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Why Breville Duo-Temp 800ESXL is a Bad Choice. Independent Review

Comments: 6↓ specifications & manual ↓

Breville 800Ok, guys, I understand that a 15-bar Breville 800ESXL espresso machine looks cool. Any of Breville’s products look cool by the way. Moreover, the stainless steel body helps in this regard. However, let me explain why I’m not a big fan of Breville’s coffeemakers and why I believe that buying their machines is always overpaying.

First of all, little historical overview of the brand. Breville is an Australian company that invented sandwich toasters. In addition, for decades their primary products were toasters and small kitchen appliances. However, on one day in 2001, the company was sold to Housewares International Pty Ltd. (now known as Breville Group Limited). And then, marketing and sales guys decided to go global. 17 years ago, they knew nothing about coffee, now the ex-toaster company offers me ‘Purge’ and ‘The Triple Prime Pump’ functions and says that I will have a good espresso on it.

Did They Succeed? Let’s Make a Fair Point-to-point Review.

Breville 800ESXL can brew good espresso and cappuccino. Nothing extraordinary, but it’s good. It also looks cool and the price isn’t too high. Its sister model The Duo-Temp Pro Espresso Machine usually costs a little bit more. By the way, there is clone model for UK market called Sage Duo Temp Pro, it is exactly the same machine, just with slightly different controls. Also, it is assembled in China, but everything now is assembled in China, right?*

 * – not really, read further

800 ESXL/Sage Duo Temp Pro Key Features

At first, it seems that there is no other coffee machine on the market for this budget that offers so many functions and has a stainless steel coating.

However, is there any real super function inside? Let’s go through key features:

  • 15 Bar Italian Pump. Ok, they use a European-made Ulka pump that almost every coffee maker on this planet has. Nothing special.
  • Purge Function that automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature. Sounds good. But in reality, it’s just means that after you turn off the cappucinatore (milk frother), the water from the thermoblock will flush into the drip tray. After that, new cold water comes to the thermoblock, so machine is ready to serve warm water for espresso. The same could be done with any other espresso machine, just keep the steam open for a while and let the hot water come out. I consider this function quite useless, especially because it leads to over-filling the drip tray more often. But let’s suppose that someone might find it useful.
  • 3 bursts of hot water is released by pump after pre-brewing to moisten the ground coffee resulting in greater build-up to extract the fullest flavor. Again, pre-brewing is nothing I can’t do manually on any other espresso machine, but it could be useful for newbies. Nevertheless, when it comes to that “three bursts” it makes me laught. That is in fact, an absolutely useless musical show that does not affect coffee anyhow. It does affect the pump, however, because it just not designed to work in such mode.




So, as you can see now there is nothing special. Ordinary espresso machine with some funny special effects. With that knowledge, we can recheck Amazon now to see what other brands offer in the same budget.

Breville 800ESXL (Sage Duo Temp Pro) vs Gaggia Classic

Gaggia Classis Espesso MachineCould I offer you one? Look at Gaggia 14101, also called RI9403/11. This legendary model has been around since 1991 with no changes in design. Gaggia is an Italian company that makes coffee machine for decades. Back then, Breville was focused on sandwiches. There are examples of this machine working for 10+ years without losing its functionality and appearance.

I could not say that about Breville. Painting around front buttons often peels. Another Breville problem is that it is too complicated ‘under the hood’, which is a direct result of designers being in charge for creating a coffee machine. That does not mean anything bad except well-known problems with a pump (no surprise here considering the fact that Breville’s engineers use a pump to play a musical show), short lifetime of heating element, and that descaling is needed more often for this machine.

Nevertheless, let’s go back to Gaggia. The company is based in Italy, the machine is assembled in-house, in Europe. It’s made of stainless steel, has a professional size portafilter (58mm), 3-Way Solenoid Valve and other professional useless-for-amateurs options that really only real barista needs.

In my personal opinion, Gaggia Classic is often too much for home use. However, it costs the same and that’s why one simple question arises:

Why should I buy a Chinese-made Australian-designed espresso maker when I could buy a semi-professional machine, made in Europe by Italian coffee veterans?

ecp3630Delonghi’s Options

Another option is new De’Longhi ECP3630. I will write a detailed review of it sometime later. Now, I just want to say that it has the same functionality (except triple prime and autopurge) covered in stainless steel. It is also produced in China by another Italian coffee veteran, and it costs much less. Come on, why should one choose Breville?

