For espresso lovers who want a machine that offers stability and control without breaking the bank, Breville created the Breville Infuser. It provides steady low-pressure pre-infusion that gives espresso a full flavor and aroma in every sip. The Infuser incorporates built in PID temperature control. The PID provides stable temperature for a better cup of coffee with high pressure steam and faster turn around time.
Features & Functionality of the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine
- PID Temperature Control: Finely tuned electronic assistance for increased temperature stability.
- Auto Purge: Automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature.
- Thermocoil Heating System: Integrated stainless steel water coil accurately controls water temperature.
- Commercial Style Steam Wand: Stainless steel 360° swivel-action steam wand for effortless milk texturing.
- Instant Hot Water: Dedicated hot water outlet for making Americanos or pre-heating cups.
- Low Pressure Pre-Infusion: Applies low water pressure at the start of the extraction to gently expand grinds for an even extraction.
- Espresso Pressure Gauge: Monitors espresso extraction pressure.
- Volumetric Control: Preset 1 and 2 cup volumes, manual over-ride or re-programmable shot volumes.
- No Mucky Puck: Removes excess water from the ground coffee in the filter basket after extraction for easy disposal of the coffee puck.
- Large Water Tank: Water tank holds 61 oz (1.8L) and is removable with handle.
- Built in Water Filter: Replaceable water filter reduces impurities and scale.
- Auto Sleep/Off Mode: Machine will go to 'Sleep Mode' after 1 hour and 'Auto Off Mode' after 3 hours.
|Ease of Use||4|
|Ease of Care and Maintenance||4|
|Overall Value for the Money||4|
|How Does it Compare?||
This Breville model replaces and improves upon the Breville Die Cast BES830XL Programmable Espresso Machine. With an internal PID for optimal shot extraction, the Infuser is a great value.
|Volts||110 - 120 volts|
|Case Material||Plastic with Metal Finish|
|Boiler Material||Stainless Steel|
|Cup Clearance||4 inches|
|Reservoir Size||61 oz.|
|Steam Wand Type||Traditional Only|
|Available Portafilters||Pressurized and Non-Pressurized|
|Water Sources||Reservoir/Internal Tank|
|Auto Shut Off||Yes|
Submit a question directly to owners of this product and ask what they think about it!
How does this Breville Infuser Espresso Machine compare with Rancilio Silvia?
Mark Nov 10, 2013
I am using an older Solis Maestro grinder, and it easily grinds fine enough to get a good full pressure extraction and tons of crema with my freshly home-roasted coffee. I do have to adjust the grind depending on the type of coffee used. A few times I have used too fine of a grind and blocked the extraction. So the old Maestro grinds plenty fine, too fine if you're not careful!
I have no experience with the similar model with the grinder, as I already had my own grinder before purchasing this machine (about 3 months ago).
Final comments: I chose this machine because I hoped it would be very user friendly. I had in mind making drinks when guests come over. It is an automatic, which means I can push the extraction button and not worry about water volume -- I brew directly into my cups (instead of shot glasses) and get my milk pitcher ready while the shot is extracting. PID control means I can go right back to brewing the next round of drinks after steaming without fussing around with temperature surfing. Overall I am very pleased with this machine as a tool for entertaining guests, though again is is a bit of a slow steamer.
If you are a serious espresso hobbyist and want a commercial-style machine at home, there are possibly better machines out there (Sylvia?) -- but I wanted to make the best milk-based drinks I could, with a minimum of fuss, for when guests arrive. For that I think the Infuser is an awesome choice. Mar 28, 2014
I have owned this machine for three months and I have made at least one latte every single day. I bought this machine because it is a nice mid-priced espresso maker withOUT a panarello. The panarello auto-foamer was something that I wanted to stay away from. Yes, this steam wand takes some practice, but within a week or two I was steaming some very good milk. My microfoam doesn't quite measure up to the deluxe neighborhood coffee shop with the awesome commercial-grade machine, but the Breville is capable of making lattes that are far better than the chain coffee shop. It does just fine heating 12 ounces of milk. I work 16 ounces of milk in the pitcher (for a 20 oz / 4 shot latte) and it seems to be about the most volume the wand can manage. It does it though! One caution about this machine: it took me nearly two weeks and three pounds of coffee to get the shots right. You have to be patient and really work on grind, dose, and tamp. I bought it knowing that there would be some skill involved and I didn't want a super auto. Now, every morning I am smiling as I walk out the door with a latte that is perfect for me - great shots, microfoam, and just the right temp.
