As the name suggests, the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II 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 option 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. Read our guide to the best coffee machines for more options, or keep reading for my thoughts in this Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II review.
Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II specs
- Type: Ground coffee or Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods
- Pressure: 19 bar
- Capacity: 1.4 litres water reservoir / 0.6 litres milk reservoir
- Dimensions: 32.4cm x 22.1cm x 37.1cm
- Colour Options: white, navy, or grey
- Settings: Pre-set espresso, latte & cappuccino, manual milk frother, manual espresso, cleaning
When I reviewed the white One Touch CoffeeHouse II 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 first use, 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 machine. 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.
- See also: the best pod coffee machines
Both the water and the milk reservoirs clicked into place easily, and there is a little push lever that allows 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 resevoir to fill it up - a feature I found very convenient.
Using the One Touch CoffeeHouse II
Breville’s One Touch CoffeeHouse 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 levelled 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. There was a nice foamy crema on the espresso that lasted and the coffee itself was a good strength. It was especially impressive because of the speed at which the espresso is made - it took less than a minute from choosing 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 Porta-filter.
Making latte and cappuccino
Both the latte and the cappuccino had a great milky foam which 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 machines 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 milk frothing function 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 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 Porta-filter 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 whenever needed. The actual casing of the machine is wipeable, so any splashes are quickly dealt with, leaving the machine looking good as new.
Should you buy the Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II?
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 americano option may be a limitation for some people. Despite this, I enjoyed the ease and quality of the Breville One Touch CoffeeHouse II.