Crew Review: Breville BES840XL

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Breville’s newest home espresso machine features an upgraded thermocoil element that greatly improves the shot quality over its predecessor, the BES830XL. Wa…


Eric Coovert says:

I have an older Breville 800XL and after over 7 years of brewing one to two
cappuccinos per day minimum, that’s 2,500 to 3,800 cappuccinos, the
seal above my brew head finally gave up the ghost. I ordered a new seal but
I can’t pry the single screw that holds the brew head in place loose. We
don’t have any trouble with calcium deposits where I live and I do clean my
machine on schedule but try as I may, I can’t get the screw out to remove
the brew head in order to replace the silicone seal.

Since it doesn’t appear I’ll be able to replace the seal, I’ve had my eyes
on the machine you just demonstrated here for us.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can remove the screw that holds the
brew head in place? I have tried a screw extractor but the screw, being
made of stainless steel is so card that I can’t pre drill it. By the way, I
did order a replacement screw as I know the removal process will destroy
the screw.

If I can’t replace the seal, I’ll just have to come up with 5 Ben Franklins
which would be a real struggle right now. An other option would be to order
another 800XL before they run out as they are discontinuing them.

My machine has served me well and if it weren’t for that screw refusing to
come out, it would probably last me for several more years.

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

+Karen Le Clair Generally you want to froth your milk for about 15-20
seconds. The temperature you want your milk at ranges from 140F – 170F
degrees, but you can make it as hot as you like. The hotter you like it,
the longer it will take to get to temperature. – Steven 

Allen LSY says:

Hi, how long does it take to warm up the machine, so that I can pull a

Rich Gaffin says:

What is the best espresso machine under $500?

Justin Smith says:

The clunking when steaming do all brevilles do this , i switched to a
delonghi because the clunking in my breville was so noisy 

Steve Leyton says:

Have had this machine for about 16 months and very satisfied with the
coffee, though not 100% with the foaming wand. To previous comments, if
you’re not making brew pressure, it’s your grind. I have the Breville BCG
800XL grinder and grind at the finest setting; when properly tamped, the
brew pressure will be between the screws on the gauge (more or less
straight up) which gives a 20+ second brew time an a beautiful frothy
crema. Definitely shouldn’t use pre-ground coffee to make espresso!
Since your shop uses and compares so many different machines on a regular
basis, I’m curious about your opinion of the steaming wand. I find the
velocity too high and the steam is emitted in a stream, rather than more of
a diffusion into the milk Occasionally the foam head on the milk is too
bubbly and not a true froth; it’s hard to control with such a strong jet of
steam … Does Breville make a diffuser? Any tips? Using whole milk,
right out of the ‘fridge.

Karen Le Clair says:

How long does it take to froth the milk and how hot can I get the milk?
Thanks for the videos. I really would love to try this as we have the
capresso ultma and it is going down the tubes.

Dennis Post says:

Hi guys,

(1) Love the channel
(2) Quick question. I just bought this machine (also based on your review).
I bought FRESH espresso grind coffee, I use the pressurized porta filters,
I tamp till I see green, I just don’t get the nice creme, nor does the dial
ever go over the pre-infusion level. I tried a variety of grinds, I used
all baskets. All with the same results. Any ideas?

MrDcseltzer says:

Nice review ladies. Just a question, did you Re-try the frothing to see
if you could get a lesser foam?

Tony Ko says:

I’ve used the last of the complementary cleaning tablets that came with
this great machine. Now I am wondering if I need to purchase the same Cinco
Cleano tablets or if I can use the Full Circle cleaning tablets? Thanks!

Barry S says:

Gail whats your opinion of this compared to the double broiler have you
considered comparing them? What do you think the speed of the heating and
running both steam wand and making shots compared to the Double broiler.
What do you think?

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

No problem! We’re doppelgangers 😉 – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Yes! It’s not super fast (thermocoil) but it is a traditional wand so it
will give you the time to learn how to stretch the milk, etc. – Kat

gxpat says:

Interesting, when are you guys going to start selling it? I’d be
interested in seeing how the BES840XL compares to the Silvia (shot quality
/ features / price / etc.)

David Sipe says:

Love your vids! Regarding the Breville 840xl vs the Rancillio Silva V3,
which would you expect have more trouble free use? I hear Breville may not
be the most reliable line but their customer svc sounds very good. I hear
the Silva has temp ranging issues and can be very fussy to use. What do you
think of their respective quality control and their customer service? I
have been using the DeLonghi Bar32 for about 2 years and feel I am ready to
move up to a better machine. Thanks!

Ryan Wagner says:

In a latte the espresso’s I’m making a great. All by itself its a bit
bitter. Maybe I should compare my espresso’s to starbucks and other coffee
houses as I usually just get latte’s instead of drinking the espresso
straight up. I’ve heard real good espresso should not be bitter at all. I
need a frame of reference to know what to expect. Coffee on the other had I
know well 🙂 P.S. Love your youtube channel.

