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Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL

by Deborah
(Middle Island, NY USA)


$

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma
Stainless Espresso Maker


Three years ago I received a Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL as a gift. It was purchased at a local Macy's store. It was a definite upgrade from my previous espresso machine, which was just a $40 toy as far as I was concerned. I was eager to try it out right away.

It has quite a few features that I like: high-pressure steam, a large capacity water reservoir to make multiple successive cups of coffee easy to make, an easy to clean base, and a top with a warming plate to heat up your cup(s) while the machine is heating up or dispensing to another cup.

It turned out to have a few disadvantages and problems, though. The steamer valve was hard to clean, and a hex wrench was not included as part of the packaged kit. (My old cheap machine had a wrench at the end of the coffee scoop. Plastic though it was, it worked just fine to get the end of the steamer valve off and on again. I had to dig it out and try to use it on my new machine, something which I didn't expect!)

The crema was sometimes awesome, but sometimes terrible. There was no apparent rhyme or reason for the difference. Same type of coffee, same grind, same first cup of the day.

And the worst of all, it leaked. I was used to getting dry grounds out of my old machine, so I could get a new cup started very easily. However, with the Breville, the machine leaked after the switch was turned from "coffee" to "neutral" (I would call it that, the other position was "steam"). This leaking was unacceptable, and began after the first week of use. It left the grounds soaking wet after every use, and made multiple cups a real pain in the butt! I couldn't just tap out the grounds as I did with my old toy machine - I had to scoop them out with a spoon and then wash the messy sieve out every time. I ended up returning the machine for repairs (during the warranty period), but the one they sent me in return had the same exact problem.

I can say though, that customer service was average or slightly better than average. They didn't have a problem taking back the machine, but when I called a second time (after getting the machine back) about the same problem, they told me that was standard behavior for the model. (!?) Not acceptable. I stopped using the machine after a few years, because this was driving me crazy - no more serving all my dinner guests a nice easy cup of espresso. Back to one at a time, start from the beginning. Even worse than my old toy machine!

I do have to say the coffee brewed with the Breville was far superior to my toy machine though, and when I got my single cup, I was satisfied. My strategy became to leave the used grounds in the machine until they dried out, a day later, and then clean it out just before I made my new coffee of the day.

In the end, I would recommend another brand that didn't have this problem.

Comments for Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL

Average Rating starstarstarstar

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Nov 11, 2011
Rating
starstarstar
No Service
by: Heinz

Up till now would have given this machine a rating of 4.5. It gives a good crema most of the time. Sometimes it does not and don't know why. Happens with different coffee brands.

Bought this machine at a COSTCO in Guadalajara, Mexico Dec 12 2009. Was quite happy with it until Nov. 7 2011, when it stopped heating. That is when the problems started. COSTCO had given a list of addresses where to get service. When I checked these out found they were all COSTCO addresses. Breville sells that machine in Mexico, but has no service centers in that country. When I tried to obtain some help from Bevilleusa, they proposed service centers in the USA. Have just brought to a local repair center. Hope they will be able to repair it.

May 09, 2011
Rating
star
Pump sprays water
by: Anonymous

Was given my Breville Cafe Roma as a present. Have used it rather sparingly. It has now started to leak. Thought it may be an o-ring. Took it apart to find it's the pump. Hard to believe after so little usage. Very disappointing.

Mar 27, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Had mine 5 years, it's great!
by: Anonymous

Well the title says it all, really.
I discovered early on that if I microwave the milk in the cup, then do the espresso bizzo, it's just as good as using the frother. And a lazier way to do it, which suits me.
However, the frother always worked fine for me, and still does for other people in the house.
Any clogging issues with the frother wand, I simply fill the little jug or a cup with water, set it to 'steam', take off the black cap thingie on the wand, and the water cleans the wand out.
I had one leaking issue with the bulkhead about 9 months after I bought the unit - I took it into the service dept, it was fixed easily, and they then sent it back to the store branch nearest where I live. Over 4 years later and I've had no other problems with it.
I find that so long as I unscrew and scrub the metal filter and washer in the head once a month or so, and in between times wipe the grounds off it whenever I use the unit, it works fine.
The coffee always tastes great! And I tend to frequently scrub the actual metal insert the coffee goes into as well - I think those tiny holes probably do clog up if you don't clean it out properly, and you need a steelo or scotchbrite, whatever, to clean the insert pod and holder out properly.
Mine's still going strong 5 years since I bought it, and when it retires, I'll buy another unit exactly the same.

Jun 13, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
simple
by: Rose

easy to use. just as much clean up as a coffee pot. I feel its very consistant & enjoyable. my only disappointment is that every store that sells them doesnt sell the decalcifying agent. thats hella annoying & i hate the snobs that half advise you where to get it. the breville grinder i bought is my main stress though it plugs up for no reason & makes a loud awful sound which has lead to me cussin it out & back in line at starbucks. it was a waste of my $90 & has ruined my pleasure of the cafe roma. oh btw i only used it twice before it started growling & i clean more than anyone i know as an ocd. even though now it collects dust until i calm down n risk a new grinder it created several happy memories w my family & friends. i never warrenty anything since i hate rude cs who take up why too much of my time. I choose name brand companies & once they sell me junk im over them. no more breville.

Mar 12, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstar
Breville Cafe Roma Espresso Maker ESP8XL
by: Anonymous

The Breville Cafe Roma is an easy, fast way to make frothy espresso. You will quickly learn how to make an authentic-tasting espresso with lots of crema, the tan foamy substance on top that you get in a real coffee bar in Italy. Save money by avoiding the $4 latte at Starbucks and make one for yourself at far less than $1 per serving.

