Breville Infuser Review – Is It Worth A Buy?

The Infuser is Breville's mid priced espresso machine that wants to caffinate your mornings. It's an interesting offering as it's not a budget machine, nor is the most expensive model in their range. So it begs the question - is it worth a buy? The short answer: yes. Find out more in this Breville Infuser review.

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breville infuser review

Pros

Cons

  • Pre-infusion system
  • Thermo-coil allows for fast start up
  • Manual steam wand
  • Can be slow for high volume
  • Free tamper a bit too light

Who Is The Breville Infuser For?

Whenever I'm reviewing an espresso machine I like to put myself in the shoes of the person that's going to buy it. This is because if you're comparing a $2000 espresso machine to a $500 one, the $2000 machine is always going to be better. You have to understand who the product is for in order to fairly review it.

So who is the Breville Infuser espresso machine for?

It's for the person who loves espresso but doesn't want to buy a cheap coffee machine.

They know it's better to pay a little bit extra to get a product that's going to last a lot longer and produce better results.

But they may also be new to making espresso, so they don't want to spend a heck more money on a high end machine. Maybe down the road if they get hooked.

The Infuser is the perfect espresso machine for the average consumer that values a quality and a deal.

Lets dig deeper to see why the Breville Infuser is a good buy. 

Looking ​Under The Hood 

Specifications

Machine Type:

Semi-Automatic

Boiler:

Single Boiler with Thermo Coil

Steam Wand:

Yes 

Measurements:                      

10.2 x 12.5 x 13.2 inches

When you get an espresso machine the first thing you need to find out is what boiler and heating system it's using. This is the engine of beast so you want to make sure it can keep up with your demands.

The Infuser uses a single boiler "thremo coil" boiler system. This means it uses one boiler to both steam and extract espresso. A selector has to be turned into order to alter between these two modes.

On average it takes about 30 seconds to heat up and about 15 seconds to change from extraction mode to milk steaming mode. This is attributed the the "thermo coil" design that rapidly heats up water to brew temperatures. A thremo coil is basically a heating block where water spirals around while being heated.

But the main selling point of the Infuser is within its name - it has a "pre-infusion" system. Pre-infusion is the process of slightly soaking the ground coffee before the full extraction commences. This allows you to extract a more even and flavorful shot. You tend to find the pre-infusion feature in more high end espresso machines, so it's a great addition at this price range.

Lets now move onto the most important question of every espresso machine - does it make good coffee?!

Coffee Making Ability

When it comes to making espresso based drinks there are three holy principals:

  • Use fresh coffee beans.
  • Use the best coffee grinder for your budget.
  • Have a machine that outputs a consistent and reliable 9 bars of pressure.

Making Espresso With The Infuser

The Breville Infuser packs out enough pressure to satisfy the third holy principle of making espresso.

You will be quite surprised considering that it's such a small machine, but the engineers at Breville really took their time designing this core element. 

There are two ways you can make espresso with this machine. You can either select the pre-programmed single or double shot extraction buttons, which are programable so you can set your own volume extraction, or go out on your own and stop the shot when you think it's right.

Each shot you make will be very much the same, but just remember a good shot is more reliant on the grinder you're using rather than the espresso machine. If you have a bad grind, your coffee is going to taste bad. 

Steaming Milk - It's Okay, Not Amazing 

The Infuser's milk frothing capabilities are adequate but nothing special. It's steam output is fast enough for making 2-3 coffees at a time in the morning, but if you were making lattes for a dinner party it would take you a bit over 10 minutes.

This is due to the single boiler design of the Infuser. It takes about 10 seconds for the steam to start coming out about 50 seconds for the milk to come out to drinking temperature. This is on top of the 30 seconds for the espresso to be extracted.

10 secs Till Steam Starts
50 secs Till Steaming Completes

However the design of the steam wand is perfect for making great looking latte art in your coffees. That's a big tick in my books (this site is called latte art guide after all). 

If you personally need something faster than the Infuser I would recommend looking into dual boiler espresso machines, but note they are a quite a bit more expensive. Breville has two dual boiler models, The Oracle and The Dual Boiler - I've reviewed both so check them out.  

The Thing I Don't Like (It's Not A Deal Breaker)

There are a few minor quirks that the Breville Infuser has that bug me. But they're not deal breakers.

First off the the built in coffee tamper that comes with the machine is too light in my opinion. It's fine for a free tamper, but I recommend upgrading to a decent stainless steel tamper. The extra weight helps you keep a consistent tamp. 

Built in tamper on Infuser BES840XL

A handy spot to keep your tamper.


Note though I have a bias as I've always used a heavy tamper. Test it out and see how it feels for yourself. But i do appreciate how the tamper has its own compartment within the machine.

Another thing you may notice after frequent use is the design of the tip of the steam wand - it's flat in design. Because of this you will  find it's a magnet for old milk build up. You can always unscrew the tip to clean out the gunk or just make sure you clean the steam wand after each use so you won't have this issue.

Should You Buy The Breville Infuser?

The goal of this Breville infuser review was to help you decide if it's the right machine for you. I stick with my initial assessment of this machine that its a great coffee machine for beginners. 

This is because it contains all the qualities of a good espresso machine and it's fast enough to be able to make several coffees in the morning. Also as a bonus it comes with with a free coffee tamper and milk jug, so all you need to find is a coffee grinder.

Click here to get a great deal on the Infuser.

If you're looking for something that needs to make greater volumes I suggest looking into dual boiler espresso machines.

All in all the Breville Infuser is a machine that'll last you for many years and hopefully get you addicted to coffee just as much as I am. 

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