Pros / This machine produces great tasting espresso and froth.
Cons / You will need to experiment a bit to get espresso that suits your tastes.
Verdict / While it may take a few times through the process to get your espresso right, once you do, you’ll never regret purchasing this espresso maker.
In our review of the best home espresso machines, the Breville Infuser is our top pick. It’s a semi-automatic espresso machine that makes the highest quality espresso of all the models we tested. It does a great job frothing milk for other coffee drinks, and it performed excellently in most of our tests. Plus, it comes with a full array of well-made accessories that allow you to brew whatever coffee drink you want.
- Espresso Quality
- Frothing Quality
- Ease of Use
In our taste tests, the espresso we made was certainly tasty, and it earned the highest quality marks among the machines we evaluated. The crema is good, although in our tests it did not cover the entire surface of the drink.
We brought in a professional barista to help us with our evaluation and show us how to use each machine properly. Our quality and taste scores combine the opinions of both our barista and our testing team. After sampling the coffee made by the Breville Infuser, they determined that it was the best tasting of all the machines we reviewed. The foam was silky, creamy and voluminous, which made a lovely addition to the brew. In only one instance we ended up getting more steamed milk and less foam than we had hoped.
This Breville takes considerably less work to make espresso than a manual machine. This unit automatically brews espresso, so you do not have to babysit the machine. It is equipped with 360-degree motion steam wand, but you will need to experiment a bit with it to get the results you want.
Breville notes that it does not blast tamped coffee grounds with high pressure from the start of brewing. Instead, this espresso maker uses a low-pressure, pre-infusion approach first and then switches to high pressure, which Breville states is intended to create even flavor extraction.
This Breville model got pretty hot during use, the outside reaching 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than any of the other home espresso makers we tested. This machine is also a bit noisy when in use, with our tests showing 79.8 decibels, which is comparable to a running garbage disposal.
The water reservoir holds a generous 61 ounces of water, the second largest of any of the products we tested. Happily, the water reservoir and all of the other plastic parts that come into contact with anything you consume are BPA free.
Another feature worth noting is the customization. If there’s a specific type of espresso pull you want, you can program it into the machine and overwrite the default, which allows you to get exactly the latte, cappuccino or other coffee drink you want with one button push.
This espresso machine has an auto-shutoff feature, which turns the machine off after a period of inactivity, making it both energy efficient and safe.
With this espresso maker, you get a predominantly metal tamper. This is important. The barista that helped us test and evaluate these machines noted that almost all the others came with a flimsy plastic tamper, which does a sub-standard job. With the metal tamper, you can achieve a tight, even tamp so you know you’re getting the best quality espresso every time.
This home espresso machine also includes a metal milk jug for frothing. Most of the products we reviewed don’t, forcing you to spend more money to buy one separately. Of course, you can try using cups or glasses you already own for frothing, but having a proper milk jug is invaluable for proper frothing.
You also get a hefty portafilter, along with four filters, so you can use pods or ground coffee. This is the most filter baskets provided by any machine we evaluated, and it means you can customize your espresso pull depending on your personal tastes.
The Breville Infuser espresso maker comes with a number of useful extras, including a pop-up indicator that shows when the drip tray is too full and needs to be cleaned, a tool storage tray inside the machine and a useful ridged cup warmer on top that warms cups well.
This product has a one-year warranty period. Which is typical for machines in this category. However, some others such as the Aicock Espresso Machine and the Cuisinart Programmable Espresso Maker have two or three-year warranty periods.
The espresso we made with the Breville Infuser was the highest quality of all the espresso makers in our comparison, and the steamed milk and froth were first-rate. The Breville Infuser espresso maker is well-built, easy to clean, and offers a number of helpful extras and features.
Contributing Reviewer: Danny Chadwick