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Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
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- 15 Bar Italian Pump and 1600W Thermo coil heating system
- Purge Function: Automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature
- Stainless steel conical burr grinder with 1/2 lb. sealed bean hopper; Voltage: 110 - 120 Volts
- 67 fl.oz (2L) removable water tank with handle
- Newer model of the Breville BES860XL Barista Express
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From the manufacturer
In-Built Conical Grinder
The in-built conical burr grinder allows you to grind only what you need directly into the portafilter. It's fully adjustable in grind size and dose, so you can tweak to taste.
Precision Dosing, Precise Temperature
The patented Razor dosing tool trims the puck for consistent extraction, while PID digital temperature control delivers accurate water temperature throughout the extraction.
Pre-set single or double shot settings can be programmed to customize your shot volume.
Low Pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start for a more even extraction.
All The Accessories You Need
- Precision Razor dose trimming tool.
- Single & Dual Wall filter baskets (4).
- Stainless steel milk jug.
- Water filter holder & filter.
- Cleaning Kit.
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|Heating Technology||Thermoblock||Thermoblock||Thermocoil||Thermocoil||Dual Stainless Boilers||Dual Stainless Boilers|
|Low Pressure Pre-Infusion / Even Extraction||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|PID Control for Temperature Stability||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Steam Wand Details||Adjustable||Adjustable||Adjustable||Adjustable||Adjustable (3 hole tip, 360 swivel)||Adjustable (4 hole tip, programmable temp & texture). Simultaneous steam. Automatic or Manual|
|Programmable Volume Shot||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Hot Water Function||✔||Y - dedicated dispenser||✔||Y - dedicated dispenser||Y - dedicated dispenser|
|Heated Group Head (Group Head Size)||N (50 mm)||N (54 mm)||N (54 mm)||N (54 mm)||Y (58 mm)||Y (58 mm)|
|Integrated Conical Burr Grinder & Capacity||Y (1/2 lb)||Y (1/2 lb)|
|Bars of Pressure & Wattage||15 Bars, 1,000 Watts||15 Bars, 1,600 Watts||15 Bars, 1,600 Watts||15 Bars, 1,600 Watts||15 Bars, 1,700 Watts||15 Bars, 1,800 Watts|
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Fresh is Best
In the world of coffee, freshness can be measured in seconds. By the time even five minutes has passed, ground beans have started to lose their flavor. Grinding beans every time you want fresh espresso takes time, though, and oftentimes it becomes a tradeoff between taste and convenience. The Breville Barista Express solves this problem, delivering fresh, quality espresso at remarkable speed, thanks to its integrated burr grinder. Go from beans to espresso in under a minute—all in the comfort of your own home.
Café quality espresso in your home
Espresso making is notorious for being both an art and a science, requiring you to carefully adjust each of the inputs (grind size, grind amount, etc.). But even complete beginners and aspiring baristas can pull a perfect shot from the Breville Barista Express. For beginners, it comes with two dual-wall, pressurized filters that regulate pressure and help optimize the extraction. For more experienced baristas, the Barista Express includes two single-wall, non-pressurized filters that give you more room to experiment with different grind sizes, grind amounts, and tamping pressure. As either a crash-course or a continuation study, the Barista Express gives you free rein to explore the art of espresso.
In addition to its integrated burr grinder, the Breville Barista Express has an Italian-manufactured 15 bar pump and thermocoil heating system that ensures accurate regulation of water temperature for a full-flavored espresso. A pre-brew function and flat shower head make sure that the water is optimally distributed through the coffee puck. The Barista Express also has several helpful features, such as a cup warmer on the top of the machine and a feature that removes excess water from the filter basket after coffee extraction, so the used grounds form a dry puck for quicker cleanup. Lastly, it has a stainless steel 360 degree swivel-action steam wand for lattes and cappuccinos.
For beginners and aspiring baristas alike, the Barista Express makes good espresso accessible and easy to make.
Designed with the consumer in mind
The Breville Barista Express is built from high-quality materials so the resulting machine is as sturdy as possible. No-slip feet keep the machine from sliding across the counter when the burr grinder is activated. The Barista Express is housed in a sleek stainless steel casing, making it an attractive and timeless addition to any kitchen. The entire unit is easy to clean and comes with a hideaway storage compartment for the included cleaning tools, in addition to an easily removable drip tray.
- Integrated conical burr grinder and half-pound bean hopper: stainless steel conical burrs optimize extraction of flavor from the bean by maximizing the surface area of the grinds. Use freshly ground beans for every shot for more full espresso flavor. Hopper has locking system for easy removal, storage and transfer of coffee beans.
- Grind size and grind amount selector dials: choose among grind settings from fine to coarse and adjust the amount of freshly ground espresso dosed into the filter basket.
