Bezzera BZ07 Espresso Machine
The BZ07 is an exceptional machine, combining an old-school design philosophy and aesthetic with just enough advanced electronics to enhance the controls.
Recommended for: Busy office environments, large households and power drinkers. Not recommended for casual coffee drinkers as it’s more machine, by far, than you’d need.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview of the Bezzera BZ07 Espresso Machine
- 2 Bezzera BZ07 PID Pros & Cons
- 3 Bezzera BZ07 Review Conclusion
Do you consider yourself to be a specialty coffee craftsman, or would you like to become one?
Do you love the old-school style machines, with their knobs and levers and gauges that look like they come straight from the set of some Steampunk movie, but still want enough electronics to allow for more precise control?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’re going to flat-out love our detailed Bezzera BZ07 review.
This machine bridges the two worlds, bringing the Old School together with just enough modern tech to give you more precise control.
It’s not a perfect device, and we’ll explain why it missed a five-star rating in the sections below, as well as detail everything this machine can and can’t do. Even if you opt for some other model though, we think you’ll agree; the BZ07 is a solid piece of engineering and an incredible design that belongs on your short list of models to consider!
That said, let’s jump right in and see what the machine can do!
An Overview of the Bezzera BZ07 Espresso Machine
Form Factor, Footprint & Aesthetic
The first thing you’ll notice about the Bezzera BZ07 PID is its old school styling. While there are some basic electronics on the front face of the machine, their presence is overwhelmed by the dazzling array of switches, indicator lights, knobs, levers and the dual-purpose gauge on the machine.
Immediately after taking its rustic, industrial aesthetic, you’ll be struck by how it gleams. With its solid stainless-steel casing polished to a mirror-like finish, the BZ07 demands to be noticed! It should also be noted that all that stainless steel adds to the model’s heft – it weighs in at 41 pounds, so this isn’t a machine you’re going to want to have to move about all the time unless you have to.
Fortunately, that should not be much of an issue, because, in spite of its weight, the unit only measures 14.75” x 9.5” x 16.75,” which makes it a relatively modestly-sized appliance that even people with limited counter space should be able to find a permanent home for.
This is a big deal for us, and it’s one of the first things we ask about when we’re checking out a new machine. We drink coffee constantly, and as such, there’s’ no such thing as a reservoir that’s too big.
The Bezzera BZ07 Espresso Machine sports an impressively-sized 3-liter water tank, which gives you just over 101-ounces to work with, and that’s about the best we’ve seen in a machine designed for home use.
Note though, that the BZ07 is a “prosumer” appliance. Yes, it can be used in the home, but it’s also robust enough that it can stand up to the rigors of office or commercial use too!
In an office setting, the 3-liter tank might get taxed, and in an ideal world, the unit would come with an option to run a dedicated water line to it, but that’s not the case with the BZ07, so you’ll have to “make due” with the 3-liter tank.
As to particulars, the reservoir is easy to access via the top of the machine and does not come with or accept a filter.
We’re okay with the fact that it doesn’t have a tank filter, but we understand that some people prefer machines that offer one.
The main advantage of a tank filter is that it cuts down on your need to descale your machine, but you can achieve those same gains by using distilled water in the tank or filtering it at some other point. For example, many people have Brita or other water filters on the tap at their kitchen sinks, and if you do, then the tank filter would be redundant anyway.
This will be a relatively short section because as a semi-automatic, the BZ07 does not have an integrated grinder, so you’ll need to purchase a standalone to use with this machine.
That’s a good thing when you think about it because the integrated grinders featured by super automatics come with some significant drawbacks.
First, there’s the loss of choice to consider. You get what the manufacturer gets you with a super automatic. Want more than the six grind settings offered by the machine? Too bad. You’re stuck with it.
Note that there are some super automatic espresso makers whose grinders offer more settings than this, but six is the industry average, and even in cases where a model offers more, you’re still stuck with whatever the manufacturer decided to put in the machine.
Also, built-in grinders don’t play well with dark roast beans because of the higher oil content.
Standalone grinders are a little easier to access for cleaning, and as such, this presents less of a problem, which opens you up to a wide range of beans you can use when making your favorite specialty coffee creations.
