Buying Guides

Breville Cafe Roma Review

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Breville Barista Express Review

Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or a novice looking to own your very first espresso machine, the Breville Cafe Roma should be on your list. Suitable for both beginners and seasoned baristas alike, this high-powered espresso machine is easy to use and crafted beautifully.

We’ve taken the liberty of testing it out to help coffee lovers such as yourself decide if this machine is the best decision for you.

So continue reading to get a detailed buyer’s guide replete with pros and cons made for your convenience.

Click here for our guide to the best Breville espresso machines out there!

Things to Consider Before Buying an Espresso Machine

Before you invest in an espresso or coffee machine, you have to know what you’re looking for. Should you go for a built-in grinder or purchase separately? Semi-automatic, fully automatic, or manual? Basic or luxurious?

Here are some of the top features to consider when buying a new (or used) espresso machine:


Your espresso machine must have a high working capacity. Ideally, a quality espresso machine should be capable of being used all day without any risk of malfunction. An espresso machine of lesser quality will have difficulty operating for a long duration. Additionally, you will want a brewer with a high coffee bean and water capacity if you brew frequently.

Grinding Capacity

It is important to note that they’re two types of grinders with espresso machines; they’re manual and automatic grinders. Before your purchase, it is essential to know which kind of grinder your espresso machine in question will have. Of course, the automatic grinder is more convenient but having to have one is a matter of preference.

If you don’t brew very much, the grinding capacity won’t matter a lot to you. However, if you brew frequently or even for guests, you should get a high-capacity grinder.

Water Storage

Your typical espresso machine will have enough water to make up to 8 cups of espresso. Most people won’t need a much higher capacity than this; however, if you find yourself needing more, you may need to open your own coffee shop!

Very high-end espresso machines are designed to connect to a water source such as a refrigerator. But most espresso machines designed for home use will not have this feature.

Ease of Cleaning

Cleaning an espresso machine can be a chore, especially if it’s difficult to disassemble and reassemble. Coffee grounds get everywhere. It is much more convenient to have a machine that aids in the cleaning process due to sound design. Keep in mind that the frothing equipment, receptacle, cups, and the rest of the parts exposed to moisture should be cleaned and dried after every use.

Brief Product Overview

The Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma is the ideal espresso machine for home use. This machine comes equipped with everything that you’ll need to make barista-quality beverages. What’s more, this machine is so easy to use that even beginners won’t have a hard time making an excellent tasting cup of brew.

The fifteen bars of pressure that Breville’s Cafe Roma possesses optimizes crema, giving you that barista-style performance that we all desire. Furthermore, the easy froth and foaming allow you to make a good grade of delicious cappuccino consistently.

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly espresso machine that’s quality and affordable, then the Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma is the machine for you.

Things We Like

  • It’s made with stainless-steel given it a beautiful finish adding to the aesthetics of your kitchen.
  • The machine produces a quality of aroma and taste that rivals the professionals.
  • Espresso machines can be expensive; the Cafe Roma is a quality and affordable machine.
  • The machine is easy to operate. There are not any complicated settings. All you have to do is brew and drink.
  • This machine requires little to no maintenance, and it’s effortless to clean.

Room for Improvement

  • There are no indicators to inform whether or not the drip tray is filled to capacity.
  • The steam slowly gets hot, increasing the time it takes to brew a beverage.
  • The height of the cup is small. The machine cannot accommodate taller cups.

Features & Benefits

Here are some of our favorite things about the Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma that put it on our list of one of the best espresso machines on the market. You can really see the utility with some of these features that just make the coffee making process smoother.

Heating System: Thermoblock

The heart of an espresso machine is its ability to brew. We all long for that rich aroma of coffee that helps you wake up in the morning before you go to work. We all know what it’s like when making a cup of coffee or a shot of espresso and not knowing if it’s perfectly brewed at the right temperature.

The taste and aroma of the coffee can be easily compromised when you are uncertain of its temperature. When brewing a good cup of coffee, you need precision. The Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma’s thermoblock heating system helps you achieve just that!