I get my coffee beans and have them ground at the coffee shop up the street so I don't have a comment about grinders. My rationale for not getting the brewer/grinder combo was that one component is always going to break down before the other component - this way, not all of my eggs are in one basket. Purchasing a nice grinder from Seattle Coffee Gear is definitely in my future! Mar 25, 2014
Don't get the model with the grinder. You can get a better stand alone grinder - it is worth the extra money. Your grind is only second in importance to the quality and freshness of the beans when trying to pull a good shot. Baratza Virtuoso is good for a lower end espresso grinder- Vario or the Rancilio Rocky are even better. You want a burr grinder with 40+ grind settings to really be able to dial in your grind. Some have said that Breville's smart grinder is ok too, but I haven't tried it- it is less expensive but again, grind really does impact shot quality.
Hope this helps! Mar 25, 2014
The froth wand does its job - it's obviously underpowered compared to more industrial machines and takes longer to heat up the milk, but the slower foaming action makes it much easier for beginners. I actually find myself able to create better, more consistent microfoam from this wand than from the industrial machines at my office. You do have to be careful about over-foaming - it's tempting to introduce too much air if you're not used to the timing.
I bought the Breville SmartGrinder to go along with this, instead of the built-in - that way I could upgrade the machine and grinder separately. It's looking to be a smart decision - were I to upgrade the grinder, I could probably get a decent resale out of the SmartGrinder and save money over being stuck with the grinder built into the machine. Mar 25, 2014
I don't know about how this machine compares to the fully automatic one. Personally I want to have a grinder to grind and a machine to make coffee. I bought the Breville Smart Grinder and I've found it to be a good value and perform at a level more than suitable to my needs. May 22, 2014
I've had both models, and much prefer the model without the grinder. There's more room to maneuver. I have a Rocky Rancilio standalone grinder and much prefer that to the built-in on the Breville. Mar 25, 2014
Anyhow, a few questions:
*All questions concern pretty old (a few weeks), not too high quality, but nonetheless oily beans, ground to just about the finest setting in a burr grinder, and placed in the single-shot, single-wall basket.
1. The pressure gauge only seems to work when I manually pull shots; it doesn't move at all when using the automatic function. Is this right?
2. Speaking of manual, how exactly do I know when to release the button? I've been doing it right after the "preinfusion" stage ends (i.e.: just as the first espresso flows down the spout) and when everything goes right, the needle moves into and hovers in the middle of the gauge. Is this right?
3. Finally, while I can get the gauge to hover in the middle, it does so for about 20 seconds, not the full 25-35 recommended in the booklet. Again, this is with the single shot, single wall basket.
Thanks! Jul 9, 2014
Obviously it is up to you, but I would definitely recommend using a higher quality bean. I use the house espresso blend from a specialty coffee company out of Grand Rapids, MI called Madcap Coffee. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
While I cannot speak with certainty on how your issues relate to your beans, i can say with certainty that your grinder is your most important piece of equipment. Shot length, extraction, etc. all depend hugely on the quality of the grind (fineness, consistency, dose). I bought the Baratza Preciso for my setup, and I am so pleased with the results I get.
Now, let me give you my best answers to your questions...
1. The pressure gauge should work all the time, even when you are using the one-shot or two-shot pre-programmed buttons.
2. There is no easy answer to this question. Every barista is going to have a different opinion on how long the pre-infusion should last, and they are going to decide based on taste. They will dial in until they enjoy the extraction of the coffee. (But yes, you release the button after you are content with the length of the pre-infusion.) But let me make a recommendation to you: use the automatic function and trust its pre-infusion. On a machine at this price point, you probably won't be able to tell much of a difference between manual pre-infusion and automatic pre-infusion.
3. There are two things I would say about this question. First, the 25-35 seconds is from the time you first push the button to the time you stop the shot, including the pre-infusion. It is not supposed to be 25-35 seconds after the pre-infusion that the needle is hovering in the middle of the gauge. Second, shot length really has to do with two factors: dose and fineness. Dose is the amount of coffee you are putting in the basket. Obviously fineness is how finely you grind your coffee. It is possible that you are not grinding your coffee finely enough to get the shot length you desire.
