Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: July 13, 2021
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An Australian-made Breville Espresso Machine allows you to brew your favorite beans in minutes and spare the expense of getting the take-out version
Trusted SourceWhat are the costs inside an espresso cup? - BCNCOFFEEGUIDEAs I have always dealt with numbers, and as it is very easy for me to understand the main steps into pricing something because of my professional background, I have decided to do a post to show the main costs involved on making a cup of an espresso shot being served to your table in a specialty coffee shop here in Barcelona.
at your local café. Plus, the great thing about home-brewed espresso is that you can savor it as it was supposed to be served
Trusted SourceHow to make the perfect espresso | Coffee | The GuardianYou need more than just a fancy machine at home if you really want a fantastic morning caffeine shot. Ultimately, you have to get a bit geeky
in a lovely ceramic cup rather than the paper cup that is the norm at so many cafés.
We have chosen the top 5 Breville espresso makers, examining grinder, steamer, and water capacity features. One is sure to suit your budget and taste. There is nothing quite like a fresh shot of aromatic caffeine
Trusted SourceThe Chemical Compounds Behind the Aroma of Coffee – Compound InterestWhether you’re a coffee connoisseur or completely unfussy about the manner in which you get your caffeine fix, there’s no denying that the smell of freshly-brewed coffee in the morning is an invigorating one.
made with the Breville Espresso machine, especially if you are a beginner barista hoping to look like a pro.
"This smaller countertop unit offers portability, a microfoam steamer wand and automated 19 gram doses. It also has digital temperature control, low pressure pre -infusion and a 3-second heat up time."
Our top choice, the Breville Barista Express espresso machine BES870XL is an attractive brushed stainless steel machine with a look that suits many decors, both retro and modern. This classy countertop espresso maker looks heavier and more expensive than it actually is (around $700.00), weighing in at 1.81 kilograms and about a meter square.
This upgrade from the Breville BES860XL Barista Express is sleeker with a purge function for optimal extraction. The 15 Bar Italian Pump produces just the right amount of pressure for robust flavor extraction, and the 1600W Thermo coil system ensures immediate piping hot water.
What stands out?
This machine is for purists like us who want to optimize the brewing process. We love the sealable conical burr grinder that macerates half a pound of fresh beans in seconds. We also like the dial interface that controls grind amount, filter size, and 1-2 cup selection. It comes with a brushed steel steamer cup and inset cleaning kit at the unit base.
What cons did we manage to find?
There is very little to criticize about this Breville BES870XL Barista Express, except the steel steamer rod could have been designed to have more of a crook to avoid skin contact. The unit could have less width to lend more counter space, and it could be offered in a Sesame Black stainless steel finish like its predecessor, the Breville BES860XL.
This stainless steel Breville Вual Boiler espresso machine is built for two. This countertop model weighs 30 pounds and has a bigger 2.38-kilogram capacity. It boasts a central spout with two spigots as well as a coffee bean grinder perches on top of the unit.
It differs from other Breville models because it has dual boilers and Italian pumps that allow you to make two drinks at once. You make a digital brewing selection on a backlit pad by pushing the up and down arrows menu pad.
Why did it make our list?
We like that this model comes with choices to match every decor: shiny stainless steel, brushed stainless, and sesame (black) brushed metals. Perfectionists can also use the electronic PID temperature control to precisely control water temperature. Your coffee will never be too strong-tasting as the OV valve limits extraction pressure. This espresso machine built for two would make a great expensive wedding or engagement gift.
What is not ideal about it?
The Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler can be high maintenance. It only uses cold filtered water. Breville also does not recommend the use of low mineral or distilled water. To mitigate this, it comes with a water hardness test strip to test y fill water. The machine also alerts you when it is time to utilize the LCD-assisted descaling procedure. It is also quite expensive - in the over $3,000 range.
If you are a get-up-and-go person who needs that first cup of espresso fast, then the Breville Barista Touch espresso machine is for you. This innovative espresso maker is highly automated yet allows you to be creative with your beverages.
This espresso machine has the usual Breville features, including an inbuilt conical grinder, 9 bar extraction process, pre-infusion, and rapid extraction. It’s a smaller countertop unit, at 23 pounds but still has the 67 oz. water tank capacity.
What makes it stand out?
