Took me a while to figure out the right combination of grind size and pressure, etc. My wife loves the espresso’s and latte’s it makes. We jus remodeled our kitchen with all new appliances and this matches them. The integral grinder is just the best. And you can unlock the bean bin and replace it with another kind of beans.
I owned a fully automatic gaggia for 7 years and thought it was an awesome machine but i wanted more control so after a lot of research i chose the breville and i am really happy with my choice. It makes consistently good coffee with very little effort. More work than the gaggia to be sure but the results are worth the small investment in time.
Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine with Grinder
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- Stainless steel conical burr grinder with ½lb bean hopper
- 15 bar Italian pump
- 1450W stainless steel thermocoil heating system
- Adjustable grind size and grind amount settings
- Preset, manual over-ride or re-programmable shot volumes
I owned a krupps barista some time ago and when it finally died, i researched and ended up purchasing the breville 860xl. I’ve owned this machine for 4+ years and it has been working perfectly since that time (i clean it religiously and descale when the warning light appears). It has a bean hopper, that burr grinds my beans, a powerful steamer that properly froths the milk, and a grinding dial to obtain the best grind for the coffee you want. I use the factory water filters to ensure my water is pure for the best cup of coffee. I drink caps while the wife likes americano. And the creama is simply heaven. I have nothing bad to say about this unit and recommend it to anyone. Spare parts, rubber washers, water filters, descaling tablets are all readily available for this unit on line.
A good looking and moreover well working espresso machine. The manual is good, getting it up and running as well as cleaning are a breeze. People who complain about the mess with coffee powder, well, as with every manual espresso machine it is a bit messy for obvious reasons. If you don’t like this get a nespresso type of machine at the cost of excessive cost per cup of coffee and not being ableo to choose the coffee you like. For each brand and type of coffee beans you need a few espressos to figure out the best combination of grinding size and volume of powder. But once you figured that out the coffee is delicious and made to your personal preference. I took one star off because, depending on how oily the coffe beans are, the grains in the hopper need to be helped a bit to slide down into the grinder. That’s a small desing flaw but can’t be helped witout making the funnel slope steeper and by doing so increasing the overall size of the machine. Personally i can’t be bothered with this. It’s a great machine capable of making great espresso.
I was torn between this and the rancillo silvia. I ended up deciding on the breville because of the grinder. I am so glad i made this choice. I would have had to buy a separate burr grinder just to ensure the espresso would extract properly with both macines. This one, for a similar total price of the other included the grinder. With the rancilio, the grinder is sold separately and would require extra expensive buying. This machine produces a fine espresso with the option of a double wall or single wall single or double shot extraction so the at-home barista can experiment manually. I appreciate the stainless steal components where it counts (anything that’s heated), especially on the steam wand. There are too many espresso machine designs with silicone or other plastics.
Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine with Grinder : This machine wa exactly what i was looking for. From the moment you open the box, it screams class. But it’s not until after you have consistently perfect espresso that you really appreciate not wasting all that time and money at the local coffee shop. I haven’t tried making cappuccino yet but i imagine it will work just as well for that. It took me three weeks to choose which machine i wanted and boy. Am i glad i did my research because this one was worth the extra effort.
Pros: great machine for novice or expert home user. Instructions explain in detail to help anyone make a great cup. The versatility to adjust as needed with different beans is a must, not all beans create the same result with the same settings. Toughest decision is which beans to get when i get low. I have had manual machines for 15 years and never had a quality cup like this except for my favorite espresso location. Cons: small water storage, but it is filtered unlike some machines. Have to empty catch basin every 4 to 5 espresso’s (which is same as water filling), has an full indicator which works great to prevent spills.
I have used it now for a year and it’s just making perfect espresso every time. The froth attachment is excellent too, making the best cappuccino’s and machiato’s.
