Best Breville Espresso Machine Accessories – For Barista Express and Pro

Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of BrewCoffeeHome.com. With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe. You can reach him at [email protected].


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As the owner of a Breville espresso machine, I have first-hand experience of why they are so popular with consumers.

While they provide good-quality shots, there are certain accessories that I’ve found can significantly enhance the overall workflow and shot quality for relatively little investment. Let’s check them out.

Key Takeaways

  • Accessories can help you brew better espresso using your Breville coffee machine.
  • The focus is on improving inefficient workflow areas for better shot quality.
  • Accessories range from those essential for optimal espresso extraction to those that enhance aesthetics and convenience.
  • Accessories, including high-quality filter baskets, a spring-loaded tamper, and puck screens, can improve the consistency and ease of your coffee preparation.

Espresso brewing can appear intimidating and complex, particularly as there are several key steps to follow. Meanwhile, you typically need several pieces of equipment to pull perfect shots.

For example, you’ll need to grind your beans to the appropriate size. While this is not an issue for the Breville Barista Express or Pro, as they are espresso machines with a built-in grinder. However, models including the Bambino, Infuser, or dual boiler machines require a separate espresso grinder.

The brew ratio is also important. Measuring the correct amount of beans and liquid requires a good coffee scale compact enough to fit under a portafilter.

Aside from those essential espresso tools, here are more that make espresso brewing more efficient.

Dosing Cup

A dosing cup is my top accessory recommendation for Breville espresso machines.

Grinding directly into a portafilter can get messy, especially using the built-in grinders on Breville machines. They create a mound while grinding, and the grounds may spill onto your drip tray and countertop. As well as the mess, you’ll also lose some of the grounds, leading to an inconsistent dosage.

BES878 grinding coffee

A dosing cup is a perfect solution. It keeps things tidy and lets you shake out the clumps before adding the grounds to your portafilter.

I recommend choosing the dosing cup specifically designed for Breville machines, as you need a tap to start and stop the grinder. Also, consider buying the 54-millimeter opening to easily transfer the grinds from the cup to your filter basket with a simple flip.

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WDT Tool

A WDT tool comes second on my list of items for improving the quality of espresso shots on Breville machines because their grinders are known for their clumping issues. This can cause channeling if the grounds are not sufficiently broken up before tamping the puck.

Perhaps the best way of breaking up the grounds is using a WDT tool and shaking the grounds into a dosing cup.

WDT tools have thin needles, which allow you to take clumpy and uneven grounds and make them far more consistent by cutting through any boulders. I explained how it works in this WDT tool guide.

wdt-tool

With a WDT tool, you can have an even and level tamp in just a few seconds. As well as Breville machines, a WDT tool is useful for any espresso machine.

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Filter Basket

The filter basket is essential to improve your espresso shot quality.

You may wonder how to improve a metal basket with a series of holes in the base. However, the spacing and size of those holes are often the difference between a poor and an excellent shot. That’s because you can get uneven flow across the puck surface if they’re inconsistent.

Aftermarket precision filter baskets, including those from IMS, are far more precise than the ones supplied in the machine. That precision may not even be visible to the naked eye, but you’ll surely notice the improved consistency with a more precise filter basket and the final flavor in the cup.

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If you want to enhance your setup, consider upgrading to a precision filter basket – it will significantly impact the finished beverage.

Bottomless Portafilter

A bottomless portafilter is an excellent addition to evaluating and improving your espresso-making technique.

The portafilter provided with Breville machines is generally sufficient. However, traditional portafilters lack the transparency of bottomless portafilters, meaning you cannot determine precisely where your technique needs improvement. For example, you may not notice if there’s squirting due to a large air channel or if it’s starting around the perimeter because the puck is too dense.

espresso-channeling

Purchasing a bottomless portafilter lets you see each aspect in real time while pulling the shot. Also, it will allow you to observe how the other accessories are of benefit, including improved grind consistency and flow consistency.

