Crew Review: Breville Infuser
How Does It Compare?
We recently did a Crew Comparison for the Breville Infuser and the Breville Duo-Temp Pro that detailed the difference between Breville’s entry-level machines! If you’re looking for something with a little more programmability, then the Breville Infuser is your machine. Built with a programmable PID and two espresso shot time buttons, the Infuser offers more control over your coffee. Even though we call it an entry-level machine, it has commercial-quality features like a traditional steam wand and 54mm stainless steel portafilter baskets—a nice touch from Breville—that are anything but entry-level.The Breville Infuser features two programmable buttons and internal PID.
Built with a 15 bar triple-prime pump, the Breville Infuser is powerful. Even with the power behind it, Breville has programmed the Infuser to apply low water pressure to evenly wet grounds for pre-infusion and then jump to nine bars to extract—see it for yourself! The Infuser features a pressure gauge that tells you what’s happening in the boiler. If you watch the gauge, you can adjust your machine so that you can have the best extraction. When you’re ready for another cup of coffee and you dump out the coffee puck—notice anything? The puck is dry! The Infuser features a three-way solenoid valve that removes excess water from the portafilter.
As we mentioned, one of the highlights of the Infuser is the programmable shot time. Breville makes programming pretty intuitive, but in case you’re looking for a walk-through: To program the Infuser, turn on the machine and hit the Program button. We recommend programming your machine with coffee in the portafilter since the grounds will retain water, but it isn’t completely necessary. When you’re ready to program, select the either the single or double espresso button and it’ll start the brewing process. Once you have the desired volume, select the same button again and it’ll remember your new time. While there are no manual controls over espresso, you can always select the espresso amount you want and then press the button again to interrupt the flow.The Infuser features stainless steel buttons that have lit ring that turn on when in use.
The programmable PID is a step up from a lot of other machines we’ve seen. You can adjust the brew temperature up or down two or four degrees from the factory setting. The only downside is the temperature isn’t displayed, so it’s not as easy to read what temperature you’re currently at. However, the PID helps temperature stability and we’ve seen it produce consistently hot and delicious espresso.
The Infuser features a traditional steam wand that rotates 360 degrees to reach those tough angles and a dedicated hot water spout. To use either, there is a turn style knob on the side that switches between steam and hot water. Another feature we appreciate on the Breville Infuser is the auto-purge after steaming. Since this is a thermoblock machine, you’ll have to steam and brew one at a time. After you take the traditional steam wand for a spin, you’ll hear and see steam being released under the drip tray. Instead of having to pull water through your machine to bring the steam temperature back down to brew, the Infuser does the work for you! And it’s an incredibly quick turnaround time to brewing! Within seconds, we were pulling a shot.The Infuser uses a turn style knob for steam or hot water.
Instead of a single boiler, the Infuser uses a thermocoil heating element to steam water on the fly. The thermocoil is Breville’s version of a thermoblock to help create consistency when steaming and we love that! However, it does take a bit to heat up to full steam power. The slow acceleration to full steaming offers beginner baristas the opportunity to learn how to froth milk, but that does mean it’ll take time. If you don’t want to wait, we recommend every time you first turn on the machine to let the steam run so it can reach temperature.
There’s no denying the Breville Infuser’s got style—just like the rest of the lineup! It features soft, brushed stainless steel and a sleek interface. The button display is crisp, with matching stainless steel and soft, blue lit rings around each button—the light around each button activates when that button is used, which is helpful when you’re programming your espresso or PID. The pressure gauge is designed to help your extraction, but it’s also quickly becoming an iconic touch on the Breville lineup.The Infuser comes with pressurized and non-pressurized portafilter baskets in single and double sizes.
We think of the Infuser as an entry-level machine thanks to accessories like the pressurized and non-pressurized portafilter baskets. The pressurized basket will only release coffee when the right pressure is achieved, which means you can pull delicious shots! For beginners who want to learn how to dial in their grind, the non-pressurized portafilter offers an opportunity to practice. It’s also one of Breville’s smaller and more affordable semi-automatic machines. Even with it’s size, it packs in a 61-ounce water reservoir—more than enough for multiple cups of coffee!The Infuser has a hefty 61-ounce water reservoir.
The Breville Infuser is a great entry-level machine for anyone looking for an affordable, yet powerful semi-automatic espresso machine. It features two programmable espresso buttons and a PID that allows you more control over your espresso. And while some might want more steam power from the steam wand, we appreciate the amount of power we get from the Infuser. It allows beginners the opportunity to learn how to texture their milk. Once we’re done steaming, the auto-purge takes the boiler back down to brewing temperature so we can get our lattes or cappuccinos faster. Tell us what you think about the Breville Infuser in the comments below!