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According to statistics, Americans drink 400 million coffee cups every day with an average consumption of up to 20 cups a week for a regular office employee.
We drink coffee to feel motivated and energetic in the morning and throughout the day. Buying ready-made beverages in coffee shops is expensive, and by choosing the right brewing equipment, you can make this drink at home like a pro.
If you are obsessed with aroma, warmth, and taste that coffee gives to you, read the Breville BES870XL review. This multifunctional appliance will create tasty coffee drinks and ensure genuine café-style results in less than a minute.
Design and Key Features
The Barista Express is a semi-automatic coffee machine that combines both manual and automatic operations. This is very convenient because along with programmable things, it leaves a number of functions in your hands like steaming and dosing. This is also a good way to increase your coffee-brewing experience.
A lot of features are integrated within this unit. This is an all-inclusive brewer that grinds coffee beans before extraction, makes a creamy espresso, and froths milk in case you want a milk-containing drink. The brewing adventure is very simple. All you need is coffee beans and milk.
If you compare the Breville Barista Express with other similar models, this device is not quite compact. Better to say, it is the size of a standard coffee machine, but a little wider. Its appearance is more robust, still very impressive.
It looks like a professional device and can serve as a centerpiece of any modern kitchen. The pressure gauge makes its look more serious. All the buttons are big enough and easy to read.
The machine has stainless steel housing. Its portafilter is hefty and has a strong handle attachment. As the appliance comes with a grinder, it features a large hopper for coffee beans and conical burrs. It features 16 grind settings, which allows you to set the grind to your preference (ranging from “coarse” to “fine” settings), and it offers single, double, and manual dosing options. The hopper can be removed so that you can off-load the beans that are unused back to the storage container. This helps keep them always fresh.
The BES870XL model (primarily, in stainless steel color) is also developed in two other colors. The BES870BSXL features the Black Sesame color, and the BES870CBXL model features the Cranberry Red shade. The letters BS and CB in their names stand for the corresponding color of the device.
The body of the coffee maker includes a thermocoil heating system (1600W), which allows the water to maintain the necessary temperature due to special temperature control. The heating elements are made in Italy and guarantee the longevity of the appliance.
The pressure gauge is located on the control panel. Its circular dial shows the pressure range of the internal pump, which pushes hot water through the coffee grounds, and users can determine the taste of their brewed coffee. If you set too little pressure, the coffee grounds will not be thoroughly extracted, and your espresso will taste bitter. If you set too high pressure, the drink will have a bitter taste.
The control panel also features such buttons as “Power,” “Program,” and “Filter size.” The “Filter size” allows you to select a single/double espresso shot for brewing thanks to the two knobs which set the amount of coffee grounds produced by the grinder.
On the right of the brewhead, there is a swivel-joint steam wand with a nozzle for hot water. Both things are activated by a knob that is located on the right side of the control panel. This built-in frother ensures micro-foam milk texture and makes flavorful and creamy froth for amazing cappuccinos and lattes.
The appliance features a removable 67 oz./2-liter water reservoir with a convenient handle. There is also a drip tray that holds ground spillage in one area.
To enjoy the proper functioning of your espresso machine, it is necessary to know every detail about the device. The appliance includes a list of accessories, which you will find in the box. Most of them can be stored in a special storage tray:
- 54 mm portafilter
- Stainless steel milk carafe
- Integrated magnetic tamper
- 1 and 2 cup single-wall filter baskets
- 1 and 2 cup dual-wall filter baskets
- Cleaning tablets
- Cleaning disc
- Needle-tipped cleaning tool
- Cleaning brush
- Coffee scoop
- Allen key
- Razor dose trimming tool
- Water filter and its holder
All the parts of the machine that are exposed to water, coffee, and milk are BPA-free. The set also includes a detailed instruction manual.
Some extra items can be purchased separately (for example, water filters).
Advantages & Disadvantages
Breville is a trustworthy company that manufactures quality coffee machines. With more than 85 years on the market, it has earned customers’ loyalty and trust trying to suit their needs. The BES870XL is one of the best-selling models of Breville; however, MilkFrotherTop will review all its pros and cons.
