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Briel Lido Espresso Machine - Andy Panda's Review
Posted: September 25, 2010, 9:12am
review rating: 10.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Briel Lido Espresso Machine
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More About This Product
Arrow The Briel Lido Espresso Machine has 15 Reviews
Arrow The Briel Lido Espresso Machine has been rated 5.81 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Briel Lido Espresso Machine reviews have been viewed 77,375 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Andy Panda 10.00
Skip Thomsen 6.60
Lane Wilkins 6.33
Kevin Johnson 6.00
Joel Stevens 6.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 5.0
Manufacturer: Briel Quality: 5
Average Price: $130.00 Usability: 5
Price Paid: $50.00 Cost vs. Value 5
Where Bought: CraigsList Aesthetics 5
Owned for: 1 year Overall 5
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Gaggia Carezza
Bottom Line: Not for everyone - but for small spaces (office, cabin etc) it is great - can make good espresso if you learn its quirks.
Positive Product Points

Small size - smaller than my toaster - takes up very little room on the counter and doesn't have that "equipment" look to it that most espresso machines have.  The pump is much quieter than many other vibe pump machines.  The drip tray locks securely and is fairly deep - for the tiny size of the machine, the drip tray is actually rather large and easy to remove and dump without spilling.

The boiler is Stainless - heats quickly - can get the proper temp with a little bit of surfing - and if you are willing to learn its quirks, you can pull very tasty espresso.

Negative Product Points

Only the tiniest cups will fit under the portafilter.  I removed the double spout and gained a little room.  My proper sized cap cups fit fine, proper sized espresso cups fit fine - but nothing you can find at American stores (like Bed, Bath, Beyond, Target, Kohl's) will fit.

Filter is pressurized - but very easy to remove the restrictor.  The baskets are small - best results with 5-6 gram singles and 10-12 gram doubles.  14 grams can just barely be crammed into the double basket but you'd need to grind coarser than for a normal machine.

Aluminum portafilter.  Unpressurized baskets can be found from Saeco or Solis.  The stock baskets can be made non-pressurized but the filter area (the holes) of the double basket is about the size of a normal single basket - so you still have to grind coarser than normal.

Steam wand is nearly useless for steaming - I don't steam so this doesn't bother me.  Remove the nozzle and it is wonderful, and perfectly sized/located as a hot water tap that doesn't spray and splash.

Detailed Commentary

This machine will be hated by anyone used to a normal sized machine - or if steamed milk drinks are your thing.

The beauty of this machine is the small size and compact shape.  It is rectangular and fits very nicely just about anywhere.   It is so small that only a proper sized (very short) cap or espresso cup will fit under the spout.  And it's hard to get steaming pitcher under the steam wand.  I don't steam milk anyway, so I removed the frother and the steam wand is now perfect as a hot water tap. And it doesn't spray or splash - without the frother nozzle the steam tube is wide open to flow hot water slowly.

The pump is an Ulka - 15 bar and the boiler looks just like what you'd find in a Saeco or Starbucks Barista and the thermostats are the same as well - so you can expect the same sort of boiler and pump performance.  

The filter baskets have a screw holding the filter screen to the bottom - so you can remove the filter screen (disc shaped) to clean.  The underside of the basket has the pressure device - a rubber disc held by a brass piece.  Just remove the rubber disc and then replace the brass piece and the filter now behaves "almost" like a normal filter basket.  I also removed the crema enhancer in the portafilter spout and I removed the double spout to give a little more room for sliding cups under the spout.  The baskets are small - I like smaller shots anyway - so I generally pull a double as 1.2 -1.5 oz and dose about 13 grams  in the double basket.

I measured brew temps - and it behaves just like a Starbucks Barista or Saeco equivalent. Flush a little water to cycle the boiler - then when the light comes on (heater goes off) you wait 5 seconds for a 203F shot or wait 20-30 seconds for a 198F shot.  The temp cools quickly during the shot so I use the steam switch during the pull (timing here depends on how fast your shot is pouring).  I didn't have much trouble finding a surf technique that held a steady 199-200F through the pull.

Buying Experience

Bought it used - no problem.

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review rating: 10.0
Posted: September 25, 2010, 9:12am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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