Briel Chamonix - What Does It Mean?

August 18, 2011


I am not sure what this French sounding word translates into, but a recent visit to the espresso machine graveyard also known as my local Goodwill Outlet (where stuff that regular Goodwill stores can sell ends up) turned up this Briel Chamonix. The guy wanted four bucks but settled for a dollar fifty when he saw I was serious about walking away from the deal at three bucks - whoever blinks first loses in this low stakes high adventure world of thrift store shopping.









Back to the machine - it has a pressurized filter basket (removable pressure disc, but not worth the effort in my opinion) so we are talking Krups XP4000 style espresso - lots of pretty crema, but not the goopy, syrupy shot the Gaggia is capable of producing - provided you have a decent espresso grinder.  It does have an interesting lever for adjusting the cup size, so this is an automatic machine. This feature helped convinced me to part with my money. Another plus is the built in tamper and the easy fill large water reservoir. The style is nice and it reminds me a lot of the DeLonghi Bar 14 (which also has a boiler) - these could be from the same assembly plant but I am not sure.






The espresso made from this machine using a Moka Java blend I roasted a while back tastes about par for the course for pressurized espresso - no better or worse than comparable models. The Krups XP4000 seems to make a hotter shot, but I haven't descaled the Briel so the temps might pick up with a clean element. Newer models of Briel espresso machines are available here on ROASTe if you like what you see here. I am glad I was lucky enough to find this second hand machine for a good price. A huge pro for someone on a budget is that it will make espresso without needing to be paired with an expensive espresso grinder to get decent results like the shot in my photo - this is a fine grind from a Baratza conical burr grinder available for less than $200 here on ROASTe as well.  



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