The Breville Infuser Espresso Machine – Yay Or Nay?

Are you contemplating buying the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine? If so, you really should read this article first. It contains everything you need to know before taking the plunge and investing some of your hard-earned in the Breville Infuser.

We will be looking at everything that makes the Breville Infuser stand out from the crowd of semi-automatic espresso machines; its build quality, its most important feature and internal technology, user friendliness, milk frothing capabilities and more. All to help you determine whether or not the Breville Infuser espresso machine is the right choice for you. And just in case it isn’t, we also include the best Breville alternatives for you to consider.

Without further ado, here is everything you need to know about the Breville Infuser espresso machine.

Where to get the Breville Infuser espresso machine

The Breville BES840XL Infuser espresso machine is available from Amazon.

Breville Infuser Espresso Machine Overview

We all want an espresso machine that is both versatile, user friendly, and built to go the distance. But is the Breville Infuser really it?

The Breville Infuser Espresso Machine, also known as the Breville BES840XL, is a surprisingly compact semi-automatic pump espresso machine with a build-in steam wand. The only thing stopping this sturdy and reliable piece of kitchen equipment from being a full-blown bean-to-cup machine is the fact that it is lacking a built-in grinder. Whether or not you consider this a great loss or a negligible detail is, of course, going to come down to your personal preferences.

What is certain ins that the Breville Infuser is a beautifully crafted and well designed espresso maker, with planet of features that even the most hardened coffee snobs among us are bound to take note of, and the ability to brew cup after cup of delicious, rich and creamy, balanced espresso.

Design

Naturally, the first thing anyone is bound to notice about the Breville Infuser is its design, which is sleek, simple and appealing. 

The brushed stainless steel body gives the Breville Infuser a high-end appearance while also ensuring that it is incredibly sturdy and durable. And don’t worry, if the all steel look isn’t really your thing, the Breville Infuser is also available with black or red accents – whatever your kitchen aesthetic, there is a Breville Infuser for you.

The large dial and buttons on the front of the Breville Infuser give the machine a wonderfully timeless feel, suspended somewhere between the retro and the ultra modern.

Brew quality

The most important aspect to consider when looking at any coffee machine is the brew quality – after all, the pursuit of the perfect espresso is the entire reason why we coffee lovers buy coffee machines.

There are many different factors that play into achieving optimal espresso flavor and brew quality – including water purity, temperature, infusion time and so on and so forth. We will be getting into all of these technical details in just a bit, but for now suffice it to su that coffee brewed on Breville Infuser espresso machines is characterised by its rich, full-bodied flavor and well-balanced taste, as well as a soft, silky and utterly luxuriant mouthfeel. 

The Breville Infuser produces balanced espresso flavor, completely reliably. Between the dual wall filter baskets, pre-infusion features, temperature and pressure controls and the commercial grade spout, every shot of Breville Infuser espresso is going to be opulent, rich, full. No watery textures or uneven taste here! 

A cup of Breville Infuser coffee is always going to be of the same high standard you would expect to get served at a third wave specialty coffee shop. And yet, despite the consistent quality enabled by presets and programmable features, the Breville Infuser leaves plenty of room for the home barista to add their own personal touch to the brewing process, by overriding and taking control of the presets. In other words, brewing a cup of Breville Infuser coffee can be as simple and easy as pressing a button (And with great, delicious coffee as the guaranteed result) – but it doesn’t have to be. You can influence the coffee flavor as much or as little as you want, keeping it simple or customising your espresso shot to suit your own preferences.

Milk frothing

Nearly as important as brew quality is milk frothing and an espresso machine’s milk frothing capabilities! This is certainly true if you, or any of your frequent guests, are fans of milky coffee recipes including latte, cappuccino and macchiato.

The Breville Infuser comes with a built-in steam wand, which is powered by a 150 Watt heating element. This ensures extremely fast heat-up times sand high pressure steam – exactly what you need to be able to create perfectly textured milk froth and latte art.

