Sage Barista Express Impress – For the real coffee enthusiast

Kitchen Equipment

Sage Barista Express Impress

Pros

  • Real… but real coffee
  • Easy to operate
  • Fairly easy to clean
  • The drip tray is quite large
  • Comes with a lot of stuff to make an ideal cup of coffee
  • Automatic tamper with an indication
  • The steam pipe provides extremely firm milk froth – a milk jug is included
  • A sturdy machine that does not move when the portafilter is mounted in the machine
  • No less than 25 grind settings to set the coffee grind all the way to your liking

Cons

  • No lighting at the bottom, so you can’t make a quick cup in the evening
  • The spout for hot water is rather short, if you leave the cup standing it splashes quite a bit – with a low cup (solution: lift the cup)
  • Behind the drip tray is a small container for the coffee pucks (leftover after making a cup of coffee), but an ‘external and larger’ tray would have been nicer
SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

Introduction

The Sage Barista Express Impress is a perfect machine to bring out the inner barista. The machine does help with several operations, such as the integrated coffee grinder and tamper, making brewing a real cup of coffee, not rocket science either.

In this review, I take a closer look at the Sage Barista Express Impress.

Specifications

Accessories
54mm stainless steel portafilter, 480ml stainless steel milk jug, 1 and 2 cup single and dual wall filter baskets, water filter holder with filter, the Razor™ precision trimming tool, cleaning tablets, Allen key, a steam wand cleaning tool, cleaning disc, cleaning brush, descale powder.

Dimensions (WxDxH)
33x38x41cm

Construction material
Stainless steel

Capacity
250g bean hopper / 2-liter water tank

Settings
25 precision grind settings
Preset single or double shot
Auto dose correct for the next grind
Hot water
Adjustable brew temperature
Adjustable volumetric shot control

Power
1560 – 1850 W

Warranty
2-year repair, replacement, or refund (at the sole discretion of Sage Appliances)

Heating system
15-bar Italian pump
Thermocoil system
PID temperature control
1600W Thermocoil–integrated stainless steel water path accurately controls water temperature

Milk texturing
Manual milk texturing

Integrated burr grinder
Steel conical burrs

Interface
Simple button control

Portafilter
High quality 54 mm portafilter

Tamping
Assisted tamping with 7˚ Barista Twist Finish
Dose level indicator and feedback

pressure gauge
Extraction Feedback pressure gauge

Unpacking

It is time to unpack the Sage Barista Express Impress.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

An image says more than 1000 words, that’s why I also grab the back of the box. After all, there is a lot of information there.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The Sage Barista Express Impress does smart dosing. This means that it also remembers how much ground coffee goes into the portafilter. This way the portafilter will be filled exactly the way you want it next time. With the tamper, 10 kg of pressure is delivered. When the tamper is pressed, an indication is also given of how many ground beans are in the portafilter. This is displayed through LEDs (you will see them later in the review).

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The dosage is between 18-22 grams, the coffee is blown through the coffee puck at 93 degrees and no less than 9 bar. The steam for the milk frother is also 130 degrees. And anticipating the whole thing… it makes delicious foam.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

What’s cool about Sage is that the Barista Express Impress comes with a lot, namely: 54mm stainless steel portafilter, 480ml stainless steel milk jug, 1 and 2 cup single and dual wall filter baskets, water filter holder with filter, the Razor™ dosing tool, cleaning tablets, Allen key, a steam wand cleaning tool, cleaning disc, cleaning brush, descaling powder

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The Express Impress uses a cone-shaped grinder, which grinds the beans well.

The only thing I find funny about the picture below, the milk jug is filled with 130 degrees of steam. There is no one, but really no one who can hold such a jug for very long.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The Razor dosing tool ensures that if too much coffee is ground, the perfect cup of coffee can still be made by simply scraping away the excess.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

What I think is pretty cool is that it comes with 4 different filter trays. Two for already ground coffee and two for freshly ground beans. Both sets are for one and two cups of coffee.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The manual is quite simple, after the machine is switched on you need to place the portafilter under the coffee grinder. Then press ‘dose’ which causes the machine to grind. Then press the tamper to tamp it (by the way, if you see that it hasn’t been pressed all the way down yet, just use the tamper again), then lock it and choose whether it’s for one or two cups of coffee.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

If the line is in the middle when dosing, then this is fine! If the line is below, press dose again (the machine will remember this next time – that it needs more).

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

Is there too much in it now? Then simply use the razor to remove the excess.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The bean container is also quite nice. Because it is properly ‘sealed’, the sound is noticeably less than when the lid is open. Anyway, it’s still a coffee grinder that turns on, so don’t expect a whisper-quiet machine.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The water tank of the Sage Barista Express Impress is quite large. With no less than 2 liters of water, you can really go ahead for a long time.
The water tank also indicates how the water filter should be placed and how to descale it.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The drip tray of the Sage Barista Express Impress is also quite large. There is a floater at the front that pops up when the drip tray is too full.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

And there is the machine. I must confess that I think it is quite a beautiful device.
The machine is also super sturdy on any surface. This is due to the non-slip feet.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The Sage Barista Express Impress has fine buttons. Everything feels sturdy and good.
For example, there is the dose button at the top left to grind the coffee, and the filter button on the right to choose between a small ‘for one cup of coffee’ or a larger ‘for two cups of coffee’.
If you are not completely satisfied with the automatic dosage, there is always the possibility to set the dosage manually.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

On the right side are the buttons for one or two cups of coffee and the on/off button.

