The semi-automatic Breville BES840XL Infuser espresso machine is truly a feat of coffee genius and has changed the domestic espresso-making experience with its high-quality coffee production. You can make a variety of espresso-based drinks with this machine, but unfortunately, it doesn’t make cappuccinos.
The PID temperature control guarantees a stable temperature throughout the pre-infusion and extraction process. It also has a pressure gauge to monitor the boiler and tells you whether the coffee has been extracted correctly or not.
The brand promises that the Breville Infuser espresso maker will deliver optimal espresso flavor, as it infuses ground coffee with low and steady water pressure.
This allows the ground beans to expand before the espresso machine kicks it up to a high pressure which will ultimately deliver the “perfect” cup of espresso. This infusion process is what makes it stand out from other espresso makers on the market.
The Breville BES840XL 15 bar Infuser espresso maker is a compact machine making it ideal for smaller spaces, while the minimalistic stainless steel look allows it to seamlessly blend with your decor. It also comes with a hot water outlet that is perfect for pre-heating your cup.
A big selling point for us is that it comes standard with dials to ensure that you can customize your cup to precisely the way you like it. These dials include volume control, precise espresso-extraction, manual micro-foam texturing, flexible shot control, and of course, maintenance indicators.
Breville was founded in Sydney in 1932 and since then has become a must-have in any kitchen. The brand is available in over 70 countries worldwide, and are masters at designing and engineering kitchen products that make your life a breeze.
The Breville machine creates a great tasting espresso and the perfect froth using the manual milk wand that swivels for ease of use.
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Things to consider before buying a Breville BES840XL Infuser
As with most kitchen appliances, there are a few things to consider before purchasing a Breville Infuser.
Whether you’re an amateur or professional coffee maker, it’s important that you use an espresso maker that will make it just the way you like it. Having an espresso machine at home is a way to truly revolutionize the way you drink coffee at home because it allows you to get that coffee shop brew right at home.
Before purchasing the Breville BES840XL, you need to make sure that this type of espresso machine is right for you.
An infuser helps you truly appreciate those specialty coffee beans or third-party beans without paying coffee shop prices for them. This also means that there is little to no chance of burning your beans as the infuser does all the espresso extraction for you. All that’s required is to program the machine and let it work its magic.
As with most things, you get what you pay for when it comes to espresso machines so you need to make sure that you purchase one that will suit both your needs and budget. Unless you’re very passionate about any type of coffee, there’s no need to purchase a machine with myriad features that you won’t use.
The size of the machine is also important to take into consideration because you wouldn’t want to have to find out at the last minute that the new machine you’ve purchased won’t fit without changing the existing layout of your kitchen.
Another thing to take into consideration is your level of expertise. If you’re willing to take the learning curve that more advanced, and more expensive machines come with, it would be worthwhile to invest. However, if you’re simply looking for something that will brew a cup of coffee at the push of a button, it’s important that you select a model that reflects that.
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Features & Benefits
This Breville Infuser espresso machine truly is indicative of the design mastery of Breville. It comes with a 61oz water tank capacity which is perfect for domestic use and means you can make more than one shot at a time.
The construction of the machine is made up of brushed stainless steel and is available in three color options so you can choose the one that best suits your decor.
It also has a 15 bar Italian made pump that ensures the longevity of your machine and will brew the most perfectly balanced cup of coffee. It has a 1650 wattage, with 110 volts so you can be assured of having a real power machine in your home.
Thermocoil Heating System
One of the most important features of any espresso machine is that it makes a consistent espresso that will never let you down.
The built-in thermo coil heating system present in the Breville Infuser allows for accurate control of the water temperature. It also comes standard with a PID temperature control that increases water stability.
Both of these features work together to make sure that the water temperature is consistently maintained throughout the coffee-making process, and that means that each espresso brewed will taste exactly the same, every time.
The Infuser works to get the most flavor out of the coffee by slowly infusing it with water at the start of the brewing process. This means that the ground beans slowly expand while infusing with the hot water that results in a perfectly balanced taste (say goodbye to burnt coffee!).
