Making the perfect cup of coffee is easier said than done! A crappy coffee machine can turn even the best high-quality roast into a cup of swill, something no amount of sugar or creamer can make up for. On the other hand, a good coffee machine can produce liquid gold even from the lowest-quality beans.
Finding the right coffee machine is the only way to ensure that you get a proper cup of Joe every time. The Breville Barista Express is one of the highest-rated espresso machines around and is one of your best options if you want top-notch Java from home. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this amazing coffee machine…
About the Breville Barista Express
The Breville Barista Express is a compact espresso maker, but one that brews amazing-quality espressos. It’s a semi-automatic machine that requires very little in the way of cleaning and maintenance. Best of all, it’s built from stainless steel. No plastic on this bad boy–you get a machine built to last!
There is a bit of a learning curve with the Barista Express, especially for those used to pod coffee makers. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be addicted to the delightful brews it produces.
- 15-Bar Italian Pump
- 1600W Thermo Coil heating system
- 1/2-pound sealed bean hopper with conical burr grinder
- 67 fluid ounce (2 liter) removable water tank
- 54 mm tamper and stainless steel portafilter
- Weight: 23 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 12.5 x 15.8 inches
- Price: $599.99
This machine is designed to produce the freshest possible cup of coffee. It has a sealed bean hopper capable of holding up to half a pound of coffee beans. The conical burr grinder will produce fresh coffee ground on demand, pouring the ground directly into the cradle. A fresh cup of espresso in under a minute!
The 15-bar pump and 1600W Thermo Coil heating element guarantee a balanced, full-flavored brew in less time, thanks to its accurate water heating. The machine allows you to use both a single and double-wall filter basket, enabling you to produce the right amount of coffee according to your filter. With the pressure gauge, you can ensure the machine isn’t producing too much steam for your espressos. Want to change the size of your coffee cup? Simply switch the volumetric control to the desired size and get brewing.
Cleaning this machine is surprisingly easy. The built-in cleaning cycle will run water through the espresso maker, getting rid of any traces of yesterday’s coffee. The removable drip tray prevents messes on your counter, with a partition for both dry and wet spills and a light to alert you when it’s time to empty it. It’s a user-friendly coffee machine, once you get the hang of it.
Pros of Breville Barista Express
Here are a few of the positive things users have had to say about Breville Barista Express:
Coffee Quality — If you are looking for café-quality coffee from the comfort of your home, this is the machine for you! The Barista Express churns out fresh coffee on par with the best of your favorite coffee shop, and at a much lower price than the commercial coffee makers.
Customizable — With this machine, you have total control over the coffee you make. You can change the size of the cup, the amount of steam used to extract flavor, the amount of coffee ground used per cup, and so on. Though it’s a bit tricky to learn how to use the machine to its full extent, once you do, you’ll love how easy it is to customize your perfect cup of coffee.
Durable — Made from stainless steel, this is a coffee machine built to last. The steel is stain-resistant and waterproof, and you’ll find that the coffee maker lasts for years to come. Even the internal components are built of durable materials. It’s a long-term investment in quality coffee.
User-Friendly -- Thanks to the sealed bean hopper and the 2-liter water tank, you can produce a few dozen espressos without needing to refill coffee beans or water. The machine can also go a week or three without needing cleaning.
Cons of Breville Barista Express
As with any product, there are a few negative things people had to say about Breville Barista Express:
Price — At $600, this is a pretty pricey investment for the average coffee drinker. (Of course, you can find the lowest prices and discounts!) Coffee enthusiasts will have no problem dropping this kind of money on a machine of this caliber, but if you’re only an occasional coffee drinker, you may not be willing to pay the high price.
Learning Curve — There are a lot of dials, knobs, and buttons on this coffee maker. It can be a bit daunting at first, especially if you’re used to automatic coffee machines. However, the user manual makes it easy to learn how to use the machine to its full extent. Take the time to read it, and you’ll learn the coffee machine in no time.
Not Automatic — For many users, it’s too much effort to learn to use the machine. If you are looking for a fully automatic coffee maker, you’d be better off looking elsewhere. This is a semi-automatic machine, so you’ll have to learn how to use it if you want a quality cup of coffee.
Buzzing — A number of Breville coffee makers have problems with the solenoid electromagnet used for the heating element. After a year or so, it begins to buzz, leading to low heat/steam pressure. A number of users have reported the Breville Barista Express has developed this problem.
Other Options to Consider
If you’re not certain the Breville Barista Express is the coffee machine for you, here are a few other options to consider:
Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker — At $100, this is a well-priced espresso maker that produces a pretty great cup of coffee every time. It has a 19-bar high-pressure pump, and will churn out a cup of espresso in just 25 seconds. However, it lacks the additional elements of the Breville Barista Express (no coffee bean hopper, a small water tank, etc.). It’s a much more compact machine, so it’s worth considering if you have less kitchen space.
Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker — This is a much more automatic machine, with a one-touch panel that will churn out single and double shot espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos. There is even an automatic milk frother for those who have to have their coffee foam. If you want a fully automatic coffee machine at a decent price, this $150 machine is a good option for you.
Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine -- Made from quality stainless steel, this coffee machine is able to produce a quality cup of espresso with the press of a button. It has a larger water filter than the Breville Barista Express, but without the customizability. At $395, it’s a slightly cheaper coffee machine to consider.
The price tag on the Breville Barista Express is no joke–$600 is a hefty price to pay for a coffee machine. But if you want only the best, freshest cup of coffee at home, it’s a worthwhile investment. The machine gives you total control over your coffee, making it easy to produce the “perfect” espresso in under 60 seconds.