Bezzera BZ10 Espresso Machine
Ease of Use
The BZ10 is a solid semi-automatic that is compact enough to fit on a small counter, yet powerful enough to produce enough coffee for an office. Though expensive, it’s worth the price if you’re a coffee enthusiast who doesn’t mind adjusting manual settings or you want a quality machine backed by a reputable brand.
Espresso doesn’t have to be fancy. Sometimes all you need is a practical coffee maker that is built-to-last, so you can count on having your perfect brew for years to come.
Ready to go back to basics? Read our in-depth Bezzera BZ10 review and meet one of the most reliable semi-automatics on the market that gives you consistent, delicious espresso in a no-frills package.
Bezzera BZ 10 Espresso Machine Design Overview
You can summarize this semi-automatic in a few words: dependable, economic, durable.
We’d say here in our Bezzera BZ10 review that this isn’t your fancy, feature-laden superautomatic or a semi-automatic built to appease convenience. The BZ 10 is a serious espresso machine designed by a pioneer with a century’s worth of knowledge.
A zombie apocalypse? A flaming meteor hurtling towards the earth? A new baby? No matter what life throws at you, the BZ10 will always be by your side, and you’ll have espresso just the way you like it- so you can get through anything.
The dimensions of this coffee maker are 9.8” x 14.7” x 16.7”, which is compact enough for small apartments and minimum counter space. Just get ready to flex those biceps because though small, the BZ 10 weighs 42 lbs.
You’d never guess it’s a beast by the slim, minimalistic look. It’s an attractive machine encased in stainless steel with not a speck of plastic in sight.
To add to the unique and timeless aesthetic, the BZ 10 keeps it old school with gauges, levels, and knobs. You won’t see any digital displays or futuristic LED lights.
Install this beauty anywhere – even without connecting to a water supply– and with its impressive water tank, you can churn out cappuccinos, espressos, lattes, and coffees at home or for larger crowds, like at the office.
Bezzera BZ09 vs. BZ10
The BZ09 offers the same quality manufacturing and stainless steel aesthetic as the BZ10, but with one major difference: a standard single boiler. That means you can’t brew your coffee and steam your milk simultaneously like you can with the BZ10.
With the single boiler, you’ll need to wait a hot minute between pulling a shot and steaming the milk so the temperature can adjust from one mode to the other.
The BZ10 is a more streamlined machine with less wait time since you don’t need to change from coffee mode to steam mode. Also, the single boiler uses reheated water to extract coffee, while the heat exchange uses freshwater.
Bezzera BZ07 vs. BZ10
Luxurious is the best word to describe the BZ07. The predecessor to the BZ10 also gives users the ability to steam milk and brew espresso at the same time. The group head and heating elements are also the same.
The biggest difference between the two models is that the BZ10 does not have a visible PID feature. In contrast, the BZ07 has a visible PID on the front with programmable volume control, so you get the added benefit of automatically stopping the extraction when you’ve made enough espresso.
BZ10 Espresso Machine Features
We’ll just get this out now – if you’re looking for loads of automated features, this may not be the coffee maker for you. The Bezzera BZ10 espresso machine is not geared towards hands-free brewing.
Instead, it gives coffee lovers a straightforward design with steadfast parts that turn out a consistently delicious cup- once you get your rhythm down.
Let’s jump right in and break down its features, and you’ll soon discover why the Bezzera BZ 10 is one of the most trusted semi-automatics on the market.
Huge Reservoir Size
Although the BZ10 may be compact, its hefty 3-liter (104 oz) water tank makes it suitable for both home and office use, with a single refill serving up large quantities of coffee to last a day.
The only drawback we could find is that there is no water filter system, meaning you’ll have to descale it yourself to keep mineral build-up in check.
This needs to be done every 3-4 months. If you use hard water or the machine gets used often, you may need to descale more frequently. You can cut down on this by switching to distilled water or water that you filtered yourself with a separate filtration system.
NO integrated Grinder
When considering a semi-automatic, one of the most crucial features to look at is the grinder.
Here’s the deal: most traditional semi-automatics like the BZ10 require users to purchase the grinder separately. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to this.
Advantages of Buying a Grinder
- You can choose a high-quality grinder that you like instead of being forced to accept whatever the brand includes with the machine.
- You have way more flexibility with adjusting the grind settings to get the exact level of fineness you want. This is important because it dictates the overall flavor of the coffee.
