Breville bes870xl Barista Express Espresso Machine | Review

Breville bes870xl espresso

BREVILLE has been a big name in the culinary industry for its wide range of products. Barista quality coffee is present at your home. Kitchen appliances specifically made to suit the buyers needs that produces perfect beverages at ease. From espresso machines to food makers every process gives pleasure and perfection at the same time.

Breville barista 870xl a semi automatic espresso maker can be a god send for a large number of people with its list of pros and cons, but let’s establish some facts beforehand that it is the best espresso maker in the upper mid range product out there. It comes with a ton of different features with a learning curve which can be a plus point or a negative point according to the buyers choice.

Lets analyze the details of Breville barista espresso machine bes870xl in detail. The specification, features, ProsCons, also the reasons why many people dont prefer this breville coffee maker and finally few important FAQs.

The features of Breville bes870xl

1. Integrated Conical Burr Grinder 

The conical burr grinders have a cone shaped ring that sits inside another cone shaped ring which is hollow. The burr grinder is integrated which saves costs of around 200$ and makes an excellent features for coffee aficionados that want to grind their own coffee to capture the essence of the entire process. 

There are many advantages of a burr grinder, it grinds the coffee uniformly which results in a delicious cup of Joe and avoids sediments. It gives you the flexibility to grind beans according to the coarseness or fineness that suits the needs of the espresso maker.

2. Dials to select Grind size and Grind Amount

This feature goes hand in hand with the integrated burr grinder feature. It helps to select the size of the ground coffee beans and the amount of grind. It gives the coffee a nuanced flavor down to the last sip.

3. Automatic Micro Foam Milk Texturing

The auto steam wand allows you to adjust the milk temperature and adds texture to the coffee which suits to your taste. It helps you to deliver the coffeehouse style taste. This works wonder for the ‘ latté art’. The frothier gives the coffee an airy texture with a strong espresso flavor.

4. Intuitive Touch Screen Display

It simplifies making coffee in 3 ultra easy steps that are GRIND, BREW, MILK. It is easy to adjust the coffee strength, temperature and milk texture. You can customize the settings and save with your own name. You can change, create and save up to 8 personalized coffee.

5. Faster Heat Up Time

Patented twist blade trims down the puck to the right level for precision dosing and consistent extraction.

6. Hands Free Operation

The ultra innovative grinding cradle, grinds the coffee directly into the Espresso porta filter at home with extreme ease. It is extremely environment friendly with compact footprint.

Specifications of BREVILLE Barista 870xl

Product Dimensions: 12.5x12x13 inches

Item weight: 25.7 pounds

Shipping Weight: 25.7 pounds

Manufacturer: Breville

Customer Review on Amazon: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros of Breville Barista 870xl espresso Machine

There are a lot of likable features of this Breville espresso machine, that will make it worth the investment but for me what stands out the most are as follows:

  • The espresso pressure gauge helps you deliver the best espresso shot. If the needle swings in the Espresso pressure range, then congratulations! You have got the perfect espresso shot figured out.
  • The needle in the gauge, makes usage extremely easy. If the needle is still swinging under the range, then worry not you can increase the Tamping pressure next time and get your perfect shot. If the needle is swinging over the range, then decrease the Tamping pressure and you are good to go.
  • Save Settings: You can grind your coffee, using your preferred coffee beans and flexible settings. Then you can save these settings to use them for the next time or every time from there on.
  • There is also an LCD display, that makes the usage really easy.
  • The porta filter helps you measure the exact amount of ground coffee needed for brewing the perfect single or double espresso shots.
  • The dual wall pressurized filters regulate pressure and increase extraction from ground coffee up to optimal levels.
  • As an experienced espresso brewer you would enjoy single wall non pressurized filters that help you to set your preferred grind sizing, amounts and tamping pressure.
  • There is a thermocoil heating system which accurately adjusts the water heating temperature. There is also a pre brew feature that distributes coffee uniformly through the coffee pluck
  • The Grinder is automated so it will automatically stop as soon as the required amount of coffee gets extracted.machine

Cons of Breville bes870xl coffee macker.

Below are few reasons why this breville coffee maker may not be liked by the buyers​

  • Although Breville looks good sitting on the kitchen counter with its sleek design and works wonder with its performance.
  • This Breville espresso machine requires utmost care. Cleaning can be a hassle and needs to be decalcified frequently.
  • The grinder may not get cleaned properly and may make loud noises in near future, which can be annoying for the buyers. Although replacements are present, still it causes inconvenience.
  • It is not a commercial grade machine so wear and tear is possible if not treated properly. It can only brew up to 20 espresso shots per day.
  • Since the Breville espresso machine is quite tall, check the dimensions before investing around 600$ on a machine that doesn’t fit in your kitchen.

How does the Breville bes870xl work?

So now you have made the decision to purchase the Breville gear and are all set to create your first batch of espressos. Although there are instructions provided with the equipment but when you actually look at it, the operation doesn’t look that easy. 

