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Breville's Barista Express makes premium espresso at home for a fraction of the price (pictures)

There's no need to spend thousands on a home espresso machine when the Breville Barista Express can do the job for a lot less.

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Brian Bennett
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1 of 13 Chris Monroe/CNET

A solid chassis of stainless steel

The Breville Barista Express is constructed from stainless steel for a sturdy and stylish look.

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Adding water is easy

Thanks to a removable water tank with a firmly attached handle, it's a cinch to fill the Barista Express with H2O.

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Pour in your whole beans

There's a bean hopper on top of the machine that feeds the built-in burr grinder.

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Choose the amount of grounds

There are dials and buttons to select the amount of coffee grounds the grinder will create.

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From grinder to portafilter

Ground coffee beans drop right into the portafilter for easy espresso shot dosing.

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Trim it if you'd like

Breville also includes a steel "razor" tool to trim excess grounds from the filter.

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Use this gauge to judge the pressure

Equipped with a pressure gauge, the Breville Barista Express lets you see how successful your shot will be in real time.

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Let that liquid gold flow

If all goes well, you should have a delicious shot of espresso in about 30 seconds.

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Now here's a creamy crema

Not only were the shots I pulled very rich, they were topped with a crema that was nice and thick.

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Twist the knob for steam

A knob on the right of the Barista Express activates its steam or hot water functions.

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Plenty of steam power

Unlike budget espresso machines, the Breville Barista Express had steam which didn't quit.

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Making frothed milk wasn't a chore

A steel pitcher plus lots of steam power made frothing milk simple and quick.

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Cafe drinks at home

With just a little practice you have the tools to create cafe drinks at home.

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