- Filter size button: indicate whether you are using a single- or double-wall filter basket and the grinder will dispense the required amount of ground coffee for the appropriate filter type.
- 54mm tamper: for expert tamping control. With magnetized storage, but removable for easy tamping.
- Hands-free grinding cradle: push portafilter into cradle and freshly ground espresso will be dispensed directly into the filter. Grinder automatically stops when the indicated amount has been dispensed.
- 54mm stainless steel portafilter: with commercial style spouts.
- 67 fl. oz. removable water tank: top-fill tank with replaceable water filter to reduce impurities and scale.
- Volumetric control: preset 1 and 2 cup volumes, manual over-ride, or reprogrammable shot volumes.
- Espresso pressure gauge: monitors espresso extraction pressure.
- Thermocoil heating system: integrated stainless steel water coil accurately controls water temperature.
- Clean me light: indicates when a cleaning cycle is required. Cleaning kit included.
- 360-degree swivel action steam wand: for effortless milk texturing.
- Auto purge function: automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature.
- Removable drip tray: partitioned for both wet and dry spills, with 'Empty me!' indicator for when it’s full.
Top customer reviews
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Original Review and Tips:
I love this thing. I've been using it multiple times a day for almost a year I think. Every day it makes amazing espresso, and as long as I keep it clean it preforms beautifully. This thing is also easier to maintain and requires less cleaning than other cheaper espresso machines I've tried.
A tip for anyone looking to make actual espresso at home, I recommend looking for a local roastery in your area. I use to buy bulk beans online like many people, but once I tried local whole beans and found a blend I liked, the difference was amazing. Bean choice is very important if you actually want to enjoy your espresso!
A few tips I picked up for using this machine:
1. A few people complained about the grind amount knob not going low enough. To counteract this, I changed the cup size to "Single" and increased the grind amount by turning the knob to the right. This gives me the perfect amount of ground coffee every time.
2. If the machine keeps going over or under on the pressure gauge, try cleaning the grinder. And remember to clean with those desolvable tablets when the clean me light comes on!
3. You can get cheap replacement cleaning tablets here on amazon. I chose Urnex Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets here on amazon, and they work great!
4. You do not need to order a separate tamper, the one included is perfect.
5. The included frothing cup is small but works for me. Some might need a bigger one.
6. Do not underestimate the need for a burr grinder. Trying to make good espresso without one is like trying to hammer a nail with an inflatable hammer!
Some of the features I love (Pros)*
1) The grinder. I know many would rather use a separate burr grinder, but this thing works perfectly fine, and is easy to clean. Many complained about the coffee machine heating up the beans too much if you leave them inside the hopper, but I actually store my beans in a special container outside of the hopper, and use the included the scoop to pour in the beans when I grind them.
2) The frother is amazing. Much much better than cheaper machines.
3) Clean me light is awesome. Always reminds me to keep up on this things maintenance, and helps prolong the life.
4) The Stainless steel is beautiful. (It is not 100% stainless on the outside though, a little bit of plastic, see cons.)
5) The pressure gauge. Absolutely invaluable in making good tasting espresso. I would not recommend buying any machine without one. It really helps with learning and getting it right!
6) The included tamper is perfect.
7) Creates perfect pucks of coffee to dumb out in the trash.
8) The hot water dispenser is an awesome addition!
9) Is an all-in-one, meaning I don't need to buy a separate grinder!
10) Just makes good coffee.
11) Great manual included for lots of useful information.
12) Has an automated cleaning cycle to clean the insides of the grouphead. Awesome!
14) Includes a beautiful copper dosing tool.
15) Includes tools to clean out the filters.
Some things that bother me (Cons)*
1)The top of the machine is plastic.
2) The bottom sides of the machine is plastic
3) The water tank needs to be refilled often
4) The bottom water catcher thing (sorry) needs to be emptied often, but its not too bad.
5) The coffee grind separator doesn't really seem to help much, but it does help keep it out of the water below and little bit, which keeps it from smelling!
6) Expensive, but to me, was a very worthwhile investment for how much coffee I was buying from the shop.
7) Can't seem to find inexpensive filters for the water tank, however, I use filtered water instead of tap.
*Might add more later as I think of them!
This thing is also great for making sweet frappicinos and iced drinks.
For caramel flavored drinks I use Hershey's Caramel Syrup
For vanilla flavored drinks I use Torani Vanilla Syrup that I get cheaply from a bulk wholesale store in my town.
For my sweet drink of choice I mix the two, add a double shot of espresso, 2% milk, and top with whipped cream and caramel syrup.
Nothing beats a great espresso in the morning!
Added tons of pictures.
Edit: It seems quite a few people had problems with the machine dying on them, If your machine died on your please comment on this review with any information you think may help, such as the level of maintenance you preformed while your machine was working, the brand of water filters and cleaning tablets you used, etc.