- Standalone grinders allow you to use any type of bean, while oily beans are known to clog the built-in grinder and brew head. This means more maintenance and a shorter lifespan.
Disadvantages of Buying a Grinder
- You can’t start using your espresso machine as soon as it arrives. Extra time is needed to research and order a grinder.
- A quality grinder costs $100 or more on, so tack that onto the already high price of a top-notch semi-automatic.
So is this an issue with the BZ10? Honestly, it depends on your personal preference. If you are a rookie espresso maker, you might want to go with a semi-automatic that comes with a built-in grinder like the Breville BES870XL.
If convenience is a priority and you want a delicious cup of coffee before rushing out the door for work, then a superautomatic may be what you need. Just know that you typically only get 5-6 grind settings and if you like oily bean varieties, like a Dark roast, you risk dealing with clogged parts.
If you’re a seasoned brewster who prioritizes the grind settings, then make sure to choose a high-quality burr grinder, such as the Baratza Encore or the Bodum Bistro.
Know that with grinders, you get what you pay for. Blade grinders will smash the beans, leading to inconsistent flavor. Cheap burr grinders tend to overheat, burning the coffee.
One of the highlight features of the Bezzera BZ10p is that it boasts a cutting-edge heat exchange system as opposed to the typical single boiler. This is huge because it lets users dispense hot water, brew espresso, and steam milk at the same time.
In other words, you don’t have to wait- and that’s something every caffeine addict loves. The steam is ready to go, and there’s no need to cool down the boiler between brewing and steaming.
The BZ10’s 1.5-liter capacity boiler gets its name from the BZ10 brew group it utilizes. It stands out from models that fall into the typical E61 brew group for a few reasons.
1. Since it’s electrically powered, you get faster, more consistent heating. That means a brewing time that takes 10 minutes from start to finish, unlike the 20 minute standard of an E61.
2. The boiler is made from copper, which is the best thermal conductor compared to other materials, such as aluminum. It’s lined with nickel, which protects against corrosion.
As mentioned during our comparison with the BZ07, the Bezzera BZ10 PID is not visible on the machine’s front display. That means you have less control over the temperature, and you’ll have to go through trial and error to get it to your liking.
The boiler temp reaches 266° F before shutting off to prevent overheating.
Milk Frothing System
The BZ10’s steam feature packs an impressive amount of power compared to other similar machines, enabling you to be more precise with the thickness of the milk froth. With that being said, the steam wand will take some practice to learn- but that’s the fun of it, right?
Part of the milk foam artform is experimentation, and if creating cute cat faces out of latte froth is one of your goals, this machine makes it possible to get as creative and professional as you want.
The old-school levers and knobs on the BZ10 add to its vintage charm, and that’s exactly what you’ll see with its pressure gauge.
Located on the front face of the machine, it sports two needles: one for measuring the pressure inside the boiler and another for measuring the pump pressure.
Since you can easily view the exact amount of pressure, this gives you the freedom to adjust the pressure extraction and finetune your technique. Since the gauge already shows that it takes 9 bars of pressure to make espresso, that minimizes some guesswork of getting the right pressure-to-pump ratio.
Cup Warming Tray
If you’ve been pouring over coffee machine reviews, oftentimes, one of the most common complaints is that the drink temperature is not hot enough. A reason for this may be that the cup is cold when the coffee is dispensed into it.
The BZ10 addresses this by adding a cup warming tray, so your mug is heated and ready to embrace your fresh espresso with a toasty hug. It’s a small detail, but it makes a big difference if you’re particular about the temperature of your coffee.
The BZ10 comes with everything you need to keep it well-maintained. Remember- it’s a standard machine that’s all about performance and less about the extra toys.
As mentioned before in this Bezzera BZ10 review, you’ll need to purchase the grinder separately. A plastic tamper is included, but honestly, it’s a bit on the flimsy side. You may want to buy this separately as well. Here’s what else comes in the box:
- Two portafilters: one for single-dose and the second for double doses.
- Cleaning supplies: It comes with a backflushing disc, water hardness test strips, and a cleaning brush.
Set Up & Operation
The good news is that this is a straightforward espresso machine to use, and the lack of computerized controls makes it less intimidating. As mentioned before, start-up takes around 10 minutes, and then you’re brewing and steaming your way into an espresso extravaganza.
