Meet the Saeco Vienna Plus’ Little Brother: the XSmall Vapore

saeco espresso
Espresso, coffee and milk based coffee drinks in a tiny package.

Updated January 18, 2016
Hey! What happened to the Saeco Vienna Plus?

After a successful run of about 7 years, the popular entry level super automatic has been retired. This could be sad news to many current users who like to recommend it, especially since the refurb aftermarket supply for the unit is shrinking.

But, not to worry, Saeco has introduced a replacement for the venerable Vienna.

 The Newest Saeco Espresso Maker

The X-Small Vapore, as indicated by the X-Small moniker, is smaller than the Vienna plus, though not by much.

Saeco pitches it as the smallest super automatic espresso maker on the market and it’s available at Amazon.

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Smaller size does come with a bit smaller capacity but there are some advantages that make this little guy a super automatic worth looking at.

So let’s take a look at how they compare first. Then we’ll see what you get in the newest Saeco X-Small Vapore.

What Is Similar Between the Vienna and the Vapore?

They both have brew units that are removable. The Vapore has door on the right side of the unit to allow for removal. The brew unit on the Vienna is behind a door on the front of the machine. Swing open the door on both units and you can pull the brew unit out.

The removable brew unit makes clean up a snap and it pops back in ready to go once it realigns itself in about 30 seconds.

Both machines have a panarello wand for frothing your milk and it makes the frothing process a lot easier. On the Vienna it’s located on the right hand side of the unit. On the Vapore, it’s on the left hand side of the dispenser and swings to the left for action.

Both machines also use a ceramic burr grinder. Pros agree, burr grinders give you the freshest ground coffee without the burnt taste.

What’s Different Between the Vienna and the Vapore?

Not only is the Vapore is smaller than the Vienna in physical size, it has a smaller water tank and a smaller hopper. As mentioned, the brew unit is behind the right side cover that opens to the right.

A few things missing from the Vapore to note:

  • No bypass doser
  • No cup warmer
  • No adjustable drip tray or spout

 

Without a bypass doser, you can’t use pre-ground coffee so you have to use the grinder for your beans. Not altogether a bad thing if you stick to the “grind before you brew makes a better drink” practice. But it’s inconvenient to those of us who like to occasionally use pre-ground coffee.

The non-adjustable tray and spout may be more of an issue. You aren’t able to use larger mugs or cups, so that does make the larger drink sizes a challenge. But there is a convenient workaround.

The Vapore has 2 programmable volume buttons and this is one of the times where they come in handy. You’re able to set them for 2oz or 4oz and make two servings that you can combine into a larger cup.

Now, let’s go a little more into the Vapore.

Speaking of Cups, How Many Does It Make?

It will make about 5 cups on one tank of water. The water tank is 33oz compared to the Vienna’s 57oz. You’re going to be making less coffer per hopper load as well. The hopper on the Vapore is 6.5oz vs the 12oz hopper on the Vienna.

When Can I Start My Coffee? Does It Need to Warm Up?

It does need about 30 seconds to prime the system and heat up the water. Once it’s ready, you can start making your coffee, espresso or get hot water.

If you’re going to be frothing milk, be sure to purge the wand of any collected water first. Put a cup under the wand and open the steam valve for a few seconds. Now you’re ready to go.  

Hey! Want a copy of this post that you can make notes on? I’ve made a downloadable PDF for you! Click Here to Get Your PDF

How Big Is the X-Small Vapore?

It’s smaller than the Vienna plus that it’s replacing and other regular size bean to cup machines. It’s still a relatively large machine in comparison to regular size drip coffee makers. It measures 15.2 x 16.7 x 15.3 inches so it will fit comfortably on your kitchen counter. Be aware of the 16”plus height to make sure it will fit under your cabinets.

Coupled with a smaller water tank of 33oz, the unit seems more suited to lower coffee consumption or to someone with space concerns.

Click here to find a great price now on the Saeco X-Small Vapore on Amazon

Where Is It Made?

