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Breville has been making home kitchen appliances for decades, and their reputation for high quality is well-deserved. The Breville BSE840XL Infuser Espresso Machine does not disappoint. From the brushed stainless steel case to the integral PID for temperature stability, the sub-$500 Infuser offers features usually only found on machines at a much higher price point.
The Breville Infuser is a blocky, solid espresso machine with no-nonsense styling. The brushed stainless steel housing fits nicely on your counter, and unlike polished stainless steel, it doesn’t show the inevitable drips and fingerprints as easily. The 61-ounce water tank is generously sized for a family with more than one espresso drinker, and the programmable volumetric controls come preset, but you can manually override any single shot, or reprogram the button for the volume you want.
The Breville BES840XL offers the benefit of a thermocoil heater – a hybrid heating unit that combats the disadvantages of a one-piece thermoblock (they’re notoriously unstable for temperature) with a drilled block and an integral internal PID to maintain temperature stability. The espresso machine also includes a pressure gauge so you can monitor the water pressure when pulling a shot.
What gives the Infuser its name, though, is the low-pressure pre-infusion cycle that starts off your pull with a bath of hot water to moisten the coffee grounds and prep them for optimal extraction. Wetting the grounds before hitting them with bursts of high pressure makes an incredible difference in cup quality: the flavor is extracted evenly and fully, resulting in richer crema and smoother, more flavorful espresso.
A Closer Look:
In addition to the basics, the Breville Infuser offers a few very sweet features that aren’t strictly necessary, but are really nice to have. The professional grade steam wand has full 360-degree articulation, making it lots easier to steam your milk for lattes and cappuccinos. The auto-flush automatically reduces the water temperature after steaming so that you can actually brew back-to-back espressos without over-extracting your next shot. There’s a dedicated hot water spout you can use to heat your cups, add water to your shot for an Americano or make yourself a cup of tea, it that’s your pleasure. The espresso machine includes two filter baskets – a single and a double – and a substantial tamper that stores away neatly in its own tamper holder.
– Can’t set the PID brew temperature
In a Nutshell:
The Breville Infuser offers impressive features for an espresso machine at this price point. The combination of PID for temperature stability and low-pressure pre-infusion for fuller extraction deliver a delicious shot with rich, thick crema every time.