It’s the year 2022, and having a good cup of coffee or espresso shouldn’t feel like a chore. But I’m pretty sure that you’ve looked for your perfect home brewer on the internet and been disappointed for one reason or another.
Well, not today! Meet the Breville BES840XL Infuser! Price, convenience, coffee quality, and maintenance – it’ll tick all the boxes for you. This highly powered semi-automatic machine will make your home-brewing routine an absolute breeze and produce perfect cups of espresso or cappuccino in a heartbeat. It’s one of Breville’s best!
Dive into our Breville Infuser review to find out how so!
Breville Bes840xl Review: Key Features
- Enjoy third-wave specialty coffee with the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine
- Precisely control volume, temperature, and water pressure for optimal extraction every time
- Create microfoam milk for latte art at home with a high-power 1650W element and faster heat-up
- Automatically purge the heating system after steaming for the right temperature extraction
- Includes all the necessary accessories for convenience and ease of maintenance
Undoubtedly, one of the most important features of this machine. It applies low water pressure at the beginning of the extraction, which in turn gently expands the grinds and builds up to high pressure for an even extraction. The final result is a balanced and aromatic espresso in the cup.
PID Temperature Control
The PID feature on the Infuser is an excellent addition that is part of Breville’s 4-key brewing formula. This internal electronic PID stabilizer is a programmable function that allows you to keep the temperature in the ideal range of 195°F–205°F for superior quality extraction.
Steam Wand And Hot Water Outlet
The Infuser’s steam wand is a stainless steel-made 360° swivel-action wand. This commercial-style wand is very comfortable for milk texturing and close control. Between the group head and the steam wand in the front, you’ll find the dedicated hot water outlet for Americanos or pre-heating cups and portafilters.
Thermocoil Heating System
Since the infuser is a small machine, Breville used a fast-working stainless steel coil as a heating system instead of a boiler. It works with incredible accuracy to control water temperatures. It also enabled this machine to perform auto-purging immediately after the espresso, hot water, and steam sessions.
Volumetric Shot Controls
Other than 1 and 2-cup preset shot volumes, you’ll have manual shot control and reprogrammable shot control. The manual shot control is an instant fix and doesn’t save the volume. The reprogrammable shot volume, on the other hand, saves the shot volume until you change the settings again.
Four Filter Baskets
The Infuser comes with 4 filters. The first set is 2 single-wall filter baskets for single and double shots. The second set consists of two double-walled filter baskets for single and double shots. The single-wall filter baskets are ideal when you use freshly ground coffee beans. Experimental espresso shots are allowed with single-wall filter baskets. On the other hand, dual-wall filter baskets are ideal when you use pre-ground coffee. They are good at regulating the pressure and help to achieve optimized extraction regardless of the grind, tamp pressure, or freshness.
Breville is known to be the maker of the most aesthetically pleasing machines, and the Infuser is no exception to that. It comes in 3 distinct colors: brushed stainless steel, cranberry red, and sesame black.
It has a simple user interface with a few button controls. The buttons are the power button, the steam/hot water dial (on the side), the 1-cup button, the 2-cup button, the steam/hot water indicator, the descale/clean indicator, the espresso pressure gauge, and the program button.
As usual, Breville used a high-quality 54mm portafilter accompanied by a manual, removable magnetic tamper. It also provides 4 filters: 1-cup and 2-cup single and double-wall filter baskets.
The brewing settings include single and double shots; volumetric control; manual over-ride; and manual milk texturing.
Breville also equipped the Infuser with a 15-bar Italian pump and a 1650W Thermocoil heating system. The infuser also has Breville’s patented PID temperature control technology.
The Infuser weighs 22.95 lbs. and has a dimension (WxDxH) of 12.3 x 10.1 x 13.1 inches. The water tank at the back has a capacity of 61 oz. The Infuser’s accessories list includes a trimmer, 4 filter baskets, a scooper, and a 16 oz. steel milk jug, some cleaning discs and tablets, a cleaning brush, cleaning tools, an Allen key, and a water filter with its holder.
Breville Infuser BES840xl: Pros And Cons
- A 1-year product warranty
- Programmable drink options, auto-purge, and dry puck features
- Delicious espresso and quality milk system with an auto-purge function
- It has a cup warming tray on top and a removable drip tray at the bottom
- The separate hot water outlet for pre-heating cups and making Americanos
- No integrated grinder
- Requires a steep learning curve
How To Use Breville BES840xl
- Take the machine out and relieve it from all the packaging and stickers
- Fit the water filter into the water tank and set the filter date dial 2 months ahead
- Fill the tank with fresh cold water up to the max label and reinsert it into the machine
- Power on the machine and press the 1 CUP button to run a brewing cycle. It’ll clean the group head
- Now, turn the STEAM/HOT WATER dial to the hot water position and let it run for 10 seconds. Hot water will flow out of the dedicated hot water outlet (beside the group head)
- Repeat the 4th and 5th steps until the water tank becomes empty
Reprogramming The Shot Volumes
Reprogrammable features are definitely a headline for this machine. So, it makes sense to tell you how they work in this Breville BES840XL Infuser espresso machine review.