Hope these answers have helped! Jul 10, 2014
1. The gauge should work when pulling shots automatically. It always does for me -- meaning, I have ground too coarse and seen low pressure, I have hit the sweet spot and the gauge is in the middle of the good range, and I have ground too fine and/or tamped too hard and seen the pressure too high, with the coffee barely dripping out. Oh, and I always just press the double shot button and let the extraction happen automatically.
My experience has been that the older the beans get, the finer I have to grind or the harder I have to tamp in oder to get a good extraction. Maybe it's just a problem with your "pretty old" beans.
2. Yes, I think that's exactly right.
3. 35 seconds seems way too long for a single shot extraction. I had thought a good extraction time was 22-25 seconds. If your single shot is taking 20 sec, and the extraction pressure is good, I think you should be doing okay. Are you getting the correct volume for a single shot?
The real test, of course, is: how does the shot taste? Jul 11, 2014
If I let my beans...open package go for two weeks I start to get weak extractions....20 secs or less I have to mess with the grind to get a good extraction. Hope this helps. Jul 11, 2014
So... beans. I guess that's my next stop. I live in Boston and I'm sure there are good roasters around here, but I don't know of them. I'll check out MadCap.
g. Jul 12, 2014
Mine is working perfectly on automatic as set by Breville. I am using the 2 shot single wall basket. I am grinding not quite at finest 4 1/2 out of 5 good fresh beans (but it also worked fairly well with old bag of Starbucks dark roast) a fairly strong tamp and then use automatic. Pressure gage goes every time and I am now after 2 weeks able to hit close between gold buttons for great creme. Think it does not stay there longer than 20 seconds.
sounds like you are doing well at manual Jul 11, 2014
Best of luck with your decision. May 22, 2014
We brew 2-4 shots a day, 1 or 2 milk drinks, sometimes less. Brewing and steaming simultaneously is a nice to have, not a must-have, but quality of steam/frothing is a big concern. Sep 4, 2014
I normally brew first, then steam. It takes maybe 15-20 seconds to heat up to steam temperature. Steam is not super powerful and so steaming takes a bit longer, but the slower pace allows good control over the frothing process. I am able to get great results, very silky micro foam.
(Of course during that time my crema is dissipating, but I am okay with that -- not trying to do latte art at this point.)
For your relatively low daily number of shots brewed, I would seriously consider whether or not the significant extra cost of the DB is worth it or not. Your call.
Hope this helps. Sep 4, 2014
I bought the Infuser back in March and couldn't be happier. Honestly, I don't know about the additional features with the BDB, but at over twice the cost, I'm uncertain it is worth it.
You mention being able to brew and froth at the same time -- with as many drinks as you're making a day, this seems like a pretty excessive feature.
I've had several different machines over the last dozen years and without a doubt, the Infuser is the best machine I've ever used. The shots have been great and the steaming is incredible. It took me awhile to find the exact technique that provided the most enjoyable frothing/foam, but now that I have, my coffees are perfect every time. Seriously, every time I make a coffee for someone else, even my wife, they ALWAYS compliment.
Obviously, if you've got specific needs that will be met by a different machine, then make your choice accordingly, but for the money, I can't imagine finding a better machine than the Infuser. Sep 4, 2014
One thing though - the steamer for making milk is definitely slow. But I am fine with it .And I guess the more powerful steamers come with more expensive machines anyway. Sep 5, 2014
Any help or suggestions on getting the drink hotter would be appreciated.
Thanks. Dec 28, 2013
I do all the same procedures as you, don't skip on pre-heating the cup. I run some hot water directly from Breville to pre-heat it before steaming my milk. I also use a thermometer to make sure the milk gets to at 150-160, this will also help to get you that hot cup of latte. Dec 31, 2013
to clean: discard puck. Pull another blank with no portlafilter to flush things out. Mar 8, 2014
thanks Dec 2, 2013
Also just wondering if people love the machine, and how long it has lasted, and any tips for upkeep. Thank you!!
A Oct 20, 2013
I won't know about longevity of the machine for some time. But if its any indication, this machine is replacing my old Breville which is about eight years old and still brewing!
This machine doesn't have an Italian name, not will it win me a Barrista title but it brews a fine shot of espresso and steams the milk to a smooth creamy texture. If it has the durability of my old machine I will be very pleased. Nov 7, 2013
and for all the accessories that are included should this be the same for every country? Aug 18, 2014
Looking for warranty, care information, or videos of this product? You're in the right place!
