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Last updated: September 01, 2021

Breville BES870XL Coffee Machine Review

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By
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: September 01, 2021
Coffee Statistics is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Why it’s worth your attention:
  • It possesses the four keys formula for a third-wave coffee.
  • It saves energy consumption by going off after 3 hours of inactivity.
  • It offers the best value for a semi-automatic machine.
  • Beginner-friendly.
Key features:
  • Comes with a dose-control grinding.
  • Boasts a grind-size dial.
  • Boasts a defined espresso extraction.
Editor's Rating
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9
out of 10
  • Performance 9.5
  • Ease of use 9.0
  • Durability 8.9
  • Portability 8.6
Users’ Rating
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The Breville BES870XL Barista Express espresso machine seems to be making espresso lovers everywhere lose their minds. Well, the mid-priced coffee maker is unrivaled in its category.

The Breville BES870XL is known to provide great third-wave specialty coffee using the four keys formula:

  1. Rich, full flavor

With the right dose of 19-22g freshly ground beans, the BES870XL will produce a full-bodied coffee with rich and intricate flavors. The measurement is important if you want your coffee to fully express the distinctive character, incredible aroma, and intense flavors of a coffee and for a correct café-quality result. Anything short of the exact dose will only give you a weak and watery flavor.

  1. Impeccably balanced taste

TheBES870XL has digital temperature control (PID) technology, explicitly controlling water temperature for impeccably balanced coffee extraction. This also gives you control and consistency for sweet and delightful tasting coffee every time.

  1. Irresistible body

The BES870XL has a low-pressure pre-infusion, which soaks the grinds. This allows an even passage of water through the coffee while carrying out high-pressure extraction, delivered by the 15 bar Italian pump. What this leads to is a caramel-colored, creamy, sweet, and rich espresso

  1. Silky, velvety mouthfeel

If you ever decide to choose the BrevilleBES870XL for your brew, you can be sure to relish a silky flavor and velvet-like mouthfeel of proper micro-foam milk. The milk is condensed with the pressure that generates tiny bubbles in thousands and enriches aroma and mouthfeel, whereas the sweetness of the milk is revealed by the temperature, thrilling your taste buds to a pleasant assortment of golden, syrupy espresso and sweet, rich milk.

You may have seen several Breville BES870XL barista express espresso machine reviews, but this review covers the whole of this semi-automated machine to tell you about:

  • The pros and cons
  • Overall performance
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Steamer performance
  • The coffee type used
  • Water reservoir
  • Design and portability
  • Grinder performance and settings
  • Brewing speed
  • Pressure gauge

Accessories included

Review

If you are looking for a thorough Breville BES870XL review to know what it features and if it’s a great buy, you should pay keen attention to this.

So, let’s take a dive into the ocean and take a deeper look at how the Breville machine gives an excellent performance given such a price.

To get a clearer picture of things about the performance of the Breville BES870XL, we have broken down the whole of this semi-automated machine into bits.

Overall performance

Breville BES870XL Coffee Machine ReviewThe Breville BES870XL is one of the Barista Series that boasts an all-in-one espresso machine with an incorporated grinder that processes beans to espresso in less than one minute to generate excellent tasting espresso. You will be able to grind the beans before removal. Its swappable filters and the power to choose between automatic or manual operation ensure you get an authentic café-style outcome in little or no time at all.

The BES870XL is designed to produce a third-wave specialty coffee with its four keys formula of rich, full flavor, impeccably balanced taste, alluring body, and silky, velvet-like mouthfeel.

It also boasts some features which make it stand out and give you the best brewing experience, such as:

  • The dose control grinding: The BES870XL comes with an integrated precision conical knot grinder, which allows it to grind on demand and deliver the exact volume of freshly ground coffee straight into the Breville portafilter for your desired taste with any bean roast.
  • An optimal water pressure: The BES870XL comes with a low-pressure pre-infusion. This steadily increases the machine’s pressure at the start and helps make sure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the withdrawal to give a balanced taste.
  • A precise espresso extraction: The digital temperature control (PID) of the BES870XL helps it supply water at the appropriate temperature to guarantee the finest espresso extraction.
  • Manual micro-foam milk texturing: The powerful BES870XL steam wand performance permits you to influence micro-foam milk texture. This greatly enriches the flavor of your coffee and aids the making of latte art.
  • A grind size dial: A humble feature hands you control over the grind size, irrespective of the type of beans you’re grinding.
  • A built-in coffee grinder: This innovative grinding cradle will let any home barista directly grind into the Brevilleportafilter for just the impeccable espresso.

Design and portability

Breville BES870XL Coffee Machine ReviewWhen you come face to face with the Breville BES870XL Barista, you will be left with no choice but to admire its appearance. The top-notch, professional-looking BES870XL measures 16 inches in height with a width of 13.5 inches and a depth of 12.5 inches.