Breville has taken exceptional care to make sure that the beans are not burnt during the extraction process and therefore will make each cup taste like it was brewed by 2019 Champion Barista, Jooyeon Jeon himself.
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Espresso Pressure Gauge
If you’re a novice or at-home barista, a pressure dial might seem daunting but it is a pivotal feature in any maker.
The purpose of this feature is to help you gauge whether or not the beans are being appropriately extracted.
With proper monitoring, you’ll be able to tell when the beans are over or under-extracted and will help you achieve the perfectly extracted brew.
We all have those days when one shot of espresso just won’t cut it and that’s where the volumetric control comes into play.
Instead of being only able to brew one shot at a time, this feature allows you to brew the exact volume of coffee that you need.
This is thanks to both automatic and manual settings that add to the coffee-drinking experience.
Dry Coffee Puck Feature
Although coffee is probably the most delicious thing on the planet, cleaning out wet coffee grounds can be one of the most unpleasant experiences.
One of the unique features of the Infuser is that it removes any excess water from the ground coffee in the filter basket after extraction.
This means that instead of manually straining the extracted grounds, the espresso machine does all the work and all you need to do is remove the already-dry puck.
Auto Purge Function
The Infuser removes most of the guesswork involved with making coffee. The auto-purge function heats and cools the steaming wand appropriately while maintaining the optimal temperature for espresso extraction.
This means that there is an even and steady temperature during the extraction process that makes for a perfectly balanced cup. It also allows for the perfect steam temperature that won’t burn the milk.
If you’ve ever used an espresso machine, you know that LED indicators are a godsend both for brewing the perfect cup and for machine maintenance.
The Infuser has an LED light that indicates when the machine is switched on, and heating up before use. This is important to make sure that you’re not using the machine while it’s not warm enough and this could result in wasted beans.
It also has a “Clean Me” LED that will let you know when to run a cleaning cycle, to descale and maintain your machine for optimal performance.
Traditional Steam Wand
Sometimes, there’s no use in reinventing the wheel and that’s no different when it comes to the steam wand on the Infuser.
There’s no need for it to be a fancy piece of engineering because in this case, simpler is definitely better. In the case of the Infuser, the wand comes with 360° swivel-action.
This means you can use any size mug to make your coffee, without needing an extra piece of equipment.
Accessories and Add-Ons
Using good quality accessories that are manufactured to work with your espresso machine can make or break.
Something that Breville clearly takes pride in, is the accessories included in the box when you purchase the Infuser.
Included with purchase are the following accessories: a razor dose trimming tool, 4 1Cup & 2Cup single & Dual wall filter baskets, a coffee scoop, a stainless steel milk jug, cleaning disc and tablets, cleaning tools, brush, and Allen Key, and a water filter and water filter holder.
Cleaning and Maintenance
As with any appliance, and even more so with espresso machines, it’s important to take care of it. Daily cleaning is simple by wiping dirt and spills with a damp cloth and this will make sure that your machine is kept in top condition.
You will also need to run the cleaning cycle whenever the “Clean Me” LED lights up. The decalcifying process only needs to be done once a month and the steps to complete both of these processes are outlined in the user’s manual.
You need to clean the wand by purging hot water through it after each use to prevent any build-up and to keep the machine clean.
I have to point out that no part of this machine is dishwasher safe, and you should not be using any abrasive cleaners or pads to clean the machine. It’s important that you take proper care of the machine to ensure that you can enjoy it for a long time.
Like all investments, it’s important to know what others are saying about the appliance. I’ve done the work for you, and we took a deep dive into customer reviews from those who’ve tried the Breville Infuser.
One user said that this is the best espresso machine that they have ever used. They said that they have purchased multiple espresso machines at a much higher price point than the Infuser, and the Infuser outperforms all of them!
The reviewer did mention that there was a small glitch (they didn’t specify what it was) but did point out that Breville took care of the problem at no extra cost.
This is not the only review that sings the praises of the machine, as over 80% of reviewers on the Breville website would recommend the Infuser.
Those who don’t recommend the Infuser seem to have an issue with the brand as a whole, instead of the espresso machine specifically. I don’t think that this is a very fair assessment, but it’s important that all reviews are taken with a pinch of salt.
