Saeco Incanto

Name: Incanto
Brand: Saeco
Type: Espresso
Operation: Automatic
Capacity: 1.8 litres

Saeco Incanto Super-automatic espresso machine HD8917/09
  • Elegant design. Impressive coffee quality.
  • Delicious Latte Macchiato at the touch of a button
  • Brews 6 coffee varieties
  • Integrated milk jug & frother
  • 5 step adjustable grinder

The Saeco Incanto coffee machine is a new milestone in the Saeco range of machines. You can also find it with the nomenclature HD8911, HD8914 or HD8917/Hd8921 (there are three versions of this coffee maker, as we will see later) and it is an automatic stainless steel espresso machine, with 1.8 litres of capacity, ceramic grinders and 15 bars of pressure.

NOTE: this model has been discontinued since 2019, and the manufacturer has re-labelled it as the Philips Series 5000 (the equivalent, almost identical, model today).

It is a machine that is just below the PicoBaristo in Saeco’s catalogue, and that from 2017 onwards has experienced an interesting drop in price in some of the versions that have made it one of the best-selling super-automatic coffee machines on the market. And it is not by chance, as you will see if you keep reading this review.

There are many functions and features of the Saeco Incanto, so in this analysis, we will talk in detail only about the most important ones.

Firstly, we highlight the integrated grinder that comes with the coffee maker. It has a capacity to store 250 grams of coffee beans and allows you to select between 5 positions or grinding thicknesses.

So far, the parameters are more or less common in the sector, but what we liked most is that the grinders are ceramic, not metal. Ceramic grinders have the advantage that they do not rust or wear as much as steel grinders.

They do not overheat, so we eliminate the risk of transmitting strange aromas or flavours to the coffee during grinding.

If we want to enjoy other varieties of coffee -such as decaffeinated coffee- or just feel like using pre-ground coffee, that’s not a problem either. The Saeco Incanto includes an option to be able to serve coffee powder, skip the pre-grinding, and start the preparation of the coffee at that point with the product we have poured.

Secondly, we really like the control panel and the information screen of the coffee maker. All the buttons on the Saeco Incanto (six in total, three on the right and three on the left of the central screen) have a legend and an icon that tell us precisely what each one is for.

The buttons are used to operate specific functions of the coffee maker (milk froth, hot water, etc.) while the screen is used to display the menu and move through it.

Saeco Incanto: SuperAutomatic One Touch

When preparing our coffee, we will notice that the Saeco Incanto is ready in just a few seconds. It is possible thanks to the fast heating system incorporated in its boiler. The boiler is built with a very light casing, half in stainless steel and half in aluminium, and so it manages to reach the maximum temperature at a higher speed than if it were only made of steel. Durability and speed go hand in hand in the Saeco Incanto boiler.

As you would expect from a super-automatic coffee machine, the Saeco Incanto offers a wide range of preparations and drinks that are ready at the touch of a button. In the HD8917 model, for example, we can prepare espresso, cappuccino, stained milk, coffee with milk, lattes, any variety will be ready at the moment without the need to intervene at any time. Long live the automatic coffee machines!

The personalization options are also quite extensive. We can determine the intensity (between five levels, not three as usual in other coffee makers), the quantity (or length) and the temperature of our coffee. Best of all, these parameters are not only customizable, but also memorable. Save your favourite settings in the memory of the Saeco Incanto, and make sure that all the cups will have the same qualities, without any variations, without effort.

Incanto includes the exclusive water filter system, patented by the Italian company Saeco, called AquaClean. You only have to worry about changing the Aquaclean filter on your Saeco Incanto approximately every three months. With this simple operation, Saeco guarantees that you won’t need to decalcify your coffee maker for up to two years (or 5000 cups, whichever comes first).

In our opinion, this is a quite original system that fights the always annoying process of decalcifying coffee machines that, let’s be honest, many users overlook due to forgetfulness, ignorance or laziness.

Finally, we cannot fail to mention the automatic cleaning cycles. Although the coffee maker can be easily cleaned separately (for example, the coffee group is removable, and it only takes a few seconds to take it out, put it under the tap and put it back in), it never hurts to enjoy a system that rinses and empties the internal pipes and extends the life of our coffee maker without the users having to intervene at all.

If you do not use the AquaClean water filters mentioned above, or if you exceed the recommended two-year period, the Saeco Incanto incorporates a decalcification alarm that warns you when it is time to start this process. Remember that this alarm is deactivated as long as your AquaClean filters are active (two years, or 5000 cups of coffee).

Saeco Incanto with Panarello and Capuccinatore

Most of the images in our analysis correspond to the basic Saeco Incanto model or HD8911, but there are also two superior models (HD8914 and HD8917, although this nomenclature may vary over time) which is the one that allows the automatic production of milk foam drinks – lattes, cappuccinos… That is: by pressing a single button.

With the “basicIncanto (to call it something) we can also make milk foam, but the preparations must be done by us separately: prepare the espresso, froth the milk, serve it all in the same cup and in the right proportions, etc.

