The James Hoffmann Review

James Hoffmann’s review of 9Barista has just been put up on YouTube! We were very excited, and a bit nervous to watch it!

James, if you’re reading this, thank you for putting together such a great review. We really enjoyed it, and you gave an impressively comprehensive explanation of how it works.

If you’re not James, and you don’t know what we’re talking about – we’ve put a link to the product review below.

One minor correction:

We actually recommend a heat-up time of between 3 and 6 minutes, rather than exactly 6 minutes as suggested in the video. Please also note that the spitting issue James mentions is now fixed, but if you’d like to understand further you can do that here.

It’s also possible to grind, tamp and prep the coffee in the portafilter while the boiler is heating on the cooker. Using this fast method, it’s possible to get your cycle times down to around 4 minutes per shot. We find this works well for making two shots in a row.

Once again, thank you James – we’re delighted you had a good time with it!

Will & the team

21 replies on “The James Hoffmann Review

  • Carolyn Halliday

    I love the 9 Barista for a single reason: TASTE. The brew tastes infinitely better than any other stovetop moka (I’ve had a least a dozen different kinds) and “affordable” espresso makers. I have never had a home brewed espresso machine made shot at anyone’s house that was as good as this little machine can produce. I am very picky. I like particular beans roasted by particular roasters. I only drink lattes. I like a lot of milk with a supremely rich expresso shot.

    CONS: (besides the obvious price). This is a fussy pot with it being a bit complicated to get the brewing time correct. I am impatient when waiting for my coffee and have multiple times blown out the safety overheat valve and melted the rubber rings. I have burned my handles. I have melted the chimney a bit. I have fried the gas heat induction plate. Nonetheless I persevere and indulge myself with perfect coffee. My friends cannot taste the difference between what I make in this vs a standard moka pot. It tastes worlds different to me.

    I wish it made more coffee at one time because I always want twice as much as it makes. It is pokey to wait for the pot to cool and start over and wait again with the seemingly slow process. I ALWAYS SET A TIMER for 4 minutes because it’s a disaster if one forgets about it. If is isn’t brewed in four minutes I then set an additional one minute as needed, to make sure I don’t neglect it. I am a multitasker in the kitchen.
    Because it is heavy, I don’t usually fly with it whereas I traditionally bring my moka pot and hand grinder for travel if I am in a place where good coffee will be hard to find and if I’m staying somewhere with a stove. At a month’s artist residency I also brought a little burner so I would have wonderful coffee.

    Made in the UK: Don’t get me wrong, I love the UK, but it makes for expensive postage and slow boats. I once waited over a month to get the safety rings replaced. The rings are a couple dollars but the postage was more like $25. Now I always order extra supplies to take advantage of the Royal mail cost.

    ADDITIONAL PROS: It is beautiful, exquisitely engineered, and hip. I smile when I see it.

    This pricey item was gifted to me just a year ago and I was so thrilled I cried. But being the self indulgent opinionated impatient coffee drinker that I am, I recently bought a second pot. I thought it would allow me to have my two lattes and, I figured that the next time I blew the safety valve gasket, I’d still have one pot to use. I have been in heaven with double doses for the past month. Then, predictably, in spite of my vigilant care, yesterday the safety valve unexpectedly blew. So today I am ordering more parts, and being thankful that I still have my one pot.

  • Flavio Spedalieri

    Having been introduced to the 9Barista in early 2022, I was immediately impressed by the design, ingenuity, and engineering of the unit, this was a design that I had not seen before. On paper the product is impressive and James Hoffmann’s review, made the decision easier that this would be worth the investment. I placed an order in May 2022. Shipment to Australia was inside a week.
    When I firstly held the unit, its surprisingly heavy and a solid piece of engineering.
    9 months with the 9Barista and can say having mastered it, this unit leave nothing but very impressive results.

    In the cup, coffee is beautifully textured, sweet, and balanced. A set of comparison tests completed with owner and roaster of Sibonis’s Coffee, Pymble NSW with “Romeo blend”, both on a 2-Group ECM Veneziano and then on a Rocket Giotto Evoluzione.

