Coffee. I can’t start my day without it. When I was 8 years old, my parents went to Italy on vacation and fell in love with the coffee there. They bought three (!) espresso makers (like this) and had them shipped back to Australia where they had the voltage and plugs changed so they would work. So, I kind of grew up *knowing* about good coffee. The coffee culture in Australia has always been a bit ahead of the curve too. When I was in high school, I’d go downtown after school with my friends and we’d hang out at an Italian coffee bar in a hip (actually a bit dodgy back then) part of town, drinking milky cappuccinos. So sophisticated!
When I moved to Paris in the mid 1990s, the coffee scene was, shall we say, not quite like it is today and I really missed decent coffee. At home there, I mostly drank percolated (filter) coffee which, despite using great coffee beans, was not anything like a home-brewed espresso. Moving to Canada in 2000 I continued to drink mostly percolated coffee and was bemused by the “to go” coffee mug culture. In the morning, we’d brew a whole pot of coffee, we’d each have a cup at home them take the rest in our insulated coffee mugs on our commutes to work. For a while there I found it quite fun (you’d NEVER have done that in France back then) but after a bit, I really started to miss decent coffee and ended up buying a coffee from a chain store a few times a week to supplement my daily filter coffee. Somewhere along the way I realised that it can get expensive – spending $5+ a day on a coffee might not seem like a lot but when you add up a month’s worth of coffee, it’s a lot.
Neil and I decided to invest in a small at-home espresso maker with a milk-frothing mechanism around 10 years ago and haven’t looked back. We both decided that drinking one or two decent coffees in the morning was way better than drinking mugs and mugs of average brew. When a part of that first machine was declared “unfixable” and the repairman told me it would be cheaper to buy a new machine (!), we went out immediately and looked at what was available (as in, on that day – we’re serious about our coffee!) and were impressed to see the range had expanded and we briefly looked at a Breville model but decided that we should just go with the same model we were used to (we’re a bit like that here!).
In fact, we should have just gone with a change because that new machine was never *quite* right – it made an ok cup of coffee but we couldn’t help think that it just didn’t work as well as the first machine. And it’s been feeling a little bit like it’s on its last legs lately too 🙁 So, recently when Breville Canada offered me the chance to check out the Duo-Temp Pro, needless to say, I jumped at the chance!
In a nutshell – the Breville Duo-Temp Pro
This machine introduced me to a new feature – the “duo temp” – that I had never realised was so important in coffee-making (though logically it makes sense). How do you go from steaming milk to extracting espresso without burning the next cup? The ideal temperature for steaming milk is 130˚C, yet the perfect espresso is enjoyed at 93˚C. The Duo-Temp Pro is designed with a unique automatic purge feature that flushes the heating system after you’ve frothed the milk which results in an ideal espresso extraction temperature. The result is a great-tasting (not bitter or burned) espresso with professional-quality crema, with each cup. The machine itself is really sleek and feels solid (thanks to its diecast and stainless steel construction). It features an Italian 15-bar pump which provides the appropriate pressure, while digital electronics control the heating system providing temperature stability throughout the extraction process. The result is a more balanced flavour in each cup.
How do we like our Breville Duo-Temp Pro?
As I mentioned earlier, we are creatures of habit in our household so changing something as important as a coffee machine is huge. I had done my research (over the past few years) about machines and I actually had no doubt we’d love this one. Since we’d been using a similar machine for years, the actual process of making a coffee and steaming milk was very familiar to us. If you’re new to this kind of machine, it might seem like a lot of steps but once you’ve made a few cups, you’ll see it’s actually very simple and you’ll have the process down in no time.
Things we love:
- It looks nice (hey, if it’s taking up valuable countertop real estate, it needs to look nice!)
- It’s quiet! Our old machine was kind of noisy. The Duo-Temp Pro is MUCH quieter (always a good thing in the morning!)
- The steamed milk has great foam (not always the case with our previous model), time and time again.
- The coffee is excellent. You can tell that the coffee is extracted at the correct temperature. We’ve not had one cup that has tasted bitter or burned so far. Sometimes with our old machine it we left it on too long (no auto off feature) it would be WAY too hot to brew coffee correctly.
- It has an auto off feature. No need for elaboration. Necessary and smart.
- The drip tray has a “Empty Me” feature. I can’t tell you how often my old drip tray would overflow – not what you need to be dealing with in the morning! – but no chance of that with this cute pop up message reminding you that it’s time!
- It has a large cup-warming tray. We actually use this feature to store our various coffee cups so the larger footprint was welcome. Also, the cups are always warm 🙂
Things that would make us love it even more!
- I’d love to see a coffee measure and knock box included in the package. Would take the guess work out of measuring the coffee (there is a “precision razor dosing tool that trims down the puck to the right level” included but a scoop would definitely make things easier!) as well as make clean up and emptying of the coffee much easier.
- The water tank is a little tricky to open, unlike the rest of the machine the plastic opening mechanism doesn’t feel that solid. For now, we’ve left it propped slightly open for ease of use but the design on that could have been a bit more intuitive.
But that’s it, really! We’ve had this for a couple of weeks now and are huge converts!
To see how easy it is to use, check out the video below. Ignore the poor frothing/ steaming technique – it’s a work in progress!
Buy the Breville Duo Temp Pro on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store geographically closest to you).
Disclosure: I received a Breville Duo Temp Pro machine in exchange for an honest review. I have not received further compensation for writing this post or hosting a giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own and I only write about products I have tested and can recommend myself.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links to products on Amazon, meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you) which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!