An Easy to Use and Effective Coffee Machine

The Breville 800ES Die-cast Espresso Machine is a quality product at the lower end of the coffee machine market.

It is simple to use and very well built and produces a great cup of coffee. 

Its features include a removable 2.2 litre water tank, a cup warming plate, 1 and 2 cup stainless steel filters a heating system that makes sure the coffee is extracted and the right temperature and a pre-brew and auto-purge function.  Also included are accessories including a frothing jug, a measuring spoon and a cleaning tool.

The coffee machine comes with a swivel steaming wand.  This is used to heat the milk or, if making a cappuccino, to froth the milk using the frothing attachment.  If hot water is required for tea or hot chocolate, then the hot water function of the machine can be utilised.

The only thing you will need to compliment this machine is a coffee grinder.  In choosing a grinder, it must be able to produce an espresso grind.  An espresso grind is a very fine grind, not as fine as for Turkish coffee, but finer than required for filter.

It is important to make certain that the grind is the correct grade as this will affect how quickly the water flows through the coffee in the filter and this will affect how strong or weak the coffee is.  If the water flows quickly through the coffee, you will end up with a weak brew, but if the water takes too long to flow through, the coffee will be strong and too bitter.

I’ll quickly run through the process for making a latte with this machine.  It’s easy.

Make sure your water tank is near full.  Turn the machine on and wait for the steam light to illuminate.  (There will be a little red light flashing near the power light.  This will go off when the steam button has come on).

Half fill (or thereabouts) the frothing jug with milk.  Turn the selector to steam and use the steam wand to steam the milk.  This is best done by holding the wand in the milk at an angle and slowly swirling the milk in the jug.  When the bottom of the jug is too hot to touch, the milk is warm enough.  For a little bit of froth, just let the tip of the steam wand come out of the milk and it will froth it up quite nicely.  If you want lots of froth, use the frothing attachment provided.

When your milk is hot enough, place the jug on the cup warming tray.  Use your measuring spoon to scoop up one full scoop of correctly ground beans.  (Very fine remember).  Place this in the filter and level it out.  The filter should be full of the ground beans.  The next bit might take a little bit of trial and error, but the grounds must be tampered down.  Don’t do this too hard, otherwise the water will have trouble flowing through the coffee, and your espresso will be too dark, strong and bitter.  If you don’t tamper them down hard enough, the water will flow through the grounds too quickly and you will end up with a weak espresso.

Once you think you have it right, place the filter holder onto the filter head.  Put you cup underneath the filter and switch the selector to the little cup symbol.  The coffee will drain into your cup.  You need about 30ml for one cup.  The coffee should be nice and dark with a nice thick crema on top.

Turn the selector back to the middle when the extraction looks to be complete.  Then add the steamed milk and scoop a little of the froth on top.  Add sugar if required.   

Easy.  You can add flavoured syrup to your coffee to enhance and sweeten the flavour if you wish.  Popular flavours are vanilla, butterscotch, caramel and Irish Cream.

Just as easy to make are cappuccinos, short black, long black, long white, espresso, double espresso and Vienna coffee, as well as hot chocolate and tea. 

A variety of beans can also be purchased to suit you individual taste.

If you would like to step up from instant coffee to a full flavoured brew, then the Breville 800ES could be what you are looking for.