First off, many thanks to the folks at Breville for sending us this brewer.
We’ve reviewed quite a bit of Breville coffee gear over the years. And we like it. We love the solid build of their equipment, and the brushed steel finish.
Anyway… we’ve been testing this Precision Brewer for a few days now, and we’re ready to share our thoughts.
The first thing to note is that this isn’t a low-end, low-price brewer. It’s priced at about the $300 mark.
It isn’t for everyone.
But it’s perfect for the true coffee lovers among us.
What so I mean by that?
I mean this brewer gives you the same level of control you have when making your own coffee manually with a pour over dripper, or Chemex brewer.
But… without the hands-on part.
Hey, sometimes the hands-on experience making the coffee is what you’re actually looking for. And that’s good.
But at other times just don’t feel in the mood, and wish you had an automated machine that gave you the same quality brew, and the same level of control.
First, you’re going to grind your coffee, and add the right amount to the brewer’s filter basket. (More on that in a while.)
Next, you’re going to access the Custom Settings area.
And this is where thing get really cool. And why this isn’t a $99 brewer.
Because you can…
Adjust the temperature of the water. Maybe a little hotter for those light-roasted beans you just got. Or maybe dialed down a tad for your favorite dark roast.
This brewer uses a “thermo-coil heating and pump system, with PID digital temperature control”.
I have no clue what that actually means, other than the fact that it delivers a more stable and consistent water temperature. And that’s key to making good coffee.
That said, the pump does make the Precision Brewer a little noisier than most drip brewers, which don’t include pumps at all.
Adjust the bloom time. When you make pour over coffee by hand, you pour just some of the hot water over the ground coffee, and let it bloom. Pour for a bit, pause for maybe 30 seconds while the coffee blooms, and then carry on pouring until you’re done.
Well, with the Breville, you can adjust that bloom period, up or down.
Adjust the brew time. This is critical. Too short a brew time and your coffee will be under-extracted. Too long, and it’s over-extracted and bitter.
With this brewer you have complete control over this.
If you want to adjust any of these custom settings, you can.
Or you can go with one the pre-sets the Precision Brewer offers.
The Gold setting gives you the water temperature and brew time recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association.
The Fast setting gives you a full carafe in record time.
Strong gives you a stronger brew.
Over Ice is more concentrated, so the taste isn’t diluted when the ice melts.
And Cold Brew is brewed with cold water over a longer period, up to 24 hours if you want.
The filter basket is great. In the video I show how you can use it three different ways… with a flat-bottomed paper filter, a gold-tone filter and a cone filter for smaller brews.
But this brewer has one more trick up its sleeve.
You can also remover the traditional basket assembly and use a coffee dripper instead. Breville recommends the Hario V60.
For this, you need to purchase a special pour over adaptor kit, which isn’t included when you buy the brewer.
But it’s a fun option for those who want to automate the pour over experience.
The Precision Brewer is a cut above almost all other drip brewers.
It’s a solid machine that gives you the flexibility to brew coffee just the way you like it, every time.