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Breville Barista Express Impress: A Comprehensive Review

The Breville Barista Express Impress is a standout product in the world of home espresso machines. Designed for coffee enthusiasts and beginners alike, this machine offers a unique blend of automated features and manual control, allowing users to enjoy the process of espresso-making without the usual complexities. With its sleek design and robust build, it promises to deliver a comprehensive espresso-making experience right out of the box.

SUMMARY: Breville Barista Express Impress

Breville Barista Express Impress
  • Upgraded features from the original Barista Express
  • Perfect for beginners and experienced users
  • Great for both espresso and milk-based drinks
  • Built to last
  • Superb value for money
When it comes to budget, when it comes to quality, when it comes to reliability, when it comes to growability, it is in a league of its own from what I have tried. – Lance Kendricks, Coffee Influencer

Unboxing and First Impressions

Upon unboxing, the Barista Express Impress immediately stands out with its sleek design and attractive build. The machine comes with all the necessary accessories, including a grinder, tamper, and steam wand. The packaging is well-organized, and each component is carefully wrapped in styrofoam and plastic for protection. The first impression is that of a high-quality, well-designed machine that promises a great espresso-making experience.

Features

While the Barista Express Impress has many of the same features as the original model, there are some notable additions. Here’s a quick summary of the main features including some major upgrades.

  • Thermocoil Precision Heating System: The Impress has an integrated stainless steel water coil that accurately controls water temperature.
  • Precision Conical Burr Grinder: The integrated grinder has precision conical burrs to maximize ground coffee surface area for a full espresso flavor.
  • Less Mess: The portafilter remains secure in the same position as you grind, dose and tamp, reducing any potential grinds mess on your drip tray and counter top.
  • PID Temperature Control: The Impress includes an electronic PID temperature control for increased temperature stability.
  • Dedicated Hot Water Spout: This is great if you want to make Americanos or long blacks, and for pre-heating cups.
  • Manual Micro-Foam Texturing Wand: The steam wand has a 360° swivel action that easily adjusts to the perfect position for milk texturing.
  • The Impress Puck™ System: This simplifies the steps needed to grind, dose, and tamp to create the perfect puck and avoid channeling. No need for a WDT either.
  • Intelligent Dosing: With this feature, your dose is automatically calculated based on the last grind. This is great once you’ve dialed in your beans.
  • Assisted Tamping with a 7° Barista Twist Finish: Precise 10kg impression with a professional 7 degree barista twist for a polished puck.
  • Precision Measurement Auto Corrects the Next Dose: Gauge indicates when correct level is achieved, and the system automatically remembers the adjustment for the next time.

Size and Design

The Barista Express Impress boasts a compact and user-friendly design, making it a perfect fit for any kitchen. Despite its size, it doesn’t compromise on the quality or the range of features it offers. The machine is designed with a stainless steel finish, giving it a sleek and modern look.

The components are well-arranged, making it easy to use and clean. If you have a very small space, this may not be the machine for you. Instead consider the Breville Bambino that takes up about half the counter space.

User Interface

The user interface is intuitive, with clear indicators for each step of the espresso-making process. The control panel includes buttons for single and double shots, as well as a dial for adjusting the grind size. The display also shows the extraction pressure, allowing you to monitor the espresso extraction process.

The BBE Impress has a similar interface to previous models

Grinder

As with it’s predecessor, the Barista Express Impres comes with an integrated grinder. The built-in grinder ensures fresh coffee grounds for each shot, enhancing the flavor of the espresso. The grinder is adjustable, allowing you to choose the grind size that suits your taste. The hopper is large enough to hold a substantial amount of coffee beans, reducing the need for frequent refills.

Dosing

The automatic coffee dosing feature accurately measures the coffee, ensuring consistency in every shot. This feature takes the guesswork out of dosing, allowing you to get the perfect amount of coffee every time. The machine also allows for manual dosing, giving you the flexibility to adjust the amount of coffee to your preference.

Assisted Tamping

The assisted tamping arm provides the right pressure for compacting the coffee grounds, eliminating guesswork and ensuring a perfect espresso puck every time. The tamping pressure is consistent, which is crucial for achieving a balanced extraction. This feature simplifies the tamping process, making it easier for beginners to get it right. It also helps to avoid channeling and other common issues from malformed pucks.

