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Breville 800ESXL - Emily Burns's Review
Posted: August 22, 2007, 9:05am
review rating: 4.5
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Breville Espresso 800ESXL
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More About This Product
Arrow The Breville 800ESXL has 66 Reviews
Arrow The Breville 800ESXL has been rated 7.95 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 2, 2006.
Arrow Breville 800ESXL reviews have been viewed 545,822 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Steve Koellhoffer 10.00
H H 10.00
Pat D'Arcy 9.50
Ben Moore 9.00
L Blumen 9.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 6.6
Product Reviewed: 800 ESXL
Manufacturer: Breville (Chinese origin) Quality: 8
Average Price: $499.00 Usability: 7
Price Paid: $400.00 Cost vs. Value 5
Where Bought: Crate and Barrell Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 1 week Overall 3
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Krups duomo, Saeco Easy
Bottom Line: Looks AREN'T everything, especially when it comes to espresso makers
Positive Product Points

BEAUTIFUL!! Exceptional thought put in to making it user friendly.

Negative Product Points

Bad coffee that makes a mess and takes a long time to make.

Detailed Commentary

I have never been so sorry to return a product in my entire life. We had had Krups cappuccino maker for about 5 years before the handle broke. I almost did a jig when it did, because this meant I got to upgrade to the beautiful Breville one. I honestly hadn't even thought that it might not work or make good coffee.

So, I got it home, and made my first cup of coffee. Sure, it had a nice crema, but it was weak! Then I decided to try again. Only pulling it out there was a soupy mess, rather than the puck that I got even from my Krups one. I tried various things to see what could be done, then went online to see what I was doing wrong.

I later found a card that said "it's supposed" to be like that. And, if I didn't want it that way, I could grind it more coarsely. Well, I didn't think that sounded right. But, I went online to check and see if perhaps all this time I'd been grinding my coffee too finely. Turns out, as expected (and as I'm sure everyone on this site knows), you are supposed to grind espresso very finely if you want a strong espresso. Well, at that point I packed it up and returned it. I have never tried so hard to justify something.

But, then I was in a huge pickle. All my research had made me see the light, realize that I might as well have been living in a cave drinking the espresso from my Krups cappuccino maker (which still tasted better than the Starbucks down the street). I felt like I was never going to be be able to have a decent cup of coffee at home unless I spent 20 minutes making it, or $1500 on coffee machine and conical burr grinder.

I found a light at the end of the tunnel though--Saeco's Easy.  It has an integrated conical burr grinder, plenty of flexibility to make it stronger and weaker and, as the name implies, EASY!! the coffee's great, and 3 minutes after I turn it on I have a perfect cappuccino. After looking at the specs for the higher end Saeco's, too, it appears that this is pretty much the same in terms of all of the internal plumbing, just doesn't have all of the pre-programming ability. But, since I don't change my drink, this is great for me.  Plus, at $500, it's an absolute bargain when you consider that I was going to buy a grinder and a Rancilio or Gaggia espresso maker. I have had it for about 6 weeks, and my espresso consumption has gone up substantially. I did worry about writing a positive review though, because I worry that the moment I do, it will break. Keep your fingers crossed.

At any rate, DON'T buy the Breville.

Buying Experience

Exceptional, I returned the product, and Crate and Barrel didn't have any problems with the fact that I had used it. They only asked if it worked to make sure that it was still OK to sell to other people. I told them it worked as it was supposed to but that apparently it wasn't supposed to make good coffee.

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review rating: 4.5
Posted: August 22, 2007, 9:05am
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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