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Project Espresso – Saeco Aroma

It all started with a Philips Saeco Poemia.It is the same as the saeco aroma internally, but that didn’t get any modifications apart of replacing worn out parts in the portafilter.

After the Poemia the first Saeco Aroma arrived in a rather precarious state.

From the black Saeco Aroma the next step was getting one that didn’t get rusty all over the place from the dripping coffee.Project-espresso-10-ElGatoGuiri

An espresso machine isn’t really an espresso machine without PID nowadays so installing one seemed the next logical step. It helped a lot knowing about the exact brewing temperature. The stock temperature sensor does nothing but cuts the heating once 96°C is reached.

The problem is that although the heating element doesn’t receive any electricity, its residual heat is still warming up the water. It also doesn’t help that the boiler is a stainless steel one and doesn’t transfer heat quickly enough to the sensor on top of it. As a result we end up with a  water that is 120°C instead of the desired range of 86°C – 96°C

Installing a PID won’t really solve the shortcomings of the boiler but it gives us some feedback about the process so at least we can have an idea about what’s going on and do something about it.


  1. Remove the built in temperature sensor and apply thermal paste on its place.
  2. Cut the opening for the PID. More sensible humans just place it next to the machine in a neat box. This machine wasn’t that privileged.
  3. Although this particular supposed to work without a relay, in practice it did not.
  4. After a couple of hours of cutting, filing and placing order for a new PID with a relay everything came together. Pressure gauge and bottomless portafilter is next.