Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Best Breville Espresso Machines | Bon Appétit

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Despite all of this, I’d advise some caution. In my experience testing a number of machines with built-in grinders, I’ve found that they tend to be less powerful than stand-alone burr grinders, which means they can jam up. Breville’s built-in grinders are probably the best of the bunch—newer models use high-quality Baratza burrs—but just know that, while they’re convenient, built-in grinders are harder to fix or replace if something goes wrong with them.

Read a full review here.

Breville Barista Touch

Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine

The Barista Touch takes the basic layout of the Barista Express and improves it in a couple ways. The Touch has a better grinder—it has 30 settings rather than 16 and uses upgraded Baratza burrs—plus automatic milk frothing and a touchscreen to select a preset drink or customize the one you’re making. The touchscreen also allows you to adjust grind size, brew time, and milk temperature. The one big advantage of the touchscreen over the buttons of less pricey Breville models is that it comes with a bunch of presets for different drinks like cappuccinos and Americanos that automatically adjust the milk-steaming settings (more foam for cappuccinos, a little less for flat whites). It also offers different settings for alt-milks if you like an oat or almond latte.

Breville Barista Touch Impress

Breville Barista Touch Impress Espresso Machine with Grinder

The Barista Touch Impress is almost an automatic espresso maker. Almost but not quite. It takes all the features of the Barista Touch (the hands-free milk frothing, the touchscreen with preset drinks) and adds the smart grinding and tamping system of the Express Impress. If you don’t want to bother with tasks like dialing in your grind or finessing a pitcher of milk, this is the Breville Machine I’d recommend. The big difference in operation between this machine and Breville’s more automated Oracle machines (more on those below) is that you have to pull the tamping lever. But choosing the Touch Impress will save you close to $1,000 for nearly effortless drinks. I don’t think the two seconds a day it takes to pull that lever is worth a grand.

Read a full review here.

Breville Dual Boiler

The Dual Boiler is actually one of the oldest Breville espresso machines still on the market, with early test models dating back to 2011. It’s also the closest any Breville machine comes to the high-end professional machines you’ll find in good coffee shops. As the name suggests, it has two boilers: one heats water for brewing, another heats water for steaming milk. Because they’re separate, that means no waiting between pulling a shot and getting milk ready for a latte. The Dual Boiler offers the ability to set water temperature within a single degree with an adjustable PID controller that’s set with a simple dial. Along with the two Oracle machines below, the Dual Boiler also uses a professional 58-mm portafilter (Breville’s other machines use a 54-mm portafilter). The bigger hardware lets you use more coffee if you want, and a higher coffee-to-water ratio can alter the flavor of your shot, which gives it a fuller, bolder flavor.

Breville Oracle

Breville Oracle Espresso Machine

Breville doesn’t have any true completely automatic espresso machines, the kind that simply requires you to place a cup under the spout, push a button, and get a cappuccino, milk froth and all. The Oracle series is the closest it comes. Place the portafilter under the built-in grinder and it will grind and automatically tamp your coffee. Then you have to move the portafilter over, lock it in place, and press the brew button. For milk drinks, you need to place a pitcher of milk under the steam wand. Then you have a choice of steaming manually or using the automatic steaming system that’s similar to the one on the Bambino Plus and Barista Touch Impress. The Oracle also has a hot water spout and an Americano button to automatically dispense water into your espresso shot after it’s done brewing.

Breville Oracle Touch

Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine

Breville’s current top-of-the-line machine, this updated Oracle adds a touchscreen that provides additional layers of both automation and customization. The automatic grinding and tamping are similar to the original Oracle, but it comes with five different drink presets (espresso, long black, flat white, latte, and cappuccino). The milk drinks automatically select different temperatures and textures for the milk. You can adjust grind size and tamp strength as well in order to change the flavor profile of the coffee itself. It’s a big bump up in price—the Oracle Touch costs $600 more than the original Oracle—but if you are looking for good espresso that you never have to think about, it will do more than hold your hand through the process. It will pick you up and carry you across the street.

Breville Duo Temp Pro

Breville Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine

Another machine only available through third-party sellers in the United States, this is the most basic Breville espresso machine you can buy. The Duo Temp (not to be confused with dual boiler) has nary a bell nor a whistle and operates with a dial rather than buttons. Most significantly, it has a single control for both brewing and steaming. Turn the dial to the left to brew espresso, turn it to the right to steam milk. The duo temps here are the two water temperatures that the machine operates at, a lower one for brewing and a higher one for steaming milk. While it still offers the same pre-infusion and PID controlled brewing, it lacks any other real features and does require a couple minutes of waiting in between steaming milk and brewing a second espresso while the machine cools down. If you’re picking between Breville machines, this is purely a budget choice.

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