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140 Reviews
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I know how to make coffee
So I bought this as a gift for my partner. He was a barista when he was younger and I have been a barista for the last 3 years, we both know a good coffee. I have used both a manual and an automatic machine.

Setup: Simple
It comes with everything in the picture, as well as a pod, single and double shot. It also comes with a scoop, tamper, steam cup, and...
Published 14 months ago by mistdust

versus
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good espresso, pretty awful steam feature
I was really excited about this machine after reading all the positive reviews, but sadly I have to report that I am definitely not satisfied at all with this product.

Reviewers are right that it does make some pretty good espresso, but as a frequent latte drinker, the steaming feature is equally important to me and that is definitely sub-standard. I have tried...
Published 22 months ago by greenbean


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I know how to make coffee, June 4 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
So I bought this as a gift for my partner. He was a barista when he was younger and I have been a barista for the last 3 years, we both know a good coffee. I have used both a manual and an automatic machine.

Setup: Simple
It comes with everything in the picture, as well as a pod, single and double shot. It also comes with a scoop, tamper, steam cup, and cut little saucers. The cups and saucers are white. They are double shot cups.

Use:
I didn't know this but he was aware: you can only make an espresso or steam milk one at a time. Also, the machine won't stop when enough water has run through the shot, you have to turn it off.

Espresso:
Tastes good. Nice creme. The pod for the shot falls out very easy and is hard to get the grinds out without making a mess. They just don't fit close enough with the handle. This occurs with the single and double shot hard wear. You have to remember to turn the shot off before it gets to watery.

Steamer:
Yes, the steamer moves. But not up and down, only side to side. With the steamer you have to turn it on (steam out) just like every other machine. This is for cleanliness reasons and for this machine, to heat up the steam. Even when the steamer wand is completely submerged, the 'latte' is not going to work unless you hold back the perfect cappuccino foam. I am a foam person so I don't mind that it makes a lot of foam with no effort. He is not, we still can't get it to make minimal foam without just holding it back when we pour.

What to buy with this machine:
It's a complete package, but I would recommend you get a temperature gauge, preferably with a clip on the side so you can clip it to the side of the steam cup and it won't fall over. This is so you don't burn the milk, it can be hard to tell if not.

Recommendation:
YES! I would recommend this machine, for the price and the quality of the product, yes! I would buy this machine again! Now just to see how long it lasts and what customer service is like if it doesn't!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We love ours, and here's a tip or two..., Dec 18 2010
By 
This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
So far we are loving ours, it works great, and looks great. Great price.

Ours came with ceramic cups.

We don't find the unit unusually loud. The thump thump thump during steaming was unsettling at first, but that's just the sound it makes.

One nitpick I do have is with the design of this unit's main switch. The steamer is on the right hand side of the unit. I wish you turned the main switch to the right in order to activate the steamer. Instead you turn it to the left. It's a little bit counter-intuitive, and has resulted in some false espresso starts.

Tip for hotter milk: remove the stainless steel tube "foam enhancer" on the nozzle and just use the plain nozzle to heat up the milk. It will do that with less foam, but you'll get the milk nice and HOT without too much foam stopping you. And it's easy enough to get lots of foam with the enhancer anyway.

Before you steam the milk, run the steamer into an empty cup first, until there's steam coming out first, rather than hot water.

I steam milk, then run the water through the espresso coffee. If my mug is low enough, I can slip it under the unit and run the expresso directly into it. MMMMM!

Works with the Starbucks pods too. They come in handy now and then, and easy to cleanup. But I prefer the LAVA brand expresso you can find in grocery stores, double shot... whoohoo!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Nov. 20 2010
This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
I've had this machine for over a month now and I love it. It is beautiful to look at on my counter top and it makes fantastic drinks.
I just wish I could drink more espresso and lattes in one day. I look forward to mornings to have a cup!!!

My machine came with porcelain cups rather than the stainless steel ones and I love them even more. It was a pleasant surprise.

I had guests over yesterday and made different drinks for each of them with this machine and everyone enjoyed the frothed milk and great taste
of the espresso.

The only difficulty with this machine is the water tank is hard to read, so you have to realllllyyy look at it well to see what level the water is.
Also, the machine cannot be turned on and left because the cups will shift and you'll lose all your espresso, small prices to pay for such a fantastic
quality machine and cup of espresso.

I use to go to starbucks once a day, and since getting this machine over a month ago I've gone once, and that was only because I was out of town.
It eliminated my coffee runs.

I would recommend this to anyone.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good machine, March 23 2012
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This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
This manual machine does a good job of making espresso. The keyword here is 'manual', you have to choose the blend of coffee that you like, you have to grind it just right, you have to tamp it properly...you get the idea. If the coffee is not to your liking you must experiment. But if you know what you are doing and you are willing to experiment you can brew a pretty good cup of coffee.

My machine came with two china cups instead of the metal ones advertised. I would have like the metal cups as I have plenty of ordinary cups.
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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great expresso machine!, Dec 14 2009
By 
Yasmary Mora (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
I bought this recently for my partner, knowing nothing about espresso machines. A quick online search turned out this as a great beginner machine. I know next to nothing about making espressos, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was.

After using it, I have to agree. Super simple to use. We bought the E.S.E pods for coffee, put it in the cup thingie, attached it to the machine, and within 30 seconds we had hot rich delicious espresso. The milk frother/foam bit works super fast as well, made tons of foam, more than enough for the amount of coffee.

The coolest bit in my opinion was that it came with 2 stainless steel espresso cups with stainless steel saucers. AS well as the milk jug to make the foam.

Stupid rookie mistake of the day though: I thought it wasn't enough coffee so I made 2 packages of espresso, and ended up having the shakes. Its definitely not watery drip coffee, or Timmys or Starbucks. This is on its own league.