The center shows how the coffee is blown through the puck. At first, it is briefly in the pre-infusion state, and then it increases to the espresso range.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

As mentioned, Sage supplies a lot, such as the milk jug and the razor. The milk can be frothed on the right side of the machine. This dial also gives you the option to let hot water come out of the spout.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

You can see the spout in the bottom left of this image. In my opinion, the spout is quite short, so it is important to hold the cup up for a while, otherwise, everything will splash (especially if a low cup is used).

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The left side of the machine is dedicated to the dosing and grinding of the coffee beans. The Sage Barista Express Impress has 25 grinding settings to grind the coffee beans as desired.
After grinding, the tamp lever is used to press down the ground coffee.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The top of the Sage Barista Express Impress has room for some coffee cups. The nice thing about this is that the top just gets warm. This is also nice when making coffee in preheated cups.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

Time to make coffee! In my case, I use Australian coffee – #vindiklekker
The portafilter is located under the coffee grinder. When pressing dose, it is filled automatically. In my case, this was ‘quite’ little the first time. After I pressed the same button again, it was perfect. So the machine also has to learn for the first time. After that, it actually went fine, unless I started playing with the manual dial myself.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The tamper presses the coffee pretty well. It takes quite a bit of force to be able to push into the puck with a finger.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

If it is the case that too much coffee has been ground, then the excess can simply be removed with the razor. Tip… do this above a sink or the like;)

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

Perfect!!

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

And there is the liquid gold. The nice thing about such a machine is that everything can be adjusted to your liking.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

The great thing about this machine is that a lot of filters are included to make the perfect cup of coffee (or cappuccino).

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

If the filter is changed, it is useful to adjust the filter size… I had forgotten about it…

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

Possibilities

I’ve been using the Sage Barista Express Impress for just under 5 months now, and that’s quite a reasonable time to test out a machine. As a coffee drinker, I tap quite a few cups of coffee in a day. With each cup, I actually feel like I’m in a restaurant. The machine makes the coffee taste like it is prepared in a restaurant. Because you can play so much with the system, such as grinding degree, type of beans, dosage, adjustable preparation temperature, etc., you always end up with another special cup of coffee.

The water filter in the water tank (of 2 liters) is also a nice feature. This keeps the machine lime-free.

By the way, I often talk about coffee – because I often drink it black. But the milk frother also has a very good pressure at no less than 130 degrees. It “froths” the evaporated milk so well that a spoon can easily be placed on top. The frothed milk is so firm, and it tastes great.
What you still have to do as a user is learn how to make beautiful shapes in the coffee, from hearts to leaves – or even the next level the Dutchiee.tv logo. 😉

It’s quite funny because I used to drink a lot of cappuccino. And that can be made with this machine too, I just started drinking that less and so just drink the coffee black. Not because I’m lazy and don’t feel like frothing milk. (Sarcasm) after all, you do have to turn a knob and lift your arm to let the steam froth up the evaporated milk #pittigzwaar.
The main reason is that I don’t necessarily miss it. The coffee is just very tasty the way it comes out. Should you still feel like a good cup of cappuccino once in a while, it can be prepared just perfectly with this thing. So you don’t have to go to a cafe or restaurant for that. After all, you are the barista at home.

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

Conclusion

The Sage Barista Express Impress certainly made an impression. In the months that I have been able to use the machine, I started playing with that thing daily. Not because I wasn’t satisfied with the coffee, certainly not. You become kind of obsessed with how to make your cup of coffee even better. Even tastier than the previous batch. And that’s because the Barista Express Impress just has so many options. From the 25 precise grind settings to the way of tamping and the use of the razor.

Sage provides quite a lot of things with the Barista Express Impress, which is great. This allows you to come up with something different for every situation, such as the filter baskets (for one or two cups) for pre-ground coffee. And that also has its advantages. This way you don’t necessarily have to drink the coffee that comes from the coffee grinder and you can also drink a different flavor or even decaffeinated coffee for once.

The Barista Express Impress is not fully automatic. But is that that bad? I do not think so. Because the machine itself already does a lot – an internal bean grinder and a tamper to have the ground coffee perfectly in the portafilter. The only thing that remains is to place the portafilter in the machine. And that is not rocket science either.
Because it is a sturdy machine, the machine does not move, so this feels solid.

The 9-bar blown through the coffee puck isn’t lame either. It doesn’t matter which beans you use… A cup of coffee can be made with this device, so you won’t sleep for six months. And that is quite nice when writing reviews….

What is also very nice is that the water tank is 2 liters. As a result, you can make a lot of cups of coffee without the machine being empty ‘again’ and you have to bust through your kitchen with a water tank.

I received this machine from Sage in exchange for a review. Sage has no further input on this review and will only read it when it comes online. Should the machine suck, they will read it here. Nevertheless, I must confess that I think this is a great machine. I think the Sage (in terms of coffee taste and how it comes out – with the same beans) is better than the De’longhi from my previous review, also in terms of finish. Just know; this one is twice as expensive though.

However, there is one but… and that is the price of the machine. With € 829, – this (time of writing) slides over the counter, and that is a decent price.
Another but is the spout for hot water, which is quite short. If there is a low cup under the spout it does splash fairly. With warm water at 93 degrees, that is a thing. Solution; hold the cup up.
The only thing missing in my opinion but not necessarily a but, is the lack of lighting at the bottom. A lot of machines (especially fully automatic machines) have a small LED that gives you some light when making a cup of coffee in the evening.

As mentioned, the Sage Barista Express Impress has made an impression. It is a machine with many options, possibilities, and especially the included extras. The Sage Barista Express Impress gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.

In the meantime, I’ll grab another one… Have a nice day! 🙂

SAGE BARISTA EXPRESS IMPRESS

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