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Espresso machine with grinder: feeling like a real bartender

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Espresso machine Breville with grinder model 870 XL

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On March 12, 2014
Last modified:January 26, 2016


After a long research and many tests among many espresso machine with grinder, here is finally the BES870XL-Barista-Express, one of the best product in the market of the category.

Barista Express

In the last post, we have talked about lever driven machines, and to be honest as a lover of the perfect espresso I must say that a lever driven machine is much better than any of the other machines on the market.

However, as you also know I am a lover of simple things, but done well, so, an espresso machine with grinder is the best choice.

As you know one of the important components in order to make a perfect espresso is coffee, or rather, the blend, and the grind size.

Of course, pressure, pump, steam are all fundamental components, but it is much different to make an espresso with a home ground coffee than with a shop ground one.

So one of the important parts of the coffee machines if they are fully automatic, is the grinder.

There are many coffee machines for home on the market with grinders, and you can obviously buy a separate grinder in order to have the best grind size, but in this case, you would lose the pleasure of a fully automatic espresso machine.

So, if you don’t want the best machine under 300 dollars, what is the right choice in order to buy the best automatic espresso machine?

In my opinion, Breville BES870XL-Barista is the answer.

It is not so difficult to understand, because everything in this machine is perfectly made, and there is no way of making mistakes.

You just need to setup your machine, grind the coffee and sit down, wait just the time for your machine to make an espresso, and all will be done.

Well, it is not so simple, let’s first take a look at the quality of the machine, and then we will be able to understand better why in this case the grinder and the steam system make a difference.

The first model made by Breville, (the old one now), is the BES860XL, named Barista model (meaning bartender model), and honestly, even if I think it is one of the best machines on the market, if you are a lover of the cappuccino after the espresso you should probably choose the 870 ones.

Let’s give a closer look:

Let’s see some BES870XL Features:

Just test table
no Feature Rating
1 15 Bar Italian Pump 7
2 1600W Thermo coil heating system 9
3 Automatically adjusts water temperature after steam 9
4 Adjustable Stainless steel conical burr grinder 9
5 67 fl.oz (2L) removable water tank with handle 7

The 860XL , like the 870, has the conical grinder , and like the 870, it has the adjustable grind size and grind amount settings.

This is fundamental if you want to obtain the best espresso, you need to have a machine that allows you to change these settings.

Choosing the right grind size is important, because different blend qualities, in order to be all well brewed, need different adjustments.

When you first buy these machines, you need to experiment for a while, to understand which the best settings in order to obtain the perfect cream above the espresso are.

As to the machine, the only thing you need to change and adjust is the blend and the grind size, because temperature, pressure and everything else are already set up by the machine.

BES870XL RED-Barista-Express


Also, one of the things I love of this machine is how easy it is to control everything.

For example, something that is never thought upon enough is the steam valve for the cappuccino, that in both the Breville machines is solid and easy to work.

On the front panel, there is a pressure gauge that lets you understand when the machine is ready to work, so, no more cold coffee in your pot.


Also, the simple steam wand, which is the only steam wand that should be used to obtain the real cappuccino foam.

I know that more sophisticated steam wands seem to give you the best results, in an easier way, but this is not true.

You will only get steam tips that are more difficult to clean, and worse results, because it is impossible to create a steam wand that works perfectly with every kind of milk.

I think it’s worth it to take a look at that video, to understand how easy it is to use this espresso machine:
Talking about cappuccino let me introduce the BES870XL-Barista-Express, there is only one major difference between the two, the temperature adjustment after using the steam wand.

Ok, it is not the only one, because it has a better heating System, 1600 KW instead of the 1450 KW of the 860 and, of course, the 870 is a new model, so why not choose this one?

After heating the milk, the machine temperature changes, and in the most common machines, this changes the coffee brewing, because if the machine does not work at the right temperature, and for obvious reasons it is not so easy to obtain this stability, the coffee flavor is not at its best.

The new 870 has the ability to automatically regulate the best temperature, even after a hard work with the steam wand, and this is great, one of the small features that the 860 doesn’t have.

And all this at a lower price.

So considering having the best automatic espresso machine, is considering to buy a Breville.

Barista Express

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