Or – for the same anount of money – you can choose De’Longhi EC860, that has an automatic milk frother.

Add an Extra Hundred and Get a Fully Automatic Machine

Some people say that they really need those two functions which I consider useless. They say they need them becuase they are newbies in espresso. I always ask them a question – in that case, why don’t you spend a little bit more more and get a fully automatic Philips Saeco XSmall with a built-in grinder? It’s made in Europe and it will deliver a shot of espresso in one touch with no need no mess with it.

My Review Verdict

As you may have already realized, I don’t like the Breville brand. Nevertheless, I tried to be very objective in this review to show that Breville’s 800 ESXL was not a smart buy. I would understand this choice if the price was two times lower.

The machine has no useful extra functions, it’s just an ordinary espresso machine in steel coating. You can buy the same from Delonghi for lower price or semi-professional Gaggia Classic for the same price. Both come from more reputable brands in the coffee world.

But let’s be honest. You can love the design of that model just as much as I don’t like that brand. In addition, I  understand that looks could be very important. I only want you to know that in case of Breville 800 Duo-Temp you overpay for design, not the functionality. Moreover, it’s a downgrade in terms of reliability.

I NEED you opinion. Please rate my review:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Breville 800 ESXL Duo-Temp Coffee Machine Specifications:

Download manual: Download pdf manual
Machine type: Pump espresso machine
Width х Deep х Height: 15 x 16 x 13 inches
Coffee used: Ground coffee or E. S. E. pods
Grinder: No
Brewing group: One portafilter with three filters
Heater: Thermoblock
Max pressure: 15 bar
Water container: 75oz
Bean container: Baskets
Waste container: No
Cappuccinatore: Manual 'pannerello'
Max cup height: 4.5 inches

Author:

03/01/2016

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6 comments:

  1. Hi, My espresso machine of 7 years died. Looking at the Breville BES810BSSUSC at about $330. Looking at reviews the durability of Breville seems to be a lot higher than DeLonghi or Gaggia. I had a Gaggia Baby a long time ago and the pump went out rather quickly. Replaced it once and threw it away when it failed again. After reading your Breville review I don’t know what to do. Help?!
    Thanks,

    Robert E

    29 Dec 17 at 1:45 am

    Reply

  2. This is a bunch of crap. You’d be stupid to buy that automatic machine for $100 more. I don’t know anybody that likes expresso that would want a fully automatic espresso machine you take a huge dip in quality of the final product when you go fully automated. I have a Breville Duo temp and this thing freaking rocks. Very consistent shots consistent temperature good Stephen capabilities and very very good looking on the counter compared to a Gaggia which I can’t stand looking at.

    Andy

    14 Jan 18 at 2:25 pm

    Reply

    • If someone is choosing an “expresso” machine and the only key factor is a design, then yes, Breville is a number one. Or SMEG.

      Fully automatic machine for $100 more would be better at least because it has a good burr grinder inside. The decent grinder for this Breville will cost exactly $100 (here is the grinders test).

      This is true that classic pump espresso machine paired with a good grinder in hands of experienced user will give better results. This is also true that for beginners the result would be better on the automatic machine.

      My review conclusion is based on the price/functions ratio:

      1) If you are a beginner, then super-automatic is more reasonable.

      2) If you want to practice your barista skills, then there are many cheaper models with the same functionality as Breville 800ESXL. Or many semi-professional models for such price.

      And the Gaggia Classic (even the new simplified version) is a good example of better machine for the same money. You may not like its outlook, however there are objective grounds. At least: 1) it has massive brass group head and boiler instead of thermoblock heating system (like on Breville). This gives you much better thermo stability (and durability, by the way). By stable temperature I mean not the temperature of the coffee in your cup, I mean the consistent brewing temperature. It affects the taste and it is usually important for espresso lovers, even critical I would say. 2) 58 mm diameter portafilter. 58mm is a standard professional size, that’s why you can use any professional unpressurized baskets and tampers.