Normcore Wares offers spouted and naked portafilter options, which are all compatible with Breville machines. The portafilters have ergonomic aluminum handles with stainless steel filter holders and filter baskets included. The precise splitting spouts are also machined to allow a thick flow of espresso during the pour, and the bottomless portafilter allows an unobstructed view of your espresso extraction in real time.

Self-Leveling Or Spring-Loaded Tamper

A level tamp and consistent tamping pressure are other considerations when striving for the perfect shot. With a better tamp, the water will flow evenly through the coffee puck, producing a more balanced and flavorful espresso.

If you struggle with getting a perfectly level tamp, a self-leveling or spring-loaded tamper could be the answer.

I recommend two styles of self-leveling tamper.

The first is a puck tamper, designed to ensure an even tamp across the entire surface. It also has a distribution tool on one side to ensure you achieve a level bed before tamping.

My second recommendation is a more traditional-looking tamper, which houses a leveling collar and a spring. The design also helps to achieve an even tamp, as the collar guarantees that the tamper remains parallel to the countertop as you apply pressure. Meanwhile, the spring within the tamper offers a consistent preset pressure for each tamp.

normcore-tamper
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Puck Screen

Puck screens are excellent accessories for making the task of cleaning your machine far easier.

Unlike the other accessories mentioned so far, they don’t necessarily improve the quality of the coffee, but they will improve water distribution across your coffee bed.

puck-screen

Using a metal woven fabric as a puck screen will significantly reduce the buildup of coffee grounds on the shower screen after brewing. This makes cleaning your machine straightforward, especially if you forget to clean it regularly.

While it is unclear whether screens affect the quality of coffee, they are a popular item among owners of Breville espresso machines for their ability to improve workflow. If you want to streamline your cleaning process, consider buying a puck screen.

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Single Dosing Hopper

A single-dosing hopper is an excellent addition for anyone using a single-dosing workflow with their Breville machine.

I find the grind by timing function on my Breville machine inaccurate, while pouring an entire bag of coffee beans into the bean hopper makes them more likely to go stale quickly. Therefore, I usually weigh the beans and pour them into the hopper.

I discovered through testing that the retention of Breville grinders is around one gram. That means each time you grind, you get around one gram of old grounds mixed with the fresh beans. To avoid this, there are two options: grind a few grams each morning to remove the stale grounds and use a single dosing hopper with a bellows system.

Using the bellows in a single dosing hopper can reduce the retention from one gram to only 0.2 grams. That means you have more accurate doses and won’t leave behind any grounds to get stale.

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As well as improved accuracy and freshness, the single dosing hopper is relatively easy-to-use. Attach the bellows to the hopper and press down to remove any unwanted grounds. This simple addition will help you get the most out of your machine and elevate your coffee-making experience.

Metal Steam Lever

A metal steam lever is not essential, but it has some nice benefits. The primary reason to consider the item is to replace your espresso machine’s uninspiring stock plastic knob. While that arguably makes the knob easier to turn, an upgrade to enhance your machine’s appearance and fun factor is well worth considering.

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Other Great Accessories

There are some more accessories that, even though I haven’t discussed in-depth, are still worth mentioning.

The FIRJOY 54mm Espresso Dosing Funnel streamlines your workflow without transferring the grounds from the dosing cup to the portafilter.

dosing-funnel

Another excellent accessory is the shot mirror, which is excellent if you use a bottomless portafilter. It allows you to watch your extraction without craning your neck.

Another accessory that is well worth considering is the used ground knock box. This is useful for any espresso lover as it makes disposing of used coffee grounds quick and easy.

espresso-knock-box

Final Thoughts

Breville espresso machines produce excellent shots straight out of the box. However, with a relatively small investment, you can significantly improve your experience with them. In this article, I have set out to explain the accessories I have had success with. Hopefully, you will be able to determine which ones are worth purchasing to elevate your own experience with making espresso with your trusty Breville machine.

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Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of BrewCoffeeHome.com. With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe.