Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti 2017 Review – Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the perfect super automatic espresso machine may not be easy as you think.

There are several factors to be considered when choosing the right espresso machine.

When shopping for the perfects super automatic espresso machine in 2017, the things I look for are consistency, components, features, options, and boiler system.

  1. Consistency: Nowadays, with a push of a button you can be served with a shot of espresso within minutes. However, it is important to choose a machine that will consistently deliver the best results.
  2. Components, features, and options: Having all the fancy gadgets on the machine and vital components is a must for the perfect super automatic espresso machine of 2017.
  3. Boiler System: When looking for a fully automatic espresso machine, it is vital that you figure out what kind of boiler system is suitable for your needs. There are two boiler systems to choose from: a dual heating system or a single heating system.

Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti HD8966/47 Review (November, 2017)

Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti 2017 Review

ManufacturerWeightColorModel NumberPrice
Phillips Saeco34 poundsStainless Steel, SilverHD8966/47 Check Price

 

Pros

  • Variety of 18 different delicious drinks
  • Perfect froth thanks to the dual chamber milk carafe
  • Thermo-speed boiler
  • 100% ceramic grinder
  • 6 settings of coffee intensity
  • Adjustable grinders
  • Easy to clean
  • Dishwasher-safe parts
  • Auto-clean and descaling feature

Cons

  • Price
  • Maintenance Regimen

1. Design and Fancy Features

Design Features of the Philips Saeco GranBaristo

With a futuristic, yet elegant design, the Philips Saeco GranBaristo requires very minimal skill from its owner.  From a design perspective, the GranBaristo has a sleek and a rectangular profile that truly looks spectacular on the kitchen counter. Though the Philips Saeco GranBaristo is quite narrow, it sure has some depth to it (19 inches long). Little details, like the rounded corners highlighted in chrome, allows you to make the best impression on your guests. Moreover, the brushed stainless steel casing appeals to modern taste.

The control panel, with its blinking lights, buttons, and an LCD screen, allows this espresso machine to be controlled with its own mobile app. That’s right, the Saeco GranBaristo has Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to make your espressos while you are still in your bed! Just download the app.

The GranBaristo also features a cup warming surface which works surprisingly well!
Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti 2017 Review
Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti: Display

Moving on, below the control panel is a block-shaped spout designed for dispensing brewed coffee. The dispenser on the HD8966/47 model Saeco GranBaristo can be adjusted to the desired degree in order to accommodate a range of cup and glass sizes. To the left of the spout is a square receptacle for accepting one of the two steam-powered attachments at a time (a water spout for hot water and a milk carafe for creating frothed product). The removable drip tray on the GranBaristo has a mechanical float inside the tray, colored red, that will move upward when the drip tray is full. Which in my opinion is a fantastic feature when it comes time to clean.

Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti 2017 Review
Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti: Coffee Beans

The removable water tank, a bean hopper, and an area for adding pre-ground coffee are all located at the top of the machine. The water tank is fairly large while the bean hopper is a complete convenience in the sense of usability. Moreover, the 9.3-ounce bean hopper can easily be filled up with beans and later if you change your mind you can just simply slide it to unlock and then pull it out. Underneath the bean hopper is an adjustable grind setting, which allows you to customize your espresso even more. The area for adding pre-ground coffee is also a fantastic feature for those who aren’t fan of coffee beans (who wouldn’t be a fan of coffee beans?)

Don’t forget to install the bundled water filter in the water tank, though not mandatory.

Steam

The Saeco GranBaristo HD8966/47 features an elegant carafe, allowing you to create that one-touch brew in no time. The carafe has the capacity to hold up to 500ml of milk, which can easily be removed and stored in the fridge for tomorrow morning’s cup. Though you can choose the amount of milk in each milk, you are limited to the preprogrammed foam of each drink. In other words, the GranBaristo Avanti is missing the ability to customize the milk temperature and frothiness.

Choice of Drinks

When it comes to choice, we all want an abundance of options. Well, with the Gran Baristo Avanti, you can choose from the traditional espresso shot styles such as short “ristretto” and long “lungo” pulls along with various permutations of black coffee. The Avanti offers regular coffee, double strength coffee, Americanos, and something called “energy coffee.” The “energy coffee” had some sort of an impact on me. It tasted very similar to an Americano, except it was much more potent than a regular Americano, fortified with extra hits of espresso.

Thanks to the GranBaristo’s milk carafe and frother features, you can make your favorites such as cappuccinos, flat whites, espresso macchiato, and lattes in no time.

