Is this Semi-Automatic espresso machine really brewing a café quality coffee at home?
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
In today’s generation filled with followers, innovation, and trends. The world of coffee was being bombarded by different styles and models of espresso machines and brewers. Even with huge access to information and knowledge. Coffee consumers are in total confusion and hesitating whether to choose this or that. Well, that is why you are here. We are both looking for the same answer. Is this Semi-Automatic espresso machine worth the brew? But first, grab your hot steaming coffee and let’s get to it!
To know more if the Breville BES870XL Barista Express can really suit your preference and can compliment your needs. We will be discussing the pros and cons of this espresso machine and if the BES870XL is an amazing choice for you or just another terrible decision making. Let’s see if you’re ready to scratch your card or pay some cash, shall we?
Is A Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Right For You?
The BES870XL was considered as the best-selling espresso machine and being recommended a lot of times by retail stores and coffee enthusiast. But even with its remarkable performance and milestone achievements. This espresso machine is still not perfect for everyone. Well, before you get excited about buying one. Make sure to consider first, whether this type of espresso machine is the right fit for you.
If you’re a newbie to making espresso at home, you’re going to want to make sure you have learned the basics skills and knowledge of understanding the proper espresso extraction time, calibrating a grinder from coarse-fine, proper dosing of grounds, pressure of tamping and frothing milk. Phew! That’s a lot of things to learn! But don’t you worry. The BES870XL has its own manual which is easy and fun to read. It will only take just a minute to acquire those café style barista skills.
If you already have experience in proper brewing and know how to operate a semi-automatic machine you’ll be just perfectly fine. The BES870XL is built to be the easiest machine to operate when it comes to semi-automatics and made to be compatible with any person.
If you really desire a quick and easy espresso, you may want to consider having an automatic or super-automatic espresso machine. These types of machines will do everything for you. You hit a button and your espresso automatically dispense. While this machine may sound quite similar. This Semi-Automatic machine requires you to brew the shot manually. This is good as it means you control the outcome and extraction time.
To fully understand its café style function, let’s discuss one at a time the most important aspects to consider.
Brewing Capability (10/10)
The BES870XL allows you to grind the beans right before extraction. Brew and produce a great tasting espresso in less than a minute, and its interchangeable and different filters allow you to choose an automatic or manual extraction brew.
Whether you’re new to coffee brewing industry or an expert with knowledge about all things coffee, you’ll be satisfied with its amazing quality espresso based drinks every brew if you pick this one up. It’s amazing how a coffee maker meets the needs of both novices and even specialty coffee baristas.
Now for brewing espresso, you will get 4 filter baskets – pressurized and non-pressurized single or double filter basket. Or you can also call them single or double walled baskets.
If you’re new to brewing, or not in a mood to do it manually.
We suggest you to use the pressurized baskets. Using these filters lessen the need to perfectly dial in the shot by calibrating the grind settings, tamp and portion of grounds. But before that, you’ll still need to calibrate your espresso machine in the beginning before extracting it automatically.
Consider calibrating the grind settings, grind amount and volume of water to dispense. After that, your next espresso extraction will be extracted consistently and with a minimum margin for error. Leave the settings behind after cleaning and for the next day of your brew; experience the same consistency using pressurized baskets.
If you’re now considering yourself a certified Breville barista.
Step up your brewing skills by using the non-pressurized basket filters. Now, you’ll need to dial in the shot and consider applying the skills you learned about producing a perfect shot of espresso.
The programmable controls on the BES870XL give you several ways of modifying and calibrating your espresso shot, so you can dial it in at any level. The dose control lets you vary the grind amount in each cup, between 19g to 22g of ground coffee, which defines the coffee-to-water ratio.
The grind size control lets you choose from 16 levels of fineness, which affects the extraction and bold flavors of your coffee. It’s also simple and intuitive, giving you control over the grind size no matter what type of bean you’re grinding. You can also brew pre-ground coffee if you’re looking for a decaffeinated bedtime coffee.
‘Brew Coffee The Easiest Way’ Features (10/10)
After knowing the different types of filter basket to use and how to program it for proper extraction. Let’s tackle more of its other features.
Let’s start from the top parts of the espresso machine which showcase its beautiful café styles like bean hopper and grinder. The grinder is a built-in conical burr that grinds on-demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for your preferred taste with any roast of bean.
While the bean hopper is easy to remove so you can refill it and clean the burrs. You can also safely store your coffee to a clean container by lifting the bean hopper and dispensing the beans from its bottom part.
Breville is famous for delivering consistent and great burr grinders. Those stainless steel conical burrs have 16 grind settings to offer. Allowing you to calibrate your grind size from coarse-fine and dial in that perfect shot. All coffee lovers must know that in order to deliver rich and full bodied espresso, make sure to use fresh ground beans right after grinding. That’s why some of the features of the BES870XL are dispensing the ground beans right from the grinder straight into the portafilter.
Let’s move further down and look at the display, the buttons, the programmability and how it all works.
