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There is no doubt that fully automatic espresso makers are convenient, classy and luxurious. They brew coffee very fast and require little to no effort on your part. Having said that, I should also mention that they are very expensive to buy and maintain. That is why some semi-automatic coffee makers like the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine are rated better than most fully automated ones.
This unit is a must-have if you are willing to work with a few manual settings and adjustable controls before getting high-quality coffee. Voted as the Best New Product in the Coffee or Tea Preparation and Serving Equipment category (2013), the appliance is very affordable but makes coffee that is as good as what other makers that cost hundreds more can brew.
Features of the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine review:
In this comprehensive Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine review, we are going to look at five features that make the unit a top-notch appliance for your kitchen.
Built to brew:
If you know anything about coffee making then you can tell that this unit really means business just by how it looks. At 16 X 13.5 X 12.5 inches, it is almost twice as wide as a standard drip coffee maker but looks more robust. Most of its physical features are only found in premium coffee makers.
For instance, it features a large burr grinder, bean hopper, and pressure gauge. Its majestic stainless steel chassis and steel portafilter are proof that it is the undisputed champion of coffee making among semi-automatic brewers.
Brews the best espresso:
The Breville BES870XL makes the best homemade espresso thanks to its amazing pressure system. It has a circular dial that shows you whether the machine’s internal pump is pumping hot water through coffee grounds with the most optimal pressure.
That is a very important factor to the brewing process because if the force is too little then the water will pass through the grounds quicker than it should. That will result to sour-tasting espresso because the water will have missed most of the flavor. On the other hand, if the water flows too slowly then your coffee will be bitter.
Easy to control:
Despite its fairly many dials, buttons, and knobs, the Breville BES870XL Barista is pretty easy to handle. Simply fill the water tank and bean hopper and then place a filter into the portafilter basket. Once you push the portafilter basket into place, the machine will automatically fill the filter basket based on your selection (single or double). Since the unit is semi-automatic, you have the option to grind manually by pushing the portafilter backward and holding it in place.
The grinding will stop when you release it. Finally, tamp down your grounds, position the portafilter in its place under the brew-head, select single or double shot and wait to enjoy your coffee. The good thing is that the unit comes with a comprehensive user manual that you can use for all your brewing needs.
Without going into unnecessary details, the Breville BES870XL Barista will brew the best tasting coffee if you get your settings right. For instance, if you need 1.6 fluid ounces from half an ounce of coffee grounds then set your grinder to level 3 coarseness and you will achieve 13 to 15% of total dissolved solids (TDS). Steaming milk with this unit is also easy as it stores a lot of power.
Contrary to some coffee makers that do not have spare parts, pretty much every component of the Breville BES870XL Barista can be replaced if it gets damaged. In fact, you can purchase every part individually from the manufacturer’s site. Each piece comes with a very fair price. For instance, the unit’s water tank costs $22.99, the portafilter costs $49.99, the drip tray costs $11.99, and the knock box costs $29.99.
PROs of the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine :
* Comes with built-in grinder
* Great customer support
* One year warranty
* Pressure gauge guides you during the brewing process
* Makes amazing froth wand
* Offers both manual and automatic settings
* Very fast when brewing coffee
* Super sturdy
* Easy to clean
* Makes a mess when in use
* Not fully automatic
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Do I need to buy other parts for this unit?
A: No, it comes complete. Just buy coffee beans and you will be good to go.
Q: Does it have a warranty?
A: It has a one year warranty.
Q: Does the unit work with ESE coffee pods?
A: Since it doesn’t come with a pod filter I highly recommend that you don’t use pods.
As mentioned earlier in this Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine review, the unit is a perfect substitute for people who want the same quality of coffee that super automatic machines can make but at a cheaper price. Despite the fact that you will have to enter manual settings every once in a while, it is pretty easy to use and makes delicious coffee. Therefore, we strongly recommend it.