Control Panel

Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti 2017 Review
Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti: Display

On the left side of the control panel, you will find keys for major types of black coffee beverages such as “espresso lungo,” “espresso,” “coffee,” and “Americano.” On the right side of the control panel, you will find keys for milk-based beverages such as “espresso macchiato,” “cappuccino,” “latte macchiato,” and your favorite, “frothed milk.” There are also simple buttons for navigating the menu on the GranBaristo Avanti.

 

2. The Mobile App – Best Bluetooth Espresso Machine

Bluetooth and the App

The Gran Baristo Avanti HD8966/47 is Bluetooth capable! What does this mean? This means that you can make coffee with your mobile phone! The GranBaristo features its own app on android and apple devices. On the app, you’ll promptly find a list of recently brewed drinks which makes life so easy! The app allows you to choose from every type of coffee drink that you may desire from the Avanti HD8966/47. I can tweak several factors to tailor my desired beverage with just a few buttons. I can choose the “Aroma,” the “Temperature,” and “taste” of my desired beverage. With just a click of a button, the machine will begin to brew my drink!

Remember, this is a high-end espresso machine with high-end features!

3. Performance and Taste

What’s it all about?

Incredible. Just, wow. I love the consistency that this machine brings. It seemed as if my coffee drinks just kept tasting better every time I sampled one. It is amazing how the GranBaristo Avanti is able to pull so much rich, intense coffee flavor from inexpensive coffee beans. The pleasant taste lingered in my mouth for a good few minutes.

It’s incredible how the GranBaristo pulled a great level of performance even with the lightly roasted beans.

Lightly roasted beans are a challenge for most coffee makers to brew properly as their flavor is tough to extract.

The impressive part about this machine is that it validates the label on coffee bean bags. When using the Quills Blacksmith Espresso Blend, I was able to taste all the highfalutin flavor notes listed on the coffee bean bag. As noted before, the crema was extremely nice and thick. Oh, and the cappuccinos… Just incredible!

Incredible Performance from a home appliance espresso machine

4. Maintenance

The Philips Saeco GranBaristo HD8966/47 Avanti: Requires Maintenance?

Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti 2017 Review
Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti: Menu

In short, yes! It actually requires a lot of maintenance. This may be its weakness. Though making great tasting coffee beverages is an ease, maintenance department requires some effort.

According to the manual on the GranBariso HD8966/47, it is recommended that you empty its spend coffee container, drip trays, along with rinsing and refilling the water tank and purging the water filter on a daily. You’ll also need to perform a daily flush of the milk carafe’s flexible suction tube with water and by hand. Moreover, you will have to disassemble the milk carafe (six parts in all) and clean in lukewarm water once a week. Don’t worry, just drop those milk carafe parts in the dishwater along with your dishes. You will also have to clean the bean hoppers and brewing assembly free of coffee bits with a supplied brush by Philips Saeco.

In addition to the basic maintenance, you will be required each month to perform a coffee oil clean of the brew group, using the proprietary tablets (sold separately for $15 in two-pack).

 

5. Conclusion

Lets Wrap it Up!

The Philips Saeco GranBaristo HD8966/47 Avanti surpassed my expectations. I was consistently experiencing superb espresso shots and tasty coffee beverages. The elegant design along with all its fancy features, the Saeco GranBaristo Avanti falls into one of my top favorite espresso machines. Not to mention the Bluetooth feature, which allows me to brew coffee with a few clicks from my phone. The app makes it super easy for me to adjust my shot temperature, volume, and strength to find that ideal espresso. Lets not forget, you can also adjust the milk amount for an extra rich latte.

The shots pulled by the Avanti are one of the thickest, most robust crema of any espresso maker I’ve used so far. However, the Avanti does have a few negative aspects to it. First off, the GranBariso Avanti has a hefty price tag for the pleasure it provides. The maintenance regimen consists of daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning that does get annoying over time. Those were the only flaws I found with this machine. 

There is no doubt that the Philips Saeco GranBaristo HD8966/47 Avanti is a top notch machine in 2017. However, considering its steep price tag as well as the maintenance regimen, I am skeptical about recommending this product to all my readers. Unless you are fully onboard with its maintenance and don’t mind the price tag, this machine is perfect. Every sip I took from all the coffee beverages, which I made with the Saeco GranBaristo, was consistently delicious. I love this machine, but it’s a bit expensive. Defiantly on my wish list. If you do not think that the GranBaristo is for you, you might be interested in checking out the list of the best espresso machines of 2017.

 

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