Breville Barista Express Home Espresso Setup
It is a small investment for sure, even for an entry level setup, but it doesn’t take much equipment to make good espresso at home.
Here is our setup:
Also, check out this wishlist for things we have our eye on:
Read more about our current setup below.
Breville Barista Express
Our setup is anchored by the Breville Barista Express (model BES870XL) mostly because it's a great all in one entry level machine.
It's arguably the easiest (and cheapest) way to get started malting decent espresso at home for those of us just starting out.
The extras that are included are good enough to get by with and slowly replace over time.
The machine includes a decent grinder to get started with.
Breville includes a dual spout portafilter with 4 different filter baskets.
The filters include both single and double pressurized and non pressurized baskets.
Keep in mind, the Breville portafilter is not the standard 58mm baskets, but a 54mm.
There's also a stainless steel tamper that fits the nonstandard sized baskets.
For those of us into steamed milk drinks, the machine also includes a built in steam wand with a jug to match.
We don't steam milk often, but it feels like a good enough setup for getting started.
Coffee Distribution Tool
We purchased a basic coffee distribution tool on Amazon that fits this portafilter pretty nicely.
It's supposed to be adjustable which I'm pretty sure doesn't work.
Even without that feature our tamps have been much more consistent than they were before having this tool.
Fellow Monty Demitasse Cups
For cups, we mainly use the Fellow Monty demitasse cups.
The double walled ceramic construction keeps shots at a good temp for the amount of time it takes me to drink, and they have a pretty clean aesthetic for our taste.
DrinkTrade.com Coffee Subscription
We can't say enough about how Drink Trade has made it so easy to access quality coffee from roasters all over the US.
They queue up random coffees for us every couple weeks based on a short quiz about what we might be interested in.
Most of the coffees we make at home come though this service.
The beans are always fresh, roasted 2-5 days before we receive them depending on the rising schedule of the individual roasters.
The beans themselves are shipped directly from the individual roasters.
It would be nice to have a scale that fits under the cup as the shot is extracted with a built in timer.
Currently looking at something like the Acaia Pearl.
The jug included with the Barista Express is pretty small, so it is hard to see what the milk is doing.
A bigger milk jug from any reputable brand is esteemed if you plan on doing a lot of milk drinks or latte art.
Fellow has various sizes for their Monty Cups but right now we only have the demitasse cups.
At the time of writing this, their cappuccino cups have been sold out for a while.
As of now, those are on our wish list until they become available.
A knock box is one of those things we really should have had a long time ago.
Knock boxes make it easier to quickly dispose of the used grounds in the filter basket between uses.
Breville makes a basic knock box to go with the Barista Express that can be purchased separately.