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Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Maker Review

Are you looking for the best semi-automatic home espresso maker? If you answered yes to that question, then you’ve come to the right place!

We have been trying out a whole range of semi-automatic espresso machines, and this Breville model came out as our number one choice for the best home espresso machine.

Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine, BES870XL

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Read on to find out:

  • Why we loved the Breville Barista Express
  • Everything you need to know about the machine
  • What we particularly liked about it
  • What we didn’t like about it

After reading our review, you will have a clear and concise picture of this machine’s performance and you will know why you need this machine in your life right now!

Features of The Breville Barista Express

“For beginners and aspiring baristas alike, the Barista Express makes good espresso accessible and easy to make.”

The Breville BES870XL is an upgrade to the previously released BES860XL, so any of you who have used this model will already know about some of the fantastic features. But this machine has new added features and improvements on the firm favourites, making it the best choice for barista style coffee:

  • Half pound bean hopper: The larger hopper means you don’t need to constantly refill the beans every time you want a fresh cup of coffee. The hopper has a locking system too so it’s easy to store, remove and transfer the beans.
  • Integrated conical burr hopper: The conical burrs maximise the surface area when grinding, which means you get the maximum flavour from your beans. The beans are ground freshly for each cup of coffee. As beans can start to lose their flavour just five seconds after grinding, this is a definite plus.
  • Adjustable grind size: The Barista Express can be used on an automatic setting which gives you a perfect coffee every time. Simply select whether you want a double or single shot. Or for more experienced users, the settings can be manually changed allowing you to experiment with finer and courser grains and more or less coffee added per cup.
  • 54MM tamper: The larger tamper allows for expert control. The tamper is stored magnetically meaning it won’t end up lost, but it is easy to remove when you need to use it.
  • 67fl. oz. water tank: The good size water tank means you can fill it up and not have to worry about it for a while! The tank is removable for easy filling and cleaning. The tank also has an inbuilt water filter which will ensure your water is pure and also helps to stop lime scale building up in your machine.
  • Espresso monitoring: This ensures your espresso is always being prepared and poured at the optimum pressure.
  • Hands free grinding: Simply tamp the coffee beans and the machine does the rest! It automatically stops when enough beans have been ground for your required portion. The grinder cradle is stainless steel for hygiene and cleaning purposes.
  • Thermocoil heating and auto-purge: The thermocoil heating system ensures the water is always the perfect temperature for your coffee and the auto-purge function automatically adjusts the temperature after the use of the steaming feature to ensure the temperature remains perfect.
  • Clean Me and Empty Me indicators: The drip tray indicator will light up when the drip trays need emptying, and the cleaning light will come on when your machine is ready for a cleaning cycle.
  • Hideaway storage compartment: The cleaning tools can be stored within the machine to keep them all together and out of sight!
  • Removable drip tray: The drip tray is removable for easy cleaning and emptying. It is also partitioned so wet and dry spills don’t spill and make a mess!
  • Swivel action steam wand: The steam wand means you don’t have to mess about filling a milk tank – simply fill the milk jug and insert the wand!

The Barista Express comes with:

  • User manual
  • Tamper
  • One year’s limited warranty
  • Cleaning tools
  • Milk jug

Video: Breville BES870 Espresso Maker

How the Barista Express Works

The Barista Express is aimed at both beginners and more experienced users.

For beginners:

The auto-mode allows you to simply select one shot or two. It then dispenses the ideal amount of coffee at the correct coarseness and the perfect amount of water for a barista perfect espresso every time.

For experiences users:

Use the manual mode to experiment with different coarseness, more or less water and more or less coffee to find your own customised perfect coffee.

The Pros of the Barista Express

What makes the Barista Express our number one choice? This:

  • Easy to use: The machine is super easy to use and the automatic function guarantees perfect results with no effort from you!
  • Easy to clean: The removable drip trays and water container make this super easy to clean.
  • No need for a milk tank
  • The design: The sleek design makes the Barista Express a perfect addition to your kitchen. The study materials ensure it will be long lasting. It even had non-slip feet to keep it still while grinding!

The Cons of the Barista Express

Was there anything we didn’t like?

The Barista Express is pretty expensive: The cheapest option is the stainless steel colour which comes in at just short of $500!

Do keep in mind that it's worth every penny. So we don't really consider it as a 'Con' and overall, we always recommend to go for the quality ones rather than spending on the cheaper ones.

Top Tips to Get the Most Out of the Barista Express

As with all products, how you use the machine plays a significant part in the functionality. Here are our top tips to ensure you have a great experience:

  • Use good quality coffee
  • Experiment with the tamper until you get the perfect tamp
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions fully
  • Ensure you clean and descale the machine when prompted and on a regular basis in between prompts

What's the Bottom Line?

You can now see why we chose the Barista Express as our top pick! A contemporary design, easy to use functions and the latest innovations all come together to make this machine a barista’s dream product!


Dennies John

Dennies is the founder and editor-in-chief of Dripped Coffee. He is a trained barista who knows coffee like the back of his hand. When he's not brewing coffee, you can find him fishing or swimming.

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