Maybe we can find a common cause of this defect!
My background- I am not a hardcore espresso drinker. I had a $30 Mr Coffee machine, then when that started acting up replaced it with a $150 Cuisinart that served well for about 6 years. I used pre-ground coffee with those machines. I'm not one for straight up espresso or plain lattes/cappuccinos. I like my drinks sweeter- mint mochas, caramel, white raspberry, etc. I did work at a coffee cart for a couple years in college, though I was the first employee, so my training may have been lacking.
I would say in general this is a great machine, assuming- 1. You have proper expectations, 2. The machine you get doesn't have a breakdown.
For expectations, here's what I believe to be reasonable for this machine-
-It will make a mess. If you're looking for a mess free experience, you may want to double or triple your spending and look at fully automated machines.
-You are not a hardcore espresso drinker who is looking for the perfect shot and the best components for the money. To get that, you should be looking at separate grinders and espresso machines most likely totaling more than this.
-You are looking for convenience, but something that still leaves some room for experimenting.
-You better be comfortable with having a 2 in 1 machine. If the grinder or the espresso machine goes kerplooey outside of warranty, you have half a machine left. You might look a little silly when friends come over. They'll be expecting something super fancy from you because of all the espresso machines on your counter...
For me this machine has worked great. I am the only coffee drinker in the house, so it is harder for me to justify spending money on high end separate components. For purchases like this, it is possible to use coupons, and I also like to redeem credit card points for gift cards. So when I purchased this machine, I only spent a couple hundred out of pocket for it (if it breaks after 18 months, I'll be sad, but I'll probably buy it again since I didn't `pay' full price for it). I do not have extensive experience with home grinders, so to me, the grinder on the 870 seems sufficient for its purpose. Not a top of the line grinder, but I'm not looking for `perfection', just what tastes good and works well for me. Depending on the beans, I usually have the grind setting somewhere between 4 and 2. Beans have gotten stuck on me twice in the grinder. Both times tapping the side of it freed them up instantly. However, I have to say going from using pre-ground coffee to having a grinder is a huge step up, and I can't imagine going back to pre-ground in the future.
One of the things that really appealed to me about this machine was the pressure gauge. It has worked perfectly for me, with the assumption that it is functioning properly. I've seen some people say they had issues with it not registering any pressure, but it's hard to know their circumstances- beans, grind, tamp, broken gauge, etc. By my third shot I had the pressure well within the ideal range. It is surprising how much adjusting the dosage or grind one step can throw off the pressure. When switching beans, I've had situations where the current settings yielded a little too low pressure. Then I increase the fineness of the grind, and suddenly the pressure is too high, or vice versa. So a lot of the times, to dial it in may require a combination of changing the grind setting, changing the dosage, and adjusting the tamping. However, I've never found it difficult to keep a consistently good shot.
I have not played with the temperature settings on the machine. I did however increase the amount of water for a double shot a bit to compensate for the amount the grounds soak in. I have only used the single wall filters, and to me it seemed easy enough to use them, there is no need to use the double walls.
As for the steaming wand, it also works well and has a metal ball joint, which hopefully means it will last. After 6 years of use, the steam wand just fell off the Cuisinart. I typically steam 20-26 oz of milk, it does take a few minutes. I have also steamed closer to 8-10 oz and heating that amount up was noticeably quick. (I made the mistake of making hot chocolate for my 2 year old when I make coffee, so now the first thing I am tasked with each morning is making hot chocolate...)
Here are some tips that may help-
People mention it makes a mess with coffee grounds overflowing the filter basket. That is to be expected. If you are using the minimal dose amount, there's a good chance you're not using enough grounds. The end of the tamper is silver metal. When tamping, the top of that silver should line up with the top of the filter. For me, that usually ends up being somewhere in the 1:00 position on the dosing dial (this will vary based on beans). There is also an included dosing trimmer, but the 2 times I tried it, it made more of a mess, so I do not use it. If you want to minimize the amount of grounds falling onto the counter, you can rest your index finger cross ways on the front exposed lip of the filter when the grinding process is halfway done. That will let the grounds pile up a little higher and/or fall off to the sides more to stay on the tray, which you can sweep down. After removing the portafilter, I gently push the grounds down into a pyramid shape with the tamper, starting with the most precarious looking side, eventually pushing them down enough that the grounds are lower than the top of the filter except for a small hump in the middle. Then I tap it a few times on the counter to settle them, and proceed to tamp.
