Breville BES860XL vs. BES870XL: What Are the Major Improvements in BES870XL?

bes860xl-vs-bes870xl

bes860xl-vs-bes870xl

Breville BES870XL is an upgrade to the previous BES860XL Barista Espress Espresso Machine to address a few design flaws reported by actual customers. Breville, as a major household appliance manufacturer, has set an excellent example of taking the consumer feedback to heart and is willing to go the extra mile to remedy the problems. What Breville has fallen short (in my humble opinion) is that it hasn’t communicated the major improvements clearly so the consumers will have a compelling reason why the BES870XL is better than BES860XL. I’ll try to fill the “void” in this post.

After BES860XL was released to the general market since 2010, there have been hundreds of consumer reviews on Amazon and other major retail outlets. It was clear that Breville did a lot of things right with the espresso maker such as:

  • Integrated a conical burr grinder into the machine to ensure fresh coffee ground for optimal extraction of flavor and crema. Not to mention to save counter space and money for buying an extra coffee grinder.
  • Designed to meet the needs of both the rookies and the well-schooled home baristas with single (non-pressurized and for seasoned baristas) and double-walled filter baskets (pressurized and for newbies).
  • Well-constructed and designed with stainless steel for durability and stylish appeal.

There are a lot more features raved by actual customers. Read more from my detailed review.

Despite the 4.5 out of 5 star ratings, there were a few design weaknesses. That was exactly what Breville did with the BES870XL. Let’s dive into more details.

1. Coffee Bean Hopper Redesign

The new coffee bean hopper in the BES870XL is taller and with steeper sides vs. the BES860XL. The design change was meant to solve the coffee beans not being fed into the chute for grinding due to a flatter angle. The improvement makes it much easier and fewer beans being stuck.

2. More Control Over Brew Temperature

The other quibble about the BES860XL was that the brew temperature wasn’t hot enough. In the BES870XL, Breville added a PID to allow you to adjust the brew temperature up or down by 2 or 4 degrees F each time for single or double shot respectively. The PID was a key feature in higher-end espresso machines such as Breville’s own BES900XL Double Boiler (priced around $1,200). That’s twice as much as this model.

To increase the brew temperature, you need to use the Advanced Temperature Mode by pressing Program button and then press 1 Cup or Two Cup to increase the temperature by 2 or 4 degrees F.

If you want to reduce the temperature by 2 degrees F, in the Advanced Temperature Mode, press the Filter Size button. To decrease by 4 degrees F, press the Power button once again while in the Advanced Temperature Mode.

3. Added Hot Water Dispenser

A brand new feature in the BES870 is the dedicated hot water dispenser for making Americanos, tea or hot chocolate.

4. Auto Shut-Off Function

Another complaint by consumers was that when the machine was left on idle, it tends to get dried up. To resolve this, Breville added an Auto Sleep with one hour inactivity and Auto Shut-off after three hours on idle.

5. Consuming Slightly More Power

The BES870XL’s power input is at 1600 watts vs. the 1450 watts in the BES860XL.

6. Included a Dosing Tool Called “Razor”

A patented dosing tool is included in this new release. It’s used to trim the dosing in the basket to clean up the loose grounds to the precise level for a consistent extraction. To me, it’s not a game changer. You can use a hand to do the job very easily.

Other than the changes outlined above, everything else remains the same as BES860XL.

So far the new and improved BES870XL has been well-received with very positive reviews on Amazon. It’s still a bit too early to get a statistically significant sample data. But I applaud Breville for making the product better.

 

  1. A says:

    Great review. Thanks. You’ve sold me on the 870 over the 860 but my main concerns lye with the reliability of these units. Leaking gaskets and corroding after 18mths as read from several reviews have me looking at Delonghi and Gaggia units also.

    • Espresso Queen says:

      Thanks for visiting my site and your kind words. Each brand has its own strengths and weaknesses as you might imagine. Breville excels at usability, style and customer support. Between Delonghi and Gaggia, I’d personally opt for Gaggia due to the reliability and brand reputation. I wrote a review on Gaggia Classic and here is the link if you are interested in reading more.
      Good luck in your search!

      Lei

  2. Eric says:

    Great review, thank you! I was wondering what the difference was between the two.A quick google search brought me to your site. Do you happen to know if the machine is shorter in height to accomodate the new taller coffee bean holder?

    • Espresso Queen says:

      Eric,

      Thanks for stopping by and your kind words. It appears that the two models have the same frame but the BES870 is about 1.3 inches taller in the bean hopper vs. BES860. So the total dimensions for BES870 vs. BES860 are: 13.25 x 12.5 x 15.8 inches (W x D X H) and 13.25 x 12.5 x 14.5 respectively. Hope this helps.

      Lei

  3. Norris says:

    Hello,

    Thank you for an excellent, reliable, review. I was wondering how good the quality is on the grinder for the 870.

    Thank you in advance,

    Norris

    • Espresso Queen says:

      Norris,

      So far the ratings on BES860XL is slightly better (4.4 vs. 4.2) than BES870XL. Breville recently released two additional colors for 870 in black and cranberry. If you want to be on the safe side, get 860xl. But if you’d prefer one of the colors in BES870XL, it’ll be an easier decision. Breville as a company excels in customer service and satisfaction. Try it out within the “returnable period”, if you don’t like it, return it.

      Hope this helps and good luck!

      Lei

      • Di says:

        Thank you for this excellent review. I have the BES870XL and have only made one cup of espresso! I wondered if I should have ordered the BES860XL but feel good about my decision after reading your review.

      • Espresso Queen says:

        Di,

        Thanks for your kind words. Enjoy your machine and Happy New Year!

        Lei

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