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Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Review

Are you looking to upgrade your espresso maker to a high quality semi-automatic espresso machine with integrated coffee grinder? Read the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Review. Find out why this is the best value semi-automatic espresso machine for you.

Who is Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine for?


The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is ideal for espresso enthusiasts with a budget. At the same time, they require the coffee machine to make great tasting espresso consistently.  

Thus, you need the pre-infusion step in the espresso making process to maximize the extraction of flavours from the coffee grinds. Temperature stability throughout the espresso making process is equally important to you. You also want an in-built grinder to grind coffee beans right before espresso extraction.

This coffee maker certainly gives you the best value for your money.

The Breville Barista Express includes the pre-infusion technology, PID temperature control and 1600 watts thermo heating coil system. It also comes with an integrated stainless steel conical burr grinder.

And all these are for just under 600 dollars!



Who is Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine not for?


This is an advanced semi-automatic espresso maker. You will need to know the basics of extracting espresso and frothing milk. If you have not used a semi-automatic espresso maker before, it will be a steep learning curve.

With so many features, you also have to spend some time reading the manual to learn how to operate this machine.

If you just want to make espresso or cappuccinos conveniently, you will be better off with an automatic espresso maker such as the Mr. Coffee Café Barista or higher end super automatic espresso machines such as the Gaggia Brera Superautomatic espresso machine or  Jura Ena Micro.

However, if you can overcome the learning curve, you will be able to have fun making better espresso consistently with this machine as compared to a superautomatic one.


Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Review – Features


Integrated Conical Burr Grinder

Espresso lovers know the importance of grinding fresh coffee beans only when you are ready to start the espresso extraction process.  A minute of delay produces noticeable difference in the richness of the crema.

The Breville Barista Express comes with an built-in conical burr coffee bean grinder. With its adjustable dose control, you can get the right amount of coffee grinds when you need it, thus giving you fresher coffee grinds for espresso extraction. The grind size can also be adjusted to produce your preferred espresso taste.

Removable Bean Hopper

The bean hopper can store up to  half a pound of espresso beans. The freshness of the coffee bean is maintained with its sealed top. The hopper is removable from the espresso machine. Its locking system enables the coffee beans to pour out from its bottom into a container for storage without contact with the surrounding air. This also helps to keep the beans fresh.

Hands Free Grinding Cradle

A hands-free grinding cradle is positioned just below the coffee grind dispenser. You can simply push the portafilter into cradle and wait for ground coffee to collect in the portafilter.

Low Pressure Pre-Infusion

Using its low pressure pre-infusion feature and flat shower head, the Breville Barista Express ensures that maximum flavour is evenly extracted from the coffee puck inside the portafilter.

Before high pressure is ramped up for espresso extraction, the coffee puck is saturated with water at low pressure. This ensures all gaps are properly filled up and the eventual high pressure will not result in water flowing along any path of least resistance through such gaps.

1600W Thermocoil Heating System

The brew water temperature affects the quality of your espresso shot. With its 1600 watts thermocoil heating system, the Breville Barista Express ensures temperature consistency throughout the water by circulating the water around a heated coil.

Built-in PID Temperature Control

To ensure that the water temperature remains stable at the optimal temperature for espresso extraction, the Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine comes with a built-in PID to regulate the water temperature.

However, different coffee beans need different water temperature to extract their optimal flavour. Hence, the Breville Barista Express allows you to change the brew water temperature up or down 4°F in 2 degree increments from the default temperature.

The combination of the PID and the thermocoil heating system provides automated control over the water temperature with precision. This results in quick temperature recovery times.

Auto Purge Function

The water temperature is higher for steaming milk than espresso extraction. With only 1 boiler, the Breville Barista Express is unable to maintain 2 temperatures at the same time. Fortunately, it comes with an purge feature to automatically cool the water temperature to the optimal temperature for espresso extraction after steaming.

Espresso Pressure Gauge

Brew pressure is one key factor affecting espresso quality. The brew pressure is a result of the speed of water flow through the ground coffee. This speed is affected by factors such as the grind size, amount of coffee inside the filter basket and the tamping pressure.

The Breville Barista Express is equipped with an espresso pressure gauge. This  allows you to check on the brew pressure throughout the espresso extraction and find out whether the espresso is being over- or under-extracted.

Volumetric Control Function

The Barista Express’ volumetric control comes with preset 1 or 2 cup drink options. But you can manually override the water volume to the amount needed for your preferred espresso intensity. You can also choose to store your new settings. This ability to vary the drink volume gives you another dimension to refine your espresso shot.

Large Detachable Water Tank With Replaceable Filter

The Barista Express has a large removable water tank capacity of 67 ounces ( 2 litres ) positioned at the back of the machine.  A replaceable water filter cartridge is also provided to reduce impurities and scale in the water so that your espresso taste will not be affected by any impurities.

