In a Nutshell:

The Saeco PicoBaristo Super-Automatic Espresso Machine has good bones, but it has a couple of serious flaws and limitations you need to be aware of before spending money.
Recommended for: Although it earned a decent overall rating, we can only give this machine a provisional recommendation. There are better values for the money easily available.

Brew Quality
Reservoir Size
Customization options
Ease of Use

Overall Rating



  • User-Friendly
  • Coffee Variety
  • Stylish Design
  • Ceramic Grinder


  • Plastic Construction
  • Quality Issues
  • Dated LED Technology
  • Relatively Expensive
Saeco PicoBaristo Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

Recommended For: Although it earned a decent overall rating, we can only give this machine a provisional recommendation. There are better values for the money easily available.

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Do you have an expensive coffee habit? Are you in the market for a high-quality espresso maker that will allow you to make all of your favorite coffee drinks from home without having to bother waiting in line or risking someone getting your order wrong?

If you answered yes to either of the questions above, we urge you to read this – our Saeco Picobaristo review.

We’ll be the first to admit that this model has exceptionally good bones, but it’s also got a few problems and shortcomings. And depending on your wants, needs, and desires, those might be deal-breaking issues.

Given that this is a relatively expensive machine, you want to know everything about it before you spend money so you can be sure it’s the “right” machine for you.

In the sections that follow, we’ll step you through everything the Saeco Picobaristo super automatic espresso machine has to offer, and we won’t pull any punches when it comes to describing those aforementioned shortcomings. That way, you’ll have everything you need to make an informed decision.

Sound good? If so, read on, and let’s take a closer look.

An Overview of the Saeco Picobaristo HD8927 Espresso Machine

Piano black Saeco Picobaristo HD8927 with a glass filled with coffee under its spigot

If you decide you want a Saeco Picobaristo HD8927, you’ll be pleased to know that you can order yours in either piano black or stainless steel. Whichever option you choose, it will make a handsome addition to your kitchen.

Simply put, it’s a great-looking appliance. Saeco does a fabulous job blending form with function, and this model is no exception.

This model measures 8.5” W x 16.9” D x 13” H and weighs in at 15.9 pounds. These Saeco PicoBaristo dimensions mark the Saeco HD8927 as being a fairly compact model. So even if you don’t have much in the way of counter space, you should have no major problem finding a permanent home for it. 

If space is at such a premium at your house that you can’t find sufficient counter space to give it a permanent home, it’s light enough that moving it about as needed won’t be a problem either. 

At 13” high, most folks won’t have any problems storing the unit under their cabinetry. But be aware that both the water reservoir and the bean hopper are accessed via the top of the unit, so you’ll probably need to pull the machine out anytime you need to refill the water tank or add beans to the hopper.

One thing to draw your attention to where this model is concerned is that it uses significantly more plastic than the company’s more expensive models. Yes, you’ll find stainless steel on the front face of the machine and more on the doors on the top (water tank access and bean hopper).

You’ll also find some stainless steel accents, but the side walls are plastic.

While that’s a plus in terms of keeping the total weight down, it does make the unit feel somewhat lower quality than their top-end models. 

It should also be noted that this model has had a relatively higher number of complaints from users regarding leaks. And while we don’t have any direct evidence that this is tied to the use of less expensive materials, it is certainly a plausible explanation.

Reservoir Size

Top-loading water reservoir of Saeco Picobaristo Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

Anytime we see a new machine, the first thing we want to know is whether or not it’s capable of supporting a dedicated water line because we drink LOTS of coffee. This model doesn’t, but that’s not really much of a surprise because only a handful of high-end machines on the market today do.

The second thing we want to know is – okay, so if we can’t run a dedicated water line to it, how much water does the tank hold?

In this case, the answer is 61 ounces which isn’t best in class but also isn’t bad. As we mentioned a moment ago though, the tank is top-loading. So if you’re stashing the Philips Saeco Picobaristo under your cabinets, you’ll probably need to scoot it out to remove the tank and fill it up.

The cool thing about most of the models Saeco offers these days is that they utilize a special “AquaClean” filtration system, which dramatically reduces the time you’ll have to spend on descaling. Less maintenance for you equals fewer headaches, and that’s a very good thing. 

Sure, sure, you’ll eventually have to replace the filter, and over time, that will increase your total cost of ownership. But the ability to go 5000 cups between descaling is huge, and most people will happily spend a little extra on filters to save time on maintenance. That’s what you’re getting here.

