Dual bean hoppers make the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 a versatile coffee machine for those who want to try different beans.
- Dual bean hoppers with separate grind controls
- Excellent espresso
- Brilliant automatic milk frothing
- App slightly clunky
- Fiddly to clean milk system
- Review Price: £1999
- Bean-to-cup coffee machine
- 299 x 470 x 392mm (WDH)
- Automatic milk frothing
- 2.3l water tank
A superb level of customisation – which includes the presence of dual grinders – makes this a machine for true coffee lovers, but the fiddly app detracts slightly.
The Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 design – Quite large, but nicely designed
- A huge beast of a coffee machine, you’ll need plenty of space for this
- Dual grinders give you the choice of running two types of coffee at once
- This coffee machine looks the high-end part
As a result of its dual grinders, the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 is quite a large unit at 299 x 470 x 392mm (WDH). As such, you’ll need a fair amount of counter space to house it. Despite its size, the coffee machine looks great, with its angled front and a large colour screen that dominates.
No bean-to-cup machine is particularly quick to set up, but the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect takes this to another level. Once unboxed, it’s best to read the manual carefully to ensure you’ve removed all the tape: you’ll even find some on the inside of the machine, behind the brew unit.
That done, you can power on the machine. This involves connecting the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 to your home network, so that you can use the Siemens Home Connect app to control the coffee machine remotely.
After that, follow the instructions on the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect’s large LCD screen to add the water filter, fill the large 2.3l water tank, and run the initial cleaning cycle that flushes water through the system.
Next, you can hook up the milk carafe. It plugs neatly into the left side of the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect coffee machine. Then it’s simply a matter of filling up the bean hoppers with your choice of beans and you’re good to go.
Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 features – Plenty of customisation options to get the drink you want
- Plenty of customisation options to help you dispense drinks the way you want them
- An app helps you customise your choices, although it is clunky to use
- You can make two drinks of the same type at once
One of the most important requirements in such a coffee machine is the ability to customise what it produces. To that end, you won’t be disappointed with the EQ.9 Plus Connect S700. For starters, it has two grinders (one each for each bean hopper), so you can adjust the grind for each coffee type.
More experienced baristas will understand just how important this is, since different coffee beans and roasts require minor adjustments to the grinder to get the most out of them. This is the first time we’ve seen such a system: the Melitta Caffeo Barista TS Smart has dual bean hoppers but they both feed the same grinder, which has a single adjustment.
At its most simple, the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 lets you make coffee quickly by scrolling through the on-screen menu and choosing the drink type you want. The menu displays nice pictures to accompany each drink, toggling through them smoothly as you turn the control wheel beneath.
The list of recipes includes ristretto, espresso doppio, espresso, espresso macchiato, coffee (a long mug), coffee xl, cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffe latte, flat white, cafe cortado, americano, milk froth, warm milk, hot water and coffee pot.
For each recipe, you can adjust the strength of the coffee, the water temperature and the volume, while for milk-based drinks you can adjust the percentage of milk that’s in the chosen drink. These settings are retained, even if you power down the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700.
You can also select which bean container you want to use for each drink, by tapping the buttons on top of the machine.
It’s possible to personalise the machine, adding profiles for people in your home, then customising their recipes and which bean hopper to use. For example, you may prefer a particularly strong espresso made with arabica beans; your partner may like a longer drink of decaf.
Finally, you can make two drinks (including milk ones) at once, putting a cup under each spout.
Once you’ve connected the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700to your home network, you can use the Home Connect app to remotely control the machine. It’s a basic-looking app, but faster for changing default recipe settings. However, I couldn’t find an option to edit or manage profiles via the app, which feels like a missed opportunity.
You also get access to Siemens’ coffeeWorld through the app, from where you can add additional recipes to the machine. For example, a Kleiner Brauner is an Austrian coffee with a single espresso and dash of warm milk.
Only one coffeeWorld recipe can be loaded at a time, and you have to use the app to change this, since the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 provides no access to the same information via its interface.
Aside from changing the odd recipe and choosing a coffeeWorld recipe, I found that it was easier to make coffee using the controls on the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700.
Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 espresso – Excellent quality that rivals the best coffee machines
After making a few shots of espresso, I settled on a fine grind, water temperature of 90ºC, the very strong setting, and the machine set to intense. This produced a shot of espresso that had the slightly oily, reddish-brown crema that stayed in tact for a few minutes.
The espresso was delivered at a temperature of 64ºC, which is just about spot-on: cool enough to drink almost immediately, warm enough to preserve the flavour of the coffee.
I have to say that the coffee tasted great. The drink was smooth, but maintained the robust body and pronounced acidity of my test beans: Fairtrade Peruvian Arabica. It’s a fine coffee and only the combination of a high-end grinder and manual espresso machine could arguably do better – and even then, only just so.
Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 milk – Excellent frothing and a clean finish
The real challenge for any fully automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine is its ability to produce properly steamed milk. Fortunately, the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 passed this test with flying colours.
The cappuccino delivered by this machine was excellent, with a foamy head on top, and the milk tasting smooth. I’ve seen many machines produce milk that’s too frothy, but the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 produced tightly packed microfoam.
As always with such machines, you’ll need to do a bit of stirring to finish mixing the coffee and milk together – but that’s a trade-off for having a machine do everything for you.
Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 maintenance – Straightforward to clean, although it could do with a few more automatic features
As far is maintenance is concerned, the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 isn’t too complicated to keep working optimally. You’ll need to regularly empty the used coffee pucks and empty the drip tray. These pull out from the front of the machine, with the coffee pucks sitting behind the drip tray. This could prove fiddly: to empty the coffee pucks, you first have to remove the full drip tray, then the used puck section for emptying. The drip tray can then be washed.
The brew unit can also be removed and rinsed free of used coffee grinds. It’s worth doing this weekly, or thereabouts.
The Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 automatically rinses itself when you turn it off, but you have to manually clean the milk system. The carafe needs to be empty of milk when you do this. Melitta handles this much better on the Caffeo Barista TS Smart: you can unplug the milk hose and insert this into the drip tray to run the cleaning cycle.
When prompted, there are also dedicated programmes for cleaning, with an espresso cleaning tablet and descaling the machine. The bright, clear LCD screen makes the instructions easy to follow.
Should you buy the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700?
The Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 is one of the most expensive coffee machines I’ve tested, and it goes up against the excellent Melitta Caffeo Barista TS Smart, which also has dual bean hoppers and an app. The Caffeo Barista is cheaper, makes excellent coffee and has a better app.
That said, the Siemens EQ.9 Plus Connect S700 has two grinders (compared to the one on the Melitta), which provides greater control over the output. Plus, it produced slightly better espresso and milk drinks in our test.
If you’re really into your coffee and want to have two coffees on the go, this is the machine to opt for – but the Melitta is a good lower-cost alternative, and you can find more choice in my guide to the best coffee machines.