As mentioned before, there is a bit of learning curve with grinding your own coffee and setting the instructions to find that perfect taste,  so it might be frustrating for some of the buyers. Worry not! We are to provide you a step by step guide to make you do not land in a big mess.

So First things first, pick up the instruction manual and go through it thoroughly. Install the machine and check all the parts for any leakage or breakage.  The manual will also show you some mandatory steps such as washing all the parts, flushing the machine etc.

After the machine is all installed and flushed, before plugging it in check the water level in the water reservoir, since there is no warning light. So to make sure the machine does not get burnt anywhere make sure the water level is nice and sufficient.

After you switch on the machine, it gets ready to make an espresso shot in about 30 seconds but if you want a more nuanced flavor then leave the machine to warm for 10-15 minutes.

Keep your coffee mug on top of the machine, since it is a warming tray! Let the machine warm till you go the bathroom and start breakfast.

After the machine is all warmed up, add enough beans in the hopper. For the best flavor espresso buy coffee beans that have been roasted recently. 

The coffee beans that have been roasted about to 2-10 days ago but a month ago, works well too. Store your beans in a cool, dark  place to ensure they do not lose the flavor.

To get the perfect flavor you need to learn about GRIND SIZE, GRIND AMOUNT, TAMPING PRESSURE. Here you will encounter your learning curve which can be an exciting challenge for coffee enthusiasts that believe in trial and error.

For people who do not want to scratch their heads much and want to just follow the step by step process, here you go:

  • Set the grind size to 5, this is the size recommended by BREVILLE hence you will not have to change it again and again.
  • Set the grind amount in the middle at the three o clock position. The grind amount can be a little tricky to adjust.
  • After the freshly ground coffee has landed in the porta filter, weigh it accordingly. For a single shot 8-10 grams of ground coffee. For double shot 15-20 grams of ground coffee.
  • Place the porta filter in the grind outlet. Press the filter button to select the size of the espresso shot. Give the porta filter a quick push in to start the grinding.
  • Weigh the amount of ground coffee, if you have got the appropriate amount, voila! But if there is some extra amount of ground coffee then Adjust Grind Amount to give you less coffee for next time. If you have got less than 15 grams then push the porta filter in for a second or two, until you get some more ground coffee, then release and weigh again. Adjust the Grind Amount for next time.
  • Push the loose coffee in the center of the portafile to make sure it doesn’t spill out. Then tamp it, press it down to get it even and flat. If you don’t put enough pressure during the extraction process will be too low and vice versa.
  • Clean all the excess grinds from the porta filter, to make sure it seals correctly.
  • Press the 1 Cup button to run a single cup of hot water into your coffee mug then throw that water away. This stabilizes the temperature of the machine.
  • Insert the porta filter into the ‘Group Head’ where it says insert and then twist it in its position to ‘lock’ position.
  • It will take a few seconds, until then keep an eye on the pressure gauge needle, if the needle swings toward the espresso range, Bingo! You just made the perfect cup of espresso.
  • If the needle was under it, then increase your tamping pressure. If the needle was over the range, decrease the tamping pressure next time.
  • If you want to make, latté or cappuccino from your freshly made espresso shot, then fill the milk jug (that comes with the espresso machine) till the V shape.
  • You will get a better and richer coffee beverage if the milk jug and milk is as cold as possible.
  • Purge the steam wand. Put the wand on the steam on the drip tray and turn it to ‘steam’. Let the steam run for a few seconds then turn back to Standby. Put the wand in the milk, then turn the setting back to steam. You have about 8 seconds to do this before you have to ‘purge’ the wand again.
  • Place the tip just 1/4th of an inch under the surface of the milk. If the tip is too low, the machine will make a screeching sound and if the tip is two high, you will see giant bubbles on the surface.
  • As soon as you remove the milk jug, put the wand on the tray again and dial the setting back to steam, to clean the wand for a few seconds. Then use a wet washcloth to wipe out the water and milk. Rinse the portafilter then insert and lock it.

Tips to best use the Breville bes870xl

  • It is recommended to clean the portafilter after every use. Just release it from its place and rinse it for a couple of seconds under running water. This makes sure that no bacteria breeds in the component.
  • Always steam the steam wand after use to ensure, milk does not get stuck in the wand, since it will get burnt and will leave a burnt taste in every milk beverage you make from there on.
  • Extracting a small amount of water from the group head to dislodge any grinds that are stuck to give it complete cleaning.
  • Although water vinegar works well for descaling the inner components, you should always keep descaling solution handy for those hard and stubborn scales.
  • Clean all the components with a damp cloth, this will make sure that no dust particle gets stuck in the Breville espresso machine.
  • Use freshly roasted coffee beans, preferably those that have been roasted in the recent 10 days. It gives the best flavor to the espresso shot.

FAQs related to Breville bes870XL

Q1. How to clean the Breville bes870xl?

