The design of the Breville Barista Touch begs the question, “why settle for at-home results just because you’re at home?” This beautiful espresso machine is ready to teach any level of user how to make their perfect cup of espresso—so even novices can achieve café-quality results on their own.
What’s in the box of the Breville Barista Touch automatic espresso machine?
The Barista Touch (or, as it’s more accurately named, the Breville Barista Touch Automatic Espresso Machine with Frother & Coffee Grinder) comes with a full kit of coffee making tools. It includes a coffee grinder, self-cleaning steam wand, one or two cup espresso portafilter (with four stainless steel filters), 2 litre water tank, tap water filter, and wet & dry drip tray with fill indicator. You’ll also discover a full colour touchscreen, cleaning and descaling tools for care and maintenance down the road, and a hidden storage tray that hooks onto the back of your drip tray, inside of the machine. It even comes with a water test strip so you can calibrate your machine to your city’s tap water.
There were a few extra details that I appreciated about the Barista Touch, too. I loved the circular pull on the machine’s plug, and the built-in velcro strap on the machine’s cord. Like the machine’s overhead tamper storage spot, they’re great for keeping your countertop clean and safer in daily use.
The Breville Barista Touch also includes a stainless steel milk jug (which allows the machine to monitor milk temperature from below) and “the Razor,” for dose trimming after you tamp your grinds.
More details about the Barista Touch
The burr grinder
The Barista Touch includes an integrated coffee grinder with adjustable grind control on its left side. The grinder varies from super fine to coarse, and is easy to manually adjust (with digital feedback) between grinding sessions. The grinder lets out into a hands free grinding cradle that fits a portafilter perfectly, and grind times are touch-controlled on-screen.
The Breville Barista Touch is operated almost entirely using its colour touchscreen. It stores the steps and controls for five pre-programmed beverages out of the box (espresso, long black, latte, flat white, and cappuccino) and allows you to program eight custom drinks in the machine, as well as performing solo actions like frothing milk and pouring hot water.
The custom drink functions make it super easy to create consistent results for your favourite drinks—and I think they add something special for couples and families, too. With step-by-step pre-programmed instructions for each, this countertop barista makes it easy to brew the exact drink that your loved one prefers when they need a special treat.
The espresso infusion
This machine features 9-bar pump pressure and a low-pressure pre-infusion for an even result every time. It also uses PID temperature control technology (which helps you achieve the perfect desired temperature based off of the machine’s current temperature readings) and a Rapid Heating System. The rapid Thermo-Jet heating system is the real deal: your machine is able to reach the perfect temperature in a dazzling 3 seconds.
The same components that heat the water for espresso heat up your dedicated hot water for pre-warming your cup, and it is… perfect. The water comes out clean and coffee-free, and it’s truly instant. I know the Barista Touch is a coffee machine, and I like it as a coffee machine, but it also provides a faster, more luxurious tea experience than anything else I own!
On the far right of this machine is my favourite part: the steam wand. While the rest of the machine does work like a gem, I love a good steamed milk—and this is one of the best.
Not all coffee machine steamers are made equal, but the steam wand on the Breville Barista Touch is as luxurious as the rest of the machine. With adjustable settings, an easy-to-lift ring, and auto-purging steam cleaning, this wand textures your milk to the foam density and temperature of your choosing. It really does deliver “café-quality micro-foam,” as promised.
The milk texture setting that I’ve filmed for this review is my favourite: lots of air incorporation (larger bubbles) and the coolest temperature setting possible. Now, in a lot of machines, you’ll see sub-par results with these settings. The extra air can make foam feel loose, and the cooler temperature means that a lot of your milk is left un-foamed. However, these settings were easy work for the Barista Touch. Even though I wanted my milk cool and foamy (I like to be able to sip my drinks as soon as they’re done), my resulting foam was stiff, creamy, and plentiful, and my finished latte was the perfect temperature and texture.
My at-home education with the Breville Barista Touch
What I really love about this Breville coffee machine is that it teaches you as you use it. Unlike an analog machine that you’d see at a coffee shop or restaurant, the Barista Touch comes with a colour touchscreen to take you through the steps of making all of your favourite coffee beverages. That makes it easy to use for beginners and means that you’ll quickly learn how to intuitively troubleshoot drinks on your own.
When making espresso, for instance, this machine asks questions like, “when did your pour start?” Then, based on the answer you select, it tells you how you can achieve a better result. For instance, it’ll recommend that you switch to a finer grind if your coffee drip is starting too quickly and your finished drink is weak and pale, or that you tamp less firmly if your coffee is taking more than 13 seconds to begin dripping. It’s extremely intuitive and easy to use. The detailed instructions and finely-tuned controls mean that you really can achieve coffee shop-level results from the comfort of your own home.
My first two cups of espresso from this machine were, frankly, terrible—and that’s a good thing. Instead of masking my poor-quality technique to create a consistently mediocre result, the Breville Barista Touch showed me what I was doing wrong, and (more importantly) how I could easily fix my mistakes. I tried again with finer grounds and a firmer tamp, and by day two, there was already a huge improvement in the quality of my coffee. By that afternoon, I was comfortable sharing the results of my experiments, and my partner reported back that that was, “the best cup of coffee you’ve ever made me!”
My favourite ways to use the Barista Touch
As a casual coffee drinker with a picky palate, I know that the Breville Barista Touch is a splurge—but it really justifies its price. Unlike other high-end, introductory espresso makers, this machine ensures that every user is able to get the most out of every function. It gives you tips and suggestions whenever you need them, but also lets experienced users override anything they see fit.
The result is a beautiful machine that puts you in charge. If you’re ready to level up your coffee game by learning new drink recipes, creating beautifully dense microfoam, and pre-heating every cup for barista-level results, make sure to shop the Breville Barista Touch online at Best Buy.