Breville has a rich 83-year history of making innovative household appliances. Its success story began in Australia, and went on to spread all over the world. The company’s approachability and willingness to listen to its customers’ demand and feedback, is often cited as the reason for the company’s success. Breville first forayed into the espresso machine making business back in 2001, with the launch of the ESP10 in Australia. Three years later, Breville was already a well-known name in the USA, thanks largely to its wave of high quality espresso machines which started with the launch of the ESP8XL.
The Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine belongs to the same category of high-end espresso machines produced by Breville, meant for home usage. Like all the Breville appliances, the BES920XL claims to have a long lasting life and is loaded with features that are matched by few other products in its category. This state-of-art, high end espresso maker allows you to make the finest espresso which you can only taste in the finest cafes or restaurants, at your home. But at a hefty price tag of $1164.99, is it really worth the money? Read on to find out in our rest of review for the Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine.
1) Dual Boilers – For an ideal espresso machine to churn out that finest espresso, it must have the ability to deliver water to a puck of coffee grounds at an optimal pressure of 9 bars, at a consistent, stable temperature. The BES920XL achieves this combination with its magnificent dual stainless steel boiler system. There are two separate boilers, Steam Boiler and Espresso Boiler, which work simultaneously to offer instant and powerful steam on demand, and the perfect espresso shot, respectively. The Espresso Boiler is PID temperature controlled, so that every espresso shot is at the right temperature, delivered with an optimal flavour. The Steam Boiler temperature is manually controlled via a digital menu, which delivers a powerful steam to produce that cafe quality steamed milk. Apart from these two heating systems, there is a third heating system built inside the group head which ensures that all the ingredients passing through are maintained at a consistent temperature. This 3-tier heating system results in an excellent brew temperature stability and very rapid warm-up time. Breville suggests waiting for 15 minutes to get the machine warmed up properly, before beginning with the brew process.
2) Dual Italian Vibe Pumps – The Breville BES920XL features dual Italian-made vibe pumps -: a 15 Bar Ulka (for Brewing) and a 4.5 bar Ceme (for filling the Steam Boiler), that work very quietly (for a vibe pump) to deliver the espresso shot at an optimal pressure. The lower pressure pump allows the Steam Boiler to be refilled without letting any inconsistency to seep in the brew pressure during an extraction. Together with the Dual Boilers, the Dual Pumps ensure a simultaneous extraction of espresso and steam to produce that perfect piping mug of espresso.
3) Over Pressure Valve – This is present in the Dual Boilers, and its function is to ensure optimal pressure levels throughout the extraction process, thus preventing a bitter flavour in the espresso shot. There is a built-in low pressure infusion mechanism too, which increases the water pressure by just enough amount to expand the grinds for an even and most flavourful extraction.
4) Digital Menu – It has a digital display which features a well laid out menu that allows you to control and monitor various settings. Some of the settings which can be changed using the digital display include Brew Temperature, Shot Duration, Steam Boiler Temperature, Pre-Infusion time, Shot Timer. It also lets you know when the it is time for refilling the water tank as well as when the machine needs to be cleaned. We found the default settings on the menu to be good enough, so it is advised that you let them be too. Although, if you want, you can change all these settings using the digital menu, which is quite easy to navigate.
5) Large Capacity Water Tank – The BES920XL is fitted with a large capacity water reservoir of a capacity of 2.5 litres, which eliminates the necessity for frequent refills. What is more, when cleaning the machine, this tank can be easily detached from the main system by using a lift-and-pull mechanism located at the base of the machine. There is a soft damped release lid provided at the top of the tank, which when pressed opens up to show you where to pour the water into. There is an LED display which will let you know the current water level and thus, avoid overfill. However, in case an overfill occurs, the BES920XL is designed in such a way that the extra water does not get spilled on the counter, but gets collected in the drip tray instead.
6) Additional Features – There are several unique and helpful features that the Breville BES920XL has to offer:
- An optional Auto-Start setting, which heats the machine before you start using it, at a pre scheduled time
- Descaling feature for quick and easy cleaning & maintenance procedure
- Adjustable Steam Boiler Temperature controls, allows for a better milk texture and steaming
- Shot Duration Control, to control the exact time of espresso shot extraction
- Retracted wheels under the drip tray, to allow you to manoeuvre the machine easily while moving it
- Razor Dose Trimming Tool , which is used for precision dosing and consistent extraction
- Audible Alert Tones, that let you know when brewing is done
- 1-year supply of water filters, plus a 2 years limited warranty
- Accessories such as a stainless steel frothing jug, water filter holder, an integrated tamper to easily place the grounds in the tamper evenly, cleaning disc, cleaning tablets, cleaning tool and allen key.
- Excellent Ergonomics and Appearance;
- Dual Boilers, Fast warm up time;
- Perfect size that fits anywhere;
- Extremely durable;
- Fully programmable functions;
- Plethora of handy features.
- Brew Pressure adjustment mechanism lacking;
- Weak Steam Pressure in the boiler.
Breville has carved a name for itself that is automatically associated with excellent espresso machines when mentioned. The Breville BES920XL definitely keeps up that name and in fact, goes on to further cement Breville’s reputation as one of the finest espresso machine makers. The BES920XL is a very impressive offering in the prosumer espresso market niche and provides an all-round excellent machine at a very reasonable price. It certainly is one of the finest espresso machines in the market and if you are looking for a high-end espresso machine which delivers impeccable coffee, the BES920XL should be your choice.