The perfect cup of coffee is a delicate thing. From the beans to how they’re ground, every ingredient in your drink has importance and effect on its final flavor profile. If any one of these factors – like how hot the water is when it goes through those grounds- isn’t right, then your espresso will taste off-balance and strange tasting!
The Breville Barista Express is the perfect espresso machine if you want to take your coffee-making skills up a notch. It lets users customize everything from water temperature and pre-infusion time all in one place, which makes it easier than ever before!
If you’re looking for a coffee maker that gives you a high level of control over your espresso, it is the perfect one. This Breville Bes870xl review will tell you everything you need to know about it.
Benefits Of Breville BES870XL Barista Express
- Delivers third-wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula
- Offers all-in-one espresso machines with an integrated grinder to go from beans to espresso in under one minute
- An integrated precision conical burr grinder grinds on demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter
- Low-pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly
- Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
- The powerful steam wand performance allows handling texture of microfoam milk that enhances flavor and enables the creation of latte art
The Breville Bes870xl is a high-end espresso machine that has been designed for the coffee lover who wants to be able to create café-quality espressos at home. It comes with a range of features, including adjustable grind settings and manual milk texturing, that allow you to customize your coffee drinks however you like them. Plus, its PID temperature control system ensures the water is heated to just the right temperature for extracting the best flavor from your beans. It sits on the top of our list of the Best Breville Espresso Machines.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of using the Breville Barista Express. It was awarded the Best New Product of 2013 by the Specialty Coffee Association America so it’s actually needless to talk about how good the machine is at its price point. However, let’s look at some of the benefits real quick for peace of mind.
- The whole casing of the Breville Barista Express is made of stainless steel which ensures long-lasting durability. You may already be familiar with the rust-resistant feature of stainless steel
- The button-based control panel is pretty easy to operate whether you have some technical knowledge or not
- You can adjust the dose amount according to your preferences by rotating the Grind Amount dial. Besides, you can get the coffee grounds into your portafilter both manually (you can cut off the coffee grounds falling into the portafilter after getting the needed amounts) and automatically
- There’s a pressure gauge available on the control panel. You have to reach the Espresso Range while making espresso. If the dial is before the Espresso Range or Pass the Espresso Range you may have ground coffee beans too coarse or too fine. So based on this pressure gauge, you can adjust the grind size for the best possible extraction
- You can program your drink with this machine as well. There’s a certain button called Program. Check out the instruction manual of your machine for getting a detailed process of how to do so. Although most folks are happy about the output of the machine
- 4 different filter baskets, cleaning tablets, a descaling solution, a water filter, and a tamper are included with the machine which saves some additional bucks
- The cleaning and descaling process of this machine is pretty effortless. For getting precise instructions on cleaning and descaling the Breville Barista Express please check out our comprehensive guide on how to clean Breville espresso machines
- Additional storage is available back to the drip tray which is great for storing filter baskets and other accessories of the machine
Breville Barista Express Review: The Features
Breville does not seem reluctant to offer as many features as it can to make things easier for the coffee maker.
The Ease of Use
Except for the cleaning part, you will find this espresso machine quite easy to use. However, if you like to take your coffee without putting much effort then this might not be for you. Because it needs your directions to make coffee.
You have to set up the grinder settings and everything else, every time you make a cup of coffee. It has single and double shots which are quite helpful. While setting the machine up is easy, doing it every day can get boring and lengthy.
Apart from that installation is easy and the machine has a good capacity too. In fact, the bean hopper has a capacity of 1.2 lb and the water tank capacity is 67 oz.
Dose Control Grinding
If you know a thing or two about coffee, you know that freshly ground coffee tastes the best and has the most flavor. So, most coffee enthusiasts prefer espresso machines that come with a grinder. Luckily, this Breville machine comes with its own grinder.
The grinder is not just any grinder you find in the market. Apparently, it is a high-quality grinder that helps you in multiple ways. Firstly, you can control the number of beans you want to grind.
For each cup of espresso, you have full control over the number of beans you grind so that none of the remaining beans go to waste. Furthermore, you can control the size of the grind. It can be done easily with a dial that is at the front of the machine. You can be sure that you will enjoy the best flavors of coffee when you use this machine.
Breville Barista Express comes with two grind size adjustments for selecting the right finesse coffee grounds. One of them is located on the left side of the machine and the other one is attached to the top burr.
