Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine Review
Product Name: Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
Product Description: The Breville Barista Express is a semi-automatic espresso machine with a built-in conical burr grinder to get great you going with ground coffee ready to go in just a few minutes. It comes with both customizable controls and manual settings so you get to experiment until you get the brewing right for the perfect espresso, just the way you like it.
- Build Quality
- Easy to Use
The first time you use the Breville Barista Express espresso machine it can be a little intimidating as it has so many buttons, knobs, and dials to deal with. don’t despair, it is just a matter of time before you get used to the way it works and you will enjoy not just the process of making coffee, but the taste of it. With all the great features built-in and a little bit of time, effort, and patience, you will get your inner barista to come out and make the best coffee you will ever taste, from the comfort of your home. Highly recommended.
User-friendly controls with troubleshooting features
Pressure gauge for making a great espresso
Comes with hot water dispenser
Adjustable brew temperature for a fine-tuning espresso shot
Operation instructions can be a bit confusing
The machine is quite bulky
No water level indicator
The drip tray cannot contain coffee grounds very well
The tamper is too light
User Review( votes)
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine Review
Best for Beginners and Experts
Not long the notion of being able to make coffee at home that could be comparable in quality or even better than your local coffee bar was just a dream. But thanks to modern technology, creating professional coffee and beverages at home is a reality. With the Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, you will be able to make amazing great-tasting espresso any time you want while at the same time enjoying the process of traditional coffee making.
The Barista Express offers you just about enough adjustable controls and manual settings for you to feel like a real barista. It is very simple to operate, which is a pleasant surprise and performs as good as machines costing exponentially more. In addition to this, it grinds beans right into its own portafilter which will save you a lot of time, effort, and cleaning.
The Breville Barista Express is a semi-automatic espresso machine with a built-in conical burr grinder to get great you going with ground coffee ready to go in just a few minutes. It comes with both customizable controls and manual settings so you get to experiment until you get the brewing right for the perfect espresso, just the way you like it.
If you are starting in coffee making you are probably best using the two double-wall pressurized filters that control the pressure and extraction. They will help you make an espresso almost instantly and effortless until you gain your confidence to explore what else can be done. For those who are familiar already with coffee making, it is a slightly different approach. You are likely to want to use the two single-wall non-pressurized filters as they will give you a different alternative and the ability to experiment in creating coffee. But whether you are a beginner or a professional in using semi-automatic coffee makers, bear in mind that this machine requires a lot of effort and patience to prepare a great cup of coffee. This is no Nespresso one-button operation coffee machine. You started this journey for a reason and as such, it is a process that you should love.
- A built-in conical burr grinder
- Half pound bean hopper
- Dials for selecting grind size and amount
- Hands-free grinding cradle
- 54-mm stainless steel portafilter and tamper
- 64-oz removable water tank
- 15-bar extraction pump
- 360-degree swivel action steam wand
- 13.25 x 12 x 16 inches dimensions
- 23 pounds of weight
When you look at the Breville Barista Express you can see that it means business. The “brains” of the machine are mostly housed inside a gorgeous brushed stainless steel casing that measures 13.25 x 12 x 16 inches and weighs 23 pounds. The pressure gauge takes center stage and lets you know whether the internal pump is working pumping hot water through your coffee ground at the correct pressure range. It helps finish off its distinctive and cool design.
Since it is a semi-automatic machine, operation procedures can be a bit complex. This is the reason why Breville put labels and lights on all buttons so that the coffee-making process is a little easier to control. The water tank is large enough, with a capacity of 67 ounces, to accommodate as much coffee as you need throughout the day without frequent refills. This is, of course, depending on how much the machine gets used. One really cool feature is that to make sure the water is pure, the coffee machine has a charcoal filter in the water tank that removes filth and dirt. This can only improve the taste as the water used is always free of impurities.
