Here in Australia, we love good specialty coffee. It seems that we’ll build entire cities around it (ever been to Melbourne!?). When one of our homegrown companies does a coffee thing, they’d better do it right, or else they’ll be hearing about it!
Luckily, Sydney-based appliance company Breville has done us right once again.
Introducing the Breville Precision Brewer Thermal. Not only does this baby look beautiful, but it also has features to satisfy even the pickiest coffee enthusiast.
Today we’re going to go deep into this exciting, fully programmable coffee brewer!
Breville Precision Brewer Review Overview
With variable bloom, temperature, and flow control, the Precision Brewer Thermal by Breville is a specialty coffee geeks dream. You can set it and forget it, or you can tweak it to your heart’s content— all roads will lead to a delicious carafe of coffee.
- Large brew capacity.
- Multiple filter basket options.
- One of the most programmable brewers on the market.
- The shower head has quite a narrow area of coverage.
- Non-removable water tank.
There are so many customizations, allowing you to fully geek out with this coffee machine. At the same time, with multiple pre-programmed brewing options, you can also just let the machine do its thing. You can make large and small batches easily using one of the three included brew baskets.
What’s not so good?
I’d love to see this drip coffee maker feature a larger shower head. A removable water tank would also be a welcome addition. This not only makes for easier filling but also easier cleaning.
Anyone who has the cash to splash on a high-tech coffee machine. If you’re someone who wants to geek out, adjusting the brewing parameters to really dial in the perfect cup of coffee, you’ll love the Breville Precision Brewer.
Breville Precision – The Details
Sat next to the Breville Barista Express, there would be no doubt that the same company makes the Precision Brewer. It looks very Breville. The brushed stainless steel outer, light-accented buttons, dial, and blue LCD are unmistakable.
As with all products from the brand, the face of the machine is decidedly clutter-free. We have one large backlit LCD and a combo knob/button to change and select your settings. Below that is the start and stop button, and just to the right is the Auto Start feature.
To the left is the huge 60 oz water reservoir. This is a non-removable water reservoir, meaning you’ll need to bring the water to the machine.
Coffee can be brewed in a couple of different ways with this machine.
First, you can brew right into the machine’s thermal carafe. Breville has chosen a good thermal carafe that allows you to make coffee into it while the lid is on. This means that if you get distracted while the coffee is brewing, you don’t need to worry about it going cold by the time you’ve come back.
You can also brew directly into a travel mug. In this case, the Precision Brewer will slow the extraction time to optimize it for the small batch size. To top it off, you can also forgo the carafe and the brew basket entirely and use a Kalita Wave or a V60 instead!
The Breville Precision Brewer is loaded with good stuff. From variable flow rates and temperature control to multiple brew baskets— let’s dive in and take a good look.
Making a good cup of coffee revolves around a few things. Good coffee is one, and of course, good water is another. But other things like extraction time and brew water temperature are super important.
This drip coffee maker features a PID temperature control. These are usually found in espresso machines, used to accurately control the brewing temperature.
Using this PID temperature control, the Breville Precision Brewer lets you control the brew water temperature down to the degree. You can choose anywhere between 176°F to 208°F, covering all bases.
On water heating duties, Breville utilizes a Thermocoil heating system, ensuring a rapid brew time.
3 Hot Coffee Brewing Modes
If you want to make a simple cup of coffee, you’ll have three brew settings.
Fast, Gold, and Strong.
Each option will adjust the contact time between the water and the coffee, which will change the extraction rate and the taste.
The first and last options I think are pretty obvious. Fast mode uses a fast flow rate, getting a cup of tasty coffee into your hot little hands quickly. Strong brew slows things down, allowing the coffee and the water more contact time to increase extraction.
Gold sets the Breville Precision Brewer up in line with the SCA Gold Cup Standards. Hence the name ‘Gold’, I suppose!
This will set the coffee maker’s rate of flow, water temperature, and bloom time to give you what most would consider a delicious tasting coffee. Not too strong, as you’d get with the strong mode, but not too weak, as you might get with the fast setting. Goldilocks would love the ‘Gold’ setting— just right.
Now, for the tinkerers and total coffee nerds out there, this next section is for you. We’re going to talk about customizability using My Brew…
My Brew— the setting that will get specialty coffee fans going! What can we do with the My Brew setting?
First up, we can precisely control the water temperature. Being able to set a lower brew temperature for darker roasts and a higher one for lighter roasts means that you can tweak the taste of your coffee to perfection.
This drip coffee maker has a programmable bloom phase. You can set your custom bloom time, as well as your chosen bloom volume.
