I Tested This Top-Rated, Easy-To-Use Espresso Machine & Now I Am Coffee TikTok

Courtesy of Kate Spencer
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Allow me to set the scene on my espresso machine history. I grew up with a caffeine fanatic mum who not only was the first person I can remember to switch to alt-milk but was also the only person I knew to have a literal 20-kilo professional espresso machine on our kitchen counter. Since I can remember, she’s been using that thing every day, grinding beans fresh each morning… she even trained my baby sisters (they were 3 at the time) to turn on the machine before they woke her up on weekend mornings, thus allowing the machine to properly warm up before she was ready to prepare her first latte of the day — rather genius, actually.
Fast forward to the present, and I'm a 31-year-old dreaming of upgrading her coffee routine — and weaning herself off $6 oat lattes. Now, I don't necessarily have the patience (or the children) like my mum to deal with a fussier machine that needs more attention, so I was so pleased when I was generously gifted a shiny new espresso machine from Breville that produces barista-quality coffee without any of the labour of a super-traditional machine. I think the day it arrived was one of the most exciting days of my life. Not only does this feel like my real step into adulthood, but I am also a very newly obsessed coffee TikTok scroller — I know, I know I am very behind — where this Breville baby is on full display in several accounts. Thus, securing a Barista Pro helped me recreate the glamorous coffee shop vibe in my own kitchen. Continue below where I give you my very unprofessional opinion on this "Pro" machine.

The Stats

Before we get into the review, let me give you the rundown on this shiny beauty. The features that really drew me to the Barista Pro model are the ThermoJet heating system (which means the machine heats up in just 3 seconds), the built-in grinder that holds a half-pound of beans, and a steam wand to heat and froth your milk to perfection. Breville's Barista Pro also comes in nine colourways, from brushed stainless steel to red velvet cake and royal champagne, and has a digital interface where you can easily adjust all of its settings.

The Review

To my surprise, the hardest part of the whole setup process was carrying the box up the four flights of stairs to my apartment. After conquering that harrowing task, I proceeded to unbox the Barista Pro and found so many extras included: a portafilter, tamper, multiple filter baskets, The Razor (Breville's specially designed trimming tool), a stainless steel milk jug, a cleaning kit, and water filer. After I perused the pretty straightforward instructions, I soaked the water filter, filled the water tank, and went straight to Breville's Youtube channel to watch some instructional videos before attempting to make my first drink. I decided to stick with the machine's factory settings, but you can totally customise the grind size, brew temperature, and extraction time based on your preferences and/or what works best with the beans you're using. There are also options to pull a single shot or a double (I prefer a double).
After just a few rounds of trial and error, I got my rhythm down and could not stop sipping on the creamy and rich espresso I couldn't believe I was making in my own home! The process is really very seamless: The built-in grinder grinds and measures for you so there's no weighing of beans involved in the early hours of the morning, and the extraction is automatically timed so you're not having to watch the clock while pulling a shot. The taste factor also passed the test. The coffee is flavourful, rich, not bitter, and tastes so similar to something I'd get at my local coffee shop. The drink options are endless, but I've found I prefer to make cortados or iced lattes. Please feast your eyes on my very unprofessional and first-ever coffee TikTok attempt below. How'd I do?

Is It Worth The $$?

So while I was gifted this machine, as someone who drinks two coffees a day, this investment would absolutely be worth it for me. It's saved me from buying at least seven drinks a week, which, with my oat milk preference, adds up to around $50. Even if I purchased the Barista Pro with my own money, it would eventually pay for itself in just a few months, and, if properly cleaned and cared for, this espresso machine should last for years to come.
Overall, the user-friendly nature, the fact that it doesn't take up too much space on my countertop (cause we all know how tight NYC kitchens can be), and the quality of espresso it produces make this something that is the perfect fit for an espresso addict city-dweller that works from home like me. If you're in the market for something similar but a bit easier on the wallet, Breville has options like The Bambino and The Bambino Plus which are also highly-rated compact espresso machines that still include a steaming wand but come at a slightly lower price point.
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