The Breville Barista Express
Fresh whole beans are stored in the bean hopper to be ground by the integrated burr grinder directly into the portafilter. The Breville Barista Express is only of the only machines that has an integrated bean hopper in the machine (as opposed to purchasing a separate hopper and grinder). The hopper on this model can store 7 ounces of beans.
Burr Grinder & Adjustment
The burr grinder is located inside of the unit and provides the grinding mechanism which grinds the beans. An adjustment dial on the left side of the machine allows you to control the fineness of the grind. The portafilter can be placed in the rubber holster under the grind shoot, allowing the beans to be ground directly from the hopper into the portafilter.
Fresh, clean water is a vital ingredient to extracting good tasting espresso. It’s best to use pre-filtered water for the best taste. The espresso machine you’ll see in the videos has a built in water tank on the back which holds 67 ounces of water and contains a charcoal filter to help remove any impurities from the water as it is drawn into the machine for use.
The pressure gauge on the front face of the machine is active during the extraction process and provides feedback on the pressure level as steam is pushed through the grinds. As you’re learning about the factors that affect extraction (water quality, grind size, grind amount, tamp pressure) the gauge will help critique your shot as it is being pulled.
Steam Wand & Dial
The steam wand attached to the espresso machine is inserted into a metal pitcher that is filled about 1/3 – 1/2 full of cold milk. Turn the steam dial to the on position, and hot steam will be pumped out of the wand to froth the milk.
The Portafilter (aka group handle) is a small metal “bucket” with a handle. It is used to carry the grinds, and to form a seal with the espresso machine during the extraction process.