Breville collected the comment cards and heard the outcries, but we know you provided a polite suggestion. They artfully responded by introducing the new, updated Breville Dual Boiler. Now you can enjoy brewing and descaling in the comfort of your own home. You no longer need to take your machine to the pros for a simply cleaning, which saves you time, effort and possible maintenance fees. Need I say more?
Features & Functionality of the Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL Espresso Machine
Additional Upgrades: You are now able to adjust the steam boiler temperature at a range of 265ºF – 285ºF, adjust shot length and receive a snazzy dose trimming tool as one of the included accessories.
Pulse Pre-Infusion: The 15 bar pump first pulses to expand the grinds before extraction begins, providing a balanced espresso shot.
Programmable Options: Enjoy customizing your perfect cup at the perfect time of day by programming the shot volume and temperature, auto start, clean cycle and clock.
Advanced Options: If you can’t get enough customization in your life, the advanced options allow you to customize pre-infusion length and power, steam temperature, machine audio, maintenance alerts and temperature units as well as water hardness and shot length. Phew! Now that’s some customization!
Love at First Sight: This upgraded machine features many of the things we already love about the previous model: Dual stainless steel boilers and Italian pumps for simultaneous shot extraction, milk frothing and optimal pressure. Heated group head for maintaining thermal stability and an electronic PID for temperature control. And lets not forget the backlit LCD, espresso shot clock, pressure gauge, hot water spout, hidden drop down swivel foot and 360º swivel steam arm.
Gold Standard - The Dual Boiler meets four key elements: Limiting maximum extraction pressure, low pressure pre-infusion, consistent extraction temperature and simultaneous extraction and frothing.
Longer Manufacturer Warranty - This updated version comes with a 2 year limited product warranty, versus the one year warranty offered on the previous model.
Muscle Up! - With grounds tamped and ready for extraction, the portafilter requires a little more muscle to lock in place.
Ease of Use
Ease of Care and Maintenance
Overall Value for the Money
How Does it Compare?
This updated version of the Dual Boiler has the same overall functionality of the previous model, but with adjustable steam boiler temperature and in home descaling. The Breville Dual Boiler weighs approximately 30 pounds.
Stainless Steel: BES920XL | Black Sesame: BES920BSXL | Cranberry: BES920CBXL
Best Answer:When using the pressurized portafilter that's available on the Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL, you're able to use pre-ground coffee or freshly ground coffee. Since the basket itself is building to the proper pressure before dispensing the coffee, you'll find a good shot, but it will typically be quicker than the ideal 20-30 seconds. It will not be the best quality, but that's also because you're not putting in the additional effort to ensure that your grind is fine tuned to producing the timing of shot to achieve the best quality. It will be a decent shot, and allows you to use pre-ground coffee or a grinder that possibly doesn't have the right consistency or range to accomplish dialing it in for a non-pressurized filter basket.
A non-pressurized filter basket (whether it's from the Oracle or the Dual Boiler) requires a bit more time and experimentation to find the right consistency to achieve the ideal 20-30 seconds. It is very important to ensure that you have a nice high quality grinder to pair with the machine, and make sure that you're finding just the right setting to ensure that 20-30 second shot timing. Once you've dialed in the grinder, you'll find that you can accomplish a higher quality shot. It will take more patience and effort to find the right settings, especially if this is is a new endeavor, but the possibility is there for a much higher quality shot.
Hello I am really interested in the BES920 but I have two major concerns: (1) what is the reliability of this unit (i.e., does it break a lot as stated in some reviews online) relative to the Silvia or a Giotto, and (2) has Breville fixed/addressed the alleged leak issues around the brew head, connection of the hot water pipe to the machine, and around the steam wand bolt? Sorry for the direct questions but it's a big investment and I have some concerns. Thank you!
Best Answer:We've been very happy with this model! The BES920XL has only been out for a little over a year, but we've found that it seems to be very reliable. Due to some of the more plastic parts inside and because we don't have the history on it like we do with the Silvia or Giotto, I think there's the potential for it to not last quite as long, but we're talking years down the road, and I would certainly estimate about 6-8 years for a lifespan. We aren't aware of any recurring issues with the machine, so I would recommend contacting Breville directly to see if the issues you mentioned are common, were fixed, etc. Their number is 866-273-8455.
Thank you Miranda and Greg for the info. The BES 920 looks a great machine so I bought it and just to have the peace of mind I also bought the 2 year extended warranty so if any major issues were to come up in the next 4 years I should be covered.