From left to right, notice the power button which switches the machine to on or off. Next is the grind amount which you’ll need to calibrate whether you’re adjusting your coffee or espresso shot. You’ll need to calibrate its grind amount because this will greatly affect the flavors of your coffee and its extraction time.
Then the third button indicates filter size for single or double shot. You’ll need to use the proper size of filter: single wall or double wall filter. You can also use pressurized or non-pressurized filter. Then, push the button for its appropriate size. After that, simply push your portafilter into the grinding bracket. This hits a button and automatically grinds the perfect amount of coffee into your filter.
In the middle, you’ll notice a pressure gauge which indicates if your espresso extraction is under extracted zone, over extracted zone or perfectly in ideal espresso range that indicates your espresso is being extracted smoothly and in its ideal pressure.
On its right side is a program button. To begin programming, press the program button once. The machine will beep once and the program button will begin to flash. The programming button can be used in adjusting the desired volume of espresso.
The next buttons are for dispensing single or double espresso shot. Now, once you hit the dispensing buttons and locked your portafilter. It will extract your espresso shots.
The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine also includes several features that will help you achieve the ease of brewing.
– 1600-watt thermocoil heating system for quick start-ups
– Low-pressure pre-infusion and 9-bar espresso brewing pressure from its 15-bar pump, for optimum extraction.
– Brewing pressure gauge which indicates if you’re extracting your coffee consistently
– It comes with a tamper with built-in storage and stainless steel cup storage.
Milk Frothing (9/10)
Suppose you already mastered the art of brewing a perfect shot of espresso and now planning to froth some milk to achieve silky, shiny and smooth textured milk. You’ll be needing to step up your barista skills and learn how to deliver quality milk to create a well balanced textured latte.
Well in terms of an artistic and easy way of steaming. The BES870XL steaming wand can be move from 360-degree angle which makes it easy to find the right position for steaming milk. Whether you’re planning to froth milk for latte and cappuccino this machine is just too perfect to resist. An additional feature is its automatic purge system which automatically dispenses milk waste that is left inside the wand. Don’t worry because the BES870XL steaming wand automatically cleans itself. Perfecto!
The micro-foam milk texturing system allows you to hand texture micro-foam milk that enhances flavor and enables creation of latte art. This machine is also perfect for some coffee connoisseurs and latte artists to practice their latte art for competitions.
Cleaning and Maintenance (9/10)
After all the magnificent features of the BES870XL, we know you’re wondering if this espresso machine also features an incredible automatic or manual cleaning method. All espresso machines need to be cleaned daily to avoid coffee ground leftovers and milk waste that can contribute to the overall taste and experience of our coffee.
Well, worry no more! It has a built-in “clean me” light, and a ‘pop-up signage’ in the drip tray that tells you when it’s time to empty it. Again, simply remove the drip tray from below for easy cleaning.
For cleaning the burrs: just simply remove the bean hopper from the top with and you can access the steel burrs which can also be easy to remove. Same deal for the removable water tank and water filter located on its back part well – just flick your wrist to unlock it, remove it, clean it, refill it and use it for your next brew.
Built-In Quality (10/10)
The Breville BES870XL is made of stainless steel casing over plastic internals. Its artistic style is perfect and suitable for any interior kitchen designs. And when it comes to performance the Breville company promise to deliver excellent brewing experience and makes the process a pleasure and the end result perfect, every time.
Coffee lovers and coffee connoisseurs seems to love how this espresso machine is built, and it comes with a one-year limited warranty and a 24/7 customer support to help you cope up with any troubleshooting.
After showcasing it’s almost near to perfection performance. It still has some functions which are not suitable for some. Let’s tackle some of it.
DO NOT Buy Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine If…
You have no interest in learning how to brew espresso
The BES870XL is a high performing espresso machine that will also be needing some practice and knowledge about all things coffee. Your knowledge and skills about extracting perfect espresso can really contribute to the overall taste and experience. If you just want to push a button to dispense your espresso, buy a fully automatic or super-automatic espresso machine.
If you’re good with it, you can also compare one of our machines like the Delonghi ESAM3300 automatic machine to our Breville BES870XL. Try reviewing both and we know you’ll come up with a decision at the end.
Your budget is less than $400.
Some good espresso machines are much pricier and the BES870XL is one of them. It may be out of reach for some. Keep in mind, that a good espresso grinder will cost you almost $300 or much more. When you consider all costs of making good espresso, this one is a complete package and you can even save more.
You’re planning to use this machine for a coffee shop.
This machine is intended for home use only and won’t perform well under pressure in a commercial environment because of its brewing time and steaming.
So there you have it! An in-depth review of the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine. Its features like the integrated burr grinder, dosing and brewing capabilities, and the ability to easily clean it make the Breville an excellent buy every customer can’t resist. A perfectly hand crafted machine that makes every home a café experience. That is why it’s a best seller all over the internet and stores for good reason. Experience a wonderful coffee tasting ambient and experience into your home.
Summary: The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
– Hands on like a barista
– Cafe quality espresso extraction
– Precise milk temperature and milk frother
– Built-In grinder and easy to clean bean hopper
– Analog gauge button control
- Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use