Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Reviews

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The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is among the top semi-automatic espresso machines which can be easily used by beginners. It also offers highly customizable controls for more experienced baristas. 

Not sure whether this is the best choice for you? Keep reading to learn more about this semi-automatic espresso machine. 

Product Specification

AccessoriesIncluded Accessories: Razor Dose Trimming Tool54mm Stainless Steel Portafilter1 cup & 2cup Single & Dual Wall Filter BasketsCoffee ScoopIntegrated TamperStainless Steel Milk JugCleaning disc and tabletsCleaning brush, tool and Allen KeyWater Filter Holder and Water Filter
CapacityBean Hopper Capacity:1/2 lb.
Water Tank Capacity:67 oz.
Construction MaterialsBrushed Stainless Steel
Dimensions (WxDxH)12″ x 11″ x 13.5″
Heating System1600W Thermocoil–Integrated stainless-steel water path accurately controls water temperature.
Power1600 Watts
Pre-Infusion FunctionGradually increases water pressure to gently expand grinds for an even extraction.
Purge FunctionAutomatically adjusts water temperatures after steam for optimal espresso temperature.
SettingsSingle or Double ShotsAdjustable Grind Amount & Manual over-ride
Voltage110–120 Volts
Warranty1 Year Limited Product Warranty

Design and Features

Measuring 13.5 inches wide by 16 inches tall, and reaching a depth of 12.5 inches, the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is about the size of a standard drip coffee maker but about twice as wide. Compared with compact espresso machines, Breville’s espresso maker is bigger and physically more robust. 


Aside from its size, the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine looks completely professional. It features a stainless-steel chassis, a hefty steel portafilter, a large bean hopper, a pressure gauge, and a companion burr grinder – most of these features are usually only seen on premium semi- and super automatic espresso makers. 

However, it’s the pressure gauge that clearly shows the brewing capabilities of the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine. Placed front and center right on the control panel, the circular dial displays whether the internal pump is pushing hot water through your coffee grounds within the ideal pressure range. Too little force and water will flow through the coffee grounds too quickly, resulting in an under extracted and sour-tasting espresso. Too little hot water flow under high pressure will most likely result in an espresso with a bitter flavor. 

To the left and right of the dial are large circular buttons for ‘Power’, ‘Filter Size’, and ‘Program’, along with two for choosing to brew either single or double espresso shots. You’ll also find a knob for setting the amount of coffee grounds the grinder will automatically produce for either single or double-sized espresso filters. 

To make it more convenient for users, ground coffee drops straight into the Barista Express’ steel portafilter. From there, you can gently press or tamp the portafilter’s contents down – Breville also includes a metal tamper – and twist the entire apparatus into position under the machine’s single brew head. 

A swivel-joint mounted steam wand along with a hot water nozzle can be found to the right of the brew head, both of which can be activated by a large knob on the machine’s right side. On the far left of the machine, you can find a grind size selector that features 18 settings including ‘fine’ on one end and ‘coarse’ on the other. 

Other Key Features

Here are some other key features that make the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine such a great deal. 

  • Integrated Conical Burr Grinder. Pour your favorite beans straight into the ½ pound bean hopper and watch it zip into the stainless steel integrated conical burr grinder, extracting every ounce of fresh flavor possible. Thanks to the maximized surface area of the grind, you can get more flavor in each shot. Also, the hopper locks in for safety, storage, removal, and cleaning. 
  • Selector Dials. Easily choose the amount and size of your grind, from coarse to fine, from single shots to full loads. Easy to read and use dials. The machine also features a filter size button to change from single to double wall filter basket. 
  • Easy Cradle. Hands-free. You simply have to push the porta-filter into the cradle and the fresh grounds go straight into the filter, stopping when the desired amount has been dispersed. 
  • Control Cup. Choose 1 or 2 cup volumes, complete with manual override in case you change your mind. It also features reprogrammable shot measurement settings. 
  • 67 Oz Water Tank. Top fill and removable with replaceable water filter to cut down on mineral deposits and other impurities. 
  • 54mm Tamper. Magnetized storage and removable for easy tamping, providing users with great control. 
  • Other Features. 360-swivel action steam wand; thermocoil heating system; ‘Clean Me’ and ‘Empty Me’ indicator lights; espresso pressure gauge; removable drip tray; ‘cleaning kit; auto-purge function.

What People Like About the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

To prepare an amazing cup of espresso, the grinding must be both fine and quick. The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine comes with burr grinders that can grind beans in just a few seconds, and sends it straight over to prepare espresso within just a few minutes.

If you’re an absolute beginner, you would appreciate its two dual-wall, pressurized filters that regulate the pressure and optimizes the extraction, leaving you with a great cup of espresso without worrying about complex functions. If you’re an experienced espresso lover, you would appreciate the two single-wall, non-pressurized filters which gives you the ability to experiment with different grind amounts, tamping pressure, and grind sizes. 


It also comes with a thermocoil heating system, an important improvement over its predecessor, the 860 XL. This thermocoil heating system ensures accurate water temperature regulation. It is complimented with a pre-brew function that ensures the ideal distribution of coffee through the coffee puck. 