We have only had the unit for 2 weeks, so I'm not sure if our feedback is helpful. That said, we have not experienced any of the leak issues that you have mentioned. The warranty (we got the extended warranty from Seattle Coffee Gear) is a total of 4 years so I'm not too concerned with reliability (we also have friends that have had this machine for a few months and they have not had any reliability issues) but obviously it is too soon to tell on that front. So far, we are very happy with the machine. It has been a big step up for us. I hope that helps a little bit.
Is a bottomless portafilter available for this model yet? If not, does Breville plan on producing one?
A shopper on Jul 31, 2014
Best Answer:We do not yet offer a bottomless portafilter for this Breville Dual Boiler 920, and I am not sure if Breville has manufactured one yet. I might suggest contacting Breville to determine their current availability on a bottomless at 866-273-8455.
Unfortunately I have not heard that we will be carrying a bottomless for the 920 just yet, and so I don't have a date for you. The item number you provided, however, is an item number for the Bottomless for the 900, and so Breville may be updating it to be compatible with both the 900 and 920 if that is the number they provided to you. Since we are out of stock right now I cannot test it in the 920 to see if the fit has changed. There is generally a bit of time between when Breville manufactures and begins selling an item and when we are able to offer it for sale. I would expect that it would be at least another few weeks before we have this in stock. Check back with us by writing into email@example.com. Sorry I don't have better dates for you but I hope this information helps!
Best Answer:The whole point of a steam wand is to create microfoam, so it's a matter of bubble size. If you put the wand end below the surface, you don't get any large bubbles. If you hold the wand end right at the surface level, you can get it to create larger bubbles (i.e more visible foam). On youtube & at coffee shops, you'll see the barista tap the milk carafe after steaming to break the large bubbles. I just checked wikipedia, looks like you're aiming for a flat white, which is what I have been getting without aiming for it.
Depending on your steaming technique, you can control how much foam to milk to steam by how you hold the pitcher and incorporate air into the milk. The nozzle is designed to thoroughly circulate the milk with air, so I would not expect to be able to steam without foam on any machine. If you wanted hot milk but no texture, I'd use a microwave.
Yes. I have this unit and as long as you keep the wand fairly submerged it will not produce foam. We use it that way to heat milk for hot chocolate. As soon as the wand comes near the surface you will start to produce foam. Which is what I do at the end of the steaming process to produce foam for lattes and cappuccinos.
I have the bes920 and yes, it's just a matter of how much air you initially introduce to the milk to start! If you don't want foam simply submerge the steam wand deeper into the pitcher! :) Happy brewing!
Best Answer:Use the right size jug. Start with cold 2% or higher fat content milk. in my experience VitaD milk or whole milk is the best for frothing. I usually fill milk till the V in the jug, insert the steam wand slightly below the milk surface and let it rip. Once you get to 115 degrees, dip the wand into the bottom which starts large foam production. Consistency is key- always steam at the same depth level and I usually stop the steam at 140 degrees. Swirl, tap and pour at an angle into the espresso. That works for me.
I'm not sure on the question, but this machine uses a traditional steam wand, so you are in complete control of how much air you're incorporating into your milk and therefore how much steam you're getting. This machine does use a little bit lighter pressure to steam, as all Brevilles do, which means that you have a little more time to work the milk to get the amount of froth that you prefer. That's good for beginners, or if you like alternate milks such as soy, almond, etc.
I'm not clear on this question it just say's milk frothing technique. There is plenty of videos about milk frothing. I keep a temp gadge in my pitcher I feel the time it takes me to froth the milk is just perfect for me. It froths nicely. I could even do latte art but I'm to anxious to drink my delicious cappicino.
I am looking at the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920 vs the 860 XL. Other than the dual boiler is there anything else to justify why the 920 is so much more. Value wise the 860xl has the built in grinder and everything else seems the same so just trying to figure out what Ill get if I spend the extra money?
Best Answer:Short anwser: If you enjoy the process of making a espresso you path will lead you to a 920. If you want horse power, control but do not want to spend the $$ your path will lead you to a 920.
Coming from a Baby Gaggia and going to a 920 there is a HUGE difference in all the items mentioned above.
Real quick using the comparison tool on SCG site and when necessary my own knowledge having owned the 920 for 6ish months.
920 has> more wattage, comes with 4 porta filters single and double both in press/non press,
Auto on (it will be waiting for you all heated up ready to go in the AM), also has a hot water dispenser, bigger water tank,
comes with a huge selection of accessories (pitcher/cleaning pills/various tools/tamper/scooper/water softener pillows/nifty storage tray),
adjustable temp & pre infusion time and pressure, also adjustable are the single /double shot presets (volume vs time).
