Beverages, Kitchen Neccessities — January 2, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Product Review – The Breville Barista Express Coffee Machine

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Well, it was the end of an era.  My original espresso machine finally bit the dust.  About 6 years ago, I originally purchased a DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless machine.  It was a great purchase to the entry-level espresso world.  When I bought that machine, I didn’t know if I would use it every day, so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.  If you are looking for an entry-level espresso machine, Click Here.  Otherwise, keep reading.

Guess what, now I am officially a coffee snob.  In the Triplo G Italian Kitchen, we love our coffee.  We make a minimum of 4 espressos/cappuccinos per day.  We decided it was time to upgrade.  Before purchasing, we asked some friends, talked to a few coffee shops, and scoured the product reviews on Amazon.

We knew this was going to be a big purchase, so we wanted to make sure that we purchased the best espresso machine possible.  I wanted to write the review of the Breville Barista sooner, but I wanted to make sure that I had adequate time in order to properly review this product.

The Pro’s

  • Customization, customization, customization.  This was the biggest reason to purchase the machine.  It is officially classified as a semi-automatic espresso machine, however I would argue.  You are able to fully customize the grind size, the grind amount, the water temperature, as well as the amount of water for a single and a double shot.  I have successfully programmed all of these to my liking, and it was extremely easy to accomplish.
  • The built-in burr grinder.  I wasn’t sure if this was a necessary feature.  Oh boy, was I ever wrong.  What a great idea.  Once you get it programmed, you will have the perfect amount of ground coffee every single time.  What a time saver!  My last espresso machine did not have this.  I would grind about 2-3 days at a time, and it was always an annoyance to do this.
  • The machine has an espresso gauge which has a range for optimal espresso.  You will be able to tell if your grounds are packed too tight or too light.  This is a great feature that assists you in preparing the ultimate espresso.
  • The built-in milk steamer/frother is very easy to use.  It has a tremendous range of motion to accommodate different pitcher sizes.  The quality of the steamed milk and froth is very good.
  • The machine comes with a tamper and has a built-in magnetic storage on the unit.  I no longer have to look around my kitchen for the coffee tamper.  It sounds small, but any time you can save in the morning before you inject yourself with caffeine is always appreciated.
  • The machine only takes about 30 seconds to warm up and comes with an auto shut off.  A valuable feature for someone like me who always forgets to turn off the machine.
  • The drip tray notifies you when it’s time to “Empty Me”.

The Cons

  • The price.  This machine retails for around $599.  It is by no means inexpensive.  You must use this machine often to get your money’s worth out of it.  However, after you buy your fresh roasted beans you can make espresso drinks for around $.20.  The savings will add up quickly, but only if you use it.
  • Because untamped grinds take up more space than the compacted ones, you are going to have a little of waste/overflow when you put the grounds into the porta-filter before tamping.  It’s not a lot of waste, but you should fully expect to lose a little coffee here and there.
  • You must use ground coffee with this machine.  There is no option to use espresso pods.

Conclusion

This machine is not an entry-level espresso machine.  This is only for the serious espresso maker.  The quality is very high-end and the design is very sleek.  It would look great in any kitchen.  The machine comes in classic stainless, red, or black.  Breville also offers this model without the built-in burr grinder for $100 less.  In my opinion, please buy the model with the built-in burr grinder.  It is a great feature and a big time saver to not have to use a separate grinder.  Even though the built-in burr grinder is a great feature, it’s not the best part of the machine.  The best feature of the machine is the customization that ensures you will produce an identical espresso every single time.  From the time I turn the machine on, I can have an espresso made and in my cup within a minute.  This product officially receives the Triplo G seal of approval and is recommended for purchase.

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3 Comments

  1. Priscilla Hall

    Just discovered your blog some amazing looking recipes can’t wait to try them. Your wine cellar is impressive ever consider giving a class on wine making? Would love to delve into it on a small scale any suggestions on how and where to start?
    Priscilla

    • Thank you Priscilla. We appreciate you checking out our recipes. I will write a blog on how to make wine at home on a small scale in the near future. In the meantime, if you need any help on wine making, please feel free to email me directly at triplogitalian@yahoo.com. I’d be glad to offer any assistance you might need.
      Ciao,
      Chef Gregorio

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