When compared, it was discovered the BES870XL is the same size as the drip coffee maker but almost twice in width. Yet, you can conveniently place it anywhere and won’t need to sacrifice all your counter space.

The Breville BES870XL Barista also boasts a Bean Hopper of 1 by 2 lb, a water tank measuring up to 67-ounces, a manual override, an adjustable grind amount, and single or double shots.

Weight and Materials

According to the product description, the dimension of the BES870XL is12.5 by 12.6 by 13.1 inches. It weighs up to 23 pounds while having a capacity of just 4 Pounds.

Of course, it is only ideal that the material used for such a machine be steel. The BES870XL is wholly made of steel and comes in a stainless steel color.

Coffee type used

Just like with most espresso machines, preground coffee can be used with a Breville BES870XL. Though different brewing procedures such as espresso, pour-over, drip, or French press, call for different grind sizes for flavor optimization.

However, a very fine grind is highly recommended to get the best and most consistent results from the Breville BES870XL barista espresso.

Any type of roast can be used, but it is advisable to go with a dark coffee, espresso, or French roast to get the best results. These roasts will provide you the taste and  consistency you anticipate from the Breville BES870XL. If, however, a lighter roast is your preference, you should go with a medium roast. Other coffee types that can be brewed are Americano, cappuccino, latte, flat white etc.

Grinder performance and settings

As an enthusiast of coffee, one gift you probably have is the ability to clearly tell the difference in taste between coffees brewed using pre-ground beans and those that are not.

This is why many coffee enthusiasts prefer sticking to freshly ground beans to make their coffee at every probable turn. The reason being that it adds maximum freshness and flavor to the java, which is unique and peerless.

The BES870XL boasts an in-built stainless steel conical knot grinder that would have cost you an extra $200 if you are to buy it separately.

The BES870XL possesses 16 grinder settings suitable for fine and coarse grounds and lets you brew varieties of coffee such as cappuccino, Americano, latte, and, of course, espresso Trusted Source Hit and run: the lost art of making the perfect Italian espresso | Coffee | The Guardian Daniel Tapper: It’s the classic quick, dirty coffee that you drink for the buzz rather than the taste. Is it time we set aside our cortados and rediscovered its earthy pleasures? www.theguardian.com .

Additionally, the BES870XL Barista has both automatic and manual dosing for single and double shots. So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced user, you will not find it difficult to operate.

Here is how to go about it:

  • Automatic Filter Dosing: The first thing is to select the filter size – single or double – you wish to use, insert the Breville portafilter into the holder, then press the button once. It will, by default, dispense the exact amount of ground needed to make your shot, either single or double.
  • Manual Dosing: For this, you have to first use the grind amount knob to select the number of grinds before placing the portafilter into the holder and then press the button. It will then start releasing the grounds until you release the button.

The BES870XL comes with a bean hopper of 8oz capacity,  sufficient for brewing as much as 50 standard-sized coffee cups. This saves you the stress of refilling it so often. What is more is, it can be easily removed, which makes returning the beans to storage or switching between different types of coffee very easy.

Brewing speed

Breville BES870XL Coffee Machine ReviewThe BES870XL warms up in less than 30 seconds. Its low-pressure pre-infusion role permits it to gradually increase the pressure at the beginning and helps it to make sure all the flavors are evenly drawn out during the extraction to get a balanced tasting cup.

The digital temperature control (PID) ensures water of the appropriate temperature is supplied to make the espresso extraction one of the finest. Its steam performance also permits you to influence the texture of micro-foam milk to enrich the flavor and the creation of latte art.

The Breville BES870XL is well-known for consistently manufacturing high-quality espresso. Thanks to its integrated grinder, it takes roughly one minute for a BES870XL to go from beans to espresso.

Steamer performance

The Breville BES870XL boasts a powerful steam wand performance, which permits you to influence the texture of micro-foam milk to enrich the flavor and facilitate the creation of latte art.

In addition, an integrated feature of a precision-conical knot grinder makes it grind on demand and delivers the exact quantity of freshly ground coffee needed directly into the portafilter for your desired taste with any roast of bean.

Water reservoir

Breville BES870XL Coffee Machine ReviewThe BES870XL machine is furnished with a water tank of 67-ounces (that is, 2 liters). This is sufficient for preparing numerous cups of coffee without needing to refill frequently. The positioning of the water reservoir at the backside of the machine makes it burdensome to access.

To fill the water tank, you can either conveniently do so while intact in the machine or simply take it out to fill at the sink if you’re worried about spilling water on the kitchen countertop or the reservoir getting contaminated due to coffee grinds.

Pressure gauge

The BES870XL is also fortified with an in-built pressure gauge. This can be found in the middle of the control panel, exactly on the machine’s surface. Using the pressure gauge, you can visually monitor the amount of pressure your coffee is exposed to throughout the extraction process.

