Welcome to my review of the Breville YouBrew coffee machine! I have owned mine for over 6 months now. Please read on to learn more about my experiences and opinions on this product.
I apologize for the weird quality of these pictures. I did take them before I had my morning cup.
Product Description & Use:
The Breville YouBrew is a coffee maker that will brew for you a cup, large mug, or 12-cup carafe of drip coffee to your preferences. The machine automatically grinds pre-determined volumes of beans and brews them with pre-calculated volumes of water for coffee of consistent levels of strength and boldness. In other words, it brews drip coffee that is reliably tailored to personal taste. For a full description and specs, please visit the Breville official website.
Most of the time, I use my Breville YouBrew to make my morning cup or fill a thermal mug for the commute. (I am the only coffee-drinker in my home and I don’t drink huge amounts at a time, so there is no point in me making a carafe.) It takes about 6 minutes to make a cup/mug, give or take some seconds depending on the strength I choose. This 6 minutes is the total time needed to grind whole beans, bring water up to the appropriate temperature, brew the fresh grounds, and dispense the hot coffee.
Before I had a coffee machine, I was making coffee by heating water in a kettle, measuring and grinding beans with a handheld blade grinder, and steeping everything together using a French press (which requires periodic stirring for the best results). Typically, that method takes me over 10 minutes of manual labour. This is fine on weekends, but not when I’m running late on a weekday morning.
I use the reusable gold filter that came with the YouBrew without any paper filter (#nofilter) because I like for most of the beans’ essential oils to be in my coffee. I like also that the YouBrew automatically grinds beans so that an indulgence in decent, organic, fair-trade, whole coffee beans is no longer a manual chore each morning. I love effortlessly getting my hands on a decent cup of coffee each day that is 1) better than what I can get at any catering/chain establishment in and around my place of profession, and 2) cheaper because I made it ‘myself’!
I actually received this coffee machine slightly used from someone I know. (The reason they decided this product was not the best fit for them was that they make coffee using primarily pre-ground coffee beans – see below.) At the time of this entry, the retail price on Breville Canada’s website is $299.99 while my person purchased it on sale at a London Drugs location. This is not a cheap appliance, but its price compares reasonably with similar technologies and it’s less expensive than many automated espresso machines.
Pros of the Breville YouBrew:
- Compact enough to fit on the counter of a small kitchen
- Fully automated from bean grinding to coffee dispensing
- If using whole beans, it takes the guess work out of the bean-to-water volume ratio
- Makes coffee as mild or as strong as you want simply by pushing buttons
- Holds 12 cups of water and 1/2 lb of whole beans to minimize frequency of replenishment
- It can be kept plugged-in while it automatically shuts off after periods of inactivity.
- No filling of the landfills with Keurig/Tassimo/Nespresso pods
- Option to not use paper coffee filters by using reusable gold filter
Cons of the Breville YouBrew:
- Volume settings for single cup sizes take some getting used to, at least if you don’t know the exact volume of the cups you will be using (in fluid oz).
- If you use pre-ground coffee, it is no faster than a regular drip coffee machine.
- If you like your coffee extra hot, cups/carafes must be pre-heated since there is no base heating element.
- Monthly cleaning (beyond rinsing the basket) is required to prevent clogging of the grinder. But it’s easy enough and does not require commercial cleaning products. Apparently one also needs to also descale the water reservoir. I haven’t had to do that yet. Maybe it will be an annual task, or perhaps even unnecessary since my city’s tap water is some of the softest in the world.
- The internal burr grinder is much louder than a small, hand-held grinder.
- The burr grinder does eventually produce larger, less uniformly-sized grounds.
As a lover of bold coffee but also the only lover of coffee in my household, I love the Breville YouBrew. It quickly and automatically grinds whatever organic, fair-trade coffee I’ve acquired and brews me a single, silky, strong cup whenever I want it. It is expensive, but well worth the investment.
The opinions above are my own. I am in no way associated (professionally or personally) with Breville Canada.