It has 2 BOILERS!!! vs a thermo block. (if you don’t know what this is go to YouTube and put this in the search bar (thermo block vs double boiler espresso)) More warranty.
The only thing I would add is a machine that does two things in the same case is probably not doing either very well. What I am saying is there is a compromise there has to be at this price point.
Advice, go with the 920 (call it a Christmas present) get your beans from the best source you can that will grind them for you (until you want to spend the money on a grinder) AND GET A good storage device to keep the ground beans as fresh as you can. (Airscape does a great job).
Down load the manuals for both from the Breville site it gives you more information as well.
Oh that's good to hear. Brian. Couple of owner thoughts. The pressure gauge does not lie. If everything thing is right It will keep level pressure thru the pull. Preheat everything even Porta. Because I life at altitude I bumped up temp and pre infusion (10sec). Beans make more of a difference in the machine compared to the sophisticated one I had so be ready to experiment. Again, if you do not have a good grinder yet get good storage. I have a Mini Mazzer that I have had for years great machine. Be well and tell us how it goes
Having owned both, I would say that the 920 is well worth the upgrade. The grinder on my 860 ended up dying on me just after the warranty ran out so the two year warranty on the 920 was a plus point.
I like the ability to descale if I need to. I live in a soft water area so this isn't much of a concern but I like the idea of not having the hassle of boxing it up and shipping it off somewhere to be serviced.
If you are the nerdy sort and enjoys experimentation then the 920 allows for a lot more refinement of the shot extraction i.e. Shot temp, time and volume.
The steam wand has a bit more of a punch and has the ability to change the temperature of the steam should you wish to go down that route.
The larger water reservoir and drip tray means you are not having to perform maintenance tasks as often because the 860 seems expends a lot of water cooling down the heating element when you go to steam your milk after the shot has been pulled.
I must have watched and read over 50 espresso machine reviews and technique videos before making my purchase of the BES920. I also called and discussed my intended purchase with Seattle Coffee Gear's Staff. They were extremely helpful and open about the pros and cons of the machines I was thinking about. I too struggled with the extra cost of the double boiler over the single. My final decision was based on three things: consistent/constant water temperature at the porta filter, water pressure and grind of the coffee. I already had a mid-level grinder that I was happy with, therefore I did not need a built-in grinder. All of my research showed that a double boiler system would provide the most consistent water temperature at the porta filter and the fastest recovery time after pulling a shot. This has been the case with the 920. Recover time is less than 30 after pulling a shot. In my research l learned that the grind of the coffee is critical to success. I though my grinder, the Baratza Virtuoso, was producing a good grind but initially the 920 was not producing good expresso. The machine just would not get up to the correct pressure. Even on the finest setting the Virtuoso was not producing a grind fine enough. I called Seattle Coffee Tech support and they talked me through adjusting the internal grind adjustment. After making the adjustment the 920 has made great espresso. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the built-in grinder on the 860. Since the refinement in the grind of the coffee, I have been extremely impressed with the quality of espresso produced by the 920.
Given everything I know now I would still spend the extra money for the 920.
Hi Brian. I had some some research and I have no comparisons but I love my BES920. The reason why I bought it was bc of the dual boiler. It has some other nice options but again not sure of the 860xl has the same ones. I went with this because I did NOT want a built in grinder. If the grinder jammed or broke etc I didn't want to have to deal I would have to end up buying an extra grinder. I think one of the new features also has to do with cleaning/maintenance. Seattle coffee gear also had an online coupon which saved me some $$. I hope this helps a little.
Longer warranty: 2 years. And Seattle Coffee Gear added two extra years to mine. You can descale the 920 at home. I have my own Rancilio Rocky grinder which is way better than what is put in these machines. 58 mm portafilter vs 54mm for the 860. Two boilers are worth it to me vs. single boiler. I think the 920's more expensive price was well worth it to me.
Hi, I did briefly consider getting the 860xl but saw the height measurements and realized that it would not fit under my cupboards. I love my machine, perfect coffee, perfect steamed milk. I don't know if there are grind controls on the built in grinder, but you would want to have that. The machine itself is beautiful.
Best Answer:If you're asking if the Breville ES920XL has a vibration verusus rotary vane pump, I don't know. I'm assuming if you get a hold of Breville they can tell you.
However I will say that we spent a good number of months researching this machine against many others and we settled on the Breville. It's a terrific machine. It came recommended by a friend who owns an espresso bar....he and MOST of his barista firends have this very machine as their personal home machines. It's terrific and I can't imagine having made a better choice for us. 6 or 7 of us pulling roughly 15-20 shots a day. It's a workhorse, which is great, yet it's versatile enough to allow us to dial in precisely what we want.
