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Review of Siemens TK60001 Surpresso S20

(In swedish)

An automatic espresso machine.
Reviewed by Lars Tufvesson January 5, 2005. lars@bizzbook.com

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


Look and feel

Siemens TK60001 Surpresso S20 has a black body (antracit) with details in silver color.

Siemens TK60001 was the cheapest automatic espresso machine that was tested by the swedish Råd & Rön magazine in December 2004, with a recommended price of SEK 7300. The machine got the best score in the test, together with the test most expensive automatic espresso machine: Jura Impressa F50. The recommended price for Jura Impressa F50 is SEK 14000. To my knowledge, those two machines uses the same inner parts, despite being different marks. I think that Jura makes the inner parts for Siemens. From the outside, the two machines looks completely different.

Siemens TK60001 has a good look and can proudly be placed on the kitchen bench, despite giving a little plastic impression during a closer look, for instance when opening the doors at the top of the machine, and when adjusting the height of the espresso pipe. Jura Impressa F50 gives a more elegant impression, with fewer visible buttons and more metal.

Using Siemens TK60001 Surpresso S20

Time to make the first espresso. Turn on the power. Fill the water tank with water and the grinder on the other side of the machine with coffee beans. After about a minute, the machine is warmed up.

The coffee grinder was already set to an appropriate degree of grinding. That was good, because the degree of grinding is not changed that easy:

  • The degree of grinding may only be changed when the machine is grinding. That is, you need to make an espresso to be able to change the degree of grinding.
  • The new degree of grinding can not be noticed directly. The new degree of grinding will be noticed first at cup number two or three.

Because of the above, I can not fully agree with the sales brochure statements that:

  1. The grinder is very easy to use.
  2. The newly brewn espresso is made with newly ground beans.

The machine was set for a normal esprsso:

  • The function chooser was set to ”espresso brewing”.
  • The dial for amount of fluid was set to "normal espresso size".
  • The dial for amount of espresso/coffee powder was set to "normal".

The first time the automatic espresso machine is used, the pipes must be filled with water. This happens the first time the cafe button is pressed.

The next time the cafe button is pressed brews the first cup of espresso. When the espresso machine has not been used for a long time, you should not drink the first cup of espresso that is produced. We made a new cup of espresso with an additional press on the cafe button.

The espresso machine is not completely silent. It emits several signs of life for every cup of espresso that should be produced:

  • You can hear how the beans are grounded.
  • You can hear how the pump increases the pressure to be able to press the water through the espresso/coffee powder.
  • You can hear how the espresso pours down in the cup.
  • You can hear and see how steam and preassure is released from the machine afterwards.

How does the espresso taste? It tastes good. Nothing to complain about. ...and there is crema at the top too, exactly as it should be.

An espresso made by Siemens TK60001 Surpresso S20.

The same espresso from above.

Caffe latte and milk frothing

To test how good the machine was at frothing milk, we decided to do our first caffe latte. Note that there were no instructions about how to create different espresso drinks delivered with the machine. Fortunately, I had a book about espresso drinks in my bookshelf.

According to the book, you need 0.2 liters of milk and a normal espresso to do a caffe latte. We started with frothing and warming the milk, because the milk will keep the temperature longer than the espresso, since the amount of  milk is greater than the amount of espresso.

We moved the function selector to "steam", and after a couple of seconds we had steam from the steamer instead of water. We put the steamer in the milk cup to have the steam go into the milk about 10 millimeters below the surface. We rotated the milk in the cup to have the milk heated evenly. The volume of the milk increased as the number of bubbles increased.

After a while the milk was warm enough. (The bubbles was maybe too big. I will try to create smaller bubbles next time. Remember, this was the first time I used the machine.)

We turned off the steam, removed the milk cup and cleaned the steamer by switching the function selector to "hot water" for a short while. This flushes hot water through the steamer. The milk was poured into the pre-warmed serving cup. With the help of a spoon you can get just as many milk bubbles as you want.

Time to brew the espresso. Even though the height of the pipes where the espresso comes out can be adjusted, it was not possible to fit the high caffe latte cup below the pipes. We had to let the espresso pour down into a smaller cup, to be able to get it into the the caffe latte cup later.

With water and beans in the machine, with the function selector set for "espresso brewing", with the dial for amount of fluid set to a normal espresso and the dial for amount of espresso/coffee powder set to normal, we only had to push the cafe button.

After a while, the espresso machine produced the espresso.

We poured the espresso in the caffe latte cup with the frothed and heated milk in, to get our belonged caffe latte.

What about the result? We were pleased. Already our first caffe latte made with our new espresso machine got a "well done" verdict.

Our first home-made latte.

  • A nice visual impression and a good taste.
  • If we should complain on anything it has to be on ourselves: We expected more coffee taste in our latte. We will try to adjust that for our next try. The bubbles can also be improved: I will try to make them smaller the next time.

Cleaning and maintenance

The automatic espresso machine cleans itself to a certain extent. There are some cleaning and maintenance that you have to help with, though:

  • After each time you have frothed milk, you have to turn the function selector to "hot water" to pour hot water through the steamer for a short while, to get out any remaining milk.
  • Each day you have to dismantle the steamer and clean the parts.
  • Each day you should replace the water in the water tank.
  • Each day you should empty and clean the coffe dregs tray and the tray for waste water.
  • When the machine after an unknown number of espresso brewings indicates that its time to run the cleaning programme, you have to turn on the cleaning programme and add a cleaning tablet that came with the machine when the machine tells you so. I hope that it takes a long time before the cleaning programme has to be run, because only two cleaning tablets came with the machine. After those, you have to order new ones from Siemens.
  • When the machine after an unknown number of espresso brewings (the number partly depends on the water hardness on the place where you live) indicates that it is time to run the descaling programme, you have to start the descaling programme and fill the water tank with half a liter of water and descaling mixture that came with the machine. Also here, you have to order more descaling mixture from Siemens after a while.

Part four:

Comparison and conclusion: How good is Siemens TK60001 Surpresso S20 compared to other espresso machines?


Copyright © 2005 Lars Tufvesson. All rights reserved.