Breville Infuser in 2024: Is It a Good Investment?

14 min read MAY 08, 2024

In the quest for achieving impeccable control over every espresso shot, numerous espresso machines come equipped with a range of options that pledge to unleash your inner barista.

Enter the Breville BES840XL, a coffee brewer that empowers you with unprecedented control. This semi-automatic espresso machine is designed to put the reins firmly in your hands, offering an array of specialized temperature and pressure controls. It also boasts a cutting-edge thermocoil heating system, elevating the standards of thermal regulation in your brewing process.

Breville boldly asserts that the Infuser model is the key to attaining the elusive "perfect espresso." But the pivotal question remains: is it the perfect fit for your coffee preferences and brewing needs? To unravel the answer to this query, delve into our comprehensive review, where we dissect the Breville Infuser's capabilities, features, and overall performance, ultimately assisting you in making an informed decision.

Reviewing the Breville Infuser BES840XL: Is It a Reliable Espresso Machine?

The Breville Infuser BES840XL stands as a flagship model for the renowned Breville brand, boasting a host of distinctive features that differentiate it from the array of espresso machines in their product lineup.

Its versatile blend of automatic and programmable capabilities sets the Infuser apart. It comes equipped with a built-in water dispenser, offering the convenience of interchangeable dual-wall and single-wall filters. Additionally, it introduces some intriguing refinements not found in its predecessors, such as the innovative pre-infusion function.

For a point of comparison, it's worth noting that the Breville BES870XL, also known as the Barista Express, shares several key attributes with the Infuser. Both machines operate within the semi-automatic category, offering digital temperature control and the valuable pre-infusion feature, enhancing your espresso's flavor balance. Furthermore, they both excel in delivering impeccable micro-foam milk texture, thanks to their high-quality milk wands.

However, a notable distinction emerges between the Infuser and the Barista Express: the BES870XL integrates a conical burr grinder within its design. This built-in grinder, while advantageous for coffee enthusiasts who prefer freshly ground beans, contributes to a slightly bulkier profile compared to the Infuser. Therefore, if your kitchen countertop real estate is limited or if you already possess a preferred grinding setup, the Infuser offers a more space-efficient solution.

The Breville Infuser is particularly appealing if you're seeking a standalone espresso brewing station, free from the burden of a built-in grinder. Thanks to its manual overrides, it grants you precise control over various aspects of the brewing process, making it an excellent choice for those who take their coffee craft seriously.


The Infuser empowers you to exercise fine control over nearly every aspect of the brewing process, ensuring your coffee is tailored to your taste preferences.

The inclusion of a dry puck feature simplifies the task of discarding used grounds from the filter, streamlining your post-brewing cleanup.

After frothing milk, the auto purge function automatically cools the water, preserving the optimal temperature for brewing.


The dosing feature may initially require some trial and error to achieve the perfect coffee-to-water ratio.

Adhering to Breville's cleaning instructions can be somewhat tricky until you become accustomed to the process.

Brewing Standards

When it comes to espresso machines the Breville Infuser stands out from the crowd due to its feature - PID temperature control. This advanced technology ensures that the heating system constantly keeps an eye on temperature changes and makes adjustments in time. As a result, the brewing temperature remains consistent and precise giving the Infuser an edge over competitors.

One of the reasons why the Infuser is so appealing is its utilization of a thermocoil heating system. Unlike some machines that rely on Thermo blocks made up of metal pieces, the Infuser opts for a single tube in its thermocoil system. This design choice not only minimizes breakdowns but also enhances heating efficiency. While both types of heating systems can effectively heat water when needed it has been proven that the thermocoil system is more reliable and long lasting.

Another unique feature that sets the Infuser apart is its pre-infusion function. In simple terms, this function gradually increases water pressure during brewing, allowing the coffee grounds to expand at a measured pace.

The result is a slow brewing process, but this intentional approach leads to a more balanced extraction ultimately resulting in a tastier and more flavorful cup of espresso. Additionally, the pre infusion technique consistently contributes to consistent outcomes with every brew.

Positioned as an automatic espresso machine the Infuser achieves a perfect blend, between having full manual control over pressure and water temperature and the convenience of automated presets. The BES840XL model comes equipped with automatic settings, for both pressure and temperature ensuring a user-friendly experience. However, it also allows you the flexibility to override these presets giving you the freedom to customize your brew according to your preferences. An added advantage is the inclusion of a solid gauge that enables real time monitoring of water pressure guaranteeing perfect espresso shots every time.

Furthermore, the Infuser offers volumetric control, which is not commonly found in automatic machines. While you have the option to choose between double shots you can further personalize your brew by adjusting the default settings and extracting larger amounts of coffee if desired.

The Infuser is a choice for people who value both convenience and the ability to customize their espresso experience.

Build Quality

When it comes to how it's built the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine is a testament to solid craftsmanship and thoughtful design. It weighs 17 pounds making it sturdy. It offers aesthetic flexibility with three color options: stainless steel, cranberry red and black sesame. This allows it to seamlessly blend with your kitchen decor.

