The Barista Express improves upon the brand’s entry level espresso equipment by including a bean hopper and built-in grinder for more flavorful, freshly brewed coffee. It allows you a lot of control over the final product with readily changeable grind settings, coffee dosage, and espresso volumes, yet it’s not difficult to understand. Getting the settings just right will take some time, but once you do, you’ll be wowing your friends with flawless barista coffee every time.
- Easy to use
- Many parameters that may adjust
- Makes delicious espresso
- requires some trial-and-error
- messy when tamping coffee and using the razor.
One minute review
This high-end kitchen appliance company, calls as Sage in the UK or Breville in the US and Australia. It is renown for producing some of the greatest espresso machines you can buy. There is something for everyone. From its basic entry-level versions to investment-level coffee makers. That let you manage every part of the drink using a sophisticated color touch screen display.
The mid-range Barista Express model improves on the entry-level Bambino espresso machine. Done by including a built-in burr grinder that dispenses freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter. But this machine lets you practice your barista abilities, in contrast to the more automated bean-to-cup models from other manufacturers. It may take some effort to master the necessary skills. Especially if you’re a beginner, to properly tamp the coffee, level it with the razor tool. And steam your own milk.
Once you’ve consumed your daily caffeine limit, use it to dispense hot water for tea. You may vary the grind size, quantity of coffee poured, volume, and temperature of the espresso. To achieve the optimum results. We found it to be easy to use. And with options that are simple to change, it’s definitely not as frightening as it could seem. It took some trial and error to get the settings exactly right. But after a few relatively weak cups of coffee, we were consistently generating powerful espresso. It is a good piece of equipment that will appeal to coffee lovers. Who searching for a device that allows a lot of control over the finished beverage, but it is not inexpensive.
Sage the Barista Express: price and availability
List price: $699.95, AU$999, or £629.95
The Barista Express market as Sage in the UK and Breville in the US and Australia. As we have already explained. It is available for direct online purchase from Breville and Sage as well as other merchants like Amazon.
This is one of the company’s mid-range coffee makers. An improvement over its more basic versions like the Bambino. But with less glitzy features than more expensive machines like the Oracle Touch.
Barista Express Design
- Italian pump at 15 bar
- Burr grinder integrated with 16 grind settings
- detachable 2 liter/67 ounce water tank
Even while this model isn’t as large as other of the coffee makers we’ve examined. It still takes up over twice as much counter space as the smallest espresso makers available. Measuring 15.9 x 12.5 x 13.8 inches (40.4 x 31.8 x 35.1cm) (h x w x d).
A 54mm stainless steel portafilter and four filter baskets were there in the box. The two dual wall filter baskets are for use with pre-ground coffee, which is ideal for the occasional decaf espresso. The single wall filter baskets, meanwhile, are there to extract the greatest coffee flavor from freshly ground beans.
The stainless steel milk jug includes a handy temperature strip. That helps make it easier to steam milk to the right temperature by changing color as the milk heated up. A water filter and a variety of cleaning supplies are also there in the box.
A stainless steel or black machine is an option. If you’re in Australia, there is also a red or gray choice. The machine itself appears to be a modern piece of equipment. It is undoubtedly durable and, although being a little daunting to a beginner, the controls are easily understood.
It is a simple operation to flow hot water through the different outlets during initial setup in a circular motion until the tank is empty. After that, you must fill it with beans and experiment to find the ideal coffee.
16 levels of grind size are accessible via a single dial, while a second dial lets you regulate the quantity poured. It couldn’t be easier to begin the procedure: simply select the single or double filter, place the portafilter in the grinding cradle, and move it forward to start the grinding process. After the ground coffee has already stack high in the portafilter, you may play barista by tamping it down and making the ideal “puck” with the razor tool. Once in place, all you have to do to start dispensing coffee is push either the one cup or two cup buttons. You may choose the default volume or change it to your preference.
You may pour hot water for tea or steam to warm milk in the included jug using a switch on the side. Additionally, there is a sizable detachable drip tray in the bottom to catch spills and messes.
Barista Express Performance
- strong espresso with a substantial crema
- Every component seems solid and well-made.
- It requires time to achieve the ideal settings.
