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Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine

SKU# ESU986C0080

Availability: In Stock

Regular Price: $999.99

Our Price: $599.99

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Regular Price: $999.99

Our Price: $599.99


Quick Overview

Ready to unleash your inner barista? The Breville Barista Express is built to set you up for success. Featuring an integrated conical burr grinder, this machine cuts down the time between grinding and extracting leaving you more time to enjoy the exquisite tasting shots. Professional-grade features include a 15 bar pump, PID regulated temperature control, and swivel mounted steam wand. With its high quality die-cast casing and streamlined design, this machine means business, barista business that is! Skip the line and make delicious coffee drinks at home morning, noon and night.
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL - Stainless Steel

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  Description    Specs    Ask a Question    Resources    Reviews  

Ready to unleash your inner barista? The Breville Barista Express is built to set you up for success. Featuring an integrated conical burr grinder, this machine cuts down the time between grinding and extracting leaving you more time to enjoy the exquisite tasting shots. Professional-grade features include a 15 bar pump, PID regulated temperature control, and swivel mounted steam wand. With its high quality die-cast casing and streamlined design, the Barista Express means business, barista business that is! Skip the line and make delicious coffee drinks at home morning, noon and night.

Features & Functionality of the Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine

  • Strong and Sophisticated: High-grade aluminum and zinc die-cast construction create a machine that's built to last, yet doesn't sacrifice style for durability.
  • Hands-free Grinding: Place your portafilter in the cradle, select your grind amount on the dial, and with one touch it will fill with fresh grounds.
  • Integrated Grinder:Conical stainless steel burr grinder speeds things up. The new 8 oz hopper takes its design cues from Breville's fetching Smart Grinder.
  • Programmable Volumetrics: Set water volume for single or double espressos for consistent water levels with each brew cycle.
  • Powerful Pump: The 15 bar triple-prime pump pre-infuses grounds to maximize flavor while the espresso gauge displays extraction pressure so you can monitor your barista skills.
  • Stainless Steel Steam Wand: The swivel ball-mounted steam wand allows you to position your pitcher as needed for maximum froth control.
  • Temperature Control: A built in PID maintains the water temperature at an ideal 200°F during extraction, but you can increase your brew temperature up or down 4°F in 2 degree increments to dial in the perfect shot. An auto-purge function returns the machine to an optimal espresso extracting temperature.
  • Razor Dosing Tool:Breville's patented stainless steel dosing tool trims up your portafilter post-tamp for consistent shots every time.
  • Energy Efficient: Barista Express automatically enters standby mode after 1 hour and turns off after 3 hours.
  • Hot Water Dispenser A dedicated hot water pipe makes crafting Americanos a piece of cake.
  • Basket Options: The machine ships with double and single pressurized and non-pressurized baskets (4 total)
Pros
  • Dedicated Hot Water Dispenser - This update makes americanos or hot tea a breeze.
  • Huge Capacity - 67oz side-access water tank with optional filter.
  • Tools Included - New machines come with a perfectly sized tamper, frothing pitcher, cleaning and dosing tools.
  • Adjustable Temperature - Adjusting the brew temperature up or down 4 degrees gives you some leeway to fine-tune your shot.
Cons
  • Coffee Sludge - Despite an upgraded drip tray design, an integrated grinder means superfluous espresso grounds will collect and mix in your drip tray.

Ease of Use 3
Ease of Care and Maintenance 4
Overall Value for the Money 4
How Does it Compare?

This is the latest version of Breville's only espresso machine with built-in grinder. Updates from the previous model include a dedicated hot water dispenser, updated stainless steel conical burr grinder, hopper styling for smoother operation, and an upgraded drip tray.

Tips and Tricks

Run hot water though the brew head before pulling your shot for optimal extraction temperature.

Manufacturer Breville
Width 12.50 inches
Depth 13.25 inches
Height 15.75 inches
Watts 1600
Programmability Yes
Case Material Plastic with Metal Finish
Boiler Material Stainless Steel
Cup Clearance 4 inches
Reservoir Size 67 ounces
Solenoid Valve Yes
Steam Wand Type Traditional Only
Cup Warmer Yes
Available Portafilters Pressurized and Non-Pressurized
Warm Up: Brew Time 1 minute
Warm Up: Steam Time 70 seconds
Boiler Design Thermocoil
NSF Certified No
Pod Friendly No
Water Sources Reservoir/Internal Tank
Auto Shut Off Yes
Pre-Infusion/Aroma Yes
Material Stainless Steel

Submit a question directly to owners of this product and ask what they think about it!