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Reviews From the Users

Here’s what people are saying about the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine: 

“Breville Quality and Support is Outstanding. I am the proud owner of a Barista Express, purchased 5 years ago. I have the brushed stainless steel finish which is as beautiful today as when I bought it. It is truly a quality machine. The Barista Express has provided me with consistently excellent expressos, allowing me to tailor each cup to taste. I have had a couple issues with it, likely due to me not looking after it properly. Breville came to my rescue both times, restoring the machine, in a timely manner, to virtually a brand new state. Breville support has simply been outstanding, exceeding my expectations. I recommend this product and Breville, without any reservations whatsoever.” – Gerry K.

“I’ll probably take it with me if my house is on fire. Absolutely love my Barista Express. I’ve had it for about a year with daily 2-4 uses with no problem. I do wish the steam wand could be stronger, but you can get past that by frothing a bit longer. This machine has transformed my daily routine- I look forward to getting up earlier so I can try out fresh beans I got from local roasters, having fun with the latte art (or lack thereof) AND this costs less than going to coffee shops where you’ll occasionally get an half-ass espressos! I highly recommend you make the jump if you’re on the fence about getting the machine. Your only regret would be you haven’t gotten it sooner!” – Victo

“An awesome espresso machine! We’ve owned this BES870XL for years now and it’s been working flawlessly ever since day one. We use distilled water, to prevent mineral buildup which can cause issues down the road and seen no negative effect from it. In fact, just ran a “vinegar run” through the water container, through the steam wand, hot water, and grouphead (several times) to clear out any potential scale buildup and have only seen a few tiny small flecks of white (mineral buildup) in the bottom tray after all was said and done. So, we must be doing something right! 😀 Also, if you want a single spout option, you can get one… 3rd party. 3/8″.” – Luposian 

“Former Starbucks Daily Doser. I kid you not, I was in my local Starbucks up to three times a day. I would wake up early and go before work just to start the day with that perfect latte. This machine has changed that and paid for itself. It was frustrating to learn the operation so that it produced a perfect latte. After too much experimentation I went back to the default settings and perfecto!!! I could not be happier. Hang in there when you first get started. As you develop a rhythm you will get faster and the perfect puck will be consistently produced. The espresso is delicious and I buy espresso beans at my Starbucks. It has been a positive on many levels. I highly recommend.” – Susie W. 

“Its a phenomenal machine. I’ve used it daily or twice daily for almost 4 years and have never had a problem. As an engineer, it amazes me how robust of a machine it is. It makes great espresso and gives the user some control, while still being very user friendly. Obviously fancier Breville models will have more bells and whistles, but this machine is my top recommendation for anyone looking for a semi-auto home espresso machine. I got it back in college. The price was hard on my wallet then, but I have saved over $1000 in college by using this over the cafe on the way to class without sacrificing the quality of my daily cup of coffee or the time to get it.” – Chris S. 

“We love this machine. This was a wedding gift and it’s definitely our most used item. It’s used every day for lattes (multiple times a day) and we even use the steam wand to warm baby bottles (much faster than a bottle warmer). We had to send it in once for repair due to our own error (don’t get water in the grinder!), and I just called Breville again because it seems there might be something wrong with the pump or solanoid valve (low water pressure). Their customer support is excellent, and they make the repair process as simple as possible. I highly recommend this machine. I have a hard time finding coffee shop near me that make coffee as good as I do at home.” – Katie 

“Compact and easy to use. This is my second semi-automatic espresso machine. I own and love several Breville kitchen electronics already and their design is top-notch. I am so glad I saved up and went for this style. It is the perfect size for small kitchens with limited counter space, but packs a punch when it comes to features. The cleaning and descaling process seems very easy and faster than I anticipated. If you hate tamping, get the Oracle instead (if you have the counter space). I happen to like doing my own tamping, feeling like it’s your own work to get the perfect pull… otherwise this almost feels like a hybrid between semi and super-automatic.” – Jennica 

“Former coffee house owner in LOVE with my Breville. I am a former retired owner of a very popular coffee house and I’ve used my share of professional espresso makers over the years and I could never find a home machine that would come close to one of my pro machines until I bought my Breville. It’s amazing on ALL levels. I make drinks as beautiful as I did in my coffee house. Great power. Experiment with the different grinder settings and you will get the perfect crema! I’ve had mine for just over 2 years now and I’ve not had any issues. Maintain it by cleaning when the signal tells you to. Keep water levels up and don’t over fill or over wrench your porta filter when tightening it in to brew and your machine will never disappoint. Thanks Breville!” – Nancy B.

“A Total Winner. What a pleasure it is to have great cappuccinos like the ones we make with our Breville Barista. We had our doubts when our first few cups didn’t hit the mark, but we finally figured out that the owner’s manual was right. We really did need fresh beans, instead of trying to make do with the old ones we were reluctant to throw out. What a difference! We now make double shot cappuccinos with the best taste and most beautiful crema. We grind on #8 and have the grind amount knob straight up at 12 o’clock, and this combination seems to be perfect for us. The Barista is also super easy to clean when coffee time is over. Looking forward to years of enjoyment with this machine.” – John  


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