Whether you are a domestic goddess, work at home or can't wait to get home after a long day at the office, I can report that, I for one, seek out a little treat here and there during the day. It's a reward. And, it's most likely going to be a short or a tall cup of good coffee - and could well be a quick shot of espresso.
Funny thing is - over the span of 25+ years, I never drank coffee. Maybe here and there in a restaurant, sure. Never every day. Since my husband retired from a work injury nearly 3 years ago, little by little I joined him for a cup of coffee. Now, I'm up to 2 cups a day, one of which may be a shot of espresso or a capuccino, one of our favorite food groups!
He or I would go out to get the afternoon shot of espresso, so when the nice people at Philips Saeco asked if I would be interested in reviewing the Philips Saeco Syntia espresso machine, I felt it was a natural fit into our lifestyle-and hopefully into the kitchen countertop, which I was quite curious about.
Owning your own personal espresso machine is an enhancement to your lifestyle, I can definitely say that. The Philips Saeco Syntia has rapid steam, a quiet grinder, an easy-clean system, large capacity 40-oz water tank and so many other cool and highly technological but easy to use features. It has an understated beautiful design and is quite compact.
Which brings me to the larger issue of finding room on the countertop for an espresso maker. Here are some tips:
1. How often is the espresso maker used? If daily or several times per week, it deserves easy access.
2. Consider a coffee station in the kitchen. A spot where cups and mugs are stored, one or more coffee makers, utensils, other coffee accessories, teas and more.
3. Mugs and cups - Begin a collection. Half the enjoyment of drinking coffee is to drink from a beautiful cup. Select the proper cup according to your mood! Display your cups too!
4. The coffee station can live in a kitchen armoire that looks like a piece of furniture, such as a breakfront, with retractable doors, serving as a gracious spot to easily prepare a favorite beverage.
5. Scan the countertops - In a small kitchen where space for a coffee station is often not available, check to make sure that over time the countertop has not adopted other small appliances or decorative objects that are not being used. Declutter, scan, rearrange, and chances are a spot can be found for the espresso maker.
5. The compact size of the Philips Saeco Syntia espresso maker can fit easily within the typical backsplash height, a critical issue when shopping for espresso makers if it will live on the countertop, but be sure to check your backsplash height before purchase.
6. Besides its size, is it a good looking piece of equipment? If small appliances are going to live on my countertop, I am fine with that, but it is also important that they have a look of quality. Is that true for you too?
7. Simple lines without an abundance of dials, knobs and other projecting parts will add far less "visual clutter" and will appear more elegant and more visually quiet on the countertop.
8. Alternatively, the espresso maker can have a home just below the countertop in a cabinet with a roll out shelf, or on an upper open shelf, if use is somewhat less frequent.
I have experienced nothing annoying or bothersome about this machine at all and I love the glossy black finish. It's not immediately intuitive - you have to sit down and read the manual or the quick start guide (who doesn't love a quick start guide?) It has both text and simple pictures to get you going, which I appreciated and needed.
It's great to have lots of wonderful features in your espresso maker of choice, but first, take a look at how you can best integrate this new treasured appliance into your existing space. Check features, dimensions, style and you will find the perfect spot.