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The secret to making the best coffee (and it’s not what I thought)

When Saeco first approached me to ask if I wanted to collaborate with them and review their GranBaristo espresso machine, I actually politely declined.

No really.

I know people think bloggers are all “OMG! Products! Swag!” and their eyes light up with stars but for me it’s really about need vs want and at the end of the day and I already had a coffee machine that I was happy with. A perfectly good $13 purchase by the way. Which was on clearance.4

I can hear you rolling your eyes in my direction as you read that.

See, I did not understand the value of the Saeco because at that point I was like “It’s the good coffee brand that makes or breaks a cup of coffee so who cares what machine you use?” In fact I talked to my friend Dani at lifeovereasy about the Saeco because I knew she had one and she was like “Are you trying to compare a $13 coffee maker coffee to what I drink every morning?” and I said “Fine. Challenge accepted.” This was before I attended the Saeco breakfast in the City by the way and it had just arrived on our doorstep.

Off I went to prove to the world that my $13 coffee maker coffee was just as good as the one that would come out of this new wonder machine sitting on my counter. I got out my pre-ground coffee and put it into both machines at the same time and brewed up two cups.

Yes, I shamefully used preground coffee to do my first taste test. Pretend you didn’t read that.

I tried a sip out of each cup. First I tried the GranBaristo coffee. Perfection. And then I tried a sip from my $13 coffee maker. And I actually wound up spitting out the coffee into the sink. I could not even finish it.

I don’t know what I thought I had been drinking for months on end, but it was not coffee. And I am not guilty to admit that, right after all this I visited and started to gain more knowledge on the various coffee makers available in the market. 

Then I went and made a cup customized using freshly ground beans in the GranBaristo and man did I ever get a sensory overload education. I immediately went and messaged Dani and said “You win. I can’t go back. This is another dimension of beverages. Instant coffee should be taken off of store shelves and used only to help your vegetables grow. Actually it may poison them.” She got in an “I told you so” and I went back to finishing up oh three more cups.

See, the secret as I learned to making the best coffee, is not always the coffee itself, but the machine you use to make it.

Saeco Granbaristo review - northstory

Making coffee with the Saeco GranBaristo

A good espresso machine changes everything about your favourite coffee.

You can have the best coffee recipe on the planet but if your coffee maker isn’t up to par, you will never get your coffee to taste the way you want it to. It’s my theory on why people add so much stuff to coffee these days and then wind up drinking a drink that has 10% coffee and 90% syrupy everything else.

I realize that coffee aficionados may read this and be shaking their heads at me in dismay. Now I am so accustomed to being spoiled by perfect coffee and lattes every morning that I can’t believe I ever thought otherwise and would like to give myself a virtual eye roll when I re-read this post.

The Saeco Granbaristo let’s you customize your coffee right down to the coffee length, strength and aroma level. They have ceramic grinders which give a consistent grind without overheating the coffee bean. All of these “little” things can make or break your cup. And if you have a friend who likes their coffee a little less strong, ask them before you make them a cup of your “Extra strong” (true story).

Saeco GranBaristo

The Saeco GranBaristo

In many ways I turned out to be the perfect person to review a Saeco Granbaristo because I never would have thought it would be the machine, not necessarily the coffee itself, that makes a difference. And I also learned I am far more of a Cappuccino person than I am a Latte person.

Still no pumpkin spice though. But we won’t go there with this post.


 Disclosure: I was generously provided a Saeco GranBaristo to review for this post. As always, opinions and photos are my own. 


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  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Love Saeco! When friends upgraded to a built in coffee machine, we were able to buy their old Saeco Giro from them. I didn’t think it would change the way I look at coffee, but it did! It tastes so much better than my old drip machine. We’ve had the Saeco for 4 years now and can’t imagine a morning without it!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Oh I LOVE mine too…I had no idea that what I’ve been drinking all these years wasn’t actually good coffee until I met my Saeco!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Of course you know I’m jealous of you. But I stand with you on the no Pumpkin Spice thing.

    I prefer salted caramel! 😉

  • Reply
    October 1, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Sh*t, I’m sold.

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