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Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
|Item Weight||30 Pounds|
|Item Dimensions L x W x H||14.7 x 14.8 x 14.7 inches|
About this item
- Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
- Dual stainless steel boilers and dual Italian pumps for simultaneous espresso extraction and steaming
- Over-Pressure Valve (OPV) limits extraction pressure;Flexible Shot Control
- Electronic PID temperature control for precise water temperature
- Backlit LCD displays brew temperature, shot clock or time.We recommend using cold, filtered water. We do not recommend using water with no or low mineral content
- Includes water hardness test strip, descale alert and LCD assisted descale procedure
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From the manufacturer
Kitchen appliances designed to inspire people to produce perfect food and beverage results in their own homes with ease. From espresso machines to food processors, the innovation in each appliance delights. Breville makes the process a pleasure and the end result perfect, every time.
the Dual Boiler Espresso Machine by Breville, BES920XL
Commercial features and performance, in a domestic foot print.
At the heart of this machine is it's dual boiler heating system. The boiler, for the espresso shot, is PID temperature controlled, while a separate steam boiler offers instant and powerful steam on demand. So you can extract your shot at the right temperature, delivering optimal flavor, while simultaneously steaming your milk to cafe quality.
The 4 keys formula for third wave specialty coffee at home:
- Rich, full flavor
- Perfectly balanced taste
- Irresistible body
- Silky, velvety mouthfeel
The 4 keys formula for third wave specialty coffee at home.
1. Rich, full flavor
Full-bodied coffee with rich and complex flavors is created using the right dose of 19-22g of freshly ground beans. This dose allows the coffee to fully express the incredible aroma, intense flavors and distinctive character of the coffee, for a true cafe quality result. Anything less than the optimal dose results in a weak and watery taste experience.
2. Perfectly balanced taste
Sweet, delicious and nuanced flavor notes begin with precise control over water temperature. Digital temperature control (PID) technology precisely controls water temperature for a perfectly balanced coffee extraction, giving you the control and consistency for delicious tasting coffee every time.
3. Irresistible body
An opulent, creamy and caramel-colored espresso starts with low pressure pre-infusion that soaks the grinds, allowing water to pass evenly through the coffee during the high pressure (9 bar) extraction process, delivered via our 15 bar Italian pump. This results in a rich, sweet and viscous espresso.
4. Silky, velvety mouthfeel
Savor the silky taste and velvety mouthfeel of true microfoam milk. The milk is steamed with pressure that creates thousands of tiny bubbles, enhancing flavor and mouthfeel, while the temperature brings out the milk’s sweetness, exciting your taste buds, for a harmonious blend of rich, sweet milk and syrupy, golden espresso.
Special Features of the Dual Boiler
Precise and Repeatable Extraction
Dual stainless steel boilers and heated group head controlled by digital temperature control brings water to precisely the right temperature (+/- 2⁰F) to extract maximum flavor potential, shot after shot.
Micro-Foam Milk Texturing
Steam wand, powered by a dedicated boiler, delivers micro-foam texture of commercial machines that enhances flavor and is essential for creating latte art.
Allows easy programming and has a shot clock for timing the extraction.
Flexible Shot Control
Choose between one shot, two shots or manual control over how much espresso ends up in your cup for the perfect dose every time.
|the Bambino Plus||the Infuser||the Barista Express||the Barista Touch||the Dual Boiler||the Oracle|
|Interface||Button Control||Analog Gauge Button Control||Analog Gauge Button Control||Swipe & Select Touch Screen||Analog Gauge Button Control||LCD Screen; Button Control|
|Hands on like a barista||-||✓||✓||-||✓||-|
|Cafe Quality Microfoam||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Precise Milk Temperature, Automatically||✓||-||-||✓||-||✓|
|3 Second Heat Up||✓||-||-||✓||-||-|
|Good for Entertaining||-||-||-||✓||✓||✓|
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Kitchen Kapers||Natural Green Products||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Color||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Metallic||Stainless||Stainless|
|Material||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||—||—|
The Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler offers commercial features and performance, in a domestic footprint. Espresso perfection requires precision temperature and pressure control, consistently, every time. At the heart of this machine is its dual stainless steel boiler heating system. The espresso boiler, for the espresso shot, is PID temperature controlled, while a separate steam boiler offers instant and powerful steam on demand. So you can extract your shot at the right temperature, delivering optimal flavor, while simultaneously steaming your milk to cafe quality. What's more, there is another element in the group head, ensuring the entire system maintains a consistent temperature. The Dual Boiler also features an Over Pressure Valve (OPV) which limits the maximum pressure throughout the extraction, preventing bitter flavors in the shot. It also offers a true low pressure pre-infusion, which gradually increases the pressure to gently expand the grinds for an even extraction. But there's much more to this machine for the coffee geek. Brew temperature and pre-infusion pressure and duration are all programmable. At the same time we've kept it simple with user-friendly features. An optional Auto Start setting preheats the machine at a programmed time; a top-fill 84 oz. (2.5L) water tank ensures easy access; and the dedicated hot water outlet makes it faster to preheat cups and prepare an Americano. There is also a shot clock and pressure gauge to help you improve your barista skills over time. The new Dual Boiler now includes a descaling function for cleaning at home, a Razor Dosing Tool for precision dosing and consistent extraction, plus a 2 year limited warranty. All you'll need are some freshly ground beans and a bit of practice to rival the best cafe.
