Espresso Machine Deals, News, Reviews, and Information

Breville Barista Express BES860XL Machine with Grinder

Breville is one of those really sturdy espresso maker companies. I'd go so far as to call them one of the staples of the industry. I really like most of their machines, but which one is best for you? I'm willing to bet it might just be the Breville Barista Express and that's exactly what we're going to find out today.

How do you pick an espresso maker? There are so many choices! A friend of mine asked me to go shopping with them for a machine a few weeks ago, and after walking from store to store all day long they eventually just gave up and told me that they'd buy whatever I told them! Hopefully we can come up with a better outcome for you today.

Let's Take A Look At This Machine

Breville Barista Express BES860XL machine with grinderRight away you'll notice that this is a very shiny, metallic espresso maker! It's a little larger than a regular machine, and it has a lot of dials and readouts that look a lot more complicated than they actually are.

This is a 15-bar pump-powered machine with a Thermoblock pump; which is all pretty standard. What's interesting about this model is that it has a built in conical burr grinder. Usually we only see this with fully automatic machines!

Does that make this an automatic machine? No, but almost. It will grind your beans itself, but you still have to put the grounds in the arm, tamp them down, and turn the machine on and off. So it's a semi-automatic machine that acts like an automatic.

So Why's It So Expensive If It's Not Automatic?

It's true, you could buy a lower end automatic for the cost of this machine. The reason this guy is so pricey is in large part because of the built in conical burr grinder. Those retail for anywhere between $80 and $350 when sold on their own. So adding that cost into the machine alone justifies its higher price tag.

But also, this is a pretty high quality machine with a lot of bells and whistles. It has a pressure gauge on the front that lets you tweak your espresso to get it just right. You simply don't see that, ever, on cheaper models or even on more expensive ones!

It has a nice steam frother arm so that you can make your favorite cappuccino, latte, mocha, or whatever your favorite drinks happen to be.

It also has a huge sixty-seven ounce water tank that is easily removable so that you can fill it and clean it from time to time. A tank of this size is a huge convenience because you won't have to fill it very often and worry about running out of water between shots like with some machines.

What Others Are Saying About It

This is a very well-reviewed espresso maker. At Amazon it has thirty-six reviews. Twenty-five of them are 5 out of 5-stars and another eight are 4-star. That leaves just one 3-star and two 1-star reviews. That's a solid four and 1/2 out of 5 star average and you simply don't see higher ratings than that.

People absolutely love this machine and it's easy to understand why.

One person said that it was "The best buy on the market under $1,500", another person said it was "easy to use, even for a novice". Most of the other remarks were along this same vein.

What's The Bottom Line

The Barista Express retails for $800 but can be found below for around $600. Is that too much to spend on a semi-automatic machine? Should you just upgrade to a cheaper automatic machine for around the same price? I don't think so.

This is a very solid machine that makes great espresso, has an expensive built in bean grinder, and looks incredibly stylish with its stainless steel shine and symmetrical design. It may cost a little more than a regular semi-automatic, but I think that cost will translate directly into better espresso for years to come.

The Breville Barista Express is not for everyone. If money is an issue, you can find a decent machine for less than half that much. But if you've got the juice and want an exceptional machine that will set you apart from everyone else, this might be exactly what you're looking for. Grab one today while they're still on sale!