Warranty Information for the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine
|What it Covers:||
Breville espresso machines, grinders and blenders
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 the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine
For detailed care instructions, please refer to your machine's user manual.
User Manuals for your Breville Infuser Espresso Machine
Videos Featuring the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine
Disappointed - now have a different machineReview by Canadian Espresso Rookie
Price Value Quality
Did my research and decided I wasn't quite ready to pay the full price of some of the other semi-automatics (Rancilio Silvia mainly) for something I had never been into before. Got the first machine in December 2013, Breville exchanged it in March 2014 due to the "buzzing" sound that Serge was referencing above. By Mid June 2014 the second machine was "buzzing" again very bad. Wasted lots of good coffee. Took a video to the store I bought it from and they gave me my money back. Breville exchange process was very fast and fair. No faith that this machine would last for years. Needed to get out of it quickly.
(Posted on 6/16/14)
Great starter machineReview by Lerxst
Price Value Quality
I'm a recent convert to the cult of espresso. I've had my infuser now for three months and use it almost daily. It has a relatively tame learning curve and I can make much better shots and milk drinks than what I get at my local shop. It is a little weak on the steaming but that is probably ok as a starter machine as it's relatively easy to froth milk. This machine gets a bad rap on the coffee forums. I wouldn't pay a lot of attention to that. For a sub $500 machine there is a lot of value here. I paired mine with a refurbed Vario and couldn't be happier. In a few years I'll probably move up to a more serious machine but this is great for getting out of the gate without adding in too many variables. Thanks SCG.
(Posted on 5/25/14)
Not very reliableReview by Serge
Quality Price Value
This is my third Breville Infuser since 2012. The problem is always electrical with the brew switch/button making a buzzing sound when it is pressed. I have lost confidence in this machine and I am replacing it with a Rancilio Silvia with PID. I love the look of the Breville and it makes good espresso, but the electrical problem is a sign that it not last for long.
Breville has accepted to take it back and they will send me a new one again. (Good customer service) I will put it on EBAY to sell it.
(Posted on 2/9/14)
good latteReview by cone
Price Value Quality
after using this machine for about a year now, I am pleased. I can make a quick decent latte at 4 A.M. (before work) Paired with the Preciso grinder ,Its a winner.
(Posted on 1/12/14)
Great for espresso loversReview by Berto
Price Value Quality
I finally upgraded my entry espresso maker a few months ago with this one and I am very pleased. I am using pregounded coffee (had to change previous brand) and the dual wall filter works quite well. It took some effort to find a good brand and to master the craft but the results are better than I expected. I'm now shopping for a grinder and I expect even better results.
I love the website.. The videos were very helpful in the selection process.
My only advise for people that are upgrading from entry level to this or any other machine is that it will take time and effort to master. I also spend a little more time preparing coffee every morning and cleaning properly. This was the only thing I did not see coming, but I love my coffee so it's worth my morning time. If you're not willing to put the time learning or if you rush out in the mornings you should think twice.
(Posted on 9/28/13)
Great machine!Review by KDM
Price Value Quality
Had a Starbucks Barista for many years. The Breville makes noticeably better espresso shots right out of the box and only got better after I played with it longer...
(Posted on 8/25/13)
Nice Starter MachineReview by EE
Price Value Quality
Machine is really well built and has a relatively gentle learning curve. It's a great machine to learn on. It has only one flaw: The filter baskets are kept in the portafilter by friction (i.e., there's no clip to hold the basket in the handle). That means you'll be digging the basket out of the knock box or trash frequently. It's annoying because Breville has been really deliberate about every other aspect of this machine.
As always, SCG's service is second to none.
(Posted on 8/7/13)
Pretty hard to mess up on this machineReview by Consistently great espresso & cappuccino
Price Value Quality
Once you get the grind and coffee amount worked out, the consistency of great espresso is truly impressive. The steamer wand is excellent. This is far and away the easiest machine I've ever used, while getting professional quality espresso and cappuccino!
(Posted on 7/9/13)
an excellent machine.Review by JFH
Value Quality Price
I've had this machine a few weeks now, it was an upgrade from a Saeco that had become less reliable in producing espresso over strong coffee.
I use it to prepare just espresso, and just double shots. Because of budget considerations, I bought this without a grinder upgrade--and the two grinders I have do not have good control over fineness. However, one / both will do until I sort out a good grind at home or at the local Starbuck's, Caribou, or premium grocery store (Lund's) here in the Mpls-St Paul Metro area.
