Breville Barista Express BES870XL

The Breville BES870XL has an integrated conical burr grinder and a milk frothing mechanism. The exterior has an aluminum die-cast body. It comes in multiple colors: cranberry red, black sesame, and stainless steel silver. It comes with a grinder container (bean hopper) 1/2 lb, a 1600W Thermo coil heating system, and a 67 fluid Oz (2L) removable water tank. This machine is practical for coffee aficionados who love to experiment with different ground coffee. The price is listed from $599.94.


The Breville Express has a 15 bar pump pressure and a regulated temperature control system to ensure coffee is made with quality. The machine comes with two double & single pressurized baskets and two double & single non-pressurized baskets. For beginners and novice drinkers, I would suggest start with the pressurized baskets first. That way, the machine takes care of the pressure level for you. For the non-pressurized baskets, you can refine the intensity of coffee by toggling with the knob to the left side panel of the machine. If you lower the pressure, it will make the grinds finer; otherwise high for coarser results.

You can set the grinder to a single or double shot. If you wanted a double, but have set to single by accident, just place your portafilter twice to get a double shot. The Breville Barista Express also has an integrated and removable tamper on the side. By having the tamper right in front of you, it reduces risks of ground coffee spillage. It also makes your coffee making process tidier.  With the grind size selector, you can choose single wall filter for fine grind or double wall for coarse grind. Once you have locked the portafilter into the grinding cradle, the programmatic timer will automatically stop an optimal level for your espresso. Note: this smart timer has capability in detecting different doses of ground coffee you have put in place. The intensity of your espresso depends on the coarseness and shots you have chosen. See demo video below:

There are many advantages in the Breville Barista Express. For instance, you can work with an integrated grind, brew, and frothing system. That means you can make fresh cups of espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes in just a few minutes. With a good selection of roast and correctly rested coffee, it produces a more profound taste, flavour, and body than with pre-ground coffee. You have control on how much foam the milk frother produces. Simply press to start and stop any time you want by pressing the button again. You can also unlock the container (bean hopper) in the grinder for ease of cleaning. The coarse-fine grind switch button is very accessible. With the grinder selector, you can make your coffee more customized.  The machine also has a cup warmer on the top to make a freshly brewed coffee even hotter and more enjoyable.  The pressure dial shows how pressure changes throughout the coffee brewing process. In general, the most optimal range is the black area. From this indicator, we can see how well the espresso is made. [Note: if the espresso is too weak, we will need to try using the double wall filter. Cups not hot enough, try heating the cups and portafilter or heat the milk longer.] Once you are done making coffee, you can wait for the portafilter to sit for a while, then empty out the coffee grinds in a neatly compacted disc form.

Breville Barista Express Storage Compartment

Another advantage of the Breville Express is the built-in storage compartment for cleaning tools, and accessories. In this storage, it can fit the double & single shot baskets, the ground coffee measurement tool, and the cleaning kit.

Just like any other espresso machines, frothing and brewing create excess moisture that cumulates in the drip tray. It is essential to maintain the cleanliness of your Breville Express to make it more long lasting. The drip tray needs cleaning on a regular basis. When the Breville Express is done making coffee, it would light up a “clean me” indicator to give us a heads up for the cleaning cycle. First, you need to clean the drip tray. Then you fill the water tank, place the cleaning disc into the portafilter, lock it in place, and turn the power off. Wait for a minute, then hold the single & double shots, and power button all at once for three seconds. Wait for five minutes, then rinse the filter and portafilter. Once the cleaning is completed, you should be able to extract espresso.

Breville Barista Express cleaning diagram

Note: BEC250 8-Pack Espresso Cleaning Tablets is the official package. It costs $13.49 on Amazon.  These tablets help remove coffee residues and oils and protects your espresso machine with non-corrosive ingredients.


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