Breville Cafe Roma Vs Infuser: Which One Is Your Best Bet?

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Both the Breville Cafe Roma vs Infuser are non-grinder espresso machines in the Breville lineup,  yet that’s pretty much where their similarities end. The Breville Cafe Roma is older and worse than the Breville Infuser in every aspect.

The only advantage that the Cafe Roma holds is its very cheap price tag. But opting for it means you’ll miss out on several useful features such as pre-infusion, hot water function, and professional single-wall filter baskets, among others.

Breville Cafe Roma Vs Infuser: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine,61 ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES840XL
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker,1.2 liters
Model
Breville Infuser
Breville Cafe Roma
Dimensions/Weight
12.3 x 10.2 x 13.1 inches/17 lbs
11.8 x 8.6 x 8.7 inches/13 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
Knob-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
1
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Single Thermocoil
Single Thermoblock
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4.5 inches
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.8 L/None
1.2 L/None
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$599.95
$247.99
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine,61 ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES840XL
Model
Breville Infuser
Dimensions/Weight
12.3 x 10.2 x 13.1 inches/17 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Single Thermocoil
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.8 L/None
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker,1.2 liters
Model
Breville Cafe Roma
Dimensions/Weight
11.8 x 8.6 x 8.7 inches/13 lbs
Interface
Knob-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
1
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Single Thermoblock
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.2 L/None
Filter
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$247.99
More Info

Last update on 2024-02-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Cafe Roma Vs Infuser: Differences

The Infuser defeated Cafe Roma with a comprehensive score of 4-0. Now let’s delve into the specifics of how they truly differ from each other

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Breville Infuser

Built-in Grinder 

A built-in grinder is the lack thereof in both of these models. First off, it seems like the Cafe Roma was designed with pre-ground coffee in mind, so a built-in grinder isn’t part of the deal. 

So why did I say that? The Cafe Roma ships with three dual-wall filter baskets, which are more forgiving for grind size, so they are ideal for pre-ground coffee. And just for a bit of extra fun, one of these baskets is specially designed for ESE pods.

I’m all about fresh ground coffee, no two ways about it. The whole concept of using pre-ground coffee or pods? Not really my cup of coffee, if you know what I mean. Coffee tends to lose its aroma and flavor very quickly after being ground. But hey, I get it – for some folks on a tight schedule, dashing out the door with no time to grind those fresh beans, these options can be a real lifesaver.

As for the Infuser, it comes with two sets of filter baskets: a duo of single-wall filter baskets and another pair of dual-wall ones. This is Breville’s nod to pairing it with a standalone grinder as you can get professional-grade results with single-wall baskets as long as you get the perfect grind size.

the infuser includes both single- and dual-wall filter baskets
The Infuser includes both single- and dual-wall filter baskets

Dosing & Tamping

And while I’m on the topic of filter baskets, I’d like to say that the Cafe Roma uses a 50-mm portafilter, whereas the Infuser is better with a 54-mm portafilter. I’m glad that Breville also included a stainless steel milk jug with them since a lot of brands seem to “forget” this little detail.

the infuser uses a 54-mm portafilter
The Infuser uses a 54-mm portafilter

As with most semi-automatic machines, you’ll need to tamp your grounds when preparing your shot. The Infuser comes with a stainless steel tamper that sports a plastic handle. It does the job, but if you’re looking for the best action, I’d suggest an upgrade.

The Cafe Roma’s tamper can double as a dosing scoop for ground coffee, but it is made of plastic and is despicably flimsy. Hence, it is necessary to upgrade to a stainless steel tamper right off the bat.

Heating System

Both come equipped with a single boiler, which means multitasking isn’t on the menu – you can’t brew and steam simultaneously. This means you either start with brewing your coffee or using the steam wand first, and then switch to the other.

Still, the Infuser only takes about one minute to reach the proper temperature for brewing with its Thermocoil heating element. This is great but still slower compared to the Cafe Roma with its thermoblock

A thermoblock can heat your water pretty swiftly, in roughly 30 seconds. Still, it doesn’t always offer the consistent temperature regulation you get from a thermocoil.

I have to admit, I’m a bit surprised to see a thermoblock in the Cafe Roma since Breville usually leans towards the more durable Thermocoil system. But then again, the Cafe Roma is an older model in Breville’s lineup, which might explain the different approach.

Brewing System

The Infuser boasts a low-pressure pre-infusion feature, something the Cafe Roma lacks. This furthers my argument that you can never reach true barista-level quality with the Cafe Roma.

Pre-infusion is all about gently saturating the coffee grounds with hot water for a few seconds before full extraction kicks in. This not only ensures an even extraction but also leads to a more robust and flavorful espresso shot.

What’s more impressive about the Infuser’s pre-infusion feature is the manual control it offers. Yes, you can actually customize the pre-infusion time to your liking just by pressing and holding the coffee button.