The machine quickly heats up, and a user can use either a single, double or pod insert and fill it with the correct amount of grinds or the pod (try the Illy pods, they are the best and the type of espresso everyone in Italy drinks). Take the time to learn how to correctly grind your coffee beans, as this can have a major impact on the taste and texture of your drink. With just the turn of a switch, you nearly instantly have a perfect cup of espresso. You can use the frothing wand to steam milk for a latte or cappuccino.

Pros
- the machine is very fast, and that it is very easy to clean up.

Cons
- you do not have control over your espresso temperature or the force in which you steam your milk.

But the presets seem to be fine, as I have enjoyed all of the coffee I have made with this machine. It is compact and sits neatly on the counter, and it is nice that it comes with two espresso cups and saucers, a measuring spoon, tamper and a cup for frothing milk.

Mar 05, 2010
Rating
starstar
rip off
by: panzerfaust69

Bought this around 6 mons ago- and have not really liked it from day one. The steam unit gives you water first so you have to let it run for a few minutes before steaming your milk. Now the heater is not working.

Jan 09, 2010
Rating
star
I left 1 star (wish I could leave lower!) in previouse post!
by: Anonymous

Please see my original post--SAVE YOUR MONEY, Breville Customer Service could not be worse!

Jan 09, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Breville Customer Service is THE WORST!
by: Anonymous

The Espresso made by this machiine is TERRIFIC--just pray you don't have a problem.
I own numerous Breville small appliances, and honestly love them all, however Breville customer service is the ABSOLUTE WORST I have ever encountered! Not only are they rude, but they will not honor their warranties! I have never been talked to (in email form) in such a RUDE and UNPROFESSIONAL manner by ANY company as I have been by Breville's representatives. I chalked up my first bad experience to someone just having a bad day (we all do!), however I have now been treated in the same RUDE manner by 3 different reps!
I have spent close to $1000 on their products (as we know they are NOT inexpensive, but up until this point I thought they were worth every penny), and own 5 small appliances, however most folks give more respect to their dogs than Breville gives to their customers. After the rude and unprofessional manner in which I have been treated by Breville, not once but several times by several different reps, I would HIGHLY recommend finding another company to do business with--Breville will not get another cent of my hard earned money. The Keurig Coffee Maker makes just as good a cup of java at a fraction of the price, and I'll bet they are not rude, and maybe even appreciate their customers. I have been in retail for over 30 years, and Breville is the WORST company I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. I can assure you, not $1 of my hard earned $ will ever go from my pocket to theirs. But, ya know, as horrible as their attitude is, I bet they don't even care.
SAVE your money folks.

Nov 26, 2009
Rating
star
Clogs/Warranty
by: Anonymous

have had a Roma for 6 months now. made, yes made not makes great coffee. When it works it works very well and makes great espresso. problem is that the seal seems to have gone, breville has ' fixed' and returned after considerable pain. First cup made, the handel worked loose coffe and hot water everywhere. Afet some research it seems that this can be a comon problem with the design of the filter. Be cautious as this is a safety issue

Sep 23, 2009
Rating
starstarstar
Fairly good machine
by: Anonymous

Pros
- very easy to use

Cons
- Steamer is not that great

Rating
3 out of 5

This was actually a gift to me from my mother. She knows I love to drink espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos so she gave this to me as a gift. It is fairly easy to use and the instructions that come with it is easy to understand and read.

This brews the espresso quite good and I just put in my ground espresso beans turn the knob and let it do its thing. The down fall on this product is that the steamer for the milk takes a bit longer than I like.

Before when I worked at a coffee shop it took me about a minute to steam the milk but for this one it takes me about 2 minutes sometimes more when I want the milk steam to be thick.

Sep 23, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
A real espresso maker
by: Anonymous

Pros
- beautiful
- easy to use and clean

Cons
- crema clogs

Rating
5 out of 5

If you need a espresso machine and you want something beautiful, easy to use, and easy to clean, look into the Breville Cafe Roma. It comes with everything you could need except the coffee. I love the two stainless steel espresso cups and the durable plastic tamper/scoop.

Everything else, the cup trays and the frothing cup are no use to me, but they are stainless steel too. I heavily researched this before I bought and have been very happy with it. To make good expresso you need pressure and the correct temperature, this unit has both. It has a 15 bar pump, and it's thermostat is excellent. And if your scared the metal cups will take all the heat from the espresso, no worries.

On top there is a warming tray that gets warm whenever the unit is on. It'll have your cups warm by the time you are ready to brew. And for water handling, it has a 40 ounce pull-out tank. It does have to waste a little water though while brewing, and that water is put into the easily removable drip tray.

The major drawback some people have is regarding the dual-wall crema system. While it produces a lot of froth, some people have issues with clogs. I've use mine a lot and I grind my own beans with a burr grinder, and I have never had any problems. Just great strong espresso and beautiful froth every time.

If you been put off with those cheap units at stores, get this real espresso maker and enjoy the difference and save on those five dollar cups. 5 stars - value and looks

Aug 29, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Heating element broke
by: Anonymous

Had the same problems with "leaking" but now after 2 years the heating element is broke. (Was not the fault of the cleaning element used to decalcify which is what Breville tried to tell me.) Liked the machine for ease of use but think I'll go for something different now that will last longer.

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