This espresso machine represents the recent growth in popularity of domestic espresso machines. The coffee machine has become a desirable kitchen accessory as Australians have become more knowledgeable about coffee, often grinding their own beans and entertaining guests by making espresso coffees at home. In 2005 Australians were buying domestic espresso machines at twice the rate they were in 2002, with nearly 200 000 units worth $54 million being sold in 2005. There were at least ten brands on the market selling machines from prices less than $100 to $4000. The espresso machine had become the dominant type of coffee maker sold, outselling filter coffee machines and percolators.
This espresso machine is part of the Breville '800 Class' range of 'professional grade tools' inspired by heavy duty industrial cooking equipment. This range was developed in response to the rise of consumer interest in making cafe style or gourmet food at home. It also reflects the trends in the marketplace towards 'affordable luxury' goods. The 800 Class products are aimed at the premium end of the market, towards consumers who are food lovers and want products that last. The designers used commercial components and finishes to communicate product quality and status to the consumer.
The Breville 800 Series Class Espresso Machine received an Australian DesignMark in 2005. It contains a number of innovative features, such as an illuminated water tank window to indicate the water level and a removable water tank for easier filling.
The development process for the espresso machine is typical of contemporary products designed in Australia. Designers at Housewares International create all their products using 3D computer modelling. Products are designed in 3-D on computer, and the data is sent to a prototyping machine to produce a one-off for testing. Once the design is finalised, the 3D data is sent to the toolmaker and manufacturer in China for testing and production.