Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Review: Pros, Cons & More

Last Update: June 9, 2021
The Breville BES920XL is a portable, versatile home espresso machine that gives you the type of features you'll find on huge, commercial espresso machines.

Sipping a cup of coffee is a morning ritual for millions (possibly billions) of people across the world. But the cost of buying a cup of coffee every morning adds up quickly. As a result, coffee lovers are increasingly buying espresso machines.

To enjoy the same type of rich coffee that you get at the cafe, you don’t need just any espresso machine, but a powerful one with many useful features.

Melitta Bentz is credited with creating the first coffee maker in 1908. And since her invention in the early 20th century, coffee machines have evolved so much. Today, there are smart coffee machines. You can make espresso, plain coffee, and barista-style brews with a relatively small machine.

There are numerous manufacturers of coffee machines, but a few names stand out. One of them is Breville. This Sydney-based company was founded in 1932 and has earned a reputation for manufacturing some of the best espresso makers available today.

It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and attention to detail to create a machine that brews a perfect cup of coffee each time, and Breville has succeeded in doing this.

This review will focus on a coffee machine from Breville – the BES920XL Dual Boiler. This compact coffee maker has the same functionality as a commercial espresso machine. It is essentially a miniature version of the espresso machine you’ll find at your favorite cafe.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the Breville Dual Boiler so you can decide if it is worth your money.

Breville BES920XL review

What is the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine?

The BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine is one of the latest releases from Breville. It sports some significant improvements from its predecessor, the BES870. It is more ergonomic, more powerful, and has a more quiet pump.

This coffee maker comes with all the latest innovations in the Breville line of semi-automatic espresso machines and is designed specifically for home use.

  • Do you lack the patience required to manually brew a cup of coffee in the morning?
  • Do you lack the time and patience to go and wait in line at the cafe to get your favorite coffee?
  • Do you enjoy both espresso and barista-style brews?
  • Do you want a high-quality, versatile espresso machine that will last you for a long time?
Breville BES920XL

If you answered yes to those questions, then the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine is perfect for you. This coffee maker is recommended for people who recognize that making coffee is an art and settle for nothing less than top-quality brews.

The engineers at Breville have mastered the art of creating machines that preserve the rich, complex flavor of coffee beans, and the Dual Boiler Espresso Machine proves this. The Breville BS920XL allows you to brew third-wave specialty coffee in the comfort of your home. This is made possible by Breville’s four-key formula.

Here’s a breakdown of Breville’s four-key formula:

  1. Breville’s coffee machines are designed to use just the amount of coffee ground/beans to give you a deep, full-bodied taste with all the myriad flavor notes. Getting the dose right means consistency in the flavor every time.
  2. The Dual Boiler Espresso Machine comes with digital temperature control technology. This ensures the water is heated to the right temperature for proper extraction, so you get delicious-tasting coffee.
  3. The coffee ground undergoes low-pressure pre-infusion. This allows water to pass through the grinds properly during the extraction process. The result is the best-tasting coffee you’ve ever had.
  4. Milk is steamed and frothed at the right temperature to create micro-foam. This allows you to create Barista-style coffee, heightens the milk flavor, and gives the brew a smooth taste.
  5. At the heart of the Breville Dual Boiler Coffee Machine are two stainless steel heating systems so you can make coffee and steam milk simultaneously. Every brew with this machine is perfect.

Above all, the Breville Dual Boiler Coffee Machine is user-friendly and easy to use. It will impress both amateur coffee makers and professionals. The device comes with everything you need to make a masterpiece cup of coffee - from heating your cup to microfoam milk texturing and so much more. And if you ever fancy drinking a cup of tea, you can get hot water from the machine. And, it is super easy to clean.

The Breville Dual Boiler Coffee Machine allows you to brew your preferred coffee manually or with one of the preset options!

This state-of-the-art espresso machine stands out for its versatility, high functionality, and portable size. This Breville coffee machine is certainly worth its price!

Pros

Before purchasing a product, you need to consider its advantages and disadvantages. The Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine has a lot of pros.

  1. The device is compact and can easily fit on your kitchen counter. You won’t have to struggle to find space for it.
  2. It is easy to operate, easy to clean, and it heats up quickly.
  3. You can brew coffee and steam milk simultaneously thanks to the two stainless steel, corrosion-resistant heaters in the unit. This cuts down the time you need to wait for the entire process to be completed.
  4. You can brew several cups of coffee at once.
  5. The dose control allows you to get the same consistent flavor each time.
  6. The device comes with precision temperature control, pressure control, coffee strength, control, and more. This gives you complete control over the brewing process.
  7. There is a digital LCD on the machine, which makes its operation very easy. There is an espresso shot clock, and you can choose to view the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit. You can even program the pre-infusion duration and start time.
  8. You can choose a single or double-shot depending on your personal preference.
  9. The low-pressure infusion process gradually increases the water pressure to create a well-balanced flavor.
  10. There is a wide surface on top of the machine to warm your cup before you fill it with coffee. You can fit up to six cups on it. Preheating your cup prevents heat loss and allows you to get a perfectly balanced flavor.
  11. The 360-degree steam wand allows you to top off your coffee with milk and create Barista-style brews with an artistic touch.
  12. The dose control feature allows you to get a consistent flavor each time. The portafilter on the machine can fit between 19g to 22g of coffee ground. This is the perfect amount of coffee required to give you just the right flavor.
  13. You can get hot water from the machine if you want to drink tea.
  14. The tank on this Breville coffee machine can hold up to 84oz of water.
  15. There are wheels under the unit to move it around conveniently. This is a handy feature because the machine is heavy.

