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Whats the verdict on the Breville BES860XL Espresso Machine
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:51pm
Subject: Whats the verdict on the Breville BES860XL Espresso Machine
 

I am thinking about getting a new espresso machine.  Anyone here with personal experience with the Breville BES860XL?

Amazon users give it high reviews, but we all know how that goes.  Anyone here willing to offer an expert opinion?

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

Thanks,
Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Espresso: N S Oscar
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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 1:55pm
Subject: Re: Whats the verdict on the Breville BES860XL Espresso Machine
 

Grinder, grinder, grinder. I don't like the grinder that close to the heat of the boiler....  and normally they don't put good grinders in combo machines.  So, I would pass on it.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,455
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 3:21pm
Subject: Re: Whats the verdict on the Breville BES860XL Espresso Machine
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Grinder, grinder, grinder. I don't like the grinder that close to the heat of the boiler....  and normally they don't put good grinders in combo machines.  So, I would pass on it.

Posted February 14, 2013 link

 That is a good point.  I wonder if they insulate it from the boiler.  I would think that they would have to otherwise they'd be cooking the beans.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

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EricBNC
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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 4:37pm
Subject: Re: Whats the verdict on the Breville BES860XL Espresso Machine
 

I would bet that the grinder included would not be any better than your Breville Smart grinder - might even be closer to the wider stepped and less expensive Ikon model. If all you need is the espresso machine then maybe the $431 Infuser BES840XL model with it's higher wattage and gentle pre-infusion would be the better Breville choice.

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
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Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 6:01pm
Subject: Re: Whats the verdict on the Breville BES860XL Espresso Machine
 

EricBNC Said:

I would bet that the grinder included would not be any better than your Breville Smart grinder - might even be closer to the wider stepped and less expensive Ikon model. If all you need is the espresso machine then maybe the $431 Infuser BES840XL model with it's higher wattage and gentle pre-infusion would be the better Breville choice.

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

Posted February 14, 2013 link

Hello Eric.  So basically if you take the built in grinder out of the BES860XL you have a machine that is not as good as the 840XL?  Pre-infusion is a plus in this case?

Thanks for the input.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com     www.KaffeeFrisch.com
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myallawala
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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 6:37pm
Subject: Re: Whats the verdict on the Breville BES860XL Espresso Machine
 

I agree with the 840. The BIGGEST problem with the 860 is the grinder. It's a nightmare. It simply does not grind fine enough for the machine to build up good pressure with a normal amount of dose. I always had to over pack (~22g) to build the pressure and get a crema (which was my basis for even calling it espresso and not moka). I paid $400 for mine brand new and I would NOT do that again.

As a previous owner, I say get something else for sure. It sounds good until you live with it. I have a CC1 and a Vario now and it's a dream. It's a difference of night and day between it and the 860.

If cons make you decide easier:

-No water from the wand
-Inconsistent temperatures and no control
-53mm portafilter (dosing and tamping that portafilter is a joke)
-The grinder was deafening
-Difficult to consistently use single wall filters
-Too much wasted coffee
-Easy to burn milk
-Small cup warmer
-Descaling is iffy because no water thru wand
-Water filters are expensive
-Steam wand is a pain to use--there is no pressure control and it's either on/off so purging doesn't really exist on the machine

I miss some things like the drip tray, removable hopper, portafilter, and finger holes for the plug/steam wand but the quality of the drink and the effort required was just not worth it at all.
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EricBNC
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EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,866
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
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Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: Whats the verdict on the Breville BES860XL Espresso Machine
 

CoffeeRoastersClub Said:

Hello Eric.  So basically if you take the built in grinder out of the BES860XL you have a machine that is not as good as the 840XL?  Pre-infusion is a plus in this case?

Thanks for the input.

Len

Posted February 14, 2013 link

The pre-infusion should be a plus you can taste and the hot water feature is nice too. It also has a smaller footprint. Although the machine spec's are very close for each, and you already have the grinder so extra features and a lower price would tip favor toward the Infuser model for me.

EricBNC: E vs I.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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Jmanespresso
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:10am
Subject: Re: Whats the verdict on the Breville BES860XL Espresso Machine
 

myallawala Said:

I agree with the 840. The BIGGEST problem with the 860 is the grinder. It's a nightmare. It simply does not grind fine enough for the machine to build up good pressure with a normal amount of dose. I always had to over pack (~22g) to build the pressure and get a crema (which was my basis for even calling it espresso and not moka). I paid $400 for mine brand new and I would NOT do that again.

As a previous owner, I say get something else for sure. It sounds good until you live with it. I have a CC1 and a Vario now and it's a dream. It's a difference of night and day between it and the 860.

If cons make you decide easier:

-No water from the wand
-Inconsistent temperatures and no control
-53mm portafilter (dosing and tamping that portafilter is a joke)
-The grinder was deafening
-Difficult to consistently use single wall filters
-Too much wasted coffee
-Easy to burn milk
-Small cup warmer
-Descaling is iffy because no water thru wand
-Water filters are expensive
-Steam wand is a pain to use--there is no pressure control and it's either on/off so purging doesn't really exist on the machine

I miss some things like the drip tray, removable hopper, portafilter, and finger holes for the plug/steam wand but the quality of the drink and the effort required was just not worth it at all.

Posted February 14, 2013 link


This sums its up right here.

Dont confuse the recent success of the Breville Dual Boiler, with the rest of thier machines.  Breville hit the nail on the head with the dual boiler.  No doubt.  It fills a need in the market, bringing a dual boiler machine at the price point, AND, unlike most real espresso machines, its being sold where people shop, so it will spread to a wider audience.  All great things.

Their other machines however, are horrifically terrible.  Like REALLY BAD.  They can't get hot enough, they don't produce steam pressure, temp surfing is useless....  ITs just a real nightmare.  Before the BDB, there was one single answer to "what do you think of this breville machine"...  RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN.   Thats still the answer, unless you're looking at the dual boiler.  It amazes me its made by the same people that made the rest of thier machines, but, hey, is what it is.





For similar price point of the 860XL, check out the Lelit PL041TQE.  You wont find a better deal.  Built like a Silvia, with a PID from the factory, for under $600.  Cant beat it.  True, its still a single boiler, which means you'll be waiting to steam.. so if you plan to serve more then two people you need to look at higher price point machines, but if you're only going to be making two milk drinks at any one time, its workable.  

The next step up from here, is one of three machines.  Quickmill Silvano, Crossland CC1, or the ridiculously priced La Nouva Era Cuadra which is a freakin E61 Heat Exchanger for only $1K, which is just insane.(where was that deal when I was buying my first machine huh??!!)  Something to seriously consider if you're in that price range and want to skip the single boilers.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:13am
Subject: Re: Whats the verdict on the Breville BES860XL Espresso Machine
 

Or a used Oscar for 500 or less.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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