The Breville Barista Express BES870XL is my top choice for the best espresso machine of 2020. In this detailed review, I’ll explain why this Breville espresso machine gets high marks for quality, performance, control, ease-of-use, and makes the best shot of espresso you’ve ever tasted.

Breville Barista Express Review

The Breville Barista Express espresso maker is far from the most expensive machine on the market. Nor is it the most complex or complicated. So why does it earn my top pick for the best espresso machine for home use? In a word – compromise. But don’t get me wrong; there is no compromising on your perfect shot of espresso.

One of the biggest mistakes beginning baristas make is choosing a machine that is too complicated. They get overwhelmed by all of the dials and gauges, and after a few failed attempts the machine goes back to the store or sits gathering dust on the countertop.

The Breville Barista espresso machine offers the best compromise between simplicity and control. This is primarily due to the variety of included filters. If you’re just starting on your espresso-making journey, use the two dual-wall pressurised filters to regulate the machine’s pressure automatically.  When you’re a bit more comfortable in your role of barista, use the two single-wall, non-pressurized filters to experiment with pressure, grind size, and strength.

The other aspect that shoots the Breville Barista Express coffee machine to the top of my list is speed. Now speed is critical when it comes to getting my first cup of coffee in the morning, but there’s an even more important factor. Freshness is directly proportional to the time it takes from when you grind your beans until they are brewed. With its integrated burr grinder, the Breville XL 870 goes from bean to cup in under 60 seconds. That’s one fresh espresso!

The final major factor is consistency. This Breville automatic espresso machine uses a heat exchange boiler with Thermocoil to control the temperature. This system allows you to both steam milk and extract espresso while keeping a consistent temperature. In cheaper models, you have to flip a switch to choose between the two, causing the temperature to drop after steaming. With the Barista Express, you can have your (coffee) cake and eat it too.

So what about that built in steamer? While I’m a fan of coffee that’s black as night, the Breville Barista coffee machine doesn’t just do espresso. The 360-degree swivel-action steam wand makes silky smooth steamed milk for perfect lattes, cappuccinos, or any other milky drink you can imagine.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Features

Integrated Conical Burr Grinder – As mentioned above, one of the best features of the BES870XL is the speed from bean to cup. The key is the stainless steel conical burr grinder.  The ½ pound bean hopper holds your favourite beans and releases the perfect amount into the grinder.

Extra Large Water Tank – The top-fill water tank holds 67oz so you won’t need to be constantly refilling. It houses a replaceable water filter to cut down on impurities and mineral deposits to keep your coffee as fresh as possible.

Simple to use Selector Dials – Quickly and easily choose the size your grind (from fine to course), the dose amount, and filter basket size.

Magnetized Tamper – Never wonder where your tamper is again with this convenient design for easy storage.

How to Use the Breville Barista Express

Breville has created an excellent how-to video with some great tips on making the most of your Barista Express.

Where is Breville Made?

Breville is an Australian company founded in Melbourne. Various components of their appliances are made in different countries. For example, the Barista Express’s 15-bar pump is made in Italy.


  • Compact footprint doesn’t take up too much space on your countertop
  • Heat-exchange boiler means you maintain a constant temperature at all times.
  • High-Quality materials and stylish stainless steel construction
  • No-slip feet prevents “walking” across counter even when the grinder is in use
  • Easy to clean with a hideaway storage compartment for cleaning tools


  • The drip tray needs to be often emptied and could be larger
  • Can be a bit messy with grounds occasionally spraying onto the countertop
  • This Breville espresso maker may not offer enough control for espresso perfectionists. If this is you, be sure to check out our espresso machine review guide here to find your perfect machine.

For even more specifications and details, you can see the Breville Barista Express manual in PDF format here.

In addition to the stainless steel version, you can also buy the Breville BES870XL Barista Espresso Black Sesame or the Breville Barista BES870XL Espresso Cranberry.

Verdict: Breville – The Barista Express BES870XL is the best espresso machine for budding baristas. It allows you to transition from one-touch simplicity to experimenting with control over your perfect brew. The Breville Barista Express espresso maker will make your morning espresso in a snap, completely hassle-free – because who needs to start their day with complications?

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