Also its made out of good long lasting materials, the machine doesn't look like it'll fall apart anytime soon.

My only complaint is that the switch at the front (that makes the machine make foam or espresso) is actually really hard to turn. Not sure if its lack of use.. after a couple of tries it was a bit easier, but it still required what it seemed like a lot of strength to turn it.

Edit 2014: Still have the expresso machine. It's working perfectly well after all these years. Coffee is still delicious.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great machine for the money, July 22 2013
By 
JT - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
I've had one of these for about five years, and it never gave me a bad cup of espresso. Or cappuccino.

Unfortunately it gave up the ghost after five years - but that works out to less than 10 cents a day for the hardware. Replacing it, I moved up a couple of models in the Breville line to a $550 machine. It's a lot more fiddly to get the output right - and I regret not just replacing with the same model.

If you want good to great espresso and cappuccino without all the fiddling around getting the grind, tamping, and pressure just right, then this is the ideal machine. (If you want outstanding, then be prepared to do all the fiddling with a more expensive more complex machine.) But for simplicity and good quality, this model is excellent.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few tips for making decent espressos and steam, Dec 28 2013
This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
Out of the box this machine is ok, it doesn't make a great espresso, but it's possible to improve the quality by using it right and changing the filter. It won't make the best espresso out there but it's quite decent for the price. Here are a few tips:

At first I thought the steamer was garbage but there's a trick to using it and it's actually not that bad. If you use it normally the machine struggles to reach the proper temperature and there will be a lot of water in the steam. The trick is to preheat the machine: first, wait until the heat light turns off with the knob in the middle, then turn the knob about 3/4 of the way to the left until the heat light comes on again, but before steam comes out. Then, wait until the heat light turns off again and turn it the rest of the way. That way the machine is hotter and produces steam right away. The steam is still wetter than ideal but it will do the job.

This machine comes with a double-wall 'pressurized' filter. With a regular filter you need to press down on the coffee grounds with 30-40 lbs of pressure to form a compact coffee puck. The hard puck slows down the water and creates a pressure build-up. The double-wall filter that is provided is more forgiving since the water is restricted by the single tiny hole at the bottom, causing the pressure to build up even if the grounds are not properly compacted. The pressurized filter is easier to use but produces a worse extraction, and clogs easily.

You can buy single-wall filters for this machine on the Breville website. The parts numbers are BPBES830205.2 and BPBES830205.3 for the two cup and the one cup filter respectively. They are not listed as compatible with the Cafe Roma but they are. With these filters the Roma can produce a decent espresso, with the right grind and if you make a good puck, and they won't clog. You'll need a good coffee tamper to press the grounds, the plastic spoon that comes with this machine won't cut it, you can get a 50mm stainless steel tamper on here.

Before making the first cup after turning the machine on you should take the filter (and handle) off and run it for a few seconds without coffee. The instruction manual says to do that, with good reason, if you don't the water will be too hot for the first cup and you risk burning the coffee.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Complaints, Nov. 15 2010
This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
I'm not a coffee expert by any means but I find that this makes very good espresso, great for making Lattes, Americano's and Cappuccinos. We got hooked on these drinks while spending time in Europe and wanted to make them at home, and this machine does the job very well. If you are wondering if you can make drinks as good as what you might buy at starbucks, etc. the answer is definitley yes, although it partially depends on the espresso that you use. The crema is really nice shot after shot and you can also make two shots at once which is perfect for my needs. The steam wand works well, although i find that its a good idea to run it for a few seconds before putting it into the milk as it spits out a bit of water initially. As a bonus it also comes with a couple of espresso cups (the ones we recieved are white porcelain, not stainless steel as pictured) and a small frothing pitcher. If you are looking for your first espresso machine I think this is a great choice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great machine and bang for the buck, July 27 2013
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This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
I tried this machine at a friend's place and was blown away by its good espresso, when I checked the price is was blown away further, being used to our work coffee machines which cost over $1,000 each and make a lower quality espresso. Try it with the Lavazza (red) espresso coffee for a real tasty espresso.

For the price, I don't believe you can find better.

The machine is pretty easy to clean and comes with all you need, including two espresso cups!

Cheers,
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Impressions: Makes Superb Drinks and is Very Easy To Operate. Great Value!, Nov. 26 2010
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This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
The reviews on this machine are mostly good from beginners and mostly mixed from barista connoisseurs, who no doubt used better and much pricier equipment. But you have to judge a machine for what it is. $150 with free delivery gets you a very competent machine, that consistently makes good quality drinks in my opinion. The espressos this machine makes are especially outstanding, with a nice thick crema every time. I used it with Illy espresso and the results were fantastic, on par with any Starbucks or Second Cup I've had. Cappuccinos and Lattes are easy to make and are quite good as well. The machine is super easy and quick to clean. A lot of negative attention has been paid to the wand milk steamer. I believe Breville has responded to those complaints by updating the wand design some time ago. In my experience so far, the wand no longer discharges small amounts of unwanted hot water at the beginning and it does a good, quick job of frothing the milk up. However, after frothing, the milk still seems a touch on the cool side, instead of being lukewarm. To that end, I recommend filling the small milk jug only 1/3 instead of 1/2 (like Breville suggests) to allow a little more time for the milk to steam before the jug gets full with frothing milk. Another minor complaint is that it is difficult to see the water level, perhaps because the plastic cover is too dark and does not provide a good contrast for the water. Overall, this is a good machine and a fantastic value. I do not believe you can find a better Espresso machine even if you spent twice as much money. I only hope this machine lasts for some years to come. We shall see.

Update: Yet its a piece of junk that stopped working in under a year (heating element not work). Can't recommend this machine.
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Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL
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