We can also control the flow rate of the water. This is a good way of controlling the timing of the extraction. Want the brew to run for longer? Set a slower flow rate. This is an awesome option to get the most out of each coffee by being able to optimize infusion times.
There aren’t too many coffee makers around that offer this level of programmability. So for that, I say, Breville, well done!
Of course, the Breville Precision Brewer is Specialty Coffee Association certified! That is what the ‘Gold’ setting is all about! It’s the gold standard for all drip coffee makers and brewing systems!
This ‘Gold’ option gives you the exact settings that awarded the Precision Brewer the prestigious SCA certification. It will brew craft filter coffee automatically within the SCA certified home brewer guidelines.
The Breville Precision Brewer comes with three filter baskets. A large flat bottom basket, a small cone filter basket insert, and a gold tone mesh filter.
The cone filter adapter sits inside the large flat bottom basket. It takes a standard filter and is perfect for brewing up to 1.2 liters of coffee.
If you want to use the bigger basket for 1.8 liters of craft filter coffee, add a flat bottomed filter paper and you’re good to go.
In the box, we also get a gold tone basket filter. It’ll give you more body to your brews when compared to paper filters. Something closer to what you’d get from a French press.
There’s also an included water hardness test strip, which is handy!
Brew With a V60 or Kalita Wave!
We don’t even need to use the brew baskets that come with the Breville Precision. They make an adapter set, basically turning this machine into an automated pour over coffee maker! Take your pick of pretty much any brewer you want. Kalita Wave, V60— anything.
The adapter set comes with a shower head and a base. Attach these, choose your favorite dripper, and let the robot do the work.
Brews up to 12 Cups at Once
The capacity of this machine is rather huge. It’s a 60 oz drip coffee maker (1.8 liters), brewing more than I can imagine I’ll ever need in one batch. While it can make these massive batches, it doesn’t necessarily have to either.
When brewing 4 cups of coffee or less, the Precision Brewer automatically detects what’s happening. It will optimize the extraction by holding the coffee and the water in the brew basket for longer. Creating a higher extraction for a tastier coffee is what this brewer does very well.
Lovers of Cold Brew coffee— Breville didn’t forget about you. Accessible from the machine’s main menu, there is an option for Cold Brew.
The Cold Brew setting is designed to be used at night. Turn it on before going to bed, let it steep overnight, and the Breville Precision will release the coffee after your chosen amount of time.
Delayed start timer
Putting all coffee snobbery aside, I love a drip machine with an auto-start function. I know grinding coffee is best done immediately before brewing, but there is something wonderful about waking up to a fresh carafe of coffee. Am I right?!
Well, love it or hate it, this coffee machine has one. I love it.
Easy to use?
Breville has done something interesting with this drip coffee maker.
They have made seemingly complicated things such as the rate of flow and bloom volume, very easy. If you don’t want to touch them, you don’t need to. You can run the machine stock standard and still get tasty cups of coffee.
But if you want to experiment, changing a single variable at a time slowly, you can.
At around $300, this is one of the more expensive drip machines, right at the upper end of what drip coffee makers can cost. So is it worth it?
When we compare the Breville Precision Brewer to its competition brewers, most notably the Technivorm Moccamaster, the Breville comes out looking quite good. The Moccamaster has the cooler looks, but the Precision Brewer has way more customizability.
However (why must there always be a however!?), the Technivorm is made in The Netherlands, whereas the Breville is made in China. Both companies offer solid warranties, so it’s a tough call.
If you are looking for a coffee maker that will brew coffee, minus the bells and whistles, I’d say it’s probably not worth the price tag.
But if you want to tweak your brews, there is no better drip coffee maker out there. It’s a great machine. I can’t think of any drip coffee makers that do so many things so well.
The Breville precision brewer isn’t for you if…
You want a simple budget brewer
If you are looking for a simple, budget coffee maker, the Breville Precision is not the most suitable machine. Check out our review of the top SCA certified home brewers, many of which are more affordable than the Precision.
You have a small kitchen
The Breville Precision is not a small brewer. If you are into that tiny house living with little counter to spare, have a look at a smaller SCA approved brewer like these made by Ninja.
The Final Verdict
Calling all coffee geeks that brew for more than two people at once— we have found the coffee maker for you. This machine honestly has the entire wishlist of features.
With programmable bloom settings, controllable brew water temperature, and flow control, this coffee maker is basically in a class of its own. Half batch brewer, half pour over robot.
So if your budget and your kitchen bench will allow it, the Breville Precision Brewer will make an awesome addition to your home brewing setup.