It is important to note here that, because the Breville Infuser only has one boiler, it is only capable of either brewing or steaming at any given time.

Build quality

Build quality is another super important aspect to consider when choosing a new espresso machine, and fortunately, build quality is one of the Breville Infuser’s strong points. 

The Breville company has been in business for close to a hundred years and has deservedly become known for producing some of the highest quality espresso machines in the world – including manufacturing some of Nespresso’s most popular Nespresso machines – and the Infuser is no exception to this rule. 

To achieve a consistently high quality among all products in their catalogue, Breville only use the best quality materials in combination with innovative technology when manufacturing their products. The Breville Infuser is a clear testimony to this ethos and was built with longevity in mind. 

In fact, if you take great care of your Breville Infuser, it may last you up to an entire decade. Side note: Taking great care of your espresso machine involves regularly descaling, declogging and cleaning it to keep all of the parts working as they should.

User friendliness

It is always worth considering how user friendly an espresso machine is before deciding whether or not it is going to be a suitable fit for you.

Fortunately, the Breville Infuser is among the easier semi-automatic espresso machines to operate. This is thanks to a combination of presets, large buttons, and an intuitive control panel. In other words, you don’t need sophisticated home barista skills to be able to make good use of the Breville Infuser.

At the same time, the Breville Infuser leaves plenty of room for manual control and customisation for those who would like to develop their skills and learn how to brew truly unique coffee. All in all, it is fair to say that the Breville Infuser strikes the perfect balance between user friendliness and customization.

Key features

Now that we have gone over the main points that make the Breville Infuser a fantastic semi-automatic espresso machine, it is time for us to get more technical and take a more granular look at the different programmable features, the internal technology and the accessories that make the Breville Infuser special. 

Without further ado, here we go.

Intuitive control panel with automatic and programmable features

We told you that the Breville Infuser brushed stainless steel espresso machine comes with plenty of customizable features to keep even the true coffee snobs among us entertained and impressed. This includes manual temperature control, flexible shot control, volumetric control and more.

All of these amazing features are controlled via the four large buttons and pressure gage located at the front of the Breville Infuser.

The Infuser comes with plenty of presets, designed to deliver consistency great coffee tat has that third wave specialty taste and the rich, creamy mouthfeel you would expect from a barista quality espresso shot. If you are note very confident in your own barista skills (yet), you can totally choose to leave the presets, such as temperature, water pressure etc. alone, trusting the machine to do what it was built to do. 

But you can just as easily decide to take control and experiment with different infusion times, temperatures and so on. The four button control panel located at the front of the machine allow you to quickly and effortlessly take control of the dose of coffee beans that go into every cup, adjust the water pressure, find the correct temperature and the optimal microfoam milk texture for your latte.

Digital temperature control

The Breville Infuser stainless steel semi-automatic espresso machine offers digital PID temperature control, which means the espressos machine is able to adjust its temperature for increased temperature stability throughout the brewing process.

Of course, you an choose not to override the default temperature, but once you get your hands on your new Breville Infuser, we recommend experimenting to discover how different a shot of espresso can taste depending on things like the temperature, water pressure and so on at which it was brewed.

The PID temperature control is adjustable in increments of 4 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pressure gauge guides you to choose the ideal extraction temperature every time.

Thermocoil heating system

Most other espresso machines in the same price class utilize thermoblock heating systems, which are heating systems put together from many different metal parts. The Breville Infuser, on the other hand, utilises a thermocoil heating system, which is a single unit with just one tube instead of two. 

Thermocoil technology ensures a high degree of temperature stability. Temperature stability is crucial for optimal flavor extraction from the coffee beans. 

This is important, because if the temperature is inconsistent while the coffee is brewing, the resultant espresso may come out watery, weak and lukewarm – in other words, thoroughly disappointing. The Breville Infuser is guaranteed to maintain a stable temperature, which pays dividends in the delicious, well-brewed cups of coffee it is capable of delivering on tap.

