Breville has been in the coffee game for quite a long time, but have you ever stumbled across this brand while looking for espresso machines and thought to yourself “why is a Breville espresso machine so expensive?”
There are several good reasons why Breville’s espresso machines are the price they are, so let’s find out why.
- 1 Why Is Breville So Expensive?
- 2 What Makes an Espresso Machine Expensive?
- 3 Types of Espresso Machines
- 4 What Are Cheaper Alternatives To (Breville’s) Espresso Machines?
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 6 The Bottom Line
Why Is Breville So Expensive?
Breville’s products, particularly their espresso machines, are expensive due to several factors. One of them is that they have an established and strong reputation. Still, the main reason is that a high-quality espresso machine requires top-notch materials and a complex manufacturing process that is difficult to replicate in less expensive models.
Because of their strong reputation, they offer serviceability, but what does that mean?
This means that their parts and materials can be found at machine service providers, so if your espresso machine needs to be repaired, you can quickly get it repaired at your local coffee machine repair.
What Makes an Espresso Machine Expensive?
Let’s take a look at the core things that determine the price of an espresso machine:
- Temperature Stability
- Capacity or Workflow
The name can add a lot of value to the espresso machine. A lot of home users know what Breville is, yet most people don’t know what Gaggia is.
Premium brands such as Breville or De’Longhi also offer serviceability, this means the parts and materials can be found at a machine service provider. So if your espresso machine breaks, you can quickly get it repaired at your local coffee machine repair shop.
This one is simple, you can have a machine that has a lot of plastic components, or one with a lot of high-end parts and more metal construction, as well as better pressure pumps. Better machines will last a long time and deliver consistent results.
Temperature is one of the most important things for good espresso extraction. A lot of cheap machines have single boilers that handle both streaming and brewing, so the boiler is going to be kept at boiling.
High-quality machines have dual boilers or heat exchangers to keep the correct temperatures, but it also means you need to build a more precise machine.
Espresso machines can be surprisingly high-tech. More and more high-quality espresso machines use fancy electronics and parts for high-accuracy shot measurement when brewing.
Capacity or Workflow
This is where you start heading into commercial rather than home-use equipment, but can still be very relevant for home-use equipment. Machines like the Breville Barista Express take about 2 – 3 minutes to steam milk and requires a warm-up time to switch from espresso brewing to milk brewing. This is actually quite good for home-use equipment compared to cheaper espresso machines like Flair, which doesn’t even have a milk steaming option.
With neither of these machines can you produce 4 – 5 espressos in a quick amount of time, but more expensive machines allow for faster workflow and can brew 2 – 4 double shots simultaneously, have better steam power, has no lag between brewing/steaming, allows you to simultaneously brew/steam, etc.
Very High-end machines will also be able to withstand the rigors of brewing hundreds of shots in an hour. Then again, this is only for commercial espresso machines that cost easily a few thousand and are not necessary to have in your kitchen at home.
Suggested Read: Cheap VS Expensive Coffee Makers
Types of Espresso Machines
Espresso machines come in a lot of different types, the most common ones are:
- Super Automatic
Piston-Driven Espresso Machines
Piston-Driven espresso machines have been in the game for the longest time. They use a piston to pump water through the coffee grounds. The pressure from the piston creates a rich and flavorful espresso. These machines are very durable but can be a bit challenging to use.
Pump-Driven Espresso Machines
Pump-Driven espresso machines use a pump pressure to make espresso. They produce rich and flavorful espresso and are also very easy to use.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
This is where it starts to get interesting. Semi-automatic espresso machines allow you to control the amount of water and pressure used to make each shot. These machines need some sort of human involvement as they are not fully automatic.
Automatic Espresso Machines
Automatic espresso machines automatically regulate the amount of water and pressure used to make each shot. This means you can create a hands-off espresso.
Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
These machines have anything you can think of and even more than that. Super-Automatic espresso machines are built with the latest technology features and do not require ANY human interaction to make espresso. You can literally set the schedule and they will make espresso at the given time.
In addition, these espresso machines do not even require cleaning. Because they have auto cleaning, milk frothing, etc. This sounds amazing and convenient but they can be very very expensive as well.
If you’re looking for a fairly affordable super-automatic espresso machine at home (not for commercial use), then I highly recommend the Breville Barista Express.
Suggested Read: 15 VS 20 BAR Espresso Machines
What Are Cheaper Alternatives To (Breville’s) Espresso Machines?
Luckily there are a few different ways to make a delicious cup of espresso. But since espresso heavily relies on pressured water, an expensive espresso machine will always outperform cheaper alternatives.
Getting A Different Brand
There are a lot of espresso machines out there, and thus you can scroll through quite some brands. Going for a different brand and cheaper espresso machine can still produce some good espresso.
One of the cheaper brands I recommend is Gevi, they are fairly new and tend to make their cheaper espresso machines with a lot of plastic. So it might not be that appealing to look at, but it can still produce some amazing espresso without having to break the bank.
Manual Espresso Machine
Manual espresso machines such as Flair require a bit more work but can still create some very rich and tasty espresso. If you don’t mind a bit of work then this is the closest you can get to espresso out of a machine.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s So Special About Espresso Machines?
Espresso machines are special because they can produce rich and flavorful espresso consistently. It needs to use water pressure to do so, which is hard to find without a machine.
Why Are Commercial Espresso Machines So Expensive?
Commercial espresso machines are expensive for a variety of reasons. These machines are built to last a long time while also creating the best espresso they possibly can every time. They have precision heating elements, powerful motors, and durable construction which all add to the costs of a top-notch espresso machine.
The main 4 reasons why commercial espresso machines are so expensive are:
- Commercial espresso machines are built to withstand heavy use.
- They have to be able to produce dozens of espresso shots per hour, every single day.
- Commercial machines need to be precise and consistent, this is especially important for cafes, where customers expect the same great cup of espresso every time. A cheap machine that can’t produce consistent results will go out of business very quickly.
- Many commercial espresso machines have added milk-steaming capabilities or grinders. This adds to the cost but it compensates with the functionality and convenience.
Are Expensive Espresso Machines Worth It?
Yes, expensive espresso machines are definitely worth it and come with their benefits. They tend to make better espresso and last longer than cheaper models. Today they also often come with features like programmable settings and even stronger pumps, which can make a big difference in the final quality of your espresso.
The Bottom Line
Breville’s espresso machines are expensive because they are built to last longer and produce quality espresso every time. They also come with serviceability which surely comes in handy if your machine tries to give up.
Some people will be willing to pay the price for this, others might want to go for something cheaper that can still produce decent espresso. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what your money is worth spending on.