Saturday, February 6, 2010

BestSeller Breville BES820XL Die-Cast 15-Bar Programmable Espresso Machine

Breville BES820XL Die-Cast 15-Bar Programmable Espresso Machine

Product Description
This die-cast stainless steel programmable espresso machine extracts the perfect volume of coffee at the touch of a button. Choose from Auto Shot, Custom Shot, or Manual, Shot, the Espresso Pressure Gauge assists in obtaining the most favorable extraction pressure, to create the ideal espresso.

  • Stainless-steel programmable espresso machine with 15-bar Triple-Prime pump
  • Thermoblock heating system; electronic temperature control; pressure gauge
  • Push-button volume settings; steam wand for frothing milk; cup warmer
  • Includes 1- and 2-cup dual-wall stainless-steel filters, pod filter, tamping tool, and pitcher
  • Measures 10 by 10-1/2 by 12-1/4 inches; 1-year limited warranty

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Fantastic machine
I have had this machine for about 4 weeks and love it. It's easy to learn, is made of high quality parts, and looks beautiful on the counter. Be careful with grind fineness, as we had some problems when coffee ground at Starbucks with their machine on "espresso" setting. Once you find the right grind consistency, the results are delicious and consistent. The steamer wand works extremely well and is easy to maneuver with the 360 degree swivel arm. This is a great espresso maker for the coffee/espresso lover.

Very pleased!
After having a couple of low cost Krups 5 bar espresso machines Krups XP4030 Pump Espresso Machine, Black, one I wore out after a little more than a year, I decided to move up to a better system.

After doing a lot of research and reading countless reviews, I decided that this Breville model was the best for the money. I even thought the extra $50 for the programming button was worth it, because I prefer to decide what a double shot or single shot is. My wife likes a bit less coffee and I like a bit more so programmed the single shot for her and the double shot for me. Nice part is I don't have to watch the machine anymore!

It's got a nice look. I'm not comparing to anything and there are a lot that have a nice look - but not the Krups we had - it was black and wasn't that nice looking. Mind you the Krups was a lot less money! How much you will pay for looks is up to you.

The Breville has a nice size water tank that come out from the front so I don't have to pull the machine out from under the cabinet.

I get my beans ground at my local Starbuck's or from Coffee Fool dot com when I'm in the mood to be foolish and on the first espresso the pressure was correct, so I'm good with that. I have noticed that the pressure has increased as I use the machine more with the same coffee so I expect the machine has to be broken in a bit, which is likely due to tightening up the seals or I'm getting stronger!

The hot water wand comes in handy for a single cup of tea, but then again so is my microwave. I'm not about to do an energy comparison, but expect the Breville would win in the carbon footprint competition.

The steam wand is very good and discharges reasonably so it is easy to control heating the milk. I don't use the milk jug that was provided since mine has a temperature gauge to tell me when the milk has reached the right temperature, rather than potentially burning myself when testing the side of the jug. That's not the real reason though - I just like gadgets. The kids like to have steamed milk for their hot chocolate so saves us having to use the Microwave or stove.

Finally, the size is just right for our requirements. It fits under the cabinets nicely and is the right width so I can be steaming the milk and still have the last bit of coffee dripping out in the shot glasses without knocking them over.

Long lost love, oh where have you been all my life?
LOVE this machine! I do not claim to be an espresso junkie or aficionado, but I am addicted to lattes and my morning habit was getting to be expensive so we bought this machine for Christmas. It's AWESOME! One of my main criteria, besides great espresso, was a frothing wand that would really do the job, and this one does. It texturizes the milk beautifully and creates delicious, creamy froth for my lattes and cappuccinos. We're still working to get the right grind and tamp combination, but I love that you can also use pods in the machine, which is fantastic for decaf! We drink regular espresso in the morning or afternoon, but every once in a while I want a cappuccino at night but it's not worth keeping the decaf beans or emptying my grinder to replace with decaf so we keep decaf pods on hand for those rare evening cravings. Perfectly convenient! You have to be willing to experiment to get the right tamp/grind combination or your espresso won't taste too yummy, but if you have some patience and try various combinations it really pays off. And I love the hot water wand - heats very quickly and great for hot tea! Super easy to use, pretty easy to clean and maintain, and entirely worth the cost!

Notable stuff:

- heats up quickly

- advertises that the top of the machine serves as a warming station for your espresso cups, but it doesn't get nearly warm enough to actually warm the cups (warm by filling with hot water from the hot water dispenser instead)

- does not require the use of distilled or filtered water (in fact, the instructions say NOT to use distilled water) - just use tap water and decalcify with vinegar occasionally

- the drip tray is nice and large-was able to make 6 lattes, including rinsing in between each one, and drip tray still wasn't full

- water reserve is very large and holds plenty of water

- "programmable" just means that you can program how large your single shot is and how large your double shot is so that once it's programmed, you just have to push a button to make a shot of espresso - eliminates the guess work that results in inconsistent shots

- the pod attachment only works for single shots, as far as I can tell there are no double pods on the market and even if there were, I don't think they would fit in the pod attachment

Do not buy this item
I get my espresso machine. I carefully read the instructions on setting it up. I make my first espresso. The pressure gauge is a bit vague on the front of the unit, but it clearly has a range marked "Optimum." All of the pictures in the instructions show the perfect espresso with the needle in the middle of Optimum range. However, my machine never got the needle close the to the bottom edge of the Optimum range, much less in the middle. Okay, I first think this is my fault. I must be doing something wrong. I go buy some more espresso ground coffee. I make sure I have properly tampered the grounds in the filter. I still can't reach the bottom edge of the Optimum range. I finally called the Breville technical support. You have to leave a message and the will get back to you. Several hours later, they call me back. We go through the list of basic things that could be wrong. The representative finally puts me on hold so he can confer with someone else. He comes back on the line and says that this model has never shown the right pressure and they have fixed this problem in the model above the one I bought. Okay. Is this guy blowing me off because they don't want to send me a working machine, or is every espresso in this model really defective on the pressure gauge? I find it strange that none of the other 4 reviewers here on Amazon mentioned the defective pressure gauge that is common to every espresso machine of this model. Were they just content their quantified sub-optimal espresso? Or were they actual reviewers? Anyway, I would definitely not recommend this model from Breville, and from this experience, I will not likely buy any other Breville product.

WOW! What a Treat!
This is my third purchase of a pump type espresso machine. The first one was a Gaggia, the second a Capresso. Both were disasters. This Breville is fabulous. It is user friendly, makes a great cup of coffee and has an excellent steaming mechanism. It is obviously upscale with its beautiful stainless body. I am hoping there isn't a hidden plastic piece that will give out and change my opinion. I am using it about two weeks and can find no fault with it. My husband has commented that he believes the brew is stronger from this machine and I agree. It obviously extracts the most from each and every pull. Also, the fact that you push a button for one or two espresso shots and do not have to monitor the machine to shut it off at the appropriate moment is a real plus. Do yourself a favor, buy this espresso machine and don't even think about the plastic models (sometimes at much higher prices).

More Info: BestSeller Breville BES820XL Die-Cast 15-Bar Programmable Espresso Machine

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