Pre-infusion function

Bona fide coffee snobs will already be familiar with the significance of pre-infusion, but allow me to clue in the rest of you with a quick breakdown of what pre-infusion is and why it results in a higher quality cup of coffee.

While not strictly necessary, pre-infusion is a brewing technique developed for the express purposes of achieving optimal flavor and nutrient extraction from the ground coffee beans. Pre-infusion consists of soaking the ground coffee beans while they are sitting in the portafilter, before the brewing process itself commences. This gentle low pressure pre-infusion helps draw out subtle flavors and nutrients. In essence, pre-infusion is a way of maximising the flavor potential of your espresso beans.

Many espresso machines do not use pre-infusion, but Breville know what makes great coffee, well, great.

Hot water outlet

Most espresso machines don’t have a dedicated hot water dispenser feature, but then the Breville Infuser is at least slightly extraordinary. 

A dedicated hot water outlet enables you to pour hot water at the ideal temperature required for turning your espresso into an Americano – or for preparing hot tea or hot chocolate, for that matter. After all, you may fancy tea or other hot beverages now and then, or you might have guests who are not coffee drinkers.

54mm stainless steel portafilter

The Breville Infuser comes well equipped with an industry standard 54mm stainless steel portafilter with dual wall filter baskets, which are in no small part responsible for filtering the water to perfection and ensuring that a clean, smooth espresso flavor and texture are achieved every single time the Breville Infuser is put into action.

Auto purge

Here is a really nifty little feature and a perfect example of how thoughtfully the Breville Infuser was designed: The Infuser’s heating system automatically purges itself after every use. This ensures that the espresso machine is immediately ready to brew the next espresso at the ideal temperature. 

Cup warmer and drip tray

Additional examples of Breville’s attention to detail are the cup warmer located at the top of the Infuser, and the removable drip tray at the bottom. Both are easy to access, and the drip tray is wonderfully easy to remove whenever you need to give it a good clean or mop up any spilled coffee.

Extras

Breville never seem to do things by half-measures, and so it is no surprise that the Breville Infuser comes with a large arsenal of accessories that truly complement and supplement the user experience.

One of the best extras that come with your Breville Infuser purchase is the stainless steel milk jug. There is a reason why stainless steel jugs are the standard – because they hold temperature well and because they don’t add any unwanted flavors to the milk. The Breville stainless steel milk jug is perfectly designed, easy to hold and easy to navigate under the steam wand.

Another great little extra is the stainless steel razor dose trimming tool, which makes it easy to adjust the amount of ground coffee you add to the filter basket. 

Other extras include a cleaning disc and tablets, an Allen key that opens the back of the machine, a water filter with holder, and additional single and dual wall filter baskets.

Pros

All right, now that you have a fairly comprehensive overview over what the Breville Infuser is, includes and does, it is time for us to get clear by highlighting the most noteworthy pros and cons. 

We’ll start with the pros, then move onto the cons.

Superb quality and design

The best thing that can be said about the Breville Infuser is that it is of outstanding quality. Everything from the sleek, stainless steel appearance to the powerful, high-quality internal brewing technology and thoughtful accessories is well designed and well thought out. 

And let us not forget that Breville has been a major player in the coffee machine manufacturing game since 1932. During its 90 years in business, the Breville brand has developed quite a reputation and the corresponding expertise to back it up.

Everything about the Breville Infuser screams quality. Her is an espresso machine that was built to look great, last longer than most other coffee machines on the market, and not least produce excellent coffee quickly and easily. 

Beginner friendly

Another pro worth highlighting is that the Breville Infuser is wonderfully easy to use, even if you are a complete beginner without any pre-existing barista skills.

The Breville Infuser is one of the simplest machines capable of producing third wave specialty coffee with minimum effort. And while this espresso machine makes brewing artisan coffee a breeze, it still allows plenty of room to experiment and discover how you can make the world’s best espresso right there in your own kitchen.

Works with both ground coffee beans and coffee capsules 

The Breville Infuser is a truly versatile coffee machine, and one of the ways in which this comes to expression is in the fact that you can choose between brewing with coffee capsules or ground coffee.

