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Breville BES870XL Espresso Machine - Pros and Cons From an Owner

Updated on August 6, 2017

Breville - The Barista Express

Breville BES870XL Features

  • 15 Bar (220Psi) Italian pump
  • 1600 Watt Thermo coil heating system
  • Automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for ultimate espresso extraction temperature
  • Stainless steel integrated burr grinder with 1/2 lb sealed bean hopper. Uses frshly ground beans for each new cup.
  • Grind size and grind amount selector dials - so you can choose from fine to coarse.
  • 67oz (2 litre) removable water tank with replaceable water filter.
  • Volumetric control - preset for one or two cups.
  • Clean me light - indicates when the BES870XL requires cleaning.
  • Removable drip tray - for both wet and dry spills.
  • Dimensions: 23 lbs. 13 inches x 12 inches x 16 inches.

What it comes with:

  • Dose trimming tool
  • Stainless steel portafilter
  • Single wall filter baskets (one and two cups)
  • Dual wall filter cups (one and two cups)
  • Coffee scoop
  • Integrated tamper
  • Stainless steel milk jug
  • Cleaning disc and tablets
  • Cleaning brush, tool and allen key
  • Water filter holder and carbon resin water filter

What we like about the BES870XL

My wife prefers cappuccinos while I prefer expressos. We had an older model Deloghni that I've got to say was on the cheap end when we bought it so we decided to upgrade to the newer BES870XL. We liked the idea of having an integrated grinder and the ability to have a lot more finer adjustments.

We've had it for about 6 months now and the coffee we make is just so much better and quicker than the cheaper Deloghni we had. Cappuccinos don't appeal to me at all but expressos do and after about two weeks of experimenting I reckon I can make the best espresso now that I've ever had. For the price of this and when I've finished my espresso to have crema on the side of my cup I find pretty amazing. I let my wife make her own cappuccinos and she says the same thing. She says its best to half fill the cup with milk. It takes her a couple of minutes to foam a cup which is a lot longer than a coffee shop but as their machines can be $5000 and up we're pretty happy with that.

Plus, the BES870XL is a thing of stainless steel beauty on our kitchen bench. Its much easier to clean than our last model and its heavy, so when you're playing around with different shots it doesn't swing forward or sideways at you.

It will make a mess but when you take a look at the price that's to be expected. If you want mess free - go pay three times what the Breville costs.

The grinder is not the best but its not bad either. Can grind to super fine and fairly rapidly to. It can be opened up and cleaned to which is great. Its got a hopper so unused beans can be taken out and put back in their container. What we found works best with the grinder is to start course and then work your way down to fine. Doesn't take as long as it sounds and you'll end up with perfect fine grind coffee.

The temperature control for the price of this thing is incredible. You can turn it up or down by 2° increments. Now that can really make a difference to the taste of your espresso.

My wife's even getting some pretty good looking leaf patterns on her cappuccinos now.

What's wrong with the BES870XL

  1. Water tank at the back. Makes cleaning difficult if the only place for your Breville is on the bench and underneath some kitchen cupboards.
  2. It can create quite a mess. Even though its got a drip tray under it I seem to miss that most of the time.
  3. Does require cleaning quite often (about every two weeks). The BES870XL has as one of its features a light that comes on to say 'clean me.' It does come with cleaning tablets and they're cheap and readily available.
  4. Took awhile to get used to the settings to make great coffee. We found a lot of that was the beans we initially bought. You've got to shop around and get the best for what you want and then you'll be rewarded. Can be expensive at the start with a lot of wasted shots.
  5. Sometimes the grinder keeps clogging up on us. Could be the beans we are using though. Also sometimes the grinder spills over.
  6. Don't expect a piping hot cup of coffee. Its hot enough though. We fill our cups with boiling water before to warm them and that seems to make a big difference.
  7. Remember that the Breville BES870XL is a single boiler so it will either make a shot or froth milk but not both. We put up with that as a double boiler is a lot more money.


Conclusion

We highly recommend the Breville based on its price point. In its range it has a staggering amount of features and makes a truly great cup of coffee. Its not in the same league as the barista machines down at your favorite cafe but remember their's cost at least six times more. With a few weeks practice you'll be stunned at how well you can make a genuinely great cup of coffee and after awhile you might start getting creative and design some latte art.

We had one occasion to call the Breville support and they were truly amazing. We had a steam pressure problem or thought we had. The support rep patiently took us right through and solved everything for us. Our fault, not theirs.


We bought ours from Amazon. Looking around they seemed the cheapest. It came with a twelve month warranty and free shipping. It was delivered to our front door

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    • JerryFisher profile image
      Author

      Jerry Fisher 3 years ago from Wellington

      Yeah you can also spend a lot too. When we first bought this I can't tell you how many shots went down the drain because they were either too weak or too strong. Took us about a week to get it right. Thanks for your comment though.

    • javr profile image

      javr 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You can really save a lot on your coffee habit if you have this Breville machine. Thanks for the information Jerry.