 

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
Already Asked: 23 Questions, 43 Answers
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Kelli asked: I recently received this machine, had it since July 1st to be exact. I mostly use the double shot non-pressurized filter basket but have used the single shot as well. Since all the baskets fit nice and snug into the portafilter, this one doesn't fit as well and has a tenancy at times to get stuck into the group head. To get it out, I have to put the portafilter back in and take it out again in hopes it doesn't stick again. Also when I knock the portafilter onto the side of the trashcan to release the puck, I see that the basket is not as tight as the others and tries again to work it's way out. Since I am aware of this I am careful, but I do tend to wonder if the problem will get worse as I use this machine.
Any ideas on what I should do?
Jul 12, 2014
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Peter R: Hi Kelli L; I've had my Breville machine since around May. I find that if the basket gets stuck to the group head, I can easily dislodge it with my fingers. My basket still fits tightly onto the portafilter. My problem with the machine is getting enough pressure when I make espresso. I always use the double shot basket. Initially I used the non pressurized basket and life was good. The pressure was right in the middle of the perfect range. I found that if I didn't clean the basket with a brush and make sure the openings were free, I didn't get any pressure and the espresso tasted awful. Have you had any issues like this yet? Jul 13, 2014
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Kelli: Peter, no, I haven't had any issue pulling a shot, single or double, within the correct range and I too use the non-pressurized baskets since I am using whole beans. But just like stated, the darn basket just gets caught in the group head. And like I said, it's an easy fix but I worry one day as time goes on, I won't be able to get it out or that the problem will worsen. I am working today, but tomorrow I plan to call Breville.
And I don't have it in front of me, but the manual has tips on how to get the shot within the perfect range (finer grind, fresher beans, increase grind amount, etc.) What I'm finding with my non-pressurized double shot is that in order to get a good shot, I feel like the basket is waaaaay full prior to tamping (it makes a mess) but I guess if the shots are good then it's all good. (I've only brewed LaVazza Super Crema so far). Jul 14, 2014
Jamie C: I also use the non-pressurized single and double baskets. I have not, however, had a problem with filters getting loose. In fact, mine are probably too tight. I often use the "razor" tool or a butter knife to help pry them out. If they are all snug fitting with the exception of one filter, it sounds like you need to replace the loose fitting filter. I would contact Breville and ask them to send you another one. Jul 12, 2014
Reply to Jamie Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Kelli: Thank you Jamie. I agree on the rest of the baskets for sure!!! But this one is just not as snug. Thanks for your advice. Jul 12, 2014
Steve W: Hi Kelli, Steve here. I too have this machine & have experienced different tightness with the various filter baskets that shipped w/ the unit. It must just be the tollerances when they are made. I have not had a filter basket stick up in the group head though. That would be a pain. If that becomes repetitive, yes I would call Breville & ask for another. I LOVE this machine though!! Good luck. =Steve Jul 12, 2014
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Kelli: Thanks Steve! I too love this machine. I've only had it for a few weeks but it is wonderful. Wish it steamed the milk a touch faster though. Jul 13, 2014
Christopher S: Kelli,

I'm not sure exactly what is happening to you with the double-shot filter basket - are you saying that when you remove the portafilter, the basket gets pulled out?

I would highly recommend getting a knock box. I got a Grindenstein Knock Box and the puck comes right out and the portafilter and basket are protected as you are striking it on the soft rubber bar.
Jul 13, 2014
Reply to Christopher Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Kelli: Christopher, yes, when I remove the portifilter from the group head the basket stays attached in the group head. I reinsert the portifilter and the basket comes out wirh the portifilter as it should but definately not inserted all the way into the portifilter. It's really more of a problem when removing the portifilter than removing the puck. But yes, a knock box is on my to-get-soon list. Jul 13, 2014
Christopher S: Kelli, It sounds like the basket is possible too small. Does the single shot basket have the same problem? Jul 14, 2014
Kelli: Christopher, yes, the single has done it to me too along with one of the pressurized baskets. I am going to do my product registration online tomorrow them contact breville. Thank you! I'll follow up! Jul 14, 2014
Christopher S: Kelli, Sounds great. It might be the portafilter then. I think you are doing the right next steps. I can tell you I have been very satisfied with my unit. I've been enjoying refining my latte art. Best of luck. Jul 14, 2014
Kelli: I have been enjoying it as well. Great machine for sure!!! I'd love to do some latte art. What beans are you brewing? And I could totally use your help on steaming because I can't get the silky foam. Using 2% milk or? Jul 14, 2014
Christopher S: I want to try something new to learn more about the differences,, but I have been buying Starbucks whole bean Espresso. I have had great results with non-fat, 2% and whole milk. I suggest you get on YouTube and watch some videos on texturing milk for lattes and cappuccinos. Breville also has some well done videos on their site and their YouTube channel. Jul 15, 2014
Steve H: Kelli I have only used the one filter basket so have not experienced having to change it out. Everything is working well now that I have the grind size and amount down and love being able to drink a good strong cup of decaf! I can't have regular for more than a couple of days or my heart starts doing the salsa... Jul 12, 2014
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William J: Have not had the problem, as mine fits ok with either. Tolerances are very tight and a very small error in manufacturing could cause that

I would suggest contacting Breville and asking for a replacement. Their service has been good to us on prior machines (this is our third Breville).
Jul 13, 2014
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John M: Hello - I don't seem to have that problem with either the double or single shot single wall filter. It sounds like the filter insert is not within spec and maybe needs to be replaced.

Hope this helps!

