This machine really looks and feels like a quality piece of equipment. This is why I'm so sad that it hasn't lived up to my expectations.
Positive Product Points
This is a fantastic looking machine. It's very steady on the counter top due to its weight. Nice portafilter. Retractable power cord. Easy to fill from either the front or top of the machine. Solid feel to the controls. Heats up quickly.
Negative Product Points
Inconsistent pulls. Broke down after 1 year, 9 months use. Uses a ton of water, which quickly fills the drip tray.
I've owned this machine for 1 year and 9 months. I use it several times a day as I have an espresso habit. Unfortunately, yesterday I pushed the power button to turn the machine on and nothing happened. The machine is dead. I'm guessing that it's the switch itself but, I'm not an electrician or espresso machine repair person. I called Breville and their only suggestion was to mail it to them for a non-warranty repair.
I have had extreme difficulties pulling consistent shots with this machine. I have fiddled with grind, tamp pressure, quantity of coffee......... It simply won't allow me to pull 2, back to back, perfect shots. If you tamp the coffee too hard or the grind is just a little too fine, the machine will fill the basket with water but not extract. This leaves you with a basket that is filled with hot water that is under pressure. Not safe. Honestly, I wish my Proteo Barista had the external build quality, looks and feel of the Breville but pulls shots as it does now. The Proteo pulls beautiful shots time after time and has been a flawless machine for the last 10 years.
I don't care for the soaking wet coffee in the basket after you finish your pull. It makes for a sloppy mess when knocking out the spent coffee. A minor issue is that there is a small 'gate' at the back of the drip tray which holds the little "FULL" tab. When the drip tray is full of water (which happens frequently due to the unquenchable thirst of this machine), the little tab flips up telling you it's time to dump it out. Well, the gate is attached with two tabs which make it a pain to remove. If you don't remove the gate, slime will grow behind it from the constantly wet environment.
I bought mine from Williams Sonoma because I had a gift certificate.
Three Month Followup
Well, the machine sat at the approved (and suggested) Breville repair shop for 2 months before they decided to get back to me. Grrr. They indicated that the problem is the boiler control panel and it will cost me $150.00 + shipping to get it repaired. So, now I have a wonderful doorstop.
Instead of repairing the irksome machine, I decided to put the money towards a new La Spaziale (S1 Mini Vivaldi II). I couldn't be more happy with the new machine! I never realized what a bad barista I was until I got the new machine. The Spaz is taking me to a whole new level of espresso!