Awesome Grinder/Average-Sized Bean Hopper

Ceramic grinder of Philips Saeco Picobaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine

In our view, the grinder is one of the best features of this model. And some of the other Saeco Picobaristo HD8927 reviews we’ve seen online don’t give this model enough credit on the grinder front in our view, so we wanted to be sure to sing its praises here.

Not only does this grinder offer you an impressive ten settings, but the grinder itself is ceramic rather than stainless steel. That matters because stainless steel burrs tend to heat up when the grinder is in use. This can lead to burnt beans which, as you might expect, will completely ruin the flavor of whatever drink you’re trying to make.

The top-loading bean hopper has a capacity of 8.8 ounceswhich isn’t as large as we’d like but also isn’t bad. Also, note that there’s a bypass chute that allows you to use pre-ground coffee if you’d prefer.

One thing to mention here is that the Philips Picobaristo doesn’t do well with oily beans. For best results, you’ll want to use a nice medium roast.

This isn’t something that’s specific to this model but is a general warning we like to weave into all of our superautomatic reviews. Oily beans will inevitably shorten the life of the grinder motor, which is going to be expensive to repair.

The Boiler System

The Pico Baristo HD8927 utilizes a single Quick Heat boiler. The boiler is crafted from aluminum and stainless steel and is designed to minimize your wait time by reaching optimal temp quickly. The boiler used here isn’t quite up to the level as the boiler tech used on some of the company’s more expensive machines, but that’s not entirely unexpected.

Although this isn’t a cheap machine by any means, it’s significantly less expensive than some of the other models Saeco is currently offering. And cutting a few corners where the boiler is concerned is one way to shave some money off of the sale price.

Telescoping Coffee Spigot

As is the case with most of the espresso machines on the market today, the spigot of the Philips Saeco Pico Baristo is telescopingwith a minimum height of 3” and a maximum height of 6”. That’s a good, versatile range. While it may not accommodate your super jumbo-sized coffee cup, you should be able to fit just about anything else under the spigot.

The Brew Unit and Control System

Frothing container filled with milk on the left side and glass filled with coffee under the spigot of Saeco Pico Baristo Espresso Machine

There’s not much to say about the brew unit of the Pico Baristo coffee machine except that it is accessible via the side panel of the machine.

Simply open it up and slide the brew unit out when you need to give it a good cleaning.

This unit has plastic housing and is not dishwasher safe. So when you need to clean it, you’ll need to do so manually. It doesn’t take a ton of time, though, but it is one of those necessary bits of maintenance you’ll have to perform on a regular basis.

As to the control system, it is a fairly simple LED display, which is well-designed but a bit underwhelming.

More expensive models feature full-color LCD screens, often with touch screen menus. This model’s control system feels a bit primitive by comparison, but the upshot here is that it is incredibly easy to navigate and master.

This unit is capable of delivering a number of different coffee drinks, plus frothed milk and hot water.

Some of the drink options are available via one-touch convenience thanks to buttons on the front face of the machine, while the milk/water and some of the other drink options can only be accessed by going into the “Special Drinks” menu and navigating to the option you want.

We’re not overly fond of this approach as it requires different navigation depending on what you want to make/drink. Our preference would be one-touch convenience for every drink, but this would require either more buttons or an upgrade to an LCD touchscreen – both of which would increase the total price of the unit.

The One-Touch drink options available are:

  • Espresso
  • Espresso Lungo
  • Cappuccino
  • Caffe Crema
  • And Latte Macchiato

The drink options you’ve got that are embedded deeper inside the menu system are:

  • Ristretto
  • Espresso Double
  • Baby Cappuccino
  • Flat White
  • Plus Milk Froth
  • And Hot Water

Given the price of the machine, this is about an average number of choices. It’s pretty easy to find models that offer more drink options, but almost all of them will cost you at least a little more. 

Unfortunately, given the way that the Saeco Philips Picobaristo handles drink options (some via buttons and others embedded in the menu system), at first glance, this machine may seem outright disappointing with very few options on offer. It is only a deeper investigation that reveals the truth of the matter.

Despite the limitations described above, we do like the fact that the drinks on offer via one-touch are highly customizable because each of the buttons is programmable, so you can adjust the amount of water, milk (for milk-based drinks), and coffee beans used to create the perfect drink for you.

