I haven't read anything good about Breville on your website and undstand the reason to be primarily because of the thermoblock on most of them? I bought the Breville \"Ikon\" (Bed,Bath and Beyond)because it had a stainless steel boiler. It foamed milk great but in two days of constant trying, neither I nor my husband could get any crema on the \"espresso.\" I tried different tamps and grinds. After three days of constant trying,I took it back as I don't care how well it foams milk if I can't get crema. Did I give up too soon? Any idea what the problem might have been?
Hi again, sorry it took so long to get back to you, and thanks for the links to other Ikon comments. The comments seemed rather positive generally, although one person was getting good shots without much crema??? Another one was getting good shots but couldn
This is my first post!
Hope you don't mind if I jump in.
I have owned a Breville 'Cafe Roma' one model below the 'Ikon', for about a year.
I purchased the 'Cafe Roma' because it was red. It matched some other gear in my kitchen. So much for research eh! Any how, I have experimented with all kinds of coffee and grinds and have found the machine able to deal with a wide range of coffees. I recently purchased the Breville grinder, a very good unit. For the buck, I have less than $400 invested in the two units and can now produce an espresso that I would put up against any out there.
The moral to the story...
Don't give up. The machine is probably better than you think.
I've learned 4 important factors; 1) the bean, 2) the grind, 3) the water, and 4) you - your skill
Lots of variables. It's worth taking the time to figure out the 'variables' and get a great espresso.
In the last year I have borrowed many Coffee books from the local library and studied like I never did in high school!