Saeco Incanto Classic HD8911/47 Review

Saeco Incanto Classic HD8911/47 Review
4.46

Editor Rating

Design:
Usability:
Taste:
Features:
Price:

User Rating

The Incanto HD8911/47 by Saeco is not your average espresso machine. It makes a really good shot of espresso at a fairly quick pace. But, it is also priced above the fold when compared to other home espresso makers.

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Fast heating
  • Large waste container
  • Automatic shut-off and stand-by
  • Quick heating
  • Sleek look

Cons

  • Small bean hopper capacity
  • Grinder tends to clog
  • Loud frother
  • Hard to descale
Specs & Features
Width:8.8 inches
Depth:18 inches
Height:13.3 inches
Weight:21 lbs
Reservoir Size:60 oz
Boiler design:Thermoblock
Boiler output:1400 watt
Warm Up: Brew Time1 minute 21 seconds
Bean hopper capacity:8.8 oz
Material:Stainless steel & Plastic
Grinder settings:5
Pre-brew aroma control:Yes
Temperature settings:3
Waste container capacity:15 servings
Automatic shut-off:Yes
Adjustable spout:Yes
Automatic Stand-by:Yes
Warranty:1 year

There have been mixed opinions about the Incanto Classic by Saeco. Some people love the taste but hate the brewing process. Others enjoy operating the machine, but cannot achieve the desired taste. So, who is to blame, the wood or the carpenter (barista/espresso machine – reference!).IncantoClassic

I’m always on the lookout for the next step in home or office espresso making. Currently, I am rocking espresso shots at home with my Rancilio Silvia M, but I agreed to take the Incanto HD8911/47 home for a brief introduction.

After brewing 18 shots, it is evident that this Philips machine harnesses the power of technology and transforms grinding, frothing & heating into fast, efficient functions. And all of it happens at the touch of a few buttons.

Let’s see if this is what your home or office needs too.

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Performance

It’s all about easy espresso making. With the Incanto Classic, you can have flavorful cups topped with expertly made foam, and you don’t have to do anything but push a button.

Thanks to state of the art grinders and high pressure, you’ll get the most out of each measure of coffee grounds. And you don’t even have to wait long for your cup because it heats water within seconds.

Taste

You know your favorite coffee beans taste best when ground to a certain level of granularity. It’s what brings out that exact aroma you love.

The Saeco Incanto Classic accommodates you with its 10 modifiable grinder settings. This is five more than most other units in this price range. Now you can make light coffees or full-bodied espressos with one machine and cater for each of your guests’ preferences.

Flavor is maximized with Saeco’s ‘Pre-Brewing Technology’, using pre-infusion cycles. Wetting the grounds first allows more flavor to come out.

If you are switching from a coffee maker to an espresso machine like the Incanto, you will feel glorified after just one cup of fresh brew.

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Design

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Add some style to your kitchen! The Classic unit lives up to its name in aesthetics and functional design.

It differs from the Intelia Focus and Deluxe in that it is mostly stainless steel, but certain components are still plastic. This sleek exterior complements any décor and even has protective layers that prevent users’ fingerprints from becoming unsightly marks.

The layout is user-friendly, with the LCD screen conveniently located at the front of the unit.

Detail:

  • Dimensions:8”(W) x 18” (D) x 13.3”(H)
  • Weight: 21lb
  • Cup clearance: Adjustable 4.5” to 6.3”
  • Water capacity: 60oz
  • Bean hopper capacity:8oz

No more moving your machine just to get to compartments at the back. The water tank and puck collector are located behind panels at the front of the machine. I love when design features make for easy and safe usage.

Inside you’ll find an aluminum boiler with a stainless steel lining. This Thermoblock boiler prevents overheating. You’ll save energy and your coffee won’t ever get scorched.

Note that there is no steam wand, but for prospective baristas who love the process of brewing an exemplary cup, a panarello attachment is included.

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Features

No matter what aspect of espresso making you love most, an Incanto Classic feature will probably relate to it:

  • Effective ceramic grinders: These ceramic parts won’t overheat and they’re less noisy than many other grinders.
  • Practical LCD screen: Large screen, showing details clearly.
  • Cup warmer: The surface on top can take about two cups at a time and is at the front of the machine for easy access.
  • Convenient milk carafe: No more struggling with frothing procedures yourself. Let the carafe do it for you. Its lid allows for pouring without splashing and if any milk is left over after your cup, simply place it in the fridge.
  • Quick heat boiler: Don’t wait for the water to warm up ever again. Your water will be hot almost immediately, and you can make large numbers of espressos directly after each other.
  • One-touch operation: With nine buttons you easily pick between drink options—espresso, cappuccino and more—or functions such as frothing. Even aroma strength can easily be managed with the control panel on the front of the machine.
  • Energy efficient mode: You can schedule your standby mode according to your habits. Pick anywhere between 15 and 180 minutes before it will shut down.
  • High pressure: The Incanto Classic provides 15 bar pressure which is far higher than 9 bar, which is necessary for optimum tasting coffee.
  • Programmable: Each button can be programmed according to your preferences, enabling one-touch brewing of your next cup.

You can see this Saeco enhances espresso making. Can you taste that first cup yet?

Ease of Use

Don’t think the high tech features require complicated procedures. Saeco ensures making the coffee is as inviting as the cup you’ll have when you’re finished.

And if you want to customize your next cup? That’s where the LCD screen comes in handy because you can view all the required settings. It’s easy to tailor make your next cup by picking between five grind strengths. Simply press the button until the level you want lights up on the screen.

Even maintenance features are accessed via this screen and if anything is wrong, you’ll be warned by the screen glowing a bright red.

Frothing is done by the milk carafe, so you don’t have to struggle to get the milk crema just right. For the perfect cappuccino, you don’t even have to move your cup, since the brew and milk are dispensed at the same point.

What if you want a simple cup of pre-ground coffee? Simply place granules in the bypass doser. And yes, the unit can give you hot water for that soothing cup of tea. This is your solution, no matter what hot drink you’re in the mood for.

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Cleaning/Maintenance

The unit is as easy to clean as it’s easy on the eye. Clean the brew group regularly—once a week, depending on usage—but because it’s removable, this is an effortless task. Simply rinse it under the tap.

The exterior’s smooth stainless steel cover only needs a wipe down. And don’t you love dishwasher proof components such as the frother/milk carafe?

One cleaning challenge is the grinder, as it can get clogged with oil over time. The other is descaling the unit. It’s more complicated than comparable units on the market, requiring you to press a sequence of buttons and exchanging the water a few times during the 30-minute process. But for exceptional coffee, it’s the least you can do, right.

Final Thoughts

It’s simple to use and the results are pretty good.  Considering that this espresso maker costs almost $1,000, it is definitely not a budget buy. But, it will also most definitely make better espresso compared to machines that cost $500 or so.

I do hope eventually all plastic parts will be replaced with more durable metal ones. This will certainly add durability to the machine. But, other than that, this is a fine espresso machine. It is absolutely capable of delivering artisan shots of espresso.

Resources:

https://www.philips.co.za/c-f/XC000004125 

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Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.

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