Breville 800ESXL

For our wedding, we received a Breville 800ESXL as a gift. I’ve learned a lot about the machine, so I wanted to share some resources respective to this model that may be scattered elsewhere online.

Here’s a great starter guide to brewing espresso from Intelligentsia. Here’s another for how to tweak your recipe.

Mine came with only pressurized baskets. I read that different models also come with unpressurized baskets, but if yours doesn’t, here’s where you can get your own: Breville SWF100. I’m in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and there’s really no other place to buy it besides from Breville themselves. Yes, you have to pay the 20-odd-dollars for shipping.

The portafilter and baskets are a proprietary size. While everyone’s using the 58 mm standard size, Breville sizes us with the 51 mm diameter basket. Since I couldn’t find my digital calipers, I sent in the basket to Reg Barber for their recommendation. Reg likes to keep between 0.3 mm and 0.5 mm clearance, they recommended the 51.0 mm base diameter. I got the C-flat shape as I read that the C-ripple base shape requires more cleaning.

Because of the portafilter diameter, you need to apply more than the standard 30 lbs. of weight when tamping; I average around 50 lbs.

Steaming 10 oz. of milk for lattés, I foam until the temperature hits 50 ˚F (about 30 seconds), then heat until 130 ˚F. This process takes about two minutes. I was using the froth enhancer for a while, but I didn’t know any better. I feel like the steam runs out around the two minute mark too.

For a great place to buy espresso machines and grinders in Alberta, check out Caffé Tech. Obviously, there are tons of places to go online to buy anything, but if you’re able to show up in person to check out the machines and talk shop, this is the place to go.

I use an American Weigh Scale SC-2KG kitchen scale. It has the best ratio of capacity to resolution to price, but you have to be careful about water damage.  That bit of advice comes from a busy café on a trendy street in Calgary, so home use should be good. The classical ratio of coffee to water is 7.0 g to 1 oz., and I stick to 14.0 g to 2 oz. for my lattés.

List of replacement parts can be found here.

Here’s someone replacing the thermoblock.


Christian. Audio. Technology. Go-Getter. Concise.

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Posted in Coffee
One comment on “Breville 800ESXL
  1. Andrew Clark says:

    Can you explain why you recommend tamping with more pressure for a smaller diameter basket (51mm vs. 58mm)? If anything, it seems like the opposite would make more sense…

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