Is this Breville espresso machine the best espresso machine?
This Breville espresso machine with its integrated burr grinder and 15 bar pump is our first choice for experienced baristas and novices alike.
Whether you operate it manually or use its automatic features, it brews exquisitely rich espresso with silky smooth crema and gets our vote for best espresso machine.
While the Breville Barista Express has a significant price tag, our investigation demonstrated that its features and functionality are well worth the investment.
Purchasing just one 8 oz. latte each day for nine months at a famous coffee house would pay for this espresso maker — plus, enough whole roasted coffee beans to make latte for nine months!
- This espresso maker has a 15 bar pump, designed and manufactured in Italy for exquisite crema topped espresso.
- It has an integrated conical burr grinder, which freshly grinds beans to your preferred grind size and amount for every cup.
- Included are a stainless steel frothing jug, single wall filters (one each: single and double shot), dual wall filters (one each: single and double shot), and cleaning accessories.
- There is hidden cord storage below the water tank.
- There is a storage tray for accessories behind the drip tray.
- Dimensions are 14.5″ high x 12.6″ wide x 12.6″ deep.
Things to Consider
- Since freshly ground beans produce richer espresso, this Breville espresso machine allows you to specify the precise bean quantity required for your preferred brew. This burr grinder grinds only the bean quantity you specify; saving the extra whole beans for grinding with your next cup.
- The grind size dial allows you to adjust grinding from very fine to coarse. Use the dual wall setting to set the grind size automatically or use the dial to adjust settings when using single wall filters with manual operation.
- The hands-free design holds the portafilter in place while grinding — allowing you to step away from the machine.
- Monitor extraction pressure with the espresso pressure gauge for perfect, velvety crema.
- This espresso maker will pay for itself in 6 to 9 months if you typically purchase just one cappuccino or latte per day from a famous national coffee house. This calculation is based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the espresso machine, advertised prices for famous retailer coffee beans, and menu prices for 8 oz. beverages at the same famous national coffee house.
- With the magnetic tamper, you can tamp your espresso with the tamper “on board” the machine or detached by hand.
- This Breville espresso machine has a swivel-action steam wand with a 360° ball joint for easy adjustment and positioning. Texture milk with the steam wand alone or use the frother attachment for even more froth.
- The dry puck feature extracts excess water from ground espresso for easy cleanup and disposal.
- Some consumers prefer to warm their demitasse with hot water rather than use the cup warming tray — citing lengthy warming time inconvenience.
- The espresso maker switches to Power Save Mode when idle for 30 minutes; thereby utilizing 50% less power than Stand By Mode. After two further hours of inactivity, the unit switches off.
- A few consumers expressed concern that finding espresso cleaning tablets in stores or online can be challenging. We offer several options for espresso cleaning tablets.
- As with most kitchen appliances, the Breville Barista Express requires routine and periodic cleaning. Removal of parts and reassembly is required after use.
Care and Cleaning
After each use, rinse the steam wand and frothing attachment under warm running water and then run steam through the wand briefly. If the tip is clogged, detach it and allow it to soak in warm water. After a few minutes, unclog it with the pin portion of the cleaning tool.
Wipe the exterior of the unit with a damp cloth and polish with a dry cloth. Do not use abrasive pads on the machine.
Always check the drip tray’s “empty me” indicator and empty this tray routinely. Empty the grounds and wash the tray with warm soapy water. While the drip tray is out, remove the storage tray and wipe it with a damp cloth. Do not use abrasive pads.
Periodically, run water through the machine to clear out any loose espresso particles. Also, clean the conical burr grinder by running the grinder on empty and then cleaning the burr and chute with a brush. Every two or three months, decalcify the machine by running a vinegar solution through it. When the “clean me” light is lit, run the machine through the inbuilt cleaning cycle.
Store the espresso maker with the power and steam set to “off” and with the unit unplugged. Always empty the hopper, water tank, and drip tray for storage.
This Breville espresso machine is covered by a one-year manufacturer’s limited warranty.
Breville Barista Express BES860XL Review Highlights
Pros: 15 bar pump, integrated conical burr grinder, adjustable grind size, adjustable grind amount, espresso pressure gauge for precise extraction, machine pays for itself in 6 to 9 months, swivel-action steam wand with frother attachment, dry puck feature, power save mode
Cons: cup warming tray does not heat instantly, espresso maker cleaning tablets may be difficult to find, requires routine and periodic cleaning
Thank you for reading the Tools for Kitchens review of the Breville Barista Express, our pick for best espresso machine!
View a pdf of the owner’s manual for this Breville espresso machine.
Watch a Demonstration of the Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker.
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