<Affiliate Review> If you’re a long term reader of BakingBar, Sage Appliances will seem familiar as we’ve featured a few of their products over the years. In fact we use a few of them most days still! We own The Smart Toast which is a smart toaster. You might wonder how smart a toaster needs to be but I truly couldn’t go back to a conventional toaster now. Once you read into it you’ll understand. We also own The Bakery Boss mixer. This is now the only mixer I own and has been for a number of years. I’d be lost without it! So now you know a bit of the history between BakingBar and Sage Appliances you will understand the excitement we had when they asked us to try their new and most impressive Barista Express Impress coffee machine.
Ready to check out the Barista Express Impress and treating yourself to one? Just click the image below.
I love coffee! Albeit it is usually decaf but I have quickly discovered that the quickly growing world of decaf coffee brands is phenomenal and the selection is bigger than it has ever been. But I have never owned a bean to cup coffee machine. I’ve always dreamt of it but it has always seemed out of reach and way beyond my coffee making skills! So I have to admit I was a little daunted at first when Sage Appliances suggested I should try this Barista Express Impress coffee machine! Would I have to take up a barista course and learn new skills?! Turns out I didn’t and this is how it went……
We’re all about Smart tech at BakingBar and we’ve reviewed tons of Smart tech products for both home and kitchen and I would absolutly consider this Barista Express Impress coffee machine a smart tech product. Not because it is connected to the internet, because it isnt but because it has learning capabilities. It calculates things, measures things all without you having to know what is going on! If you don’t know the world of coffee its actually quite complicated (I have so much admiration for professional baristas!) there are things like the precise amount of coffee needed for each cup, the pressure applied to the puck, the water temperature, the water pressure, the volume and pressure of steam to steam the milk, the list goes on and on…… They call the Barista Express Impress coffee machine their assisted manual coffee machine.
So lets start at the beginning! It is a bean to cup machine so the beans get loaded into the hopper at the top. When you select the grind button a dose of ground coffee drops into the portafilter (I also had never heard of this either!). This is the first and most important bit of the smart learning tech built in. There is a handle on the side of the machine. This is their Impress™ Puck System in action. You have to manually pull this handle down. This applies exactly 10kg of pressure to compact the coffee grinds into a puck, finished off with a 7 degree barista twist to polish off the puck (a vital step apparently according to expert baristas!). When you pull this handle down it will also measure whether there are enough coffee grinds in the portafilter. If there is too little you simply have to press the grind button again and it deposits another small amount and you then repeat the tamping handle action. IF its the right amount it lights up green and we’re good to go. (Sounds a faff doesnt it?!) Well this is the smart learning part. You only need to do this ONCE and it learns how much to grind for the next time. Every bean type grinds slightly differently so it will learn for each coffee bean you load into the machine. Just like magic!
Once your puck is tamped and looking all neat and tidy we can move onto the next stage. Attach the portafilter to the coffee machine, press the button and you’ll be delivered a beautiful creamy espresso coffee using their low pressure pre-infusions, followed by a high pressure (9 bar) extraction process delivered via our 15 bar Italian pump. These are really good specs for a coffee machine and they certainly deliver a very very fine tasting coffee indeed.
Their milk steaming wand which is built in delivers a powerful 130ºC steam for fast silky microfoam. This is so easy to use I couldnt believe how fast it is to do.
I might not have got every technical detail or name of parts of the coffee machine correct, but I have successfully made some amazing coffees with this machine and I have a beginner. So If I can do this anyone can. The steps are incredibly easy to follow and actually really interesting to know what each step does and how important it is. I have never appreciated the art of coffee more and I really look forward to learning more about different coffees and how to make them with this wonderful machine.
The above picture of a coffee is my evidence of the fact, without any barista training I could create an amazing coffee with this machine with only a few trial attempts before to perfect it. Even I am shocked at this coffee perfection! 😉
I have embedded a video below provided by Sage Appliances which does a far better job explaining this amazing machine than I ever could.
Headline image courtesty of Lina Kivaka: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-pouring-coffee-in-white-ceramic-mug-1879321/