There’s definitely something appealing about having a little coffee station on your countertop, no? Breville’s Barista Express‘ relatively unique design offers just such an experience: A traditional espresso machine with a grinder integrated into the case, offering you a one-stop home coffee makin’ shop (as it were). We’ve heard rumors that this configuration is Breville’s best selling model, which makes sense given that, as of this writing, it’s the only one of its kind in the US.
A common inquiry we receive, however, is concerning how well the grinder actually performs. It’s true that the previous generation Barista Express (the BES860XL) included a grinder that didn’t go quite fine enough for our tastes, and owners often had to employ the dual wall / pressurized baskets in order to get a good shot. With the recent upgrade to other elements of the Barista Express, we wanted to know how much of an improvement Breville made to the grinder itself … and how that compared to their popular standalone grinder, the Smart Grinder.
In this video, Gail examines the burrs of these two different grinders and then compares their grind quality and consistency, both at their finest and coarsest settings. If you’re considering one of these pieces of Breville gear for your coffee setup, watch Gail find out how they measure up against each other to get a little insight into how they perform.
Compare: Breville Smart Grinder vs. Breville Barista Express Grinder
Recipes for apple spiced lattes abound, but have you ever tried one with fresh apple juice? When we asked Brandi to find a fun recipe that would incorporate a Breville Juice Fountain, she came back with this little gem — and we were very pleasantly surprised!
Despite copious evidence to the contrary, we’re not big fans of super sweet food; if you share the same proclivities, this recipe is great because all of the sweetness comes from the apple’s natural sugars. But even if you’re a fan of candy-coated candygrams, you could make this recipe work for you by either selecting an apple that has more natural sugar or adding a little Monin syrup into the mix (purists might prefer Cane Sugar, while the more adventurous may take the ‘spice’ element of this recipe seriously by incorporating Cinnamon).
In this how-to video, Brandi begins by juicing a few apples and then — using the Breville Barista Express — she froths almond milk and ‘juices’ some coffee. The results? Delicious!
3 apples, juiced (yields about 1/2 a cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 oz espresso
dash of cinnamon & nutmeg
Start by juicing your apples; if you produce more than 1/2 cup, measure out that amount and then combine with the almond milk in a frothing pitcher.
Froth the milk and juice combination together until it has reached your desired temperature.
Pull your shot of espresso and combine it all in your serving mug; garnish with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon.
If we were going to anthropomorphize the Breville Infuser (BES840XL), we’re pretty sure its human counterpart is Gabby Douglas: Sleek, compact, multi-faceted and the best all-around performer in the group.
One of the features that it offers is automatic water dosing for your espresso extraction, which can take a bit of the guess work out of the process. But since programming the Breville Infuser isn’t as simple as measuring out exactly one or two ounces of water and then calling it a day, we asked Gail to guide us through the process.
Watch as she discusses with us how automatic dosing works, provides us with tips on getting the right shot volume and then shares her thoughts on why you’d want to do this. Whether you’ve been considering the Breville Infuser or already own it and just want to learn more, this how-to video dives a little deeper into one of its great, easy-to-use features.
With summer coming rapidly to a close, we wanted to rock a recipe that is both sweet and icy. With a wide array of naughty frozen delights available to you (like this or this), frozen yogurt truly is relatively nutritious — especially if you incorporate fresh strawberries into the mix! Right? Right.
Watch as Brandi demonstrates making this delectable dessert recipe on the Breville Smart Scoop ice cream maker.
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled & quartered
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups plain yogurt
Place quartered strawberries in a bowl and mix with 1/3 cup sugar and lemon juice. Gently crush with a fork and let site at room temp for an hour to macerate. After an hour, gently crush with a fork again to desired consistency or blend into a puree.
Combine strawberries, yogurt and sugar and pour into the ice cream bowl. Set ice cream maker to YOGURT setting an churn.
Here’s a dirty little SCG secret: Sometimes, we’re a little shallow. We like pretty, shiny things and when we first began carrying Breville’s espresso machines, we did so only because, well, they were pretty and shiny. At the time, most of the more budget-conscious models were rockin’ plastic or powder coated metal cases, yet the Breville machines were lustrous, brushed stainless steel … and we totally went for it.
