What is a Thermoblock?

A thermoblock or thermocoil takes water from the reservoir in an espresso machine and heats it on the fly, versus heating up a full boiler of water. This technology is commonly seen on home espresso machines, where it manages either the brew function, steam function or both. The benefit of a thermoblock is that it doesn’t take as long for your machine to heat up for either brew or steam; however, the drawback can be that your temperature for brew or steam is not quite as consistent as you might like.

Gail introduces us to a few different varieties of thermoblocks/thermocoils and shows how they compare to a standard boiler (specifically, the internals of the Breville Dual Boiler).

Special thanks to Breville for providing the sample internals for this video!

17 thoughts on “What is a Thermoblock?”

  1. I have an older model expresso machine from Starbucks, it is no longer available. I believe that the problem with my machine is the Thermoblock coil. Can these coils be repaired? The machine I have has not been used all that much so this should not have happened. Please can you give me advice on this issue? thank you, m.luby.

    1. The Starbucks Barista machines were a variety of private label espresso machines that are still available under their original manufacturer brand. Most often they were Saeco semi-automatics (either the Aroma or the Via Venezia) or Saeco Superautomatics (very similar to the Incanto) and they can be repaired. What’s going on with the machine?

      – Kat

  2. Hi Kat,

    Thank you for the video, I really appreciate it. If I would like to purchase a thermocoil like that, where would i go to get one? And what type of pumps would I need to get to pump water?

    Thank you so much!!!


    1. I don’t know where you’d purchase one separately; these are manufactured specifically for Breville wherever they produce their machines. I doubt they have them available for general sale as it’s a tech advantage for their machines over other models.

      – Kat

  3. Hi Gail!
    Do you have any video with how do these units measure the water volume? Do they count electrolytes, or just knowing the debit it measures the timeā€¦I own BES870 (thermo coil)

  4. Hi Gail,

    You had mentioned that the thermoblock for the Barista Express is an aluminum block lined with stainless steel and that the stainless part is lined with teflon. Is that correct? Love the machine but the teflon is a major concern?

    1. Hi, Darrin,

      We gave Breville a call to confirm if there was a Teflon coating in the Thermocoil and they said there wasn’t in the Barista Express!

      Great question!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>