Made in China Settings: *Manual or Automatic Single & Double Shot Setting. *Personalised Temperature Settings. *Voltage: 110 - 120 Volts. *Power: 1700 Watts. *Dimension: 16¼" x 15" x 15". *Warranty: 2 Year Repair Warranty. *Metal hook and lacing eyelet for secure lacing. Pre Infusion Function -Gradually increases water pressure to gently expand grinds for an even extraction.
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Let’s start with what’s good:
+The machine is capable of producing excellent espresso when the operator has a bit of practice. There is a lot to know about making good espresso but also tons of great reasources out there. Read up and watch videos, I won’t go into all that here...
+Produces excellent steam that’s controlled with a smooth lever
+Fairly compact for being a double boiler
+Precise control over tons of variables: volumetric or time based shots, brew temp, preinfusion pressure, preinfusion brew time and wait time, and others! We basically go back to the idea here that it makes wonderful espresso and you can really play with these variables and see a noticeable difference in flavor.
+Auto on - I didn’t use this feature as I work varying shifts but a nice feature none the less
+Auto-fill - great feature so consumers don’t burn up their boiler
+Double boiler- consistent brew temps for your espresso and a separate boiler for your steam. This allows for brewing and steaming at the same time.
Ok so sounds like the best machine ever, right? Well unfortunately it has major internal build quality problems. I purchased my original machine in August and only four months later and I’m on my third machine (which I sold on Craig’s because I don’t want to deal with sending another machine back to Breville- with my luck it’d be two days after the 2 year warranty expired).
My first machine had a problem where it wouldn’t hold consistent pressure. After doing my routine to get the machine dialed in, I found the machine was acting up when I was in the sweet spot. When pulling a shot at 9 bars, the pressure would bounce all over. The pressure gauge would bounce back and forth from 6 bars to 9 bars durning shot extraction. Sure, I could grind my coffee more course so that the pressure would be less but this would cause my shot to extract too quickly. After talking with Breville, they confirmed the problems over the phone (the rep could hear the pump oscillating) and sent out a new machine.
Second machine comes. From day one, I felt that inserting the portafilter felt a bit more stiff but didn’t really think about it too much. After about a month of use, I was pushing the portafiler in and pulling it out. Usually, if one twists the portafilter to the insert position it wouldn’t stay there and instead would fall out of the group. In my machine after a months use, I was wiggling the portafilter to try and get it out. I thought that maybe there was something in the group so I removed the shower screen and dispersion disk. While doing this I found that there is a plasic piece that holds the porafilter in place. This plastic piece must have swollen and made it difficult to get the portafilter in and out.
When I took out off the shower screen, you really start to see all the plasic that goes into the machine. The Group collar (piece that malfunctioned on my machine), dispersion screen, and top of the group head are all plastic!!! Plastic and 200+ degree water aren’t a good mixture. It’s quite unfortunate because folks are spending a lot of money on these machines thinking that they’re getting a quality product that will last for years and years. Parts are few and far between and once the machine is out of warranty, you are required to spend a few hundred to send it back or buy something new.
I think Breville should focus a little less on trying to pack as many features into the machine as possible and instead focus on increasing the quality of the companants that they put into the machine. I may be out of the norm here, but when purchasing products I want them to last. I want the ability to repair them or take them somewhere to have them repaired. So many products are designed to be thrown away and personally I will be paying more attention to this in future purchases!
Help keep junk out of the landfills and look for a machine that is built to last. My hunt my my next espresso machine is on!
Please let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to help answer as best I can.
