Tuesday, January 17, 2012

UPDATED AGAIN: Coffee Espresso Machine - BREVILLE

flat white made by a professional Barista - not me!

So recently my husband and I went coffee machine shopping. Before we set out I never realised how daunting this would be. We had been browsing for almost a year now and we had a rough idea of what we wanted. We knew we wanted an espresso machine. We had a stove top peculator already and we were now wanting to progress to the next step :) yay! well so I thought...

After browsing some stores I realised I didn't want a machine that took pods or capsules like Nespresso. Even though their machines were very cute I wanted to tamp (push down on the coffee) myself so I wanted a manual machine (NOT an automatic). I also wanted to buy whatever beans I wanted! so I could grind fresh. I wanted to make the perfect cup from scratch - like in a real coffee shop.

So when walking from shop to shop to shop - each only stocked a few machines. And the makes and models varied. Even though the store clerk rated them highly I didn't feel like they had one at home. So I went home to Google, watch some YouTube videos and ask on twitter.

YouTube really helped but the outcome was that I should really buy a SUPER expensive machine around R18000 ($1500) and up. Now as much as I love my coffee I am not in this bracket of spending this amount of money on 1 machine right now! but If I bought a cheaper machine would I be wasting my money? this was the great debate. So after much consideration we settle on a Breville Barista Express machine from @home store. It costs around R4950 but they were running a promotion so we got it less 20% at R3990 - yay!

Once home it took some knack to get our espresso not to taste sour! about 5 days of minor adjustments and loads of coffee making - coffee high anybody? but now we are so happy!

I proved that I didn't need to spend the R18000 but could get a manual Barist style machine to make coffee at home.

I am now practicing how to make the prefect flat white .... the coffee journey continues ;)

How do you make your coffee?

I have since found out my machine has a aluminum thermo block with a non-stick coating which I am NOT happy about! You can see more about it here in the youtube video by Seattle Coffee Gear:

I am trying to get the NEW and improved Breville machine with the thermocoil that has a STAINLESS Tube that the water runs through - a much healthier option!

After MANY emails with @home and trying to contact Breville who kept referring me back to the store I purchased it from (@home) I decided to tweet!
Tweeting that I wasn't happy about the thermo block in my breville got me an email from Breville communications company - this is what they sent me:

I can tell you categorically that the BES860 uses a stainless steel lined thermo-coil as its heating system. This design & component specification has not changed since the product’s inception.
Further to this, the only machine in the Breville range that uses a Thermo-block is the 800ES.
I hope this clarifies the situation.
Regards, Phil

Phil McKnight

Coffee Guru


PLEASE NOTE: I bought this piece of machinery myself and was not asked by Breville or any agents or stores to write a review. This is my personal experience ONLY and I used my own money to purchase it.