The Best Breville Cafe Roma vs Infuser: Which Is The Better Espresso Machine?

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Breville Cafe Roma vs Infuser machines for home espresso drinks, what would be the better choice? I have made several espresso shots with both machines and come to the conclusion that the Infuser is a better investment for your home espresso-making experience than the other. 

I chose the Breville Infuser because it has a better heating system and PID temperature control for a consistent brewing temperature, a better brewing function with the pre-infusion feature, and a more controllable steam wand for frothing milk.

On the other hand, the Cafe Roma does not have the PID and a limited-movement steam wand, but a lower price. Thus, the Cafe Roma could be a good alternative if you want to get a budget-friendly machine with a more simple espresso-making process.

In addition, The Cafe Roma is an excellent choice for a beginner due to its simplicity.

The Best Breville Cafe Roma vs Infuser: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES840XL
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
Model
Breville Infuser BES840XL
Breville Cafe Roma ESP8XL
Dimensions (LxWxH)
10.1 x 12.3 x 13.1 Inches
8.7 x 8.5 x 11.8 Inches
Water Tank Capacity
61 oz
41 oz
Color / Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Control Panel
Button and dial
Button and dial
Weight
17 Pounds
13 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1650 W / 110–120 V
1000 W / 110 - 120 V
Heating System
Thermocoil
Thermoblock
Pump Pressure
15 bar
15 bar
Adjustable Brewing Temperature
±4 ⁰F
Digital Temperature Controller (PID)
Pre infusion
Removable Drip Tray
Auto-Purge
Descaling
No. of Coffees At Your Fingertips
2 (single and double shots)
What I Like
Price
$578.99
$229.49
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES840XL
Model
Breville Infuser BES840XL
Dimensions (LxWxH)
10.1 x 12.3 x 13.1 Inches
Water Tank Capacity
61 oz
Color / Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Control Panel
Button and dial
Weight
17 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1650 W / 110–120 V
Heating System
Thermocoil
Pump Pressure
15 bar
Adjustable Brewing Temperature
±4 ⁰F
Digital Temperature Controller (PID)
Pre infusion
Removable Drip Tray
Auto-Purge
Descaling
No. of Coffees At Your Fingertips
2 (single and double shots)
What I Like
Price
$578.99
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
Model
Breville Cafe Roma ESP8XL
Dimensions (LxWxH)
8.7 x 8.5 x 11.8 Inches
Water Tank Capacity
41 oz
Color / Material
Stainless Steel
Control Panel
Button and dial
Weight
13 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1000 W / 110 - 120 V
Heating System
Thermoblock
Pump Pressure
15 bar
Adjustable Brewing Temperature
Digital Temperature Controller (PID)
Pre infusion
Removable Drip Tray
Auto-Purge
Descaling
No. of Coffees At Your Fingertips
What I Like
Price
$229.49
More Info

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Breville Cafe Roma vs Infuser: Differences

I’ve tried these two machines and concluded that the Breville Infuser wins 4-0 against the Cafe Roma.

For the purpose of enhancing brewing performance, the Infuser offers you better heating and milk systems and more control over the brewing function. Moreover, the cleaning and maintenance of the Infuser are easier and more convenient than the Cafe Roma machine.

Heating system

Winner: Breville Infuser

One of the significant differences that makes the Breville Infuser a better investment for your home coffee corner is its heating system. The Infuser uses a thermocoil heating system combined with the PID temperature control, which helps to heat up the water quickly and maintain good water temperature consistency.

On the other hand, the Cafe Roma utilizes the thermoblock system but is not equipped with PID. Thus, the Cafe Roma may undergo the inconsistency of water temperature during the heating and brewing process.

The Cafe Roma uses thermoblock heating system
The Cafe Roma uses thermoblock heating system

Heating System

Particularly, the thermocoil heating system is more durable and stable than the thermoblock, though both of them perform the same heating operation. It is because the thermocoil system is a single unit, which uses a single tube made of copper or other good materials for heating conduction. 

As a result, the water will be circulated better, allowing the water temperature to be heated quickly and consistently. I measured the heat-up time of two machines, and the result showed that to get the water heated up to the desired temperature point, the Infuser takes less than a minute, while the Cafe Roma can take up to 5 minutes.

Furthermore, with a one-piece metal block design, the thermocoil offers higher durability as it prevents leakage or breakage that is often encountered in the multi-piece block design of the themoblock system.

Therefore, the thermocoil system is more expensive than the thermoblock one, making the higher price of the Infuser understandable.

PID temperature control

The equipped PID temperature control is another plus for the Infuser. As the name implies, the PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) temperature control has the ability to check the temperature deviations in temperature, and thus allow the system to adjust the temperature to the right value, offering greater water temperature consistency.

In addition, the Infuser machine allows you to modify the heating temperature by ±4 ⁰F with the programming button on the front. Though this increment seems negligible, it greatly affects the extracted espresso flavor. For example, a couple of adjusted temperature points could increase or decrease the bitter level of your espresso shot.

I’ve tried making my morning Americano many times with the Infuser and have been satisfied with the results, as I can get hot espresso shots as expected. I did check the temperature of my espressos, and it stayed consistently around 198⁰F, which is in the ideal brewing temperature range. However, I observed that when making a latte or cappuccino, my drink got cool easily. So, I think I need a higher water temperature for making these types.

