Test Smeg BCC02WHMEU: a successful first coffee maker with a grinder

Ease of use

Smeg’s reputation is above all based on the elegant and refined design of its household appliances. And this first automatic coffee maker is no exception to the rule. Its all-aluminum facade has been completely stripped. Only the name of the manufacturer, written in large chrome and prominent letters (an emblematic aesthetic element of the brand), brings a little comfort to the whole. However, it must be recognized that we expect better from the Italian manufacturer. Thus, the sides of the machine are covered with a plastic shell that we want better quality.

Good point for the inhabitants of a small space, Smeg managed to contain the size of the device. In fact, the coffee maker measures only 18 cm wide and 34 cm deep. We are far from a Delonghi Maestosa, double wide.

Sophistication is required, the BCC02WHMEU is not one of the most sophisticated machines. In this reference, there is no touch screen, no double dispensing nozzle or customization of recipes through the profile. Everything must go through a combination of physical keys. For this, there are four on top of the machine, but thanks to the double menu deployed by Smeg, these keys allow up to eight functions. In fact, when the LEDs of the coffee maker are white, they allow you to prepare a strong coffee, an espresso, a long coffee, and pour hot water (one button for each recipe ).

When the leds are orange, it means that the same recipes can be prepared, but with a lighter intensity. In this unusual way, it is not necessarily natural and not very practical, that we play with the strength of the coffee. To switch from the “strong” to the “light” menu, simply press the central button (no icon) below the main controls. It’s not just how you switch from one intensity to another, but how you convert a hot water nozzle into a steam nozzle.

Only the cup amount is adjustable. To do this, press and hold for 3 seconds and wait for the desired amount to be in a cup to resume the recipe to personalize. Unlike the Delonghi coffee makers, the most detailed that allows customization through the profile, there is no backup system here, and therefore it is necessary to compromise individual preferences.

Above these physical keys, there are several LEDs that indicate to the user when it is time to fill the water or bean tank, empty the coffee grounds container, start descaling, as well as the infuser alarm. Again, the icons are not necessarily the best talking and this is another reason to refer to the user manual.

Unlike the BCC01, this model has a steam nozzle that allows, among other things, to froth milk to obtain cappuccinos.

The compact size of this machine has an influence on the capacity of different tanks, which is quite limited. In fact, the bean container can only hold 150 g of official coffee (by insisting a little, you can easily put 100 g more) and the water tank does not exceed 1.4 l. So it should be filled regularly. Fortunately, it can accommodate a filter cartridge. This model does not have a hatch for ground coffee, which some may regret. On the other hand, it is closed with a tight lid, which is always appreciated to preserve the aromas of the coffee. The water tank is accessible through a handle, which is very practical.

The dispensing nozzle allows you to dispense just one coffee at a time. It is adjustable in height to suit the cup size. At the bottom, there is a small removable drip tray. Behind this space sits a coffee container capable of accommodating up to eight cakes. It should also be remembered to empty it regularly.

The removable drip tray and bean container.

The removable drip tray and bean container.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Ease of maintenance

Like many coffee makers with a grinder, this machine washes the ignition nozzles, which not only allows it to remove the last deposits of previous coffees, but also to start heating them.

Since this machine does not have a touch screen, you must refer to the indicator lights on the control panel to determine its maintenance needs. This system remains practical, but should be less obvious than a written instruction throughout.

All removable parts of the coffee maker are easy to remove and clean. In its instructions for use, Smeg does not allow the dishwasher to pass through the various parts of the automatic machine. Thanks to its LEDs, the BCC02 indicates when it is time to descale. To do this, it is advisable to refer to the different levels of the manual; everything is well explained and it shouldn’t take long.

Luckily, Smeg provides access to the brewer cluster for thorough cleaning. It is accessible on the left side of the coffee maker by lifting the lid. No problem to remove or replace.

Strong points

  • Compact and well finished coffee maker.

  • Simple and relatively fast.

  • Quiet machine.

  • Access to the infusion chamber.

Weak points

  • Plastic on the side of the coffee maker.

  • Double menu is not necessarily practical.

  • Only one coffee at a time.

  • There is no hatch for ground coffee.


Global score

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

How does grading work?

With its BCC02WHMEU, Smeg has signed a compact, beautiful, fast and silent coffee maker. In this, he has many properties to convince the two-person household. But in wanting to be very “simple”, Smeg lost some basics (hatch for ground coffee, a more practical intensity selector, double dispensing nozzle). If we adapt to these small losses, this Smeg coffee maker is a recommended model.

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