Battle of the toasters at LBHQ

My fellow inebriates,

There has been a development in my parents’ two-year argument over the toaster. Yesterday the $160 Breville long-slot was forced to move over for a $13 Superstore toaster. My mother’s logic? “Anything could make better toast than that stupid thing.”

Among my mother’s other claims – that she has stopped making bread because the Breville “doesn’t know how” to toast bread, that she has never managed to successfully make toast with the Breville, and that my dad is gaslighting her by saying that it makes “perfect toast every time.”

Burnt toast with a sad face on it

In fairness, my dad does like burnt toast. For anyone who enjoys their bread scorched externally but still soft and untoasted inside, the Breville is for you. My dad loves it. With our previous toasters, he had to monitor his toast until it was burned to just the right level. The Breville takes full ownership of burning his toast, consistently ejecting bread that’s almost in flames and able to absorb giant sizzling dollops of margarine because the inside is still spongey and uncooked. When my dad makes toast, everyone in the house imagines they’re having a stroke.

But surely the rest of the household could simply put the Breville on a lighter setting?

Well, you could try that. But then it will pop every 30 seconds, asking if it’s got it right yet. (It hasn’t.) By babysitting the Breville, you can nudge a piece of bread through several minutes of toasting and evaluation, but your bread will always be either over- or under-toasted. No golden toast for you!

Breville long-slot stainless toaster

Of course I don’t give a crap about any of this. You know I don’t eat solid food, MFI. I’ve only paid attention to the toaster because it’s sitting in front of some cherished booze bottles that haven’t been put away since New Year’s. And I suppose I care because $160 is quite a lot for an appliance that really has just one job. With $160, you could buy several bottles of decent Irish whiskey, for example.

This is why I’ve decided to contact Breville with a little WTF letter—balancing the complainy bits with the message that my dad LOVES their long-slot toaster. Herewith, some suggestions for Breville:

  • Consider marketing this toaster directly to people who like their toast burnt outside and uncooked within. It does a damn good job of that, and it could make that segment of the market very happy.
  • Modify this toaster by adding a “golden” setting for those who prefer toast to embers. Sure, it’ll probably be a $300 toaster then, but that’s how appliance features work, isn’t it?
  • Swap out some features that aren’t earning their keep, such as “A BIT MORE,” which isn’t super-helpful when the toast is already burnt.
Toaster settings: A BIT MORE, BAGEL, FROZEN, and CANCEL
  • Consider making the advertised removable crumb tray actually removable (ours isn’t).
  • Note the user ratings (3.4) and the negative user comments (“Not awesome,” “A good example of modern expensive cheap product,” and “Junk stay away from this one”).
  • Note that even the positive reviews—despite their praise for the Breville’s aesthetics and initial functioning—also mention malfunctions (“a blue spark would shoot out,” “elements on the inside stop working unless in ‘Bagel’ mode,” “threw it straight in the garbage”) and can be considered positive only because Breville at least has its shit together when it comes to handling customer complaints.

Every single negative complaint on the Breville website seems to receive the same reply…

Negative review expressing facts about the Breville's inability to make toast

And people who get a replacement Breville toaster comment that the thing keeps wrecking their toast.

This comment sums up what three-quarters of the humans in our household think about the Breville:

Less articulate review of the toaster, and also negative

All this aside, my dad’s love of the Breville has earned it a permanent place on the kitchen counter. Later today, the $13 Superstore toaster will challenge it for its plug socket. I’ll keep you posted.

The $13 replacement toaster.

In the meantime, BOTH toasters are obstructing my booze supply.

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