Breville Infuser Review: What the Breville BES840XL Reviews Are Saying
For coffee enthusiasts, nothing beats waking up to a shot of freshly made, barista-quality coffee. An espresso machine like the Breville BES840XL takes things up a notch compared to your average machine. In fact, this Breville espresso machine packs a punch of features that earn it a soft spot in the heart of coffee lovers world-wide.
Can’t take our word for it yet? Read through this comprehensive Breville Infuser review to understand why it’s so popular.
Breville Infuser Review
The Breville Infuser-BES840XL is one of the best espresso machines in the market. It packs a feature set that makes it ideal for both beginner and experienced coffee makers. Here is what we found out about it during our comprehensive Breville infuser review process.
- Build and design: 4/5 ⭐
- Usability: 4/5 ⭐
- Performance: 4.8/5 ⭐
- Durability: 4/5 ⭐
- Value: 4.2/5 ⭐
- Operating voltage: 110V/120V
- Basket size: Two pressurized and unpressurized single and double 54mm baskets
- Dimensions: 10.5WX12DX12.35H
- Weight: 22lb
- Pressure: 15 bars
- Water reservoir: 16oz
- Intuitive temperature control functions
- The pre-infusion function delivers a cup of flavorful coffee
- Espresso pressure gauge for easy pressure monitoring
- The auto-purge function makes the barista’ work a tad easier
- It has an easy-to-use traditional steam wand with 360degree swivel action
- A great and intuitive design
- BPA free plastic build on some parts
- You can make more than an espresso
- Seamless to clean
- The hot water dispenser is a rare find in an infuser
- It lacks a built-in grinder
- It’s a single boiler, so you have to make espresso and froth milk separately
- The manual steam wand has a relatively low pressure
- The cup warmer: It takes ages to warm a single coffee shot
- Excessively light tamper
- It has a non-standard portafilter which makes upgrading difficult
- Slow when you brew a lot of coffee
- Might be limiting for hands-on home barista since the only aspect you get control over is the shot volume
- The drip tray could be better
- Limited warranty
Build and Design 4/5 ⭐
Like other espresso machines in the Breville product lineup, the Breville BES840XL infuser espresso machine also features a pleasing design. It comes in at 10.2x12.5x13.2 and weighs about 17 pounds. That means it’ll sit just right on your kitchen counter.
It’s a single-boiler infuser with a soft, brushed stainless steel build, durable, and visually pleasing. Besides stainless steel, you can also get the Breville infuser in sesame black and cranberry red colors. The buttons are all big and clearly labeled, and the blue light indicators on each are pretty helpful in programming.
Below these buttons are an easily removable 54mm tamper, a 54mm portafilter, and a dedicated water spout for your americanos and other espresso drinks. A steam wand sits on the right of the water spout and can rotate 360degrees, so you quickly change frothing containers.
It also features a removable drip tray with two sections for hot and cold spills. There’s a storage tray for your accessories right behind the drip tray. There’s a cup warming tray at the top and a 61oz water reservoir at the back. The Breville infuser espresso machine packs the following fantastic features under the hood:
Thermocoil Heating System
One of the best features of this infuser is its 1600W thermocoil heating system. It circulates and regulates water temperature through a coil and features a proportional-integral-derivative temperature (PID) control system for enhanced temperature stability.
PID temperature is a digital temperature control feature synonymous with Breville’s high-end machines. It regulates water temperature and allows you to make minute adjustments for a perfectly heated shot of espresso every time.
Pre-infusion is among the top reasons why the Breville infuser is so hyped. At the beginning of espresso extraction, this feature evenly coats your ground coffee with low-pressure water to saturate it and deliver a rich, flavorful coffee with a beautiful coffee puck.
Better Volumetric Control
The Breville infuser stands out for its pre-programmed single and double espresso shot buttons that allow seamless shot control. If you’d instead customize the volume of your shot, there’s a manual override that will enable you to reprogram the infuser to serve your desired espresso shot. These volumetric control features make it perfect for beginners and experienced home baristas in the coffee world.
This function automatically adjusts water temperature after steaming to ensure optimal espresso extraction temperature.
Superb Maintenance Features
Cleaning a coffee machine can be pretty hectic, and with the Breville infuser, it’s no longer a concern. It ships with a cleaning disc, brush, and tablets and even has an Allen key so you can seamlessly access and clean hard-to-reach areas of this barista express infuser.
If you prefer to clean up manually, the Breville infuser makes routine cleaning a breeze thanks to its light-up alerts and maintenance indicators like “clean me” and “empty me.”
User-Friendly Pressure Gauge
The Breville infuser’s design isn’t just visually pleasing — it’s also quite intuitive. It boasts a pressure gauge to monitor the infuser’s pump and control its pressure. The gauge works in tandem with the volumetric controls for fantastic coffee.
