Crew Comparison: Breville Infuser vs Crossland CC1
How Does It Compare?
There is couple hundred dollars difference the Breville Infuser and Crossland CC1 and there’s a good reason for the jump. Both semi-automatic espresso machines feature a programmable PID and timed espresso shots. Both have a traditional steam wand. Both are fantastic homes machines. But the CC1 rocks a single boiler and thermoblock-enhanced steam and a digital interface featuring more programming. Between these espresso machines, the Infuser boasts fame from Breville’s consumer-centric design and some extra goodies to make your home coffee experience easy.
Heads up! We recently compared the Crossland Coffee CC1 and Breville Barista Express, so this might feel like a recap. If you haven’t checked that out yet, there isn’t a huge difference between the Infuser and Barista Express. Really the most notable change is the Barista Express has a built-in grinder.
Back to the Infuser! Check out this comparison of the Infuser and CC1 and find out which machine is right for you.
Built by coffee geek Bill Crossland, the Crossland CC1 has all the personality you’d expect from, well, a coffee geek! The innovative interface programs the espresso shot time, pre-infusion and wait time between pre-infusion and brew. The PID allows you to adjust the boiler—remember it’s a single boiler—for the ideal brew temperature. Best of all, you can set up three profiles with each of the listed features and that includes the CC1 remembering different brew temperatures—a feature you don’t find on most machines!The Crossland Coffee CC1 features a programmable PID and three espresso profiles.
On the other hand, Breville Infuser is built with the kind of convenience casual coffee drinkers adore. Built-in pre-infusion optimizes coffee extraction—and keeps it easy for you—while the two programmable espresso buttons let you set the right shot time. But the Infuser doesn’t have individual profiles like the CC1. The brew temperature is set for the whole machine, which is easier for some baristas to manage, but less customizable.The Breville Infuser features two programmable buttons and internal PID.
Single Boiler vs Thermoblock
You’ve probably heard the differences between single boilers and thermoblocks. If you're new to this topic, it’s definitely something to think about when purchasing your first or next espresso machine. The Crossland CC1 is outfitted with a single boiler while the Breville Infuser (like the Barista Express) has a thermocoil, a version of the thermoblock.
A single boiler heats the entire boiler up to brew or steam temperature, which creates consistent brew temperatures and pressure. But that also means a single boiler takes longer to warm up. We recommend giving it a good 30 minutes to heat. A thermoblock heats water the spot to reduce the wait time and also the cost of the machine. The only catch is thermoblocks tend to have less temperature stability.
While the CC1 only uses the boiler for brewing, it has a trick for steaming—a thermoblock! With an extra helping hand, steam temperature and pressure are quickly reached. Between these two machines, the CC1 definitely brought the steam! That didn't surprise us either since typically single boilers produce more steam power over thermoblocks.Thanks to the thermoblock, the CC1 gets up to steam temperature quicker.
Steam Before Brewing
One common quality these semi-automatics share are both can’t steam and brew at the same time. Even though the Crossland CC1 has a thermoblock, the boiler will still climb to steam temperature. So what do you do? On machines like the CC1, you’ll have to use a technique called “temperature surfing” to purge water through the steam wand to the boiler back to brewing. But that’s no problem for machines like the Infuser! Breville built in an auto-purge feature to cool the boiler for you!The Infuser uses a turn style knob for steam or hot water.
The Crossland CC1 flaunts a digital display that makes setting everything from the setting the PID a no-brainer. The extra large screen awakens sleepy eyes, so you’re ready to select your daily brew. With this machine, brewing is handled through the digital interface, so you really are selecting your brew! There are some pre-factory settings, but we recommend setting up at least one profile for your favorite coffee.
While the Infuser doesn’t show off programming on a digital display, it does feature a helpful pressure gauge. You might have noticed the pressure gauge on the front of your machine fluctuates at you brew. The pressure gauge is there to tell baristas what’s happening inside of the boiler. If you ever noticed your coffee isn’t to your standards, watch the gauge and see what it’s doing. Is the needle hitting the espresso range? If not, you might need to adjust your grinder setting finer. Experiment with it and above all else, taste the espresso first to help make the right changes!The Infuser features stainless steel buttons and a pressure gauge on the interface.
The Breville Infuser is designed with extra bells and whistles to make this machine usable to everyone! If you’re new to espresso, the Infuser has pressurized baskets to assist pulling a delicious shot. But it also comes with non-pressurized baskets, like the Crossland CC, to grow with budding baristas. Lastly, it has a dosing razor for the portafilter and magnetic tamper built in the machine to make brewing a breeze.
On that note, the CC1 is built for advanced brewing. It boasts an industry-standard 58mm non-pressurized portafilter and hefty single boiler that makes powerful steam pressure. There’s no assisted portafilter here. But that doesn’t mean willing newbies can’t take it for a spin! The intuitive display and a little barista know-how make it effortless for anyone to try.The CC1 comes with a industry standard 58mm non-pressurized portafilter.
Are you deciding between the Crossland CC1 and Breville Infuser? Tell us which one you would choose in the comments below! If you have one at your home, share how it’s working out for you.