The other common complaint I see is that when steaming milk, the first few seconds of the steam is watering down the milk. There is a work around for this. When you turn the steam off, there is supposed to be an 8 second wait before the machine purges, I think it's closer to 5 from my experience. So what I do is turn on the steam with an empty cup under the wand, or a rag, to catch the water. Leave it on for about 20 or 30 seconds until you have nice consistent steam coming out, slide the dial to off, put the wand into the cup of milk and turn the dial back to on, in less than 5 seconds. Once you get used to it after a few times, it's pretty easy. I've only had the machine purge on me twice while steaming. One time was when I turned it on, off, on, off, and on. After I turned it on the 3rd time, it still purged, so it may not work after more than one on-off-on cycle.
I usually run through an empty shot first once the machine is heated and before doing the espresso shot, to heat the components and put the hot water in my coffee cup. On occasion the filter basket will get stuck to the shower head, mostly when it's an empty shot, once in a while when there are coffee grounds in it. If that happens, I just put the portafilter back over the filter about half way up, then give it a little tug and it usually pops off easily.
If you're looking for dry pucks, the key to that is to steam the milk after getting the shot of espresso with the portafilter in place. The steaming process directs pressure to the filter basket, which will squeeze out more water from the grounds. In some cases, the puck is dry enough that it just falls out when I turn it over. Otherwise a tap on the side, then a tap on the face pops it out. I think tapping from 2 angles helps. I've never had a problem with the whole basket popping out. I have dumped grounds without steaming afterwards, and while they were noticeably wetter, when the puck dropped it stayed together as one formed piece instead of falling into pile of mush. That was better than I expected. (I did that last week, knocked over my travel mug while steaming milk, so I needed to do a second shot, now my 2 year old gives me a friendly reminder to not spill my coffee every morning).
For maintenance, I perform the clean cycle with a tablet every 2 months (I average using the machine once a day). The drip tray is a bit of a pain to deal with. It is 3 pieces. However, with the Cuisinart I had, I cleaned the drip tray daily. With the 870, I can go up to 9-10 days before it gets completely full. I usually clean it once a week, so it's more of a pain cleaning 3 pieces, but I do it less often.
I have been very happy with this machine with very few complaints (some issues have been self-inflicted, like forgetting to add water to the tank, it survived). I have to say from my experience, this machine is worth 5 stars. I have not had any issues with it, and have not had to contact Breville. The other thing I noticed on their website is that do they do have a fair amount of replacement/serviceable parts available. The obvious stuff like portafilters, filters, tray pieces, etc. as well as other items like a frothing tip, shower head, and outer burr assembly. The prices on most of the pieces are not outrageous, so that leaves me hope that a year or two down the road as components wear out, it should be possible to replace them yourself and keep the machine running.
Sorry this got long... Hopefully someone finds this information useful, and if you're looking for an easy to use machine that still gives you room to play around with, this is a good one to consider, I highly recommend it. And if you can't trust a random guy from the internet, who can you trust?
Hi, I just wanted to add an Addendum:
I have now been using this machine for 14 months, once daily about 95% of the time, and officially out of warranty. I have no issues to report, as it still works as well as it did when new. The only issue I did run into was doing bulk drinks, 3 cappuccinos back to back to back. By the third shot, after doing espresso-steaming-espresso-steaming-espresso, the machine did lose pressure. I ended up turning it off and back on and redid the third shot without further incidence. Also, I stepped away one time with the steam wand in milk to finish heating it up, and ended up getting distracted and forgetting it. I came back over 10 minutes later with the machine silent and blinking. It appeared it shut itself off after X minutes of steaming for safety reasons, I assume. I had quite the mess and felt a little dumb, but cycled the machine off and on and started over to heat the milk appropriately this time. I change the charcoal filter once every 6 months (water is already filtered), do regular cleaning with the tablet every other month, ran vinegar water through the machine around 12 months, and emptied and cleaned the grinder once per the manual. I still recommend this machine.
Hi, just thought I'd mention I am still using this daily, and have had no issues with it since my last update. Following periodic cleaning recommendations, and it's still working well.
Thanks for the comments on my review. I hope it has been useful for folks. I will add I am still using it regularly, right now down to about 3 times a week (too many kids to get ready in the morning to make anything for myself). I've continued to have good luck with it, just needing to adjust the grinding settings on occasion when switching beans or seasonal changes that affect the house temp and humidity. I've continued with normal maintenance. It did seem the frothing wand was not expressing its usual amount of steam at one point, so I cleaned with it a small little pin, inserting it in the tip (I can't recall if one of those came with this machine or if it was from a previous one, I think one came with it tho, little metal stick in a black plastic thumb drive looking thingy). I decided that would be a good time to follow the maintenance to run a tank of vinegar water through again, then swapped in a new filter for the tank after. I have had no more issues with beans getting stuck in the grinder or any other issues. I hope my experience with the machine up to this point is the norm for most people, as it's been a pretty good machine for me.
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