Breville Precision Review: Auto Drip Coffee Exactly How You Like It
The reason drip coffee makers have a bad reputation compared to, say, manual pour-overs or espresso machines, is because people immediately associate them with burnt, bitter coffee.
Well, good news: not all drip coffee makers are like that!
Read our Breville Precision Brewer review to find out why this SCA-certified model’s precision and customizability bring it closer to manual pour-overs than classic drip coffee makers.
Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker
- Incredibly precise PID temperature control
- Meets the Specialty Coffee Association’s Golden Cup requirements
- Staggering level of programmability
The world’s first 60 oz. drip coffee maker with the precision required to brew craft filter coffee, automatically.– Breville
Breville Precision Brewer Review
The Breville Precision Brewer combines the complex technique of manual brewing with the convenience of automatic drip machines. It gives you the ability to brew a fancy pour-over style coffee right at home, and lets you tweak every possible brewing parameter to make it perfect.
Design – 4.5/5
The Breville Precision Brewer is an elegant electric drip coffee maker that will stand out in your kitchen. Its brushed stainless steel and plastic finish looks sleek, stylish, and sturdy. It features a see-through water reservoir made of tough plastic. While it’s not removable, it has markings that make it easy to measure your coffee-to-water ratio. Thanks to its Thermocoil Heating System, it also delivers hot water that is purer than more popular aluminum-based brewing systems.
We must warn you, though. It’s quite big and heavy (3.15 lbs). Its body (measuring 12.4 x 6.7 x 15.7 inches) might not fit on every countertop, so make sure that you have enough room underneath your cupboards.
Features – 5/5
The “Precision” in the name is not just a marketing buzzword; when it comes to customizability, this Breville model has no rivals.
This Breville coffee maker features a PID temperature control (proportional, integral, derivative), which is usually found on high-end espresso machines and is incredibly accurate. It also uses a variable flow rate pump to optimize the brew time.
The Breville Precision Brewer coffee maker lets you control all aspects of the brewing cycle, from the rate of the water flow to the brew temperature.
You can choose from 6 different brewing modes: Fast, Strong, Over Ice, Cold Brew (which is designed to run overnight), Gold, and My Brew. The Fast and Strong brewing modes are exactly what they sound like, and the Gold setting makes coffee according to the Specialty Coffee Association’s Golden Cup standards: (1)
Coffee shall exhibit a brew strength, measured in Total Dissolved Solids, of 11.5 to 13.5 grams per liter, corresponding to 1.15 to 1.35 “percent” on the SCA Brewing Control Chart, resulting from a solubles extraction yield of 18 to 22 percent.
The Over Ice setting compensates for brewing hot coffee over ice by making a stronger brew, whereas the Cold Brew setting is designed to run overnight to produce a delicious and smooth cold brew coffee.
The My Brew setting allows you to brew craft filter coffee as you would do with a manual pour-over, except that now you can also replicate it exactly every time you want. You’ll be able to set the brewing time as well as the bloom time (from 0 to 5 minutes) to let your coffee grounds degas and achieve the best flavor (2). You can also change the brew temperature and select a flow rate (Fast, Medium, or Slow).
And then, there’s a Pour-Over mode on/off setting. This works best if you purchase the separate adapter and lets you combine your favorite pour-over brewer (V60, Kalita Wave, etc.) with the practicality of an automatic dripper!
While this drip machine lets you brew up to 12 cups of joe (a large 60-oz carafe), you can easily brew coffee in smaller quantities thanks to the different baskets. The Breville Precision Brewer Thermal Carafe coffee maker comes with a flat-bottom filter basket holder which is compatible with standard paper filters or the included gold-tone filter. Optionally, you can use a cone filter adapter with #4 paper filters for smaller quantities of coffee.
Thanks to their patent-pending Steep & Release valve, you’ll be able to brew single cups of coffee, too.
This valve holds the water in contact with the coffee when the carafe is not in place, and the coffee maker changes its brewing mode automatically when it doesn’t detect the carafe.
Personally, we like to grind our coffee beans right before brewing to retain all the flavor, but if you’d rather wake up to the smell of coffee you’ll be thrilled to know that the Breville Precision Brewer has an Auto-On function. You’ll be able to prepare your grounds and favorite brew settings the night before and program it to wake up before you do.
We really like the stainless-steel carafe with its brew-through lid, which will keep your coffee piping hot for much longer than glass models. However, if you prefer elegance over quality since you usually drink your coffee immediately (fair enough!), the Breville also makes a Precision Brewer model that with a glass carafe instead.
Ease Of Use – 4.5/5
The Breville Precision is perfect for the wannabe barista who likes to combine their knowledge of coffee extraction with the perks of an automatic drip coffee machine. If you love getting technical about bloom and temperatures, the Breville Precision lets you do that very easily.