Since you’re going to have to buy one, here are our recommendations and guidelines on that front:
- Blade Grinders should be considered a non-starter. They’re cheap, low-end grinders that give you inconsistent coffee grounds, which results in inconsistent flavor. It just doesn’t make sense to spend more than a thousand bucks on a top end prosumer machine, then pair it with a ten-dollar grinder. You won’t be happy with the results.
- Stainless-steel burr grinders are inferior to their ceramic counterparts because the stainless-steel burrs can heat when in use, which can burn your grounds and ruin the flavor of your coffee.
Your best bet then is a ceramic burr grinder. Get the best one your budget will allow for.
The Boiler System
The Bezzera BZ07 PID utilizes a single copper boiler, plated with nickel, in keeping with its old-school design philosophy. Of particular interest though, is the fact that even though the machine has only one boiler, it boasts the ability to allow you to simultaneously steam milk and pull shots, thanks to its heat exchange technology.
Even better, you can control both the steam and brewing temperature via the PID, located on the front face of the machine, which gives a level of control you simply can’t get on machines that lack the PID.
We’ll have more to say about this in the section discussing the control system, but for the moment, suffice it to say that although there aren’t many electronic components on the machine, the ones it has are excellent additions that give you more control, without unduly complicating things.
If you open the case and have a look inside, you’ll find that the BZ07 is a Do It Yourselfer’s dream come true.
All the components are top-notch and designed to be easily removed and replaced if and when things begin to break down. Even if you’re not mechanically inclined, any competent mechanic or tinkerer can swap out parts for you easily, which dramatically increases the useful life of the unit.
Telescoping Coffee Spigot
This will be another short section because as a semi-automatic, the coffee spouts for the BZ07 are located beneath the portafilter and are fixed in place. They don’t telescope at all.
Speaking of portafilters, when you buy this model, you’ll get two; one for pulling single shots, and one for pulling doubles. You’ll also get a backflushing disc (which we’ll have more to say about later), and a plastic tamper.
On this front, we were a bit underwhelmed. Given the price of the machine, we were expecting more than a cheap plastic tamper, and while it’s certainly functional, and allows you to use the machine on the day you get it, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a better-quality tamper sooner, rather than later.
The Brew Unit and Control System
This is the heart and soul of any espresso machine, and the Bezzera BZ07 PID is no different.
As mentioned above, the BZ07 uses a PID on the front face of the machine that allows for precise temperature control, which helps to take the guesswork out of shot pulling.
On machines that don’t offer precise temperature controls, you’re left having to guess at when the boiler temp is optimal for shot pulling after steaming milk, and that makes them difficult for new users to learn on. In fact, it can be problematic even for experienced Baristas until they learn the equipment.
As nice as it is to have the electronic controls, the company did a relatively poor job of implementing them. As nice as the temperature control feature is, actually using it is a bit clumsy, which can make the machine feel as though it’s actively fighting you, but that’s only true when you first start using the machine.
As with anything, once you grow accustomed to how to change the temperature, it’s a snap, but its implementation could have certainly been smoother.
In addition to temperature control, you’ll find two programmable buttons, one for single and one for double shots, which is something you don’t often see on semi-automatics (there’s a manual button too, just below these).
Those are the only electronics you’ll have to contend with though. Everything else is old school. Joystick levers for steam and hot water, old style indicator lights and switches, and of course, the dual-purpose gauge, which measures both the boiler pressure (top) and pump pressure (bottom).
It’s incredibly convenient to have a readout of the precise pump pressure on the front face of the machine.
Knowing that it takes around 9 bars of pressure to pull a great espresso shot, it once again removes all guesswork from the equation. Even better, knowing the pump pressure allows you to intentionally set it higher or lower to experiment with different extraction techniques, which allows coffee purists to explore whole new realms of flavor.
The Milk Frothing System
Our Bezzera BZ07 PID review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t call particular attention to the unit’s milk frothing feature.
Where milk frothing is concerned, there are two ways the feature can be implemented; an auto-frother, favored by newbies, and a steam wand.
The BZ07 utilizes a steam wand, and although it is a single boiler machine, its heat exchange technology makes it possible to simultaneously steam milk and pull shots, which is fantastic.
