I imagine that if my rice cooker got it on with my Roomba, their offspring might look a bit like the new Breville Crispy Crust countertop pizza oven, a new plug-and-go appliance that promises "professional brick-oven results right in your own kitchen." Considering how poorly our testing of previous countertop pizza cookers has gone, we weren't holding out too much hope of the Breville contraption producing anything but middling results. Happily, I can report that the oven indeed doesperform as advertised, pumping out crisp-crust 10-inch pies in about 7 minutes, crisp bottom crust, decent charring and all.
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Local cafés use giant beast-brewers such as the $6,500 (or more) La Marzocco; that kind of counter-candy just isn't in the budget. There are a number of disappointing, low-pressure options on the market, and then there's the generally-praised Rancilio Silvia, a little machine that the coffee geeks like to hack with a PID temperature controller. The rub? With the PID installed, that'll run you around $879 dollars before shipping. Can Breville's new $500 model compete?
If there's one obstacle between you and your coffee it's how to get beans dissolved into water, and without a coffee grinder on your side, you're going to lose the battle. Though there are a lot of lazy-man's-beliefs about what's suitable for home coffee brewing, there's one essential truth: grinding fresh, and grinding in a good coffee grinder, is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to make your good coffee taste great.
Breville hopes to throw as much commercial-grade technology as possible at the home game, emphasizing that the dual boiler technology—famously popularized by the commercial duty Synesso machines, also Australian—will be the ticket in leaping ahead of the competition.