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Breville BES840XL Review

 
Design
6.0


 
Value for money
7.0


 
Quality
7.0


 
Features
7.0


 
Total Score
6.8
6.8/10


User Rating
234 total ratings

 


0
Posted October 17, 2014 by

In many ways the Breville BES840XL is a complete semi-automatic espresso machine. It has features that satisfy the experienced barista and can at the same time be operated by a simple operation, if you just want a quick cup of coffee.

The machine is among the bestselling machines, it can be found at number 6 out of 50 semi-automatic espresso machines.

The biggest drawback of the machine is the missing built in grinder. This feature is available in some of the Breville sister models, and such a function makes the machine much more convenient in the daily use of the unit.

The Breville BES840XL Review Score is 6.8 out of 10.

 

Breville BES840XL at a Glance

Heat up time: 180 sec.

Breville BES840XL heat up time

10 out of 50 semi automatic coffee maker in the survey is slower than the Breville BES840XL. See the complete heat up time survey.

Energy consumption: 1600 Watts

Breville BES840XL energy consumption

The unit uses 1600 Watts and just two of the semi automatic espresso machines in the survey uses more Watts. See the complete energy survey result.

Price: 480 Dollars

Breville BES840XL price

The Breville BES840XL cost $480 and 30% of the semi automatic espresso machines costs more than this unit.See the complete price survey result.

Water tank: 61 onces

Breville BES840XL water tank size

10% of all semi automatic espresso machines in the survey has a bigger water tank than the Breville BES840XL. See the complete water tank survey result.

Weight: 17 pounds

Breville BES840XL weight

20 out  of 50 semi automatic espresso machines are heavier than the Breville BES840XL. See the complete weight tank survey result.

Size

Breville BES840XL size

16 out of 50 of the  units in the survey are bigger. See the complete size survey result.

 

Design

The Breville BES840VL follows the same design line as the rest of the Breville espresso machines. This means that the machine has a stainless steel cabinet and a cubistic shape. You control all features on the top front of the unit.

The size of the unit is 10x13x13 inches and that makes it almost exactly the same size as the average semi automatic machine. This is important to notice if you are considering buying a Breville, because some of the other models are quite large.

The unit has design features that you could expect from a machine in this price range, and that is a cup warmer, a removable drip tray and extra high clearance, so that you can brew directly into tall glasses and mugs. The machine is also equipped with features that are not so common. One such is a dedicated outlet for instant hot water; another is the compartment for cleaning tools, including the tools. This can be found on the backside of the unit.
The five best design alternatives

  • Breville BES900XL Design score 6 out of 10

 

Price

Value for money

The price of the machine is around $480, which is just 20% above the average price. The machine, its features and its quality are however far from average, so the extra money is well spent. The features that give most value for money with this machine is the fact that they can be used both by the home-barista and the novice user, with its high level of quality and its many relevant features.

Compared to the competition

From a price point of view, the biggest competitors to the Breville BES840XL are high-level semi-automatic machines from established brands such as DeLonghi and Gaggia. There are three models that this machine compares to from a price and feature point of view and they are the Gaggia Baby Twin, the Gaggia Classic and the DeLonghi EC330.

There is however another dimension to this machine and that is to compare it to the ones that have a built in grinder. Many of the Breville models have a built in grinder, like the Breville BES870XL. It costs $600, and that is a bit more than $120 extra, but that is probably what you would have to pay for a quality grinder anyway. A built in grinder gives you the convenience of brewing and grinding in one combined process.

The five best price alternatives

  • Francis Francis X5! value for money 5 out of 10

 

Quality

The most unique quality function of the machine is the pre-infusion function. This feature applies low water pressure at the beginning of the brew process, and that helps expand the grinds so that cracks and gaps in the coffee are filled out before the full pressure is applied. The result is that pressure is applied evenly to all parts of the coffee puck, and this ensures an optimal extraction of flavors and oils from the beans.

The machine is equipped with single and a dual wall filter baskets. They are both 54 mm and are made of stainless steel. It is not possible to use coffee pods. The pump in the machine is Italian and delivers 15 bar pump pressure. This is sufficient, but it would have been preferable to have 16-17 bars to work with, especially if you plan to experiment with your own brewing style.

The machine is 5% bigger than average, and weighs 5% more too. The actual weight is 17 pounds. The machine has quite a big water tank, with a capacity of 61 ounces, making it 30% bigger than the average size.

One quality drawback of the machine is the heat up time. It takes 3 minutes to heat up, and that is one minute more that the average machine takes to be ready. It uses quite a lot of energy. 1600 watts to be exact, and that is 30% more than average.

The unit comes equipped with a preset manual over-ride or you can re-programme the volumes to different settings.

The machine has a built in PID temperature control technology and a thermo coil system, they ensure that the temperature settings are correct, and the system runs automatically during the entire brewing process. The unit also has a dry puck feature that removes excess water from the filter basket after the coffee has been made.

The unit has some features that are not found on most semi automatic espresso machines. The first one is an “Empty Me” indicator. This lets you know when the drip tray has too much water. Additionally, the machine will let you know automatically when cleaning is required. It also has a two-step auto power off function; after one hour it goes into sleep mode, and it shuts off after three hours of inactivity.

The final quality remarks are the machine is supplied with a water filter holder and a coffee scoop.

 

Features

  • Pre-infusion function
  • Stainless steel water coil
  • Auto purge function
  • 15 bar pump
  • Preset manual over-ride or re-programmable volumes
  • Single and dual wall filter baskets
  • Coffee scoop
  • Stainless steel jug
  • Cleaning tools
  • Water filter holder
  • Thermocoil heating system
  • PID temperature control technology
  • Cup warmer
  • Removable drip tray
  • Dry puck feature
  • Dedicated outlet for instant hot water
  • Sleep Mode
  • ‘Empty Me!’ indicator  

Benchmarks

Benchmarked against 50 semi automatic espresso machines

Overall ranking NA
Bestseller 6 out of 50
Price level $480 20% above the average price
Weight 17 pounds 5% above that the average weight
Size 10,13,13 inches 5% larger than average
Water tank size 61 ounces 30% more than the average size
Heat up time 3 minutes 40% slower that average
Energy comsumption 1600 W 30% more than the average consumption

You can find more information on the complete analysis and its assumptions here.

Video review

 

Breville BES840XL Review Sum Up

Positive

    1. Value for money
    2. Many relevant features
    3. Good quality

Negative

    1. Only 15 bar pump pressure
    2. Can not use coffee pods
    3. Had no build in grinder

Current price

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