Thoughts On Breville Barista Express, Is It Worth It?
Breville’s Barista Express espresso machine has been one of the best selling espresso maker through our website for a while. In this post, we’ll give our thoughts on the machine, why it’s worth your money and if you should buy it or not.
In this post:
- What Is The Barista Express
- Comparison Between Barista Express Models
- Is The Barista Express Worth The Money?
- Should You Buy the Barista Express?
What Is The Breville Barista Express and How Does It Work?
The Barista Express is a semi-automatic espresso machine that has an integrated conical burr grinder. The grinder grinds only the amount of coffee you need right into the portafilter, so your coffee is extracted only seconds after grinding, giving you a truly aromatic shot of espresso.
The Barista Express has the ability to work automatically with pre-set shot volumes, as well as manually. All pre-sets can be reprogrammed to your preference.
The grinder on the Barista Express has a dial where you can adjust your grind and a Grind Amount dial dose the amount of grind to suit the grind size.
Other Features of the Barista Express:
- 1600 watts thermocoil heating system.
- Electronic water temperature control for temperature stability.
- Purge function automatically adjusts water temperature after steam use for the best results.
- Pre-infusion function applies low pressure water to coffee ground at the start to allow for an even espresso extraction.
- Portafilter includes stainless steel baskets for a single or double shot.
- Removable 67 oz water reservoir.
- Hands-free cradle holds the portafilter when grinding directly into it.
- Bean hopper capacity: Half a pound.
- Breville’s patented Razor dose trimming tool
- 54mm stainless steel portafilter.
- single shot basket (1 cup and 2 cup)
- Double shot basket (1 cup and 2 cup)
- Coffee scoop and tamper.
- Stainless steel frothing jug.
- Cleaning tablets, cleaning brush.
- Water filter and water filter holder.
Comparisons Between Models of the Breville Barista Express:
The Barista Express is available under two model names: BES870XL and BES860XL. It is also available under variations BES870CBXL and BES870BSXL. Wondering what’s the difference between them?
Image Title Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine with Grinder Feature 15 Bar Italian Pump and 1600W Thermo coil heating system
Purge Function: Automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature
Stainless steel conical burr grinder with 1/2 lb. sealed bean hopper
67 fl.oz (2L) removable water tank with handle
Newer model of the Breville BES860XL Barista Express
Stainless steel conical burr grinder with ½lb bean hopper
15 bar Italian pump
1450W stainless steel thermocoil heating system
Adjustable grind size and grind amount settings
Preset, manual over-ride or re-programmable shot volumes
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We’ve done full comparisons between all these models in previous posts, which you can read by clicking here. But here’s a quick recap:
- The BES860XL is an older version, therefor slightly less expensive, where the BES870XL is the latest version of the Barista Express.
- The BES870XL has more power, 1600 watts compared to BES860XL’s 1450 watts.
- It has a redesigned bean hopper.
- The BES870XL has a hot water dispenser and it has an auto-off option that the BES860XL lacks.
- Lastly, the BES870XL gives you better control of coffee and water temperature.
As for the names BES870CBXL and BES870BSXL, these simply refer to the colors the BES870XL available in. The added CB refers to Cranberry, which is the deep red version and the BS refers to Black Sesame which is the Black version. The Barista Express BES860XL is only available in Stainless Steel.
Is The Barista Express Worth the Money?
As the Barista Express is at a range of $500 to $600, some might wonder if it’s worth your price.
If you’re keen on creating a coffee bar at your home that will last you a long time, you’ll have to buy:
- a high quality, nicely built espresso maker.
- a high quality conical burr grinder.
- All necessary accessories like a frothing jug, tamper and more.
If you do the math, you’ll find that the Barista Express is a cost-efficient purchase that includes everything you need in one unit.
The Barista Express is made of high-quality parts, stainless steel housing that is easy to maintain and clean, and it has storage within it for all its accessories like portafilter, cleaning tools and such. So for what’s included with the machine, as well as the machine itself, it is absolutely worth the price.
Who Should Buy The Barista Express?
This machine is perfect for beginners as well as intermediate at-home baristas. For a beginner, it could be tricky to use at first, but it’s a great learning tool and you should be able to get it right in no time. And there’s always the automatic option where the machine can do it for you if you can’t.
While some might advice beginners to start with a small and easy to use espresso maker, we advice against this. It’s better that you pay more for something that will last you for a long time than spend less money on a machine that you will outgrow soon enough. So why not invest in a proper espresso maker that you won’t get bored of or have to replace soon after.