The intuitive, user-friendly LCD screen and the single button/dial make it effortless to tweak each variable or change the brewing mode.
But don’t worry if terms like bloom time, degassing, and brewing temperature aren’t of interest to you. The Breville Precision Brewer has got you covered. Just select one of the presets — Fast, Gold, or Strong — and press the Start button. You can have a full pot of craft filter coffee ready in just a few minutes.
This brewer is also effortless to clean and look after. The filter baskets and stainless steel thermal carafes just need to be rinsed under running water. The showerhead is removable for periodic cleaning. Although the machine doesn’t remind you when it’s time to descale, it does have a descaling mode that will only take you 15 minutes to run.
Value For Money – 3/5
This Breville coffee maker might offer unprecedented customizability and precision, but it comes at a price — an exorbitant price for a drip coffee maker. We understand that only the very best coffee machines obtain the Specialty Coffee Association certification, which is a guarantee that you’ll get a perfect cup of joe. But there are other coffee machines with similar credentials.
Where the Precision Brewer stands out is in its vast array of presets and programmability. It lets you control every single aspect of your brew to extract the best cup of drip coffee you can. That’s why we think it’s totally worth the price tag, but only if you’re planning on making the most of its myriad features.
Do Not Buy The Breville Precision Brewer If…
You want a more budget-friendly drip coffee machine – If you’re happy to sacrifice the precision and customizability factors in favor of a more budget-friendly coffee maker without bells and whistles that will still produce a “golden” cup of coffee, then look no further than the Bonavita BV1900TS. This brewer also has a pre-infusion brewing mode, and it features a large showerhead-style lid that ensures an even extraction of your precious coffee grounds. Find out more about this coffee maker here.
You want cafe-quality brew with the convenience of one-touch brewing – The Oxo On Barista Brain brings the craft of brewing manual pour-over coffee to your fingertips. It is significantly less expensive than the Breville Precision Brewer, and we think it’s one of the best-looking coffee makers out there. Read our review of this machine here.
You want the best of the best – The Moccamaster name is a guarantee in itself: all of their brewers have been granted the SCAA-certification. (3) Handmade in the Netherlands, the Technivorm Moccamaster is a style statement that translates into a perfect cup of coffee, thanks to its precise copper-heating system. What we like the most about the Technivorm Moccamaster is its pulse action that mimics the agitation achieved through manual pour-overs. Read this and find out why it’s our favorite drip coffee maker.
You want to enjoy milky coffees too – If you love black coffee, but you have a soft spot for frothy drinks, you should either get a milk frother or invest in a machine that does it for you. We recommend the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker, which, at the time of writing this article, is the only SCA-certified dripper that offers milk-steaming options.
The Verdict On The Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker – 4.25/5
With its PID temperature control, Thermocoil heating system, and variable flow rate water pump, this SCAA-certified Breville coffee maker truly has no rivals. It stands head and shoulders over most other drip coffee makers when it comes to precision and customizability. But we cringe just thinking about the hole it will burn in your pocket.
We don’t recommend the Precision Brewer for someone who is only interested in pressing a button and is satisfied with whatever kind of coffee the machine produces. This drip coffee machine is perfect for those who want to unleash their inner barista and craft specialty coffee without giving up the perks of an automatic dripper experience. We’re sure you’ll get why so many coffee enthusiasts are swooning over this machine as soon as you taste your first cup of coffee.
You should use medium-sized grounds for your Breville Precision Brewer. However, since you can tweak many variables, including the hot water temperature, you can experiment with slightly finer or coarser grounds to achieve the flavor that you prefer. If you’re using the Cold Brew mode of this brewer, then you should opt for an extra-coarse grind. You can find out more about the different grind sizes in our article and chart.
To descale your Breville Precision brewer, you must pour a descaling solution into the water reservoir and ensure that there are no coffee grounds inside the basket before putting it into position along with the empty carafe. Then press the Select button and hold it for 3 seconds. The LCD screen will show “dSL” for a second before starting a countdown (approximately 15 minutes). Once it’s finished and the LCD screen goes back to the usual menu, discard the liquid and rinse the water reservoir, basket, and carafe with fresh water. (4) In order to ensure its longevity, you should descale your drip machine every 3-4 months, depending on the hardness of the water that you use.
Yes, the Breville Precision Brewer comes with a two-year warranty.
- (n.d.). Coffee Standards. Retrieved from https://sca.coffee/research/coffee-standards
- Molina, A. (2019, January 2). Why Does Coffee Degas & What Does It Mean For Brewers & Roasters? Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2019/01/degassing-why-does-coffee-degas-what-does-it-mean-for-brewers-roasters/
- (n.d.). The Coffeemaker Makers. Retrieved from https://us.moccamaster.com/about-us
- (n.d.). Precision Brewer™ Thermal BDC450BSS. Retrieved from https://www.brevilleusasupport.com/bdc450bss/care-and-use/care/