I'm thrilled to own this machine and I'm guessing you'll appreciate it as much as we do.
Not quite sure what you mean by "type," but here is additional information: the Breville has two pumps, both Italian-made. One is a 15-bar pump for water, the second is a 3-bar pump for steam. Suggest the customer search the internet for additional information. The above data are from SCG's own site and from wholelattelove's. I could not find the actual manufacturer(s) of the pumps, which would have led to additional dats.
Oh, sorry, I don't know. 200 is the upper temp recommended by all the baristas I have consulted. I'll check when I go home! You don't want to burn your coffee, and you can easily raise the temperature of the milk if you want a really hot drink.
Recently purchased this machine and we love it- but our crappy old cuisines blade grinder is t doing it justice. Wondering what burr grinder you would suggest pairing with this machine? (We have watched lots of your YouTube grinder reviews. Don't particularly love all the bells and buttons on the Breville grinder so lookin for something else). Thank you!! -Kirsten and Aaron
I am looking to get the Breville dual boiler but am worried because I jus purchased the Breville Smart Grinder and want to know if that grinder is good enough for the Dual Boiler. Will I need to buy a new grinder?
A shopper on Oct 27, 2015
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920
Breville Smart Grinder
Best Answer:That grinder will work well with the dual boiler! You do not need to buy a new grinder
Hi I'm looking to get the Oracle or this 920. I can get the Oracle here where I live but not the 920. I tend to lean mostly toward this since I like to grind my own beans. My question is. Is the 920 available for 220V and is the only difference between these two models the grinding and auto stamping? Thank you, and love your reviews - Always make me smile.
Best Answer:The 920 may be available in 220V but you would have to check with Breville directly as they do sell their machines for other countries. Yes, the only real difference between the two models is the grinding and auto tamping and also some programming options.
Best Answer:Yes you can. You can program the timing or volume that you are pulling your shots with, and you can adjust the grind setting finer or coarser to affect how quickly the water will come through to make your shots. Since a ristretto can mean different things to everyone, there's a couple ways to look at creating them. One, that a ristretto is just a shot that's cut short, so it's stopped sooner. Two, that by adjusting the grind setting, you can impact how quickly the water comes through the grounds, so that a smaller volume comes through the coffee, but still within the ideal 20-30 seconds.
The fun of it is being able to experiment and find the method that you like best, and enjoy your espresso the way you like it too!
My BES920XL needs to be descaled, the steam wand has stopped working. The manual states to "fill the water tank with descale solution, as per manufacturer's instructions". I cannot find it in the manual or online as to what the descale solution for this machine is...can you help in this?
Best Answer:Breville recommends that while you're under the manufacturer warranty, to use a vinegar solution (vinegar and water) within the water tank. After the first part of descaling, you will rinse through the machine with clean water.
I am opening a small coffee shop on a very tight budget and can't afford a commercial espresso machine right now. Would the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920 be able to handle making 20 -30 espresso's a day? Thanks
A shopper on Sep 13, 2015
Best Answer:No, at the bare minimum you would want to get a Rocket machine to be able to handle that volume
I have looked over the online owners manual, and have not seen where/if it is specified what cleaning solution you need to use with this machine. I know that Breville provides you with 2 cleaning tabs with your purchased, but am I ok using another brand after those are done or will this void my warranty?
I am also planing on cleaning the machine with cleaning solution once a week since the 200 (programmed cleaning) will just about be 6 mo worth of use, that just doesn't seem often enough.
Best Answer:While you're under Breville's warranty, we and they recommend using their products. I'm not sure if it will void their warranty, but it is best to stick with it during that timeframe. Their cleaning tablets and filters are:
As far as a more frequent cleaning, you certainly won't be harming anything! In fact, we generally recommend backflushing about once per week with daily use, and every couple weeks if you use it less frequently like on the weekends only.
I am very interested in the Breville BES 920. Is the portafilter receiver that is part of the machine metal or plastic? I understand that there were some issues with the receivers on the older versions of this machine. Can you offer a package price for the 920 + Baratza Vario w/ metal portafilter grinder? I am also considering the Simonelli Musica. Is the Musica significantly worth the extra $$ in your opinion? Thank you for your help
Best Answer:The portafilter for the Breville Dual Boiler has a plastic handle, but all of the portion that touches your coffee or holds the filter basket will be stainless steel. The brew head is stainless steel too, save the rubber brew head gasket. We haven't heard of any issues with the brew head on older models.
Unfortunately we do not offer any package deals at this time with a grinder, but we definitely recommend using the machine with one, to be able to dial in your grind for your beans and machine combination, and get the best flavor from your shots!