First press the PROGRAM button once. The machine will give one beep while the PROGRAM button starts flashing. This indicates the machine has enabled the reprogramming mode.
Now you can press the 1 CUP or 2 CUP button to start the extraction. Once the desired volume of espresso gets extracted, press the 1 CUP or 2 CUP button again to halt the extraction.
You’ll hear two beeps as an indication of successful reprogramming of the shot, and now the Infuser has saved the reprogrammed settings.
To restore the default settings, press and hold the PROGRAM button until you hear 3 beeps. After that, simply release the button, and the default shot volume(s) will be restored!
Manual Shot Volume
You can control manually when to apply the low-pressure pre-infusion as well as the shot volume without any reprogramming of the preset shot volume.
Just press and hold the 1 CUP or 2 CUP button, which will trigger the low-pressure pre-infusion until the button is released. Once released, the extraction will perform at full pressure.
Finally, press the 1 CUP or 2 CUP button again if the desired volume of espresso has been extracted into your cup.
Sleep And Auto-Off Mode
The Infuser automatically switches itself to SLEEP mode after 1 hour of inactivity. The power button light will flash slowly once this happens.
Similarly, after 3 hours of inactivity, the machine will switch to AUTO-OFF MODE. To re-activate the machine from its slumber, press any button except for the POWER button.
The POWER button will be flashing while the machine re-heats with a pumping sound. When the machine reaches the optimal temperature, the POWER button will stop flashing and all the other buttons will illuminate.
How To Prepare Drinks With Infuser
The Breville semi-automatic machine has simple steps for brewing espresso drinks. So we’ve described them for your perusal.
Rinse your cup with hot water from the hot water outlet and then place it on the cup warming tray
- Pre-heat the portafilter and filter basket with hot water from the hot water outlet
- Grind the coffee beans. The grind size should be fine enough but not too fine
- Fill up the filter basket with that freshly ground coffee. Use 2 level scoops of coffee for 1 CUP basket (8-10g) and 4 level scoops for 2 CUP basket (15-18g). For pre-ground coffee, use 3 scoops
- Use the given tamper to tamp it down firmly and evenly (using approx. 30-40 lbs. of pressure). Trim off the excess ground with the razor trimmer
- Purge the group head before placing the portafilter into it. To do that, press the 1 CUP button to run a short flow of hot water through the group head. Now insert and lock in the portafilter into the group head
- Place your pre-warmed cup(s) underneath the portafilter. Press the 1 CUP or 2 CUP button to start the brewing
- If the espresso begins to flow before 5 seconds, it’ll be an UNDER EXTRACTED shot. If the espresso begins to drip but doesn’t flow after 15 seconds, then it’ll be an OVER EXTRACTED shot
- Always use fresh and cold milk for the steaming
- Rotate and position the wand tip over the drip tray first. Turn the STEAM/HOT WATER dial to the steam to perform a purge. Now that the wand is ready to use
- Once you’ve aerated the milk, lift the jug to lower the wand tip into the milk’s surface. It’ll create an ideal vortex for air bubbles to get incorporated
- If the milk reaches the 140-150°F range (or 60-65°C), turn off the steam and only then take the tip out of the milk
Extraction Outcomes Form The Infuser
|EXTRACTION QUALITY||GRIND QUALITY||DOSAGE (in grams)||TAMPING||SHOT LENGTH (in seconds)||TASTE|
|OVER EXTRACTED||Too fine||Too much||Too heavy||Over 40||Bitter and astringent|
|BALANCED||Perfect||8 – 10 (single) 15 – 18 (double)||30 – 40 lbs.||25 – 35||Neither bitter nor sour|
|UNDER EXTRACTED||Too coarse||Too little||Too light||Under 20||Underdeveloped and sour|
The Cleaning Cycle
You’ll notice that the DESCALE/CLEAN light will start flashing when a cleaning cycle is required. It’s a back-flushing cycle, not descaling. It lasts for 5 minutes only.
