Best Espresso Machine Under $500

The Breville BES840XL, the Infuser Espresso Machine, is a luxury product for a premium price. Available in classic stainless steel, black sesame, or cranberry red colors, each has a classy, boxy appearance on the kitchen countertop.

There are not many excellent models available below the 500-dollar mark, but in the small range of top contenders, the Breville BES840XL tips the scales with its cool, clean design and added features at this price point.

 

Breville BES840XL
Pre-infusion function applies low water pressure at the start of the extraction.

 

Heating and Pre-extraction

The unit comes with a 1,600-watt thermocoil heating function that ensures water is piping hot. The coil is stainless steel to maintain the water temperature accurately once it leaves the heating element.

Even before the highly pressurized extraction process, a pre-infusion system uses only low pressure for water that is used with the coffee grinds to let them expand out evenly at a far slower pace. The inclusion of this process ahead of the higher-pressure espresso delivery system ensures the full coffee bean flavor reaches the cup… and the lips of the coffee drinker, perfectly.

High Bar Extraction Process

The 15 BAR Italian-made pump offers total volumetric control to the coffee brewer. The water temperature is adjustable using pre-set programs. The presets overridable and reprogrammable as needed to adjust to the tastes of the household.

There is a convenient auto purge feature that tweaks the temperature to produce just the right amount of steam for the best results during espresso extraction.

Appearance

We use the classic stainless steel model as our showpiece when discussing its appearance.

The shiny stainless steel stands gleaming on the kitchen top. Each of the many buttons still manages to stand out from its surface and are easy to press home to activate their function or feature.

The unit supports making two cups of espresso at the same time, so there is a drip tray level where each glass or cup is situated, with removable plates for cleaning.

Everything here looks premium.

Main Features

2The pressure gauge on the top is front and center with a red dial which turns to indicate pressure levels. To the right are buttons to select the one cup or two cups espresso serving. Below this level is an indicator light for Hot water steam. To the left of the pressure gauge are two buttons for power and program selection. An indicator light lower down confirms when a cleaning of the drip tray is required.

The removable water tank is positioned at the back. The 1.8-liter tank is accessible from the top and has a carry handle too.

The drip tray has sections for dry spills and wet spills. It is removable, and the indicator light will illuminate when it’s time to do so to avoid overspills.

At the center of the unit’s front is the 54mm portafilter built with stainless steel. There are commercial-quality spouts, plus a 54mm tamper to practice tamper controls.

To the right is a steam wand for simple milk frothing to go beyond espressos with a few cappuccinos or lattes servings too. It has a full 360-degree swivel action for handling different jug sizes. One stainless steel jug is provided with this model too.

 

Breville BES840XL
Pre-infusion function applies low water pressure at the start of the extraction.

 

Conclusion

When it comes to quality appearance, this model shines brightly. There are a commercial-grade portafilter and a tamper with complete flexibility. The 1.8-liter water tank is conveniently hidden but quite ample for most households. The 15-BAR pressure, combined with the low pressure warm up, produces not only excellent espresso but also lattes and cappuccinos on demand.

 

 

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