What we liked about the Barista Touch Espresso Machine was a human-friendly touch screen preprogrammed with automatic milk frothing textures and common café drinks such as espresso, Americano, flat white, and cappucino. The digital component is very visual, with illustrations of all of the drinks on the screen. You can also input up to 8 café creations into the unit’s memory, so your coffee is dispensed exactly how you like it.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Some of our criticisms of this machine come from customer testimonials that claim that the 3-second warm-up time on this Breville model does not always guarantee a hot cup of coffee. Another is that the digital menu was ever damaged, the espresso machine would be inoperable. It is also quite expensive at over $2000 for a Breville that has only nine Italian bars instead of the higher-end 15.
Our fourth choice is the Breville Infuser espresso machine with two spigots and an in-built grinder. If you are a control freak about espresso, you will love this unit’s four press n’ hold buttons: precise dose control, right water pressure, precise temperature, and microfilm milk texturing.
The main feature of this unit that sets it apart from other Breville models is its unique high-pressure steam wand. Its fast 1650 W heat up that creates the thin foam needed to create your own latte art.
What makes it stand out?
We loved how much creativity this machine offers, allowing you to make designs in your cappuccinos like a professional barista. Several manual controls will enable you to control the volume of each pour and a choice of espresso shots per cup. It also has an accessory package that includes baskets, a scoop, steel jug, cleaning tablets, cleaning tools, and a water filter.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
One of our criticisms of this unit is that its water capacity is only 61 oz. compared to the larger tanks of 67 oz. boasted by our other top choices. It is also unable to make beverages with thicker foam such as a cappuccino or flat white. The 3-second heat-up may not offer the hottest cup of coffee. It also quite expensive at about $1500 and has a skimpy limited one-year product warranty.
If you want a lighter, more portable espresso maker without too many bells and whistles, the Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine might be a good choice. Our fifth top choice is light on the budget at around $600 and only weighs 1.41 kg.
The Breville Bambino differs from our other to Breville choices as it is almost half the dimensions of the others, yet it offers many of the same features. It is a manual machine with buttons designed for simplicity and efficiency and looks classy on the counter.
Why are we impressed?
We loved the compact shiny look of this smaller model that even has an automatic steam wand that offers microfoam milk texturing; you can make at-home latte designs. It also boasts low-pressure pre-infusion that starts slow and then speeds up to help extract every ounce of flavor from your ground coffee. The internal digital temperature control also ensures optimal flavor extraction.
What negatives must you be aware of?
This smaller espresso machine has few flaws, but it does lack an in-built coffee grinder. You also don’t have any dose control over the ground coffee, as it is programmed to dispense 19 grams. It is also harder to make designer coffees with thicker foams using a micro steamer. The 3-second heat-up may not be long enough to guarantee a hot espresso shot every time.
The Australian company Breville manufactures espresso machines that produce “third wave coffee” that allows you to be your own home barista. Their espresso machines are known for their classic designs and user-friendly interfaces that allow you to personalize every coffee you make. Whether your tastes are retro or modern, there is an efficient, tasteful model to suit your budget and preferences.
One way to choose the best espresso machine for you is to examine your lifestyle and then find one with suitable features. For instance, if you love an arty latte, look for a machine with a microfoam steamer wand such as the Breville Infuser espresso machine. If you want to brew two cups at once, then get a Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine. If size matters, then get a Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine. The best Breville machines cost hundreds of dollars. But the machine that is the right fit is well worth the investment.
Things to Consider Before Buying Breville Expresso Machine
The built-in grinder is essential if you don’t want to waste minutes in the morning grinding beans using another appliance that likely can’t grind the beans as finely as you need to make a designer espresso drink with great crema. Most in-built grinders in the Breville third wave models have a seal and are perched on top of the espresso machine. This is the case with the Breville Barista Pro espresso machine. Smaller, lighter models such as the Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine don’t have that feature, so you have to grind your beans separately in another unit, sometimes necessary if you don’t have a budget or counter space for a full-fledged model.
The built-in grinder is convenient, fast, and offers the great convenience of proper dosing of the grinds and the tidiness of having all of your espresso-making equipment in one compact place. Breville grinders ideally need 7 g to 9 grams of ground coffee to make a single shot of espresso. As espresso taste silkier and smoother with a very fine grind, most Brevillemodels are equipped with a top burr grinder that macerates the beans to a fine powder.
