Nice step up from the BES830XL
I purchased a Breville BES830XL in Dec 2011 and used it for a year when the machine became clogged during a decalcifying procedure. When I sought advice from Breville for a fix they offered to replace my machine with a new 840XL. I can't be more delighted. I've been using it almost each morning since January. Several improvements are specific to the clogging problem I experienced with my 830XL including the addition of a cleaning cycle, an in-tank filter and better guidance on decalcifying. I only use filtered RO water from the grocery store. New features on the 840 that I like include the elimination of the frothing aid (it never really worked for me and without that crutch, I have now become proficient at frothing). So far the steam wand has never become plugged although I religiously purge it and wipe thoroughly after each use (I used to have to unscrew the tip with every use with the 830XL). The built in metal tamper is a big advance over the plastic dual purpose tamper-scoop. The swivel hot water arm has been replaced with a simple down-spout near the steam wand. Unlike my experience with the 830, this machine gives me a dry puck that makes cleanup faster and easier after drawing my double shot (I only do doubles). The tank arrangment for the 840 does require me to pull the machine out from it's place on my counter (unlikde the front-removal arrangement for the 830) but that has not been a significant problem. The ability to more easily access the storage tray behind the waste catch basin is a nice convenience. Overall the 840 seems to me to be an excellent value for the price/quality offering stylish design, quality espresso and frothing with a machine that fits in a compact space.
How Long Have I Been Using This Product?
1 - 6 months
What's Best About this Product?
The stainless finish and detailing, the pofessional-style steam wand, the pressure gauge, compact design fits under my kitchen cupboards. Oh... and Breville customer support is responsive, courteous and a pleasure to work with.
Some Helpful Tips For Using this Product:
Follow the cleaning directions and use filtered water.
My Experience With Using This Product:
The Coffee I've Tried With This Product:
Illy pre-packed ground espresso and Lavazza Blue pre-ground. Also espresso from a local roaster ground at the store..
Some Improvements I Would Recommend for This Product:
Nothing to suggest at this time.
Some of the Other Machines I've Used:
Rotel, and, as noted, the Breville BES 830XL
The Type of Grinder I've Been Using: