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Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine


The Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler offers commercial features and performance, in a domestic footprint. Espresso perfection requires precision temperature and pressure control, consistently, every time. At the heart of this machine is its dual stainless steel boiler heating system. The espresso boiler, for the espresso shot, is PID temperature controlled, while a separate steam boiler offers instant and powerful steam on demand. You can extract your shot at the right temperature, delivering optimal flavor, while simultaneously steaming your milk to cafe quality. What’s more, there is another element in the group head, ensuring the entire system maintains a consistent temperature. The Dual Boiler also features an Over Pressure Valve (OPV) which limits the maximum pressure throughout the extraction, preventing bitter flavors in the shot.


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Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine Review
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine frother

Product Name: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Product Description: The Breville Dual Boiler claims to deliver the kind of fine espresso that you would normally get from a café and restaurants. It does offer customizations beyond anyone’s expectations. You not only get the ability to adjust the steam boiler temperature, extraction time, and shot length, but you also have control over the machine’s audio, maintenance alerts, and water hardness. It is a great machine to start experimenting with coffee.

Price: 1449- 1499

Currency: USD

Availability: OnlineOnly

  • Build Quality
  • Performance
  • Features
  • Easy to Use
4.8

Summary

Just like other Breville coffee machines, the Dual Boiler has the ability to texturize the milk, the classic way. To have the perfect texture of the milk, we used a thermometer to monitor if it reached the ideal temperature for steaming milk, which is from 150°F – 155°F (65.5°C– 68.3°C). It is a reliable coffee machine not just for espresso, but also for other coffee favorites too such as macchiato, Americano, latte, ristretto, and cappuccino. Basically, the only limit is your own. Highly recommended.

Pros

Mainly made of stainless steel
LCD screen and a shot clock
Temperature display
Programmable pre-infusion period and power
Manual steam wand

Cons

No built-in grinder
Preheating time is too long
A bit bulky and heavy
Brew pressure is fixed at 10 bars
Weak foaming wand

User Review
0 (0 votes)

Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine Review

 

Premium Features, Premium Taste

If you are new to the coffee machine and ask us what is the best coffee machine you could get started with, we would definitely suggest the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine. It is not only a popular brand, but they manufacture some of the best, if not the best, coffee machines. And a great example of this is their Dual Boiler espresso machine.

It is a compact machine yet has two dual boilers for separately heating the coffee and milk. We were really impressed with how precise its control for brew temperature, preheating time, and coffee strength are. Its smooth surface and elegant design make it stand out from other coffee makers in the market. To make things sweeter, this great coffee machine comes at a very reasonable price which will put a smile on anyone’s face. Quality that is affordable, the perfect mix.

Overview

For the last 83 years, Breville has never disappointed with innovation as well as releasing high-quality household appliances. It is a very well-known name in the high-end espresso machine industry. The company become a hit in Australia and made its way to the United States and from there, it expanded all over the world. What’s make them successful is their willingness to take their customer’s feedback and act on it.

The Breville Dual Boiler claims to deliver the kind of fine espresso that you would normally get from a café and restaurants. It does offer customizations beyond anyone’s expectations. You not only get the ability to adjust the steam boiler temperature, extraction time, and shot length, but you also have control over the machine’s audio, maintenance alerts, and water hardness. It is a great machine to start experimenting with coffee. We have to admit though, we also had a steep learning curve and it took us some time to get the perfect amount of ground coffee for the best taste. However, once we understood how the machine works and get the amounts right, we didn’t look back. What an amazing coffee machine this is. Plus, we learned some good coffee making skills along the way.

Key Specifications
  • Dual stainless steel boilers
  • PID temperature controller
  • Pre-infusion technology
  • 15-bar Italian vibe pump
  • Overpressure valve
  • 15-minute startup time
  • Digital menu
  • Descale alert
  • Empty alert when the drip tray is full
  • 2.5-liter water tank
  • 14.7 x 14.8 x 14.7 inches dimensions
  • 30 pounds of weight
  • 1700-watt power rating
  • Retractable wheels for easy movement
  • Storage under the drip tray
  • Water hardness strip included
Design

 

As you can see, the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine is a sturdy machine at 14.7 x 14.8 x 14.7 inches (37.4 x 37.6 x 37.4 cm) with brushed stainless steel casing. It weighs 30 pounds (13.6 kg) and has a huge 2.5-liter water reservoir to make quite a few cups of coffee before you need to refill it. It is quite a sizable machine so you will need to allocate a rather big space for it on the (kitchen) countertop. Breville thought about the weight issue and should you ever need to carry this big guy around, the machine provides a drop-down swivel foot to lift it and move it.

The Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine consists of the espresso boiler and steam boiler in a gorgeous stainless steel body. The espresso boiler has a 10-ounce (0.28L) capacity while the steam boiler has a 32-ounce (0.9L) capacity. It takes a good 15 minutes for the machine to heat up, which, compared to other machines, it is quite a long preheating. On the plus side, this long preheating process guarantees the control brew and steam temperature for the best coffee extraction. And we have to admit, it does work wonders. The coffee out of this coffee machine is very tasty, just like what the manufacturer promised.

It may lack touchscreen features, but its backlit LCD screen does a great job at showing current settings for shot temperature, shot clock, and clock. The machine also operates at 120 V with a 1700-watt power rating. And with so many manual setups, it is nice that it has an auto on/off function. It also comes with a hot water dial, steam lever, and a small window at the front where we can check the water level of the water tank.

Features
Dual Stainless Steel Boilers

Stainless steel boilers are usually found on high-end coffee machines and the fact that the Breville has Dual Boilers is a big plus. The PID temperature controller, digital menu, and heating system built inside the group head ensures that all water passing through will be at the right temperature for producing the best flavor of espresso. These three stages of heating are the reason why preheating time takes 15 minutes before the brewing process can begin. It is a pain to wait for it but once it is done, the results are remarkable and noticeable when you drink your coffee.

Pre-Infusion Technology

Pre-infusing technology makes sure the coffee grounds are evenly soaked in order to provide the perfect tasting coffee. It keeps the coffee ground solid in the portafilter, especially useful if/when we are not sure if we have done the tamping properly. Additionally, pre-infusion helps control the brewing time, which means that you avoid having a bitter-taste coffee because the coffee has been “overcooked” or burnt. When this happens, your coffee won’t taste anywhere as good and you will lose the natural bean’s aroma. So essentially, this is a very important element of the machine’s ability to create amazing coffee.

Dual Italian Vibe Pumps

Combining Dual Boilers with Dual Pumps in the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine means that the machine ensures the optimal extraction of espresso and steamed milk at the same time. These pressure pumps allow the steam boiler to be refilled without any leaks getting in during the extraction process. As coffee experts say, the 15-bar Italian vibe pumps deliver the perfect espresso coffee shot at just the right pressure. This, naturally, depends very much on the coffee beans you use. We prefer coffee beans that are dry and not too oily. Dry coffee beans are a sign that it is fresh and perfectly roasted while oily ones indicate oldness and overly roast.

Over Pressure Valve

Espresso machines traditionally use an overpressure valve to regulate the brewing pressure and avoid over extracting the coffee. In the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine, it is placed in the center of the Dual Boilers. It shows you if the pressure level is at its best throughout the extraction process. Setting the pressure correctly is very important to achieve the best possible coffee extraction. You have to bear in mind that a low brewing pressure means that the coffee grounds are too fine while high brewing pressure means that it is too thick. This happened to us, and what we did is to simply change the grinder setting, either make it finer or thicker depending on personal preferences. Or you can always apply more or less pressure while tamping the coffee grounds but this is part of the barista skills that you learn when using this coffee machine.

Operation

Breville made sure to keep this machine as user-friendly as possible. It offers several controls to help you get your coffee just right and, it goes without saying, you get the best possible espresso. Before trying the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine, we had already given it some thought about how hard the operation would be since it is manually operated. We are used to more simple and electronic operations. For our team, it was actually a more challenging task to test our patience and commitment to learning the process of coffee making, than the Breville itself. Once you learn the basics it is a rather simple machine to use. Experimenting with different flavors is a fun experience, though getting through the adjustments of grind sizes, amounts, temperatures, and other options does take some time. This coffee machine is ideal for someone who has the time and the will to learn coffee making skills, not just a one-button-press operation as with Nespresso coffee machines.