Mechanically, burr grinders consist of two abrasive surfaces that can be digitally adjusted to set the coarseness of the grind. The ground coffee is automatically dispensed in a specific dose into the portafilter that fits into the cradle of the machine. Most Breville espresso makers have a “Filter Size” dial or digital button that automates the dose of coffee and offers the option to dispense a single or a double dose.
The steamer in an espresso machine is a long prong that spurts steam into a metal cup filled with milk. Its purpose is to add texture, flavor, and interest to the espresso. Steamed milk could be used to add velvet-like cream to the designer coffee drink, as would be the case if you were making a Café Latte or Flat White. It can also be used to lend a frothy foam that floats on top of the drink, as is the case when making a Cappuccino. A machine with a microfoam wand can whip up a thick, delicious foam that is perfect for embedding designs in a café latte. This flatter, thick foam with tiny bubbles sits nicely on top of a cup topped with crema made from burred coffee grounds.
Look for an espresso machine with a steamer that sticks out at roughly a 45-degree angle from the machine like the Breville Infuser espresso machine to keep your skin safe from scalding. If you want to make delicate foam designs in leaf or swirl shapes in your cup to impress your guests, choose a unit with a microfoam steamer wand like the Breville Barista Pro espresso machine.
The boiling system is at the heart of the machine, and the better it is, the better espresso you will make. The whole point of having the boiler in an espresso maker is to force a small amount of almost boiling water that is placed under great pressure through finely-ground coffee. The result is a tasty, finely textured coffee shot with a crema layer that sits like a layer of a desert on top of a darker liquid base.
The boiler is a sealed metal container with a heating element inside an espresso machine. The boiler can handle intense interior pressure as it heats the water needed to brew espresso or stream milk. An espresso machine with a single boiler heats up to 200 degrees for brewing and 225 degrees for steaming.
If you don’t want to wait for your espresso machine to warm up from 190 to 225 degrees, you can buy a unit with two boilers and operate them simultaneously like a two-fisted barista. Machines with two boilers, such as the Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine, can brew coffee and steam milk at the same time, with each boiler at its own temperature.
Water Tank Capacity
Water tank capacity matters if you do not want to be repeatedly filling the unit every time you want to have a cup of coffee. This is especially true for people who have a household of espresso drinkers or if you drink quite a few cups of espresso a day. The minimum capacity for most espresso makers is 67 oz. of water. The Breville Barista Touch espresso machine and the Breville Barista Express espresso machine are examples of espresso makers with exactly this water tank capacity.
An espresso unit with two boilers, such as the Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine, boasts an 84 oz capacity. Still, the reason for this is that the water is being used to fill two interior boiler units: steam the coffee and steam the milk. Suppose the water tank is less than 67 oz., it is likely a very portable unit that relies on vacuum jar technology and the addition of your own boiled water from a kettle.
Breville espresso makers are popular because they offer different user interfaces, from the LED arrow-operated digital menu found in the Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine to the push buttons on the Breville Infuser espresso machine and the swipe and slide illustrated beverage selection menu on the Breville Barista Touch model.
People have many different reasons for choosing the coffee machine interface that they do. Their choice is often based on ease of use, or sometimes they want a machine with a more retro look, so they forgo having any digital elements on the unit’s interface. Classic Breville machines with that universal coffee shop look are usually bigger in the company’s Pro line and take up more counter space. In contrast, the digitized units tend to be smaller and sometimes without a top grinder unit, such as the Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine.
An excellent example of an old school style espresso machine is our Editor’s choice, the Barista Express espresso machine, which is void of any digital elements and consists of one big power button, a dial to adjust the coffee bean grind, a big pressure gage indicator, a program button, and one button to select a single or double shot of coffee. Many of the company’s Pro models have an intuitive interface that features a backlit LCD screen with simple animations that guide you through the entire brewing process as well as the descaling process. On the bigger, pro espresso machine models, you can see clearly from eyeing the red needle on the pressure gauge what stage the machine is at while brewing your espresso.
