The BES840XL infuser espresso machine from Breville creates a perfectly balanced flavor thanks to its pre-infusion system that gently expands the coffee grinds before increasing the pressure. This results in a more even extraction, and ultimately a better espresso.
The Breville BES840XL, as you’d expect from an espresso machine in this price range, is packed with plenty of the usual features such as a pressure gauge, programmable shot amounts and super accurate water temperature controls. You also get a bunch of accessories including both single and dual wall filter baskets, a water filter, cleaning gear, a scoop and a steel jug.
The machine itself looks great with its brushed steel finish, and although the plethora of buttons and attachments make it anything but a minimalist design, its clean lines and unfussy layout keep it looking sleek and uncluttered. It’s a pretty heavy unit as well and feels like a well put together appliance.
The pre-infusion process delivers good and consistent results, and the machine prepares quickly whilst also operating quietly. The well labeled pressure valve is a helpful addition and makes it easy to pull a shot at the right time once the pressure has reached the high end.
The programmable options make it easy to produce exactly the amount of espresso you want, and can easily be overridden if you want to do things manually. The BES840XL has a nice large water tank and uses a 1600w thermocoil, as opposed to a thermoblock, which helps provide that extra level of accuracy with water temperature.
Despite this accurate temperature control, the shots produced are closer to warm than scorching; you might need to pre-warm the cups if you like your espresso on the hotter side.
There is also a built in heat purge function – the idea being to quickly cool things down after steaming so you can pull a shot straightaway. In practice however it doesn’t cool down quite quickly enough and you’ll have to give it a few moments to cool off. Still it works well enough and definitely speeds things up a bit.
Overall the Breville BES840XL is a good machine. It has its own nuances that you’ll have to adapt to in order to make the perfect shot of espresso, but its solid build quality and array of features make it easy to deliver consistent results, and the pre-infusion function delivers on its promise to produce a nice even shot.
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