Breville BES840XL the Infuser Espresso Machine

4.5 / 5 stars      

Take a look at the Breville BES840XL Infuser if you’re looking for a reasonably priced espresso machine.  If you’ve been doing some research already, you know they can cost into the thousands of dollars.

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Breville introduced this unit in the summer of ’12 so it’s still fairly new, but I do think they have a winner on their hands.  This machine is an update to the BES830XL that had some serious issues, but they have been addressed in this newer model.  It appears that Breville listened and learned from past mistakes.  Well, except they might have some quality control issues to deal with.  There are reports of lemons.

Anyway, moving on.  First let’s talk about the heating features of the BES840XL.  If you know your espresso,  you know that most barista’s recommend temps of 195 to 200°.  Being able to achieve and sustain those temps is important.  The Infuser handles it with ease by combining two important features – the thermocoil heating system has an integrated coil that controls water temperature while the PID control stabilizes it.  Testing puts water temps in the 197° range consistently – exactly where they should be.

Breville Infuser BES840XL Pros & Cons

Pros:  Thermocoil heating system – PID temperature control – 61 oz water tank – Programmable shot volumes – Low pressure pre-infusion

Cons:  Single boiler – Some Breville quality control issues

At 15 bars of pressure this unit provides far more than is needed ( more about espresso bar pressure) , but a nice feature is its low pressure pre-infusion. As the extraction process begins, this lower pressure allows the grinds to slowly expand, resulting in a more even extraction.  There is also an included gauge that will monitor pressure during extraction.

Keep in mind this is a single boiler machine – therefore the price point.  That single boiler has to provide the heat for the brew water and the steam used to froth the milk.  So be aware that when switching between brew and steam functions water temperatures need time to adjust.  The Infuser does have an Auto Purge feature that tries to automatically adjust temps quickly but there is only so much that a single boiler machine can do.  If this is going to be extremely annoying to you, spend the extra and get yourself a double boiler espresso maker.

The Breville BES840XL isn’t a counter space eating monster, it has a relatively small footprint.  But as others have pointed out, it could be a bit more stable.  It does seem to wobble and shift a bit at times.

All in all the Breville BES840XL Infuser is a great espresso machine in this price range.  It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the higher priced models, but it does what it should do.  I rate it at 4.5/5 – dropping the half star due to what seems to be some quality control issues at Breville.

Features & Dimensions

  • 1600 watt thermocoil
  • Electronic PID temperature control aids in temperature stability
  • 15 bars of pressure
  • Low pressure pre-infusion
  • Auto purge automatically adjusts water temperature after steam
  • Espresso pressure gauge
  • Instant hot water for Americanos or preheating your cup
  • Preset volume controls
  • Manual override or programmable shot volumes
  • Dry puck feature removes excess water from grinds
  • Steam wand
  • Included accessories: single & dual wall filter baskets, coffee scoop, stainless steel jug, cleaning disc & tablets, cleaning tool, water filter with holder.
  • 10.2 x 12.5 x 13.2 inches ; 17 pounds

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