I immediately found the pressure valve to be of immense help in sorting grind fineness--that alone made 'stretching' for this machine worthwhile. With it, I have been able to 'custom blend' a typical store-bought grind with my own grind here to get a blend that produces a good espresso.
I will second others' comments about quality and quirks. It took me a minute or two to figure out how lift the water tank cover. I do find the cup heater to be minimal, but the routine Breville recommends (preheating the cup) solves that issue, albeit at slowing production slightly.
So, the next item to be put on the gift list will be the Breville grinder. The two together ought to produce a superb espresso.
In closing, I will mention that I purposely bought this from SCG because of the learning I have gained over the years from their superb videos and from their excellent sales service for me recently. Their prices are competitive (I'm an extremely cost-conscious shopper) so it was a pleasure to buy from them.
(Posted on 6/8/13)
Fast and FlavorfulReview by QuadShotDecaf
Price Value Quality
Having owned numerous espresso machines ( all price ranges) in my 55 years, this machine does not disappoint! It is super easy to use and pulls a great shot. I get my beans ground weekly...I am a Starbucks girl :) drinking anything bold and decaf (espresso roast and sumatra my favorites). It took a few days and a fresh bag of decaf espresso ground beans, but this compact and solidly built machine delivers everytime! My Breville Infuser proudly sits next to my husband's Jura Capressa - that was 5 times the price.
(Posted on 5/14/13)
I am very happy with the InfuserReview by Maddy
Price Value Quality
There are several reasons I chose this machine. The two big ones that most buyers consider Price and Quality, were important because I wanted to stay under $800 but get a good machine and a good grinder.
1. Price – The price was attractive, because I also required a grinder upgrade, I chose the Breville Smart Grinder, which I am also very pleased with. Seattle Coffee Gear will also make effort to price match, and win your business.
2. Build – The machine is solid, for its price point. And performs very well with great reliability.
What I want to share with you, the prospective buyer, is why you should buy from Seattle Coffee Gear. There are many competitors out there, and maybe you have seen their offerings, but what is it that makes Seattle Coffee Gear the best choice to do business with?
Service, Personality, and Honesty - This company though far from my home in upstate New York, feels like a local place to me. Their videos helped make the store and the people that make the store something special. Seattle Coffee Gear, unlike Amazon, or another competitor has faces, people who care, and you can talk to, people who love coffee, and want to make your experience the best it can be.
If you are on the fence about who to buy from, or what to choose, trust Seattle Coffee Gear, they will not lead you in the wrong direction, and they will do their best to make your purchase, no matter what it is, one you are very pleased with. I will definitely buy again from Seattle Coffee Gear, and want to thank Gail, Kat, and the rest of the fantastic crew for doing a great job and going the extra mile.
(Posted on 5/12/13)
Good machine for beginners who want controlReview by rdmasm
Price Value Quality
This machine is a good starter for someone who wants to play around with making their own espresso but isn't an expert. It is also a lot cheaper than a super automatic. I did see some reviews where people had problems getting the water flowing and leakage but I followed the directions carefully and haven't seen any of those issues. I am still working on getting my pressure right for the espresso but the steamer is excellent and is making great steamed milk.
(Posted on 5/6/13)
Worth breaking our Espresso Machine budget who needs a double boiler?Review by Ken H
Price Value Quality
Can't really beat Grace's review.. except to say.. we love ours...
Using it with the Smart Grinder.. I am now making good consistent espresso without cheats like the Saeco pressurized porta-filter..
I would say if this is the first time coming from one of those machines with the mechanical pressure system in the porta-filter.. check your grind. Turns out I didn't own a grinder I could make good coffee on with this machine.. so we added the grinder..And we are very happy...
This thing switches between steam and coffee temp so fast, with internal purging and no intervention on my part.. I have lost my interest in a double boiler..
Easy.. reproducible results.. love it.
One TIP.. the water tank cover is over engineered ... took us five minutes to figure out how to open the top.. pull up in the very back of the rounded outside edge and the cover "unfolds" to be a handle. Almost too clever a design..
When I think about cleaning internal grind containers etc. I am not sure why I would want an Auto over this.. the pull out filter is easier to clean and you get to wack it on your knock box.. which is therapeutic.
Wish I had done this years ago....
