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Last updated: September 10, 2021

Breville Cafe Roma Review: The Best Home Appliance for a Great Morning?

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By
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: September 10, 2021
Coffee Statistics is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Ideal for:
  • Those who don’t want to manage complicated controls
  • The budget conscious who still want great coffee
  • People with a smaller kitchen; the machine has a compact design
Highlights:
  • 15-bar pressure pump
  • Can use coffee grounds or pods
  • Cup warming tray, to avoid an immediately cool coffee
Editor's Rating
?
CoffeeScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
9.5
out of 10
  • Brew capacity 9.0
  • Ease of use 9.8
  • Brewing options 9.5
  • Build quality 9.8
Users’ Rating
4.2
out of 5
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    4.2
    out of
    5
    112 Users’ Ratings
    • 5 stars
      33%
    • 4 stars
      60%
    • 3 stars
      5%
    • 2 stars
      2%
    • 1 stars
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For many, a good cup of coffee is an essential way to start the day or give you a quick pick me up when your attention starts to drift in the afternoon. Fortunately, you don’t need to head to your local coffee shop and pay a small fortune for a cup, as there are some great coffee makers on the market.

Breville is a respected home appliance brand and offers a number of coffee maker models including the Cafe Roma. In this Breville Cafe Roma review, we’ll explore the features and functionality of this model to help you make your final purchase decision.

Specifications

Type
Semi-automatic espresso machine
Espresso
Single shot, double shot, pod
Steam wand
yes
Pump power
15 bar
Coffee used
Ground, pods
Water tank capacity
40.6 oz
Dimensions
9 x 9 x 12 inches
Weight
13 lbs
Warranty
1-year limited
Power
1000 W

Review

In this Breville ESP8XL review, we’ll look at the key features that make this machine a solid choice for anyone looking for an easy to use, quality home appliance.

Overall performance

Breville Cafe Roma Review: The Best Home Appliance for a Great Morning?

The first thing we need to discuss in this Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma stainless espresso maker review is the overall performance. While we will discuss some of the features in more detail below, it is important to get a sense of the performance of this unit.

If you purchase the Cafe Roma, you will find that everything you need to brew a superb cafe quality espresso is included in the box. The Breville team has thought of everything, including a frothing jug and two espresso cups. All you’ll need is coffee and water, which makes this product a great choice for novice baristas who are unsure what they will and will not need to make that coffee shop style coffee they are craving.

Breville has also included a cup warmer with this model, which is something that you don’t typically see on non-professional machines. You can put your cups in the top section of the machine as you’re getting ready to brew and within a minute or two, the cups will be warm.

Despite these features, the Cafe Roma is actually very user friendly. The water tank is easy to refill and you can even remove the water container to refill it. The water level is easily visible, so you can quickly see if you have enough water for another cup.

There are easy read light indicators so you can track when the machine is heating and when it is ready to brew. You just need to palace the coffee into the portafilter, snap it shut into the brew head and within seconds, you’ll have a delicious espresso shot.

You can then use the built-in frother to get the desirable microfoam. The dual wall machine design ensures that the espresso making and milk process do not interfere with each other.

So, if you’re looking to get a coffee shop experience without the worry of dealing with a complicated machine or paying the premium prices from your local barista, you’re sure to appreciate the performance of the Cafe Roma.

Design and construction

One of the biggest selling points and highlights of a Breville Cafe Roma espresso maker review is its construction and durability. Despite its modest price tag, the machine is made primarily with stainless steel, to provide a long lasting, corrosion resistant and stylish home appliance.

The overall design is quite simple, so it has a sleek and stylish aesthetic. There are few knobs and buttons, which highlights the automated features that allow you to make a cup of coffee quickly.  The machine itself has a compact footprint, which makes it handy to keep on the countertop, but also allows it to be stored inside a cabinet if necessary.

Coffee used

Coffee pods have become a phenomenon with leading manufacturers producing approximately 14 billion per year. The Cafe Roma is flexible as it allows you to use ground coffee or coffee pods, whichever you prefer. However, depending on the brand of pod you use, you may need to trim any excess packaging to ensure that the pod securely fits into the machine without allowing any water or steam to escape.

Breville Cafe Roma Review: The Best Home Appliance for a Great Morning?

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma uses both ground coffee and coffee pods

Pump power

Even the most attractive espresso machine will not deliver a great cup of coffee if it lacks pump power. Without adequate power, you may find the coffee is not brewed at the correct temperature, which can create a lackluster cup. Precision is important, so Breville has incorporated its thermoblock heat system into this machine to complement the power and ensure the coffee is extracted at the optimal temperature.

The machine itself is equipped with a 15-bar pressure pump. This is sufficient pressure to produce a rich crema and a brew that could rival baristas.

Bean hopper and water tank capacity

Since the Breville Cafe Roma does not have a built-in grinder, this machine does not have a bean hopper. You will need to separately grind your own beans, use pre ground beans or purchase pods.

