Breville Barista Express BES860XL Review
The Espresso Machine that Standing Out Among the Rest Of Its Class
In the market today, there are many espresso machines that promises the same thing like making a freshly-brewed shot of espresso, but some of them don’t live up to their promises. Some of them cannot even keep the water temperature to its ideal temperature to produce great espresso with thick crema.
This somehow is a disappointing fact. Since you are in the market for a new espresso machine, you could be fooled by what have been advertised VS. what the real result is. Advertisement and word of mouth are sometimes pretty inaccurate until you’ve seen it yourself how the machine work, or at least someone credible told you so.
Though I’m not trying to be an expert in this field, but I can say that I’ve done intensive researches and studies to bring you to the range of best coffee makers and espresso machines that you could buy today. I’ve reviewed the cost effective espresso machine last few weeks, but if you think it’s not up to your need, let me suggest you a higher level one, which is the mid-end espresso machine from Breville – the Breville Barista Express BES860XL.
So, What Convinced Me to Recommend it To You?
There are several things that this Breville Barista Express BES860XL espresso machine is astounding:
- 15-bar ThermoBlock pump innovation
- Sealed bean hopper, including an 8-oz capacity
- built-in conical burr grinder – no need to spend more money to get separated bean grinder
- Dual Wall Filter system
- Water filtration system
- Built-in large water tank
- Removable magnetic tamper – again, save more money getting external one!
What is Thermoblock?
Thermoblock is the latest in innovation created by many manufacturers of espresso machines. This thermoblock technology means that the water is heated on a multi-channel metal block that has an exterior element.
The good side of an espresso machine with thermoblock system is that you don’t have to wait for the machine to heat up before you can start making your espresso. Unlike the boiler system that you have to wait for the machine to warm up first beforehand. However, Thermoblock system did come with a small disadvantage, which is the temperature of the water is somehow inconsistent.
However, it could be troubleshooted by properly warming up the machine for awhile before making any beverage.
How Important is the Thermoblock Pump on this machine?
Breville Barista Express BES860XL comes with 15-bar pump pressure, which is the recommended pressure power if you want an espresso filled with thick crema topping. According to most experts, only those (machines) with pressure above 9-bar (bar = atmosphere pressure) can generate a cup of smooth espresso and bringing out the entire aroma and body that you are looking for on your espresso. You’ll never get the golden crema topping on espresso produced by lower end machine with insufficient pressure.
Another Amazing Effect…
Breville BES860XL comes with a sealed bean hopper with an 8-ounce capacity that will work flawlessly together with the built-in coffee grinder by holding coffee beans right even before it is ground. It features a locking system where allows user to remove the hopper without removing the beans. This sealed bean hopper, however, must be kept in full condition (with coffee beans) during the grinding process whenever it’s possible.
How about the Complete Burr Grinder?
The built-in grinder is perfect for grinding your coffee beans. This is the options for those who aim for the freshness of the ground coffee instead of using some kind of pre-ground coffee pod or capsule. In some golden ratio taught by some experts, the freshness of the ground coffee become one of the factor of a great shot of espresso. Breville Barista Express BES860XL even goes further by providing a preset or adjustable grind size dial where you can set it to your liking. Depending on what setting you want, the grinding process takes about 15 to 20 seconds.
All of the ground coffee will end up in a special hands free grinding cradle below the conical burr grinder. However, you have to first install it to the slot with the chosen filter placed into the cradle.
Dual Wall Filter System – What is it all about?
I’ve said that the interesting feature of this machine also include the Dual Wall filter system. This feature is actually aiming for beginners. Breville’s dual wall system eliminates the guesswork so beginner can make fast and easy espresso. This espresso maker comes with four filters, two Dual wall filters and two Single wall filters for both single and double shot.
The dual wall filter will slow the water flow rate during brewing, resulting in espresso extracted at the correct pressure and thick crema. On the other hand, The single wall filter system is included for the aspiring baristas. It has no slowing of water flow rate when using this filter. More advanced techniques are required when using single wall filter, where the grind size, grind amount, and tamp force play important part here.
The Removable Magnetic Tamper – Use it Any Way You Like
You have no need to buy external tamper because there is an on-board tamper coming along with the machine. Unlike any other espresso machine we have seen, the tamper is easy removable because it has a magnetic field in its feet, and you can easily put it back to the machine. Either on-board or off board, the tamper can be used however you like. But the best is to tamp with the tamper on your hand, as you can easily adjust the pressure more accurately.
How Does the Large Removable Water Tank Work?
I love the detachable water tank that has a 67-ounce capacity (equal to 2 L). It’s large, about the half size of the commercial espresso machine has. The most obvious benefit for a large water tank is the amount of cup you can make per-refill. It would be such a nuisance that you have to refill the water tank on each cup of latte made. Another plus point that I love about the water tank on this Breville espresso machine is the built-in filteration system.
Yes, this machine has a water filtration system in form of a charcoal layer with mesh that act as the purifier to keep the water from impurities and chemicals. The water filtration system will take out the scale-forming magnesium and calcium ions from the water, which mean the water used to brew the espresso is healthy and safe.
Breville BES860XL Settings
This machine is quite smart for its price. It can work on manual mode or automatic mode. There is a programmable and manual adjustments that you can control it however you like. This include the amount of coffee, the grind size, and more. However, you have to be the expert if you want to test the manual way, or your espresso shot might not even close to the state of ‘tasty’.
The dual wall filter is definitely helpful if you are a beginner. All you have to do is to make sure that all adjustment is set the ‘Dual Wall’ and you are good to go. However, if you love challenge, you can try the single wall filter system. It’s always good if you can test out various kind of method to make your own coffee/espresso.
However, if you are in the morning rush hour, you can let Breville BES860XL espresso machine work independently and prepare a shot of espresso in a few minutes. Is it nice that you can have a cup of lukewarm espresso after you’ve properly dressed for work?
Okay, What’s included in The Box?
- single shot and double shot single wall filters
- single shot and double shot dual wall filters
- Cleaning kit to clean the filters
- Tampering Tool with Pressure guide
- Stainless steel frothing pitcher
Is there any manual book coming along? Of course! However, if you are in the rare case, you can always download the manual book online. The manual book is not just “yet another boring manual book”. You can actually learn one or two things within the book as there are recipes that looks interesting.
Here you go if you need one: Barista Express Manual Book (PDF) – right click and choose “save link as” to download.
Are There Complaints?
There were hardly any negative opinions that I discovered about this product since most users rate it 5 stars in most consumer ratings online. Many of them are satisfied with the Breville BES860XL. They are noting on the convenience and pleasure they can have every time they want to have a freshly-made shot of espresso straight from their kitchen or office. However, there is a rare case that the coffee bean will jammed the grinder. To solve this problem, a reviewer said that he used a vacuum cleaner to suck the bean out from the sealed bean hopper, in case toothpick or needle failed to pick it up.
Where Can You Read Other Reviews?
If you want to check out what others have to say about this featured product, you can visit Amazon today. You will discover for yourself why customers give it high ratings on reviews. On the average, you will notice that this product gets five stars in most reviews.