Brewing function

Winner: Breville Infuser

The brewing function of the Infuser is superior to that of the Cafe Roma owing to the pre-infusion function and volumic control.

The Infuser has volumic control buttons
The Infuser has volumic control buttons

The Infuser has a pre-infusion feature which the Cafe Roma doesn’t have. This low-pressure pre-infusion on the Infuser allows the hot water to flow slowly into the puck before the brewing starts, contributing to a more consistent and rich espresso extraction. I really love making double-shot espresso with the Breville Infuser, as my shots have a golden-honey color with a rich and tasty crema on the top. And it tastes really really good for Americanos or long blacks.

Furthermore, the volumetric control on the Infuser can be easily accessed just by the two buttons for single and double shots. Thus, you can customize your espresso shots at your fingertips. Meanwhile, the Cafe Roma does not have this feature.

However, for the Cafe Roma, the volumic control is manual, which means it depends on you to decide how much espresso is in your cup. After attaching the portafilter to the group head, you can start brewing by rotating the button to the right (the coffee cup icon), and switching it back to stop when you get the desired volume.

It might be a little tricky at first, but after trying a couple of times, I see that I can get good espresso cups with a brewing time of 20 seconds.

Besides, the filter baskets of the Cafe Rome are included single shot (7g) and double shot (14g), helping you to get the right dose of ground coffee for the volume you want. Moreover, all the filter baskets of the Cafe Roma are dual-wall type, which can ensure to create the rich crema for your cup.

Milk system

Winner: Breville Infuser

Steam wand

The steam wand of the Infuser can rotate 360 degrees
The steam wand of the Infuser can rotate 360 degrees

The manual steam wand on the Infuser is more flexible than that on the Cafe Roma. Particularly, the Infuser’s steam wand can be rotated 360 degrees while the Cafe Roma’s cannot. This flexibility helps you to get more control over your frothing process to result in the desired milk foam quality.

The Infuser has a separate hot water dispenser located on the left of the steam wand. This dispenser allows me to instantly turn my shots to Americano, which is truly great for people who love Americano like me.

On the other hand, the steam wand of the Cafe Roma cannot rotate 360 degrees, and it points out to the right side of the machine. This limits the movement of the wand for frothing, so the milk foam will not be as silky as that made by the Infuser.

Auto purge

The auto-purge function on the Infuser’s steam wand is useful as it helps the machine get back to the suitable temperature for the next brewing coffee shot by purging the heat right after you finish the steaming. This automatic cleansing step is very useful for the single-boiler machine as the temperature drops significantly after the device finishes frothing milk.

Besides, the auto-purge helps to clean the milk residues inside the steam wands, making the cleaning much easier.

The Cafe Roma, however, does not have this auto-purge function. Thus, after steaming, you have to turn the switch to the left to get rid of the residue and left water from the milk steaming process. It means it requires more manual work, especially for cleaning and maintenance.

Cleaning

Winner: Breville Infuser

The winning point for the Breville Infuser in terms of cleaning and maintenance is the descaling indicators, and the water filter goes with the water tank. The cleaning indicator will help you know it’s time to clean or descale your machine, which is especially useful when your corner has a lot of machines needed to take care of. In addition, the equipped water filter is very useful for filtering the water for better espresso quality.

However, it is recommended to clean your machine regularly, especially the steam wand and the drip tray, and descale at least once every 2 months. Therefore, no matter what machine you buy, Breville Infuser or Cafe Roma, you need to pay attention to cleaning and maintenance for long-term use.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Infuser BES840XL

Breville Infuser Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES840XL
  • The Breville Infuser delivers optimal flavor in every cup creating third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula, ensuring the right dose of beans, optimal water pressure, precise temperature control and microfoam milk for latte art
  • VOLUMETRIC AND SHOT CONTROL: Control the volume of each pour at the touch of a button and choose 1 shot, 2 shot or manually control over how much espresso ends up in your cup for the perfect dose every time
  • OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Maximize flavor potential with low pressure pre-infusion, digital PID temperature control, adjustable in 4 ⁰F increments complete with pressure gauge that guides you to the right extraction every time
  • MANUAL MICROFOAM MILK TEXTURING: High power 1650W element for high pressure steam wand and faster heat-up to create the microfoam necessary for a third wave specialty taste and essential for creating latte art at home

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Having pre infusion feature for consistent extraction.
  • Using thermocoil and PID temperature control for quick eat up and water temperature consistency.
  • The auto-purge function effectively adjusts the temperature and removes the milk residue.
Cons
  • Need to clean the drip tray, steam wand, and portafilter frequently, after every use.
  • Take time to learn and control the machine’s features.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Cafe Roma

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
  • Stainless-steel espresso machine with 15-bar thermoblock pump
  • Dual-wall filter system for excellent crema; froth enhancer, cup-warming plate
  • Accesories: Stainless steel frothing pitcher Tamping tool/measuring spoon/cleaning tool
  • Removable drip tray and grid; Frothing jug included
  • Measures 9 x 9 x 12 inches; 1-year limited warranty

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Easy brewing features.
  • Lower price than the Infuser.
  • More compact than the Infuser.
Cons
  • No cleaning indicators.
  • Slower heat-up time.

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5/5 - (3 votes)