Breville Cafe Roma Review

From the makers of every shining gadget that has gazillion pre-programmed functions and twinkling buttons comes… a pretty simple espresso maker?

Breville Cafe Roma is in no way a new addition, considering that it has been a part of their range for over a decade. It’s just overshadowed by the fancy Baristas and Oracles that not only grind your beans and make fancy drinks but also take the kids to school and ask you about your day. No? Does just mine do that? Okay, moving on.

Anyway, there should be a reason why this model was not discontinued by now, right? Well, let’s see what’s what.

Breville Cafe Roma

Breville Cafe Roma – The Machine.

Before you stands a perfectly standard home espresso machine that looks a bit like it wants to be a commercial one when it grows up.

The body is stainless steel, aka the steel that is actually everything but stainless. It has an on/off switch button, two indicator lights, and a big round switch right on its nose.

It brings the standard portafilter to the party, with the usual water tank, and the regular steam nozzle. Very conventional, right? Well, not so common when it comes to the water tank because( thank you, coffee gods) it has a level indicator where you can actually see it. And unlike many other models from the same generation, it has a warming tray that can hold up to six espresso cups. It’s cast from a single piece of aluminum and it keeps the cups at the very respectable 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

There’s also the single and double-shot dual wall filters, a filter that can be used with coffee pods (bleh!), and a milk jug.

The whole chunk of coffee making goodness has a very small footprint and could fit under any kitchen counter. Picking it up can be counted as a workout since it’s very heavy. And you know what that means? No. Plastic. Parts. And on top of it, there are not too many things that can break or explode in your face.

It’s a simple setup that is simply well made and meant to last. It reminds me of that mythical time when you would buy appliances and expect them to endure longer than a pack of toilet paper. Ah, it’s nice to have ambitions in life…

The Pressure.

Since it’s the main reason behind the high price tags of espresso machines, we need to talk about it separately.

Cafe Roma has a 15 bar thermoblock pump that… works. Machines intended for home use don’t always measure up, especially the ones that were designed over a decade ago. Even some contemporary $1000+ machines fail to do so. This one doesn’t. It delivers full 15 bars any time and all the time. Full stop.

The Brew.

Every shot that comes out of this machine is flavorful, smooth, and with a good amount of crema.

Is it as good as commercial models from coffee shops? No. But, unless you are a true connoisseur, you won’t be able to tell. Even if you are, it’s still a good cup of coffee. You might even give a compliment to the person who made it. 

As I said, the machine is super easy to use. When you switch it on, two indicator lights will come to life – red for power, and yellow to show that the water is heating up. When the yellow light goes off, the machine is ready to use.

You operate the machine by turning the dial left or right. In the upright position, the machine is in the standby mode. Keep it there unless you want coffee all over your counter or a steam-related accident to happen. There are no failsafe mechanisms here, outside your desire not to win a Darwin award.

Once you’ve filled and connected the portafilter, simply turn the dial to the right to pull the espresso. Once you have your shot, turn the dial back to the center position and you’re done. Simple.

Breville Cafe Roma Controls

To Froth or Not to Froth.

The true MVP of the Cafe Roma is the steam nozzle. The steam coming from this little guy is simply superior to the majority of other entry-level espresso machines. It’s powerful and hot enough to bring out milk’s natural sweetness so you won’t have to add any sugar into your cappuccinos and lattes.

Operating the frother is as easy as pulling the espresso – just turn the dial to the left. Again, watch out because there are no built-in fail-safes. Don’t turn on the steam before placing the milk pitcher under the nozzle first.

Breville Cafe Roma Steam Nozzle

Clean Up After Yourself.

Seriously, do. Because all dissatisfaction with this machine comes from bad hygiene. Anyone who had this machine for years will tell you to just give it a bit of love and it will love you back. 

Think of it like this – one minute after each use, two minutes at the end of the day, and five minutes once a week. Wipe, wipe, scrub. A little bit of effort for years of good coffee. Become best friends with the cleaning tool that comes with it.

Now, let’s look at the Pros & Cons of Breville Cafe Roma:

 

Verdict

Breville makes good appliances. Check. Breville makes appliances that can be both fairly priced and nicely designed. Check.

Breville Cafe Roma is a machine that is half the price of their next cheapest espresso machine. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for something reliable that will provide you with years of mana from good coffee.

If you want ALL the bells and whistles… You’re not getting much of them with this machine… But if you’re looking for a fairly priced home espresso maker that can make a fine cup of coffee… Breville Cafe Roma is definitely a good choice!

Feel free to check it out at Amazon.com, and if you have any questions drop me a line below and ask!

Thanks!

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