The Breville machine is an incredibly striking device, with its heavy duty die-cast metal housing. Awarded ‘Best in Category’ at the 2006 Housewares Design Awards in New York as well as a DesignMark at the 2005 Australian Design Awards, the 800ES would look be a perfect complement for a sleek designer kitchen. It produces wonderfully hot, consistent coffee and weighs in at a hefty 14 kg, so it’s been built to last!
Getting started is quick and simple. While it’s not necessary to read the instruction manual, it’s worth browsing if you want to get the most out of your machine (or if you just want to learn more about crafting a great coffee). The instruction manual features sleek silver and black photographs explaining features and functions thoroughly. It is recommended to complete a water brewing operation without ground coffee before brewing your first espresso to ensure the machine’s internal piping is preheated adequately.
Placing the drip tray, water tank and storage tray in their correct place is intuitive. A storage tray slides neatly towards the back of the machine and is handy for storing supplied accessories.
The unit’s 2.2 litre water tank can be filled from the front of the machine, by sliding out the water tank by pulling with the handle insert, or pressing a button at the rear of the cup warming plate. A back-lit water window indicates whether water needs refilling. The 800ES has an extra large cup height, great for coffee mugs.
The power on/off button’s surround illuminates when the button pressed however it’s hard to see in a sun-drenched kitchen. A small red ‘heating’ light blinks while the machine heats up and disappears when it’s ready for use. Users can make hot water by pressing a hot water button, or select the steam button for creating steam. A generous drip tray (1 litre) is easy to remove and there is a drip tray full indicator for easy monitoring of possible overflow.
As well, the 800ES has a 360 degree swivel steam wand assembly so you can easily move the wand to a comfortable angle.
The machine was incredibly easy to operate. It was easy to fit the solid brass filter holder into the brew head, thanks to clever design coupled with a guide on the brew head. Super hot coffee with excellent crema was produced after we’d tamped our coffee.