Rich Accessory Range
The Breville infuser ships with almost everything you need to brew excellent coffee. You get pressurized and non-pressurized filter baskets, a water filter holder, a stainless steel milk jug, and a razor dose trimming tool. It saves you money since you would have had to purchase all these.
Other Notable Features
We also loved the Breville Infuser because, besides fantastic coffee, you can also use it when you need hot chocolate, thanks to the dedicated hot water dispenser. The “sleep mode” feature activates after an hour, while the auto-shut-off feature activates after three.
Usability: 4/5 ⭐
Although it’s among high-end espresso machines, the Breville infuser has a relatively average learning curve. The buttons are clearly labeled and even feature blue-lit indicators. That makes it relatively easy to use for newbies in the coffee world.
The pressure gauge makes pressure control seamless, especially when you’re trying out the tamping pressure, while the manual steam wand doesn’t require any barista savviness to use. However, not every feature is easy to use. For instance, while incredibly handy, the auto-cleaning part can be a bit tricky to use.
Generally, don’t expect to pull an exquisite coffee shot on your first use, but as time goes by, you’ll get the hang of things. But if you’re an experienced home barista, you should have an easier time using the Breville infuser. Here’s how to set it up:
- Ensure the water filter is adequately secured in the reservoir
- Add cold water to the reservoir until it reaches “MAX”
- Plug it into a 110/120V power source and press the power button to switch it on. You should see a flashing light on the power button, and the machine should start heating up if you switch it on correctly. A pumping sound indicates the pump is working correctly
- Let it heat until the flashing lights go on standby mode. This shows the machine has attained optimal operating temperature
- Once ready, flush the excess water to condition it
Follow the steps above to make amazing coffee, but you’ll have to pre-program the infuser to your desired shot volume.
Performance: 4.8/5 ⭐
As far as performance is concerned, the Breville infuser does incredibly well. While the brewing time varies depending on the cup you’ll use, the infuser typically takes 1-4 minutes for a shot of coffee. It has a 61oz water reservoir which is surprisingly big for an infuser its size.
It makes rich, flavorful coffee every time, thanks to advanced features such as pre-infusion. It also always maintains the right temperature thanks to the PID temperature control system and the auto-purge function.
Although it only has a single boiler, that doesn’t reduce its steaming milk process efficiency. It delivers high-pressure steam, conversely creating a delicate micro foam perfect for cappuccino and latte art.
Durability: 4/5 ⭐
Most of the Breville Infuser’s parts feature a brushed stainless-steel build with some plastic parts. As a result, its durability is somewhere in the middle since stainless steel is incredibly durable, but the same cannot be said for its plastic parts.
Unlike its predecessors, this infuser features a thermocoil heating system instead of a thermoblock. This further enhances durability because, unlike thermoblock, thermocoil systems get hot evenly and enough, which means you don’t have to worry about them failing.
In a nutshell, the Breville infuser is quite durable, and as long as you clean and maintain it properly, it can last quite a long time.
Value for Price: 4.2/5 ⭐
We are huge advocates for the Breville line of espresso machines. While they may not last as long as some of the commercial models out there, they certainly do produce an amazing, crema-filled shot of espresso. For the price, you just can't beat it.
While these machines come with many bells and whistles, the cost is a bit on the higher end. In fact, since these and the Breville Barista models are similar in price, we had to bring the value down since they lack the grinder that the Barista's have. Other than that, we find these to hold up quite well in the value department.View Latest Price →
A Brief Overview of Breville
Established in 1932 in Sydney, Breville is an Australian-based company that turned into an internationally recognized brand for its high-quality home appliances. It was established by Bill O’Brien and Harry Norville, which explains the name. The company made its debut in the manufacturing sector with radio back in the 1930s.
Breville expanded its product portfolio to include TVs in the late 50s and then specialized with home kitchen appliances in the early 60s. Breville is famous for coffee machines and infusers, toasters, toaster ovens, blenders, and microwaves.
Today, Breville is a global household name with over 100 active patents and countless international awards, such as the Webby Awards under its belt. The brand currently delivers its high-quality appliances to over seventy countries.
It offers a year-long limited warranty for all its products, including the infuser in our review, so you can be confident you’re buying quality. Read on for a comprehensive review of one of its products, the Breville Infuser.
What You Should Know
Tired of making coffee runs to your neighborhood café? If so, a coffee maker like the Breville infuser espresso machine is an excellent investment. Here’s what you need to know about the espresso machines before you swipe your credit card.
The Number of Boilers
Some espresso machines feature a single boiler, while others have a dual boiler. With a single boiler’s machine, you extract espresso drinks and steamed milk separately, while with dual boiler machines, you can pull great-tasting espresso shots and steam milk simultaneously.
Size of the Portafilter
The Portafilter is the spoon-like piece holding the machine’s coffee filter baskets. Although they come in different sizes, portafilters typically range between 40mm and 60mm. The ideal portafilter size is 58mm since it’s easier to find compatible accessories when you want to upgrade your espresso machine.