Instant Hot Water Outlet

An instant hot water outlet is also provided for preparing Americanos. You can also use it to pre-warm your cup to reduce the temperature difference between your cup and your espresso.

Patented Razor Dose Trimming Tool

You also get Breville’s  patented razor dose trimming tool. This tool will ensure that you use the same amount of ground coffee every time by trimming and leveling the ground coffee evenly in the portafilter.

Other Features

In addition to the features mentioned above, other features include:

Rotating Steam Wand – Use this to froth milk for your cappuccinos or lattes. Its ability to rotate 360 degrees will accommodate different milk pitcher sizes.

Portafilter and Tamper – A 54mm stainless steel portafilter with commercial style sprouts comes with a 54mm tamper. The tamper can also be attached onto a magnetic tamper holder on the machine to save counter space.

Removable Drip Tray – comes an ‘Empty me!’ indicator to alert you when it is full.

Storage: A storage drawer is hidden behind the drip tray for storing your cleaning tools.

Energy Saving: Machine will go to ‘Sleep Mode’ after 1 hour and ‘Auto Off Mode’ after 3 hours.

Cup Warming Tray: The cup warming tray is located on top of the machine. The tray is passively heated by the heat generated from the machine and can be used to warm your cups.

Accessories – coffee scoop, stainless steel jug, single & dual wall filter baskets, cleaning disc & tablets, cleaning tool.

Breville Bes870xl Barista Express Accessories

Breville Barista Express Accessories

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Review – Pros


Consistent Espresso Quality Every Time

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express has many features to ensure that you get a consistent espresso quality every time.

With an in-built burr grinder with dosage control, you can have the right amount of fresh coffee grinds for espresso extraction every time. 

Its pre-infusion process maximizes the extraction of flavours from the coffee beans. The result is a full-flavoured espresso with a rich brown crema.

Its thermocoil heating system and PID work together to keep the brew temperature at the optimal level throughout the espresso extraction.

The auto-purge function makes sure that the boiler is cooled down to the optimal espresso extraction after steaming.

Able to Customize Coffee Drink

There are a few ways to adjust the coffee drink to your preferred taste. You can get a more bitter or more acidic taste by changing the grind size. If you like stronger or weaker coffee, you can change the dosage. With its volumetric controls, you can also adjust the drink volume.

Control Over Espresso Making Process

Not only you get to play around with the coffee bean grind size, coffee dosage and tamping pressure. You can also get feedback on your choices via the espresso pressure gauge. This will show you the pressure during the entire espresso extraction process.

This feedback is a precise means to figure out how far off you are from producing your ideal espresso. From there, you can make adjustments to your choices. Thus you get to improve your barista skills over time.

Easy To Transfer Unused Coffee Beans

The coffee beans in the hopper can be emptied from the bottom into a container with its locking system. This makes it easy to transfer the coffee beans into a container. You won’t spill any beans or lose the freshness of the beans during the transfer.

No-slip Feet

The no-slip feet of the machine keeps it from moving about your kitchen counter during the grinding process.

Ease of Cleaning

The dry puck feature drains excess water in the puck. This makes it easy to remove the coffee puck from the filter basket.

The clean lines of the machine makes wiping its exterior easy. The drip tray and water tank are also detachable for cleaning.  

BPA Free

If you are particular about BPA, you can rest your mind with the Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker. All parts that are in contact with the water and coffee are BPA free.


Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Review – Cons


Unable to Steam Milk and Brew Espresso Simultaneously

This machine only has 1 boiler for both steaming and brewing. So you will have to wait between steaming milk and extracting espresso.


Alternative Products


If you do not wish to wait between steaming milk and extracting espresso, consider this Breville espresso machine with dual boilers.


Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Review – My Final Opinion


With a price tag of just under 600 dollars, the Breville BES870XL Barista Express espresso machine is a steal for any espresso enthusiast.

This is a high quality espresso maker that can make you tasty, full-flavoured espresso consistently. The pre-infusion process maximizes the extraction of flavours from the coffee beans. Its 1600 watts thermocoil system and PID control ensure the optimal water temperature for espresso extraction.

You also get a brew pressure gauge to let you know the brew pressure during the entire espresso extraction. This will help you to pinpoint any adjustments required to refine your espresso shot. That’s not all. You also get a high quality integrated conical burr grinder to grind your coffee beans.

And you can get this coffee maker under 600 dollars. This coffee maker is definitely a value buy for any espresso enthusiasts.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Review

Breville Bes870xl Barista Express Espresso Machine



There is no doubt that this machine is highly rated in Amazon. Check out the Breville BES870XL Barista Express espresso machine reviews on Amazon  and decide if it is the right machine for you too.