      To sum up, it’s an ordinary machine, roughly speaking just a simple Mr. Coffee ECMP50 with all its cons, but in the “premium” body. For the price of better machine or more automated machine.

      Dmitriy

      17 Jan 18 at 3:46 pm

      Reply

  3. Well… I don’t agree at all with this review.
    I had a Breville Cafe Roma for the last 10 years or so, awesome machine for the price, and still working, nothing failed. I bought the Duo Temp Pro, I wanted to climb a step up in the “Espresso machines world” and it’s a great one. It makes excellent coffee, better than the Cafe Roma, and it’s highly recommended pretty much everywhere excepts here… Several friends have had A LOT of problems with their Saeco machines, especially the automated versions, but even the manual ones. They have it repaired at least once or twice a year. DeLonghi are notorious for their very bad customer service, and their machines have to be repaired very often too, just Google it.
    Either branded Breville, or SAGE in Europe, most if not all of Breville’s Espresso machines are considered among the best in pretty much all Espresso machines reviews sites, except here… Go figure…
    Just finishing a great cup of Cappuccino right now. 🙂

    Richard

    4 Feb 18 at 4:16 pm

    Reply

    • Thanks you for your comment, Richard.

      I may agree with Breville’s good customer service. I believe that in Noth America it’s good. I also never stated that Breville espresso machines make bad espresso, my point was it’s nothing special for the higher price.

      But as for other arguments… I will stick to my opinion 🙂 Despite the good customer support and a great design, I definetly can’t call Breville servicable/repairable because:
      1) The engineering is on average level, if not less. Just compare photos of disassembling the Breville 800 here http://word.elysianvisions.com.au/?p=243 and my photos of Poemia vs Delonghi vs Chineese machine here http://101coffeemachines.info/compare/delonghi-vs-saeco-vs-hamilton-beach/ Breville is much closer to the latter.
      2) The parts. Breville uses different parts in the different generations of the same machine (for example your new Duo Temp Pro BES810 has many different parts comapred to older Duo Temp 800). Pair it with the fact that Brevilles discontinues supporting old models very soon. Already now you will not find the Thermal Block Assembly (just an example, there are more) for the 800ESXL which we discuss here.

      Thus it’s very likely to end up with a broken machine in few years with no chance to repair it.

      Anyway, again, I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m saying it’s not the best choice (IMHO). Because the ESXL800 is in fact an ordinary entry-level machine with the price tag of higher class machines.

      P. S. “Breville’s Espresso machines are considered among the best in pretty much all Espresso machines reviews sites, except here… Go figure…”

      I don’t want to blame anyone, however I am guessing that at least some of these review sites are written by copywriter freelancers (who saw an espresso machine in real life only in Starbucks). And some other part I suspect never even run test or disassemble it like I’m trying to do here. Other (real) authors could like Breville and it’s their right.

      However, I assume that the possible reason for placing Breville Duo Temp (I’m not saying now about other models, there are few in Breville’s range that could be worth buying) on the first place of “the best” ratings is money. Being paid a % fee by Amazon they are much more interested in featuring an expansive Breville, rather than cheaper model by othe brand. Breville’s expansive marketing&PR could also play its role.

      Anyway, I’m writing reviews on this website based on my personal opinion, trying to be fair and appealing to the facts and my real live experience and tests. I may not be ideal reviewr and my conclusions could be different from other people. Especially considering my European background. But this is great! 🙂 More opinions – more reviews – more choice for the customer. I’m really happy that you enjoy your cappuccino made on Breville. You are satisfied with your purchase, that’s what matters 🙂

      Dmitriy

      5 Feb 18 at 4:08 am

      Reply

  4. I got this Breville machine at a yard sale for $50 around 7 years ago, and I’m still super happy with it. I upgraded to single wall filters, and the crema and flavor of my espresso are fantastic. Paired with a good quality grinder, the cappuccinos I make at home are better than those of all but the most discriminating of 3d wave coffee shops even with $10,000 commercial espresso machines. Is it a perfect machine? No. But I do think it’s a good value, probably even at full price.

    Margie

    31 Mar 18 at 5:15 pm

    Reply

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