Produces nice coffee, great for a first machine. Be wary if service support in your area may be inadequate.
Positive Product Points
-Used for over 3 years on a daily basis, so it has given a good return on investment -Easy to use -Dependably good tasting coffee -Steamer can produce a decent micro-foam -Quick to heat -Robust and easy to keep clean
Negative Product Points
- Motherboard needed replacing. Had to wait 6 months for part (South Africa) - Steamer pressure can be erratic - Has limitations extruding flavour complexities
I have owned the Breville 800 for over 3 1/2 years. 6 months of which, it was out of action due to waiting for a replacement motherboard. Overall though it's been a great addition to my kitchen, and considering how many coffees I have produced from it, I'd say it's been a good return on investment. Especially considering that it allows me to produce a far better coffee than most Cafes in my vicinity.
Originally I was primarily a cappuccino drinker, so I became well practiced at getting a decent micro-foam despite the steamer not always being consistent. Sometimes it bleeds a lot of water, other times the steam pressure is low. The micro foam probably isn't ideal for producing latte art (or maybe its just me), but is good enough to get an approving nod from my coffee snob friends.
Now that I am primarily an espresso drinker, I have come to realise the machine's limitations. Short of modifying the pressurised portfilter, it simply can't produce the fullest possible flavour. I can achieve an espresso that compliments the coffee sweetness but is relatively too mild in strength and lacking flavour complexity. This also means that I need to make a double shot for a small cappuccino in order not to make it taste too weak.
As my first machine though, I'm glad to have owned the Breville. But alas, now I am ready to take it to the next level and invest in a premium machine, such as a Giotto Evoluzione or maybe even a Elektra Micro Casa a Leva. The main reason being, that I need a better machine if I am to improve my barista skills.
Bought from @home in South Africa. These chain stores are the only resellers of Breville products in the country. When the motherboard failed I was told there would be an extra wait by returning the unit in-store. Instead I went straight to their repair agent, Liptronics (Bellville, Cape Town). 6 months later I got it back! Being that Liptronics originally said it would only take a few days to repair, it was a frustrating wait. One consolation in the end was that the cost of repair was nominal.