In debating between the BES920XL and the Nuova Simonelli Musica, you'll need to compare and find how you want to use the machine. The Musica, being a heat exchanger, will allow you to brew more shots back to back, and will have a much higher steam pressure. If, on the other hand, you would like to control the temperature very precisely, or are new to steaming or use alternate milks, the lower steam pressure of the BES920XL might be right for you.
The SCG extended warranty is in addition to the Breville 2 year warranty., is it not?
A shopper on Dec 11, 2014
Best Answer:Yes, the SCG extended warranty is on top of the 2 year warranty that Breville provides initially. So any additional years of extended warranty would be at the end of that 2 year Breville warranty, and the extended warranty is supported by Seattle Coffee Gear, so we would need to troubleshoot and/or repair it at that point if necessary. Hope this helps to clarify!
I notice you specifically say to use the cleaning disk for the cleaning cycle. Does that mean a blind filter disk should not be used?
A shopper on Dec 11, 2014
Best Answer:Breville doesn't make a blind basket for their cleaning cycle. The rubber disk used for backflushing/cleaning cycle actually allows for some of the water/detergent mixture to flow through the portafilter, helping to clean the portafilter/basket at the same time. Of course, you can always soak or clean the filter baskets and portafilter separately, but it helps to do some double-duty. This is per the manufacturer's recommendations as well. Hope this helps!
Can a 900 be updated to an 920 as far as the home de-scaling goes?
A shopper on Nov 19, 2014
Best Answer:No, unfortunately there is not a way to update the Breville Dual Boiler 900 to have the descaling feature of the 920. The 920 model offers an access point to drain the boiler, and this is not something that is modifiable on the 900 model.
Hi, In a video you mention that the BES900 has not a very powerful steam and took longer to do milk. Is the BES920 with steam control temp just fix that issue and now we can have more power to steam like others more expensive machine?
A shopper on Nov 9, 2014
Best Answer:The Breville Dual Boiler 920 does have more control over steaming, but it is just slightly more powerful than the 900XL. It will absolutely froth nice fine micro foam, however it still does take a bit longer to froth than other machines like the Rocket and Musica units.
Best Answer:A bit of water on top of your puck and a small amount of extra water/espresso held in the portafilter spouts is very normal for any machine, including this Breville Dual Boiler. If there is a large excess of water, you may need a slightly coarser grind setting. Some folks move to a bottomless portafilter if excess water in the spouts bothers them, or leave the portafilter attached for a few extra minutes after brewing to allow excess water to drain away. Hope this helps!
You state "Breville collected the comment cards and heard the outcries, but we know you provided a polite suggestion. They artfully responded by introducing the new, updated Breville Dual Boiler. Now you can enjoy brewing and descaling in the comfort of your own home. You no longer need to take your machine to the pros for a simply cleaning, which saves you time, effort and possible maintenance fees."
Is that in reference to the BES900 model, or is the BES920XL different from the BES920?
A shopper on Sep 11, 2014
Best Answer:The Breville BES920XL is a different, updated model that the original Dual Boiler from Breville, the BES900XL. We sometimes leave off the XL, or even the BES and just refer to them as 900 and 920. The original BES900XL did not offer descaling at home and this newer model, the BES920XL does have a descale access point at the front right of the unit behind the steam wand (where you see the black oval on the machine backsplash). Hope this helps clarify!
Best Answer:This Breville Dual Boiler is not a commercial unit, and so there is not a maximum number of drinks that I would say it could handle in an hour, as the home design means maybe occasionally brewing 10 drinks in a hour, but not consistently brewing this amount. If you are looking for a commercial unit, I would suggest checking out the Cafe tab on our website or giving us a call to speak with commercial sales at 866-372-4734.
I upgraded to this machine, after owning a Saeco Syntia for a year. I wanted Real Espresso, and wanted to learn to pull a shot, etc. The espresso from this machine is in my opinion, better than most coffee shops. It has turned into a hobby for me, it's fun to learn to perfectly brew each time I change the beans. Much easier to clean than a Super Auto since everything is up front. The only problem I have had was with the steaming. I was using pure water from my RO System. It gradually got harder and harder to steam. I began adding just a few drops of minerals to each tank of water, now it steams like a champ. I have heard opinions both ways on this, but my machine would not perform with our some trace minerals in the water. An according to Breville, they say not to use RO water. So apparently it is true!! I hope to own this machine for many years! (Posted on 4/4/2016)
I can do it!Review by All4me
I probably funded a SB store here in Houston on my own and decided recently that I needed to learn to recreate my favorite drinks. So as I usually do I jumped in full on. With that said I love this machine! It is physically appealing and fairly easy to use. I have not mastered the various settings per shot but figure with time that will come. For now I can make a lovely shot of espresso for my lattes and favorite iced coffees.