Last tip if you live near Seattle and have never owned a REAL espresso machine. Pay the local price and have SCG help you use the machine.. the online discounts are not worth the likely frustration former "pressure cheat" machine owners will have.. and there will be joy when you get it right
(Posted on 4/17/13)
Love this machineReview by Tom H
Quality Price Value
I've only had this machine for several days, but I'm already in love with it.
I make Capuccino twice a day for myself and my wife and have for about the last 10 years. I have had 4 machines in that timespan- the first one was very forgettable and I quickly replaced it with a Caprriso machine which made pretty decent coffee drinks, but over a couple of years stopped foaming the milk very well. About 4 years ago I bought a Starbucks Sirena machine but it recently failed (will still make an excellent espresso, but It won't steam milk anymore.)
I replaced it with this machine and I have to say it has knocked my socks off. I had virtually no "learning curve" like I experienced the previous times I changed machines It is very easy to learn and makes great espresso (I prefer Cuban espresso which is readily available in my area and comes pre-ground.) It froths the milk perfectly and (even though I was already somewhat of an expert already) comes with great instructions on how to froth milk perfectly. My only "complaint" (and it is a mild one) is that it takes a little longer to froth the milk than my Sirena did, but the milk actually comes out better.
I can't speak to durability but I highly recommend this machine.
(Posted on 4/3/13)
Perfect Choice for noob with budget /Superb valueReview by Jeffrey
Quality Price Value
As a newcomer to the world of espresso, I thought I was being extravagant by originally purchasing the Saeco Via Venezia. I was not at all pleased with that machine after 3 weeks or so. (I will post a review there). So I exchanged it for this one which was a bit more expensive but thought I would try it. (Thank you SCG for great return policies).
Long story short, if you are new, this is a perfect machine to really teach you AND ultimately when you learn a bit and practice, the results are excellent. Having the pressure indicator is a big help. I went through 1-2 lbs of coffee and mostly bad shots. But that taught me so much and you haven't tasted bad until you have tasted a very badly pulled shot! Then - I got the perfect (for me) shot - and nirvana. Milk also takes time to learn. But again, that first perfect pitcher of wet paint was exciting. The steamer isn't overly powerful -- but it does the job very well and you do have control over placement of the tip, etc.
I also like the rapid change from steam to espresso. The Saeco was way too long.
The machine is great looking. It isn't a heavy weight and yes sometimes putting in the portafilter the machine will move but it appears to be the best at this lower price point with features not found on lower end machines..
The little things like a clean me light and the automated fashion of cleaning, etc. also add to the machine.
I am very pleased with this purchase and have really increased my own knowledge and skill.
(Posted on 2/23/13)
Good Next StepReview by GEGJr
Quality Price Value
First some background for you to assess the usefulness of my review.This is my first pump (thermacoil) machine. For the past 3 years I used a combo steam espresso and drip coffee maker. Even though I am a long time coffee drinker I just in past 4 years have gotten serious about the quality of my coffee and during the same time began drinking espresso drinks. Prior to that I have been satisfied with drip coffee. I still am not a pure espresso drinker but I do like the strength and taste of a good Americano and the weekend cappucino & latte, although I am a bit lactose intolerant.
I did a lot of research before purchasing this machine. I take purchases of more than $50 very seriously because I am just middle class on the economic scale and because I am approaching retirement age and need to watch my pennies. I setteled on this machine because the reviews were good, the footprint relatively small, and it is thermacoil rather than thermalblock thus based on my research means it is less likely to need repair.
It has taken me 2 or 3 pounds of good coffee to get the dose, tamping technique and grind (I use a Breville Smart Grinder which is also an upgrade from my old blade grinder) satisfactory and I am still working on perfecting all three.
