There are many bean to cup machines on the market so if you're struggling to decide which to choose, we hear you. You're not on your own. So, we decided to make life a little easier and give you a helping hand from the people in the know.
In the first of our new series of machine reviews, Home Barista Joe gives some tips and info on his personal favourite, the Sage Barista Express. Check out more tips and tricks from Joe over on his Insta account @home_barista_joe (serious latte art appreciation too!).
Over to Joe:
"The Sage Barista Express is a budget to mid-range coffee machine from the Sage/Breville Barista range, boasting good looks and a small counter top footprint to integrate well into a kitchen of any size.
Usually referred to as a ‘Bean to cup’ machine by online retailers, the Barista Express is more of a manual home barista machine with an integrated grinder, giving control of grind size, dose, cup size, pre-infusion times, water temperature and extraction times.
This control gives the ability to produce some impressively tasty, smooth and well-balanced shots of espresso for the price of the machine.
Once turned on, the single boiler machine takes around 10 minutes to warm up to give consistent shots at an optimum extraction temperature. As it’s a single boiler, the coffee extraction and milk steaming cannot be performed concurrently, however with a well-oiled routine, you can have a well textured and delicious flat white in front of you in a matter of minutes.
Available in either brushed stainless steel or the black sesame colours, both are accompanied with a stainless steel temperature gauged milk steaming jug, the ‘Sage Razor’, cleaning kit and four different baskets. Magnetically held within the machine is the Sage tamping tool, which is OK to start but would highly recommend buying a separate tamper (either palm tamper or regular) that provides better fit for the basket.
Water (filtered is recommended) is easily poured into the two litre tank at the back of the machine before being used to either extract espresso or through the hot water tap and steam wand.
This is an excellent entry level espresso machine with integrated grinder for anyone looking to broaden their knowledge of coffee and get some fantastic results. For the current price, you’d struggle to get a better machine in terms of both looks and the coffee that it produces."
You can find the Sage Barista Express at well known physical retail stores and online retailers.