Some of the gripes mentioned is having to pay to send a faulty machine back, or the machine failing within its 1-year warranty.
Another issue that seems to pop up is the change in Breville’s policy that no longer allows third-party repairs, and Breville charges a $249 flat fee for repairs with shipping to be paid by the client. People are not happy with this, although Breville will replace the machine if it is a major issue.
Alternatives to the Breville Infuser
Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine
Although a bit more pricey than the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine, the Breville Barista Pro provides barista-quality performance in the comfort of your own home.
It comes with a super intuitive interface that allows you to create a perfect cup of third-wave coffee. The Barista Pro comes with a built-in grinder that will grind your favorite beans on demand.
The Infuser also comes with a built-in coffee grinder, although it has been noted that you may prefer your own grinder over it. This is not a make-or-break feature, but it is nice to have. Impressively, it also has a 3 second heat up feature which means you can go from bean to cup in almost no time at all.
The Infuser has notably slower heating uptime, which might be a deal-breaker, depending on how urgently you need your next coffee fix.
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
Both the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine and the Breville Barista Express are designed for those who love espresso making.
The Express comes in a stainless steel design and features a pre-infusion function just like the Infuser, which offers optimal flavor extraction. The pressure gauge allows for the perfect brew and has a water control function that will give you either a single or double shot of espresso.
These machines have many features in common and are both easy to use, but they differ in size and water tank capacity. The Express model is slightly smaller when you include the bean hopper, so if you’re looking for something you can pack away, you might want to consider the Infuser instead.
The main difference between the two is the integrated conical burr grinder which adds around $100 to the price. While it helps to make a really good espresso, it may not be worth the extra penny considering its limitations on the types of beans and drink types it can cover.
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Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso
Similar to the Infuser, the Duo Temp Pro espresso machine also extracts the flavor from the beans at a low, steady temperature. They are both entry-level machines, but they provide a great cup of joe.
The Infuser also is slightly more powerful than the Duo Temp Pro with a difference of 50 watts. The Duo Temp Pro has 1600 watts, and the Infuser has 1650 watts. This won’t make much of a difference with performance though.
The main difference between the two is the user interface. The Infuser sports an intuitive pressure dial function that lets you know what’s happening in the boiler.
The Duo Temp features a one-turn knob that controls everything that goes into making your espresso. Even without the programming, it is simple to use and has many of the same features as the Breville Infuser.
Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine
With a much more rugged look than the Infuser, the Gaggia Classic Pro is another great coffee machine option on the market. They are similar in price and both machines are loved by their users.
Albeit, the Gaggia is not as sophisticated as the Infuser as it only has 3 switches which means that you will require more intimate knowledge of the brewing process. For this reason, it would also be better suited for more commercial use than domestic use.
We think the Infuser has a more elegant look with the stainless steel housing, while the Gaggia Classic Pro has a more commercial look. It’s also a little larger than the Classic Pro.
The Infuser comes with the handy pre-infusion function that lacks with the Classic Pro and the pressure dial is a winner for us, sadly another feature that the Classic Pro lacks. One upside of the Gaggia Pro is that it has a slightly bigger water tank, meaning you won’t have to fill the tank as much.
They both have a handy swivel steam wand for frothing lattes and cappuccinos. A must-have for those frothy latte lovers who love to create latte art.
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Let’s be honest, we don’t always want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a good espresso. In our review, we found that the Infuser is Breville’s most affordable model and ensures that you only need to make a once-off investment to enjoy cafe’ quality espresso at home.
Its many helpful features make it an optimal choice over some of the more expensive machines on the market.
The pressure dual and pre-infusion feature are its biggest advantages and impress anyone who likes to have control over their coffee brewing process and ensuring you get maximum flavor from your coffee grounds.
The PID temperature control makes sure you have a consistent optimal brewing temperature and a reliable thermocoil heating system so it heats up quickly. You won’t need to wait around to have your first cup of the day.
It is suited for novice or expert-level barista’s and thanks to its innovative features it will prepare a perfectly balanced cup every single time.