The handbook suggests using grind size 8, which is in the center of the available 16 grind settings, for the first cup of coffee. However, this resulted in a weak and inadequately extracted espresso, so we reduced the grind size by one notch on the dial for each successive coffee. On the sixth cup, when the dial was set to level 1, which is practically the finest grind imaginable, it start to produce an espresso that was correctly extract and had a smooth, rich crema.
To ensure there was enough coffee fill into the portafilter, we had to increase the grind quantity from the medium setting as we changed the grind size. Because even though the coffee appears to be piling up while it pouring, it quickly vanishes into the filter basket after being properly tamp down. The razor is a special instrument that you won’t see your neighborhood barista using, but you can use it to trim off any extra coffee in the portafilter after tamping to make sure it’s at the perfect level. As a result, it also acts as a helpful guide: if it’s shaving lots of coffee off, you should definitely lessen the quantity of grind; otherwise, you should dispense.
We found the pressure gauge to be useful during the initial setup process. The right pressure range is very clearly state, and it serves as a handy indicator that you can use to check the extraction pressure of your espresso as it pours. The instruction booklet then suggests changes you should make to the grind size or the amount of pressure you use while tamping to fix an under- or over-extracted espresso.
It was simple to regularly make excellent espresso after we made the initial eight cups and honed the settings. When initially turned on, the machine takes around 40 seconds to warm up. For us, it then took 17 seconds to grind and pour the coffee, but your settings may affect this time. The loudest component of the procedure, as might expect, is the grinding, which registered 80 dB on our noise meter.
As with many manual espresso machines, it might take some getting use to tamping the coffee with the proper amount of pressure. We discovered that if the coffee was not heap high in the portafilter, there wouldn’t be enough. However, this made tamping difficult and guaranteed that ground coffee would spill all over the counter. A double espresso might splatter a little as it drips into the cup and takes around 25 seconds to pour.
It takes around 12 seconds for the switch to heat up in the steam position before the steam wand can insert into the milk to begin steaming it. If you’ve never steamed your own milk before, the temperature monitor on the jug is quite useful. As always, if you’re a beginner, making the ideal microfoam while steaming milk does require practice, but we found it to be rather simple with this machine, whether it was dairy or non-dairy milk. It wasn’t as screechy as other steam wands, but boiling milk is almost as noisy as grinding coffee beans.
Simple daily maintenance just necessitates a simple washing of the portafilter after use. The steam wand has to be well cleaned before using a little quantity of steam to do so. An “Empty Me!” indication in yellow appears when the drip tray is full. Like with other coffee makers, full cleaning and descaling takes a little longer, but it’s an automatic operation and the machine will alert you when it needs to be done, so all you have to do is follow the instructions in the handbook.
Buy Barista Express if…
You desire a built-in grinder.
The best way to make coffee is with freshly ground beans if you want to get the best flavor. Additionally, the fact that the coffee maker has a built-in grinder makes the procedure simple. Pre-ground coffee can also be used, though, in case you need to prepare the occasional cup of decaf.
Making a superb cup of coffee is a ritual you love.
It takes time and shouldn’t be rushed to grind the beans, pound the coffee with precisely the correct pressure, pour the perfect amount of espresso, and then manually steam the milk to make a smooth microfoam. For coffee connoisseurs, the ritual is frequently just as delightful as the beverage itself.
You desire an easy-to-use barista-style machine.
Despite having a wide range of settings that may be customized, this machine has straightforward controls that make it easy to fine-tune your coffee; unlike with some other machines, you won’t need to consult the instructions every time you need to make changes.
Don’t buy it if…
You want automatic, hassle-free coffee at your fingertips.
This barista-style machine isn’t the one for you if you want a coffee maker that will make your morning espresso at the touch of a button and doesn’t require you to be fully awake.
You have a tight budget.
Although it’s not the most costly espresso maker Sage/Breville has to offer—in fact, it’s less than half the cost of the line’s most expensive models—this is still an expensive appliance that will be out of your price range if you’re on a tight budget.
You don’t have enough counter space.
If your kitchen worktops are already crammed with equipment, the Bambino, which will occupy around half the area, would be a better option.