips Xelsis is a marvel.
The range of specialities that can be prepared with this Saeco Xelsis goes from the classic espressos or americanos, including other milk specialities such as latte, latte macchiato or cappuccino. Hot water can also be served for infusions, and of course each of these preparations can be customised (intensity, size, temperatures…).
It’s virtually impossible that with this coffee maker you won’t be able to brew a coffee exactly to your taste.
The integrated grinder, which is made of ceramic grinders and has a capacity of 350 grams of coffee beans, also shines at high altitude. Up to 12 different thicknesses or levels can be selected for the grinding.
We know that one of the most important factors when buying Saeco Xelsis online (or any other super automatic at this price) is the quality of the grinder, so it will more than meet your expectations.
Philips Saeco Xelsis and Saeco Xelsis Evo
As with other Saeco coffee machines, this Xelsis is available in two versions: the normal one and the advanced one, which bears the name “Evo: this is how we joined the Philips Xelsis and the Philips Xelsis Evo.
Below you can see a comparison of both machines. Naturally, the Saeco Xelsis Evo is more expensive, and the functional/performance differences are mainly two:
- Firstly, the Xelsis Evo has a bodywork with all the metallic finishes, and the normal one is made of black plastic.
- Secondly, the operation of the steamer and the milk foam preparations changes a lot. The Xelsis Evo has an integrated milk tank, as well as a panarello to manually froth the milk from an external container, if desired. The normal version does not have a milk tank or a steamer, but an automatic cappuccinator with a rubber tube that sucks the milk from any container and directs it into the coffee machine, where it is processed
Saeco Xelsis: general characteristics
NOTE: The bulk of the features in this section and the entire review refer to the Philips Saeco Xelsis Evo model.
- 15 bar pressure pump.
- Bodywork and metallic finishes.
- 1.6 litre water tank, removable.
- Integrated grinder with 350 grams capacity and 12 grinding thicknesses.
- Additional inlet for ground coffee.
- Allows for the automatic preparation of 9 different specialities.
- Hot water service.
- Two independent boilers, made of stainless steel
- 0.5 litre milk tank.
- Touch control panel.
- Automatic stand-by function.
- Full colour TFT screen.
- 6 user profiles to memorize recipes and personalized preparations.
- Drip container with capacity for 14 services or uses.
- Manual steamer or foamer.
- Customisation of aroma, intensity, sizes and temperatures.
- SBS system: you can adapt the amount of cream in each coffee to your taste.
- The height of the coffee dispenser can be adjusted, so that you can use large cups or glasses. Maximum height: 15 cms.
- Cup-warming tray located on the top of the machine.
- Automatic cleaning and decalcification cycles.
- Automatic cleaning of the milk circuit, with a double steam cycle.
- The amount of milk or milk foam can be selected for each processing.
- Designed and manufactured in Italy.
- Maximum power: 1500 watts.
- Weight: 16.1 kg.
- Dimensions: 28 x 37 x 42 cms.
- Cable length: 80 cms.
Advantages of the Saeco Xelsis
- The SBS or cream adapter system. It’s amazing that a coffee maker allows you to adjust the amount of cream or body in an espresso – this is a real automatic!
- It has many settings and options for the milk: you can regulate the amount of milk for each brew, the level of foam, the double cleaning cycle, the 0.5 litre milk tank already included…
- The screen that serves as the centre of operations is absolutely incredible: large, clear, colour, touch…
- The two independent boilers that end in one stroke with the unpleasant waiting times between making a coffee and frothing milk. With this coffee maker you can do everything at once.
Disadvantages of the Saeco Xelsis
- The water tank, 1.6 litres, is slightly below the capacity found in other coffee machines of similar ranges and prices.
- It is clear that it is a rather expensive and inaccessible coffee machine.
- It is very large and heavy. You should find a fixed and safe location for it from the beginning.
Saeco Xelsis: how it Works
There is no point in buying a Saeco Xelsis from Amazon (or any other coffee maker of this cost) without first making sure of how it works and how it behaves live. To help you in that task, here we bring you two super illustrative videos. In the first of these, we get an overview of how the Philips Xelsis is used and what its main controls are for.
If you want something more detailed, you can also see this full use demonstration in this other video:
Why buy a Saeco Xelsis?
The decision to buy a Saeco Xelsis online should always be conditioned by the budget. It is one of the most prestigious coffee machines in the world, but you must also be aware that it involves a large investment and that it is a very bulky machine.
We have already commented throughout this review what are the most outstanding virtues of the Saeco Xelsis, and what are the features that differentiate it from other “simply good” super automatic coffee makers.
We find Saeco’s SBS system revolutionary: you can regulate the cream to body ratio of your espresso. The ceramic grinder is of the highest quality, and the capacities of all the containers (water, milk, boilers) are designed to ensure that the machine can withstand many daily servings.
We recommend it only for very demanding users, who make the most of mixed preparations (cappuccinos, lattes and so on) and who need to give their coffee machine “a lot of cane”. Frankly, we think that this is not a machine to be used from time to time. You have to squeeze it and know how to take advantage of its possibilities.
If this is not your case, you should know that you can take home an automatic coffee machine for much less money and that it will give you a great service as well. Without leaving Saeco, you have the Incanto or even the Picoaristo, which are fantastic machines, or you can also choose from the medium range of Delonghi or models such as the Krups Lattespress, the Philips 4000 Series or the Siemens EQ6.