John
Jul 12, 2014
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Kelli: Thank you...this evening i pulled a single shot and the single basket got stuck into the group head. It's an easy fix but annoying. I do store my portifilter in the group head...is this wrong? And I do make sure when inserting the portifilter I do tighten it all the way so it lines up as it's pictured. I don't imagine that is wrong...
And do you think it could be anything having to do with my espresso or water? Jul 12, 2014
Ryan R: Yes. Sounds like the basket in question is out of specification and should be replaced. I would call and ask about sending you a new one. Jul 14, 2014
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Thomas asked: I have just got this machine for Christmas and loving it so far. I have a quick question about the PID though. With no digital display how do I know what the temperature is set to? I realise it can increase and decrease by set increments but it's a bit tricky knowing what temp it's set to without knowing the default starting position. Does anyone know the default temp of the machine? Dec 27, 2013
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Teri KStaff: I gave Breville a call and they said do not provide the answer for the default temperature for the Breville Barista Express, and that regardless of temperature adjustment up or down, the machine will still be in optimal espresso brewing range. We have found it is set at 200 degrees from the factory. Hope this helps! Mar 4, 2014
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A shopper asked: How tall is this machine including the bean hopper? I know the specs say 15.75inches, however does this include the bean hopper height ? I have 16in clearance between counter and upper cabinets. Do you think it's going to fit? Jun 29, 2014
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Mary Jo R: Yes, the height to the top of the bean hopper is 15.75". You should be able to get it into a 16 inch space. My cabinets are slightly higher (17") and it fits fine. Jun 30, 2014
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Taylor K: I think it does include the bean hopper in the height. Mine just fits under my upper cabinets, and I'm betting 16 inches is a standard height fo
those.
Jun 30, 2014
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Holger E: With the bean hopper on top, it is a hair over 16 inches. I think it would be too tight.

Thanks
Holger
Jun 30, 2014
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JASON B: It's a little under 16 inches including the bean hopper. Jun 30, 2014
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JOSEPH G: The machine is almost 16 inches high with the bean hopper lid, which is slightly domed upwards. I don't think it will work well under a 16 inch cabinet. You might squeeze it under the cabinet, but you'll have to move it anytime you want to add beans or water.

I will say, I really like the machine and its at a good price point for what you get. Maybe you can find a different spot for it. Good luck!
Jul 1, 2014
Reply to JOSEPH Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
John J: I think dimension is accurate, however, it is pretty close. If your cabinet is exactly 16" I think it will probably graze / touch the lid of the hopper, but even if it does it should still slide in and out. The lid will compress a little.

This espresso machine is so nice I couldn't imagine life without it! So try to make it work!
Jul 1, 2014
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Tammy S: Yes, that 15.75 does include the bean hopper. I put mine next to the sink with the bean hopper over to the side so it is not under the cabinet. This makes it easier to refill with coffee. I hope that helps. This is a wonderful machine. I have had mine since October and I use it every day. Jul 1, 2014
Reply to Tammy Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Gideon L: It will fit, but you'll need to pull out the machine to fill the hopper. Not really a big deal.

In another house I also have the version without the hopper/grinder, which I find works better (though you'll need a separate burr grinder.)
Jul 1, 2014
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Barbara F: I don't think1/4 inch will let you pour beans into the hopper! Jun 30, 2014
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Kristine T. asked: I cannot decide on the Stainless Steel color or the black sesame. I like the look of the black but just think it might show too much grime and smudges. Can someone let me know if they have a black and do not like it.? Jul 19, 2014
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Sean T: Hi Kristine,

I purchased my machine a month ago and it was in black sesame color. I have to say I'm satisfied with the color. The stainless steel looked really ordinary to me, so I went with the black sesame one. It sits just perfect on my wooden counter and I love the color. If you're a dark-color person (black, grey, wood, etc), I think the black sesame colored machine is nice for you. Again, it depends on your preferences I'd say.
Jul 21, 2014
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Melody B: So I think either way you get a mess. I have the sliver. The coffee shows on the silver and so does the milk. The milk will really show on a black machine. I would defer to the decor in your kitchen. Espresso machines are always messy. Embrace it and love your coffee. Jul 21, 2014
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Franco B: Hi, I got the stainless steel model and love this machine... No smudge marks and cleans so quick... I was worried the black and red would get dirty quick with dust and what not... Jul 21, 2014
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Denise H: I have black sesame grinder and espresso machine. They do hot show grime, smudges or finger prints. Sep 4, 2014
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Rugbyball asked: Any way to make this machine work with pods? I don't use them often, but they are great for the occasional decaf request, which is why I stock a box of decaf pods in our house. Mar 16, 2014
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Dirk 5 char: Any chance you can tell the exact reason, why pods won't work? Older Breville models did come with a pod filter but not the new ones. So does Breville simply not ship the pod filter any more or did the brew head change?

Because if the brewhead did not change, there might be a chance of getting a pod filter from some other machine e.g. DeLonghi 860. Would be cool if you guys could investigate this a bit. I do like the Breville machine, they just lack support for pods for the quick morning coffee.

