(GUIDE) How To Make Espresso With Breville Machine?

Espresso is a popular and beloved coffee beverage known for its strong flavor and unique brewing process. Making a great espresso at home can be a challenge, but with the right equipment and technique, you can achieve cafe-quality results. One machine that is highly regarded in the world of home espresso making is the Breville espresso machine. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making espresso with a Breville machine, covering everything from machine setup to choosing the right beans and brewing technique. By the end, you will have the knowledge and skills needed to make a delicious espresso right from the comfort of your own home.

In Short: How To Make Espresso With Breville Machine

  1. Understand the different components and functions of your Breville espresso machine, including the water tank, steam wand, and portafilter.
  2. Preheat your machine and ensure it is clean and ready for use. Fill the water tank and turn on the machine.
  3. Choose high-quality espresso beans and grind them to the appropriate fineness for espresso.
  4. Preheat your portafilter and filter basket to ensure even extraction and optimal flavor.
  5. Dose and distribute the ground coffee evenly in the portafilter, ensuring it is level and tamped down firmly.
  6. Attach the portafilter to the machine, start the extraction process by pressing the appropriate buttons, and monitor the extraction time.
  7. Steam milk to the desired temperature and texture using the steam wand.
  8. Pour the espresso shot into a preheated cup and add steamed milk to make a cappuccino or latte, or enjoy the straight espresso shot.
  9. Clean your machine regularly to maintain its performance and ensure the longevity of its components.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the components and functions of your Breville espresso machine is crucial for successful brewing.
  • Preheating your machine and accessories, such as the portafilter and filter basket, will help achieve better extraction and flavor.
  • Choosing high-quality espresso beans and grinding them to the right fineness is essential for a great-tasting espresso.
  • Proper dosing, distribution, and tamping of the ground coffee will ensure even extraction and optimal flavor.
  • Monitoring the extraction time and adjusting the grind size if necessary will help achieve the desired flavor profile.
  • Learning how to steam milk properly using the steam wand will allow you to create delicious milk-based espresso beverages.
  • Regularly cleaning and maintaining your Breville machine will help prolong its performance and durability.

Understanding Your Breville Espresso Machine

Before diving into the process of making espresso with your Breville machine, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with its different components and functions. While the exact features may vary depending on the specific model you own, most Breville espresso machines include the following key elements:

  1. Water Tank: The water tank is where you fill and store the water that will be used for brewing espresso and steaming milk. It is typically detachable to allow for easy refilling.

  2. Boiler: The boiler is the component responsible for heating the water to the appropriate temperature for brewing espresso and creating steam for frothing milk. Some Breville machines may have dual boilers, which allow for simultaneous brewing and steaming, while others have a thermoblock system that heats the water on demand.

  3. Portafilter: The portafilter is a handle-like attachment that holds the coffee grounds during the brewing process. It typically has a filter basket and a spout for dispensing the brewed espresso.

  4. Filter Baskets: Breville machines usually come with single and double shot filter baskets. These baskets hold the coffee grounds and determine the amount of espresso produced.

  5. Group Head: The group head is the part of the machine where you attach the portafilter. It connects the portafilter to the machine and ensures a proper seal during extraction.

  6. Steam Wand: The steam wand is used for steaming and frothing milk. It releases steam at high pressure, allowing you to create velvety smooth microfoam for milk-based espresso beverages like cappuccinos and lattes.

  7. Control Panel: The control panel consists of buttons and dials that allow you to control various functions of the machine, such as brewing, steaming, and adjusting temperature and shot volume.

  8. Pressure Gauge: Some Breville machines have a pressure gauge that indicates the pressure during the extraction process. This can be a useful tool to ensure your espresso is being brewed at the optimal pressure.

Understanding how these components work together will help you make the most of your Breville espresso machine and achieve the desired results.

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Preparing The Machine For Use

Before you start making espresso, it’s important to ensure that your Breville machine is clean and ready for use. This includes checking the water tank, cleaning the portafilter, and preheating the machine. Follow these steps to prepare your machine:

  1. Fill the Water Tank: Take out the water tank and fill it with fresh, filtered water. Make sure not to overfill it beyond the maximum line. This will ensure you have enough water for brewing and steaming.

  2. Clean the Portafilter: Remove the portafilter from the machine and clean it thoroughly with warm water and a brush to remove any residue or leftover coffee grounds. Pay attention to the filter basket, ensuring it is clean and free from debris.

  3. Preheat the Machine: Turn on your Breville espresso machine and allow it to preheat. This will ensure that all components, including the boiler, are at the optimal temperature for brewing. Refer to your machine’s specific instructions for the recommended preheating time.

Preheating your machine is crucial for achieving consistent extraction and optimal flavor in your espresso. It helps to stabilize the temperature and ensures that your coffee grounds are heated evenly during the brewing process.

