Many of us have become espresso drinkers in over the last decade. People who don’t like coffee even seek out this delicious beverage. However getting good espresso is not always easy and if you want good espresso at home that can be even harder. However if you’re willing to make the investment this espresso machine takes all of the headache out of the process and gives you delicious espresso with each pull.
Years ago I worked for Starbucks. I had never been much of a coffee drinker but liked it well enough that I really got into making the beverages. Going through their barista training really helped me see that there’s nothing complicated about making espresso based beverages. Once you understand the basics you just add or subtract based on preference.
Part of working there was that during your shift you could drink all the espresso you wanted without cost. This was good and bad. Good because when you have to be at the store at 4am to open you need something strong to kick start your day, but bad because you quickly develop a taste for it and drink way too much of it!
After a few years life took me in another direction but the basics I had learnt stayed with me. I missed that smooth, sweet, creamy coffee taste. Another thing I learned while working there was the secret is both about the bean and the machine. How the machine soaks and extrudes the flavor is a very serious science. To do this properly you need well engineered machines and if you want smooth creamy frothy hot milk you need well regulated steam. Add to all that if you want a hot beverage, one that is both steamed milk and fresh espresso you need to do both at the same time which means you need a machine that can pull a shot of espresso (this takes a lot of power and hot water) as well as steam milk (which again takes a lot of power and hot water) at the same time without pulling power or water from each other. The Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine does just that.
Yes, this is an expensive machine but if you have an daily espresso habit this machine can quickly pay for itself. Figuring that the average espresso beverage is about $4 and if you grab one a day either to or four class or work you’re looking at an annual cost of over $1000! That meant if we got the machine it would pay for itself in about a year, not to mention the convince of having it at home. Sure there’s the cost of the things you add to your coffee not to mention the espresso beans themselves but not having to wait in line, having it just the way you like it, and getting to try and discover great coffee can be well worth the experience if you love great espresso beverages.
Best part is with this machine you don’t have to go through tons of training the way I did when I worked for Starbucks. These machines are calibrated to ensure you get a great shot every time. Another wonderful thing about Breville is that they make a range of machines that all deliver this easy and consistent espresso experience. They even offer online videos on exactly what to do to make it even easier!
I will say that there is an option that has a built in grinder. Some may like this design but I was to leery about it. “All-in-one” designs of anything can be problematic. Of one part gets stuck, or broken the entire machine is at risk. I realize it’s an additional cost and counter space but I really enjoy having a separate grinder which is the Breville Smart Grinder. This grinder allows you to customize how much and how coarse. So whether we are wanting french press or espresso this grinder can take care of it all. The most important aspect of this is fresh grinding. The first thing you learn when getting into coffee is the fresher the better. Whether is drip, or espresso, grinding your bean for every pot at the time you are going to brew gives you the best possible flavor.
Once I had a high quality espresso machine at home this also meant I could experiment with other brands and roasts of coffee beans. Since getting our machine we have tried a few and for the last year have settled onto a “local” roaster. Bootstrap Coffee in Minnesota is an independent roaster with a passion for flavor. Of all the coffee’s I have tasted this is by far my favorite.
Now, whether it’s hot or cold, iced or steamed, macchiatos or lattes great coffee is waiting for me anytime. One of the nice auto features on this machine is the timer so when I get up in the morning my machine is warmed to temperature and ready to go so there’s no waiting for that great first cup in the morning.
So, if you’re in the market for a new espresso machine I would highly recommend heading over to Breville’s website and checking this one out! Not to mention they have wonderful customer service! (The first year we had it the machine started having issues. I called the customer service number and they helped me troubleshoot and immediately diagnosed this was not a fixable problem so they overnighted a brand new machine to me and all I had to do was send back my once I received the new one… oh, they included return shipping with the new machine.)
This was my gateway product into the world of Breville. This machine, their service and its quality showed me this was a company worth checking out and every product we have purchased from them has lived up to the first experience I had.