To BES820 or not to BES820
Currently have a nespresso pod machine, but would like to get something a bit better.
Have had my eye on the Breville BES870, but my budget doesn't look like it'll stretch to the $650 required.
I already have a Breville BCG450 BarAroma grinder.
I'm currently thinking about getting a 2nd hand BES820, price is between $150-180.
Is this a good deal? Is it a good machine to start out on? Or should I hold off for something a little newer like the BES830 or BES860?
Thoughts from previous/current BES820 owners would be appreciated.
I currently have a BES840 (the replacement for BES820 apparently). From your budget, you can afford that easily (new starts from $400 ish?, or look for a second hand one).
I would recommend a better grinder like the BCG800 Smart Grinder ( it is arguably more important to have a good grinder within your budget than having a machine). Reason is that you would want to get fresh beans (consumed within 3-4 weeks after it has been roasted) and the BCG450 doesn't grind fine enough for espresso machines (even at their "Turkish Setting").
I had both and it is a great pairing, sad that they are now stuck in my cupboard atm and I can't use it due to moving to uni campus.....
I picked up a BES800 for $150 brand new when Target was clearing them out. For that money it's been fantastic, capable of making simply wonderful espresso if given good fresh beans. As is common for all machines in this price bracket, steaming is underwhelming (namely slow, but getting decent froth is certainly achievable with patience) and it very easy to choke it with too fine of a grind. I bought a pair of non-pressurised baskets and also pulled the silly plastic thingo out of the bottom of the portafilter, both of which improved the capabilities of the machine markedly.
Breville after sales support has also been second to none, which has been a nice change from other brands I've had experience with.
So with that all said, if the 820 is at least as good a this little guy you can't go wrong.
Last edited by elfinke; 25th July 2014 at 09:15 PM.
Reason: Model incorrect.