Different Types of Espresso Machines
Espresso makers aren’t one-size-fits-all. They’re categorized based on their pressure-producing mechanism and typically include:
Manual machines were made with the home barista in mind. The brewer controls everything from water volume, temperature, and even pressure. Although an excellent option for any coffee lover who likes handling every detail about their espresso, a manual infuser espresso machine is quite expensive.
These rely on an electronic pump to heat coffee grounds. Common options include:
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
Semi-automatic machines are popular among beginners who’d like to learn how to pull the perfect shot and experienced coffee enthusiasts who love doing things the traditional way.
With a semi-automatic espresso maker, you choose how much coffee you want, grind it, tamp the grinds and even manually turn the pump on and off. The amazing coffee made using these machines is usually rich in flavor and has a beautiful crema.
Marquee features in a semi-automatic espresso maker include automatic temperature control, a pre-infusion feature, and a digital display. The Breville machine covered in this review is an excellent example of a semi-automatic espresso machine.
Automatic Espresso Machines
If you lack the patience or time to master the art of espresso-making, automatic espresso infusers are for you. These typically do it all from grinding, dosing, and even frothing milk at the perfect temperature settings.
All you need to do is add a coffee scoop, set it up, and press a button. Compared to semi-automatic infusers like the Breville infuser espresso machine, automatic infusers leave much to be desired regarding quality.
Capsule Espresso Machines
Capsule espresso machines are the pinnacle of automation. Although they fall behind when it comes to quality, capsule infusers are super-easy to use. All you need to do with these is keep the reservoir full, load a coffee capsule, press a button, and voila! Your shot of espresso is ready, and you have no grounds to clean up.
On the downside, you may have to ditch your favorite coffee since most capsule machines can only be used with brand-specific coffee capsules. Also, they’re not environmentally friendly.
As the name suggests, a steam-driven espresso maker uses steam to make espresso. Although great, a steam-driven coffee maker produces less pressure, usually about 1.5 bars but is quite affordable.
Every espresso machine — whether automatic, semi-automatic, or manual — requires maintenance. With some barista express machines, you must manually maintain everything from removing the coffee grounds to filling up the water reservoir.
Others feature self-cleaning functions and call for little to no manual maintenance. If you like brewing coffee but hate the clean-up and maintenance process, look for a coffee maker with self-cleaning features such as the Breville in our review.View Latest Price →
What We Didn’t Like about the Breville Infuser
Although the Breville Infuser has a ton of loveable features, it’s not all perfect. Here are some of the things we thought could be better:
The Cup Warmer
All coffee lovers can agree on one thing; cold espresso is never lovely. That said, although this Breville infuser has a cup warmer, it takes ages to warm your cup of espresso and can be pretty frustrating. The removable drip tray could also be better.
It Lacks a Built-in Grinder
Freshly ground coffee beans espresso will always reign over pre-ground coffee. Unfortunately, you cannot make freshly ground coffee with this infuser unless you own a separate grinder. This because it lacks a built-in burr coffee grinder.
It’s a Single Boiler
A single boiler means you’ll have to extract coffee and milk frothing separately. While there’s nothing wrong with single-boilers, we would have expected a dual-boiler for an infuser as advanced as the Breville BES840XL.
Some Functions are Hard to Use
For complete novices, functions such as auto-cleaning on the Breville infuser can be pretty hard to master.
Who is the Breville BES840XL Ideal for?
Based on our comprehensive Breville review, this infuser has features that make it perfect for beginners. For instance, pre-programmed volumetric shot control, a pressure gauge indicator, and an easy-to-use design make it easy for a complete novice brewing a cup of espresso. At the same time, it is also ideal for home baristas who wouldn’t mind controlling aspects such as temperature and pressure.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Machine?
Although the Breville BES840XL is one of the best espresso infusers in the market, it may not be for you if you’re in the market for a machine with a grinder. It’s also quite noisy, and compared to other machines, the brewing process can be slow when making large coffee volumes.
Breville Infuser Review: Final Thoughts
Considering all its best features and not-so-good aspects, the Breville Infuser is generally a unique and highly reliable espresso machine. It’s a compact machine with a highly functional and durable design. The pre-infusion function evenly saturates your ground coffee with hot water at a low-pressure first, delivering a flavor-rich espresso cup.
The PID temperature system delivers optimal extraction temperature at all times, while the auto-purge function saves you the hassle of manually adjusting the water temperature after the steam wand.
The wide range of accessories enhances its ease of use, and at the same time saves you the money you would have to spend buying them. While it has a few features that we didn’t like, such as a single boiler and lightweight tamper, its advanced feature set sure makes up for what it lacks.
The Breville infuser is perfect for beginners and intermediate-experienced home baristas needing a quality espresso machine on a pocket-friendly budget.View Latest Price →