In-Depth Breville Bes870xl Review Introduction
Now that you’ve discovered a real passion for great coffee, it’s time to junk your entry level espresso machine and trade up to something a bit snazzier!
A good quality, upper budget espresso machine can start at this price tag– making this Breville slightly eye watering; however, it’s a fantastic machine and really impressed everyone who used it during our test.
If you work on the premise that a great cup of coffee costs about $5 from your local café, it doesn’t take too many per day before this machine begins to pay its own way, something to keep in mind when looking for your next upgrade.
One thing you will notice straight away if you’re coming from an entry level coffee machine, is the fact the Breville is more complicated to get up and running. This is par for the course with high-end upwards machines as the entire process of making your brew is upgraded.
With espresso machines in this price bracket, there’s no single feature that improves the quality of coffee you produce; numerous smaller improvements and upgrades create the perfect cup.
The control panel is well laid out and offers quality dials you’d expect on a machine like the Breville. Most settings you’ll recognize; however, you’ll also discover settings for filter size, built in grinding and a pressure gauge similar to the ones found on all commercial barista machines.
Heat up time is about 1 minute and 20 seconds, slower than most entry level machines but given the amount of water the Barista Express can hold, it’s not a bad trade off.
Design & Quality
As with most espresso machines in this price range, solid, shiny and polished steel adorns the Breville making it a really pleasant machine to look at. There’s no denying it will make an easy addition to a high-end kitchen and given the current trend for polished aluminium and stainless steel – it should blend in perfectly!
As you should expect from a higher end machine. Fit and finish is absolutely perfect with buttons and knobs that work with a satisfying robustness.
The only drawback we found with the Breville 870XL, was the lack if a dual boiler system. This isn’t a huge issue for the domestic market, although you may find the machine difficult to work with if you run a busy household and have to make many cups of coffee in a short space of time.
As we said, it’s not the end of the world but could put some people off.
We managed to get a test of the Breville over two weeks before updating this Breville Bes870xl review , quite a feat in itself as we generally only get to test coffee machines for a week. However, we had quite high hopes for the Breville so really wanted to get to grips with it and see if it could become one of our top picks!
The Breville does take up more space than a simple ESE pod or single shot espresso machine. This is to be expected as the Breville is a far more complex beast with more features.
Even so, it’s only 13 x 12 x 15 (Approximately) inches so although larger than cheaper espresso machines, it’s not exactly a huge beast either. We found it nestled quite easily into our office kitchen and if it fits there it should fit in your home kitchen with ease!
One of the great things about the Barista Express, is the way it takes a fair chunk of the guesswork out of brews, particularly the grinding. It comes with an inbuilt grinding machine that doesn’t require an awful lot of pre-setting to get the correct grind; that’s not to say you can’t have a play about with it though – this is a machine for the enthusiast barista after all!
During our review we tested the water with a thermometer and discovered a brew temperature of 95.2C – absolute perfect brewing temperature is 96C so we’re pretty impressed the Breville could consistently keep the water within such slight tolerances.
The hopper for coffee beans is located on top of the machine, slightly offset to the left and front, making a refill nice and easy. The water tank, is located further to the back, fairly typical for most coffee machines and one reason we suggest to mount your machine where you can access everything with ease.
When you first start using this machine, you might be forgiven that it takes some time to actually begin its pour. This is true, and there’s a great reason behind it. The Breville has a low pressure pour system that attempts to saturate the coffee puck before layering the pressure in behind it.
This ensures the entire puck releases its flavour and as someone who’s owned some pretty awful entry level machines in my life that managed to leave half the flavour inside the puck, it’s a joy to know all those lovely beans are being used properly!
Keeping It Clean
On the plus side, the Breville is comprised entirely of stainless steel, making a quick wipe down with a damp cloth (Don’t use too much washing up liquid) all that’s required for a sparkling machine. However, you’ve also got the hopper and grinding mechanism that will need a little attention too.
Thankfully, this isn’t a daily event and you can quite easily leave the machine for a week between hoper cleans. We wouldn’t leave it any longer though as the stale flavour can easily permeate any new beans that enter the hopper.
The basket, steamer wand and drip tray come apart nicely and as with most machine at this level, everything clicks together satisfyingly – you won’t discover any cheap plastics here!
Pros & Cons
Breville Bes870xl Review : Our Verdict
A fine machine that in our opinion crosses that divide from entry level machines, to fully fledged (And expensive) barista quality. However, its pricing could easily put many off.
For those that decide to splash the cash, you’ll discover a superb machine; well-made that’s a joy to use daily. Cleaning is easy and you’ll love spending the time to discover that perfect brew.
We’re glad we spent two weeks reviewing our BES870XL, it’s a recommended buy!