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Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
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- Stainless-steel espresso machine with 15-bar thermoblock pump
- Dual-wall filter system for excellent crema; froth enhancer, cup-warming plate
- Accesories: Stainless steel frothing pitcher Tamping tool/measuring spoon/cleaning tool
- Removable drip tray and grid; Frothing jug included
- Measures 9 x 9 x 12 inches; 1-year limited warranty
- 40.6 oz (1.2 L) removable water tank
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|Sold By||Available from these sellers||STUFF CENTRAL||Better Home NJ||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Color||Brushed Stainless||Stainless Steel||Silver||Silver||Black||Red|
|Item Weight||13 lbs||18.9 lbs||6 lbs||20 lbs||—||9.3 lbs|
"Thermoblock heating system extracts espresso at the perfect temperature. A full 15 bars of pressure maximizes crema for a rich, barista-style aroma and taste. Effortless frothing and foaming." Included Accessories Single, double or pods espresso shots Stainless steel frothing pitcher Tamping tool and measuring spoon Cleaning tool.
Top customer reviews
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I'm happy to report I'm not finding any of these issues to be a problem. As to the complaints about the drip tray filling up, I firmly believe all humans with a modicum of intelligence will realize that any espresso machine you buy is going to need some level of maintenance. I generally dump the drip tray every day, but have skipped a day with no overflow issues.
I have learned that after making 3 lattes, I need to fill the water reservoir; no big chore. You simply lift the small hinged lid in the back and fill to max line.
I have had no problems steaming milk. I like a foamy latte and this delivers. I use cold, organic 2% milk. I also clear the steam wand and clean it after each use to ensure it will continue producing steam.
As to the fake crema claims, I will not lie; I am not enough of a coffee aficionado to tell whether the crema produced is fake or not. Nor do I care. The espresso shots produced are tasty; with no burnt or nasty flavor like I've sometimes had at random coffee houses.
Things I did not like about the machine were that the frothing pitcher had no measurement markings. I did purchase a different frothing pitcher (Frothing Pitcher, X-Chef Stainless Steel Milk Pitcher 10 oz (300 ml) as I could not estimate 6 oz and was consistently making too much milk that I would then waste. I also bought Espresso Shot & Measuring Glass for Baristas 2oz 1,8" x 1,8 "x 2,6" inch to help me gauge my shot. When I started, I was pulling waaaay too long of a shot and my lattes were terrible; bitter and too strong. The shot measuring glass helped rectify that situation and has allowed me to pull ristretto shots, my absolute favorite.
For me, a regular morning with this machine looks like this: turn on espresso machine to heat, grind coffee in Bodum BISTRO Burr Grinder, Electronic Coffee Grinder with Continuously Adjustable Grind, Black (definitely worth the money, grinds beans perfectly), start making scrambled eggs and toast, come back pull a blank shot (just water) to ensure machine is warm, load portafilter, tamp grounds, load portafilter into machine head, take eggs off burner, pull shot, froth milk and add to espresso in cup, then plate food. I'm done making my latte and breakfast in under 15 minutes.
If you aren't an incredibly knowledgeable coffee aficianado and are on the hunt for a moderately priced machine that is simple to operate, maintain and won't have too large a footprint in your kitchen, look no further. (Unless you decide to get the newer version of this machine so you can replace parts in the event of a failure. I decided to purchase the 4 year insurance plan as it was cheaper). I will try to update this review over the years or at least until this is no longer sold.
after making my first cappuccino today, I can tell I made the correct decision. I am an avid coffee drinker, but am by no means an espresso
aficionado. I can't ever recall ordering a plain espresso in a café so if you are ordering this machine particularly for espresso, I couldn't
reccommend it one way or another. I can say though that the double espresso shot came out well from my point of view. It had half a centimeter
of crema, and the espresso wasn't especially bitter. I wasn't too worried about that though because I bought this machine mainly for lattees and cappucchinos and I can say that it was the best cappucchino I've ever made. It was truly as good if not better than Starbucks. I'm not going to compare it a 'good' cafe, although that's subjective, but if you are planning on making mainly milk-based drinks, this is definitely a product worth investing in. Don't buy into all the hype on how one needs to spend at least x amount to produce a good espresso. If you have a good grinder and are somewhat competent, this machine will be more than adequate for you. I truly believe the vast majority of people who claim to produce better espresso with a more expensive machine are simply trying to justify the amount of money they spent on said product.
When it was working for the first number of years, it made good shots, with good crema, and the (rigid) steam head worked OK to froth milk. The basket was pressurized, so it overcame the bad grinds we were getting from the chopper grinder we had. We mostly used bottled D.I. water, and only flushed it with a mild vinegar solution a couple times a year. The pump always seemed to provide enough pressure, though the shots were never super hot. The most we ran through it regularly was 2-4 shots, but occasionally we pulled 8-10, letting it heat up again between every couple. My wife ran it dry a few times, but it seemed to bounce back and keep going, despite our lack of maintenance or care.
It's a smallish unit and looks pretty good. We liked the all stainless exterior with easy to clean parts and exteriors. The plastic tamper worked OK, but not great, and the stainless cups aren't the highest grade material (i.e. they stained, which meant they were releasing chrome into our drinks.) The water reservoir is an OK size also, but we had to always remember to fill it just about every day. All of this was a good compromise for the very small footprint, low running noise, and ease of use.
All worked pretty well, with few complaints until about 4 or 5 months ago; when it didn't turn on morning for a few hours. Then we started having seal leaks (splattering grinds all over the place) about once a week. Little glitches would crop up once a week or so, until last week when the pump just went on and stayed running whenever the power was flipped on. Total unit failure.
That is when I decided to open it up to see if it was reparable (I'm fairly handy, so I figured I might at least see what was wrong). Nope. It looked like the thermoblock had sprung a leak months ago and started corroding everything inside. The switch that failed looked like it just rusted through. Every other piece of metal in it was rusted, and every chrome piece was coated with white oxidation. On a plus note, the structural elements were indeed stainless steel and showed little sign of corrosion. And the top piece was very heavy and well built. Now with all that mess in there, I was actually shocked that it had continued to work all this time. It was getting glitchy, but it still was putting pressure into the portafilter. I was also shocked that there hadn't been an electrical fire, or short-circuit. Good safety design, maybe. or lucky?
So, I have mixed feelings about the unit. The thermoblock seems to have been poorly designed (A thermoblock is probably a bad idea in general), but despite that, all the rest of it was very well put together and durable enough to overcome massive corrosion and part failure for who knows how long. For a unit in this price range, 5 years of solid use with little trouble is probably a pretty good record considering all the QA and durability problems most electronics have these days.
We are replacing it with the more expensive BES840XL, which has a solid, newly designed, one piece thermo coil. Hopefully Breville has overcome the issue of a leaky heating unit, creating a silver bullet for those of us who don't want to shell out the bucks for brass boilers. I would recommend this unit, with the caveat that buyers understand that in this price range it is a lot to ask for a machine to make good shots year after year with no problems. I think ours did a great job for us with this understanding.
Most recent customer reviews
Works great, easy to use and makes a wonderful cappuccino!