I bought the bes860xl back in march of 2013 (2 1/2 years ago) and it is still operating as well as it did when i first bought it. I had to descale it once after a year because the frothing arm was spitting out water from the base, but descaling/cleaning resolved the problem. The espresso comes out nice and bronze, creamy, and tasty; i use it in mocha’s. I drank forza mocha’s for a long time, liking them better than starbucks so i replicated the recipe by buying the ghiradeli’s chocolate powder, and the sicilian blend beans from forza, and with this machine i like the mocha’s i make even better than forza (for only $1 for a 16oz if made at home). It takes some experimentation with the fineness of the grind and the amount of pressure you pack it down with, but once you find the sweetspot, it turns out great every time. The pressure guage is helpful to fine tune your grind. If it’s too high, the espresso drips out and is darker, if the pressure is too low, the espresso pours out fast and quick, not as much crema. But in the middle, and it comes out perfect. The grind adjustment works well to adjust it (i use setting 13), and you can program the buttons to produce as much or little espresso with each button push.
**update** i received a replacement unit which had the same grinder issue at first, but i gave it a firm whack with my palm on the side of it and as soon as the grinder grabbed a bean it started grinding and has worked perfectly ever since. Aside from having to get a replacement, this machine has surpassed all my expectations and i have learned to make very yummy lattes (better than starbucks). I have successfully quit my starbucks habit (which is good because apparently their ceo doesn’t want my business if i disagree with him politically. Brand new unit came today and i spent the afternoon setting it up and ready to start drinking coffee. Went to grind the beans for my first shot and only about a tbsp of grinds came out. I tried all the troubleshooting tips i could find including cleaning out the grinder to be sure nothing is stuck. Still can only get a tbsp of grinds. Tried calling the support phone number but it will not connect. I don’t appreciate spending that much money and all that time to set it up and can’t use it. If i have to spend more money to get another unit, i’m going to upgrade to another brand (although the reviews on this one are great, i am so frustrated i don’t want to give this company my business).
We have been making espresso with this machine for the last 5 years several times a day plus the occasional steamer, mocha, and cappuccino. I’d say we’ve used it around 5000 times before now; which will be its first service. There’s been a slight buzzing for a bit and now the pressure is low. Even though it’s time to service it, i am really pleased with this purchase. Update: i took it apart and found that the connectors to the solenoids were not all the way on, so i pushed them on. Now it is not making a buzzing noise and works just fine.
I cannot really add more to the positive reviews posted here without being redundant. The wirebound manual provides great advice for the aspiring barista. It had me making good shots in the first first day. And perfect shots very soon after. The construction of everything has a good, solid weight to it – which adds to the pleasing esthetics of the machine. I wonder now why i wasted money on so many substandard machines over the years. The breville is well worth the money and is a great machine at this price point. Edit: it is now february of 2013.
Takes a bit of practice, but once you’ve got your settings right, it’s a reliable and high quality machine that produces really good coffee. Also, cleaning capsules and parts are readily available online, which is an important factor to consider.
I have owned this machine for over 6 months and i absolutely love it. It does take more time, but it makes the greatest lattes and specialty coffees. It is a little noisy but worth every last drop of coffee. I take care of my machine and follow the directions for clean up. After wiping off the wand, i turn the steam back on to push out any milk that may be there so it has never clogged. And it does spew a little water from the wand as it warms up but that is normal, aim it over the tray or a towel. I did have the burr grinder stop on me the other day. My husband and i scooped out the beans and vacuumed out the rest and there was a rock stuck in there (yes, coffee beans come from a field, lol). We used an ice pick to pry it out and we were back in business.
Here’s my review for the the breville barista express with built in burr grinder. Well, that’s the 3 word review. But seriously, i’ve been using this machine for over a month now and here is the run down. It makes fabulous, and most importantly, consistent espresso every time i use it. Takes 45 seconds to warm up and then bam, you’re all set for extracting cups of lavish espresso. The espresso shots, when properly extracted, come out with a proper, tri level finish, with the darkest portion on the bottom, follwed with a more mild middle ‘browner’ layer, and then the caramel colored crema top layer. Awesome, thick and rich crema is achieved when using a bean such as lavazza’s super crema. The key, i feel, to a proper tasting espresso, and any coffee beverage is to obtain freshly roasted, and even importantly, freshly ground beans. The built in grinder works splendidly for this purpose and can make the grinds very find; don’t think you can buy a $100 grinder and get your grinds fine enough.
