This is one of leading items in the world of express espressos. It impresses users with a dozen great things, including a perfect feature set, a modern and attractive look, and an awesome reliability as well. It is an ideal choice to any serious espresso fan. So what are the other great things that make BES870XL so special? Let’s move on to the next part of my review.
What are the main features?
This excellent Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine comes with dozen outstanding features that you can hardly find in other items. Below are some of the most noticeable features.
Useful Built-In Burr Grinder
If you are clear about espresso making process, you will know the importance of grinding fresh beans before extracting. And like most of professional espresso machines, the BES870XL comes with a top-mounted burr grinder. This grinder is able to include a half pound of espresso beans and has a sealed top to make sure that the beans won’t take on a stale flavor. Plus, it is adjustable, allowing you to decide how coarse your espresso will be. There is also a removable hopper for easier refilling and preventing beans from spilling all over the kitchen. Such a fine grind setting it is!
Low Pressure Before Brewing
This feature, along with the showerhead-style water distribution system claims that the espresso puck is saturated before pressure builds. This finally results in the finest flavor, and ensures that you’re enjoying the most out of your espresso beans.
Adjustable One- and Two-Cup Options
Amazingly, this Barista Express allows you to program for either one or two espresso cups each brewing. One preset ‘cup’ is normally 30 milliliters, but you can still adjust the liquid amount going into each shot to get your desired flavor exactly. This feature is quite complicated and it takes you some practice to get accustomed. If you are just a beginner, you will sometime feel like you are fiddling with it.
The pressure gauge in this machine is not as attractive as those in other pricier models, but it is much more functional. It is the key of the brewing’s stability. For instance, you can check the pressure to determine where your wanted flavor is, and how much crema is available on you shot. If you satisfy and consistently choose that mark when you pull shots, your espresso will stay consistent too. It doesn’t have any changes until you change the bean type.
Spacious and Detachable Water Tank with Filter
Like most of fancy commercial espresso machines, this machine comes with a spacious reservoir to include for water, so you do not have to pour water for each espresso making time. I sometimes want the tank to be side mounted, not rear mounted as it is really because we need to pull the machine away from the wall a bit when starting refilling. However, this change can affect the machine’s look and may make it harder to use. In addition, with the reservoir’s capacity of up to 67 ounces of water, you do not have to refill water frequently. What about the filter? The integrated filter will help to take out impurities from water, ensuring you’re your final espresso will taste marvelous.
Two Sets of Filters
The Barista Express offers two different sets of filters. One set is dual-wall filters. It is for those who are new espresso machine owner and the other is single-wall filters. It is for those who are skillful with the machine. While dual-wall filters are pressurized for programming extraction, the other ones are non-pressurized and permit you to try different grind amounts and sizes and vary tamping pressure before finding your wanted levels .
Stainless Steel Steam Wand
Steam wand is an integral part in an espresso machine. Without it, the machine will become incomplete. And this Breville BES870XL Barista comes with a solid, 360-degree wand, allowing you to heat and texture fresh milk. As this wand works, it can even form microfoam bubbles for you to exercise your creative side with a bit of latte art.
Ease of Cleaning
As you have ever done cleaning on this machine, you will find that the steam wand is extremely easy to wipe clean, using a wet cloth. Furthermore, knob controlling the steam is usefully designed on the right side of the machine, so you can easily purge steam to clean the tip of the nozzle. Remember to put the nozzle back down toward the unit’s base as you purge otherwise messes and burns can be likely to happen.
In addition to this, because of the infrequent drip and spilled coffee grounds, they are easy to wipe up. Interestingly, the detachable drip tray in the the machine’s base has a “clean me” message. So you will never forget such easy but important cleaning.
What are the pros?
Here are some of pros that you are about to enjoy with this Breville Barista Express
- It works fine and fast
- It is durable and sturdy due to made of high-quality material and solid structure
- It leaves no slip feet even when the burr grinder is on work, which avoids “walking” across counter
- It is made of stainless steel, so it is easy to keep the machine clean and stylish
- It is easy to clean, it even includes a hideaway storage to keep
What are the cons?
- While the machine is easy to clean, it is easily involved in a mess when being used
- The drip tray gets full quickly
- The grind occasionally spray on the counter
Common questions when it comes to using Breville BES870XL
Can I make regular coffee with this machine?
This espresso machine isn’t supposed to brew regular drip coffee, however, you can still make fine Americano with it by brewing one shot or two of espresso, then pouring water from the dispenser. The final drink tastes like a good, strong cup of coffee.
How hot is the warming plate on top of the machine??
Actually, the warming plate is not severely hot. You just feel somehow warm when touching, so if you want, you can put some cups on the top for them to get warm before adding the drink made recently. If you prefer hot your cups to warm ones, add hot water into them and do the emptying few seconds before filling in your drink.
Is it necessary to remove the tamper when operating the machine?
You can still keep the tamper attached; however the result would be better if you removed it out of the storage spot, where it is kept in place with a magnet. Some users share that they still have tamper in place when running the machine, personally, I prefer to remove it and get a finer espresso puck.
Can this machine brew espresso and steam milk at once?
The answer is “no”. The unit has a single boiler and can perform one function at one time. But do not worry about this as the whole process doesn’t take you much time, it is just around 60 seconds to make beans into result espresso, and then another 15 to 30 seconds to steam milk, which depends on the number and the quality of the container you’re using for the steam process.
In conclusion, Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is really a wise investment to those who are looking for solution for fine espresso at home, especially to beginner and intermediate baristas as there are two wall options, the single and double. More importantly, it is easy to use and fast to finish the process.
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