- Magnetic tamper is easy to store
- Saves space thanks to a built-in grinder
- Programmable shots, doses, and temperature
- Due to the heat-exchange boiler, both coffee extraction and milk frothing can be done simultaneously
- The heating time is 20 seconds
- 2-liter removable water reservoir
- 360°-swivel frothing wand
- Includes single- and double-wall filter baskets
- The stainless steel body is long-lasting
- Easy to clean due to built-in reminders and cleaning mechanisms
- 1 year warranty
- Nice color options
- Comes with a great number of accessories
- Strong technical support
- For newbies, it takes a little time to learn how to use
- It is hard to tell when the water tank is running low
- All the parts should be hand-washed
- The grinder can work louder if you skip a few cleaning sessions
- Expensive water filters
How to Use the Barista Express®?
With a variety of household gadgets, consumers are searching for ways to save space in the kitchen while keeping the same kitchen routines that they love. Breville has responded with its latest model, the Breville BES870XL. This appliance integrates a burr coffee grinder for making a fragrant beverage with freshly ground beans. The device also includes an integrated milk frother for creating the sweetest foam on top of your beverage.
If you like this consolidated kitchenware and want to minimize your coffee-making ritual, this appliance from Breville is definitely for you. All the buttons, dials, and knobs can be intimidating for a beginner, but after making a few practice shots, you will grasp the basics.
The grinder that is used in this machine is not a regular one. This is a burr-type grinder that is able to grind beans only for espresso. This is one of the reasons why some users dislike this model. In fact, there is a multipurpose stand-alone grinder manufactured by Breville, and it was senseless to limit this functionality in the described model.
On the top of the coffee-maker, there is a 1/2 pound hopper for beans. This capacity is enough to make coffee for a number of guests. The greatest thing about this hopper is that it can be removed. It may seem like a design element that is not important, but when you want to empty this container of beans, you don’t need to turn the device upside-down.
This container is UV-protected. This means if you leave coffee beans in this reservoir, their flavor will remain the same and will not be spoiled due to light exposure.
On the left side of the control panel, there is the “Grind amount” dial. This function helps adjust the grind coarseness. Buying a new batch of coffee beans, you can play with this dial until you find the best setting for the best flavor shot. There are 16 settings available from rough to fine grinding.
Before you start experimenting with the consistency, adjust an empty portafilter under the spout to collect the ground coffee. Otherwise, they will drop into the drip tray. This will also make cleanup easier.
Grinding Coffee Beans
After you have chosen a grind setting, adjust your coffee dose. The knob to the right of the grind adjustment button dispenses the required amount of the brewed beverage – a single/double shot.
You can regulate the grinding process and grind manually. Push the portafilter into the grinding cradle and hold it in place. When you release the portafilter handle backwards, it stops the grinder.
When both the dose amount and the grind coarseness are set, slide an empty portafilter into the holder under the spout. The beans will grind into this filter basket.
The machine uses interchangeable single-wall and double-wall filter baskets. The filter baskets with a single wall are used when a user wants to control the brewing process. You are free to experiment with grind dose and size. The filter baskets with a double wall are used when you take the beans that are pre-ground. This helps regulate pressure and optimize extraction regardless of dose and grind.
All espresso machines manufactured by Breville are very successful in selling. They have good engineering and include all the necessary functions.
In this chapter, we describe the process of making coffee.
Reservoir for Water
The removable water container is nestled on the backside of the coffee maker. It features a capacity of 2 liters and doesn’t require a repeated fill-up. It has a convenient handle in case you need to pull the reservoir from its position and clean it.
A charcoal filter used in the reservoir purifies the tap water to keep the appliance durable. The filter is built into the device, and it doesn’t require a frequent replacement.
The appliance preheats within several minutes. This is great especially when users lack time in the morning. Touch the top of the brewer. If it is warm, then the machine is ready to be used. You can also preheat your coffee cups placing them on the top of the device next to the bean hopper.
Tamping of Ground Coffee
After you have dosed the ground coffee into the portafilter, press the contents down with a metal tamper. This helps you achieve the required pressure in the portafilter for the proper coffee extraction. The tamper is included in the set of accessories so you don’t need to buy it separately. It is a 53 mm tamper that perfectly fits the portafilter. It is magnetic and is held by a magnet into its place in the machine.