Using a espresso machine is intimidating to someone new to using them but this machine has been great for this newbie. No problems with set up or use.
There are so many positives to this machine. Probably the most important feature for me is the temperature control of shots. I like my coffee / lattes hot and that is what I get with this machine. The front load for water refills is a nice feature. The manual button for those larger shots is great! So far I am very happy with this purchase and hope to have many years of use with proper care. (Posted on 3/19/2016)
A quality product Review by AJ
I have been waiting to write a review of this product until I spent some time getting to know the ins and outs of this machine. My initial love with this machine is still with me four months later. Not only does this machine pull an amazing shot (and steam milk like a champ), but it also came with all the bells and whistles for a beginner.
Ordering from Seattle Coffee Gear was perfect. Not only did they throw in a bottomless portafilter, coffee, and cleaning tablets for free, but the machine itself came with a milk pitcher, a 58mm tamper, extra filter baskets, more cleaning tablets, and a dosing tool.
Shipping was a breeze and whoever packages their orders should get a promotion, there was literally no wasted space. When I ordered the machine, SCG called me to confirm my order. It is the little things that a company like SCG does that can win you over.
Yes, this machine costs more than you might want to spend on espresso. However, the money Breville wants clearly went into research and development. Breville thought of everything. from the electrical cord storage, to having two ways to fill the water reservoir. The double boiler is a conversation piece in my kitchen because its high quality and sleek design. I fully intend of having this machine for years to come without having the feeling I should upgrade.
When I first started doing my research on buying a machine, the first obvious choice was a rancilio silvia. I decided a PID would be necessary, as consistency was not a strong point of this machine. After doing some comparisons, it occurred to me that I could buy a double boiler for a few hundred more than a Silvia and get more consistency and options. (Posted on 2/18/2016)
Love this machine!Review by Deborah
I can't say enough good things about this espresso machine. I did extensive research when it was time to upgrade, and I got exactly what I was looking for - a dual boiler, professional-grade consumer machine that could handle multiple cappuccinos without having to pause to reheat water. I love the fit and finish of the machine. Everything is well thought-out and heavy-duty. With practice, I learned to make great foam with this machine, and the dual boiler allows me to froth milk while pulling a shot. I like my coffee very hot, and this machine delivers. I agree with previous reviewers - DO use the dosing tool, because tamping and achieving an even trimmed dose of coffee IS important on this machine. Also, I've found that varying the position of the steam valve handle helps achieve microfoam. The machine is easy to clean and easy to use. And of course the folks at SCG are GREAT! (Posted on 1/12/2016)
Unbelelievable bang for your buck and amazing esspresso!Review by Dave in KC
To be able to own a true dual boiler machine at this price point represents an outstanding value proposition in my book. The 920XL is my first and only home espresso machine so I cannot offer personal insights on other dual boilers. What I can say is that I am pulling consistently great shots for my wife and I every day and the machine is a true joy to use. The electrically heated group head, coupled with electronic PID brew temperature control produce a quality shot that easily rivals machines that cost thousands of dollars more, The heavy stainless steel 58mm portafilter gives the machine a professional feel in use. (a bottomless portafilter is available as well from SCG) The convenience feature on this machine that I unexpectedly find myself loving is the built in clock-based auto turn on feature. Every morning when I come down to brew, the machine is setting there ready to go, with warm glasses on top and both boilers ready for immediate use. It may at first glance seem gimmicky but this is actually a great, and fairly uncommon usability feature. The stainless clad exterior looks sleek and clean sitting on the counter. Not traditional styling by any means but beautiful in my opinion. As others have noted, the steam wand is slower in use than some other machines, but if you can wait a few more seconds for your milk based drinks you are rewarded with fairly easy to achieve silky microfoam.
The only reason that I did not rate this machine as 5 stars for quality is a bit of uncertainty over the ultimate life span of the machine given the unavailability of repair parts for consumer purchase. Breville had to make certain materials compromises to bring this amazing machine to market at this relatively inexpensive price point. If the plastic valves and piping inside of the machine were commercial rated copper and brass they would never have hit the desired affordable price point. If I could purchase repair parts I am reasonably certain I could make cost effective repairs to keep the machine in good working order for quite a few years. Since that is not the case I am using the 2 year manufacturer warranty plus the available 3rd year warranty through SCG to mitigate my longevity concerns. Please don't let this one issue dissuade you from purchasing this machine. The old saying is that "you get what you pay for". In the case of the Breville 920XL I believe I am getting much more than I paid for.