Elegant User Interface
Breville Barista Express comes with a pretty nice user interface. Its complete housing is made of brushed stainless steel which would definitely add some aesthetics to your kitchen. On the left side of the machine, you will see a grind size adjustment, while on the right side, you will get the hot water and steam valve for on-demand hot water and steam for texturing milk.
The water tank of the machine is located at the backside of the machine hence detaching it or filling water could be a bit tricky if you are thinking of placing it under the cabinet. There’s additional storage available at the back of the drip tray where you can store filter baskets and other accessories. So overall it’s a pretty compact-sized and sleek-looking machine within a mid-range price point.
Effortless Control Panel
This elegant-looking machine featured an effortless control panel too. It shouldn’t be a troublesome job for you to operate the machine. The control panel is designed based on buttons and rotating dials.
On the very left side, you will get a power button which is obviously used to turn the machine ON or OFF. Next to the power button, you will see a dial called Grind Amount. You can adjust the dose amount of your coffee by rotating the dial clockwise or anti-clockwise. The filter size button is used for selecting the proper filter basket size. Depending on the size of your filter basket you have to press the button and select the right size.
Precise Espresso Extraction
Remember when we said that even the temperature matters when it comes to the perfect coffee? Keeping that in mind, this espresso machine delivers water just at the right temperature to make the coffee. It has digital temperature control which makes sure that the temperature of the water is perfect when it passes the coffee filter.
Micro-Foam Milk Texturing
Extracting the coffee from this coffee machine is completely easy. However, if you want to make a latte and use the milk frother, it still won’t be very difficult. Apparently, the steam wand is made in such a way that it offers you ease of use. You can even do latte art thanks to the way this espresso machine delivers.
This best-selling Breville espresso machine featured a single boiler. So you can’t actually make coffee and froth milk at the same time. But what’s the mechanism behind this? Well, since the machine has a single boiler, therefore, it has to heat water for both coffee extraction and milk texturing one by one.
As a homemaker, you don’t actually need the feature of making coffee and texturing milk at the same time. So, this may not be a big issue for the majority of people. What you can do is, extract coffee first, and as soon as the extraction is finished turn the steam dial to the steam position for texturing milk. It takes about 30 seconds to get the right temperature for the steam system.
Large Water Tank
This machine features a large water tank that holds about 2 liters of water effortlessly. You will get a water filter to be installed inside the water tank for ensuring the best possible quality water. The water tank comes with nice markings hence you won’t pour too much or too little water in it. As it can hold a pretty good amount of water you don’t have to refill it frequently. The ergonomic handle of the water tank makes it easy to detach from its place.
Maintenance and Quality
This Espresso machine falls somewhere between cheap and expensive when it comes to espresso machines. The functions it helps you with are quite difficult. Apart from that, it actually has quite a good build quality that is meant to last.
At times, parts like the grinder fail, and you have to replace it or work on it. Apart from that, maintaining this machine is a bit tough. It’s because you have to clean regularly by removing the drip tray. It does not have any self-cleaning feature to help you. It comes with a one-year warranty which won’t be of much use.
Breville BES870XL Review: Pros And Cons
- The machine offers a lot of control to the coffee maker
- The grinder can be set to different settings- you can select both the grind amount and the grind size
- It keeps the flavor and aroma of the coffee beans
- The steam wand is quite helpful because it lets the barista even do the latte art easily
- The machine delivers water at just the right temperature
- It has a good-quality build that is long-lasting
- It looks quite good anywhere
- Easy to install
- Good value for the money
- It can get lengthy to adjust the settings of the grinder for every cup of coffee
- The machine has to be cleaned after every use and no self-cleaning
- There may be parts that stop working
- Short warranty
How To Use The Breville Barista Express
Using the Breville Barista Express is pretty effortless. As we have mentioned earlier, this machine featured a button-based control panel. In this segment, we will try to give you a brief understanding of how you can operate this machine.
Let’s look at how to make coffee with this machine.
