The Philips Saeco line of automated espresso makers are strong competition for the similarly high-end lines from Jura and Miele. Let's start with one of the strongest features of the Intelia Deluxe first: It heats and froths your milk (sipped through a tube from a separate carafe) at a higher temperature than it makes the coffee. That solves one of the strongest complaints heard from users of similar machines, that the milk froth is tepid, but it also prevents it from overbrewing the coffee. So bear that in mind when comparing it to other machines in the same price range, like the Miele CM6110 or the Jura Impressa F7.
Like all but a few other automated espresso makers, the Intelia Deluxe is programmed from a series of buttons surrounding an illuminated LED display. From one button you can choose between using pre-ground coffee or having the Intelia grind its own beans, and then you can set the strength for either. Another pair of buttons chooses between one or two coffees. Yet another button selects hot water or steamed milk, in case you want to make tea or cocoa. The milk frother is on the side. You can move your cup from the espresso dispenser to the frother in the order required for the drink you want to make, which is a little more fiddly than some other espresso makers in this range and above, which will layer the froth and the milk automatically, but remember that this way you get hotter froth than you'll get from those units. The spout can be raised to the height of the container you're using and there are two taps so that you can make that one or two cups, though the taps don't butterfly apart the way they do on more expensive machines.
So what other machines should you be comparing the Intelia Deluxe with? Try the Jura and Miele models mentioned above, but If you want to move up a bit, look at the Jura Impressa A9 or the Miele CM6310. And if you really want to move up there's the Jura Impressa Z9.
In 33 seconds we had the machine warmed up and ready to brew espresso. The Intelia Deluxe Cappuccino has all the improvements you'd expect from Saeco.
This espresso machine is stylish and virtually effortless. Gorgeous machine that makes truly excellent espresso and espresso drinks.
The machine will stop in the middle of a cup if it runs out of water. The water container is poorly designed because it gives you no warning If the water level is low.
The machine does all of that for you. All you have to do is dump in beans, push buttons, and get great coffee.