So here's the first point - this machine, the 920xl, is a slightly upgraded version of the 900xl. Breville has added the ability to drain the boiler for shipping and at-home descaling to this version, plus a few minor other tweaks. Therefore, the reviews on the 900xl are still applicable, with the exception that you can now descale locally. There are a ton more reviews there, which you may want to check out since this is basically the same machine.
Pros: Great machine in this price range, great espresso, pretty easy to use, pretty consistent, GREAT features, good customer service.
Cons: Some components a little cheap. This is the BIGGEST DRAWBACK...read more about it in the construction section below. And it's a BIG machine with a high counter clearance. It's also a bit of a power hog.
Why only three stars? I'd go 3 1/2, but the tendency for these machines to fail for me is a pretty big ding. I don't mind some maintenance costs once it's out of warranty, but I don't want a $1200 paperweight.
So here's my top complaint, and it applies to most everything Breville builds. The engineering is well thought-out, but it's not the highest quality. It's not exactly cheap, but I'm not convinced that Breville builds things to last.
To be more specific, my first 900xl lasted about a year and then the pump slowly lost power so that the machines maxed out at five bars. Not good. I called Breville, and their customer service was AWESOME. I got a rep within two minutes, and they swapped the machines out. No worries.
When the 920 came out, I upgraded. Then a few months later, a plastic piece around the group head failed, chipping so that the machine could no longer maintain pressure, and sprayed hot water and grounds everywhere. To be as specific as possible, the portafilter has the two metal notches that slide into the group head to lock it into place. There is a black plastic/rubber piece that sits between the metal group head and portafilter. This cracked and shed a small, 2 mm section, rendering the machine unusable. Again Breville shipped out a replacement asap. That one encountered a similar problem and they send a third, which is working fine.
So here's my dilemma - I love this machine and its features. However, I feel like Breville has opted for cheaper internal parts and components to keep this thing in this price range. I am not sure that any of these units are going to be in operation in ten years. For my next espresso machine, I will definitely do some research and see if I can find a solidly-constructed alternative that might feature fewer nifty perks, but which might last much longer. I'm not a fan of large applianced failing once a year, then having to go into the shop.
That said, Breville says that the 920xl resolves some of these issues - a new portafilter design and a few other changes probably speak to their experience with the 900xl's. For example, they new include "THE RAZOR" (cue dramatic sting music), a gold-colored metal piece you run over the loaded portafilter in order to ensure your dose isn't too large. Since the group head still seems to include the cheapy plastic, THE RAZOR (dum dum DUM) should help users extend the life of the machine by not putting undo pressure on that piece.
Okay, so that covers all the "bad news" with this machine, which represents to me the worst drawback. For those still interested in this machine, which is indeed an espresso powerhouse, let's move on to other features.
I find the Breville easy to use, generally, and it makes great espresso. I think coffee snobs might say more, but anyone wanting espresso that looks and tastes just like "what I had in Italy" should really move up to $3000 machines (or move to Italy). In this price range, the Breville reigns as a machine that can consistently put out shots that are 95% as good as those Italian cafe espressos.
In general, we've found that this machine handles about 80% of the roasts we've tried well. This probably has more to do with the coffee than the machine, and this 4/5th figure is not at all a complaint...some roasts are just going to brew better. The "rejected" roasts might be a new blend we try from Kuma Coffee or a local roaster, and then find the crema is a little thin or the flavor flat. When this has happened, moving to another roast has always been successful. When trying a new roast, I can usually find the right dose/grind/tamp in three tries, and once this is established the Breville will almost always hit the 9-9.5 bar "sweet spot." And this is important - unlike some machines, I find the Breville to be more consistent. If you pay attention to what you're doing, it's going to pull a good shot every morning.
I like the steam wand; it produces nicely textured milk. And I can get a nice foam on 1% and soy milk, which I think is an accomplishment. The steam is a "drier" steam, so that the machine doesn't dump a lot of water into your milk.
The steaming does run a little slower than some machines, which some reviewers complain about. For me personally, because this is a dual boiler I find I can start the steaming while I tamp and grind, and it doesn't really slow me down. It's probably about a minute to steam milk from fridge to 150 degree micro foam.
I've owned several Breville appliances, and I find that one of the most unique aspects to their design process is that they really think a machine through. This holds true in the Breville Dual Boiler 920XL, and the features combined make this a fun little machine to own. You can read Breville's advertising for comprehensive info, but these are the features that I personally appreciate when I'm making espresso:
Dual boiler: you really can pull shots and steam simultaneously, and when I'm making after dinner espressos/cappuccinos/lattes for a dinner party the Breville brews and steams as fast as I can grind and tamp, ha.