Choosing And Grinding The Right Beans

The quality and freshness of the coffee beans you use will greatly impact the flavor of your espresso. When selecting beans for your Breville machine, consider the following factors:

  1. Roast Level: Different roast levels, such as light, medium, and dark, will produce different flavors in your espresso. Experiment with different roast levels to find the one that suits your taste preferences.

  2. Bean Origin: Coffee beans from different regions have distinct flavor profiles. Explore beans from various origins, such as Latin America, Africa, and Asia, to discover the flavors you enjoy the most.

  3. Freshness: Freshly roasted beans are crucial for a flavorful espresso. Look for beans with a roast date within two to four weeks. Avoid pre-ground coffee, as it quickly loses its aroma and flavor.

Once you have chosen your beans, it’s time to grind them to the appropriate size for espresso brewing. The Breville espresso machine requires a fine grind for optimal extraction. Investing in a good quality burr grinder is recommended, as it allows for precise and consistent grinding. Avoid using blade grinders, as they tend to produce uneven grind sizes.

Set your grinder to the desired fineness and grind a small amount of coffee, adjusting the grind size if necessary. It’s essential to grind only the amount of coffee you need for each shot to ensure freshness and prevent wastage. Aim for a ground coffee dose of around 18-20 grams for a double shot or 9-10 grams for a single shot.

Step-by-Step Guide To Making Espresso

Now that your Breville espresso machine is prepared and you have chosen and ground your coffee beans, it’s time to brew your espresso. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a perfect shot:

  1. Preheat the Portafilter and Filter Basket: Place the empty portafilter and filter basket in your Breville espresso machine and allow them to heat up for a few moments. This will help to maintain a stable brewing temperature throughout the extraction process.

  2. Dose and Distribute the Coffee: Once the portafilter and filter basket are preheated, remove the portafilter and add the ground coffee dose to the filter basket. Distribute the coffee grounds evenly by gently shaking the portafilter or using a distribution tool. Make sure the coffee is level and evenly distributed in the basket.

  3. Tamp the Coffee: Using a tamper, apply firm pressure evenly on the coffee grounds in the filter basket. The goal is to create a flat and even surface, ensuring consistent water flow during extraction. The pressure applied should be around 30 pounds.

  4. Attach the Portafilter: Carefully insert the portafilter back into the group head of your Breville espresso machine. Twist it firmly to secure it in place. Ensure that the portafilter is properly locked in position to prevent leaking during the brewing process.

  5. Start the Extraction: Place your preheated cup under the portafilter spout to catch the extracted espresso. Start the extraction process by pressing the appropriate buttons on your machine’s control panel. The extraction time should be between 25-30 seconds for a double shot or 12-15 seconds for a single shot.

During the extraction, keep an eye on the espresso flow rate. The espresso should come out of the portafilter in a steady, thin stream, resembling a mouse tail. If the flow is too fast, adjust the grind size finer, and if it’s too slow, adjust coarser.

  1. Monitor the Extraction: Pay attention to the color and texture of the espresso as it is being extracted. A well-extracted espresso should have a rich, dark color, with a thick and stable crema on top. Crema is the reddish-brown foam layer that forms on the surface of the espresso and indicates proper extraction.

  2. Stop the Extraction: Once the desired extraction time has been reached, stop the extraction by pressing the appropriate button on your Breville machine. The espresso should stop flowing immediately, and there should be no dripping or excessive water remaining in the portafilter.

  3. Clean the Portafilter: After the extraction, remove the portafilter from the machine and gently tap it on a towel or knock box to remove the used coffee grounds. Rinse the portafilter and filter basket under warm water to ensure they are clean and ready for the next use.

  4. Assess the Results: Take a moment to examine the quality of the espresso shot you have just brewed. Look for signs of under-extraction, such as a thin and watery espresso with a weak crema, or over-extraction, which results in a bitter and harsh flavor. Adjusting the grind size and extraction time can help you achieve better results in subsequent shots.

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Tips And Techniques For Perfecting Your Brew

To refine your espresso-making skills and achieve the best possible results with your Breville machine, consider the following tips and techniques:

  1. Experiment with Different Beans: Try different types of coffee beans, origins, and roast levels to discover your favorite flavor profiles. Coffee tasting can be a fun and educational experience.

  2. Adjust the Grind Size: If you find that your espresso is consistently over-extracted or under-extracted, try adjusting the grind size slightly. Finer grinds slow down the extraction, while coarser grinds speed it up. Small adjustments can make a big difference in flavor.

  3. Monitor the Extraction Time: Keep track of the extraction time for each shot you brew. A consistent extraction time is crucial for achieving balanced flavor. If the extraction time is consistently too short, adjust the grind size finer, and if it’s too long, adjust coarser.

  4. Practice Tamping Technique: Tamping is an essential step in the espresso brewing process. Experiment with different tamper weights and tamping pressures to find the technique that works best for you. Consistency in tamping will ensure consistent results in flavor and extraction.