We were introduced to this machine when visiting friends. It produced such excellent coffee that we were hooked after 10 days with them. We immediately purchased it and have not looked back since. It extracts the best flavor from coffee and there is no acidic taste. With and without frothed milk it makes an excellent cup. It is correctly called the barista. It is more than we ever expected to pay for a coffee machine but has proven to be well worth it. It is easy to work with, instructions are clear.
I was a bit suspicious about buying this machine given some of the negative reviews on amazon. We have owned this machine for a little over a year now, and have noted absolutely no product defects whatsoever. It gets used multiple times every week, and with practice, makes an excellent latte, cappuccino, or espresso. There are much better grinder units out there, but at a substantially higher price. The one that comes built-in with this unit is serviceable, and, if kept clean, seems to do a fine job. We use the hose from our vacuum to clean it out about once every three months or so. The steam wand is somewhat underpowered. But for the price, this one does fine. With practice, i have been able to make excellent steamed milk, though i’m sure it would be easier with a more powerful machine.
I had to mull over for 6 months wondering if i’m not crazy spending $600 on a coffee maker but decided to spend the kids inheritance and get it. When shelling out this much $ my expectations were high and after a year i can say thus far it’s met those expectations. By the time i’ve ground and tamped the coffee it’s ready to brew. Reservoir is large and easy to fill. Tamper and sieve are heavy duty what you would expect for a machine on this level.
Our family are all latte drinkers and it can get expensive with daily coffee house visits. My husband did a lot of research over the last 6 mths and we were leaning towards the breville barista express bes860xl with grinder. The price was more than we wanted to spend but it turns out it will be saving us money in a short amount of time. We have very little time in the morning so we wanted something fast and easy. Grinding beans stored in a compartment with a push of a button gives our lattes sensational flavor. We had a cheaper espresso machine trying to save money. We rarely ever used it because it was like drinking dish water. I was skeptical, especially paying $600 for a machine, but it was worth every penny. It only takes 45 seconds for it to warm up, grinds the coffee beans in seconds, makes flavorful espresso in seconds, and hot milk in about a minute. It is very easy to use because all you do is push a button once everything is set to your liking. No more runs to the coffee house. We have our own right at home.
I wanted a great machine to learn on and this is it. My friend has been making exceptionally good espresso for years now, so when she started raving about all the great features the breville had for the price, i knew i had hit the jackpot. Nearly a year later with a lot of practice i can make a modest cup myself. Still a lot to learn, but i expected that. The grinder has some issues (see craig deforester’s review) but i can live with it for now. I highly suggest reading all the other reviews. They were very helpful to the newbie doing her homework. Now, to go make myself a cup.
Never performs like the instructions say it will. Never, ever see any pressure build on the guage. I guess i am always underextracting my coffee. I don’t claim to be a barista but i can operate a machine. I think i like our old saeco automatic espresso unit much more. One note: breville apparently uses a lower grad stainless on their machines as ours is already displaying signs of surface rust which will not scrub off.
I have owned this machine for just over a month. It is easily the most expensive espresso machine that i have ever had, but not even close to the most expensive on the market. I had always ground my own beans, and was really thrilled with the attached hopper/ grinder. Initially, i was really disappointed with this feature of this machine. As other reviews have cited, the grinder easily jams (when grinding on the finer settings) and is tedious to clean. So, i just resorted to using the ‘novice’ double wall filter with the pre-set double wall grind settings. After a week more, i kept reading in the instruction manual, and realized that i had caused my own problems by adjusting the fineness while the grinder was working. I have used the ‘expert’ filters and the finest grinding settings ever since. I use a spoon or small brush to push down the ground coffee into the portafilter before removing from under the grinder, and sometimes add a little more (from a small metal bowl that i place under the grinder).