- First, insert the 1 CUP filter basket into the portafilter, then a cleaning disc, and then 1 cleaning tablet
- Lock in the portafilter into the group head and put a large container under the group head
- Keep the water tank full with cold water and the drip tray empty
- Press the POWER button to turn off the machine
- Now simultaneously press and hold the POWER, 1 CUP, and 2 CUP buttons for 10 seconds
- It’ll start the cleaning cycle, and water will intermittently pour out of the group head
- Once complete, the machine will sound 3 beeps
- Remove the portafilter to check whether the tablet has completely dissolved. If not, repeat until it gets dissolved completely
The Descaling Cycle
A descaling cycle is required when the DESCALE/CLEAN indicator gets illuminated (not flashing).
- Completely dissolve 1 Breville Descaling Powder sachet into 1 liter of water. Then fill the water tank with this solution
- Press and hold the 2-CUP and the POWER button simultaneously to enter the Descaling mode
- The machine will heat up and the POWER button will flash continuously. When the POWER button, 1 CUP button, DESCALE indicator, and HOT WATER indicator are all solidly illuminated, proceed to the next step
- Now, press the 1-CUP button to begin the descaling. This part will approximately last 25 seconds. The 1 CUP button’s light will remain solid on when this step is finished. To end, press the 1 CUP button again
- It takes 21 seconds to descale the steam and hot water units. Their descaling can be terminated at any time by turning the steam dial to the STANDBY position
- To descale the steam component, turn the steam dial to the STEAM icon. Similarly, to descale the hot water component, turn the dial to the HOT WATER icon
- At this stage, there should be 0.5 liters of descaling solution left in the water tank. Now, repeat the 4-6 steps so that all of the descaling solutions get utilized
- Now remove the water tank, rinse it, refill it with fresh water to the max, and reinsert it
- Repeat steps 4-6 to clean the machine of any residue from the descaling solution
- Finally, press the POWER button to end the process (LED lights will turn off)
What Do The Customers And Critics Say?
Breville does put a lot of effort into the designs. And both customers and critics praised the Infuser’s simple yet captivating appearance. It does play a big role, as everyone wants an espresso machine that adds to the overall aesthetic of the kitchen.
Customers also underlined how small it is compared to other Breville machines. It’s perfect for tight spaces and is easy to move around also because of its favorable footprint.
Like Breville’s other models, this machine also comes with Breville’s key automated features, which gained more praise from the critics. The Infuser has PID, auto-purging, energy saver mode, and shot re-programmability. And none of them are just marketing gimmicks. All features serve their purpose.
From the reputable Breville BES840XL reviewers, we’ve gathered that the customers and critics showed dismay over the high price tag of the Infuser. But such discontent was tamed once users saw the superior-grade espresso it consistently produces. With that, it definitely toned down the criticism as folks can’t refuse a machine that’s espresso is bang on the money every time.
But, one room for improvement that everyone agreed upon is the absence of an integrated grinder. For this price range, it should have come with one.
Most customers gravitate towards the Infuser because of its shot quality, easy maintenance, comprehensive automation, and well-integrated milk system. Such quadruple factors simply help to open up a lot of possibilities for home baristas.
Our Final Verdict
It’s so clear from our Breville BES840XL review that the Infuser stacks up very well on key factors such as ease of use, cleanup, and longevity.
Its pre-infusion extraction is absolutely banged on the money, which means it guarantees the superior quality of espresso consistently.
Additionally, the auto purge function protects the heating system—meaning that you can switch from steaming milk to brewing without any problem.
If you’re looking for more manual control or, conversely, more automation for your drinks, this may not be the best option for you.
But the Infuser offers a solid value for the price point and has a lot of features and flexibilities that don’t show up in other machines. It strikes a balance between manual and automatic tasks for you—that’s why it’s a semi-automatic machine ideal for home kitchens.
Is Breville Infuser Same As Barista Express?
No, it’s not. The Express comes with a lot more features and has an integrated grinder. Thus, it costs more than the Infuser as well.
What Is The Default Temperature Of The Breville Infuser?
Its default temperature is 200ºF (93ºC). It’s part of Breville’s 4-key formula.
Does The Breville Infuser Have A Grinder?
No, the Infuser doesn’t have one.
Does The Breville Infuser Come With A Milk Jug?
Yes, the Breville Infuser does come with a milk jug.
How Long Does The Breville Infuser Take To Fully Heat Up?
The Infuser reaches its operating temperature in 30 seconds from the cold start.
With the Infuser, you’re guaranteed to have high-quality espresso every time. It combines the PID with the Thermocoil heating system and re-programmable volumetric features to elevate your home coffee experience to a new level.
This machine doesn’t fall into the affordable entry-level machine category quite as much. But the proven automatic features and longevity of the machine justify that price tag. All in all, from the Breville Infuser espresso machine review, you can safely take away the fact that it’s a bold and beautiful semi-automatic brewing option for your home.