In fact, where coffee strength is concerned, you can select from five different options – with 1 producing the weakest drink and 5 producing the strongest.

It’s also worth mentioning that the control system is very intuitive and easy to master. The machine is pretty smart.

So if, for example, you’ve got an access panel partially open or if you didn’t insert the drip tray back into the unit completely, it’s going to be able to detect those things. And you’ll get a warning on the LED display, which makes basic troubleshooting a snap.

The Milk Frothing System

Frothing container filled with milk of Saeco HD8927

In the world of milk frothing, there are two basic approaches a company can take: A steam wand, which requires a bit more practice to use well, or an integrated frothing system (an auto-frother with a carafe). This model uses the latter option, which is highly convenient from the perspective of end users.

The Saeco PicoBaristo carafe has a capacity of 16.9 ounces (half a liter). To create a milk-based drink, simply slide the carafe into position and slide the spigot out, and select the drink of your choice.

Once your drink has been made, you can initiate a quick clean option that will wash the excess milk from the spigot, which is another convenience feature that serves to decrease the total amount of time you’ll have to spend on maintenance. This brings us to our next section…

Very Easy to Use and Clean

The LED display is almost retro at this point, with most top-end machines having gravitated to LCD touch screens. As such, the menus tend to be simple and easy to navigate, so it won’t take but a few minutes to master the basics and explore the various options available.

Cleaning is likewise quick and easy. And here, the excellent user manual will be your best friend as there’s an entire section on keeping the various elements of the machine clean – along with a recommended cleaning frequency. Philips Saeco did a superb job on this front, leaving very little to chance, and we love that.

Pros & Cons of Saeco Picobaristo Super-automatic Espresso Machine

If you’ve read our Saeco Picobaristo review to this point, we think you’ll agree with our initial assessment.

This is by no means a bad machine.

It’s got very good bones, but it does have a few points of significant weakness you should be aware of before spending your hard-earned money. Here are the things we think you’ll like best:

  • It’s very easy to use, but this is kind of a two-edged sword since part of the reason it’s so easy to use is because it’s built around an LED display.
  • It can make a decent number of coffee drinks, including several of the most popular ones.
  • And it’s a stylish and attractive machine, offered by one of the big, well-respected names in the industry.

Here are the major downsides:

  • Saeco’s top-end machines use a lot of stainless steel. This design is rather expensive but features a lot of plastic in its construction.
  • The Philips Picobaristo espresso machine has had some quality issues, with a disappointing number of owners complaining of leakage issues that see coffee dripping from the brew group and onto the countertop. Bear in mind that these complaints still represent a distinct minority of owners, but this model has seen more such complaints than Saeco’s other models. 
  • And the LED technology is dated, and only about half of the drinks are available with the touch of a button. The rest are buried in the machine’s menu system.

Overall, we feel that the pros outweigh the cons by a wide margin, but the negatives associated with this model aren’t insignificant.

Other Options to Consider

If the Saeco Picobaristo fully automatic espresso machine isn’t the machine you’re looking for, here are a couple of other options you may want to consider:

Saeco Xelsis SM7684

Saeco Xelsis SM7684 Espresso Machine

Recommended For: Anyone with a serious coffee habit, looking for a convenient at-home fix – IF you can afford it.

Check Latest Price Read Detailed Review

This is a more expensive machine but well worth the extra money and one of the best models Saeco makes. It has a more capable grinder, offers more drink options, and has an updated control system and an LCD display. 

De’Longhi La Specialista

DeLonghi La Specialista Espresso Machine

Recommended For: Anyone with a serious coffee habit, looking for a convenient at-home fix. IF you can afford it.

Check Latest Price Read Detailed Review

In some ways, this is a step back in time with a vastly simplified control system and dual boilers. If you’re looking for something simple, rugged, and basic, this one is a dream that will serve you very well.

Saeco Picobaristo Review Conclusion

We wanted to love the Saeco Pico Baristo espresso machine, but we don’t. It is undeniably a good machine, but it falls short of greatness

It’s not difficult (at all) to find other models that sport sleeker, more modern control systems and offer more types of drinks on demand for the same money or less.

While we readily admit that this machine has good bones and is offered by a fantastic company, we can only give this a provisional recommendation. After reading our Saeco Picobaristo review, you might agree that it’s just too easy to find a better value for your money.

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