Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker Review & Guide

The Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker is the best semi-automatic espresso machine for a decent budget on the market today.

If you’re thinking about buying an espresso machine, then you must read this review of the Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker (Model #BES870XL).

It is a brilliant and beautiful machine and amazing value for money.

If you love coffee you absolutely need to get one!

If you haven’t got much time, we want you to know that it makes amazing espresso even when compared to much pricier espresso makers.

We like that it’s easy to clean and that there’s a grinder included in the machine.

It’s a bit more complex to use than more costly models but it’s not hard either. We think it’s the best value for money espresso machine on the market today.

Who Is The Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker For?

Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker in red

All serious coffee drinkers know the pleasure that comes from drinking espresso based drinks.

The problem is that there are two challenges when it comes to make espresso at home:

  1. Cheap espresso makers just aren’t as good. We don’t mind a stovetop espresso, for example, but it’s not even as good as the worst espresso we’ve ever been served in a coffee shop.
  2. There’s no limit on the expensive side of espresso makers. Many espresso makers cost thousands of dollars. While we love our espresso, we can’t justify splurging $3,000 on a SAECO espresso maker. We’d need to open a coffee shop of our own to pay for it.

That’s where the Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker comes in. It’s priced attractively at a $599 and can be picked up for even less online.

That’s still not “cheap” but for many heavy coffee drinkers, like myself, it’s a number that we can justify in exchange for the pleasure of a much better cup of coffee each day.

It’s not perfect but it does offer a super blend of great quality espresso that is easy enough (and fast enough) to make that you don’t feel like you need to attend barista training to get to grips with and that makes it our favorite espresso maker of all time, for now.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Verified Customer Review

This espresso machine is fantastic. We’ve used it 3-4 times a day for over 4 years. It’s easy to use and makes delicious espresso every time. Tastes better and is cheaper than getting your espresso at a cafe. Our car was totaled the same week as our espresso machine repair and I honestly missed our Breville more than having a car! Very glad to be back making perfect Americanos and lattes all day, every day.

About The Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker

Let’s take a look at the features of the Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker and what they mean to you!

  • Size. This isn’t a small device it’s about the twice the size of a drip coffee maker and bigger than other espresso makers in the same price class though it’s still smaller than the most expensive espresso machines.
  • Design. The stainless steel finish, the industrial looking controls, pressure gauge and grinder make this look like a serious coffee maker. You only need to glance at it to know you’re going to get good coffee out of your investment.
Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker in black
  • Pressure Gauge. Espresso is all about heat and pressure. If you don’t have the pressure high enough – you get a sour-taste and lose a lot of the flavor of the beans, in the other direction and you’ve got too much pressure and the coffee turns bitter. With the Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker you can always monitor the pressure. This is a sign of quality missing from most cheaper models.

  • Adjustable size. You can make a single shot or a double shot of espresso and we find that really convenient. In fact, from observation they don’t seem to have this much flexibility in our local Starbucks, and you can bet their machine costs more than this one!

  • Grind size selector. You can make coffee with this machine from 18 different grind sizes! That means you can really control the overall taste and flavor of the final brew and it’s one reason that the Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker stands out from the competition.

What’s It Like To Use The Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker ?

This is a legitimate espresso machine. It uses real beans to create real espresso and that means that unlike with a pod machine – there is a genuine learning curve to get to grips with it.

This is why coffee shops employ baristas because making espresso is something of a skill. The good news is that this isn’t a nightmare process but it’s not something you can rush, either.

Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker components

So, you will need to begin with the manual and yes, you will need to read it – you can’t wing the startup process with a real espresso machine.

You kick off by filling the “bean hopper” and the water tank. You need to pop in a filter for your espresso basket and then it’s time to grind some beans. You pick the size, push the button and boom! The grind arrives in whatever style you picked on the selector.

Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker grinder

Then you have to tamp down the grind and then pop it into place under the brewhead and then it’s time to push another button and get your espresso.

You’ll need to experiment to ensure you pick the right grind and pressure for your tastes. A rough guide is the coarser the grind, the stronger the shot.

If you want milk, use the built in steamer and get it frothy and hot once your espresso has arrived. This is very easy to do.

Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker heating technology

The Breville Espresso Maker uses a digital temperature control (PID) that delivers water at exactly the right temperature that transaltes into optimal flavor extraction. It’s amazing!

The downside of a complex machine like this is you have to clean it after use. It’s not hard to clean and the inbuilt steam cleaner does most of the work for you.

Overall Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker Review

Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker in Silver

If you have absolutely no patience or you’re not a coffee lover and dedicated to consuming great coffee then this machine probably isn’t for you. But for everybody else it’s a superb espresso maker which comes at a price that makes it impossible to ignore.

It has completely transformed the way our mornings go at Kitchen Authority HQ and we wouldn’t part with our Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker for the world. Yes, we recommend it. And once you’ve tried it, so will you.

How To Make Affogato With Your New Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker

Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker Recipe

Once you get the Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker home and have made your first few cups of Espresso it’s time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your smart decision.

This Affogato will make your day! Reward yourself!

For more delicious recipes to make with or accompany your Espresso take a quick read of our 10 Coffee Time Treats For All Seasons blog post.

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