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166 Reviews
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35 of 35 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 18 months ago by mistdust

versus
16 of 19 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 on Oct. 4 2012 by greenbean


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I know how to make coffee, June 4 2013
By 
mistdust - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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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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20 of 20 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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30 of 31 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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75 of 80 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)   
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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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great machine for the money, July 22 2013
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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14 of 15 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good machine, March 23 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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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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
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make a Good Machine Better, Jan. 17 2014
By 
Inky Quill - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
~~~
The genius of this machine is the drip tray. So many holes.

With three or four 1 inch stainless steel 10-32 round head machine screws, 2 nuts and 2 washers each, you can find three or four holes that will allow you fasten them in such a way that your favourite cup or pitcher that you use to draw coffee will sit centred under the espresso head's outlets and you will never have to centre the cup again, nor will it vibrate out of place. It drops into place.

Choose the holes and adjust the heights to make it work, so the heads of the screws just touch the sides of the cup or pitcher, and tighten them up.

Hardware is at Canadian Tire or Home Depot type store in the bulk bins of the hardware department. Less than $5 for the pricey s/s hardware.

10-24 size also works. Stainless steel only.

~~~

I may add a picture to show how it worked for me.

The steam wand output is the weak spot for me, but I generally microwave my milk first for a specific 1:11 and then froth it so it gets less water added.

~~~

Bonus amelioration: There is a hollow area under the black plastic of the handle that funnels the espresso down.

That area gathers water and dishwater.

I used a good quality silicone to fill the void, reinserted the plastic and the screw, squeezed out the excess silicone, and let it cure for a couple of days. Installing it on the machine to warm it will speed up the silicone curing which will be quite lengthy.

Use masking tape to protect areas from silicone, and to cover the small plastic outlet holes as you push it into the holder.

Clean it up before the silicone sets. This can be messy.

Cured silicone is generally non-toxic. Use advisedly.

I also re-glued the handle's cap, and filled where the metal connects to the handle, to avoid liquid ever getting into the very hollow handle.

Use the same high quality silicone. Black or grey recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in class - no debate, Jan. 27 2013
This review is from: Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL (Kitchen)
We have owned our machine for five years and it has been excellent. I was recommended this by a friend who has gone through 2 in 6 years. This is only because he was too lazy to do a simple repair and wanted a new shiny machine.
The negative reviews mention things like the machine clogging, the steam not working, and a couple of faulty units.
This is a quality ENTRY LEVEL machine.

Here are tips to help resolve these problems:

1) the Cafe Roma provides excellent crema, but the system is a little finicky and will not do well with too fine a grind. This doesnt mean that the grind has to be course, but it does need to be medium-fine. Extraction is still excellent. Also, every six months or so of regular continual use, the screen in the retainer should be removed and cleaned. Old coffee build up can seriously hinder performance. This machine likes to be kept clean and this includes the group head.

2) A reviewer complained of their espresso being cold after steaming their milk. Try steaming first, then draw your shot. The steaming wand takes about 10-12 seconds to flush and heat up BEFORE steaming. Use an empty cup for this.

3) All products on the market have failure rates. It's crappy when you get the bum product but that's what happens when affordable products are made in China. If you want more assurance, spend $500+ ; a reputable dealer such as Amazon will reimburse or replace a product faulty at delivery.

Bottom line is, there is nothing comparable in this price range. But, don't take my word for it. Look here: [...]
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Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL
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