Portafilter

The portafilter holds the coffee grounds during the brewing process, and its design ensures an even extraction for a balanced espresso. The portafilter is easy to attach and detach, and it comes with a handle that stays cool to the touch, ensuring safe and comfortable use. Breville include a selection of baskets that can be used for singles or double shots.

Pre-Infusion

The pre-infusion process gently soaks the coffee grounds before extraction, enhancing the flavor of the espresso. This feature ensures that the coffee grounds are evenly saturated, allowing for a more balanced extraction. The pre-infusion time is adjustable, allowing you to customize the extraction process to your taste.

PID Temperature Control

The PID temperature control ensures the water is at the optimal temperature for espresso extraction. This feature allows for precise temperature control, resulting in a consistent extraction and a better-tasting espresso. The machine also includes a feature that allows you to adjust the temperature to suit different types of coffee beans.

Microfoam

The steam wand produces microfoam milk for latte art and a creamy texture in milk-based espresso drinks. The steam wand is fully articulating, allowing for easy positioning and control. It also includes a temperature sensor that ensures the milk is steamed to the optimal temperature.

The performance is up there with much higher end machines and makes delicious, light and creamy milk texture for cappuccinos, lattes, cortados or any other milk-based drink you like.

The Barista Express Impress does a great job with foaming milk

Cup Height

The adjustable cup height accommodates different cup sizes, allowing you to make various espresso drinks. Whether you’re making a short espresso or a tall latte, the machine can accommodate your cup. The drip tray is also removable, providing additional space for larger cups.

Accessories

The machine comes with a range of accessories, including a cleaning kit and a milk frothing pitcher, providing everything you need to start making espresso at home. The cleaning kit includes a cleaning disc and tablets, a cleaning brush, and a tool for removing the filter basket. The milk jug is made of stainless steel, ensuring durability and easy cleaning.

Warranty

The Barista Express Impress comes with a one year warranty, offering peace of mind for your investment. The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship, providing assurance of the machine’s quality and reliability.

For the data nerds out there, here’s a table that sums up the features.

Manufacturer Breville
Model ID BES876
Type of Product Home Espresso Machine
Construction Material Stainless Steel
Available Colors Stainless Steel
Milk Frothing Mechanism Steam Wand
Control Interface Buttons and Dials
Mobile Application No
User Profile Settings Memo Function Only
Portafilter Dimension 54 mm
Tamping Method Automatic
Water Reservoir Removable
Water Capacity 2.0 l / 67.6 fl oz
Boiler Count 1
Pressure (Pump) 15 Bar
Max Cup Height 10.2 cm / 4.0 in
Grinder Type Conical Burr Grinder (Stainless Steel)
Grind Levels 25
Bean Hopper Size 250.0 g / 8.8 oz
Specialty Beverages 1
Pre-infusion Available
Coffee Temperature Adjustable Yes
Milk Foam Temperature Adjustable No
2-cup Function Yes
Hot Water Feature Yes
Hot Milk Feature No
Only Milk Foam Option No
Water Filtration Yes
Power Usage 1850 W
Weight 6.5 kg / 14.3 lb
Size 40.9 x 32.8 x 37.8 cm
16.1 x 12.9 x 14.9 in
Warranty Period 1 year
Additional Notes Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Magnetic tamper, Trimming tool, Coffee scoop, Milk jug, Water filter and holder, Cleaning supplies.
Price on Amazon $879.00
BUY NOW ON AMAZON

How to Use

Initial Setup

Setting up the Barista Express Impress is straightforward, with clear instructions provided in the user manual. The initial setup involves installing the water filter, filling the water tank, and running a cleaning cycle to prepare the machine for use. The machine also includes a feature that guides you through the setup process, making it even easier for beginners.

Drink Preparation

The machine offers a step-by-step guide on making different types of coffee, from a classic espresso to a creamy cappuccino. The process involves grinding the coffee beans, dosing the coffee, tamping the grounds, and extracting the espresso. The machine also includes a feature that allows you to customize the volume of your espresso, giving you control over the strength of your coffee.

Observations

The Barista Express Impress performs consistently, delivering high-quality espresso shots and creamy milk foam. The machine heats up quickly, allowing you to make your coffee without a long wait. The extraction pressure is consistent, resulting in a balanced and flavorful espresso.

Tips and Tricks for Best Results

To get the best results from the Barista Express Impress, ensure you use fresh coffee beans and adjust the grind size according to your preference. Using fresh beans will result in a more flavorful espresso, and adjusting the grind size will allow you to control the strength and flavor of your coffee.