Thx,
Dirk
Mar 31, 2014
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Teri KStaff: Generally the machines that can utilize pods do have changes to the brew head, and since this machine has a built in grinder, I do not believe there is a way to utilize a pod basket with it. I gave Breville a call to inquire with them about this, and they said that the Duo Temp is the only machine that has a pod filter basket available, and that it is a 50mm size, while the Infuser and Barista Express use a 53mm portafilter. Hope this clarifies! Mar 31, 2014
Teri KStaff: No, unfortunately there is not a way to use pods with the Breville Barista Express. However the bean hopper is easy to remove, and so if you need to take it off to empty the beans out and replace them with decaf this can be done. The grind is very simple to adjust as well, so dialing in the new decaf beans will be pretty easy, too. Hope this helps! Mar 17, 2014
Reply to Teri Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
A shopper asked: Is the built in grinder able to grind fine enough to run this well with the unpressurized baskets? Does it require grinding on the finest setting and over dosing/tamping or do you have a step or two to work with? Nov 10, 2013
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Jerrod H: I'm not a coffee expert, but I've been using this as our go-to espresso source and using single-walled double-shot baskets on a grind between 2-5 (usually finer on the darker beans, coarser on the medium roasts). I am told it all tastes very good. Comparing the grind from this as I've seen on some countertop units, the finest grind is nearly as fine as what I've seen come out of the $300 machines that I played with. It may not be as consistent a fine grind, but it's very good IMHO. If there is something specific you want to see, let me know. Nov 11, 2013
Reply to Jerrod Good answer? Yes (1) No (0)
William R: Yes it is. The Un pressurized filtration basket is intended for use with the built in grinder ( per owner's manual) the pressurized basket is intended for use with pre ground coffee.
Even the courses setting is to fine for anything but espresso.

Nov 18, 2013
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A shopper asked: Is there a bottomless portafilter (54 mm) for this unit? It's a wonderful learning tool. Sep 23, 2014
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Teri KStaff: Unfortunately we do not offer a bottomless portafilter for the Breville Barista and I am not sure if one is made. You may want to inquire with Breville directly at 866-273-8455. Sep 23, 2014
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Garth B asked: Breville Barista Express or Sunbeam EM6910 Cafe Series? i dont think you have reveiwed but it has a duel water and pump blocks which i like Aug 16, 2014
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Teri KStaff: Unfortunately we don't offer any Sunbeam machines and so I can't make a comparison between this unit and the Barista Express. The Barista Express is a great unit that is super user friendly. The steam is on a thermocoil, so it is much quicker to get to steam temperature, however you cannot brew and steam simultaneously on this unit. Sorry I can't compare it to a Sunbeam, but check out the videos we have online for the Breville 870, or give us a call to speak with our sales team with any questions at 866-372-4734. Aug 18, 2014
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A shopper asked: Where is this machine manufactured/made?
Thanks in advance:)
Jul 23, 2014
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Teri KStaff: The Breville Barista Express is made in China. Jul 25, 2014
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Ursula G asked: Krups Espresseria o Breville Barista expreso? Jul 22, 2014
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Teri KStaff: Do you have specific questions about either of these machines? The Krups machine is a super automatic, so there is less to control on this unit, while the Breville offers more control of tamping and frothing. The Krups will be much easier to use and offer a quicker heat up time while the Breville takes a bit more time to heat and dial in your shots, but can offer better results once you've got things dialed in. Hope this information helps you decide! Jul 23, 2014
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Bob S asked: I have been savoring my absolutely delicious cappuccinos from my new Breville over the past month. We have figured out the grind, dose size, and tamping for a couple of coffees now using the unpressurized filter basket. But until my wife has had her coffee, she'd rather not fuss with technique and would rather use the pressurized basket. Is there an easy way to get the basket out of the portafilter without ripping your nails off? I nicked the razor trimmer trying it and it was a bit awkward using it anyway. A butter knife seems to work, but I'm not all that keen about nicking one of those either. Is there a simple little tool to pry it out? Jul 19, 2014
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Teri KStaff: We do actually have a tool that will help remove the basket on this Breville Barista or any semi automatic machine. The Pallo Caffeine Wrench found at the link below does a great job prying out those baskets and I hope it helps you out!

