Why Buy This Product?
The Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker features a 15-bar pressure that allows for the boldest coffee flavor. This machine has a dual-wall filter that lets you create froth topping for your espresso at the same time. The stainless steel design not only makes this unit easy to clean, but it also makes your kitchen or dining area look great.
Breville is an Australian kitchen appliance company that has been around since 1932. The company is a recognized brand across the world due to its innovative kitchen equipment. Breville design their equipment to maximize the aroma and flavor of nearly any raw ingredients. This same aspect is present in the ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Machine.
ESP8XL features a 15-bar Thermoblock pump function. This makes sure that the espresso the machine makes is at the ideal temperature right out of the pump. The 15-bars of pressure allow you to create a rich crema that is a great compliment to your espresso.
Can the ESP8XL make a great cup of espresso? How easy is it to clean the machine? Find out by going through our full review on Breville’s espresso maker.
The key feature of the ESP8XL is the Thermoblock system, which heats the water to 204°F. The ideal temperature of a good espresso drink is around 190°F- 196°F. This range is just enough to make your drink hot, but not to the point that is scalding or painful to your tongue. The Thermoblock heats the water pass the ideal range to compensate for the heat loss when the machine brews the coffee.
Breville’s espresso machines go further in keeping your drink warm with the cup heating plate. This plate also functions as a drip catcher if you spill your coffee or you forgot to place a cup within the spout as it brews the coffee. The plate is easy to remove and clean.
Another function of the Thermoblock system is its ability to deliver 15 bar or atmosphere of pressure during the brewing process. This should result in a rich crema that maximizes the flavor of the coffee. However, this is where we see a flaw in the ESP8XL since the ideal pressure for a good crema is around eight to nine bar. High pressures of 15 bar or more can create a bitter cup of espresso.
Nine bar pressure is usually present among high-end espresso makers. This is due to the pressure regulator function that keeps the psi at the ideal range. On the other hand, the 15 bar allow the machine to create your espresso in a short time. This unit also has a dual wall filter that creates additional pressure within the brew head. The dual wall filter can further extract the flavor from the grounds to achieve a robust tasting espresso.
Other features of the Cafe Roma Espresso Maker is its frothing wand for the milk. The wand allows you to create a micro-foam out of the milk to improve its texture and make it suitable for espresso. This milk also allows you to create an attractive wave design over the espresso’s crema. You also get a frothing pitcher where you can froth the milk.
Operating the Cafe Roma unit is as easy as setting the dial at the front. With the included filter and scoop, add one scoop of your grind to create one shot of espresso. Another scoop creates a double shot. Pack everything down with the included tamping tool to create your grind pack.
Fill the removable water tank and attach the filter onto the machine. Switch it on and move the dial to the right to brew your espresso. To froth your milk, move the dial to the left and position your milk within the jug to the frothing wand.
When it comes to design, the Breville definitely stands out with its stainless steel look. We love the clean and professional look of the machine. It feels like it belongs to a professional barista’s countertop. In addition, the stainless steel surface makes it easy to clean the unit when you need to. The removable water tank and catch tray further help in keeping the unit sanitized.
At this point, we see a problem with the filter head. It needs regular cleaning due to the coffee residue building up within its nook and cranny. By not cleaning the head, you allow the residue to harden, which can bring down the efficiency of the machine in making espresso. This can also negatively affect the taste of your coffee.
Specs & Features
Final word: As an entry-level espresso maker, Breville’s ESP8XL Cafe Roma unit makes the cut. The Thermoblock tech along with the heating tray makes our espresso just hot enough for us to enjoy straight from the spout. We also cannot get enough of the milk-frothing feature. The latte wave on the crema is begging for us to make our own coffee art at the office.
The drawback of the unit is the 15-Bar pressure of its pump. While many espresso machines boast that higher pressure can lead to better coffee, it actually fails at capturing the flavor of your grind. On the other hand, expecting an entry-level machine to achieve nine-bar pressure is unreal. Only high-end machines that have pressure regulators can deliver a good pressure range.
The other flaw of the unit is the filter head, which easily collects coffee residue. You can easily avoid clogging the machine by regularly cleaning it. Despite these two flaws, the Breville ESP8XL is a good economical espresso maker for most households.