This review was last updated on 27 November 2023. To improve your reading experience, we've split this review out into helpful sections, added a side navigation bar, and a quick menu so that you can quickly jump to the segment of information that you're interested in.
Mr. Coffee / Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II: Quick list
Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II review
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As the name suggests, the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II (a.k.a Mr. Coffee in the States) is an incredibly easy and convenient way to make high-quality coffees at home. Its impressive milk-frothing capabilities produce drinks of a coffee shop standard. The design is sleek and the variety of colours means you are bound to find one suitable for your kitchen. The white version I tested fit perfectly with my small, modern kitchen.
It is not the most affordable coffee machine on the market, but worth the investment if you regularly drink lattes and cappuccinos. The machine does produce espresso in less than a minute, however, I think the true value of the One Touch CoffeeHouse II is in its lattes, cappuccinos, and hot chocolates which are creamy, frothy, and delicious.
Here, I share my thoughts in this Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II review, and if you have a smaller space to work with then rest assured it's perfect. It's sitting in our best small coffee makers guide proudly, as it really is a do-it-all machine.
Testing the One-Touch CoffeeHouse II
Hey, I'm Nishaa Sharma. I have the original Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse in my apartment, and it's been here since we moved in two years ago. I love how easy it is to use, and it's saved us so much time and money on going out for a cup of coffee or a matcha latte.
The only thing I don't like is that the milk compartment is an awkward shape to clean, but the price more than makes up for it. I never thought I would own a coffee machine, but now that I do, the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse has converted me into a coffee lover!
Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II specifications
- Type: Ground coffee or Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods (both on Amazon)
- Pressure: 19 bar
- Capacity: 1.4L water reservoir / 0.6L milk reservoir
- Dimensions: 32.4cm x 22.1cm x 37.1cm
- Color Options: white, navy, or grey
- Settings: Pre-set espresso, latte & cappuccino, manual milk frother, manual espresso, cleaning
Unboxing and setting up the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II
When I reviewed the white Breville One Touch CoffeeHouse II espresso, cappuccino, and latte coffee maker, I was impressed with how sleek, high-quality, and professional it looked. It is also available in navy and grey, with all the same features as the white version. The control panel has touch LEDs which provide a lovely user experience, accompanied by sturdy and high-quality filters. Despite the dial and lever on the milk reservoir being plastic, not metal, they still have a nice feel and usability.
Before using this pod coffee maker for the first time, I had to wash the water and milk reservoirs, the Porta filters, and the scoop in warm soapy water. Then I filled both reservoirs with water and ran it on a cappuccino cycle (without coffee in the filter) to clean it before use.
I then had to ‘prime’ the single-serve coffee maker. This meant filling both reservoirs with water again, placing an empty filter in the machine, and running it on a manual espresso and then manual milk frothing cycle into an empty cup. There were very clear instructions on how to do this, and it probably took 20-30 minutes in total. Once this initial setup was done, usage and subsequent cleaning were incredibly easy.
Both the water and the milk reservoirs clicked into place easily, and there was a little push lever that allowed you to remove the milk reservoir when needed. The lid on the water reservoir is removable. As such, you actually don’t need to remove the reservoir to fill it up — a feature I found very convenient.
Using the Breville One Touch CoffeeHouse II
The One Touch CoffeeHouse II is turned on using the switch on the right-hand side, which initiates the warm-up sequence. A progress bar lights up during this heating process, which allows you to see when the machine is ready for use.
As I prefer a stronger coffee, I used the double shot Porta-Filter, filled it with ground coffee, and then leveled it out with the flat end of the scoop provided. It is easy to place the filter and is quite a satisfying motion as you align it and turn it to lock it into place.
There are three pre-set functions — espresso, latte, and cappuccino — and within those settings, you can choose a small or a large. There is also a dial on the milk reservoir that allows you to control the level of froth. Breville recommends more foam for the cappuccino, and less foam for a latte, but you can adjust it based on your preferences.
Judging it as an espresso maker, the shot itself was strong, there was a nice foamy crema that lasted. It was especially impressive because of the speed at which the espresso is made — it took less than a minute to choose the espresso function.