Cons

The Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine has a lot of pros, but it has a few cons as well. Here are a few cons worth considering before you buy it.

  1. You need to apply some pressure to lock the portafilter in place.
  2. It is a bit pricey.
  3. It doesn’t come with an internal grinder, so you need to get an external grinder.
  4. You can’t control the extraction pressure – it is set at 10 bars. So, if you are a newbie to making coffee, you may need to practice a bit to get it right with this machine.
  5. It doesn’t produce as much steam pressure as commercial coffee machines, and it takes up to 15 seconds longer to froth your milk.
  6. This is not the fastest coffee machine. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes to preheat.
  7. It is not the smallest home espresso machine.
  8. It is pretty heavy – weighs up to 30lbs. This is not the type of coffee machine to carry on the go.
  9. You need to tamp the ground into the basket of the machine manually.
Breville BES920XL
Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler
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Features and Functionalities

The Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine has an ergonomic design and comes with many features to make your brewing experience efficient and comfortable.

Aside from its two boilers, this Breville coffee maker has a digital menu, two pumps (so you can fill two cups at once), an auto-start setting, an over-pressure valve, adjustable brewing temperature, and retractable wheels.

Dual Boiler: One of the most remarkable features of the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine is its two boilers, one for water and the other for milk. Every coffee lover knows the hassle of using a coffee maker with one heater and having to wait for it to cool before you can froth your milk. The double boiler saves a lot of time and ensures you get the most flavorful brews.

The boilers in this device are made of stainless steel, which means they won't corrode even after using them for a long time. There are two pumps for the two boilers. One is for brewing, and the other is for the steam boiler. This allows you to brew and steam milk at the same time.

Low Pressure Pre-Infusion: One of the reasons this machine can create third-wave specialty coffee is that the whole process starts with low pressure pre-infusion. This essentially allows water to soak the coffee grounds at a low pressure of 1 or 2 bars. Water permeates the coffee thoroughly and causes it to expand. Therefore, when you pull down the lever for high-pressure extraction, all the complex coffee notes can be fully extracted. This results in a bold, creamy, caramel-colored brew that is full of flavor.

Digital Menu: There is a backlit LCD screen on the coffee maker that shows the device's settings. You can see the temperature, shot clock, pre-infusion time, and more on the screen. This means you don't have to rack your brain to remember your last settings. It also makes the process of changing the settings easier. You can easily see and select any of the pre-programmed settings on the device. The display also shows when it is time to refill the tank.

The digital menu allows you to monitor and modify various settings like the steam boiler temperature and the brew temperature, pre-infusion time, and more. The digital display also tells you when to refill the water reservoir.

If you aren't satisfied with the preset programs on the coffee machine, you can program your preferred settings on the Breville BS920XL. The programmable settings include the shot volume, shot temperature, auto-start time, clean cycle, and more.

Digital menu breville

Auto-Start: As indicated above, it takes 15 minutes for this Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine to heat up. And I imagine it can be annoying to wait for 15-long minutes as it heats up before you can start the brewing process. Well, you can avoid this using the auto-start feature.

The auto-start function allows you to pre-program a specific time that you want your machine to start brewing every day automatically. All you need to do is set a time, ensure the tank is filled, and there is ground coffee in the portafilter.

Over Pressure Valve (OPV): This feature makes the brewing process safer by monitoring the pressure. It also helps you control the temperature for brewing. This Breville coffee machine has a 15-bar pump. You can let the system control the pressure automatically, or you can do it manually.

PID Temperature Control: The temperature control feature allows you to heat your water or milk to your desired temperature. There are three different temperature levels to choose from. The ability to select your preferred temperature allows you to customize the brewing process.

Steam Wand: The Breville BS920XL comes with a commercial-grade steam wand that can move 360-degrees into any position you choose. 

The pump has a pressure of 4.5 bars for effective frothing. There are three holes on the tip of the wand that pour the silky milk foam to create Barista-style art in your coffee cup. There are three holes on the tip of the wand that pour the silky milk foam to create Barista-style art in your coffee cup.

In addition to all these remarkable features, the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine has a dedicated hot water outlet when you want to drink tea or heat your cup. The system automatically notifies you when it needs to be cleaned. You can choose one shot, two shots, or manually control how much espresso you get.