Regular cleaning and maintenance will also enhance the performance and longevity of the machine. It’s also recommended to experiment with different coffee beans and grind sizes to find the combination that suits your taste best. From our testing it works well with all roast levels from fruity and acidic light roasts from Ethiopia, to darker roasts from Sumatra.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Daily Cleaning

Daily cleaning involves wiping down the machine and cleaning the portafilter and steam wand. This will prevent coffee residue and milk buildup, ensuring the machine continues to perform optimally. The drip tray and the water tank should also be emptied and cleaned regularly.

You can use a microfiber cloth or towel and water. Just make sure you avoid abrasive tools.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning, which involves cleaning the grinder and descaling the machine, should be done periodically to maintain the machine’s performance. The grinder can be cleaned using the cleaning brush provided, and the descaling process involves running a descaling solution through the machine to remove mineral buildup.

Descaling

The descaling process removes mineral buildup from the machine’s water system, ensuring optimal operation and the best tasting espresso. The machine includes a descaling alert that lets you know when it’s time to descale, and the process is simple and straightforward, with clear instructions provided in the manual.

Regularly descaling the machine is essential

If you live in an area with hard water, the limescale build up in the machine will have a serious impact on the espresso it makes. There is a very noticeable difference pre and post cleaning when it comes to flavor in the cup.

Comparisons

The Barista Express Impress holds its own against other models in the Breville range and even against other brands. Here are a few comparisons:

Breville Barista Express Impress vs Breville Barista Touch

While both machines offer automated features, the Barista Touch includes a touch screen interface and automatic milk texturing, whereas the Barista Express Impress focuses on automated dosing and tamping. The Barista Touch also offers a wider range of coffee recipes, while the Barista Express Impress provides more control over the espresso-making process.

The Touch is more for those that want something super simple akin to a super automatic espresso machine. If you enjoy the espresso making process, learning about coffee and dialling in your brews, then the Impress will be a lot more fun to use.

Breville Barista Express Impress vs Breville Barista Express

The Barista Express Impress includes additional features like the assisted tamping arm and automatic coffee dosing, making it a more advanced version of the original Barista Express. However, both machines offer the same high-quality espresso extraction and have a built-in grinder for fresh coffee grounds.

The original is still a great machine. However, with the extra bells and whistles in the Impress, the latter is a better option. The automated tamping makes a huge difference to the quality of drink output by the machine.

Breville Barista Express Impress vs DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro

While both machines aim to simplify the espresso-making process, the La Specialista Maestro includes a sensor grinding technology and smart tamping station, whereas the Barista Express Impress offers automatic coffee dosing and assisted tamping.

The La Specialista Maestro also includes a dual heating system for faster heat-up time, while the Barista Express Impress offers a PID temperature control for precise temperature management. Both are great machines, but again, the Breville just pips it to the post when it comes to features, milk steaming and espresso flavor.

Things we love

  • Automated features simplify the espresso-making process

  • Built-in grinder for fresh coffee grounds
  • Assisted tamping ensures a perfect espresso puck
  • High-quality espresso extraction

Main drawbacks

  • May require a learning curve for beginners

  • Higher price point compared to other home espresso machines

Long-term Review and Durability

The Barista Express Impress is built to last, with its sturdy design and high-quality materials. With regular maintenance, this machine can serve you for many years, making it a worthwhile investment for any coffee lover.

After more than a year of daily use, the machine continues to perform consistently, delivering high-quality espresso shots every time. The stainless steel construction ensures durability, and the removable components make it easy to clean and maintain.

Conclusion

The Breville Barista Express Impress is a remarkable home espresso machine that combines automation with manual control. Its unique features, such as the automatic coffee dosing and assisted tamping, make it a great choice for both beginners and experienced home baristas.

While it may require an initial learning curve, the results are worth it – delicious, barista-quality espresso in the comfort of your home. With its built-to-last construction and high-quality espresso extraction, the Barista Express Impress is a worthy investment for anybody that is serious about their coffee.

Breville Impress

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thomas

Coffee expert and industry insider, I’ve dedicated years to mastering the art and science of coffee making. From scrutinizing particle fineness to evaluating burr shapes, I delve into the minutiae that elevate coffee from good to exceptional. Whether it’s a complex pour-over or a robust espresso, my insights cater to those who don’t just drink coffee, but experience it.

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