- First off, open the lid of the water tank and fill it up to the Max level with some cold water. Don’t forget to insert the water filter before attaching the water tank to the machine. After filling the tank, turn on the machine by pressing the power button and wait for about 20 minutes before pulling the espresso shots
- This is absolutely crucial if you are not using the machine for a long period, for instance, in the morning. So why wait 20 minutes? It’s because the machine could warm it up, which can deliver superior cups of espresso, for sure
- Make sure that the portafilter is attached to the Group Head at that time and also serving vessels are at the top of the machine. You need to warm everything if you really want to sip an ideal-temperature coffee
- Fill the coffee beans hopper with some measured amount of coffee beans. Place your portafilter under the grinder and after getting your desired-sized coffee grounds tamp them well using the tamper. Now, attach the portafilter to the group head. Don’t forget to select the right filter size by pressing the Filter Size button
- After attaching the portafilter to the group head, press either the single or double cup button depending on how you want to get your coffee. This machine has a pre-infusion phase which means, after attaching the portafilter with the group head, the machine will put a little bit of water to wet all the coffee grounds and then push water through the coffee puck. That way, coffee grounds can be saturated perfectly and end up with a richly flavored espresso
- In order to froth milk, first, turn the right-sided knob to the steam position, and shortly you will see that the Hot Water and Steam button is blinking. When you notice that the button is completely solid, you can immerse the steam wand into the milk pitcher for steaming or frothing milk. That’s pretty much about how you can operate this amazing machine. We would highly recommend you to read the instructions manual for getting more detailed information
Who Should Buy It…
This machine could be a pretty good surprise for those that carry an ideology that unless you spend thousands of dollars you can’t get a good espresso machine. For them, this machine is too good to be true at this price point. Its compact and premium-looking interface can easily match any kitchen.
The Barista Express is not only good for its look but it’s also built sturdily. If you are a home barista, you would definitely love this machine. Because of its large water tank and other effortless controlling buttons, you can make your favorite cup of joe in no time. So, if you are too busy to make a great shot of espresso by taking some time then this is a machine for you.
Besides, if you love to drink Americano along with Coffee, Espresso, Latte, or Cappuccino you can make each of them by pressing certain buttons. There’s a separate hot water spout, especially for making Americano and Tea. You can even get on-demand hot water while making hot chocolate or oatmeal.
Enough talking about who should buy a Barista Express, let’s talk about who shouldn’t go for this machine.
First, if you are starting your brewing journey this machine may look a bit pricey for you. Moreover, we won’t recommend you go for such machines at the beginning if you want to learn some brewing skills. Rather we would recommend you purchase an entry-level semi-automatic espresso machine and gain some brewing knowledge by playing with that.
This machine is also not good for a high-end cafe where a skilled barista needs to make cup after cup in a short amount of time. As this machine is a single boiler machine, therefore, you can’t make coffee and steam milk at the same time which is essential for a busy coffee shop.
Why is the coffee puck wet?
When a coffee puck is wet, in most cases, nothing is broken. All you have to do is put the right amount of coffee in the filter. Or, maybe the coffee is too fine. Work on these two and the puck will no longer be wet.
What is the difference between the 860 and 870 models?
Apparently, the 870 model has a better Thermo-coil design. This makes the 870 more durable and also better at its job.
Can you program it?
Apparently, the 870 model has a better Thermo-coil design. This makes the 870 more durable and also better at its job.
Does the Breville Barista Express come with a milk jug?
Yes. The Breville Barista Express comes with a nice-looking Milk Jug along with a packet of cleaning tablets, a rubber gasket, a cleaning pin, a descaling solution, and 4 different filter baskets within the box.
What is the best grind setting for Breville Barista Express?
Depending on the type of coffee you want to make using your Barista Express you can adjust the grind settings. However, since this machine is especially an espresso machine, you can try 4-6 for getting a great espresso with some rich crema on top. For coffee and americano, you can go for a bit coarser grind size, but it’s all up to your preferences. You can adjust the settings in reaching your desired taste profile.
When should I start my espresso shot at Breville Barista Express?
It would be better to turn the machine ON at least 20-25 minutes prior to making the espresso. In order to taste a great espresso, getting the ideal temperature is a must. That’s why we would recommend you let it sit for about 25 minutes to warm it up. Make sure to place your serving vessels at the top of the machine(on the cup warmer).
How long does the Breville Barista Express last?
If you take proper maintenance of your Barista Espresso espresso machine it can last up to 5-10 years or even more. So, in order to enjoy the long-lasting durability of your espresso machine, make sure to clean and descale it on a regular basis. Also, don’t forget to insert the water filter inside the water tank.
From the Breville espresso machine bes870xl review, you can quite understand that this espresso machine requires a lot of effort from its user. If you want to make your coffee precisely the way you like it, every time then this is for you. Moreover, if you love the process of making coffee, then this machine is for you. Otherwise, you might get fed up programming this machine before every cup. It is quite a valuable unit as long as you take good care of it.