There is also a third version that corresponds to the nomenclature HD8917, which also has an automatic cappuccinatore but also adds its own milk jug (in case we don’t want to take the milk directly from the brick or from one of our containers).

In summary, and taking the current references at the time of writing this review:

  • Saeco Incanto HD8911 or HD8912: With Panarello or classic skimmer.
  • Saeco Incanto HD8914: With cappuccinatore or automatic foamer.
  • Saeco Incanto HD8917 or HD8921: With cappuccinatore and also with milk tank

The HD8912 is exactly the same as the HD8911; the only difference is that it is imported from Italy and some legends and buttons are written in Italian.

For example, this is the HD8911 version: (Incanto with Panarello, or classic skimmer):

Currently, the models still in stock are the Philips Saeco HD8914 (version with Panarello or manual skimmer) and the Saeco Incanto Deluxe HD8921 (with milk tank and automatic cappuccinos). It does not mean that you cannot still find a model before these at Amazon or in some other store.

Saeco Incanto Deluxe HD8921/01

It is the most advanced and newest version of the Incanto range, at the time of writing this review. It differs from the other versions in that it has a milk tank and allows automatic cappuccino preparation at the touch of a single button.

The price of this Saeco Incanto Deluxe logically exceeds that of the basic models by far. It is just a matter of being clear about why you are paying this amount.

Saeco Incanto: Main characteristics

  • 100% stainless steel front.
  • Works at 15 bar pressure.
  • Digital control and information display.
  • 100% ceramic grinder with five grinding thicknesses.
  • We can use the coffee machine with coffee beans, or with ground coffee.
  • The capacity of the coffee bean deposit is 250 grams.
  • It is also possible to serve only hot water for our infusions.
  • We can select up to 5 levels of coffee intensity. We can also determine the length and temperature of our drink.
  • All coffee settings can be memorized.
  • Aluminium and stainless steel boiler.
  • Fully automatic capuccinatore system (only on Incanto HD8917 model).
  • Includes a professional milk frother, which works automatically when preparations are activated by pressing a single button.
  • The coffee maker has the ecological passport that certifies its energy efficiency.
  • The nozzle or coffee dispenser is height adjustable. At its highest point, it leaves room for a 15-centimetre cup or glass.
  • The coffee extraction unit can be separated from the coffee maker, cleaned separately, and replaced without any difficulty.
  • Automatic cleaning, rinsing and decalcification cycles.
  • Energy-saving function (low consumption): the coffee machine can enter into a programmable standby mode.
  • Compatibility with Saeco AquaClean filters.
  • Includes a container for residues and impurities to be emptied every 15 drinks or so.
  • The water tank is removable. It has a capacity of 1.8 litres.
  • The descaling alarm is deactivated for two years if the AquaClean filters are used.
  • Cable length: 80 centimetres.
  • Power: 1850 watts.
  • Its approximate dimensions are 21 x 43 x 33 cms.
  • It weighs 7.2 kilograms.

Advantages of Saeco Incanto

  • Compatibility with AquaClean filters, a Saeco innovation that relieves the burden of decalcification processes.
  • This coffee maker allows us to prepare any drink automatically – at the push of a button – including cappuccinos or lattes in the superior model (HD8917).
  • Spectacular digital display and large buttons. They make the operation of the machine very intuitive, even for less expert users.
  • The 100% ceramic grinders are a quality plus compared to the metal ones.
  • The possibility of selecting the intensity of the coffee between 5 different levels, and not between 3 as it is usual in other automatic coffee machines.

Disadvantages of Saeco Incanto

  • It’s hard to find a single weakness in this coffee maker. Perhaps, to say the least, its price, which is not within reach of every pocket, although it is obvious that the Saeco Incanto is worth the price.

Saeco Incanto: Videos

We offer you below a commercial video of the Saeco Incanto without milk tank, only with the Panarello or manual foamer. We guarantee that after watching the whole video, you will feel like buying this coffee maker and taking it home with you:

What? Were we right or not?

Here’s another similar video, but this time for the Executive version of the machine, specifically the HD8918 model—one of the most advanced, which does have a built-in milk tank.

Why buy a Saeco Incanto?

The Saeco Incanto is a coffee machine thought for users who look for the maximum exigency and have enough budget to face a coffee machine like this one. If you want to have all the premium features of the market and be able to enjoy any kind of drink in an automatic way -that is, pressing a button and that’s it- the Saeco Incanto is thought for you.

We recommend it if you are looking for an automatic espresso machine of the highest quality, and you are willing to pay its price.

Alternatives we can mention a few, since the offer of automatic espresso machines is enormous. Within the Saeco house, you have the always reliable and more economic Intelia, although the Incanto in our opinion is closer to the Syntia. The Intelia Evo with cappuccinatore can also be an option comparable to the protagonist of this analysis.

Outside Saeco, we recommend you to take a look at coffee machines such as the Delonghi ETAM 29.640 or the Jura Ena Micro Easy, with similar range and qualities but without the automatic system for making cappuccinos.

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