The steam you get from the system is quite hot, and you’ll find you get results quickly.
That’s important because some other single boiler systems that allow you to simultaneously steam and brew have struggled in this department.
With the BZ07, not only does your milk heat quickly, but the quality of the foam is exceptional.
New users, don’t be daunted by the steam wand! Sure, it takes time and practice to learn to use well, and you can count on your first several drinks being of…let’s call it questionable quality, but once you clear that hurdle and get the hang of it, you can produce some serious coffee magic and dazzle your friends with your Barista skills!
This is one of the best features of the BZ07, and you’ll be quite pleased with the results, assuming of course, that you’re making milk-based specialty coffee drinks on a regular basis.
Cup Warming Tray
There’s not a lot to say on this point except to note that the Bezzera BZ07 Espresso Machine does indeed have a cup warming tray, and its presence is more important than you might think.
If you’ve been around specialty coffee drinks for a while, then you already know why, but if you’re new to the world, then the reason it’s so important is that the warming tray mitigates heat loss.
That's a problem because one of the most common complaints about espresso machines is that the coffee they produce just isn’t hot enough for the American palate in most cases.
This is especially true of milk-based drinks, and that’s where the warming tray comes into the picture.
When you dispense a hot drink into a cold cup, you lose heat. If the coffee in question is already borderline not hot enough for you, that’s going to make the problem worse, which is exactly what the warming tray prevents.
Combine that with the BZ07’s PID, allowing you to fine-tune the precise boiler temperature, and you’ll never have that problem with this machine!
Relatively Easy to Use, Easy to Clean
As with most semi-automatics, you won’t find a steep learning curve here. The controls are almost all old-school, and as such, you can work out most of the functions just by looking at the machine.
Any lingering questions you may have can be answered by thumbing through the user manual, and by the time you’ve run through the initial setup, you’ll have mastered the basic controls.
That said, mastering the electronic components is harder than it needs to be because those functions are somewhat clumsily implemented. Even so, figuring out how to program the single and double shot buttons, and mastering the PID temperature controls will only take a few minutes out of your day, so again, the learning curve is slight, although marginally steeper than your typical semi-automatic.
Clean up is a snap, but the proviso here is that, as the BZ07 is a semi-automatic, there are no automated cleanup elements. Any maintenance that needs doing will have to be done by hand, by you.
Broadly speaking, your routine maintenance on this machine will look like this:
If you’re new to the world of semi-automatics, then you should know that backflushing is to a semi-auto what cleansing tablets are to a super auto. It’s the process by which you keep the brew group clean and ready to work.
About once a week, put your backflushing disc into your single shot portafilter and fill it with a small amount of special cleanser designed for use in espresso machines, then cycle the boiler and pump on and off a few times in rapid succession, so that the cleanser is worked into the innards of the unit.
Flush well, and you’re all set! With regular maintenance and care, there’s no reason that this machine won’t provide you with a decade or more of reliable service!
Bezzera BZ07 PID Pros & Cons
We like the capabilities of this model, and we won’t rehash all of its strong points here, having talked about them at length in the sections above.
There are, however, two things we’d love to see in some future upgrade of the Bezzera BZ07 espresso machine.
- First – An option to run a dedicated water line. Given this model’s capabilities, if ever a prosumer product cried out for a dedicated water line, this one’s it!
- Second – While we appreciate the addition of the electronics, their use is somewhat cumbersome. They feel rather bolted onto the device because, in truth, they are. This upgrade is more of an official retrofit than an attempt to integrate the electronics into the model in a seamless way. That’s not a bad thing – their presence alone, in any form is a solid win, but there are easy ways to make using them a much simpler affair.
Bezzera BZ07 Review Conclusion
And that brings us to the end of our Bezzera BZ07 review. As you can see, it is a solid, capable machine that’s an interesting mix of the old and the new. With the electronics upgrades, it gives you more fine-tuned temperature control than you usually find on semi-autos, while preserving the hands-on spirit of these machines.
We highly recommend it for power drinkers, large households, and busy office environments. It’s fairly newbie friendly and easy to learn on, but given the presence of the electronics, the skills you learn on this machine won’t precisely translate to another model if and when you buy something different.
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