One final note: Unless you are using freshly roasted whole bean coffee, stored in an airtight container, and ground in a quality grinder just prior to brewing, none of the quality features of this machine will give you the truly exceptional shot the machine is capable of producing. This is taking nothing away from this amazing machine. It, just like any other machine, can't overcome poorly ground stale coffee. In my case, locally sourced fresh beans, stored in an Airscape container and ground in a Baratza Vario grinder are the perfect complement to this exceptional machine. The result is wonderful aroma, beautiful persistent crema, and full bodied rich taste. I can't think of a better way to start each day. (Posted on 4/28/2015)
What they saidReview by BRB
Have owned the machine for 6 months and have over 600 shots through it without an issue...love the automatic on feature...pulls better shots more consistently than any other machine I have owned...steam wand is great and the control paddle is sweet...hot water feature is perfect for Americanos...programmable pid controlled group head, boiler and steam temps..very ergonomic...removable water tank with fill from top is spot on. Only CON I can think of is the stainless tray cover could be one gauge heavier...it is a delicate piece. (Posted on 3/4/2015)
Excellent value for the money, great easy to use functions whether your starting out or experiencedReview by CoffeeMonster
The 920xl is extremely well thought out and the value you get in this machine, at this price point is great. It has an italian pump, and although the parts on this machine are cheaper to get to this consumer level price point, the customer service from breville is great.
2 year warranty is a big selling feature, and breville stands behind their machines. I am using fresh roasted espresso beans within 1 week of roast date. I fount that 18g in the single wall double basket is slightly on the low side. 19 g seems to be the sweet spot. the included trimming tool was handy when initially calibrating the dose.
With all machines the grinder is the most important part, and the baratza vario pars well with the breville db. All in all, I give this a machine a A+ its been great hosting parties and making 2-8 drinks in a short period of time thanks to the duel boiler.
When I can get constant coffee out of a machine at this price point comparable to a $5000 machine, that does more and has more features, with a longer warranty I looked to nothing but the breville db. (Posted on 12/27/2014)
All you could ask for in a home machine and then someReview by Once a skeptic
Years ago, we decided against investing in a home espresso machine due to the constraints and inconveniences of single boiler machines. It just seemed like someone should be able to overcome the minor annoyances and compromises at less than $2k.
A few weeks ago I found myself educating myself about the new offerings on the market and the 920 really stood out - dual boiler, heated brew head, adjustable brew and steam boiler temp, push button convenience, programmable to be up before you are. Someone finally built a machine that does virtually everything people want and need in a home machine.
While many of the Italian machines are very high quality and have their advantages, this one is a serious challenger. The build quality is more oriented towards home use but still very good. This thing gets the job done and does everything we could ask of it. In several ways, it beats out the competition.
Anyone looking for a great home machine at a competitive price should take a very close look at the 920. No other machine can quite match all the features. (Posted on 12/7/2014)
serious espresso machine at a great priceReview by JP
After years of looking around and lots of research, I settled on the BDB. Could not be happier. I love everything about this machine: great shots, excellent features, good steaming, and though I haven't needed any support yet (knock on wood), unbeatable customer support from Breville. I even love the Black Sesame color of this machine--slick.
SCG was very helpful in answering all of my questions and getting me equipped.
(Posted on 11/16/2014)
Great machineReview by Lee
I've had experience with expensive double boiler machines, also with combos (where the machine does the grinding and tamping) and this is by far the best and at the most reasonable price, half the price of other double boiler machines. The timer feature is very helpful in calibrating doses and the steamer is perfect. I'm very happy with it. (Posted on 7/26/2014)
the definition of prosumerReview by RuralDude
Jumped in with both feet as this is our first home machine. Totally love all the features, just makes it easy to use, pleasing to the eye and it's all so easy when you're bleary eyed in the early a.m. hours.
As others have said, getting the grind and tamping just right requires a bit of effort, but isn't that part of the point? Even when it's not spot on, it's usually got a nice crema. And the steam is awesome. Either I'm a natural, which I doubt, or the steam supply is excellent, I rarely fail to get that fabulous frothy microfoam even with 2%.
This machine promises to bring years of learning and fun to our kitchen. (Posted on 6/4/2014)
Very Good Machine...Very Easy to Use...Lots of OptionsReview by Esspresso Genie
Ok, here goes...
1.) An excellent machine on all dimensions with lots of options
2.) An extremely easy to use machine that really requires little effort - just select using the single or double shot button.