At the other end of the interface spectrum is the Breville Barista Touch espresso machine, which is fully automated. The interface consists solely of a swipe and slide screen with illustrations of the designer coffee drinks that the machine can automatically create for you. You simply press the screen, which guides you through a series of drink options to choose them. This experience can be compared to ordering food at a fast food place with a touch-screen menu. The only button on the face of the brushed steel unit is the Power button. Another unique feature of this particular the Breville Barista, which is the least manual of the company’s smaller espresso machines, is its ability to remember your choices and offer you the chance to create and store your own automated drink creations.
Breville tends to use durable brushed silver stainless steel in all of its machines. Stainless steel is durable and can withstand high temperatures. It is a material that is easy to clean and looks retro and modern at the same time. Some models, such as our top selection, the Barista Express espresso machine, comes in a classy brownish-black hue of brushed steel called Sesame Black.
Handles and other fixtures on Breville espresso machines are made of hard black hard plastic. Avoid buying an espresso machine with rubbery components such as nozzles or trays, as they will degrade quite fast.
BPA Free Water Tank
Only buy a unit with a BPA-free water tank, as is the case with every Breville Barista touch espresso machine made. Many plastic water tanks contain BPA (Bisphenol A), a synthetic chemical
Trusted SourceThe Hidden Dangers Of BPA - Bisphenol A - BudwigBPA is a toxic endocrine-disrupting chemical that affects your hormonal system and is thought to be associated with serious diseases including breast cancer, testicular cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity and impaired learning.
that affects the human endocrine system and is associated with several cancers, hyperactivity, and impaired learning. It is found in many kinds of plastics, including plastic water bottles.
When shopping for the best espresso machine for you, try to get one with dual spigots. Two spigots spurt the pressurized, nearly boiled coffee into one cup, guaranteeing you a cup of caffeine with a velvety, even crema. Crema is the light caramel-colored foam on top of the darker bottom of the espresso cup. The Breville Infuser espresso machine, which is our fourth choice on our list of five best espresso makers, is a good example of an affordable dual spigot machine.
Breville espresso machines are known for their special stainless steel porta-filters that deliver that “sweet spot” of 19-22 grams of ground coffee for making the perfect cup of espresso every time. Underfilling this portafilter will not get you the cup of espresso you desire, and it is impossible to overfill it. This great signature feature is found on all five of the Breville espresso machine models that made our top five list – from the sophisticated professional Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine to the compact and more personal Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine.
Digital Temperature Controls (PID)
If you want a high-end experience, then look for a Breville model with PID, which the company calls its digital temperature control. This brings the water up to precisely the right temperature to extract maximum flavor from the precisely dosed coffee grounds in your portafilter. This popular feature is found on the high-end Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine and the lower-end Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine. The idea behind this gadget is to have this automated digital feature gradually increase the pressure on the ground beans at the start of the brewing process and then escalate the brewing so that the flavors are completely drawn out. The result is a cup of espresso saturated with aroma.
3 Second Heat Up
The 3 Second Heat Up is a real buzzword when it comes to espresso machine efficiency. If making a speedy cup of coffee is a priority for you in the morning, you will want to invest in any of our top 5 choices for Breville espresso makers, which take only 3 seconds after pressing a button to produce hot water and steam.
Parts and Accessories
Before buying an espresso machine, you might want to make sure that the company offers parts and accessories on its website. Breville has a well-organized website that offers the Breville parts and accessories available for each model that it makes. This is convenient because this careful categorization saves you online search time and from ordering the wrong part. It also ensures that whatever part you order is compatible with the espresso machine you own.
Each of our top 5 best espresso machines has its own list of parts and accessories, but there are several items that are applicable for use on all machines, such as the steam wand cleaner, descaling powder, filter cups, hard water test strips, grinding brush cleaning disks as well as common parts that need replacing such as lid bean hopper, a portafilter, and a tank water kit.
Just something to note here. All Breville espresso machines come with their own stainless steel milk jug for placing beneath the unit’s steaming wand. However, it never hurts to have a second jug or even a specialty jug such as the temp control milk jug, which has a spout designed specifically for making latte art.
Yet another good item to invest in is a Breville knock box, like a mini disposal bin with a swinging lid that allows you to quickly pull your portafilter out of the unit and then knock it against the side to contain the grounds. This makes it easier for you to make the next batch of coffee quickly, and it also makes it more convenient to dispose of the espresso grounds in your organic recycling bin.
