Though built with precision, Saeco was born out of chance. In 1981, Sergio Zapella, an Italian businessman, had a simple yet ground-breaking idea: authentic Italian coffee machines that can automatically brew the finest coffee right in your home.
However, he needed someone that could make this idea a reality. That’s when he found Arthur Schmed, a Swiss engineer who became the ideal business partner.
In 1985 Superautomatica came to market - the first-ever fully automatic coffee bean machine for home use. A bean to cup coffee machine had never been seen before; at the touch of a button, anyone could have a wonderfully aromatic espresso complete with a thick, fragrant “crema” on top.
This patented design has been a hallmark of the brand from its very beginning and still sets Saeco apart from competitors to this very day.
Driven by an authentic passion for the Italian tradition of espresso, Saeco continued to build on their strengths and forge new frontiers.
Its next challenge was to create a machine that could simultaneously prepare two cups of coffee.
This led to the creation of the Saeco Electronic Twin Superautomatica in 1989. With this new Saeco coffee machine, the ability to use pre-ground coffee was also born.
In 1994 the Saeco Magic line was released and soon became a household favourite.
This “Best New Product” of 1996 featured a cup warmer plate that gently preheated your cup while your coffee was brewed, ensuring it stayed hot while you savoured it.
This also caused the “crema” to linger and maintain its intense aroma till
the very last sip.
1996 saw the release of the Saeco Cappucinatore. This new device brought the magic of café speciality drinks into the homes of consumers everywhere.
With it, milk could be pulled from its container and transformed into a smooth froth with ease.
Innovation continued to be at the heart of Saeco’s brand when, in 1998, the coffee world’s first at-home digital display came to market.
Though simple, this menu was advanced for its time and gave consumers a new kind of control.
This year also saw the introduction of a pre-wetting system. Professional machines moisten coffee grounds before delivery to heighten aroma intensity and now at-home machines could too.
The new millennium brought changes in lifestyle as consumers sought out streamlined designs to suit smaller spaces, and so the Saeco coffee machine adapted.
In the Incanto, consumers could find a modern Italian coffee machine that fit with their new aesthetic.
During this period, food and coffee entered a golden age of customization and
attention to detail.
To satisfy coffee connoisseurs, the Saeco Brewing System (SBS) was developed. This precision system allowed the consumer, with a simple twist of a knob, to control and adjust the desired strength and crema density in each cup of exquisite coffee.
Touch-screen espresso machines also first came to market around this time.
The next innovation in Saeco’s journey is the Macinacaffé – a metal-free ceramic coffee grinder.
This pioneering piece of craftmanship lowered the temperature of the bean grinding process to give owners access to a higher precision grind for any type of coffee bean.
The coffee bean is a natural product of our planet that varies widely depending on its place of origin, year of harvest, and method of drying, roasting, and blending.
To deal with these variables, the Saeco Adapting System – now called Bean Maestro – was introduced.
It optimizes the grinding process to ensure the same full flavour regardless of what coffee bean is used.
In 2009 Saeco’s Syntia won Plus X Awards in both the High Quality and Ease of Use categories.
Compact and refined, it was designed with high-end stainless steel and brought leading functionality into the homeplace with its simple-to-use display.
This same year also saw the release of the Xelsis. This authentic Italian coffee machine proved to be a milestone in at-home coffee craft as it allowed families to customize their favorite drinks at the touch of a button and store their tastes within a personal profile.
One of Saeco’s most revolutionary novelties was launched in 2011. The Saeco Xelsis’ Digital ID is an automatic coffee machine that offers a slightly more personal touch.
It allows owners to activate a personal profile through a first-of-its-kind fingerprint scanner.
In 2013 a Saeco coffee machine was the first to introduce Bluetooth technology to the market with the launch of the GranBaristo Avanti.
This paved the way for consumers to design their perfect espresso directly from their mobile device.
The GranBaristo also featured Varipresso technology, allowing users to choose between one or two cups of coffee by enabling the brew unit to flex from 7 to 14 grams of coffee per dose.
2021 was another year of industry-changing innovation as Saeco became the first and, so far, only company to offer an automatic espresso machine with its own built-in WiFi modem (found in the GranAroma Deluxe and Xelsis ranges).
This pioneering technology provides an ever-improving user experience complete with new recipes and content, enhanced features, and up-to-date software that lives within its own screen and doesn’t require a second device with a mobile app.
From its first day to the present day, Saeco’s steadfast commitment to progress across design, ease of use, and coffee quality remains unchanged.
Our aesthetic has been developed with a passion to ensure that our machines can be the centerpiece of any home and serve as a functional artwork that lives in harmony with any décor or style.
As Saeco advances into tomorrow, some of yesterday’s traditions remain. The flagship Xelsis range is still manufactured at the company’s original factory in Gaggio Montano, near Bologna, Italy and certain elements are still crafted by hand.
In the surrounding area, generations of locals – having worked with or grown up near Saeco – are proud of its heritage and can rightly feel like they are part of its story.
Saeco isn’t just Made in Italy. It’s part of Italy: its people, quality, style, and way of being. Rispetto per il caffè.