So we are so excited to announce the newest addition to our family! She’s red, 27.4 lbs and brightens our day every morning. Now don’t get too excited, our bundle of joy is the Breville Barista Express, a coffee grinder, espresso maker and milk steamer all in one.
First of all I want to say thank you Bed Bath and Beyond for shipping to APO addresses! Some companies won’t ship larger items (I don’t want to tell you the headache I went thru with Williams and Sonoma trying to get this item)…. Anyways, once we opened the very large package we were slightly disappointed with the red color. We had been excited to try something different in the kitchen, but the red is much more of a lipstick red than a cranberry. Second off, I was disappointed that so much of the espresso maker is plastic. I had really thought the majority of the exterior would be metal, I’m not sure how the plastic will hold up over time. On the bright side, the item is very solid,and smaller than I had expected, so yay on saving some counter space.
So on to the setup! Setup was easy, we removed all the wrapping and washed all the parts (water reservoir, coffee bean hopper, basket, portafilter, and milk jug). We then soaked the filter pod for 5 minutes and then rinsed it off along with the filter basket. Afterwards, you install the filter into the water reservoir (it’s a quick press down to snap it into place).
It’s time to fill up the reservoir, you simply grab the top handle and the lid opens up.
Here is the portafilter with basket installed and the milk jug.
It’s an easy process to grind the beans, you simply place the portafilter into place and then press it back once for a present amount (single or double) and then if you want to do a custom amount you press and hold the portafilter back until you get the desired amount.
Once complete you can use your tamper to press down the coffee grounds and the portafilter is ready to be screwed into the brewing area for your cup of hot and fresh espresso!
While you are brewing you want to pay attention to the pressure gauge. You will want it to get into the “Espresso Range.”
The milk frother is fairly easy to use, you turn the dial on the side to steam and make sure you aim the wand towards the drip tray as there will be leakage while the wand heats up. Once you see steam, place the wand inside the milk jug filled with milk. They say to rotate the milk in a circular motion and to feel the side of the jug (when it is too hot to touch, the milk is ready).
So far we are pretty happy with the machine and have been drinking plenty of espresso this week. We hope that the Barista Express will be a long term member of the family!