Periodic maintenance is extremely necessary in order to ensure that your Breville espresso machine delivers extremely nuanced coffee for a long time without any additional repairs. Decalcification is necessary once a month. Replace the water filter after every two months. To run the cleaning cycle, when the ‘clean me’ light comes up.

Insert 1 CUP filter basket in the portafilter. Then insert the cleaning disc followed by an espresso machine cleaning tablet. Then twist the portafilter to lock it into the group head. Place a container under the group head. 

Fill the water tank with cold water and keep the drip tray empty. Press the Power Button to turn the Machine off. Press the 1 cup and 2 cup button simultaneously with the Power Button. Hold all 3 buttons together for about 10 seconds. 

This will start the cleaning cycle for the next 5 minutes. Once the cycle completes, there will be 3 beep sounds. Water may pour out of the group head, but that is normal. Remove the portafilter and ensure the tablet has dissolved completely. Repeat the process until the tablet dissolves.

Q2. How to replace water dispenser on breville bes870xl?

The water filter provided with espresso machine reduces the scale build up in many inner components of the machine. Replacing the water filter every two months reduces the chances of decalcification. 

Remove and discard the old water filter. Soak the water filter in a cup of water for about five minutes. Then rinse under cold running water. Wash the filter with cold water specifically the stainless steel mesh. 

Insert the water filter into parts of the filter holder. Set date dial two 2 months from then on. To assemble the water filter in the water tank, align the base of the water filter holder with the adapter inside the water tank. Push down, this will lock the filter into place. 

Slide the water tank back into to the machine into position, ensuring to push down completely to lock into place.

Q3. How to descale Breville bes870xl?

The descaling process should be carried out at least once every month. Remove the portafilter and place a large container under the group head and steam wand. 

When it reaches the brewing temperature and all the button have illuminated, press and hold the 1 CUP button to start a manual pour. Release the button one half the white vinegar and water mixture has run through the grouphead.

Set the hot water dial to steam position. The steam will run through the steam wand for about 1-2 minutes. Come back to the Standby position. If some mixture remains in the water tank, press and hold 1 CUP button to start a pour. 

Release the button once the tank is empty and nothing comes out of the group head.  After the decalcification process remove the water tank and rinse it under water and fill it with cold water. Then run this cycle using plain water and following the above steps.

Q4. How to remove the filter basket from the grouphead?

This is a common problem with a lot of the buyers. The basket gets separated and stuck on the group head. Just check the inner shower screen for any bulges or cracks. 

If there are none, then it must be that since the machine is new it is getting stuck. With a few uses it will not do so. If the problem continues buys a small filter basket removal tool that comes at a marginal cost. It will help you to easily remove the filter basket.

Q5. What kind of water should be used with Breville bes870xl?

Water plays an important role to give the espresso shot the right flavor. Also, the correct kind of water will reduce the chances of calcification which will save you from frequently descaling the espresso machine. 

Breville USA does not recommend highly filtered or demineralized water such as reverse osmosis, ultra filtered, and zero filtered water. The machine is not designed for such water types, since there is too little mineral that is required for the sensors within the machine to operate.

If someone is using such water add a little amount of tap water while filling the tank. Otherwise you can use normal tap water to fill the water reservoir and the machine will operate easily.

Q6. Which filters work best with Breville bes870xl?

With the Breville barista espresso maker, the bester filters will be breville charcoal resin filters. Although these filters are expensive, but avoid clogging and keep water impurities far away. This improves the taste of the espresso shot significantly.

There are dual wall pressurized water filters that regulate Temperature and then comes single wall non pressurized filters that give a lot more room to experiment with the settings. Both filters will work equally well.

Q7. How to adjust the pressure in the Breville 870xl?

As far as I can understand, the breville bes870xl works at 15 bar. For a double shot espresso we have run the machine at 9 bar for about 20-25 seconds. To brew the perfect shot of espresso, you need the needle of the pressure gauge in the espresso range that is 8-10 bar. 

Tamping the freshly ground coffee is the way to go. If the needle swings under the espresso range during extraction, just increase the Tamping pressure. If the gauge needle swings way over the espresso range during the brewing process, then decrease pressure during tamping. You will learn to do this in a few trial and error processes.

Q8. How to reset the settings on Breville 870xl?

The Breville 870xl espresso maker gives you the option to experiment with various settings until you achieve the espresso shot of your dreams. You can change the grind amount, grind size, filter settings, espresso quantities and save them for future use. 

You can customize and save up to 8 settings but to reset settings to default it is a very easy process. Just press the 1 cup and 2 cup shot volumes together, press and hold the program button until the machine beeps three times. Release the program button after that and Voila! The machine will return back to its original settings.

Conclusion:

So after reading this entire article, I hope you have got the answers to your questions whether Breville bes870xl is worth investing in or not. 

Overall this product is extremely good with minor inconveniences. The trial and error process to achieve that nuanced taste is a great learning experience. As mentioned before, this product is one of the best out there in this price range and delivers excellent beverages without any hassle. 

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