Design and Specifications

Dimensions: 14.1” x 14.6” x 14.7”

Weight: 30 pounds

Construction Material: Brushed Stainless Steel finish and Stainless Steel Boiler

Tank Capacity: 84 oz

Voltage: 110V to 120V

Power: 1700W

  • LCD Display
  • Customizable settings
  • Commercial machine-grade steam wand and frother with 360-degree swivel
  • Dual boiler
  • 58mm portafilter (fits 19g to 22g of ground coffee)
  • 15 bar Italian pump system
  • Over Pressure Valve
  • Timer
  • Triple Heat System
  • Pre Infusion Function
  • Manual or Automatic
  • Single or Double Shot
  • Variable Temperature
  • Brew temperature ( 86C (190F) to 96C (205F)
  • Wand temperature 130C (265F) to 140C (285F)
  • Available in Brushed Stainless Steel and Black Sesame color
  • 2-Year repair warranty
byblos specs

Brewing Capabilities

The Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine is a versatile coffee maker with multiple features. You can brew up to 6 cups or more with a full tank.

The Breville BS920XL can be used to make a wide variety of coffee drinks, including espresso, latte, cappuccino, latte macchiato, and so much more. The temperature-controlled heating and low pressure pre-infusion mean you can create a delicious brew each time. You can pour your espresso into two cups at once.

The brewing capacity of the Breville BS920XL is quite impressive, considering its size. You will have no difficulties using this coffee machine, even if you are a complete newbie.

Brewing capabilities
Breville BES920XL dual
Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler
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Cleaning and Maintenance

As indicated above, the Breville BS920XL is easy to clean. You can clean it at home without having to take it to a service center. The main parts of the boiler that need to be cleaned are the drip tray, the group head, the milk wand, and the boilers.

There is a water filter inside the tank of this coffee machine. It also comes with testing strips to determine the hardiness of the water. The cleaning notification on the Breville BS920XL is connected to the testing strips. The indicator on the device notifies you when it needs to be cleaned. If you maintain this coffee machine properly, it could potentially last you for many years.

It is good practice to wipe down the milk wand of the machine with a damp napkin daily or after a few days, depending on how frequently you use it. Also, purge it by pressing the pressure bar. Cleaning and purging the milk wand will prevent milk from condensing in it.

Cleaning a coffee pot

To clean the group head, you need to use the silica tray and cleaning tablets that come with the coffee machine. First, turn off the device, then remove the portafilter. Place the silica tray on the group head and put the cleaning tablet on it. Put back the group head in the machine and run it for a few minutes. It should automatically stop after 5 minutes.

Descaling the Breville BS920XL is just as easy. You will need a descaling solution, a flat head screwdriver, and a towel. You will need to spread the towel over the drip tray and cover the area below the milk wand to avoid burning yourself with steam.

There are two screws on the front that control the valve on both boilers. The screws have a plastic cover on them. Unscrew them one after the other, and be careful not to burn yourself with steam.

Empty your boilers, take out the filter from the tank, fill the tank with water and add your cleaning solution. Run the machine a few times to descale it. Then empty the boilers, and add water to your tank to rinse the unit.

After that is done, you can put back your filter in the water tank, fill it with water, and you’re good to go. The display will guide you through the entire cleaning process.

The Breville BS920XL is a low maintenance high-performance coffee machine.

What's Included (Accessories)

The Breville BS920XL comes with all the accessories that you need to make a cup of coffee. All you need is water, milk, and your ground coffee. The accessories that come with this Dual Boiler Espresso Machine include the following:

  • 58mm razor dosing tool
  • 59mm stainless steel portafilter
  • 1cup and 2cup single and dual wall filter baskets
  • Tamper
  • 16oz stainless steel milk jug
  • Cleaning kit
  • Water hardness test strip
  • Water filter holder and water filter
Breville BES920XL parts

Who is the Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL for?

The Breville BS920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine is recommended for both amateurs and baristas. It is an ideal first coffee machine. Although it is a bit pricey, the cost is worth it because it can make different types of coffee brews.

Admittedly, there is a bit of a learning curve for this device if you are a complete novice with coffee machines. However, it is super simple to figure out how everything works on this machine.

The fact that many things are automated makes the process of using this espresso machine very straightforward. However, you can also choose to take control of the process and work the machine manually.

This coffee machine comes with everything you could need. This Breville BS920XL is not the kind of machine to get if you want something simple. Instead, it is a machine to get when you want to upgrade your homemade brews.
The Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine comes with many features that are not typically found on home espresso machines. This is a dream-come-true for every coffee maker.

Verdict

The BS920XL Dual Boiler is one of the best Breville espresso machines available today. Our final rating for this device is 4.7 out of 5 stars.

It delivers on the promise of making high-grade third-wave specialty coffee with relative ease. It has a classy look that will add an aesthetic appeal to your kitchen counter.

Some of the features of this Breville espresso maker are not available on other high-end coffee machines. Overall, this is a super versatile, all-in-one coffee machine. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with a grinder, so you can only use ground coffee, not whole espresso beans.

The Breville BS920XL Dual Boiler makes it possible to create professional coffee brews at home without any experience. It makes the art of specialty coffee accessible to everyone.

Breville BES920XL
Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler
Check Price on Amazon
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