Twist the portafilter into its position under the brewhead and lock it. Now, select the size of espresso that you want. Choose between two variants (single/double shot) and push the corresponding button. Place a coffee cup underneath the portafilter. The machine starts pressurizing, and it works a bit loud while extracting the shot. Usually, the process of extraction takes 25-35 seconds. The time for preparation depends on the chosen dose and grind coarseness. You will see a concentrated and thick stream of espresso liquid flow into your cup. The pull quality depends on whether the coffee maker has been properly primed, the amount and coarseness of coffee grounds used, and other factors.
Frothing milk with the Breville steam wand is very simple. Pour milk into the provided pitcher. Keep in mind that the volume of milk expands after frothing. On the right side of the panel, switch on the “Hot Water/Steam” button. The steam boiler reaches its temperature in about 20 seconds.
After you have activated the steam function, direct the wand towards the hole in the drip tray. You will hear the pump working and pulsing sounds coming from the machine. Within a few seconds, the pump will shoot steam out of the wand. First, it will spit out a bit of hot water.
Switch this function off. The steam light begins to pulse. Users have 10 seconds to proceed frothing before the pump discharges its pressure. Slide the steam wand into the pitcher with its nozzle pointing at an angle downwards into the jug. It should be 1/4 deep into the liquid. The wand will froth the milk, and you will notice its creamy and silky foam. Turn the wand off and clean it with a wet sponge to remove milk residue. Purge it into the drip tray once again.
How to Clean Breville BES870XL?
All household appliances require a regular cleanup to stay in a working order. This Breville model is no different. Compared to automatic units, the Barista Express coffee maker has fewer messy reservoirs and moving parts to clean. The process of its sanitation is very simple and easy. Its cleanup can be divided into daily and regular maintenance.
Manufacturers recommend cleaning the coffee machine after each use. When an espresso shot has been extracted, press the “Single shot” button once again. This can be done without the portafilter connected to the brewhead. This helps remove coffee grounds and keep the brewhead clean.
Empty the portafilter right after use and rinse it with warm water. Remove and empty the drip tray, too.
When the process of milk frothing is over, purge the wand after each use to be sure that its nozzle is not clogged. Wipe the wand with a wet cloth and remove the leftover milk.
Remove any stray coffee grounds and wipe the stainless steel housing if there are any espresso splashes on the body. It is easier to get rid of any milk and coffee buildup at once; otherwise, it will not be easy to remove it in the future.
Regular maintenance implies that you have to clean the following parts of the device periodically.Water filter. If you use the carbon filters in the reservoir for water, they should be changed every two months. The manufacturer recommends using these filters because they extend the lifetime of the device and diminish the chances of its decalcifying. Drip tray. This tray fills up very fast. Remove and clean it with warm soapy water. The coffee sediment builds up a dark film on the sides and the bottom of the tray. Regular rinsing also keeps the machine bacteria-free. Mineral buildup. Tap water can be destructive for the machine components. If you use hard water, over time you may get mineral buildup on the steam wand and the components inside the appliance. Decalcifying is recommended once in a month or two. This procedure takes only 5 minutes. Fill the water tank with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and cold water. Detach the portafilter and place a collecting vessel under the outlet and the wand. Press the “Single shot” button and hold it until half the mixture runs through the machine. Then, adjust the “Hot Water/Steam” dial to the “Hot water” setting and let it run for half a minute. At last, adjust this dial to the “Steam” setting and let it run for one minute. Grinder. Detach the hopper for coffee beans, empty it, and reattach it. Let the grinder work until it is fully empty. Remove the bean hopper to have access to the burrs. Turn the top burr to the unlocked position and remove it. Clean the burr with special brushes included in the set. Assemble the top burr into its place. This procedure is not as complicated as it may seem. It takes 5 minutes and should be carried out once in 2-3 months. This cleanup is also necessary when you change the bean type so that the grinder does not affect a new taste and flavor. “Clean me” function. This light will illuminate when the appliance requires a cleaning cycle. Do this within a few days to avoid buildup within the device. The drip tray has a similar “Empty me” pop-up indicator.