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/pallo-caffeine-wrench
Jul 21, 2014
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A shopper asked: Do Breville Espresso machines have stainless steel boilers? Jun 16, 2014
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Teri KStaff: This Breville Barista Express uses a stainless steel thermocoil heating system. Jun 16, 2014
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A shopper asked: Can you use this grinder to grind coffee to be used in another machine; or does whatever you grind have to be used in this machine (i.e., automatic chute?)? May 27, 2014
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Teri KStaff: This Barista Express machine has a grinder with a range suitable for espresso, and so if you are looking to grind for other applications, then a stand alone grinder might be your best bet. The grinder in this machine engages by pressing your portafilter against the holder (shown with the portafilter attached in the photo, on the left side of the machine), however you could grind into your portafilter and then transfer and use those grounds elsewhere, provided what you were looking for was a fairly fine espresso sized grind. Hope this helps! May 27, 2014
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A shopper asked: is it 110v or 220v ??? May 14, 2014
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Teri KStaff: This Breville Barista Express is 110V. Unfortunately we do not offer any home espresso machines that are 220V. May 14, 2014
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A shopper asked: how do we get the pressure to espresso pressure? The needle does not reach the espresso balance that it should have. May 10, 2014
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Teri KStaff: If your needle is not reaching the espresso range on your Breville Barista Express, then you may need a slightly finer grind, or a slightly fresher roast bean (ideally roasted within the last month or so). What is the timing like on your shots? You should be looking for 2 ounces of liquid to be extracted for your double shot within 20-30 seconds when you tamp down with about 30 pounds of pressure. If your beans are fresh, the timing is correct, and your shots taste good, then there may simply be a problem with your gauge. This gauge is a helpful tool, but shots will still taste nice even if the gauge is not working! If you think there may be an issue with your gauge, then I would suggest contacting Breville directly at 1-866-273-8455. May 13, 2014
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David L asked: The manual says to use a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar for descaling. I'm wondering if there's any reason not to use a traditional descaling solution like Dezcal in this machine? Apr 14, 2014
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Teri KStaff: You can certainly use Dezcal in this Barista Express machine instead of the vinegar and water mixture mentioned in that manual with success, and that is what we will typically recommend. In the showroom we use Dezcal to descale our Breville and have had no issues with using that product. Hope this helps! Apr 15, 2014
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A shopper asked: What size pitcher comes with the BES870XL? And, would it be recommended to upgrade the pitcher for better latte art? If so, that is why I am asking about sizing... 12oz, 20oz... Mar 12, 2014
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Teri KStaff: The included frothing pitcher with the Breville Barista Express is 12 ounces, and you can absolutely do latte art with this size pitcher. A 20 ounce would be the very largest you would want to use with this machine, as the 870XL it is not quite powerful enough to steam milk in quantities larger. Mar 12, 2014
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A shopper asked: What model no is this? Breville BES870XL? Feb 12, 2014
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Teri KStaff: Yes, this is the Breville Barista Express BES870XL. Feb 12, 2014
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m L asked: How does the quality of the grinder on this machine compare to the quality of a Baratza Encore for espresso? Thanks! Jan 30, 2014
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Teri KStaff: The Encore grinder is really only capable of grinding fine enough for pressurized espresso machines, and so the grinder in this Breville Barista Express grinder will get just a bit finer. The advantage to a machine like the Encore, however, is that you have a greater range for coarse grinding, should you also brew press pot or other applications. Feb 1, 2014
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Mark K asked: Can you swap out the bean hopper for the larger Bean Hopper for the Smart Grinder BCG800XL (BCG800XL/152) or are they different sizes? Dec 31, 2013
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Teri KStaff: Though the design is slightly different (the hopper on the 870 has an extra lip of plastic around the edge of the hopper), the hopper for the Smart Grinder does lock into place on the 870, so I don't see any reason why you couldn't use the Smart Grinder hopper for larger bean storage. Jan 2, 2014
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Jovaughn L asked: Can I use the grinder on this machine to grind for my French Press as well? Dec 30, 2013
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Teri KStaff: This Breville Barista Express grinder is meant to grind for espresso only, and unfortunately does not really grind quite as fine as is necessary for coarser applications like French Press. Dec 31, 2013
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A shopper asked: What type of coffee bean is best to use? I keep hearing don't use oily beans like starbucks, but what is a non oily one? Dec 5, 2013
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Mark A: I just use a French roast from Starbucks in mine. The beans are not oily. Dec 10, 2013
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A shopper asked: Hi, does this machine comes with "Patented Razor™ dose trimming tool, 54mm stainless steel portafilter, Single wall filter baskets (1 & 2 cup), Dual wall filter baskets (1 & 2 cup), Coffee scoop, Integrated tamper, Stainless steel milk jug, Cleaning disc and tablets Cleaning brush, tool and Allen key Water filter holder and water filter"? because I saw this product on breville's own website, and it is said those accessories come with the package. thank you Nov 17, 2013
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Teri KStaff: Yes, all of those accessories you mentioned are standard and included from the factory with this Breville Barista Express 870. Nov 18, 2013
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Warranty Information for the Breville Barista Express with Grinder

 

What it Covers:

Breville espresso machines, grinders and blenders

Length:

1 Year on New Equipment

6 month Manufacturer Warranty on Refurbished Models

Who Supports the Warranty: Breville USA
Warranty Contact Information: 866-273-8455
Notes: Please register your product with Breville for warranty support.
Eligible for SCG Extended Warranty? Yes (Excludes YouBrew)
Can SCG Repair? Yes. Read more about our out-of-warranty repair services.

Caring for your Breville Barista Express with Grinder

For detailed care instructions, please refer to your machine's user manual. We recommend that you also incorporate the following into your cleaning routine:

  • Descale every 2 - 3 months. We recommend using Dezcal.
  • Soap out water tank (if applicable) and drip tray every few days
  • Keep the stainless steel casing shiny with a microfiber cloth
  • Optional: Perform backflush routine and clean the filter basket each week

User Manuals for your Breville Barista Express with Grinder


Articles Featuring the Breville Barista Express with Grinder

The Reluctant Barista Battles the New Breville Barista Express


Videos Featuring the Breville Barista Express with Grinder

Breville Dual Boiler and Breville Barista Express with Grinder
Breville Barista Express with Grinder vs Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Excellent Machine

Review by
55
Value
Quality
Price

I've been a coffee drinker for a while and wanted to get my own espresso machine, after looking at prices i was discouraged, finally i found this one, took the leap, and for 3 days i've been making espressos all day, i even have neighbors coming over for espresso, cappuccino & whatever lol...

very easy to use, i haven't perfected it yet, but i'm getting there

(Posted on 8/2/14)

Good Price for a Great Machine—Love it!

Review by
55
Quality
Price
Value

We have had the Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine for eight months and we absolutely love it. Initially we used this machine daily, but now we use it as our weekend “special” coffee machine. This is an impressive-looking, well-built machine that can pull a good shot of espresso, which, of course, is the basis for all the other coffee drinks you will make with it. Prior to using the machine, I suggest that you read the instructions carefully and use post-it flags to bookmark important pages to make referencing the manual easy in the future. I still reference the manual now and again for cleaning the machine or making a programming change. I also recommend that you watch Seattle Coffee Gear’s and Breville’s videos about the machine. I think they are insightful about the nuances of the machine.