Now about the machine itself. As someone has already said the machine is rather light in weight and I find that I have to hold it with one hand while setting the portafilter. I wish the tank was a little bigger but if it were the footprint would be larger too as would the weight so all in in all that is a wash. I like the hot water feature because I can use it to make an Americano or water for my 4 cup French press. However, I am a bit disappointed that it will dispense only about 7-8 oz of hot water before it stops and you have to turn it back to neutral then back to hot water to continue getting more water. Since I typically need a minimum of 12-16 oz of hot water that means I have to use a separate vessel to extract the hot water when making French press so I can pour all at once instead of interrupting the brewing (not a real big deal) as well as separate vessel to extract hot water for a 16 oz Americano because the tall mug I use for comuting is too tall to fit under the nozzel. That brings me to another criticism. I wish I could fit a tall travel mug under the hot water nozzel. I tried removing the drip tray but I found that for some reason water would flow down into bottom of machine. I think that is because I pulled a shot without putting the drip tray back. Since I've not done that again I haven't noticed water in the drip tray area. Unlike another reviewer I don't mind the drip tray not being larger because that would just mean it would be more difficult for me to get it to the sink without spilling it. I really like the pressure guage as it is helping me perfect my shot. I wish there was a timer as well so I wouldn't have to use a stop watch to time the extraction. By the way, it really has nothing to do with this review I guess, but I have completely abandoned drip coffee in favor of the Americano or French Press. When I first got the machine my wife asked what I was going to do if company wanted a cup of coffee. Not having thought about that I had to purchase a larger French Press for those guest who would not enjoy the strength of an Americano. Also, I have only used the double wall basket one time just to see what the taste of the shot would be like compared to a properly extracted shot with the single wall basket. I did this because as I said earlier I am not really an espresso drinker and cannot rely on taste to determine the quality of my shot. I prefer to use only the single wall because I feel that perfecting the shot is part of the fun of having such a machine and using the double wall would take all the art and thus the satisfaction from pulling the perfect shot.
At first because of the learning curve of this machine compared to using the steam espresso machine I was having some slight buyer remorse but now that I have had the machine for about a month I am glad I spent the money. I highly recommend it for the person wanting to enjoy a really good coffee but also who enjoys having a new skill and hobby.
(Posted on 2/8/13)
Great unit for espresso neophytesReview by Joebone
Price Value Quality
We've had a succession of cheap espresso machines over the years but abandoned them out of frustration, preferring the convenience of various passive drip systems or french press, and leaving it at that. We don't have the time or inclination to make a ritual of coffee, although we are food-oriented and fussy about flavor. OTOH, some of our friends have elaborate Italian machines, and the quality of the espresso is undeniable. And having enjoyed marvelous coffee drinks over the years (Cortados in Spain; Flat Whites in New Zealand), we've thought about plunging into a real machine.
Breville products have caught our eye, as a hospitable sister with three kids and a constant stream of guests on a small farm has had good results with Breville espresso makers over the years, although I've not been a fan of her output, which I've ascribed to their technique in using the machine to generate regular coffee - I now know what she's doing wrong, but more on that later.
For a recent anniversary, my wife and I decided to buy the best espresso maker we could find for $500, and the internet research began.
The BES840XL seemed like a winner - mostly metal (plastic top plate, which we did not realize at the time), and a great feature set. I was also intrigued by the thermocoil, as a good solution to thermoblock failures. We also liked that the reasonable balance of features/construction/cost/footprint.
We bought it, and promptly ignored it due to a death in the family and associated travel/lack of time.
We've now been using it actively for two months, and the more we use it, the more we appreciate just how good it is. The pressure gauge is key, as it has allowed us to learn how to balance tamp pressure, fill level and grind to achieve desired results. We're sticking with the pre-programmed time settings for now, and sometimes override them, but we won't be whipping out the stopwatch. The steam wand is sturdy, and the hot water function is great. And there are a lot of nice little touches, like the spill tray displaying it's need to be cleaned when full. And while we don't have a broad basis for comparison, it makes sense that the pre-infusion cycle has a lot to do with the results we're enjoying.
All in all, a great experience. It's hard to imagine doing better at this price point. Highly recommended.
(Posted on 12/13/12)
Better than Gaggia Baby ClassicReview by JP
Price Value Quality
I have had this machine over two weeks, and I am in love with the machine. It makes great espresso shots as long as I control the tamping pressure and the amount of coffee in the basket. After such disappointment in Gaggia Babby Classic, I am delighted to have a machine that works very well.
Breville is my new favorite espresso machine maker. Good job.
(Posted on 10/30/12)
Extremely pleased with the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine.Review by Wayno
Price Value Quality
First, I am delighted that I ordered the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine from Seattle Coffeegear. The product shipped free of charge, was delivered on time and undamaged. Also, from a price standpoint the additional cleaning tablets, filters plus gift card made this the best deal across all vendors. I have owned the product for over two weeks and have been making espressos and lattes every day. I am also using the Breville Smart Grinder which compliments the Infuser extremely well. Overall, the product appears to be of high quality and well engineered. The packaging was perfect and the accesories and literature are also excellent. It take a few tries to get the grind and tampering right on thje first day. I do find the pressure gauge to be very helpful in knowing when I do have the grind and tampering correct. The espresso tastes great and the steamer does an excellent job of making great foam or hot milk. A thermometer is a big help in getting the temeprature correct when steaming milk. The machine is easy to use and clean. I have found the water tank to be large enough to make multiple drinks as well as for cleaning the steamer and portafilter. The product looks great in our kitchen along with the Smart Grinder. So far I have not encountered any negatives with the Breville Infuser. Given that I have only owned the product for a few weeks I cannot speak to its long-term performance. However, to date I am a very satisfied customer.
