Saturday, October 27, 2012

Product Review: Philips Saeco Syntia Espresso Machine

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If there's one thing The Baron doesn't care for, it's coffee. He's just not into the taste or flavor of coffee at all... but that just means there's more coffee for me to enjoy! I'm all about having my cup of coffee to start my day, an espresso drink for an afternoon pick me up and on occassion, a coffee inspired nightcap to end the night. Yes, I love my coffee/espresso and will go to great lengths to get my daily fix! As a result of my coffee addiction, I collaborated with the lovely folks of Philips Saeco to check out their Syntia Focus Automatic Espresso Machine. This is one serious piece of espresso making equipment and I immediately fell in love with it.

Years ago, I worked part-time at Starbucks as a barista. Even before my Starbucks days, I managed an espresso bar in college. I know my coffee/espresso drinks and I've worked with some hardcore machines. After I left my barista jobs, I figured getting the same quality of espresso drinks at home would be hard to do. The machines I've purchased to replicate what I used on the job fell pretty short in terms of power, speed and quality. I then resorted to purchasing my coffee/espresso drinks instead so I could continue enjoying espresso with the same expectations.

When I tried out the Syntia Focus for the first time, I was impressed. It really yielded a great quality with perfect 'crema' {or espresso foam}which is telling of a good machine. Crema is achieved when everything from the water temperature, pressure, tamping and timing is perfect and where it needs to be to put out the best espresso. Who would have thought a home espresso machine would really deliver like this?! I was hooked and I liked the product so much I taught a 'Barista Basics' class to a handful of coffee/espresso loving students.

Using the Syntia Focus Automatic Espresso Machine, I taught folks how to create the perfect cup of espresso and a myriad of espresso drinks from cappuccinos, latt├ęs, mochas, breves, mistos, etc. Needless to say, we were all pretty wired by the end of the class! Since the holidays are just around the corner, if you're looking for a great gift to give a fellow coffee/espresso lover, I highly recommend this espresso machine. But honestly, don't wait until the holidays to purchase one. This is great even for yourself so you can have fun making your favorite coffeehouse drinks and be a master barista in your own kitchen!

If you're a coffee fan like me, here's a collection of recipes that uses either brewed espresso or coffee to play with!


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