1. Set Up Your Machine
Find a flat surface and plug in your BZ10. Take a moment to stand back and admire your reflection on its stainless steel surface and appreciate this new, exciting relationship about to unfold. Oh, yea- and don’t forget to fill up the water tank.
2. Heat er’ Up
Power up the machine so that the ON light is green. The water will automatically be loaded into the boiler. Keep an eye on the boiler gauge. When the pressure is between 1 and 1.2 on the gauge, open the steam tap to discharge the steam a couple of times.
If a yellow light comes on, that means the machine is working correctly. If not, you may need to check that there is enough water in the tank.
3. Prep Your Coffee Beans
After grinding up your coffee beans in the separate grinder, load the freshly ground coffee into the 1-dose or 2-dose filter. Attach the filter to the portafilter and use the tamper to carefully level off the coffee. Lock the portafilter into place.
- 6/8 grams for 1-dose filter
- 12 g for 2-dose filter
4. Push the ‘distribution’ Button to Start
Your espresso is brewing! Take care not to remove the portafilter while the machine is working or touch the metal part of the filter because it can burn you.
You can stop the coffee distribution by pushing the button again.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The care and keeping of your shiny new BZ10 espresso machine take time and consideration, but this is normal for semi-automatics.
This is a well-built machine designed by a brand known for durability. With regular care, you can expect the BZ10 to last a decade or longer.
You’ll need to do the following regularly:
- As mentioned before, you’ll need to descale as needed since there is no water purification system. You can usually tell it’s time if the water flow changes.
- Empty the drip tray.
- Clean the steam wand
- Backflush once a week:
Backflushing is how you clean the brew group. Simply take your backflushing disc and place it inside the portafilter. Add a little bit of cleaning solution and run the pump a few times to thoroughly flush out the system.
From the time of purchase, there is a one-year warranty for product material defects or manufacturing defects. You can consult the Bezzera BZ10 manual for more details regarding the warranty agreement.
Bezzera BZ10 Pros & Cons
- Powerful steam function
- Durable & reliable machine
- Compact for small spaces
- Dispenses hot water, brews & steams at the same time
- Quick 10 minute start-up time
- Expensive- must purchase grinder separately
- Regular maintenance can be time-consuming
- Not a lot of automatic features for convenience
Despite the cons, this is a solid semi-automatic espresso machine designed by a brand that has been in the home espresso machine industry since the beginning. They keep it bare bones with the features, so you’ll go through a learning curve, but that’s normal for any rookie brewing for the first time.
We’ll go ahead and say that the high price is worth it because the BZ10 is reliable and strong. If you keep up with maintenance, it should last over a decade.
Plus, add in the quality of the features, such as the heat exchange system and the superior BZ10 brew group, and you can count on consistency with the temperature and flavor of your espresso.
You’ll have to sacrifice convenience by buying a separate grinder and by manually toggling with the knobs to perfect your coffee, but with time comes mastery, and it soon becomes second nature.
If you’re a beginner who doesn’t care about a learning curve, or you’re an espresso aficionado who appreciates a reputable machine with old-school flair, then this is a great option that’s worth the price.
If you’re a busy person who needs a fast cup of coffee in the morning, but you want it to taste as good as the latte your local barista brews, then you may prefer a superautomatic, such as the Saeco Xelsis SM7684.
Bezzera BZ10 Review Conclusion
Don’t sweat the high price tag with this espresso machine because you get what you pay for. Also, don’t be fooled by the compact size. The BZ10 is industrial-grade, with the capacity to brew shots for everyone in the office.
It’s a versatile option for large to small homes, sliding neatly into any nook or cranny without taking up too much space. The gears are standard, whether you want to learn how to make espresso or you already know your stuff and just want an attractive, high-performing machine.
To conclude this Bezzera BZ10 review, we would not recommend it for busy individuals who don’t have time to adjust the manual settings or implement regular cleaning. It’s also not recommended for those on a tight budget (remember, you’ll have to spend at least $100 on a grinder).
References & Resources:
- Bezzera, Official Brand Website.
- Bezzera BZ10 Espresso Machine User Manual.
- The Long History of the Espresso Machine, Smithsonian Magazine.
- How to Choose the Best Espresso Machine For Your Small or Home Office, Quill.com.
- A Look at the Different Types of Espresso Machines That Exist Today, SFGate.