Equipped with a 15 bar pressure pump, your coffee will be extracted at an optimal temperature. This pressure that the Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma produces will then make a rich crema. When the brewing is all said and done, you can enjoy a cup of joe that rivals even that of the baristas.

Dual-Wall Filter System

Flavorless crema is never the way to go, and it can ruin the entirety of the beverage if this component of the drink is even slightly off. When trying to achieve quality crema, sometimes the presentation can suffer, and instead of a frothy finish, you can end up with unwanted, flavorless bubbles.

Here is where the dual-wall filter system comes in handy. This system makes it so that you never miss the mark when brewing your coffee. This system facilitates consistency when making crema. Moreover, this filter makes for consistent extraction as well.

Steam Wand/Froth Enhancer

This is a cool additional feature that gives you that smooth velvet-like layer of froth atop your cappuccino. The steam wand itself, however, doesn’t do anything special. Therefore, you’ll have to learn how to achieve the best angle and how deep to actually insert the tip to get the perfect milk froth.

A flat froth is not appetizing whatsoever, and neither is heated milk that has been scalded. You can rest easy knowing that the steam wand that comes with the Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma is sufficiently capable of churning out some of the best milk froth around.

Warming Plate

Breville Cafe Roma warming tray

Have you ever brewed a fresh pot of coffee, and just as your lip met the brew, you were met with disappointment? The disappointment that somehow your coffee just wasn’t hot enough. Well, you’re in good company because it’s common that people complain that their espresso machine is not churning out coffee that is hot enough.

However, oftentimes it’s not the machine nor the coffee that it produces that is too cool—it’s the cup or mug that you’re using that’s cooling the overall temp of the beverage down. Thanks to the cup warming plate, cool coffee is a thing of the past.

When properly used, the cup warming plate will heat your cup as the espresso machine heats the water. Just put your cup on the warming plate, and you will be on your way to enjoying hotter coffee, which is more pleasant to the palate.

Straightforward Controls

Breville Cafe Roma simple control

Have you ever dealt with an intimidating espresso machine? The kind of machine that has 40 different settings to make the same drink? If you have, you know how a machine like this can make brewing a cup of espresso needlessly tricky.

Some espresso machines are too complicated for their own good, and if you’re someone who’s always on the go, then you don’t want to waste time fumbling around with controls when you’re on your way to the gym or work. The Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma is an espresso machine with simple controls making it easy to use in a few quick and simple steps.

There are two basic controls: the Selector knob and the ON/OFF switch. You can easily push one side of the button to turn it on and the other side to turn it off. With the Selector Knob, there’s the option to standby in the center. Additionally, you’ll see that when you turn to the right to brew espresso and to the left to steam or froth your milk.

Alternatives & Conclusion

So what’s the verdict? The Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma is without question a terrific entry-level espresso machine. The Cafe Roma’s practical and stylish design makes it a welcome addition to any kitchen.

When you consider its froth-enhancing steam wand and dual-wall filters, there is no question about whether this machine can brew a great espresso. Finally, its stainless steel design means that you won’t have to worry much about repairs and maintenance very much at all.

However, understanding that everything is not for everybody, we’ve got some alternative options if you feel that this Breville model isn’t the best fit.

If you don’t mind relinquishing a little control and you’d rather have an espresso machine that does the work for you, check out the DeLonghi Magnifica.

Or, let’s say you want something even more affordable price-wise because you want to get your feet wet before upgrading to something more luxurious, then check out these super economical brands and models.

We’re sure that somewhere throughout this guide, you’ll be able to find a suitor. Always keep in mind that functionality and ease of use are essential when buying a new espresso machine.

Happy Caffienating!

Breville Cafe Roma Review: An Entry-Level Espresso Machine
Breville Barista Express Review 1

If you're starting your espresso making journey, you're gonna want to check out this review. Who knows, maybe it'll be your first purchase!

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