This machine is an outstanding investment if you like a good espresso or cappuccino. We've been using our Breville for over four years now, and it's still making espresso as well as on the first day we bought it (better actually, since we've learned a few things along the way). You'll need to play with the settings for a while to learn how to get the most out of this, but once you do, you'll be able to make a perfect cup every time. A few tips: 1) Buy the best freshly roasted espresso beans that you can. If you don't have a roasterie near you, find one that ships so that you have a great supply of fresh beans. (We love theroasterie.com-- they use an air roaster instead of a drum roaster and will ship your beans the day they roast them as a subscription service.) The quality of the beverages you create will depend more on the beans you use than anything else. 2) In our experience, you get the best extraction when the pressure meter is pointing straight up when making the espresso. Adjust the grind size and grind amount until you get this pressure consistently, and you'll be rewarded with perfect espresso. We've also noticed the settings change with different beans, so if you change your bean type/brand, expect to need to make a few adjustments. 3) Descale the entire machine with a vinegar water solution and then run the cleaning cycle with the tablet every few months when you replace the water filter (maybe more or less often depending on your use). If you do this, the machine will last a long time. Ours is still in great shape after 4 years-- the only thing we have had to replace is the silicone handle on the steamer wand. We've recommended this machine to almost all of our friends who were considering buying an espresso machine. It has enough automatic features to be easy to use, but enough manual features to give you control over your espresso quality and to be unlikely to break. If you're looking for an espresso machine, buy this one.
I've never been a big coffee drinker. But I do like a cup in the morning. I was wasting a ton of coffee only needing one cup. So I thought this would solve the problem a be great for our guests that like their fancy coffee. I was RIGHT!!! everyone loves it! it's been fun to practice different techniques and a great conversation piece! It was very easy to learn how to use and makes a mean single cup of coffee. I like that it stores and grinds the beans as well as about a week worth of water for me. I found the steamer a bit noisy at first but found that you just need to angle the cup so it won't whistle. Everything else is GREAT!
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? same
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. I've been very happy with the quality of this machine.
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? very
I have had the Barista express for about a month now and i am very happy with it. I have the grinder set to 14, I use the single wall double shot filter and have the volume of grinds set to max. After a day of playing and wasting a 1lb bag of beens I finally figured out the best combo of settings. It makes perfect, not bitter, espresso. I have the breville milk carafe and prefer that to heat and froth the milk. just pour and press a button. Then I make the espresso and everything is done at the same time. great product and i am getting a lot of use out of it.
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? Perfect
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. Excellent
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? Perfect
This is an exceptional starter espresso maker - easy to learn how to use, fast, and attractive. We especially appreciate the built-in burr grinder - fresh ground beans makes a real difference, and we have one gadget instead of two taking up our limited counter space. After a little practice and experimentation, the quality of the espresso we are making meets or exceeds what we get at our local coffee place. I may buy another one for the office.
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? No difference
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. Excellent quality.
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? Perfectly accurate
I only knew about Breville when I searched for an espresso machine. After using it for a couple of weeks, I think I'm going to use their products for the rest of my life.
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? Accurate
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. Top notch
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? Accurate
It is sad that you have had this machine for over 2 years and still don't know how it properly works. If you open the machine and make espresso right away, its obviously not going to be hot because the machine has only had a few seconds to heat the water... If you let the machine run for as little as 1-2 minutes, you will have espresso hot enough to burn your tongue off. There is no such thing as an espresso machine that heats water in seconds unless you want to buy a $XXXX commercial espresso machine.
This is a well made machine. I have had it for over 2 years with no problems. My only complaint is that the espresso does not come out as hot as I would prefer. This isn't a problem when adding steamed milk to the espresso as you are able to heat the milk up to your desired temperature. However, my husband who prefers to drink it straight has to drink his immediately. Something to consider if you are buying this machine strictly for espresso consumption. Also, someone used the grinder to grind some specialty flavored beans once and it has never been the same. I guess the oils have permeated the grinder and it absolutely ruins any espresso beans we put in, so we've switched over to illy's ground espresso. It takes only 29 seconds to which is great.