Because of its size and height, it is not what we would say ideal for a small kitchen or small countertops. If you have limited space this will eat up whatever space you got left. You might have to consider an alternative location for a dedicated coffee area in your living room as it looks so stunning that it will become the center point of the room.
With a power rating of 1600W and a Thermo coil heating system, expect an accurate regulation of the water temperature. Both portafilters are pressurized and non-pressurized to ease and speed up the brewing time which takes only less than 3 seconds. That is a pretty decent time to get your coffee ready. And with a double-wall and single-wall basket, it will release the right amount of coffee to the portafilter.
Barista Express allows you to set a timer for an automatic switch-off, but it usually turns off itself after 2 hours of inactivity. This is very helpful as you don’t want it to keep overheating through the day as it is a recipe for disaster as well as shorting its life span. It also has an 8-ounce bean hopper where you can leave the beans without affecting its natural flavor due to UV protection.
Built-in Conical Burr Grinder
One of the best things about this coffee machine is that it has an integrated grinder that will save you not just money but space as eliminates the hassle of having a separate coffee grinder. This is also so convenient as the grinder serves up the right amount of freshly ground coffee that you need for a perfect espresso. You don’t have to worry whether you put too much or not enough, it is consistently the right amount and we can confirm that as for the week we tested ut, we never had a bad coffee that was either too strong or too weak, Consistency is key and the Barista Express raises to the occasion. It is worth mentioning that conical burrs create less noise than traditional grinders and require less energy to operate. Essentially, it is a win-win situation no matter how you look at it.
PID Temperature Controller
Thanks to the Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) technology built inside, the Barista Express monitors and maintains the temperature around 200°F during extraction. This results in a precise extraction in order to achieve a well-balanced espresso that tastes right time and time again. Once again, consistency is key.
Milk foam is not just a design to please your eyes but it actually changes the surface pressure of the drinks in order to get more flavor out it. But to have a smooth texture, the machine needs a great steam wand performance, and boy it provides that. Plenty of pressure and accuracy. The steam wand the Barista Express provides allows you to create micro-foam that is best for latter art so if you feel creative, rest assured that you can go as crazy in your latte art designs as you wish.
Grind Size Dial
Grinding the coffee is essential for having a tasty coffee. The grinding size can dramatically affect the brewed coffee. If it is too thick, it usually has a lesser or inferior taste, but when it is too fine, it results can be a bit bitter. With the Barista Express, you get 18 different settings to give you plenty of options to suit your taste and experiment with a variety of results until you find the sweet spot.
Hands-Free Grinding Cradle
To be able to grind coffee directly to the portafilter is a great feature and it saves you a lot of time and hassle (as well as cleaning the mess after!). All you need to do is to push the portafilter into the cradle and as it grinds, the coffee ground falls directly into the portafilter in the right size and amount. The grinding automatically stops once the right amount of coffee grounds has been fully dispensed. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with this coffee machine. Welcome to home-made professional coffee making!!
If you want a cup of coffee in the morning without the hassle of waiting in line to your favorite coffee shop, then we highly suggest that you consider buying an automatic coffee maker. It is a simple process that could be boiled down to just a push of a button, and your favorite coffee will be ready for you to enjoy in a couple of minutes. However, if you want to get to know more about coffee making and ways you can experiment with, then you should prepare yourself for a steep learning process. One we surely believe you are aware of.
In all fairness, the first time you install this semi-automatic coffee machine you could feel a little overwhelmed as there are so many things to read and follow. You are required to grind, tamp, and steam milk which usually takes time to get familiarized with. But then again, you are looking to buy a machine like this because you are willing and keen on the process. If this is not the case, maybe you should consider the “one-button” operation Nespresso Coffee machines. Although it sounds challenging to start with, rest assured that whatever effort you put into it, it will be worth it as you will be able to make your own amazing coffee from scratch, professional quality and will be able to proudly say, my coffee is as good as anyone’s.
How to Make a Coffee
- Plug the machine, turn it on, and wait for all six buttons to light up. Preheat the machine for 10 to 15 minutes before using it.