Large water reservoir with rear and top loading.
Programming features: I use the auto-on timer every day and it's great. I also use the programmable shot volume and adjustable brew temperature.
Hot water spout: I didn't think it would be as big a deal as it is, but at dinner parties I turn the Breville on and my guests pour their own hot tea all night.
Others: the magnetic tamper is a great feature, and I absolutely rely on the locking wheel rolling feature, which makes cleaning the machine and counter ten times easier.
Size and power consumption
This section doesn't contain complaints so much as an FYI to potential buyers. First, the Breville 920xl takes up a fair bit of counter space. It's also quite tall for an espresso machine. Make sure to measure before buying, ESPECIALLY if you want to take advantage of heating cups on top of the unit. You'll need a lot of clearance. That said, the height has advantages. A full-size mug easily fits under the portafilter during brewing, so I can pull a shot right into the drinking cup and then add milk for a cappuccino or espresso. This is kinda nice, since you lose crema if you pour a shot from a shot glass into a mug (or at least I do).
The Breville is also a power hog...something I find to be true of every Breville appliance. The product info says 1700 watts...which is quite a lot. This isn't a concern so much in terms of total power consumption for me - I turn it on, use it and turn it off, and the fact that it heats so quickly probably saves energy in the long run. And it does have a power save "sleep mode." However, if I turn my 920xl on at the same time I'm using my Breville Smart Toaster Oven (also awesome), I KNOW I'm risking a blown breaker, ha.
Compared to other Breville espresso machines
Personally, I think this is the best in the Breville espresso line. I do not like the lower end models, and find the better quality and features of the 920xl to be totally worthwhile.
Oddly, I also prefer the 920xl to the Breville Oracle Dual Boiler, just out summer 2014. The Oracle adds some nifty features - in-machine grinding and auto-tamping, a nifty high-tech wonder-steaming wand and some other stuff. I went to use the Oracle a couple of times to see if I wanted to upgrade, and I don't find it worth the extra money, honestly. I felt like the in-machine grind and tamp helped make the process cleaner, without the inevitable coffee ground mess, but I also felt like I lost a lot of control. There's no way to adjust the dose, so you get what you get. However, if I learn that the Oracle is somehow constructed with better parts than the 920xl, I'd take another look at it.
If you've read this far, I hope the review helped. The Breville 920xl is a great (not so) little machine, capable of pulling great shots and performing pretty consistently. I've used my 900 and 920 to pull about six shots a day for years (not all for me, ha) and it's a fun, efficient machine to use.
You bottom-line pros are that it makes great espresso via a powerful dual boiler, and then all the features. This sets it apart in this price range. The only true con is that I'm not sure it's built to last, so if you're a buyer who'd rather have a machine that last years and years with fewer features, you might look elsewhere.
Top international reviews
Unfortunately within 2-3 months we had a problem with the portafilter. Our problem initially seemed to be only when we used the single shot basket in the portafilter. After pulling a single shot, the basket would get stuck in the machine when we removed the portafilter.
Odly, the double shot basket seemed okay.
We thought maybe there was a defect with either the spring or the baskets that you insert in the portafilter.
So we contacted Brevill Canada directly and after emailing them a video of the issue, the sent us a replacement portafilter, spring, and both single and double shot baskets.
Unfortunately, within a couple weeks we were experiencing the same issues again.
To add to this, the machine seems to make one heck of an unhealthy noise when we make a shot. It sounds like a bad pump or something.
The machine is easy to use and we love our other Breville products. But with this double broiler coffee machine... at this point I’d rather have my money back and look for something else. We are sadly disappointed.
This machine as EVERYTHING and more! it's very esthetic, looks massive without being massive and the software is completely intuitive...it's just perfect. the Portafilter is Heavy and feels really great, even the little tamper does a great job. from unboxing to operation....not even 20minutes. it's all there, on a big paper and in sequence...you can get it on without any drama!
UPDATE ON FROTHING: I got it!!!! it took me a little while (maybe 10 times) but I started being able to do micro-bubbles and now even heavier bubbles for cap. the steamer works great!!!
if you can't afford a 3000$+ machine (like me)....and want a machine that can actually deliver the same results.... THIS IS IT ! it may not last 20years like a 5000$ machine...but it does it all right now.
VERY IMPORTANT: Do not cheap out on the grinder......I did (dose control) and I will have to buy another one (definitely not breville).