Taking a look at the machine's components reveals that it has been engineered well with few vulnerabilities. Starting from the back there is a 61 fluid ounce (1.8 liters) water tank that can be filled from the top. The tank also includes a water filter, which actively reduces impurities and scale in the water. This attention to water quality has an impact on your extraction process ultimately enhancing the flavor and aroma of your espresso.

The BES840XL uses a 54mm stainless steel portafilter with commercial style spouts that offer two filter basket options. For those who're new to brewing espresso there are dual wall filters that provide a starting point, for beginners who are still developing their skills.

Meanwhile the single wall filter baskets pose a bit of a challenge, for beginners. Are perfect for home baristas who desire precise control over the brewing process.

Located at the front of the machine you'll find backlit buttons for power, programming and shot volumes. These buttons ensure that even individuals with dexterity can easily operate the machine. One outstanding feature is the pressure gauge, which provides easily readable feedback. It allows you to fine tune your espresso extraction to achieve that cup.

Apart from the steam wand and brewer head the Infuser Espresso Machine also includes an outlet for hot water. This proves to be incredibly useful when making Americanos or brewing tea catering to guests with varied beverage preferences.

Let's not forget about the top and bottom of this machine. The top section houses a cup warmer guaranteeing that your espresso is served at the ideal temperature. Additionally, there's a drip tray equipped with a partition to separate spills from dry ones. To make things more convenient there's an indicator prominently placed on this drip tray reminding you when it needs emptying. Importantly, this drip tray is effortlessly removable, reducing the risk of spills during emptying.

Milk Frothing

In the world of specialty coffee shops and cafes, the beloved latte takes center stage, and the art of creating intricate latte designs has emerged as a prominent trend in the third-wave coffee movement.

The Breville Infuser recognizes the importance of milk frothing in crafting the perfect latte and equips its steam wand with features to help budding baristas hone their skills. With high-pressure steam at its disposal, this espresso machine is well-prepared to produce a finely textured microfoam—an absolute necessity for creating stunning latte art.

One notable feature that sets the Infuser apart is its auto-purge function. This function facilitates a seamless transition from steaming milk to brewing espresso. Switching from the steam wand promptly cools down the hot water, ensuring that the subsequent espresso extraction takes place at the ideal temperature. This crucial step prevents the coffee beans from acquiring undesirable flavors that can result from brewing at excessively high temperatures.

It's worth noting that the Breville Infuser's single boiler design does come with one potential limitation: it allows you to either steam milk or brew espresso, but not both simultaneously. However, for most home baristas, this limitation is rarely an issue unless you consistently make a high volume of coffee drinks.

User-Friendly Experience

When venturing into the world of espresso machines, one of the paramount considerations is the learning curve involved. Fortunately, the Breville Infuser is a user-friendly option, accommodating both newcomers and amateur baristas with ease.

For those seeking a coffee machine that simplifies the journey of crafting specialty coffee beverages at home, the Infuser presents itself as a solid choice. Even if you're starting as a complete novice, you can confidently embark on your coffee-making adventure immediately without needing to become an espresso expert.

The automatic settings, including temperature, pressure, and volume controls, allow you to pull a quality shot without the need for extensive tweaking. This feature is particularly handy for those who appreciate the convenience of a well-prepared espresso without diving into the intricacies of manual adjustments.

The Infuser truly shines when you gain confidence and decide to get more specific with your espresso extraction and milk-steaming preferences. Altering the automatic settings is a breeze and requires nothing more than a few button presses. While there are limits to how extensively you can fine-tune the settings, the volumetric control offers the most flexibility, allowing you to tailor your brew precisely to your liking.

The inclusion of PID temperature control adds another layer of convenience, simplifying temperature adjustments. However, it's worth noting that this control provides a somewhat narrow temperature range. While this limitation is advantageous for newcomers, it may become somewhat restrictive as you gain more experience and wish to explore a broader spectrum of flavors and aromas in your espresso.

A noteworthy consideration is that the Breville Infuser does not come equipped with a built-in coffee grinder. This means that if you don't already own a grinder, you'll need to invest in one separately. However, if you are accustomed to purchasing pre-ground coffee or already have a grinder, this requirement poses no significant obstacle. Alternatively, you can opt to acquire a conical burr grinder to expand your brewing options, including espresso.


For owners of espresso machines the process of cleaning can be quite frustrating. It often involves dealing with components and figuring out how to reach all those hidden nooks and crannies where coffee residue tends to build up. Moreover knowing when your machine needs a cleaning can sometimes feel like a mystery. Thankfully the Breville Infuser is designed to simplify the cleaning experience while providing indicators for maintenance.

One key advantage of the Infuser is that it conveniently displays alerts on its panel letting you know when it's time to clean. This takes away the guesswork involved in determining whether you're cleaning frequently or not enough. It ensures that your machine gets the attention it needs exactly when it's necessary.

Furthermore, the Infuser comes with cleaning tablets and provides an Allen key for accessing the back of the brewer. The cleaning tablets make your routine easier by eliminating the need for using vinegar and water mixtures commonly recommended for cleaning coffee makers. The Allen key access is especially valuable as it makes it easier to reach parts of the machine that might otherwise go unnoticed or prove challenging to clean.