3.) Easy to use and offers lots of control - temp, extraction time, manual mode, etc.
4.) Looks GREAT on the counter - not why I purchased it, but a very nice treat.
5.) Takes some experimenting with grinds and tamping, but all machines require this up-front.
6.) Shots taste great once you get the vectors to align.
7.) I can produce great crema and a bitter shot in one. (that's a joke, but true)
8.) The LED display and electronics are well thought out and very intuitive, and self-evident...i.e you don't need to read the manual to figure it out...A big plus in my book.
9). Large water reservoir and simple to fill right from the front of the machine....This is an overlooked and extremely well thought out design feature.
10.) This upgrade now offers the ability to descale at home and you don't have to bring it in. This is well worth the extra $100 from our perspective.
11.) Clean up is a breeze.
12.) The ability to manually run hot water through the head and the ability to pour your own hot water in a cup with complete control of both functions is a huge bonus.
13. Cup warmer on top is very functional.
1.) A guess cost can be on this list, but for what you get, it's a value. It's all perspective.
2.) Pucks can be a bit on the wet side when dumping and don't always come out so easily.
In short, a very well thought out espresso machine that offers a lot of control and flexibility to enable great drinks. The unit is very attractive on the counter top, cleans easily and provides accurate control of your shots with an easy to read and interpret LCD display. With this unit comes a 2 year warranty and the ability to descale on your own. For me, the added $100 was worth it. I can set Temp and control shots outputs like I've not had with super-automatic machines.
Highly recommended. Two thumps up.
Best of luck. (Posted on 4/4/2014)
Excellent Home Barista MachineReview by PaulR
I have owned the Breville BES920 for a few weeks now and have used it daily. The multiple features are what truly sets this machine apart from it's competition. While there are more expensive machines available that may give you a slightly better shot I have to say that the espresso from the BES920 comes extremely close to what you would expect from a commercial machine. When you figure in the price and the array of features there really is no other choice for a home espresso machine. The knob that lets you roll the thing around the counter is worth the price alone. With that said here are few quirks and tips I have discovered with my 920. My grinder is the Baratza Encore which will grind fine enough for espresso,( especially after doing the Mod which I highly recommend). But the Encore is only good for about 3 or 4 shots before the burrs get gummed up which then gives a very inconsistent grind and bad shots. Remove the top burr and brush clean frequently. Use a scale and weigh how much espresso you are putting into the portafilter. I use 19g. Don't take grooming the grounds for granted and tamping flat is critical. My water is 50/50 spring and distilled water and the temp is set at 202. Even though there is a thermal block at the group head, the portafilter will not heat up very much in the 10 minutes or so it takes for the boilers to heat up. Heat the portafilter with water from the machine or any other source. If the portafilter is not hot you will not get good espresso. Change your preset to dose the water by volume and not time. Something a little less than 2 ounces is best. I am getting really good shots around 32 to 36 seconds. I have experienced the preset buttons sometimes giving different amounts of water from shot to shot so I usually use the manual button and stop the shot when it starts to blond out. Your streams should be really thin and smooth with no drips or waves. The steam wand works very well for the pitcher size that comes with the machine but could be cumbersome with a larger size pitcher. Getting perfect micro foam is not difficult at all but the pitcher provided is horrible for latte art. Rattleware pitchers are the best. And lastly, use the rubber gasket to back flush after every shot. I highly recommend this machine and hope this review was helpful. (Posted on 4/2/2014)
Worth the wait, almost perfectReview by Danny
Very impressed with this machine thus far. Upgraded from a Breville Infuser, which is a great sub $500 machine, but once you dive deep enough into the world of amazing espresso, you will realize having a dual boiler machine with extraction Temperature control is a must have.
So far I am still working on dialing in my favorite roasts on this machine. First thing I immediately noticed was I needed to grind a good amount finer for my shots with this vs. the Infuser (Baraza Vario grinder). Now that I have found the proper range (macro set at 2, micro set between "M' and "S", I have been able to taste test with all the different variables (temperature, minor dose adjustments, pre-infusion time) and experience significant results. This is exactly the machine I was looking for when I purchased :-)
The milk steamer is SIGNIFICANTLY more powerful than the Infuser, which is amazing because I was having trouble getting enough pressure out of the Infuser for proper velvety steamed milk. Now I have more than enough power and can consistently make awesome milk for my capps * lattes.
I have yet to make the perfect cappuccino with this machine, which is definitely my ultimate goal and reason for spending so much on an espresso machine, but I enjoy the journey and am learning more everyday I use it. (Posted on 3/31/2014)
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