The Breville 800ESXL is a beautiful cappuccino maker and espresso machine for those on a mid-range budget. It has a lot more power than cheaper options like the Nespresso Pixie, but without the hefty price tag of super-advanced machines like the DeLonghi Magnifica.
The first thing I noticed about this machine is how visually beautiful it is. I love stainless steel appliances like the Breville, and its sleek design will help you bring an ultra-modern look to your kitchen. It’s approximately 15x16x13 inches, so it doesn’t take up too much counter space.
The 800ESXL uses a 15-Bar Triple Prime pump, which provides a relatively high pressure for your espresso. The fact that it’s “Triple Prime” means that the pump releases 3 successive bursts of hot water when it makes your coffee or espresso. This moistens it, which allows the machine to extract the fullest flavor from it.
I really like this feature, because very few espresso makers have a Triple Prime pump. Most other machines simply run water over your espresso or coffee grounds, which results in a much duller flavor. That’s not a problem with the Breville 800ESXL.
The machine also automatically optimizes the temperature at which it extracts your espresso. After steaming, it automatically adjusts the water temperature to give you an excellent drink.
The Breville comes with filters, a tamping tool, a cleaning tool, and a frothing pitcher made of stainless steel.
It has a removable front-fill water tank which can hold 75 fluid ounces (2.2 L). The water tank is another feature that I think really sets this machine apart from others in its price range. It’s much more user-friendly, and the fact that it can hold so much water means that you don’t need to worry about filling it as often.
If you’re looking for a good cappuccino maker on a mid-range budget, the 800ESXL is a good choice. It does a much better job with milk-based drinks than most other machines in its price range. The swivel steam wand and frother are great for making milk-based drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, or (my personal favorite) mochas. Just be sure to clean the steam wand soon after you use it, because dried milk is much harder to clean. The steam wand allows for a 4-1/2 inch cup clearance.
I think the biggest drawback of the Breville is that there’s a bit of a learning curve at first. When I first tried the machine, I was a bit disappointed with my first couple shots of espresso. But it doesn’t take long to figure out what you like and how to make it.
Some reviewers have also complained that their coffee isn’t hot enough, but this is usually caused by people not following the instructions. Make sure that you plug your machine in and let it “warm up” for about ten minutes before you decide to use it.
I would recommend that you don’t use it as soon as the red light goes off. Instead, give it a bit longer to heat than is strictly necessary. It may also be helpful to run some hot water through the machine before you actually add the espresso. If you do this, I think you’ll avoid the problem of getting drinks that aren’t hot enough.
The Breville 800ESXL is my favorite cappuccino maker for under $500. It looks beautiful in your kitchen, it brews a great cup of coffee or espresso, and it’s very easy to make high-quality milk-based drinks.
The main drawback is that it can take a couple of brews before you figure out how to use the machine properly. I recommend reading the instructions and experimenting through trial-and-error to figure out how to make drinks that you enjoy.
I highly recommend the Breville 800ESXL for anyone who can appreciate the difference between high- and low-quality espresso drinks, but wants to spend less than $500 on their cappuccino maker. If you’re willing to spend more than that, check out my review of the DeLonghi coffee maker, my all-time favorite espresso machine for home use.