Makes excellent cold brew
Brews single and multiple servings
LCD screen control buttons are confusing
Must fill water tank precisely before each use
We purchased the Breville Precision Brewer Thermal so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for the full product review.
Coffee is beloved by many Americans and enjoyed by millions on a daily basis. Although stopping at your local coffee shop is often preferable, making your own coffee can save you some serious cash. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice cafe-quality flavor because coffee makers have come a long way. You can make high-quality caffeinated beverages from home with a good coffee machine. One coffee maker with an excellent reputation is the Breville Precision Brewer. I tested the coffee quality, overall aesthetic, setup, and extra features to see if it lives up to the hype. Read on to find out what I thought.
There are a number of customizable settings that make this machine stand out from its competition.
Design: A beautiful addition to any kitchen
The Breville Precision Brewer is a beautiful coffee machine with a modern and clean look. It comes in one color, brushed stainless steel, and measures 12.4 x 6.7 x 15.7 inches. This size worked well in my kitchen because it’s not very wide. It was easy to squeeze onto my counter, as I only needed to find 6.7 inches of space widthwise.
The 60-ounce water tank is located on top of the machine. What I didn’t like about this design is that the tank cannot be removed. I'm used to being able to remove my water tank to fill directly at the sink. However, with this machine, I ended up filling the included carafe with water, and then adding that to the tank.
The Breville Precision Brewer has an LCD screen that allows the user to customize their beverage. It has a light blue background with gray text, which is easy on the eyes. There's a “select” button/knob, a “start/cancel” button, and an “auto start” button below the screen to make adjustments.
Setup Process: Set aside about 45 minutes
The setup for this machine isn't complicated, but it takes time. The user manual provides easy-to-read instructions on how to carry out the steps, although it took longer than I had anticipated.
First, I took everything out of the box, removed the plastic and tape from the machine, and proceeded to clean all of the removable parts with warm and soapy water. The components aren't dishwasher safe. After I finished, I tested my home's water hardness using the included test strip and set the result on the LCD screen. Next, I cleaned the machine’s interior parts by running a few cycles through with just water. This entire process took about 45 minutes from start to finish.
Performance: High-quality coffee with customization
The Breville Precision Brewer is nothing shy of amazing; the reason being there are a number of customizable settings that make this machine stand out from its competitors. Not only does it make single and multiple servings, but this coffee machine also has six preset brewing modes to create the user’s dream cup of coffee. These include "gold," "fast," "strong," "iced," "cold brew," and "my brew." For more details on each, see the manufacturer's site.
One standout feature is the machine's ability to automatically make craft filter coffee. The user can insert their favorite pour-over device where the brew basket typically lives. From there, the machine will do the rest of the work once the grounds are in place. The user simply places their mug on the drip tray to catch the coffee, selects "my brew," "gold," "fast," or "strong," and hits the start button. If you don’t have a pour-over device, there's a cone filter basket insert that must be used with a cone filter (not included) to make single servings.
I found that the coffee tasted very close to something I’d get at a specialty coffee shop. I particularly loved using the "my brew" preset for single servings because it allowed me to adjust the temperature of the water, flow rate, and bloom time.
What I didn’t like about this machine is that I had to fill the water tank precisely each time I wanted to use it. There are lines on the water tank that correspond with each of the presets and serving sizes. For instance, if I only wanted to make a single cup, I had to ensure that the water level didn’t exceed the single-serving line on the water tank, otherwise it might not function properly. I found that it was inconvenient to have to measure the water this way each time.
I also didn’t have the best user experience with the LCD screen. The “select” button/knob moves left and right to move through the menu. It also acts as a button that can be pressed to make selections on the screen. However, it’s important to note that this button will not start the brewing process. The user must always press the “start/cancel” button to begin the brewing process.
Despite these minor inconveniences, I was still impressed with the high-quality coffee of this machine, since I’ve only experienced average-tasting coffee with coffee machines in the past. This coffee machine made great-tasting coffee, whether it was hot, iced, in a single cup, or in a carafe.
Ease of Cleaning: Regular cleaning necessary
To properly maintain this machine, regular cleaning is required after each use. This involves cleaning the filter basket, the reusable mesh filter (if used), and the carafe by simply rinsing with warm water.
For a deeper clean, the user guide recommends using soapy, warm water. As for the exterior and the LCD screen, those can be cleaned and polished with a soft, damp cloth. The guide advises against using dry paper towels or abrasive cloths, as it may scratch the surface. Occasionally, the shower head should be cleaned by wiping it.
It also makes iced coffee and cold brew, as well as single and multiple serving sizes. If that’s not enough to convince you, it comes with a two-year warranty and looks great in the kitchen.
Extras: Auto-start and cold brew features
The Breville Precision Brewer makes great-tasting cold brew batches (up to 20 ounces). I tested this feature and had great results. I was able to adjust the time I wanted the grounds and water to steep before it was automatically delivered into the vessel. I was really happy with the tasty results and loved the fact that it was automated.
Another extra this machine comes equipped with is an auto-start function that can be set using the “auto start” button beneath the LCD screen. This means that the machine will automatically start brewing coffee at the time the user presets. The user guide provides details on how to set this up.
Price: Worth the high price tag
The Breville Precision Brewer retails for around $300, which may seem high for a coffee machine. Average coffee makers range between $100 and $150, but this one offers more than your basic coffee. It delivers on a beautiful design and the ability to make cold brew, iced coffee, single servings, and large batches of coffee. With all that it can do, it’s totally worth the price.
Breville Precision Brewer Thermal vs. Keurig K-Duo Plus Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker
Keurig K-Duo Plus Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker: The Keurig K-Duo Plus Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker, similar to the Breville Precision Brewer, has the ability to make single and multiple coffee servings. It’s conveniently designed to move the water reservoir to the right, left, or the back of the machine depending on the user’s kitchen counter space. For single servings, it requires K-Cup pods, and coffee grounds must be used to make carafe batches.
The Keurig K-Duo Plus Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker retails for around $230, which is less than the Breville Precision Brewer. However, it's limited in customization. While there is an option on the K-Duo Plus to make the coffee stronger, it doesn’t compete with Breville's ability to control water temperature, flow rate, and bloom time.
A coffee machine that lives up to its hype.
If you’re looking for a coffee machine that has many extra features, this is the one to buy. The Breville Precision Brewer excels at making high-quality hot coffee, due to its customizable settings. It also makes iced coffee and cold brew, as well as single and multiple serving sizes. If that’s not enough to convince you, it comes with a two-year warranty and looks great in the kitchen.
- Product Name Precision Brewer Thermal
- Product Brand Breville
- Price $300
- Weight 10.14 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 12.4 x 6.7 x 15.7 in.
- Model Number BDC450BSS1BUS1
- Water Tank Capacity 60 oz.
- Power (Watts) 1,650
- Voltage 110–120V
- Warranty 2 year, limited
- What’s Included Thermal carafe, coffee spoon, cone filter basket insert, mesh basket filter, flat bottom basket filter paper pack (10 pieces), and water hardness test strip