When we purchased the machine from Seattle Coffee Gear, which by the way is awesome, we also bought three different types of coffee beans. The grinder in the Barista Express works very well, and it produces a consistent grind time after time. Dialing in the grinder takes some adjustment between fineness and quantity of grind, but is not rocket science. It is a bit of a coffee science though because you should only change one setting at a time when dialing in the grinder. In other words, only adjust quantity OR fineness of grind OR tamping pressure –one or the other with each adjustment. After one adjustment, pull a shot, and then make your next adjustment. Pull another shot and repeat until you get a good shot.

After a few adjustments, I was able to pull consistently good shots. I am definitely not a coffee snob, but I know the difference between a good and bad shot and between over- and under- extracted shots. The issue I have found, which is true for all grinders, is that once you change the beans to a different brand or type, you need to readjust the grinder, which may cost you a few shots of crappy espresso while you are dialing it in. Personally, I found a local roaster, and I buy my beans from him. Since I always use the same beans, I haven’t had to adjust my grinder in months.

To pull a good shot, I recommend turning on the machine for 10 minutes to let the grouphead and portafilter warm up. Run a shot of water through the portafilter prior to pulling your first shot so it is at the appropriate temp. I think with a bit of practice you will be making great espressos and milk drinks, too. Several people have told me that my coffee drinks are the best they have had, and way better than Starbucks. I think the machine does a good job, but good beans are the key the success. So buy good, fresh beans and once you find the one that works for you, stick with it for consistent shots all the time.

My frothing on the other hand has not been so consistent. Now and then, I am able to froth an excellent pitcher of milk for a latte and make rudimentary latte art, but I haven’t found a consistent approach. The machine has enough oomph to do it, but user error causes inconsistent foam for a latte. Cappuccino, on the other hand is easy because it’s easy to get the froth very airy with no problem. I really wish this machine had a double boiler so that you could pull a shot and froth milk at the same time. However, that would not guarantee me consistent froth. It would be nice to be able to whip out a latte a bit faster. Keep in mind, at this price, no machine has a dual boiler and grinder.

Finally, any coffee machine and grinder can be a bit messy, and this is no different. After a weekend of espressos, I wipe the machine and around the machine, dump the drip tray, flush the grouphead with a couple of single shots, wiping after each flush, and fill the reservoir so I am ready for the next espresso. Have fun and enjoy!

(Posted on 7/22/14)

Good for Starters!

Review by
45
Quality
Price
Value

I have been a longtime fan of coffee but just recently decided to purchase a machine so I can start to learn on how to make them. You see, this machine is a great machine because at its price, you are getting what you need as a newbie. It has a grinder attached to it and it's very convenient because it basically does the grinding part for you. The espresso machine has the pressure bar that is really helpful for you to try to get to your optimum wanted shots.

Overall, this is a great machine at a great price and will be very suitable for starters out there who want to learn to make their own drinks at home.

(Posted on 7/16/14)

Great upgrade from Starbucks Barista

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

I was looking for something to upgrade my coffee experience after my 14 year old / 3 drinks per day Barista died. We were buying ground coffee once a week as our previous grinders were loud and messy. My debate was a superautomatic (which I've never been really satisfied with the taste on various machines), a better / functional grinder, and/or an upgraded espresso press. The Breville Barista Express gives me all of these. As the other reviews point out, it takes a few trials to figure out the grind settings but once dialed in, the espresso and crema come out fantastic. As another reviewer noted, when you grind for a double shot, the ground coffee overflows the portafilter, so I too grind for a single shot, lightly press it with the tamper and then grind the second shot and tamp. The steamer produces a nice milk foam, though I think it could have a little stronger steam flow.

I think I've had better cappuccino from a $10k machine than I have produced so far with the Breville, but this is better than all but the best local coffee shops (and of course every Starbucks.)

(Posted on 7/15/14)

Great Choice

Review by
4.66666666666675
Value
Quality
Price

So I am a coffee snob. I really wanted a $2000 Rocket with a really good grinder. But I have neither the money nor the space! So this machine is the perfect choice for me. There is a learning curve that I still haven't mastered. But I have confidence. The pucks are still a bit watery. So I need to adjust the grind and the programming. So far the coffee is great. The frothing of the milk is perfect.

My one cat, who is afraid of everything, thinks the machines Satan.

(Posted on 7/8/14)

Superb Machine

Review by
4.33333333333335
Price
Value
Quality

This machine is incredible. Be a Barista in your own kitchen. Loads to learn, but Barista skills take time and it is a hobby and a pleasure learning. Machine does everything most commercial machines are capable of. You won't miss anything.

Badged as the Sage by Hestun Blumenthal in the UK.

(Posted on 6/9/14)

Great Deal, Easy to Use & Good Quality

Review by
4.66666666666675
Price
Value
Quality

After tasting the best espresso of my life at a local Seattle coffee house, I wanted to replicate it at home. I ordered the coffee and tried it on several machines without the same flavor, until I got this. I did my research on machines first and there were other more expensive models that could have done the trick. But I would have had to pay $2k. I found the best price at [Redacted company name] for 20 percent off. After a lot of experimentation, viola, I came pretty darn close to my cafe experience. I use this every morning and have ditched my other machine. The only suggestion I would make to the manufacturer is to start making a naked portafilter. I'm sure there are a lot of home barista's like me who would buy it.