- Add coffee beans to the bean hopper.
- Set the grind size to 5 and the grind amount in the middle.
- Put 8 to 10 grams of coffee for a single shot of espresso or 15 to 18 grams for a double shot on the portafilter.
- Place the portafilter in the grind outlet, press the filter size button, and choose cup size before releasing the button.
- Use your hands to loosen up the coffee into the center of portafilter then tamp it.
- Insert the portafilter into the group head and lock its position. Press the cup size and wait for a few seconds for the espresso to be ready.
- Fill the jug with enough milk.
- Purge the steam wand, turn the dial to steam, and once ready, place the milk under the wand in the tip position to perfectly steam and froth milk.
- After you remove the milk, purge the steam wand again to clean out any milk, and wipe off any excess milk on the steam wand.
Now that we know how intricate the Breville Barista Express Espresso machine can be, you should expect that the cleaning process won’t be any simpler. Saying this, cleaning after every use will help enormously in avoiding residue from old coffee beans or minerals from hot water from building up. This is one thing a lot of people don’t pay attention to and over time it can be a real problem. Cleaning on the go will drastically reduce the amount of cleaning you will need to do when you do your maintenance clean. This built-up dirt can not only affect the quality of the coffee but reduce the lifespan of the machine so it is important to clean the machine every few months.
Ways to Clean the Machine
- Remove the filter holder from the espresso machine, rinse it with warm water along with the filter to remove coffee grounds, or use a nylon scrub to clean it thoroughly. Then return the filter and filter holder in the machine and brew plain water for 10 to 15 seconds then dispose of the hot water.
- Remove the froth enhancer off the steam wand after every use and rinse it with warm water. Turn the dial to steam for 2 to 3 seconds to release any milk left out of the wand.
- Clean the opening on the steam wand with the pin of the cleaning tool or soak it with hot water to remove any clogs.
- Remove the drip tray and wash all parts with warm soapy water. Let them dry fully before returning it to the machine.
- Wipe the exterior part of the machine with a damp cloth and dry with a soft cloth or tissue.
Unlike other coffee/espresso makers that have an automatic descaling feature built-in, the Breville Barista Express requires manual descaling. However, the process is rather simple as a whole. Descaling is an essential cleaning operation that must be done once a month as it will dramatically affect the coffee taste and the limescale will definitely affect the life-span of the machine. Have you ever looked inside a kettle that has not been descaled (many people never descale their kettles!) well, you get the idea. You don’t want that in your coffee. You invest in a machine like this for the love and passion for coffee. Surely descaling is something you can live with, it is essential so if you do invest in this machine, mentalize it is part of the process.
Steps in Descaling
- Set the dial to “Stand By’ and unplug the machine. Fill the water tank with a mixture of 50% water and 50% white vinegar to remove any mineral build-up inside the machine.
- Plug the machine, turn it on, and wait for the orange light to indicate that it is ready for brewing. Turn the dial to “Espresso” and let half of the mixture to brew.
- Place a large container under the coffee outlet to catch the water and vinegar mixture.
- Position the steam wand over the container and turn the dial to “Steam” and wait for the rest of the mixture to flow.
- Fill the water tank with clean and cold water, then repeat steps 1 to 4 to rinse the machine completely.
At first, it can be quite intimidating to use the Breville Barista Express espresso machine because of so many buttons, knobs, and dials to deal with. Not to mention, the operation and cleaning procedures that take time to master. But with all the great features built-in and a little bit of time, effort, and patience, you will get your inner barista to come out and make the best coffee you will ever taste, from the comfort of your home.
Wondering whether this is the right coffee machine for you? Why not check out our section of grinding coffee machines? If the process seems too complicated and you want something a little simpler and easier to operate, you should certainly consider Nespresso one-button coffee machines. Happy coffee making!
|Buy it now in USA – Amazon||Buy it now in USA – ABT||Buy it now in USA – Walmart||Buy it – Rest of the world|