Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine Review
Although this machine is classed, even by Breville, into the semi-automatic espresso machine group, its ease of use and ability to produce excellent coffee-house quality espresso makes it much more than just the average semi-automatic espresso maker!
If you are looking for a semi-auto home espresso machine that almost seems as if it is super-auto, then read this Breville BES900XL semi-automatic espresso machine review to see if the few things that separate it from the super-auto class will still make it a machine that fits the bill for you.
Just some of the great features of this machine include programmable options, ease of use once learned, and providing the home barista, both seasoned and newbies, with the opportunity to create all types of different espresso beverages, just like those found in local coffee shops.
Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?
This machine is in the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines.
Yes. Programming options include volumetric control preset and programmable shot volumes, providing everything even a beginning home barista needs to make customized espresso according to personal preferences, as well as preferences of other. In addition, the programmable aut0-start feature ensures the water will be heated up and ready to roll when you are in the morning. Also includes an auto shut-off feature.
Easy to use?
Although a new user will need to get the hang of the different options available with this machine, once learned it has been reported that this machine is easy to use.
What types of beverages does this machine make?
This machine basically makes any type of beverage you can order at your local espresso stand. A good espresso recipe book would go a long ways with the purchase of this machine!
What is the cup height allowance of this machine?
This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to 3 inches tall.
Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?
This machine uses only ground coffee beans, and does not have the capability of using pods or capsules.
Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?
No, this one does not have a built-in grinder. You will need to either grind up your own beans or purchase pre-ground coffee.
Because the grind is very important for obtaining perfect espresso extraction with this machine, it is recommended that the owner of this machine purchase, and learn how to use, a high-quality coffee bean grinder.
What is the bean hopper size in this machine?
Not applicable – because this machine does not have a built-in grinder, there is no need for a bean hopper, which is used to store beans in the machine just prior to grinding them.
Does this particular machine have an LCD display?
Yes, it does have an LCD display which shows brew temperature, shot clock, or the time. Also helps the user with shot temperature and volume programming, duration and power of the pre-infusion process, and auto-start feature.
What is the frothing capability of this machine?
This machine, by all reports, has fantastic frothing capability. Comes with a 360-degree swiveling commercial-grade frothing wand. A stainless steel frothing jug is also included with the purchase of this machine.
What is the brew time length of this machine?
The time it takes to warm up the water in the machine is 6 minutes. The auto-start programming feature, however, is an excellent way to avoid having to wait 6 minutes for heat-up in the morning.
How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?
The double spouts on this machine allow for making either one double-shot beverage or two single-shot beverages.
Does it have a cup warmer?
Yes, this machine has a cup warmer.
What colors is this machine available in?
Available in stainless steel housing only.
What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?
This machine is housed in plastic and some metal.
What type of water heating system does this machine have?
This machine features two Italian-made stainless boilers, one for steaming and one for heating water.
Does this machine have dual boilers?
Yes, this machine has dual stainless steel boilers.
Is this machine noisy?
There is some noise involved when using this machine, although there are basically not any that we have found that do not make noise.
What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?
This machine features 15-bar pump pressure via two Italian-made pumps.
What is the water tank size on this machine?
This home espresso maker packs with it an 84-ounce water tank, allowing for brewing of many beverages before needing a refill.
Is the water tank easy to access?
Yes, the water tank is very easy to access, no matter what your preference is. Water tank is either removable or able to be filled from either the top or the rear, depending on the kitchen set-up.
Is clean-up easy for this machine?
There is a “clean me” indicator on this machine. Other than the normal descaling process that is required with any appliance that runs water through it, clean-up generally involves a wipe-down, emptying and rinsing of the removable drip tray, and cleaning of the the frothing wand after each use, to prevent milk from drying on it, which is as simple as wiping it with a damp paper towel.
What is the weight of this machine?
This machine is one of the heavier ones available today and weighs in at 30-36 pounds. The reason for this discrepancy (30 vs. 36) is that we found one seller who reported it weighs 30 pounds and another who reported it weighs 36. Either way, this is definitely one of the heavier machines when it comes to home espresso machines.
What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?
This machine measures 16-1/4″ x 15″ x 15″.
Shipping and Warranty Info.
This machine has a one-year warranty.
What is the wattage of this machine?
This machine is powered with 1,700 watts.
Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.
- One customer reported their opinion that this is the “Lamborghini” of home espresso machines…enough said!
- Although the weight of the machines is considered by some to be a drawback, there is a wheel on the bottom of the machine that can be released and lowered, for ease in moving the machine across a countertop.
- One customer who purchased this machine came back to Amazon and provided updates every few months. The time span of these updates was from 2011 up to February 2014, at which point that customer advised that it still was working wonderfully.
- One customer reported on the large size of the machine and difficulty finding counter space for it. Therefore, if you don’t have a lot of counter space, this likely would not be a good choice for you.
- One customer commented that this most definitely is a semi-automatic class espresso machine. Although it does have lots of programmable features, you do need to ensure that all of the features are set to preference in order to pull a good espresso to preference.
- You likely will need to also purchase a good coffee bean grinder for this machine. The level of grind used with this home espresso maker can be the difference between making producing superior vs. non-superior espresso.