Cons

Right, we have looked at the most important pros – now here come the most important cons you should be aware of.

No grinder

The Breville Infuser’s primary and perhaps only lack is that it does not come with a built-in burr grinder. If the Infuser incorporated this feature, it would be a true all-in-one, one-stop, bean-to-cup coffee machine, and it might have been better for it. 

Instead, the Breville Infuser requires you to already have or to purchase a separate grinder if you want to brew coffee using completely fresh ground coffee.

Difficult to clean

Cleaning and maintaining your espresso machine is an unavoidable chore, but since it needs to be done it would be nice if it were made as easy and accessible as possible. The reason why espresso makers need to be cleaned now and then is that coffee grounds can otherwise build up in nooks and crannies within the machine, which ends up clogging it and impeding its functioning.

Unfortunately, the otherwise user-friendly Breville Infuser is not particularly easy to clean. For that, there are too many individual parts that have to be removed and cleaned individually. The Breville Infuser does come with instructions for how to clean and maintain it – but be warned, they’re not very clear or easy to follow. 

Having said that, the Infuser does have cleaning alerts that appear automatically on the front dash of the machine when it requires a deep clean. And the Allen key that comes with the machine makes it relatively easy to open up the back of the machine and access parts of it that would otherwise be impossible to clean.

Side note: We recommend cleaning your Breville Infuser with a mix of water and white vinegar.

You cannot steam and brew simultaneously 

While the Breville Infuser’s thermocoil heating system has its advantages, it also results in one major drawback: You are unable to use the steam wand while the Infuser is brewing coffee. 

Whether you consider this a minor inconvenience or a dealbreaker is going to depend on how much of a milky coffee fan you are, i.e. how often you are likely to use the steam wand. If you are mostly planning on making espresso and Americano, with the occasional latte thrown in for good measure, you are probably barely going to notice – but if you think you will be using the steam wand often, having to wait each time until the machine is done brewing can become rather frustrating.

Who the Breville Infuser espresso machine is perfect for

The Breville Infuser espresso machine is the ideal coffee maker for true espresso and coffee lovers who want to be able to recreate all of their coffee shop favourites at home, without necessarily possession the barista skills to do so.

Fortunately, the Breville Infuser makes brewing artisan coffee easy and accessible, thanks to the clever coffee machine design and the many pre-sets and automatic features. The Breville Infuser is all but incapable of brewing a bad cup of coffee – and at the same time, there are enough programmable and customisable features for the aspiring home barista to hone and develop their skills.

The Breville Infuser may not be a the best choice if you are in the market for a bean-to-cup coffee machine, as the Infuser’s greatest (and objectively speaking only) shortcoming is that it has no built-in grinder.

On the other hand, if you are not pressed for counter top space and already have a coffee grinder at home, the fact that the Barista Infuser does not come with one already built in may not bother you at all.

Alternative Breville espresso machines to consider

If, after reading this article up to this point, you have concluded that the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine is not the right match for you, we have included this section in which we are going to discuss the best Breville Infuser alternatives.

Breville Barista Express

Breville’s BES870XL Barista Express is a great alternative to the Breville Infuser, if you are looking for a similar high quality espresso machine, but one that has a built-in grinder. And the Breville Barista Express is just that – the full bean-to-cup package.

The Breville Barista Express and the Breville Infuser are similar in almost every way, except that the Breville Barista Express comes equipped with an integrated conical burr grinder in stainless steel. The grinder is easy and intuitive to operate, and operates automatically once the grind size has been set using the grind size dial – it even deposited the optimal amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter. 

The Breville Barista Express’s built-in grinder accounts for its slightly bigger size as compared to the Breville Infuser, as well as for the increase in both weight and price.

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express is available from Amazon.

Breville BES880BSS Barista Touch Espresso Machine

The Breville BES880BSS Barista Touch is another great alternative to the Breville Infuser. 

This one is a fully-automated espresso machine and allows for completely hands-off operation. In other words, the Barista Touch espresso maker is a great option if you love third wave specialty coffee, but don’t like to spend much time or energy figuring out how to prepare it.

