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Breville Bijou Espresso Machine Evaluation



If you wish to make high-quality espresso at residence and you do not thoughts taking the time to be taught, this equipment is one to contemplate. Small-scale and enjoyable, Breville’s Bijou Espresso Machine makes a cracking espresso and beautiful frothy milk.

Design & look

Chrome steel physique
1.5 litre tank
Makes 1-2 espressos at a time

Contained in the field, there is a 15-bar pump espresso machine, a portafilter, a scoop and tamper, a guide, and two double wall filter baskets – a 1-cup and a 2-cup measure.

The machine itself has a stainless-steel physique with a clear 1.5 litre tank on the again. The facility cable is 70cm, so that you don’t want to position the equipment straight in entrance of a plug level. Standing simply over 29cm excessive, 20cm large and 28cm deep, it’s a neat equipment that doesn’t take up a lot area in your counter.

On the entrance, the machine has a three-button row – one for energy, one for brew and one for steam – and a dial. Beneath the portafilter socket, there is a black plastic drip tray with a stainless-steel grid cowl, which is simple to take out and exchange.

Efficiency and use

No pre-set meting out volumes
Not tall sufficient for a latte glass
Cool-down wanted after steaming milk

After unboxing the machine, you may want to scrub the tank and run 400 ml of water by way of the machine to scrub it. You may pull out the tank to fill it from the faucet – it slips simply again into place – or use a jug whereas the tank is in situ. 

While you flip the machine on, there is a look forward to it to warmth up. We discovered that it takes about six minutes from a really chilly begin. You will know it is prepared when the brew button indicator gentle stops pulsing.

When you’ve run the cleansing course of, you can also make your first espresso.

Select your filter basket relying on how a lot espresso you need to make, after which pop it into the portafilter by aligning the basket bump with the portafilter notch – this caught us out initially till we re-read the directions.

Use the equipped scoop to measure your espresso into the basket, flip the inside track spherical and tamp the espresso with the opposite finish, ensuring to use strain. Then twist the portafilter into place on the machine. There is a little bit of a knack to this, and we discovered it to be a bit stiff at first.

Put your cup beneath the portafilter and switch the management dial to brew; the machine will then begin to dispense espresso with smooth puffs of steam. When you’ve got the required quantity, simply flip the dial again to standby.

As you may notice from the method described, this isn’t one-button espresso brewing. And until you’ve got barista coaching, attending to grips with the machine can represent a steep studying curve. We needed to do a good quantity of experimentation. However this implies it is a great buy for espresso hobbyists looking out for his or her first residence espresso machine.

A mean espresso shot is 30ml however that is troublesome to gauge by eye and we wildly over-dispensed the primary few occasions. Ultimately, we ended up utilizing a glass with the right degree marked on the aspect till we received a good suggestion of what 30ml appeared like in a cup.

The necessity for a trial and error interval is as a result of Bijou’s guide dispense dial. This Breville mannequin has no pre-set dispense quantity perform, which suggests it isn’t the suitable machine for individuals who need to press a button or two to get their morning brew.

On the plus aspect, the guide dispense offers you the power to simply customise espresso energy in a approach that an automated equipment might not.  

As soon as we received our dispense volumes proper, the consequence was spectacular: a Guinness-like espresso with a beautiful crema on prime, an ideal scent, and a deep wealthy style.

You may, nonetheless, solely make one or two cups at a time, and the Bijou doesn’t have the peak for tall latte glasses. If you wish to make 4 espressos, lattes, or cappuccinos, preparation turns into a multistep course of.

Breville suggests you make the coffees first after which steam your milk afterwards. The steaming course of makes the equipment too scorching to then brew appropriately, so you’ll want to plan a little bit if you wish to serve a espresso with steamed milk to greater than two folks. 

Alternatively, you’ll be able to launch the warmth by way of the quiet down cycle by urgent the brew button, placing a jug underneath the steam wand, and turning the dial to steam. It takes about 40 seconds, you flip the dial to standby once more, and the equipment is then able to make one other spherical of espressos.

When you’ll want to faucet out your espresso grounds, there is a clip to go over the basket so the filter does not fall out.

Steaming milk

Steep studying curve to get good outcomes
Steam wand too low to permit a pint of milk to be steamed

Fill your milk jug a few third or half full. Because the Bijou is so compact, the steam wand doesn’t have the peak to let you steam a pint of milk without delay.

You need to use any sort of chilly milk – rice, almond, oat, coconut – however full fats milk works greatest. Soy milk is way tougher to work with, as each excessive temperatures and the acidity of espresso could make it curdle. 

Press the steam button, insert the wand just under the floor of the milk and switch the management dial to steam. Then steam your milk to the required texture and temperature. While you’ve completed, flip the dial to the standby place and wipe down the wand.

This sounds easy, and it’s as soon as you already know what you are doing, but it surely’s one other huge studying curve for newbies. Our first three makes an attempt have been completely garbage: we over-frothed and under-heated, over-heated and under-frothed – at one level, we unintentionally ran the quiet down cycle by way of a jug of milk.

So bear in mind, you may want some follow if you’re coming to exploit steaming for the primary time. The Bijou doesn’t spoon-feed you.

However what it does do is provide you with management and the chance to experiment and make nice espresso with out having to fork out lots of of kilos or surrender much-needed kitchen counter area. It’s an ideal equipment for a small family.

Once we lastly received it proper the consequence was a clean, velvety cappuccino that rivalled, presumably bettered, a coffee-shop espresso. 

Worth and availability

Espresso machines are costly. Breville has constructed one thing inexpensive and high-quality right here by outsourcing numerous the fine-tuning to its person. The Bijou has an RRP of £199.99 however for those who store cannily, it is best to have the ability to pay money for one for nearer to £150.

It is at the moment out there from Amazon for £153.35. At this worth, it actually is excellent worth. 

Keep in mind that the Bijou doesn’t grind beans. If you happen to just like the sound of the Bijou however need an inbuilt grinder, Breville additionally has a machine with one: its improbable Barista Max Espresso Espresso machine, which we have additionally reviewed. 

Verdict

This isn’t an equipment for individuals who desire a easy option to make espresso within the morning: it isn’t fast and it’s fiddly. Nor wouldn’t it swimsuit massive households with a number of folks wanting to get their espresso quick.

However we liked this equipment. We had numerous enjoyable tinkering with meting out volumes, milk frothing, and shot-to-milk ratios. We’d have appreciated a Breville-supplied coffee-making information, and possibly a little bit extra room under the steam wand. 

If area is at a premium in your family, the Bijou is a compact, budget-friendly option to get high-quality espresso.

For extra espresso machine choices, take a look at our round-up of one of the best espresso machines we have examined.

Specs
Breville Bijou Espresso Machine (VCF149): Specs

Dimensions: 30 x 21 x 27cm
Bar strain: 15 bar
Energy: 1050 Watt
With integral milk frother

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About the author: SubSellKaro

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