It's a fast machine for this pupose, however, as in everything, you need to master some skills, that's why is named BARISTA, it's designed for people who enjoy adjusting grind level, tampering the coffe, and wating to see the pump pressure gage pointing at the middle of the dial to get the right extraction. I was new to this and I spent like 4 coffe pounds (so it's a good idea to get some cheap bags to practice) to began getting nice results, and this paid off. Now I can enjoy coffe flavor and distinguish the different roast levels and bean types. It's just another world and there is no return.
Regarding the product itself, it's rock solid, with stainless steel and a massive filter holder, almost similar in weight to those of coffe shops with real big machines. You can change the filter to have 1 or 2 shot options. Breville includes a "begginers set" to have consisten resuts from the 1st use, however I've never use them, since I accepted the challenge to use the standar filters in order to "tweak" my expresso.
The magnetic taper is made of a tough polymer and it's heavy and massive, which is good since provides a nice feeling, with a stainless steel cover to properly tamper the filter. It doesn't feel cheap or crapy.
You can program the amount of time extraction for 1 or 2 shots, and also it has an autocleaning setup, with a light that tilts when you need to perform it.
Also, the water reservoir is 2 liters, which is enough for most household use, however a light alerting low level would be a nice feature. This tank also includes a filter to remove odors, and has a nice date marker to advice when you need to replace it.
Expect some noise, but it's normal for a steam pump, there is no way to manufacture a silent pump and not being ripped off.
In conclusion, this machine is great, as every product from breville, avoid spending less in a cheaper machine with mediocre results, which will end on your basement.
Also it's very important to mention that breville supplies spare parts, so you can expect to use your expresso maker for years, contrary to those machines that are disposable since ther maker just "forgets" to provide the proper aftermarket support.
This machine has failed on me just after warranty expired. I would not recommend this product to anybody. It seems that the pressure system is prone to fail(leak) water - resulting in water leak but more importantly - loss of pressure to make espresso. When espresso is brewed with too little or too much pressure it comes out tasking quite bad. Poor quality workmanship/build quality.
Simply a fantastic espresso machine. I now get a better shot than my coffee house. The pressure gauge makes getting the perfect shot so easy, and the bean grinder is simply fantastic. Only draw back is filling the machine with water as I use it so much but I will live with that. Heats up very, very, quickly and steams milk lovely. Can't go wrong with this machine.
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