Warranty and Repair
Look for an espresso machine with a warranty and repair of at least one year. The minimum warranty offered on a Breville espresso machine is a one-year limited warranty. This means that should your product have a defect, Breville will arrange the return of the original product and then either repair or deliver a comparable replacement.
The needed repair should not cost you a shipping price. Breville insists that you do not take the product back to the store but instead use a pre-paid shipping label sent to you to ship it to them or a designated Authorized Servicer.
Breville micro streamers work well with any kind of milk, including dairy, oat, soy, and almond but if you want wonderful results, then make a point of using dairy milk that possesses high fat content, as does 3% milk. The higher the protein, sugar content, and fat content in the milk to be foamed, the better the results. This also means that different kinds of milk may need a longer steaming time before reaching the desired consistency to perform drawing on coffee. Both the Breville Barista Touch espresso machine and the Breville Infuser espresso machine offer a wonderful microfoam wand for creating a thin layer of textured milk on top of your coffee. Both of these two best espresso machines are on our top 5 because their wands have enough pressure to texturize other types of milk as well.
All of our top 5 best espresso makers also keep the steamed milk just under 100 degrees. This also helps prevent an oxidative process that can cause the browning and scalding of steamed milk and affect its taste and ability to flow decoratively into your espresso cup.
Each of the Breville espresso makers has its own manual and instructions for cleaning. Some models like the Barista Express espresso machine have a cleaning kit with a small brush embedded right in the machine’s base, which is ideal because it is a reminder to clean your Breville after you brew yourself a cup.
If you want your espresso maker to last for years, it is recommended that you clean it after every single use. This prevents bacteria from building up inside of the machine. Remove and empty the filter holder right after brewing and then rinse it, using a scrubbing brush if needed. Do not leave any coffee residue on the portafilter or it could affect the taste of future cups of espresso.
Always pull out the frothing wand to clean it and use warm water to rinse it out. Don’t forget to remove the drip tray and empty any spillage out. Rinse and then use a damp cloth or paper towel to gently wipe down the exterior of the machine.
To keep your Breville espresso machine in tip-top shape, you need to descale it once a month to remove the build-up of any minerals inside the boiler and other mechanical elements. Minerals form a crust on metal that is removed with a 50:50 ratio of hard water and vinegar. You can buy a commercial descaling solution or simply make the at-home version.
To descale most Breville espresso machines, you simply fill it with the water and vinegar mixture, and when the brewing light alerts, brew the mix through the system, just as you would if making a cup of espresso. Use a canister to catch any liquid that shoots out of the steamer. Do this a couple of times until you are sure all of the grime is gone. Then rinse the system by running clean water three to six times to remove the vinegar odor from the boiler and steamer.
Some units like our Barista’s choice, the Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine, have an alert button that tells you when it is time to clean the machine and a digital program to take you through the descaling process step-by-step. The good news is that mineral build-up is essentially harmless, mostly calcium deposits, but it can clog the espresso machine and affect its pressure and general efficiency.
Our editor’s choice for the best Breville espresso machine is the Barista Express that comes with all the gadgetry you will ever need without being too gimmicky. Mostly its powerful 15 bar Italian pump makes a classic no-fail rich cup of espresso every time. It also comes with a simple dial interface and cleaning kit embedded right in the base. The Breville dual boiler was second because it can boil and steam simultaneously, but it is expensive. The Breville Barista Touch espresso machine came third; it is for the person who loves tech touches like the slide and swipe screen and inbuilt memory. Our fourth choice, the Breville Infuser espresso machine, is the exact opposite, with a simpler button interface and a wonderful wand for creating artistic lattes. The Breville Bambino came last because it lacks a top sealed grinder, but it is meant to be compact compared to other Breville espresso machines.
What are the costs inside an espresso cup? - BCNCOFFEEGUIDE
As I have always dealt with numbers, and as it is very easy for me to understand the main steps into pricing something because of my professional background, I have decided to do a post to show the main costs involved on making a cup of an espresso shot being served to your table in a specialty coffee shop here in Barcelona.
The Chemical Compounds Behind the Aroma of Coffee – Compound Interest
Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or completely unfussy about the manner in which you get your caffeine fix, there’s no denying that the smell of freshly-brewed coffee in the morning is an invigorating one.
BPA is a toxic endocrine-disrupting chemical that affects your hormonal system and is thought to be associated with serious diseases including breast cancer, testicular cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity and impaired learning.