    We have to say that the 9Barista is not only an impressive looking and well-engineered espresso maker, it can match any high-end espresso machine with ease.

    Sydney, Australia

  • Leonardo

    Have had my 9barista for a couple weeks now what can I say you nailed it especially for the every day espresso drinker it’s perfect for my solo afternoon or whenever solo instead of Gaggia!

  • Jose Figueroa

    Got 01095026 mk 1 two weeks ago making awesome espresso right from the first one. Grind fine, lavassa espresso, puck filter and post puck paper with ims portafilter makes for fast reloads. Ordered an overheat kit just in case and ended up using it after leaving unattended for 16 minutes. Installed kit and now it makes even better espresso, it like loosened it up. I am buying a second one for travel……

  • James

    Congrats on getting the thumbs up from Jimmy Hoffman. Not easy to do but definitely the way to get ahead in the specialty coffee world

  • Raghu

    Will it work with pre ground coffee? I really don’t fancy getting into having my own grinder. I’d like a solution that can give me decent espresso with the lowest investment in time in the morning.

    • 9Barista

      Hi Raghu. Yes it will work with pre-ground coffee, but the quality of espresso will not be as good as if you were to use your own grinder. You’ll also need to adjust the grind size when dialling in for the first time, which is difficult if you’re using pre-ground coffee. So yes, it will work, but the coffee is unlikely to taste as good and the dialling in process will be more difficult.

  • Jonathon

    Ive had one now for 7 months and after some practice and adjustments to grind and tamp pressure, I get a more or less perfect espresso with excellent crema 10 times out of 10. Fabulous product, thank you.

  • Jayne Akitt

    We have a 9barista No. 304 and although we agree with all your sentiments regarding style, clever engineering and owning a lovely bit of kit , we have always struggled to gt a crema from the machine. This was one of our main reasons for buying it to use in our motorhome, when we craved a decent coffee away from our beloved Sage home machine. We use excellent coffee and have tried measuring , weighing ,timing , tamping and grinding variants to no avail. I watched your review and the only difference I can see is that your coffee comes up through the machine at a much slower rate and is much more ‘frothy’. Can you shed any light on how we can improve the crema as this lovely machine now sits in the cupboard as we might as well make a big cafetiere !

    • 9Barista

      Hi Jayne, yes absolutely – it sounds very much like this is due to the grind size of the coffee. We recommend that it should take between 25-30 seconds to fill the portafilter, so if it’s coming through more quickly than this you’ll just need to grind more finely. I hope that helps!

  • Lynne C.

    My husband spotted me rewatching the Hoffman review last night and ordered one for me. I used a Bialetti Brikka (which I still have) for 13 years while I waited for the right time for to take up espresso as a hobby. I’ve got the grinders (Niche and Kinu M47), a great local roaster (Seattle Coffee Works), and some skill since picking up a Europiccola last year.

    I’m pretty excited.

    • Ben @ 9Barista

      Hi Lynne,

      Thanks to you and your husband for your order – that’s great to hear!

      I think you’ve timed it well considering how much we all have to stay home at the moment. It sounds like you’ve got everything you need to be able to make some delicious brews from day one, so I hope the machine lives up to your expectations – I’m sure it will.


  • Pablo

    Anytime James Hoffmann considers the resulting shot good, or even decent, you know you’re looking at a fine product. I’m seriously considering getting one of these.

  • Eli Smith

    Ordered mine based on this review. Based on his “who should buy this summary” at the end of the video, it seems like the perfect machine for someone like me. Can’t wait to receive it!

  • bser

    Without James Hoffmann review I wouldn’t have known about your product! His review are alway honest and when James Hoffmann’s said, “the espresso came out well” ( a rarity). You know it’s something worth checking out! 😬😍 love the concept and design!

  • John

    I really enjoyed James Hoffmann’s review of the 9Barista and have to say it looks a really well designed and engineered piece of equipment. This is certainly high on my ‘want list’…


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