Sage has already brought out a popular barista machine. Their Sage Barista Express is so loved that you will find it in many coffee connoisseurs homes! So, with such a well loved machine in many homes already, what could the Pro possibly offer us?
Although the Express was a great machine, there were some kinks in the armour that Sage wanted to iron out. For one, their new heating system is supposed to operate at a higher temperature causing the milk and espresso to cook faster. This should be music to the ears of any morning espresso drinker.
The design is also meant to be more user friendly, allowing easy-to-control settings so you can create a pre-set coffee program that fits your tastes.
Lastly, the new design is meant to be perfect for speciality coffee drinkers, for example, latte and cappuccino lovers. The milk frothing system is meant to create a smooth and refined milk with light foam no matter what milk type you use; cows or plants.
This has been Sage’s design for the Barista Pro. Today we are going to examine if their objective has become a reality.
Unboxing And Setup
Some companies have the best equipment but the worst setup guide. Because of this we cannot ignore how important these instructions can be!
Taking the machine out of the box, you can see that everything was packed tightly for protection. It was easy to remove from the box, and we found no dents or chips against the metal coating.
The Saga Barista Pro is beautifully crafted with a stunning design, but the pictures alone should tell you that.
Inside the box you will also find a number of accessories. We will give the full list below, but for now, we want to focus on the four walled filter baskets.There are two ways to define the bags, which is great for those of us who organise our coffee differently.
The first way is through the coffee size, meaning 1 cup, 2 cups etc. The second way is through pre ground and whole beans.You can set your filters up easily as each type is clearly labeled.
In total, it took about 15 minutes to set the Sage Barista Pro up.
Total Accessories And Features
For a complete list, these are the accessories you would receive in your purchase:
- 2 Liter Water Tank.
- 3 Second Ready Time.
- 9 Bar Shot Pressure (there are 15 bar pumps in total).
- Adjustable PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) to give temperature stability.
- Automatic Pre-Infusion
- Cup Warmer
- Easy Cleaning Cycles Through an LCD Screen
- Easy Temperature Control Through an LCD Screen
- Fast Shots
- Fast Steam Time
- Hot Water Spout Specifically For Americanos
- Removable Drip Tray
- Integrated Grinder With 30 Settings
- Milk Jug
- Cleaning Kit
Although a lot of the pro’s features have been adapted and improved, the 30 settings on the grinder are what has caught our attention. This is perfect for coffee lovers who use different types of coffee beans and recognise that they do best in other brewing conditions. In the settings, you can also make the machine grind to a specific amount, thereby always giving you the correct amount of ground coffee for the day.
As long as you keep topping up the grinder, there will always be ground coffee ready for you. All of this is done through an easy-to-use LCD screen. The symbols are clearly explained in the manual, and the buttons are easy to use.
Ease Of Use
One of the best points of ease is how the grinder drops the coffee directly into the portafilter. To some, this might be too automated as they may want to see how much ground coffee has been added and adjust it to fit their taste. Luckily the system doesn’t lock the portafilter in place, so you can look at the mound and add more coffee if desired.
Once the coffee has been tamped to your liking, you can start making the espresso. The Sage Barista Pro gives you two options, you can either press and release the 1 or 2 cups you have prepared, or you press and hold down for infusion.
When you press and release, the coffee will brew at a time and temperature that you have pre-set into the machine.
When you press and hold, the infusion will last for as long as you hold.
This gives you more control over your coffee. Again setting up the press and release function is super easy and well explained in the manual. You use the LCD screen to create the accuracy you need.
We would like to say that after one go, we managed to create the perfect settings for our coffee beans and espressos, but in reality, it took about 3 or 4 tries to match the coffee to our tastes. That being said, these didn’t take hours to complete, and it was fun to mess around with the settings.
The Pro programming is designed to continue the high standard of Sage espresso machines while also giving more choice and freedom. However, that doesn’t mean that unskilled coffee makers will be lost with the equipment.
For example, the microfoam milk texture can be created freehand or with help. The manual comes with instructions to help those just starting out, but professionals will be pleased to learn that the nozzle doesn’t contain limiting features for easy but basic foam.
The nozzle is a simple high-pressure, high-temperature wand that you would expect to find in a coffee shop. It creates smooth milk and delicate foam.
Ease Of Maintenance
Something we were really excited about was the “dry puck” feature in the Sage Barista Pro. This feature automatically removes the natural excess water that would surround the ground coffee in its filter basket. Once removed, you simply turn the basket upside down for a satisfying whole coffee puck to be released.
This makes cleaning so much easier than a wet coffee puck would create.
Cleaning the steaming wand is also easy, as the machine is designed for a quick wipe.
After creating a latte, it took less than 5 minutes to clean up the machine.
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Comparing Sage Barista Pro with Other Sage Products
Because Sage created amazing coffee machines, one positive review compared to the next could be confusing for someone trying to figure out the difference.
Although one is far cheaper than the other, we wanted to show you a direct comparison.
The speed of a steamer matters; you don’t want your shot of coffee waiting, getting cold and becoming stagnant as you wish for the steamer to heat up the milk faster.
Even if you steam the milk first, the time it takes to make the coffee can put you off creating one.
To clean the Pro, you simply need to be aware of the “dry puck” feature for the ground and used coffee, and then use the LCD screen to activate the cleaning. The machine does it for you.
Compared to the Barista Express, they have a series of buttons you need to press to activate the cleaning, which opens up a lot of avenues for you to mess up. Press the buttons in the wrong order, and you might set up a max shot instead of cleaning mode.
The Pro’s grinding settings are immense. It offers you 30 settings to choose from to give you ultimate control over your beans. To novices, this might sound a little intense and can lead you to the road of confusion. For many people, the grind of the coffee doesn’t need to be so precise.
If we compare those 30 settings to the Express’ 18, you might find the reduction more understandable.
The Pro, in this aspect, is more professional. It allows you to discover new avenues to explore your coffee and can help you create the perfect brew. If you aren’t this intense about coffee, though, it might seem unnecessary.
We aren’t measuring decibels for this, as they both process the same volume of noise. Instead, we are looking at which creates the most noise per action. The Express will cause a series of groans and clicks when you are using the steamer and again when the machine needs to cool down.
The Pro, on the other hand, is almost silent during these processes, which means making early morning coffee for your sleeping partner, won’t wake them up.
Pros And Cons
With everything considered, it’s time to look at the Sage Barista Pro’s pros and cons.
- Smooth Wand
- Dry Puck
- 30 Grinding Settings (including fine)
- Water Tank Needs Multiple Cleans To Remove Plastic Taste
Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API