Sadly, in that first couple of years, we came to understand that their function did not measure up to their form and they just simply couldn’t get hot enough to produce a truly delicious espresso. With the release of their first version of the Barista Express (BES860XL), however, they started to address this temperature situation and haven’t looked back since.
Breville’s next entry into the home espresso enthusiast space was the beloved Dual Boiler (BES900XL) , which was a truly magnificent leap forward for the company in terms of temperature control and functionality. What they learned from developing that machine, they applied to the budget-friendly Infuser (BES840XL) about a year later, and what they learned from developing the Infuser, they then incorporated into the next iteration of the Barista Express (BES870XL): Namely, the thermocoil and PID temperature technology.
Since the new Barista Express has some great features like simple PID temperature control and an integrated grinder, folks often ask us how it compares to its larger, yet somewhat-similarly featured compatriot, the Dual Boiler. First off, of course, it’s got it’s own grinder and it doesn’t brew and steam at the same time like the Dual Boiler does, but there are a few other functional differences as well. The end cup of coffee, however, is remarkably similar … so it may just be your budget that casts the deciding vote.
Watch as Gail takes us through a feature and technology comparison of these two machines, then shows us how they perform side by side.
Does your Saeco Via Venezia need to be repaired but you don’t have a repair center in your area? Did you try on a DeLonghi Magnifica for size and it didn’t quite fit? Will that Rocket Espresso R58 see more action at your vacation home? Regardless of your reason for shipping your espresso machine — repair, return or simple transit — ensuring that it’s packed properly to limit damage is key.
In this series of videos, we asked a member of our shipping crew, Spencer, to guide us through the best practices for three general styles of espresso machines: Small (under 35lbs), large (over 35lbs) and superautomatics (watch those drip trays!). Check out the video that most closely matches your style of machine to learn how the pros do it.
Episode One: Packing a Small (Under 35lbs) Espresso Machine
Episode Two: Packing a Large (Over 35lbs) Espresso Machine
Episode Three: Packing a Superautomatic Espresso Machine
Even though it’s smack dab in the middle of our name, coffee isn’t the only thing that we love around this joint. Tea holds a very special place in our hearts, and, as luck would have it, so does Breville. Combine two loves together and what do you get? A refreshed review of one of our more popular tea accoutrement, the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker.
We love this guy because of how easy it is to use — the automation and programming available make crafting a delicious pot of tea something even Bunny’s trill can do! Watch as she takes us through all of its features and specs, then demonstrates how it works by brewing up a batch of Rishi Blueberry Rooibos tea. Delish!
Yes, we’re serious. No, we can’t believe we are, either. We probably shouldn’t let Brandi choose her recipes on her own anymore after she brought this bad boy out to play. Who on earth blends up a slice of chocolate cake and then drinks it?! Probably the same person who blends up a donut.
We apologize in advance for any and all of the havoc this wreaks on your lovely figure, love. Ijole!
4 cups vanilla ice cream
1/2 – 1 cup milk
(1) 8 oz. slice of chocolate cake
2 shots of espresso
In a blender, puree the ice cream and the milk together. Add the cake and the espresso shot, continuing to blend and adding more milk (as needed) to get the right consistency. Serve with a straw and spoon in a pint glass, preferably away from any reflective surfaces.
Looking for a budget-conscious burr grinder that’s suitable for traditional espresso preparation? Consider the feature-laden Breville Smart Grinder or the robust, commercial-grade Rancilio Rocky. Both have great consistency and a wide grind range, so you can use them for anything from espresso to coffee press.
Watch Gail as she takes us through their features and functionality, then shows us how they compare, grind-wise.
While the sun keeps playing hide and seek with us here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re pretty sure that the rest of the you are having a hot and summery blast right now! Well, if you’re on this side of the equator, that is.
What better way to beat the heat than with a cool and delectable treat? Check out this super easy gelato recipe, courtesy of Brandi and Breville’s rockin’ Smart Scoop ice cream maker.