Espresso extraction ideally requires 9 bars of pressure or more to get that perfect shot. Fortunately, both models come equipped with a 15-bar high-pressure pump, so they’ve got you covered in this department.

Design & Convenience

Winner: Breville Infuser

Dimensions & User Interface

Breville Cafe RomaBreville Infuser
Dimensions11.8 x 8.6 x 8.7 inches12.3 x 10.2 x 13.1 inches
Weight13 lbs17 lbs

These machines might not be taking home any trophies for their design, but their overall build quality is pretty solid – something I really value as I love gadgets that don’t feel and look cheap. Plus, their compact size is a huge bonus, making them perfect picks for anyone working with limited countertop space.

the infuser's control panel
The Infuser’s control panel

The Cafe Roma’s front panel is intuitive and simple with a pressure gauge and a few buttons, while the Infuser has only one dial for both brewing and steaming. So, even if you’re a complete newbie to espresso brewing, I’m confident you’ll find navigating these machines a breeze.

the cafe roma's control panel
The Cafe Roma’s control panel

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Breville Cafe RomaBreville Infuser
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches4.5 inches

They only fit espresso cups, so things might get tricky when you’re in the mood for a cappuccino or latte. If your go-to cup doesn’t snugly fit under their portafilters, you can gain some extra height by removing the drip tray, or you can brew your shot into a smaller cup and then simply transfer it into a larger mug.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Breville Cafe RomaBreville Infuser
Water Reservoir1.2 liters1.8 liters
Bean HopperNoneNone

The Infuser’s water tank is slightly larger and has room for an included water filter to soften water, leading to better-tasting coffee and potentially extending the life of the machine. The Cafe Roma’s tank is on the side and features a front-facing slot for monitoring the water level.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Breville Infuser

Both feature a built-in steam wand with a plastic finger loophole for easy dealing with. The Infuser’s wand features a 360°-swivel action for precise positioning of the milk jug and the right stretching power to whip up some beautifully silky microfoam with ease.

the infuser's wand (left) can rotate 360 degrees
The Infuser’s wand (left) can rotate 360 degrees

Moreover, the Infuser’s wand is designed with a steam pressure control knob on the side – a fantastic feature as it lets you adjust the steam pressure mid-frothing.  And after you’re done using the steam wand, the machine purges its heating system itself to keep things hygienic.

On the flip side, the Cafe Roma’s wand doesn’t boast the 360-degree rotation like the Infuser’s, so you’ll find its movement a bit more limited when frothing milk. You may not be able to whip up milk foam thick enough for complicated latte art designs with this steam wand, but it’s still good for heating up and steaming milk to top off a latte or a cappuccino. 

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Breville Infuser

Drink Options

Breville Cafe RomaBreville Infuser
EspressoEspresso
Hot Water

Don’t set your sights on finding one-touch coffee specialties with these entry-level semi-automatic machines. Instead, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and put in a bit of elbow grease to froth milk yourself and top up your espresso to craft those coffee specialties you’re craving.

The Breville Infuser also features a hot water outlet for making Americanos, pre-heating cups, or just brewing tea. The Cafe Roma doesn’t have this nifty feature, which is a bit of a letdown.

the infuser has an outlet for hot water
The Infuser has an outlet for hot water

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsBreville Cafe RomaBreville Infuser
Coffee StrengthNoNo
Coffee TemperatureNoYes
Milk Foam TemperatureNoNo
Milk Foam TextureNoNo

There’s really not much to say here because both just allow you to manually control the shot volume, but the Infuser even allows you to adjust the coffee temperature in °F increments. For beginners, this isn’t necessarily a downside since the machine handles everything. Still, for those looking to have more hands-on involvement in the brewing process, this limitation might be a disappointment.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Infuser

Breville Infuser Espresso Machine,61 ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES840XL
  • Pre-infusion function applies low water pressure at the start of the extraction to gently expand grinds for an even extraction
  • 1600w thermocoil heating system with integrated stainless steel water coil accurately controls water temperature
  • Auto purge function automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature.15 bar Italian pump provides complete volumetric control - preset, manual over-ride or re-programmable volumes
  • Accessories: single & dual wall filter baskets, coffee scoop, stainless steel jug, cleaning disc & tablets, cleaning tool, water filter with holder. Please note: There is a "Black Plastic" insert inside the stainless steel bowl of the portafilter, th
  • Please review the trouble shooting steps under product details for remedies for common faced for hustle free of the product

Last update on 2024-02-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Thermocoil fast heating system.
  • High-quality steam wand.
  • On the compact side.
  • Adjustable pre-infusion.
  • Not expensive.
Cons
  • One boiler.
  • No grinder.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Cafe Roma

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker,1.2 liters
  • 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 2024-02-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Easy to use.
  • Cheap.
  • Compatible with ESE pods.
  • Thermoblock fast-heating system.
  • Compact footprint.
Cons
  • The wand can’t rotate.
  • No pre-infusion.
  • Plastic tamper.

Product Videos

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References:

5/5 - (3 votes)