(Posted on 5/25/14)

Great bang-for-your-buck

Review by
4.33333333333335
Price
Value
Quality

This machine is often listed at $600 despite a higher MSRP, so it's a great value compared to others in its feature class. My wife and I got it as a wedding gift, and have been using it daily for nearly two years now to make espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, and latte. The instructions are easy to follow, setup is easy, and the results are pretty good for an at-home machine. We read some reviews on other sites with people complaining that the machine clogs, but we've not had any problems at all. I suspect those are people trying to use oily beans, as well as using the double-walled (automatic) filters with the manual grind settings. We run the cleaning cycle with a cleaning tablet whenever the light comes on, and change the water filter every two months. I'll admit we don't de-scale as often as recommended, but maybe we should do it more to ensure longevity.

Using fresh espresso beans from our local shop and the single-walled double-shot filter, we tend to grind on the finer side (14-15) with the grind amount knob generally in the 3 o'clock position. I've heard of others using much coarser settings, but we've tried a few different beans from various roasters and all are in about the same ballpark for our preferences.

We've managed to get a fairly consistent ristretto quality to our shots (running the pressure very high and cutting off the shot manually around 27 seconds), though every now and then we'll under- (or worse) over-shoot due to the fine balance required to get the pressure to the very top of the range without going too high. We find the temperature to be higher and the risk of over-extracting increases when pulling several shots in a row, so it's best to back down the grind amount if you're pulling successive ristretto shots. We're not sure if this has to do with increasing water temperature when used for several shots in a row, or perhaps the machine heating up affects the consistency of the grind. We're definitely pre-warming the cup with a double-shot of water to get things started. At any rate, practice makes perfect.

Milk steaming is pretty good for a single-boiler unit. I tend to place the saucer on top of the cup to keep the shot warm while steaming, and results are pretty good. Perhaps someone with a steadier hand could achieve better microfoam and latte art, but the machine seems to be more than capable (we removed the included frothing attachment from the steam wand for more control).

(Posted on 4/17/14)

Excellent Espresso

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

Price: I looked all over for the best deal and found it at Seattle Coffee
Use: Very easy to use, watch the videos and follow initial setup
Extras: Seattle Coffee provided extra goodies, worth choosing them

Espresso: Orleans Coffee Exchange Milano Espresso (best tasting)

(Posted on 3/23/14)

Italy everyday

Review by
45
Quality
Price
Value

Love the style and size of home expresso machine . Easy to use and easy to clean. Wish water tank was at the side and not at the back. Also temperature of coffee require some adjustment, too cold. Learn on my own experience to adjust the grinder setting every time I switch to another type or brand of coffee beans. Would definitely recommend Breville Barista Expresso machine.

(Posted on 2/28/14)

great cup every time after 3 years

Review by
55
Value
Quality
Price

I bought the BES860XL on a recommendation from a friend with a discount coupon. I am amazed at what a great cup of coffee this makes and how when I drink coffee out I miss what this produces at home. I generally use a starbucks dark roast or whole foods dark roast and I like a dark, oily bean. I use the double wall filter and set the grind on automatic. I programmed the double shot to press 5 oz of water. If you run hot water through the double wall filter first into your cup, it makes a better, hotter, cup of coffee and you have heated your cup too (toss the water of course). Since I pack the double wall filter to just below the top, the result is a 5 shot espresso with a 1/8 to 1/4 crema. It is the best cup of coffee I have had.

(Posted on 2/26/14)

Awesome!

Review by
4.66666666666675
Price
Value
Quality

This machine is great! I have had it for over two weeks now and love it! It is the perfect size, the built in grinder works great, the shots that come out are fantastic. I had a cheap cuisinart that was dying on me and upgraded to this, wow what a change. You can't go wrong with this machine for a upgrade.

(Posted on 2/20/14)

Kick butt machine

Review by
55
Value
Quality
Price

It always works and I'm still learning after hundreds of cups. It is sooo much better than my old espresso pod machine. Fresh ground coffee makes a huge difference. My only complaint is that it can't tamp the grounds for me. But none can in this price range.

(Posted on 2/1/14)

10 cups a day

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

Great machine!

(Posted on 12/22/13)

Very satisfied with this machine.

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

I have had this machine for about 4 weeks and it is great. It took me a little bit to figure out grind/pressure but I think I've got it now. The machine makes a great espresso, americanno and cappuccino. Really couldn't ask for more for the price. I highly recommend this machine.