While you have the option to clean the Infuser using vinegar and water as a traditional method, following Brevilles cleaning instructions might require some adjustment. These instructions may not be immediately intuitive, for those newcomers making espresso. With practice and a bit of review they become easier to manage. It's important to follow these guidelines in order to maintain the machines functionality so patience and adherence are essential.

Other Features

Apart from having a high quality espresso machine at the core of your coffee setup, having a rounded collection of accessories can truly enhance your coffee making experience. The Breville Infuser understands this and provides a comprehensive set of accessories that perfectly complement the unique features of the machine allowing you to recreate a cafe like experience right in your own home.

One remarkable accessory that comes with the Infuser is the razor dose trimming tool. This tool plays a role in harnessing the machine's flexibility especially when it comes to adjusting your coffee dose. Unlike machines that rely on adjusting water volume the Infuser lets you fine tune your espresso by altering the amount of coffee in the portafilter.

The razor tool simplifies this process, by trimming the ground coffee puck in your portafilter making it easier to dose with precision and consistency.

Equally important for a coffee experience are the water filter and filter holder that come with the Infuser. Coffee enthusiasts know that water quality plays a role in coffee flavor for espresso. Hot water can amplify tastes so having a water filter is essential for excellent espresso. Whether you're making a doppio, an americano or a creamy latte the water filter significantly contributes to the taste and aroma of your coffee.

Including a stainless steel milk jug may seem like a small detail but It actually makes a noticeable difference in your coffee making routine. The size of this jug is specifically designed for the Infuser eliminating the need to search for a container when steaming milk. Apart from its size, stainless steel is widely used in coffee shops because it's easy to clean, retains heat effectively and doesn't add any flavors to your milk. This ensures that your latte or cappuccino tastes as delicious as it should.

When the Breville Infuser BES840XL May Not Be the Right Choice for You

While the Breville Infuser is an excellent espresso machine for many, it's important to acknowledge that it might not align perfectly with everyone's preferences and needs. Here are a couple of scenarios in which the Infuser may not be the ideal option for you:

Lack of Coffee Grinder: If you don't have a reliable way to grind your coffee beans, the Infuser may not be the most convenient choice. While it offers great flexibility in adjusting your coffee dose, it assumes you can access freshly ground coffee. In this case, you might want to explore espresso machines like the Barista Express, which comes equipped with a built-in, conical burr grinder, combining both grinding and brewing functionality for added convenience.

Desire for Full Automation: The Infuser may not meet your expectations if you're seeking a fully automatic espresso experience, where you can simply press a button and have your coffee ready without any manual intervention. While it doesn't have an overwhelming array of controls, it requires some manual effort in brewing. If you prefer full automation, you might consider the Brera by Gaggia, which offers a more automated brewing experience within a similar price range.

The Final Verdict

Several critical factors come into play when embarking on the quest for the ideal espresso machine. Among these, ease of use, ease of cleanup, and the machine's longevity stand out as crucial considerations. In these crucial categories, the Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Machine stands strong and distinguishes itself in various ways.

The BES840XL by Breville shines in several key aspects. Its pre-infusion espresso extraction method contributes to an even and superior flavor profile in each shot. The inclusion of an auto-purge function ensures a seamless transition from steaming milk to brewing coffee, preventing over-extraction or burnt flavors that can mar the coffee experience.

If your primary objective is to press a button and have your coffee instantly, this machine might not align with your preferences. Additionally, if you lack the means to grind your coffee beans, it may not offer the convenience you desire compared to some other models.

However, when looking at the overall picture, the BES840XL represents a compelling value proposition within its price range. It boasts an array of features that set it apart from other machines on the market. For those eager to explore the world of coffee and expand their brewing repertoire, this machine offers the best of both worlds: the security of automatic functions and the flexibility of manual overrides.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What sets the Breville Infuser apart from other espresso machines?

The Breville Infuser is unique, due to its PID temperature control ensuring consistent and precise brewing temperatures. Additionally it utilizes a thermocoil heating system for control and incorporates a pre infusion function to achieve an even extraction.

2. Is the Breville Infuser suitable for beginners?

Absolutely the Infuser is beginner friendly. It offers settings for temperature, pressure and volume making it effortless to brew a shot without much adjustment. As you become more confident you can further customize your brew according to your preferences.

3. Does the Breville Infuser come with cleaning accessories?

Certainly! The Infuser comes equipped with cleaning accessories such as a razor dose trimming tool and cleaning tablets. These accessories simplify the cleaning process. Help maintain your machine in condition.

4. Can I use the Breville Infuser if I don't have a coffee grinder?

While the Infuser allows flexibility in adjusting your coffee dose, it assumes that you have access to ground coffee. If you don't have a grinder at hand you may want to consider machines, like the Barista Express that feature a built in burr grinder.

5. Is the Breville Infuser fully automatic?

No, the Infuser is not fully automatic. It requires manual effort in brewing and doesn't offer a one-touch coffee preparation experience.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Automatic Pour Over Coffee Machine.

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