(Posted on 10/10/12)
Happy so farReview by LFS
Price Value Quality
I've had the '840 for two mornings, here's what I've found:
Temp consistency: USA model is 1600 watts, and that is needed. I was so excited to start i filled the tank with ice cold water, and it struggled to maintain temp.Temps are most consistent with room temp. water in the tank. Measuring with a thermapen inside the portafilter spouts, the temps were then 195-202F. I'm still learning about a good preheat time, so no more detail than the range.
Steam: not really powerful,, but it's dryer than my old Barista. I had better success with milk than in the past, so I'm happy
Hot water tap: it starts very hot, above 200F, but drops quickly. It's fine for Americanos, but not brewing an individual cup like a pour over
In the cup: promising! I'm making all the usual mistakes - old beans, inconsistent tamp, etc, but happily making progress, and would do it again
If I could make a change? Make it a few pounds heavier, and a bigger water tank
(Posted on 7/21/12)
Great little machineReview by fragilex
Price Value Quality
I also own the big brother to this unit -- the Breville Dual Boiler (BES900XL) which retails for over twice as much ($1199) -- so I thought I'd describe how they compare, pros and cons. I bought the BES840 for a vacation cottage based on how happy I am with the Breville Dual Boiler.
I use a Breville Smart Grinder, and the non-pressurized double-shot basket for all my shots.
First and most important the pros:
-It's easy to make a great shot, almost indistinguishable from shots off the Dual Boiler. That was a pleasant surprise.
-It's tiny, doesn't require much counter space.
-Great set of features for the price point (PID, pre-infusion, 3 way solenoid valve).
Not surprisingly there are some cons compared with a machine more than twice the price.
-Because of the diminutive size, it is much less substantial than the Dual Boiler, almost toy-like in comparison (often have to hold the unit in place while tightening down portafilter).
- it doesn't use a commercial size 58 mm portafilter. Not necessarily a con, but it annoys me, it's smaller in diameter and feels lighter, I prefer the portafilter on the Dual Boiler.
-Small drip tray means frequent emptying.
-No ability to adjust brew temp.
-Less convenient to add water.
-Pressure dial doesn't show actual pressure, just indicates pre-infusion pressure range and extraction pressure range.
-Can't steam and extract at the same time (not a big deal for me, I rarely steam milk).
-No manual shot button (however, you can achieve the same result by holding down the shot button for as long as you'd like to pre-infuse, then release and it will pump water until you hit the button again).
Overall I'm quite pleased with the BES840. It excels in two critically important areas: it produces consistently great shots and is very affordable.
(Posted on 7/9/12)
Nice.Review by joe
Value Quality Price
I use this machine 3 to 4 times a day for last week, and this is my upgrade to saeco starbuks barista witch i use for last 6 yrs.
for $500 this machine is pulling nice shots .
(Posted on 7/8/12)
"Keep up the good work breville"Review by JPW
Price Value Quality
We recently purchased this machine(2 months ago) along with a Sunbeam Cafe Grinder EM0480. The overall build quality and features on the breville are first class. We first start grinding some high quality beans in the grinder set to 9, then along with an even firm tamp, The breville produces a brilliant cup of coffee with great Crema. the pressure needle sits at around 1pm, I have found this to be the perfect setting for a great cafe coffee that is on par with most Cafe produced coffees coming out of a 5-10K machine. I wouldn't hesitate in buying this machine again or the grinder for that matter. They are both unbeatable value for money, probably largely due to the fact both units are made in Asia, compared to say a European machine which would cost alot more to produce. Overall i would score the machine 9/10 for a home machine, and compared to say a Cafe produced coffee coming out of a machine 10+ times the price i would give it 7-9 out of 10 depending on the Cafe, as alot of Cafes cant make good coffee even with the best machine! but this is human error and laziness in most part not the machine!
(Posted on 7/6/12)