When it comes to home coffee machines, Breville is relatively a newcomer to the industry. However, over the past decade, they have managed to make quite a good name for themselves as a brand. Today, the coffee and espresso machines by Breville have become some of the best options for people who want to make high-quality and delicious coffee quickly from the comfort of their own homes. The Breville Barista Express espresso machine is one of the high-end models from Breville, and it is a great option for people who are serious about espresso.
The Breville Barista Express is an all-in-one espresso machine that can make coffee shop quality espresso. It comes with various features including a digital temperature control system and a built-in steam wand and coffee grinder. You can choose from several brewing options from automatic to completely manual, making it an ideal choice for anybody who is interested in developing their espresso-making skills. However, despite being one of the more expensive models from Breville, it does lack some features that you would find on similarly priced machines, and it might not be the best option for you if you want to be able to make large amounts of espresso for guests.
On the other hand, if you’re mainly making espresso for yourself or as a couple and are serious about having the ability to make coffee shop quality espresso from your own kitchen, the Barista Express is a capable, impressive espresso machine that will definitely help you become a better barista at home. Read on to find out more with this Breville Barista Express review.
Pros and Cons
As with every coffee machine, the Barista espresso machine does have some pros and cons to be aware of. These are:
- Digital temperature control
- Built in steam wand
- Built in conical burr coffee grinder
- Grind size is adjustable
- Doesn’t have milk frothing temperature control
- Quite expensive
Before deciding if this is the right espresso machine for you to invest in, it’s worth looking into all the different features of this machine in more detail. Some of the most important features of the Breville Barista Express are:
Digital Temperature Control
When it comes to making coffee, espresso is a brewing method that you really have to be exact with. If everything isn’t perfect, then your coffee is not going to taste as good as it could. Just a couple of differences could be all it takes to turn a potentially amazing, smooth espresso shot into one that is unimpressive, mediocre, or even downright nasty. When it comes to all the variables that you need to consider when brewing espresso, the water temperature is often one of the hardest to get right. This is especially true if you are using a standard kitchen thermometer, as they aren’t always perfectly accurate. With the Breville Barista Express espresso maker, you do not have to worry about this problem as the digital thermometer and PID system works to heat and cool the water continuously to make sure that you get the perfect temperature for every single espresso shot.
Built in Burr Grinder
There are plenty of features of this espresso machine that users love, but the built in Breville Barista Express grinder is definitely one of the top ones. Having a built-in grinder saves a lot of time and effort, and many people who use it don’t know how they ever managed using a separate grinder to their coffee machine. The machine will calculate your dose automatically and grind the right amount of coffee for your espresso without requiring any input from you. Then, the coffee is directly loaded into the portafilter for even more convenience. What’s even better is that this is a really high-quality grinder with a stainless steel conical burr.
Durability and Construction
This espresso machine is mainly constructed with stainless steel, which is durable and easy to keep clean. All of the knobs and buttons on the machine are clearly labelled, tactile, and easy to use. You will also be impressed with the built-in features such as the portafilter and steam wand when it comes to their simplicity when using. However, the side panels, top, and bottom are plastic which does bring down the overall feel of the machine a little bit. However, since these parts of the machine don’t get as much wear and tear and don’t need cleaning as often as the others, it makes sense that they are plastic, which also makes the machine lighter. Another feature that could be better in terms of the design is the water reservoir, as it’s quite small at just under 70oz, which leaves some users feeling like they are constantly refilling it. However, this might not be a problem for you if you only make a couple of espresso shots a day.
Breville makes a lot of different coffee and espresso machines that boast a wide range of great features. However, the Barista Express isn’t quite as feature rich as some of the other espresso machine options from this brand and similarly priced models from competing brands. While the temperature control and the built-in grinder are definitely worth paying more for, there are some standard features that are missing in comparison with other machines.
One of the most noticeable absent features is a fast-heating mode – most other espresso machines of a similar price will have this. While many users say that they don’t mind waiting a little bit longer for the machine to heat up, it can be frustrating if you are switching over from a machine that offers fast heating. Along with this, there is also no temperature control for Barista Express milk frothing; another feature that you would normally expect to be included with a high-end machine such as this.
While none of the missing features mean that the Barista Express is a bad choice, bear them in mind as you might miss them, or regret not buying another machine at the same price that does offer them.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you like the look of this machine and the features included, then you might be interested in learning a bit more about it before you decide whether or not it’s the right choice for you. Some frequently asked questions regarding the Breville Barista Express espresso machine are:
What is the Warranty Like?
When you spend a good deal of money on an espresso machine, you expect a warranty. With the Barista Express, you will get a one-year limited warranty that covers most of the common problems or issues that you might encounter.
Is it a Good Choice for Beginners?
You don’t have to be a barista to be serious about espresso. If you have never made a shot of espresso before but want to start, then this might be an ideal choice for you, since it has fully automatic settings that require very little user input. You can also adjust the settings for more manual brewing, which may be ideal for you if you want to learn and improve over time. However, experts recommend that beginners start out with a cheaper, entry-level machine at first before moving up to something like the Breville Espresso Express. This will give you a feel for brewing espresso and allow you to experiment and learn without any risk to your expensive machine. By getting some practice on a cheaper machine first, you will be confident when it comes to how to work a Breville espresso machine and will get better results.
Is the Machine Easy to Clean?
By now, most people who have a coffee machine at home know that regular cleaning is important for keeping the coffee tasting great and the machine in good working condition. And the same is true when you have a Breville espresso machine such as the Barista Express. The main machine is designed to be simple and easy to clean, and the parts are easy to remove if you want to get access to some of the harder to reach areas during a deep cleaning. The automatic cleaning mode also works well, and the grinder is easy to maintain with the included brush for removing old grounds and fine coffee particles.
If you’re thinking of buying yourself a Breville BES870xl Barista Express espresso machine, then one of the first things that you might want to do is see what people think of it. Before you decide if the Breville Barista Express machine is the perfect fit for your kitchen, learning more about the experience of other users can help. Most of the buzz around the Breville Barista online is quite positive, with most users reporting that they have a great experience with their Breville BES870xl. Some of the main things that users like are the built-in grinder, with many users saying that it’s one of the best they have used, and the durability and quality of the machine. Breville’s customer service team is also reported to be helpful.