  5. Preheat Your Cup: Warm up your espresso cups before brewing by rinsing them with hot water. This ensures that the espresso stays at the optimal temperature and doesn’t cool down too quickly.

  6. Experiment with Milk Steaming: Learning to steam milk properly is key to creating delicious milk-based espresso beverages. Practice steaming techniques to achieve the desired texture and temperature for cappuccinos and lattes. Remember to purge the steam wand before and after steaming to remove any condensation and prevent milk from being sucked back into the machine.

  7. Experiment with Brew Ratios: The brew ratio refers to the ratio of coffee dose to espresso volume. Traditional espresso usually has a ratio of 1:2, meaning 1 part coffee dose to 2 parts espresso volume. However, you can experiment with different ratios to customize the strength and flavor of your espresso.

  8. Keep Your Machine Clean: Regularly clean and maintain your Breville espresso machine to ensure its performance and longevity. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and descaling, and pay attention to the cleaning of the steam wand, portafilter, and filter baskets.

  9. Take Notes: Keep a brewing journal to record your experiments, including the coffee bean used, grind size, extraction time, and any adjustments made. This will help you track your progress and replicate your favorite brews.

By implementing these tips and techniques, you will gradually refine your espresso-making skills and be able to consistently brew delicious shots with your Breville machine.

Maintenance And Cleaning For Top Performance

Proper maintenance and cleaning are essential to keep your Breville espresso machine in top condition. Regular maintenance will ensure optimal performance, prevent any buildup of coffee oils or residue, and prolong the lifespan of your machine. Here are some maintenance and cleaning tips:

  1. Daily Cleaning: After each use, wipe down the steam wand with a damp cloth and purge it briefly to remove any milk residue. Empty the drip tray and rinse it clean. Clean the portafilter and filter baskets under warm water, removing any coffee grounds.

  2. Weekly Cleaning: Remove the shower screen and group head gasket and clean them with a soft brush under warm water. Soak the portafilter, filter baskets, and shower screen in a cleaning solution specifically formulated for espresso machines. Follow the instructions on the cleaning solution packaging.

  3. Descaling: Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate in the boiler and other internal components of your espresso machine. Descaling removes these deposits and helps maintain optimal performance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for descaling your Breville machine and use a descaling solution recommended for espresso machines.

  4. Backflushing: Backflushing is a cleaning process that removes coffee oils and residue from the brew group and portafilter. It requires a backflush disc or blind filter that fits your Breville machine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for backflushing, as the process may vary depending on the model.

  5. Check the Seals: Regularly inspect the seals and gaskets of your Breville machine for any signs of wear or damage. Replace them if necessary to prevent leaks and ensure proper performance.

  6. Storage: If you plan to store your Breville espresso machine for an extended period, make sure it is completely dry and clean. Remove the water tank and empty it. Store the machine in a cool and dry place, preferably in its original packaging.

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Following these maintenance and cleaning practices will help keep your Breville espresso machine in excellent condition and ensure that your future brews are consistently delicious.


Making espresso with a Breville machine can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. By understanding your machine, preparing it properly, choosing high-quality beans, and using the right brewing techniques, you can create delicious espresso shots and milk-based beverages right at home. Remember to experiment, take notes, and adjust your process to suit your personal taste preferences. With practice and dedication, you’ll become a skilled home barista capable of making exceptional espresso with your Breville machine. Enjoy your journey into the world of espresso brewing, and savor the rich flavors and aromas of your homemade coffees.


What Type Of Coffee Beans Should I Use To Make Espresso With My Breville Machine?

To make espresso with your Breville machine, it is important to use freshly roasted espresso beans. Look for beans that are medium to dark roast which will provide a rich and bold flavor. Avoid using pre-ground coffee as it may not produce the desired crema and flavor.

How Fine Should I Grind My Coffee Beans For Making Espresso With Breville Machine?

The coffee beans should be ground finely, but not too fine that it clogs the machine. The grind should be fine enough that it resembles the texture of a granulated sugar. Adjust your grinder to the finest setting or purchase a pre-ground espresso blend to ensure the proper grind.

How Much Coffee Should I Use When Making Espresso With Breville Machine?

The industry standard for a single shot of espresso is 7 grams of coffee while for a double shot it is 14 grams. However, it ultimately depends on personal preference. Start with the recommended amount, observe how it tastes, and then adjust as needed.

How Hot Should The Water Be For Making Espresso With Breville Machine?

The ideal temperature for making espresso is between 190-200°F. If your Breville machine has a temperature control feature, set it to this range. If not, allow the machine to heat up sufficiently before pulling the shot.

How Do I Froth Milk To Serve With My Breville Espresso?

To froth milk, fill the milk frothing pitcher with milk up to the appropriate level and place the wand into the pitcher. Right before turning on the steam wand, place it just above the surface of the milk. Slowly lower the wand into the milk and turn on the steam. Move the pitcher side to side while keeping the wand just beneath the surface until the milk reaches the desired temperature and frothiness. Pour into your cup of espresso.

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