However, the water tank does have an impressive capacity that may counteract this potential negative. The water tank has a capacity of 41 fluid ounces, which is a decent size for a domestic machine and is sufficient for approximately 40 espresso shots.

Serving volumes

The Cafe Roma can brew up to five cups without a need for refills. This is an impressive serving volume for a busy home, where most family members want an espresso shot before they head out to work in the morning. However, you should be aware that the machine does not allow a larger mug to fit under the portafilter. So, if you want to make a latte or Americano, you will need to pull your shot and then transfer it into your larger mug.

Breville Cafe Roma Review: The Best Home Appliance for a Great Morning?

Breville Cafe Roma can brew up to five standard cups of espresso before you need to refill it

Brewing speed

The Cafe Roma has light indicators that let you easily see when it is heating and when it is ready to brew. Once it is heated, the brewing speed is impressive. After you put in your coffee and set the dial, you’ll have an espresso shot within approximately 15 seconds.

Controls

One of the most daunting things about having an espresso machine in your kitchen is that it seems like you need an engineering degree to understand how it works. Many espresso makers are extremely complicated with many switches, dials and knobs, which can make them tricky to use when all you want is a delicious shot of espresso. Fortunately, Breville appreciates this and has made the controls on the Cafe Roma simple.

There are two basic controls. There is an on off switch and a selector knob with a standby option. Additionally, the selector knob doesn’t have dozens of options. You’ll need to turn the knob to the right to brew your espresso, the center setting is a standby mode and turning to the left will allow you to froth or steam your milk.

Safety features

While there are no specific safety features, the overall design of the Cafe Roma has safety in mind. There is no messing around with complicated features, which can lead to steaming accidents. You can simply make a great shot of espresso in a couple of simple steps.

Ease of maintenance

The Cafe Roma is easy to clean and maintain. To keep the machine clean, you’ll just need to dump out any used coffee grounds, empty the drip tray and wipe down the stainless steel surfaces. Just be aware that there is no indicator to highlight when the drip tray is full, so it is a good idea to empty periodically throughout the day to avoid having a wet countertop.

Like all espresso machines and coffee makers, you will need to occasionally descale the appliance to prevent mineral deposits accumulating, particularly if you live in a hard water area. However, this is a simple process that is detailed in the owner’s manual.

Dimensions and weight

Despite the superb functionality, the Cafe Roma has a relatively small print. It measures 9 x 9 inches and is 12 inches tall. This makes it easy to place in a corner of a countertop even in a smaller kitchen. However, the machine is also compact enough to store inside a cabinet. It weighs just 13 pounds, which also makes it easier to move around if you lack countertop space and will not be using the machine throughout the day.

Warranty

A warranty is an indication of the manufacturer’s confidence in its products. Unfortunately, many coffee machines are less than ideal quality and are often sold with a minimal warranty. However, Breville supports the Cafe Roma with a one-year warranty. This means that you can feel confident that you can enjoy making espresso with little to no problems for at least a few years.

Price tag

The Cafe Roma is a smaller espresso machine, but despite its attractive stainless steel finish, it carries a modest price tag. This makes it a great option for budget conscious shoppers who still want to enjoy an easy-to-use appliance that delivers great coffee every time.

Other features

While it may have a simple design with easy-to-use functionality, the Breville Cafe Roma does have some key features. These include:

Thermoblock Heat System: This system is designed to allow you to extract coffee at the optimal temperatures. Together with the 15-bar pressure pump, it helps you to achieve barista style coffee.

Dual Wall Filter: This helps to deliver more consistent extraction and will aid you to get excellent espresso crema. The filter allows you to not only brew single and double shot espresso, but you can also use pre flavored coffee pods.

Steam Wand: If you want to create cappuccinos and other tall coffee drinks, you’ll appreciate the steam want that allows you to create that delicious milk froth. The steam wand is a little basic with no fancy features, so you will need to practice getting the perfect angle and plunge for the best milk froth.

Cup Warming Plate: If you’re concerned about your coffee not being hot enough, you’ll appreciate the cup warming plate. Making coffee in a cooler cup can immediately compromise the temperature of the coffee. So, as you’re getting ready to brew, place your cup or mug on the plate above the machine, so it will be warmed.

PROS CONS
●       Beautiful stainless steel finish to complement your kitchen aesthetics

●       Easy to operate with no complicated settings

●       Budget friendly without compromising on quality

●       Little to no maintenance required.

●       No drip tray indicator, so you need to keep an eye on it to avoid wet countertops

●       Small cup height means that you will need to transfer a shot into a larger cup for cappuccinos, lattes or americanos.

●       Steam is a little slow to get hot, increasing brew time.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this Breville Cafe Roma review has highlighted that this machine is a solid option for those who are looking for a budget friendly and easy to use espresso maker. While it may lack some of the bells and whistles of more expensive models, you can enjoy a shot of espresso within seconds without needing to train as a barista.

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