Most Saeco espresso makers are made in the company headquarters city of Bologna, Italy, but this unit is made in Romania. In case you’re wondering, the company was purchased by Philips in 2009 hence a long name – like Philips Saeco Vienna Plus Automatic Espresso Machine – on some units.

What a mouthful…

What Kind Of Grinder Does It Have?

The Vapore has a ceramic burr grinder that has 5 grinder settings. One difference of the Vapore grinder is that you use a wrench for the settings. To adjust the grinder, there’s a small opening in the lid where you need to push down and turn the wrench to your desired setting.

With full size super automatic units you turn a setting knob to choose your grind.

What’s the Grinder Quality Like?

Some buyers have felt that the espresso made by the Vapore isn’t as good as they had hoped. But one buyer has pointed out that you need to experiment with the grind settings to find the proper espresso grind. This buyer had noted that the first four cups she had run through resulted in soggy and somewhat mushy pucks. After she had experimented with the settings, she started to get a nice firm puck and a much better tasting espresso.

So, just like any super automatic coffee machine that you buy, you do need to play around with it and experiment to get the settings the way you like them. Not much of anything ever works to your liking right out of the box.

Once set, you won’t need to tinker any more with the settings.

The dregs box is on the front right side and is controlled by the drink count (8) not the quantity of grounds. If you empty it at 6 cups it will tell you to empty again when it counts the rest of the way to 8 cups. If you’d rather reset the counter, just pull the bin out, wait 15 seconds and slide it back in.

Click here to check out the price on the Saeco X-Small Vapore on Amazon

What’s Exciting About That Vapore?

Want to avoid a common problem? Super automatics that heat the milk for you will sometimes not get it hot enough. Not an issue here. The panarello wand will make the milk as hot as you want. You won’t get the super micro foam that is so desirable, it will be sorta bubbly but it’s still good. And hot.

Here’s a tip from other buyers: After heating milk, switch over to hot water to clean out the wand. This will also help cool the machine down because it may be too hot to brew after heating the milk.

Another nice touch Saeco added is how easy it is to make a double shot. Just give a quick double press on either volume button and the Vapore will complete two grind and brew cycles for that double shot.

What Other Nice Stuff Is There?

  • More Affordable
  • Energy saving mode – the Vapore enters standby after an hour but there isn’t an auto on function. It will automatically clean out the coffee path before it goes into standby and once again when it wakes up.
  • Smallest bean to cup on the market
  • LED indicator tells you when it’s time to descale.

What Kind of Warranty Does It Have?

It has a one year warranty that’s covered by Saeco. They ask you to call first to see if they can help over the phone. Phone number and hours of operation:

  • Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST
  • Excluding Major Holidays
  • 1-800-933-7876

Where Can I Buy the Vapore?

The Vapore can be bought at specialty kitchen stores and on Amazon where you can take advantage of Amazon’s purchase protection policies, one click purchasing and free shipping.

What’s the Conclusion?

It may take a little practice on your part to get the perfect cup for you, but don’t let that be a showstopper. You’re going to have to practice a little on any machine as we’ve all got different tastes, right? You’ll be well rewarded according to reviewers.

For the price, the Vapore is a good, small and affordable bean to cup machine. As a replacement for the Vienna plus, it’s just right for those who don’t have a lot of space for one of the full size units. Buyers like the compactness of the unit and are happy with the espresso and coffee it makes.

It’s easy to clean and maintain, has a panarello wand and a quality ceramic burr grinder. This is a great machine if you’re interested in a higher quality cup of coffee or espresso and you don’t have the big bucks to plunk down for a full size super automatic.

So, if you’re ready…

Click this link to buy the Saeco X-Small Vapore at Amazon


Not quite the coffee maker you’re looking for? Have a look at my top 3 super automatics list by clicking here.




The Saeco XSmall Vapore replaced
the Vienna Plus and it’s been a
hit. Read the post for more info
and where it’s at on Amazon.

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