The list of cleaning don’ts includes:
- immersing the machine or electric cords in water;
- cleaning the accessories and parts in a dishwasher;
- using abrasive sponges and cleaners that are able to scratch the surface.
This machine will serve you for years if you look after it thoroughly. If this cleanup bothers you, keep in mind that the payoff is more important.
If you have any problems with the machine’s maintenance, find the answer in the following table.
|Espresso is running too quickly/slowly.||Check the portafilter:
|Espresso is not hot.||Adjust the temperature setting as described in the instruction manual. If the machine is running on the hottest level, consider decalcifying the device. If this fails, preheat your cups to prevent the heat loss.|
|Water doesn’t flow from the brewhead.||
|The steam wand makes no steam.||This problem can be caused by the reasons described in the section above. Try to fix them first. Check that the “Hot Water/Steam” dial is in the correct position.|
|Espresso is streaming over the portafilter.||
|Espresso is weak.||
|There is water all over the counter.||
|The grinder doesn’t grind coffee beans.||
|The coffee machine is on, but it doesn’t work.||The safety feature was possibly activated. Switch off the device, unplug it, and allow it to reset for 30-60 minutes. If this doesn’t help, call the support service.|
If you have any other problems or need replacement parts, contact the Breville service center.
Where to Buy Breville BES870XL Barista Express?
Modern online stores are a reliable and quick option to buy household appliances. Breville has an official website where you can purchase the Breville BES870XL.
This coffee maker is available on numerous Internet shops and trading platforms like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Costco, Williams Sonoma, Best Buy, and others. Some of these suppliers offer various discount programs and provide a free delivery service. They ensure the same warranty period and have a refund policy.
Online purchase is a good chance to save both your money and time because you can buy this machine in several clicks.
The Barista Express espresso machine strikes a good balance between cost and functionality. It may seem a little expensive compared to standard entry-level coffee makers, but a variety of functions and a built-in grinder make its price tag justified.
This unit is more labor-intensive than super-automatic espresso machines, but in this case, you will be looking at a price point of more than one thousand dollars. With Breville, you will not break the bank because it performs better than expected with a combination of a good price, easy use, and quality design.
Other Key Details You Need to Know
This coffee machine has some other prominent features that make it stand out from competitors and are worth mentioning:
- It can make 20 cups of coffee a day
- Its grinder can be used to grind other types of beans other than coffee beans
- The 15-bar pump is manufactured in Italy
- The showerhead has a flat design for even water distribution
- The unit features an extra-tall clearance if you want to make coffee in taller mugs
- On the top of the machine, there is a cup warmer
- After one hour of inactivity, sleep mode is activated
- After three hours of inactivity, the appliance turns off automatically
- The coffee maker has five various temperature settings
This is a quality semi-automatic device that is an ideal compromise for both novices and professional users. This model is recommended for average home users.
The Breville BES870XL has a number of modifications over its previous model, the BES860XL. The following comparison table shows the main technical characteristics of both models and three similar coffee machines offered by other brands.
Check these features and determine what type of coffee maker is suitable for you.
This espresso maker cannot offer you the pushbutton functionality that is peculiar to luxury super-automatic machines, but it offers numerous options and settings that you will surely like. This unit is the customers’ choice mainly due to its integrated grinder and the idea of enjoying a cup of freshly ground coffee. The ability to easily clean it gets more scores from users as well. The device may seem expensive, but it is a good investment. All the users are satisfied with this purchase. Maybe it is your turn now?
- the Barista Express® – https://www.breville.com/
- BES870XL the Barista Express™ | Online Customer Service from Breville – http://www.brevilleusasupport.com/
- Learn More About the Breville Barista Express™ – https://www.youtube.com/
- Make a Latte with the Barista Express™ – https://www.youtube.com/
- Thoughts on Breville BES870XL – https://www.reddit.com/
- BES860XL the Barista Express™ | Online Customer Service from Breville – http://www.brevilleusasupport.com/
- Magnifica ESAM 3300 Espresso and Cappuccino Machine – https://www.delonghi.com/
- New Classic – Gaggia – https://www.gaggia.com/
- Rancilio Silvia – https://www.ranciliogroup.com/