Coffee-making is an art form. And for many coffee lovers, there’s more to it than brewing a cup and drinking it.
Fortunately, coffee aficionados don’t have to go to expensive coffee shops and specialty cafes just to imbibe their favorite brew. It’s entirely possible to make your own signature cup of joe from the comfort of your homes with a trusty coffee maker.
Enter the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Review
Founded in 1932 in Sydney, Australia, Breville is a small kitchen appliances maker. The company became a popular household name when they created the original sandwich toaster back in 1974. It was such a big hit that for a long time, Breville became the generic term for a sandwich toaster.
Since then, Breville has traded in over 30 countries worldwide. They also launched other product lines that include grills, kettles, microwaves, juicers, deep fryers, blenders, food processors and yes, espresso machines.
The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is just one of the many superb products Breville has to offer. And what a product it is!
Once you get the machine, you’ll find that unboxing is quite easy. Everything is actually packed well. And it’s not very difficult to take anything apart or put them together. The user manual that comes with the package is written in such a way that it’s easy to follow.
You’ll be pleased to find that the Barista Express is built very well, too. There are no cheap plastics. It comes in three colors- stainless steel, cranberry red and black sesame. For the purposes of this review, we went with the stainless one. It’s the one that looks best on our kitchen counter.
If you’re a total newbie at making espressos however, you might find that it can take you a few tries to get the machine to produce a cup to your specific liking. Make no mistake, the machine is easy to use. All the parts are easily accessible. We needed to put water in from under the countertop and all we needed to do was pull the machine out. Actually, we could’ve turned the machine sideways and we’d still be good.
However, it did take us more than a few days to properly gauge what pressure will produce the best espresso. And while a burr grinder that’s built in is a welcome touch, we also had some trouble getting the right amount in to prevent spilling over.
Many coffee machines do not come with burr grinders. You’d have to buy those separately, or have your coffee beans ground at the shop where you bought it. Of course, you’d find that nothing beats the flavor of freshly ground beans. That’s what makes the Breville Barista Express so good. The burr grinder directly feeds the grounds into the container where you make the espresso in.
It doesn’t change the fact though, that even with the most minimal coffee beans to grind, the automatic grinder settings kept resulting in a slight overflow.
So yes, you can adjust a whole lot of stuff on this machine – grind fineness, ground amount, how hard you tamp the grounds, water amount, water temperature, manual shot length, etc., it will take some trial and error to get everything going smoothly.
For a while, we even had to resort to starting and stopping the grinder manually to control it. Once we got the hang of doing things though, everything was a breeze and we managed to produce cup after perfect cup of coffee.
Customer service is also awesome! Many products only offer good support pre-sale. Not Breville. Their technical support line is always staffed with friendly and helpful people that are willing and able to answer every concern.
Over-all, the Breville Barista Express Coffee Machine may take a while to learn to use, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a great coffee-making companion. It’s not perfect but it’s good value for your money.
- Good value for money
- Fabulous design
- Easy to use once you get the hang of it
- Built in grinder makes it convenient
- Adjustable grind settings
- Good customer service support
- It might take a while to learn and make the machine work to your specifications
- Grinder setting isn’t very accurate
- Dimensions: 13.2 x 12.5 x 15.8 inches
- Weight: 23 pounds
- Input Power: 1600 watts
- Water tank capacity: 2L (67 fl oz.)
Features of Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
- 15 Bar Italian Pump
- 1600W Thermo coil heating system
- Purge function: automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature
- Stainless steel conical burr grinder with ½ pound sealed bean hopper
- Grind size dial
- Grind amount dial
- Hands-free grinding cradle
- Espresso pressure gauge
- Volumetric control
- Sry puck feature for removing excess water from filter baskets
- Hot water outlet
- Stainless steel 360˚
- swivel-action steam wand
- Cup warming tray
- Removable drip tray
- “Sleep Mode” and “Auto Off Mode”
- Breville Assist Plug
- BPA Free
- Stainless Steel
- Black Sesame
- Cranberry Red
The package comes with the Breville Barista Express Coffee Machine, a user guide/manual and the following accessories:
- Patented Razor dose trimming tool
- 54mm stainless steel portafilter
- Single and double wall filter baskets (1 & 2 cup)
- Coffee scoop
- Integrated tamper
- Stainless steel milk jug
- Cleaning discs and tablets
- Cleaning brush, tool and Allen key
- Water filter holder and water filter
Additional accessories that can be bought separately include:
- Breville Barista-Style Coffee Knock Box
- Breville 8-Pack Espresso Cleaning Tablets
- Charcoal Water Filters
- Beverage & Frothing Thermometer
- Stainless Steel Frothing Pitcher