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

How quickly is it extracting? It sounds like maybe the grind isn’t fine
enough? The pressurized basket would seem to possibly slow it down a bit
more for the extraction to come out more slowly and the pressure to rise in
the chamber / gauge. But you’re using that basket and still seeing this? –

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

The Infuser is going to be a bit easier to use, as it will come with
pressurized baskets so you don’t need a great grinder to use it. The Silvia
isn’t fussy; it’s just a traditional espresso machine, so folks upgrading
from pressurized systems deem it ‘fussy’ because, you know, they have to
actually dial in their grind now 😉 You can temp surf on it to make sure
it’s at the right temp when you pull your shot and it’s consistent
throughout the shot. – Kat

0x5347 says:

Thanks for the quick response! I just realized that you guys are local, so
I will just stop by over the weekend! 🙂

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Perhaps change the dosage? How is the coffee tasting? – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Crema is all about the coffee’s freshness – how recently it was roasted, if
it was freshly ground, etc. – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Glad you dig us! 🙂 – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

It’s replacing the 830 and we no longer have one to do a comparison with,
sorry – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Temp control is a bit better on this guy; I don’t dig integrated gear,
personally, but if you do, then the machine and grinder combo of the
Express is the way to go. – Kat

jeffs99a says:

I saw this model setup in a store as a demo. It had definitely been used a
few times. One thing I did notice was that some steam had gotten into the
pressure meter gauge, almost making the gauge unreadable. Have you seen
this happen and if so how do you fix/prevent that. Thanks

Rob Morrison says:

I’m in the market for an espresso machine and love your videos! I find them
really informative! Thanks so much. Whats your opinion on the Breville Duo
Temp? Currently, I have my eyes on it and there isn’t a good video review
online for this maker. Also, some of Breville’s models don’t produce a dry
puck, such as the duo temp. However, they do say that it has no affect on
the taste or quality of the espresso. Is a wet puck such a bad thing? What
are the benefits of a dry puck?

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Gail is currently a drip coffee (Technivorm) drinker and I’m a triple shot
Americano drinker 🙂 – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Sounds like your grind isn’t fine enough or your tamp not firm enough. If
you can’t make your grinder any finer, then try updosing / adding more
coffee or tamping more firmly. – Kat

BsOnK1969 says:

hi kat/gail is the student! any videos showing differences between infuser
and barista? im like wish one should i buy infuser, barista, gaggia ? i
just drink lattes, also a grinder for the machine….. sry again

Ryan Wagner says:

I just got the 840xl a couple of days ago and I was having the same
problem. I just have the Breville bcg450xl grinder. I’m using the finest
grind it will do and the pressure gauge never gets above the pre-infusion
area of the gauge. I then went to Starbucks and got them to grind some
espresso at level 3 grind and only when I tamp at 60lbs pressure and fill
the portafilter quick full do I get in the grey zone (middle of the gauge).
I was starting to worry that the machine wasn’t working.

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

This is replacing the 830 – Kat

jamestfrost says:

Hi Kat, I just got heis machine. I use Illy fine grind espresso. I can’t
seem to get the extraction right… it starts out under extracted, then
moves into the extraction zone right at the end of the shot. i have set the
custom brew to about 28 secs. I am tamping very hard. Any ideas how to get
it right. thanks, jim

Ryan Wagner says:

I was getting the same thing happen with the dual wall filter. My grinder
sucks but I was using the finest grind and tamping really hard. Until I
switched to single wall filter, got finer grind from store and tamped
really hard I could not get gauge to my to proper position. Even with this
finer grind 30lbs of pressure doesn’t cut it. I have to stamp at 60lbs
pressure. I thought single wall filters were suppose to be more forgiving?


Which would be better bes840xl Or via Venezia

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Not positive; from what Breville told us, no … they would be implementing
the Thermocoil in future manufacturing cycles but not present yet in the
Barista Express. You could confirm with them, though. – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

As soon as we have it in here for further testing, definitely! – Kat

Matthew Stuart says:

Hi Kat! Thanks for all the help a few weeks ago but I have one final follow
up question. What coffee are you using in this video? I picked up a new
Breville Smart Grinder and I’m finding a few things. 1. Anything in the
right 3rd of the espresso grind area just makes loud noises and freaks out.
2. Even at the left most grind in espresso makes my beans so fine that the
machine can’t even get a drop of water through it. Thoughts?

talljoe1950 says:

Changed coffee, now no pressure, barely reaches 9 o’clock with dual wall
basket, jammed full, tamped down hard. Colombian coffee, I read somewhere
that south American beans were a bit prone to this. Is there a better
choice bean perhaps. Otherwise I’m stumped.

Ann Abbey says:

I just got my BES840XL and have trying to pull a decent shot for the last
hour. I have the same issue. I have to have the Smart Grinder at the first
“S” in espresso to get any crema and not over extract. I am grinding
Lavazza Super Crema. Any advise?

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Unfortunately, there is not an easily identifiable way to tell. Your best
option is probably to get in touch with Breville and ask them if the stock
in South Africa has been transitioned to thermocoil. -Kaylie

nikolaim5 says:

The reason for the difference is the beans. Different beans will require
vastly different grind settings. The age of your beans will also have an
effect. The older the beans, the finer you will have to grind to get the
same flow. You should be using beans that were roasted no more then 2 weeks

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Are you using the pressurized baskets for your pre-ground? If not, then
definitely do so. If you are and you’re still not getting a great flavor,
try messing with dosage … too bitter, and you may be putting in too much;
too sour, and you may be putting in too little. With pressurization, you
don’t dial it in the same way as you do with traditional, you have to do it
more by flavor. How is is tasting right now? – Kat

bryanaida2007 says:

hi gail, thank you for all this informative videos. I just bought this
breville version and the coffee does not coem with a lot of crema. Do you
think is the grinder problem? Or the maschine is not so good? I am thinking
about the Lelit PL41EM V2. Which one is better

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

As far as I know, this is it. They’ll be upgrading the TB in the Barista
Express with this new thermocoil, though. It gets hotter than the Express
… the DB is a great choice if you want to play with temperature and
coffee settings, etc. Otherwise, this is a great choice. – Kat

Mia Vonni says:

These chics are entertaining!

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