(Posted on 11/28/13)

hard to beat this little espresso machine

Review by
4.66666666666675
Price
Value
Quality

NY Italian here. Espresso was just part of growing up although I didnt get to enjoy the addition of a little Sambucca until I was at least 12 :) So anyway, I always use the stove top espresso pot but I thought I would look into a real espresso machine. Summer 2009 I went back to Italy for my cousins wedding and my uncle had one one of these Breville in his kitchen but his didnt have the grinder built in. I save my money and looked into getting my own machine and the price for a good one plus a grinder was too rich for me. So check this machine out! Grinder built in, cost is less for this than if I buy separate and hey, this machine makes a good shot! I tried a few different coffee beans and even one of the commercial pre ground in a can but i find the good espresso beans I buy at the store are the best. Took me a few shots to get the grind right and the grind amount correct but its all good now. I like this machine because it has everything in one machine that fits nicely in my kitchen, seems well made. Looks good too! I was on the fence a while before I got this one but I gotta say it works well, looks good and most of all it makes a good shot of espresso. Oh yeah, the steam makes a good foamy milk too, just take some practice to keep the nozzle tip just below the surface to get the air in the milk. Not hard, just takes a few minutes is all. If I won the lotto, I'd buy one of these for all my friends and family :)

(Posted on 11/26/13)

Awesome espresso maker

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

This espresso maker is perfect for the beginner or the pro. I LOVE it and couldn't live with out it. It was easy to set up and use. It took me a few times to get the grind right to get in the right espresso range, but once I figured it out.. Perfect latte. I highly suggest this machine.

(Posted on 11/22/13)

Good Machine and a reasonable price

Review by
45
Value
Quality
Price

This is my first venture in to a "REAL" espresso machine so I have little else to compare too.

First off i ordered it at 1pm on Thurs, paid a little extra for 2nd day air shipping and it was on my door step by 10am the next day. Good job folks.

It was well packaged, the Quick start guide coved all you need to get it up and running. Had it all cleaned and set up within an hour or so. That part went great so 5 stars there. Everything seems solid and well made. Manuals are good and I didn't have to deal with a dozen different languages in a single manual.

Set up was easy and I spent the afternoon dialing in to get that perfect shot. I expect I well be tweaking it for several weeks to try and improve my pour but after an hour or two of playing with it I got a fairly good shot (better than I get at that big name chain of espresso cafe's). It may not be the perfect shot, but its not bad.

So
Easy of use, Good
Quality, Good
Price / Value. Not the cheapest out there but it is worth the price I believe. Good
Service, Great (I have not had to interact directly with SCG at this time though)

I would recommend both SCG and the Breville to others.

(Posted on 11/8/13)

Very happy with my breville barista express!

Review by
55
Value
Quality
Price

After playing around with this for the past month I can truly say I am very happy with this machine. It took a few times before I discovered the perfect grind and dose amount, but once I got it the results were amazing. You do have to change it up a bit when you are using different coffee beans, but once you master the settings your in for a real treat. I have discovered it is best if you buy small amounts of coffee beans and use them within ten days for optimum taste and creme. This machine won the 2013 Award for best new consumer product by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. This semi automatic machine combines both brewing and grinding it one unit, and has some features you will only find on higher level professional machines. Those features are PID temperature control for extremely accurate brew water which is important for consistent shots (adjustable by 4 degrees each way up or down), a dry puck feature, and a purge system which releases excess steam in the drip tray so coffee is not burnt by residual steam in the boiler. This Barista Express has everything you need except the coffee beans and water to get you started. It has a beautiful stainless steel finish. My friend worked at starbucks and a few other high end coffee shops so for this to impress him that says a lot. The best thing to me is being able to make those espressos, cappuccinos, Lattes, Macchiatos, Americanos, Ristrettos, hot chocolates, or teas in your own home without having to go out and pay an arm and a leg for a good one. With some experimentation with some syrups, coffee beans and or other flavorings you are sure to find the perfect coffee drink for yourself. I will put up a video review in the next few weeks showing how easy it is to make a drink.

This Breville model comes with the following accessories included:

Patented Razor(tm) dose trimming tool
54mm stainless steel portafilter
Single wall filter baskets (1 & 2 cup)
Dual wall filter baskets (1 & 2 cup)
Coffee scoop
Integrated tamper
Stainless steel milk jug
Cleaning disc and tablets
Cleaning brush, tool and Allen key
Water filter holder and a carbon resin water filter

[SCG Staff Note: Please be aware that accessories included with a machine change from time to time and that the accessories currently in the packaging may not be what is listed above.]

(Posted on 10/8/13)

Fantastic machine

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

Part of the fun of this machine is playing the barista by getting the right coffee dose with the right grind and the right pressure. I was able to achieve this in 5-6 tries and since that, I get a constant quality espresso each time. The only thing that is a little annoying is when you find the right amount of coffee to grind, you'll find that it overflows the portafilter. Easy fix, just reduce the quantity setting, grind, press, grind again a little bit, press and voilà!

A junior barista very happy with his purchase.

(Posted on 9/27/13)

review

Review by
15
Price
Value
Quality

I purchased the machine & used it for 2 weeks before returning it. The compact design & features were nice, but I was unable to get a good espresso shot. The shots all tasted too sour & flowed too fast. I could never get the pressure into the extraction range as shown on the gauge. I tried pressurized & non-pressurized baskets. I adjusted the grind from the finest to coarsest. I adjusted the dose. I used green beans that I roasted fresh to full city+ & I let the beans off gas for 1, 2, 3+ days. {This was my first attempt at using an espresso machine.}
Since returning the Breville, I ordered the Rancilio Silvia & Rocky, which I’ve now owned for a month. It produces excellent espresso shots & is a pleasure to use. The rocky also has far more grind settings, so I can make coffee with the aeropress & in the future plan use with a French Press.
If you are in the market for an espresso machine, I recommend spending a little more & getting the Rancilio Silvia & Rocky. You won’t be disappointed.
I hope this review helps

(Posted on 9/23/13)

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