The Barista Touch has a fully interactive LCD screen display at the front. Here you are able to put in your specifications – grind, brew, milk – and let the machine take care of the rest.

The Breville BES880BSS Barista Touch is available from Amazon.

Breville Dual Boiler

Like the Breville Infuser, the Breville Dual Boiler is available in brushed stainless steel, as well as in brushed stainless steel with either red or black accents.

The Breville Dual Boiler is a great alternative to the Breville Infuser, if you are unhappy about the fact that the Infuser does not allow you to brew and steam milk at the same time. The reason for this is that the Infuser only has one boiler – and when this is being used to either brew or steam milk, it cannot simultaneously handle the other function.

The Breville Dual Boiler knows no such limitations – with this one, you can brew and steam all day without ever slowing down.

The Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine is available from Amazon.

Breville Infuser Espresso Machine FAQ

How long does Breville Infuser last?

The Breville Infuser is an excellent quality coffee machine, but precisely how long your new Breville Infuser espresso machine can last is very much going to depend on how good you are at taking care of it, and by taking care of we mean cleaning and descaling it on a regular basis. 

Presuming that you are going to take excellent care of your Breville Infuser, it could easily last you up to a decade (That’s ten years of fantastic, third wave specialty coffee)! 

Does the Breville Infuser have grinder?

No, unfortunately the Breville Infuser does not have a built-in grinder, so your best option is to purchase a separate burr grinder, or to choose a different Breville espresso maker that does come with a grinder built in.

If you are determined to get a Breville espresso machine with a built-in grinder, we recommend the Barista Express, which is very similar to the Breville Infuser, except that it encompasses an integrated conical burr stainless steel grinder. 

Because it is encompasses a grinder, the Breville Barista Express is slightly heavier, slightly bigger and slightly more expensive than the Breville Infuser.

Does the Breville Infuser have a boiler?

Yes, the Breville Infuser has one boiler.

The only times you are going to notice that it does not have two is when you want to brew coffee and steam milk simultaneously. The simple reason for this is that espresso machines with only one boiler are only able to power one of these functions at any given time.

If you want a Breville espresso machine that can both brew and steam at the same time, we recommend the Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine.

Does Breville Infuser have a PID?

Yes, the Breville Infuser comes with electronic PID temperature control, which is wonderfully easy to program and operate via the four button panel located at the front of the machine.

How many bars is the Breville Infuser?

The Breville Infuser utilizes a 15 bar triple-pipe pressure pump. In other words, the Breville Infuser pump is quite powerful and can compete with just about any professional grade espresso machines on the market.

Is Breville Infuser good machine?

So absolutely. The Breville Infuser is a superb quality, versatile and well built piece of machinery.

If you are in the market for a semi-automatic espresso machine with plenty of customisable features, the Breville Infuser just might be your best option.

Our verdict

We don’t think anyone can go wrong with the Breville Infuser espresso machine. It is a beautiful combination of incredible quality and clever internal brewing technology, all wrapped up in sturdy, compact, elegant design. All of it designed and built to last. If you are looking for a balance of ease and convenience with enough customisation options for you to be able to brew your own signature coffee, the Breville Infuser is a wonderful choice. 

The only reason not to choose the Breville Infuser would be due to its lacking an integrated coffee bean grinder. But then again, you may not need it. Not all coffees require freshly ground beans and not everyone enjoys or wants to spend the extra time on this preliminary step.

Breville is synonymous with the highest standards, the most innovative technology, and ninety years in the coffee machine manufacturing business, and the Breville Infuser is an excellent example of the technological sophistication, craftsmanship and design efforts that go into creating every Breville coffee machine. 

The quality comes through in the machine’s appearance, longevity, but most importantly in the coffee it is capable of producing. Really, once you get your hands on a Breville Infuser, you will wonder why you ever spent so much money on coffee shop coffee when the Breville Infuser makes it so easy to prepare it at home.

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