Over the years I have shopped a lot of brands when it comes to equipping my kitchen. It started with what was affordable at the time and piece by piece certain things evolved as I began shopping for quality. Don’t get me wrong. There is quality at every price point but for the rigor I put my kitchen through I need equipment that can withstand the workload.
It started simply enough. My husband and I were in the market for an espresso machine. Now, I should pause and explain that for a few years I had the opportunity to work for Starbucks and learned a lot about what was needed in a machine to make great espresso. Specifically you need the ability to properly extract the espresso from the beans as well as you need to be able to make good foam. Your foam is what sets apart most home espresso beverages from what you get at a coffee shop. The next part to the perfect espresso is timing. This might be the most important thing. You don’t want to pull a shot of espresso and have it sitting in the cup while you steam you milk. This will result in very bitter coffee. For silky smooth and sweet and cream espresso beverages you need to be able to have your milk and you shot done almost at the same time. To do this you need to have a dual boiler. You need one boiler for pulling a shot of espresso and one to make the steam to froth your milk. After digging around we landed on Breville’s Dual Boiler Espresso Machine.
We had the machine for about a year and during that time it went through a move. Just before Christmas the machine went on the fritz. I should interject here that this is a VERY pricey machine. I was none too happy with it and called Breville’s customer service. I explained the problem and they asked me for some information that was on the machine. They then took me through a few tests on the machine and quickly diagnosed this was not user error. Being that it was still under warranty they offered to send me a brand new machine even though I never went through the steps of registering it when I bought it.
I had two options one was to get packing materials, package up the machine send it back to them and once they received it they would send me the replacement. All free of charge. Or they could put a $100 hold on a credit card, send me the new one and then I could send the old one back in the same box and once they received it they would lift the hold. We chose the second option and had the new espresso machine before Christmas. Resolving the issue was simple and quick.
A year later we moved to Iowa. In that move I had picked a moving company that was a nightmare, sadly I didn’t know this until after the move, but saw signs all along the way. Once we got unpacked and settled in we noticed the espresso machine was acting a little abnormal but kept using it. It continued to work for us for 3 more years before it just wasn’t wanting to pull shots anymore. Knowing that the move and the remodel probably messed up the machine we decided to break down and buy a new one. Since we were so happy with that model we bought the same one but with some additional new features.
When we bought the original machine we bought the separate grinder. When we went to grind the beans for the first cup of espresso the grinder was not working. We tried a few more things and nothing. The next day we took it back to the Sur La Table we bought it at and they quickly tested it out, saw it was indeed not working and replaced it with no questions asked. We have been using that grinder ever since and love it!
Over the years I have owned many blenders. I could kill a blender quicker than anyone I knew. Not only that but I was always unhappy with the graininess of the puree. The blenders I had been using were Kitchen Aid which just always left me wanting. Having had such good luck with Breville I opted for their top of the line blender The Breville Boss. This is an amazing machine. It puree’s silky smooth and works through anything I put in it.
At the same time I opted to buy the blender I was frustrated with the cheap microwave and toaster ovens we had owned. I did some reading up on the Smart Oven Pro and the microwave the Breville Quick Touch. Both have been perfect for what I wanted them to be able to do. Having a microwave that can soften butter, melt chocolate, or thaw meat and make it easy to operate is wonderful. It takes some getting used to as it does not have a number pad to key in the time you want but when you learn to use it’s preprogrammed settings and adjust the power as well as the time you can get some truly exception results from the microwave. Same is true for the toaster oven. Calling it a toaster oven is such an understatement. You can bake, broil, toast, and so much more in this machine. I have baked bread in it and I have roasted sides for dinners while the main oven was in use.
Recently however my toaster oven went on the fritz after almost 2 years. It still works but no matter which way you turn the temperature nob it only decreases the temperature. Not knowing if there was anyway to reset it I called breville. I told them that it was almost two years old and what the problem was. They asked some additional questions and told me that because it was no longer under warranty all they could offer me was sending me a refurbished machine as a replacement but they could not send a new one. This shocked and delighted me. Knowing the rigorous inspections refurbishments go through I was happy with this option as I thought I was just end up having to buy a new machine. They game me the same options as the espresso machine and I again picked the option of having a hold on my credit card as they sent me the replacement. I called Breville on Thursday and I have email confirmation the replacement will be here Wednesday!
Breville’s small appliances really are amazing in their performance and quality. I realize that things can happen and machines can malfunction. I don’t expect every piece to last a lifetime but I would hope they would take care of me when they do break down. Not all companies do this. Most tell you SOL when you’re out of warranty. Not Breville.
Over the last 3 years we have acquired a number of pieces. From Deep Fryer, to a Blender, to a Pressure Cooker/Slow Cooker, to a Juicer, an Ice Cream Machine, and even their Electric Wok. Every piece has out performed my expectations, looks amazing, and is backed by real honest customer service that is their to help to the best of their abilities.
So if you’re in the market for a new small appliance look no further than Breville.