Description and Review
Breville BES920XL Review
Breville has done a lot of research and finally presents one of the best semi automatic espresso machines for home. The Breville BES920XL is a very different looking than classic Italian espresso machine. It is based on the previous 900 model, but has improved significantly. Completely housed in a stainless steel case, it features a dual boiler system with PID temperature control. The whole machine can be completely descaled while the steam boiler temperature can be adjusted from 265°F to 285°F.
Many other innovations have been added such as the Over Pressure Valve (OPV), the water hardness test strip and the LCD assisted descale procedure. Its water tank has a large 84 oz. capacity, which can be filled up from the top or by removing it from the back side. A passively heated cup warmer has been added on top that is capable to hold many cups due to its wide surface.
With the help of PID brew temperatures you can precisely adjust the temperature from 190°F to 205°F. Furthermore you can adjust the time and pressure of Pre-Infusion, while checking the current pressure with the installed pressure meter. Everything can be regulated from the top mounted control panel, with the backlid LCD screen, performing simple procedures. If that wasn’t enough Breville takes temperature stability to another level with a heated group head. That means extra precise brew tops and faster warmup.
It is not common for dual boiler machines to have programmable shot volumes, but BES920XL is an exception with presets for singles and doubles. These can be programmed by volume or time or go completely manual by a dedicated selection. The pressure gauge will help you dial in the grind temperature and pre-infusion settings by providing the right pressure at the brew head. Here comes the OPV valve, which will release excessive pressure and avoid bitter shots. In addition a 3 way solenoid valve releives pressure at the end of each brewing cycle, so you have an easy to knock coffee puck.
Utilizing the advantage of dual boiler you are able to steam and brew at the same time. The pannarello wand is very flexible as it is attached on a spherical base and is controlled by means of a lever. It is worth to mention that in most espresso machines the hot water comes from the steam wand. But in this one there is an extra outlet solely for this purpose.
Last but not least it is supplied with a lot of accessories. For starters includes a commercial grade stainless steel 58mm portafilter with 4 filter baskets, ranging from single to double and pressurized to non pressurized. On top of that you get a metal tamper that holds by magnet underneath the machine. The removable metal drip tray will reveal a compartment where you can save even more accessories, such as the steam cleaning tools. Notably the cleaning function is fully automatic and in fact it does the back flushing cycle with the tablet efortlessly.
This espresso machine is absolutely a top performer built like a tank with a truly professional character. It may look expensive at first sight but is a lot cheaper than similar double boiler machines with PID and has a lot more features. Thanks to its double boiler you can prepare a capuccino at the shortest amount of time without sacrificing its precious taste. The only drawback is the large size but this is acceptable assuming the built in conveniencies. Just match it up with an equal quality coffee grinder such as the Mazzer Mini and you have a clear winning combo.
- Absolute Speed
- Solid Built
- Fully Adjustable
- Double Boiler
- Large Size