One downside is perhaps the lack of ability to produce an americano, or a long coffee, which is more feasible in one of the best filter coffee machines. Whilst you can use the manual espresso function to create a bigger cup than is allowed by the pre-set function, this does affect the strength of the coffee, even if you use the double-shot Portafilter.
Making latte and cappuccino
Both the latte and the cappuccino had a great milky foam that lasted for a long time after the drink was made, indicating the quality of the drink produced. The One Touch was true to its name and I have never made an easier milky coffee at home. Ensure the milk spout is over the cup, and then simply press the relevant button (once for small, twice for large) and leave the machine to do its work. This is definitely easier than with many of the best bean-to-cup coffee makers which may require you to steam the milk by hand.
These pre-set functions are convenient, however, I really liked the control given by the manual espresso and milk frothing functions, which can allow you to create your perfect cup of coffee.
The built-in milk frother also allowed me to make a delicious and creamy hot chocolate and a very impressive mocha. I just needed to stir through the chocolate flakes (or powder) into the milk to make an effortless hot chocolate. One thing to remember when using the manual settings is that they need to be manually stopped, so you do have to stay close to turn it off once it has reached your desired level.
Cleaning the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II
The One Touch II has its own cleaning function that makes cleaning the coffee maker (including the milk reservoir) incredibly easy. You simply fill the reservoir with water, place a cup under the milk spout, turn the froth setting to ‘clean’, and let the cleaning cycle run its course. The ease of the removable reservoir means that you don’t have to clean it every time you use it, as you can place it in the fridge if it still has milk in it.
The Portafilter is also easy to clean and can be quickly disassembled for a deep clean, which is recommended every 90 days or so. After each use, you have to empty out the grounds, and then rinse the filter with water before making another cup, but as this takes less than a minute, it is relatively effortless.
The drip tray is easy to click in and out of place, so you can rinse and wipe it with a microfiber cleaning cloth (available from Amazon) whenever needed. The actual casing of the machine is wipeable, so any splashes are quickly dealt with, leaving the machine looking good as new.
Is the One-Touch CoffeeHouse II right for you?
Whilst this is not the cheapest option on the market, I would struggle to fault the lattes and cappuccinos that the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II produced. I also appreciated the combination of pre-set and manual options that allowed me full control over the coffees I made. As it works with ground coffee and espresso pods, it provides convenient choices depending on your preferences.
Moreover, I was pleased with the appearance, and it fit perfectly on the countertop in my small kitchen. However, the milk frothing function is quite noisy, and the lack of an Americano option may be a limitation for some people. Despite this, I enjoyed the ease and quality of the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II.
If you like the appeal of being able to switch between using pods and grounds, read our Ninja pods and grounds coffee maker review, or our Cuisinart grind & brew single-serve coffee maker review. Alternatively, something like the Nespresso Vertuo Next with an Aerochinno milk frother (available on Amazon as a bundle) might be ideal if straight black coffee is a no-no.
How we test coffee makers
I bought this machine 2-3 years ago, but my other colleagues often call in product samples straight from the brand. Here are some of the things we look out for:
Packaging: How well are the machine and accessories protected in transit? Do the parts come wrapped in unnecessary amounts of plastic?
Weight: How easy is it to carry from my front door to the kitchen?
Setup: How easy is it to assemble the machine (if applicable) and make a coffee? How long does this process take? Does it require instructions?
Brew quality and grind: Here, I make each drink and assess the strength, bar pressure, extraction, and time it takes to make each drink.
Noise levels: Is this machine quiet enough to make coffee in the morning, without disturbing co-habitants and neighbors?
Size: Can the machine be used in a small kitchen? How tall is the machine and is there adequate counter clearance for it to sit underneath cupboards?
Features: Are the programmable settings helpful? Does the milk frother foam milk consistently and satisfactorily each time?
Cleaning: How easy is it to maintain this machine? Are coffee stains wipeable? Can the drip tray and waste bin be removed easily? Which parts are hand-washable or dishwasher-safe? How easy is it to descale this coffee maker?