This feature plays a top role in pulling out those shots that please your taste buds. If you are new to this feature and not, probably, know how to monitor this to ensure you pull out an impeccable espresso shot, here is how you can observe the pressure gauge to pull a fantastic espresso shot:

  • As you start your espresso shot (either single or double), leave the pressure gauge for about 7 seconds in the pre-infusion phase.
  • Afterward, for around 10-14 seconds, let it rank near the espresso range phase. The espresso should have a honey look when it pulls out.
  • This process must last for around 30 to 35 seconds for every shot.

This signifies a seamless grind size, coffee dose, and temping pressure for brewing a top-quality espresso shot.

However, should you observe the presence of the needle underneath the middle of the espresso range, you most likely have too fine coffee or too coarse grounds. This may lead to an under-extraction of the espresso shot.

Though, there’s no point crying over spilled milk. It will take some attempts to figure out the exact ideal dose, temping, and grind size for a foamy and rich extraction in an accurate amount of time.

Ease of cleaning

Breville BES870XL Coffee Machine ReviewLike several other espresso machines, Breville BES870XL cleaning is no different as it needs consistent cleaning to function effectively. The good thing about the BES870XL, it has fewer movable parts. So, it’s somewhat easier to sustain for a long time than many semi-automated machines out there.

The Breville BES870XL cleaning is divided into two categories – after usage and periodic cleaning.

To keep the machine neat after every shot, you should make these simple three steps:

  • Step 1: Always ensure the puck of spent grounds is emptied from the portafilter after pulling out every single shot.
  • Step 2: Once the espresso shot is pulled out, make sure the portafilter isn’t connected to the head and push the single-shot control. This will rinse out the hot water via the brew head and flush out any remnant coffee grounds.
  • Step 3: Continuously ensure the wand is wiped with a warm, damp material after condensing milk. This simple act protects your machine from possible bacterial contamination and prevents clogging of the nozzle.

The BES870XL comes with an in-built cleaning cycle that must be carried out occasionally. To make this easy and always alert the users, the machine is fortified with a ‘CLEAN ME’ light that lights up automatically to alert you when cleaning is required.

This regular Breville BES870XL cleaning and maintenance are performed through the following process:

  • Replacing the Water Filters: If you choose to use water filters, ensure they’re reinstated every two months. This will possibly avert the scale build-up and advance the machine’s performance, affected as a result of blockages and heating problems.
  • Decalcification: After consistent use, hard water usually leads to the build-up of minerals. This will invalidate the internal functioning components and subsequently affects the excellence of your morning java. Hence, as advised by Breville, this machine must be decalcified every 2-3 months by a blend of white vinegar and water.
  • Cleaning Drip Tray: At regular intervals, the drip tray must be removed, emptied, and cleaned, mainly when the indicator displays “empty me” – remove the grid and compartments to wash with lathered, warm water or a non-abrasive liquid. Then simply rinse everything and dry.

The Breville BES870XL comes with a detailed instruction manual, so if you’re ever in doubt about how to clean a specific part, simply refer to page 25 of the BES870XL specially designed guidebook.

Accessories

Breville BES870XL Coffee Machine ReviewSome accessories are required to use with the BES870XL Barista Express to sustain the appliance and dole out quality shots at all times. Here’s a shortlist.

  • A Stainless Steel Breville BES870XL Portafilter size of 54mm diameter.
  • Twopressurized and non-pressurized pieces of single and double shots filter baskets.
  • Water sieve.
  • Built-in temper.
  • Milk pitcher of 16 ounces.
  • Cleaning tablets and disk.
  • A cleaning brush and an Allen key.

Price tag

You can get the Breville BES870XL Barista for $700 on Amazon.

PROS CONS
Boasts an integrated conical knob grinder. It’s a heavy-weight appliance.
Possesses carbon filters that boost the quality plus flavor of your java. The manual grind amount lacks tally marks.
Comes with all the necessary accessories required to easily maintain the machine.
It’s affordable.
Standby mode is activated after 1 hour of inactivity and automatically shuts down after 3 hours of inactivity.
Removable and easy to clean parts.
Doesn’t take up ample space on the kitchen counter.
Specialist in making awesome milk-centered tasty coffee.
Has a steam wand that is designed for hot water and milk frothing.

Conclusion

If all you need is that one machine that will give you a complete package such as provide convenience, excellent performance, power, perform all necessary functionalities, and still give a great value for its price in a business class design, then the BrevilleBES870XL is what you’re looking for.

Although there are minor drawbacks to it, we would definitely recommend the BES870XL for purchasing. It’s worth every penny, and features such as the dosing and brewing abilities, integrated burr grinder, and the ease and swiftness of cleaning make it an excellent buy. There’s a reason why it’s a best seller all over the internet.

References

1.
Hit and run: the lost art of making the perfect Italian espresso | Coffee | The Guardian
Daniel Tapper: It’s the classic quick, dirty coffee that you drink for the buzz rather than the taste. Is it time we set aside our cortados and rediscovered its earthy pleasures?
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