How to Make a Coffee
  1. Insert the portafilter into the separate grinder, press start, and it will automatically stop once done. Program the grind size using the dial on the side of the machine, as well the number of shots or cups by pressing the “SHOTS/CUPS” button. And if you need to pause the grinding to distribute the coffee ground evenly, just press the “START/PAUSE/CANCEL” button.
  2. Get the coffee in the portafilter and just tap it lightly to help distribute the coffee grounds. This will ensure a nice and even extraction. Tamp it with even pressure using the tamper that is attached magnetically to the machine.
  3. Insert the portafilter into the machine and make sure it is locked in place.
  4. Put a cup under the portafilter. Press the single cup button for a single shot and double cup for double shot, and after 7 seconds of pre-infusion, the machine will start filling the cup with coffee.
  5. For frothing milk, place the milk container with milk in the foaming wand and pull the lever down to start steaming the milk, then pull up once done. Now you can combine the coffee and milk.
Maintenance

Cleaning the machine after every use will save you money in potential repairs or parts replacement. It is common sense that keeping the machine in good condition will help prolong its lifespan. It also ensures that every coffee brewed in the machine has the same great taste. Dirt and limescale buildups affect the taste and quality of the coffee so this is something worth keeping in mind. There is a cool feature in this machine in which the “Empty Me” indicator pops up. When this happens it means that the drip tray is full and it is ready for a cleaning. It didn’t take us long to see this sign since pretty much everyone in our testing team made coffee from this machine only for the purpose of the testing.

Ways to Clean the Machine
  1. Wipe the foaming wand with a soft damp cloth and get rid of any milk left in the tube by pulling the lever down.
  2. Rinse the portafilter with water to take out any coffee grounds residue.
  3. The machine has its self-cleaning function. The first thing to do is to set the “Clean” option in the menu, take out the portafilter, insert the silicon disc and the cleaning tablet that comes with the machine when purchased.
  4. Put back the portafilter on the machine and press one cup button to run a cleaning cycle, place a container underneath the portafilter to catch the water filtering through the portafilter.
  5. It takes about 5 minutes for a full cleaning cycle, then when it stops, just empty the container along with the drip tray and give it a good rinse.

Descaling must be done once a month or depends on how often you use it. Although the machine has an ergonomic design to maintain its cleanliness, it still needs a regular cleaning cycle.

Steps in Descaling
  1. Press and hold one cup button and power button at the same time
  2. Push the up button to show Descale and push the Menu button.
  3. Place a towel on top of the drip tray, then remove the rubber plug and unscrew the left drain valve to release the water from the water/coffee boiler.
  4. Unscrew the right valve to empty the steam boiler. After both boilers are completely drained, remove and empty the drip tray, put it back, and tighten both valve screws.
  5. Remove the water filter from the water tank and fill the water tank with 1 liter of water and 1 sachet of descaling solution, then mix with a spoon.
  6. Push one cup button to begin the descaling cycle which takes about 20 minutes, you will know when it is done when the LCD screen displays blank.
  7. Repeat steps 3 & 4, then remove water solution from the water tank.
  8. Fill with 1 liter of freshwater then press one cup button to flush the unit which takes 20 minutes as well.
  9. Repeat steps 3 & 4, then return the rubber drain cover, remove water from the water tank, and put back the water filter then fill it up to the max level.
  10. Push the power button to begin the preheating process, and the descaling process is done.
Conclusion

As we expected, Breville proved to us once again that its products offer amazing results. The Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine delivered more than we expected in terms of performance and price-value ratio. The machine’s sleek and stylish design is a great plus which is complemented by the fact that the user interface is easy to follow.

Just like other Breville coffee machines, the Dual Boiler has the ability to texturize the milk, the classic way. To have the perfect texture of the milk, we used a thermometer to monitor if it reached the ideal temperature for steaming milk, which is from 150°F – 155°F (65.5°C– 68.3°C). It is a reliable coffee machine not just for espresso, but also for other coffee favorites too such as macchiato, Americano, latte, ristretto, and cappuccino. Basically, the only limit is your own.

Getting the ability of programmable and manual functions it is something that helps immensely. You can make coffee with the preset setting or get more adventurous by reprogramming settings in order to satisfy your personal taste. Having these two options is what makes this coffee machine so good.  Even better, since it has a dual boiler built-in, you will be able to simultaneously brewing and preparing the milk froth, which is a huge time saver.

Wondering whether this is the right coffee machine for you? Why not check out our section of grinding coffee machines? If the process seems too complicated and you want something a little simpler and easier to operate, you should certainly consider Nespresso one-button coffee machines. Happy coffee making!

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