We have been exclusive Breville coffeemaker owners for five years, and loved our old one so much that we got it for my parents for Christmas one year and convinced my brother- and sister-in-law to get themselves one for their new condo. Once the Breville Precision Brewer Thermal coffeemaker was available, I knew I needed to review it.
Although we both enjoy coffee, I don’t drink it very frequently and Big B has always been the bigger connoisseur between the two of us. He’s not ashamed to be a coffee diva, so he was the perfect person to test out and review the Precision Brewer. We’ve been using it since the holidays so it’s had a good three months of use!
Now, our existing coffeemaker — formerly called the Breville YouBrew and now redesigned as The Grind Control — had a built-in grinder, so Breville was kind enough to send along The Dose Control coffee grinder as well to ensure we could continue to enjoy coffee made from the freshest grinds. Let me just say that although it’s much bigger than I expected it to be, it’s an excellent grinder.
Wow — what a cup of coffee! It’s hard to believe that a drip machine could be better than our old Breville coffeemaker (because we really love that thing), but in terms of coffee quality, the Precision Brewer is the clear winner. Using the GOLD setting and freshly ground beans, you would be hard-pressed to make a better cup at home. In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say that it competes with artisan coffee made in a shop as well.
You can manually adjust your coffee preferences as well with the Precision Brewer. You can even change out the filters if you find that makes a difference. Then you let the coffeemaker do its thang, because it automatically adjusts the water temperature and brew time to make the perfect cup or carafe.
That’s right: make a single cup at a time or a full 12-cup carafe. And the included carafe is so super-thermal that if you brewed coffee tonight, it would still be hot in the morning. (Incidentally, this carafe also pours better than our old one, letting you get out every last drop.)
And when you customize the “My Brew” settings, you can set it up with an alarm so that you come downstairs before work each morning to a coffee befitting your own coffee diva status.
The Breville Precision Brewer also has options for cold-brewing and something called a “pour over,” which is some pretty fancy stuff. I kept meaning to try the cold brew but it takes a very very very long time and it was a busy winter. Once I do it, I’ll come back and update my review. For the pour-over, you do need to purchase add-on components and I didn’t think we would realistically use them often enough to be able to review them properly.
One other advantage we found with the Precision Brewer over our other Breville coffeemaker is that the brew time is fast. Without compromising quality in the least. This is especially appreciated during a party when you have guests who guzzle coffee faster than shooters, and those 12 cups need to be refilled pronto.
As with all of our Breville appliances, the Precision Brewer is good-looking enough to warrant prime real estate on our countertop.
Best of all, it’s intuitive. If you lose the Precision Brewer manual, you’re not going to spend hours trying to figure out how to make coffee. It’s a couple of dials and you’re done.
If Breville took the best qualities of both the Precision Brewer and The Grind Control machines and put them together, you’d have the best drip coffeemaker on the planet. No question. What the Precision Brewer lacks that we’re used to with the YouBrew (now Grind Control, as mentioned) is a built-in coffee grinder that grinds the exact right amount of coffee and an automated water dispenser that you don’t need to actively manage with every brew. Because we have to grind our coffee separately to use the Precision Brewer, we never have the perfect amount — so we need to hold onto the excess grinds, which means they aren’t as fresh as can be for the next brew.
And while the coffeemaker on its own takes up more space than The Grind Control, it’s not unmanageable in our average-sized kitchen; however, because we need to keep The Dose Control grinder beside it, there’s a lot of space right now dedicated to coffee-making.
DISCLOSURE: Breville Canada sent me this product for review purposes; it is not a paid review (I don’t do those!). All opinions my own.