best settings for Breville Barista Express

Best Settings For Breville Barista Express

If you are having Breville barista express at home or thinking of getting it, you might need these guides on what are the best settings for Breville Barista express. As you know, this machine is ranked as the Best Home Espresso Machine, and if you’ve never used it before it could be a bit overwhelming at first. 

Here are some helpful tips about the best settings for Breville Barista express.

Read the manual

There’s no better way than reading the manual first. Read the instructions for how to put together your new machine. This manual will show you what are the things you need to do before using your machine including cleaning and washing all the parts, installing the water filter, and flushing the machine. Then, you can all set up and plugin.

Check the water level

Before using your machine, make it a habit to do a quick check of the water level. This Breville Barista Express does not warn you about the water level. Thus, it is recommended to always do a quick check of the water level to avoid burning any parts of it. 

Preheat the machine

Once you already turned it on, this machine is ready and it will make a bumping noise and this is just normal. When all of its 6 buttons are lit up, it is ready to use. But it’s better if you can let your machine heat up for 10-15 minutes before you use it. If the parts are too cold, it can affect the flavor of your espresso. If you are having your morning cup, you can directly turn on your machine as soon as you wake up, then give it a few minutes to warm up.

Add your coffee beans

Once your machine is warmed up, add your coffee beans to the hopper. And make sure to add enough amount.  If you want the best espresso, use high-quality whole beans that have been roasted recently or those beans that have roasted within the week. Why? Because the best flavor will come between 2-10 days after roasting the beans. But if you can’t find something that is recent, don’t worry as coffee beans will stay fresh and keep their flavor until 30 days after being roasted. Always use whole beans, never pre-ground because coffee beans may lose their flavor and freshness quickly after you grind them. And store it in a cool, dark place in an air-tight container. 

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Set the grind size and amount

You need the correct combination to make the perfect espresso. You need these components, grind size, grind amount, and tamping pressure. With Breville the recommended grind size is 5, so you probably won’t need to change this number. For the grind amount, set it right in the middle at the 3 o’clock position. 

Weigh the Portafilter

Can you see that green scale? That’s the portafilter, where the freshly ground coffee is going to go. Also, make sure it’s completely dry before putting any coffee in it. If you are having:

  • Single-shot of espresso, you need 8-10 grams of ground coffee
  • Double-shot of espresso, you need 15-18 grams of ground coffee

Grind the coffee

Place your coffee beans in the grind outlet once you’ve zero out the portafilter. Select the size espresso you want by pressing the filter size button, either single or double. Give the portafilter a quick push-in then release it. This will start the grinding. Then, weigh the amount of ground coffee you got. If you’re making a double shot and you got between 15-18 grams, you got the perfect amount. There’s no need for you to adjust the grind amount or add more coffee. If you got more than 18 grams, take a little coffee until you have 18 grams and adjust the grind amount to give you less. 

Tamp the coffee

You have to use your hands to push the loose coffee into the center of the portafilter so it won’t spill out when you tamp it. You definitely want more pressure than just by pressing it down to get it flat or even. If you don’t exert more pressure during the extraction process it will be too low or otherwise too high. You just have to press it down to get it all flat and the coffee grounds are even and level then, give it a few extra pushes to tamp down but not too much pressure. 

Clean all the loose grinds from the portafilter. Wipe off all excess grinds from the portafilter before you make your espresso. 

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Run a cup

Press the 1-cup button to run a single cup of hot water into your coffee mug, then dump out the water before placing the portafilter into the espresso machine. This will stabilize the temperature of the machine and your mug. 

Extract the espresso

Insert the portafilter into the group head where it says “insert” then turn until the portafilter is in the lock position. But if you’re making a double shot espresso, press the 2-cup button, then keep an eye on the red pressure needle. Don’t worry even if you didn’t get the exact pressure, your espresso is still going to be good. 

Again, the best settings for Breville Barista Express are easy. It will take you a little time to adjust the volumes for 1 cup and 2 cups buttons as well on the grind size and grind amount dials. The following recommendations are from Breville USA’s support. 

If you are a first user of this machine you may follow these steps:

  1. Fill the water tank with cold filtered water to the maximum line
  2. Check the hopper if it’s locked into place
  3. Plug the machine in and press the power button. Its light will flash while your machine is heating
  4. When your machine reached its correct operating temperature, its power button light will stop flashing and remain illuminated

These are some additional best settings for Breville Barista Express.

How to flush your machine?

Follow these steps once your machine reaches the correct operating temperature.

  1. Make sure the drip tray is in position at the bottom of the front of your espresso machine
  2. Press the 2-cup button to run hot water through the group head
  3. Place the steam wand tip over the drip tray, rotate the steam water dial to the steam position then run the steam through the wand for 10 seconds
  4. Rotate the steam water dial to the hot water position and run water through the hot water outlet for 10 seconds
  5. Repeat these steps until your water tank is nearly empty

How to program the 1-cup and 2-cup shot buttons?

  • It is necessary to know that the 1 cup and 2 cup buttons are programmed for volume only.  It’s not set for ‘30 second or 20-second shot. The best way to measure it is to get a shot glass with 1 oz and 2 oz marks on the glass. It is also suggested to program it while there is coffee in the portafilter.
  • Set to it that there are beans in the bean hopper and set the grind size dial to about 5 or 6. 
  • Set the grind amount to dial to about 3 o’clock position where the line on the dial is pointing directly to the right. 
  • Use the “ok” setting for the time being and once the shots are programmed the grind size and grind amount can be manually tuned to suit individual preferences. 
  • Plug the espresso machine in and push the POWER button to begin heating. 
  • Select the 2 cups single wall filter and lock it into the portafilter, then press firmly to make sure it is inserted completely. 
  • Press the filter size button until the light over the word double is lit.
  • Set the portafilter into the Automatic Dosing Cradle and press the end of the portafilter in with the flat of one palm, letting go immediately and it will automatically grind out the selected grind size and amount.
  • Using the provided tamper, tamp the grinds down firmly and hold it like a door handle and turn it to face the grinds, elbow in the air and firmly press it until it is about ⅛ inch of space between the top of the grinds and edge of the portafilter.  Don’t forget to lock the portafilter into the group head and place the measuring glass beneath the portafilter. 
  • Press the program button both the 1 cup and 2 cups button and it should be blinking. Press the 2 cup button quickly and your machine will begin the extraction process.
  • Pay attention to the amount of espresso in the glass. When it reaches the 2 oz mark, press and release the 2 cup button again. And the volume for that shot is now set.  
  • Repeat this process using the 1 cup single wall filter and press the 1 cup button to program. You can stop the extraction process when the amount of espresso reaches the 1 oz mark.
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Here’s a video of some tips and tricks for the best settings for Breville Barista Express.

Video Credits: Seattle Coffee Gear


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