This Splurge-y Espresso Machine Is Also the Easiest to Use

published Aug 23, 2023
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Wonderful espresso shot with beautiful crema.
Credit: Guido Mieth / Getty Images

After moving from New York City to the suburbs, one very notable thing I missed was the convenience of getting a really good latte with no more than a five-minute walk in any direction. A 20-minute round-trip drive for a latte didn’t quite hold the same allure and hardly felt worth it. So, within a few months of settling into our house, I immediately contemplated an espresso machine, started researching different models, and even went as far as making room for one on the kitchen counter. 

Quick Overview

What’s to Love About the Breville Barista Touch Impress Espresso Machine?

A lot! Even if you’re a total beginner, you can operate the Breville Barista Touch Impress with ease. It has a lot of great features that make a great espresso, the best being a touch screen interface that offers step-by-step guidance and real-time feedback.

Buying an espresso machine felt inevitable, yet two things held me back. First starters, espresso machines can be a pricey appliance. Plus, I felt totally intimidated by actually using it, as I have no experience with espresso machines and the learning curve seemed a little daunting. What if I got one and didn’t actually use it as much as I thought I would?

After six months of hemming and hawing, I finally welcomed the Breville Barista Touch Impress to my kitchen. I went with this machine in part because I love my Breville coffee maker, have had a great experience with other Breville appliances (I also have a Breville stand mixer), and this model seemed the most self-explanatory to use.

I quickly worked my way through making a variety of espresso drinks, and it wasn’t long before I traded my regular morning cup of Joe for an Americano. Not only does brewing a morning espresso feel faster and easier than setting up my coffee pot, but that Americano also feels kinda fancy and brings me a great amount of joy every single morning. After using this machine every day for the past several months, I can attest that it’s great. I just wish that I took the plunge sooner.

Credit: Kelli Foster

What Is the Breville Barista Touch Impress?

The Breville Barista Touch Impress is an espresso machine designed to make brewing espresso at home way less complicated and totally doable for everyone. It’s a sleek, relatively compact machine with a built-in grinder and operates using a touch screen that offers tips and step-by-step guidance with real-time feedback. It comes preset with eight popular drinks (espresso, Americano, cappuccino, latte, flat white, babyccino, hot chocolate, and tea), plus the option to customize any drink to your preference. 

Based on your drink of choice, the Barista Impress touch is designed to use the right dose of freshly ground beans, ensure precise temperature control and optimal water pressure, and create true microfoam milk.

Credit: Kelli Foster

What’s So Great About the Breville Barista Touch Impress?

The short version: It’s not necessary to have any experience operating an espresso machine to brew a good cup of espresso with the Barista Touch Impress. It’s totally seamless and intuitive to use.

Of course you want to know more than that, so let’s dive in. The first thing I noticed with this machine is how seamless it is to use — you truly don’t need an ounce of barista experience to operate it. It’s worth noting that I’m easily intimidated by appliances with a lot of functions and bells and whistles, and also have very limited patience for instruction manuals. The great news here is that I actually never even needed to open the manual to set up or operate the machine — the touch screen guided me through each step of the setup. The touch screen interface has made the user experience impressive and educational. It guides you through everything from grind size (there are 30 settings) and brewing temperature, to milk type and temperature, plus it has the option to save settings to personalize drinks.

Credit: Kelli Foster

The built-in grinder is a bonus in my book for not needing an additional piece of equipment, and this one’s on the quieter side. I really appreciated that there’s no weighing beans or measuring necessary — the machine grinds the appropriate amount of beans directly into the portafilter. While there’s no autotamper, there is a lever on the side of the machine for assisted tamping, which proved easier and more consistent than tamping by hand. Plus, the touch screen was quick to offer guidance when tamping was sufficient (another green check mark), if more was needed, and even if more grounds were needed.

Not only is steaming milk a total breeze, but you can also get the perfect froth no matter what type of milk you’re using. After selecting the type of milk being used (there are options for dairy, oat, almond, and soy), the machine will adjust air injection time and temperature.

Credit: Kelli Foster

The machine is also easy to clean. The touch screen (yes, the touch screen again!) offers a reminder to wipe down the steam wand with a wet rag after each use and squirts through a burst of hot water to keep it clear. I did have a clog after a couple months of use, but was notified on the touch screen and it walked me through the easy process of clearing it out step by step.

The one small thing I don’t like is that it’s not clear how much milk to use for each drink. I thought and hoped there would be etched lines in the stainless steel pitcher (there are only lines for a minimum and maximum) or an indication on the touchscreen, but there’s not. 

Credit: Kelli Foster

Is the Breville Barista Touch Impress Worth It?

With a $1,500 price tag, the Breville Barista Touch Impress is definitely an investment appliance. If you have the budget and value a machine that guides you through every step of making a great espresso drink, it is 100% worth it. There are less expensive analog machines, but this one really earns its value with its easy-to-use touch-screen interface and helpful real-time notifications.