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Breville Dual Boiler Review 2024: A Satisfying Espresso Drinker’s Tool

Espresso machines can be intimidating and overwhelming. This big machine can take up a lot of space, are expensive, and require much maintenance. But when you want to make cafe-quality drinks at home, that’s what you need. That is why Breville created the Dual Boiler espresso machine – because they love coffee just as much as we do! 

For those who want to know what they’ll be getting before spending their hard-earned cash, we’ll discuss why this machine has been so popular with satisfied customers through our Breville Dual Boiler review. Don’t skip the What You Need to Know Before You Buy section as it’s full of useful info.

Breville Dual Boiler Review 2024 Summary

This machine is top-notch and is filled with all the latest espresso technology. The online forums and feedback match the general consensus: this is a mighty fine machine for making third-wave espresso.

Commercial Quality
Breville Dual Boiler

This espresso machine features a dual boiler heating system with PID temperature control for optimal flavor extraction and powerful steam for milk texturing.

It includes a professional 58mm stainless steel portafilter and offers manual or automatic shot control, with an intuitive LCD screen for precise adjustments. The machine also provides an easy setup through a 3D interactive app and comes with various accessories, including a milk jug and cleaning kit.

Pros

  • Built-in cleaning functionality
  • Innovative Thermojet heating system in 3 seconds
  • Digital pressure control (PID)
  • Steam wand
  • LCD display
  • Dose control grinding
  • Water pressure regulator

Cons

  • Not the cheapest
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Breville Dual Boiler – Pros and Cons

The Breville Dual Boiler combines everything you love about your favorite cafe into one powerful machine that fits right on your countertop. It has an integrated burr grinder for freshness, PID temperature control for consistent shots every time, and dual boilers.

Hence, it heats water twice as fast (and steams milk twice as quickly) and has automatic steam wand activation when the portafilter is inserted into the drip tray. All this technology means excellent-tasting espresso from anywhere in your house!

The Good

The Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine is a semi-automatic machine that allows you to have complete control in preparing your espresso.

The device has two PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) control systems that monitor water temperature to ensure consistency and quality from shot to shot and an integrated grinder with doser for freshly ground beans. You can even adjust the brewing pressure on the Breville Dual Boiler.

The Bad

However, the Breville dual boiler espresso maker requires you to grind your coffee beans, tamp the grounds, and pull a shot manually for excellent-tasting espresso. If you’re used to using fully automatic machines that only need water or milk filled up to make delicious drinks, then this might not be what you are looking for.

The Bottom Line

The Breville Dual Boiler espresso maker can be tagged as expensive by inexperienced users of the commercialized features of the Breville BES920XL. It’s challenging to set up, so it’s not recommended to newbie users of this espresso machine.

Yet, espresso lovers who are looking to improve their barista skills can maximize the full potential of this espresso machine thanks to the following features that make it a rare find:

  • programmable pre-infusion
  • stable extraction temperature
  • limiting extraction pressure
  • concurrent extraction-steam processes

For espresso lovers looking for less expensive espresso machines but offering a cafe-quality espresso, they can opt for Breville Barista Pro. It also comes with an integrated grinder, so you’re spared from buying additional equipment.

If you want to free your hands from brewing coffee with full automation plus a grinder, then the Breville Oracle Touch is the way to go. 

Breville Dual Boiler – Main Features and Benefits

Breville is a brand that makes high-quality kitchen appliances, and its Dual Boiler Espresso Machine has been well received. If you’re interested in purchasing this machine, here are the features and benefits to help you set your expectations about this machine regarding performance, design, and usability:

Performance and Quality

Precise Extraction

The extraction time for a default setting of extracting a shot takes 30 seconds. The default settings consistently produce cafe-quality espresso with rich crema atop, which makes the shots flavor-packed! 

Moreover, you can customize how long or short your pull should be by altering the advanced settings or stopping an extract prematurely by pressing the button.

The espresso shot doesn’t have a burnt taste as long as the coffee machine is thoroughly cleaned after every use. However, before you can enjoy the cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos that this coffee machine prepares, you have to wait for 10 minutes to heat up

Also, when you prepare any espresso beverage with milk foam, the preparation will take up to 15 minutes. So if you’re aiming to use this espresso machine to let your guests taste your newly discovered specialty coffee from a local roaster, it’s best to pre-heat the machine to avoid waiting.

The machine has a precise brew temperature. It can be +/- 2 degrees Celsius. It ensures that you get good water at the right temperature for espresso. Low-pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps stop flavors from getting stuck in one place during extraction, so your cup tastes better.

Pre-Infusion

The Dual Boiler features low-pressure pre-infusion with the installation of the 15-bar pump. The pre-infusion happens when the bar pump pulses the coffee grounds first before the ground beans expand then extract them. 

During the extraction, the water pressure gradually increases to meet the expected even extraction of the beans. At the end of the brewing cycle, a more balanced espresso shot lands in your cup.

The best thing about the pre-infusion features of the Dual Boiler is that you have control over it. You can experiment with the water pressure to achieve that desired taste of your coffee as the settings for this feature are programmable.

Convenient Baskets

This espresso maker has baskets for coffee that are pressurized and non-pressurized. It is suitable for both novices and enthusiasts to use them.

The filter basket has two compartments. It helps to make your espresso brewing process easy and convenient. The coffee grounds are in one compartment, and the hot water is in the other. You can use them together for extraction.

Remember that Breville’s filter baskets are designed to accommodate a higher volume of coffee grounds than the industry standard. The use of less than 10g/18g may adversely affect espresso production quality and flavor.

Hot Water Outlet

The Dual Boiler also has a dedicated hot water outlet for those Americano fans. So the next time your co-worker whips out his or her trusty travel mug, you’ll be able to make an espresso almost as good on demand!

To use the hot water spout, you have to turn the dial on the machine. It is on the left side, and when you turn it, water comes out of a pipe between two other pipes. The pipe that has water coming out of it is in between two different tubes. We used this function to make tea and dirty chai lattes

Microfoam Milk Texturing

The steam wand of this machine is designed for simultaneous use as the Dual Boiler comes with an action steam wand that can swivel 360 degrees. 

Breville Dual Boiler is an excellent machine for espresso-based drinks because you can texture the milk into microfoams while extracting espresso shots simultaneously. Yet, you can expect a good microfoam from the steam wand when used correctly.

It may take a few failed attempts for a budding barista before you arrive with the right consistency, as the steam wand can be a little tricky at times.  

Design

Analog gauge control

The machine has a control panel with a dial that you can move up and down. The dial is more precise than digital controls, which means you can make the coffee stronger or weaker. 

LCD Display

The LCD of the Dual Boiler, which can be found in the front panel, helps you identify the settings you have set up in the machine. It displays the brew temperature, the minutes of brewing, and when it is scheduled to descale the espresso machine, etc.

Usability

Programmable Shot Control

Aside from temperature control, you can also have power over the espresso shots that you pull. The programmable shot control lets you pull a shot with your desired steam pressure and volume.

The best way to make espresso is using 19-22 grams of ground coffee. The 58mm Portafilter with the right amount is the key to a full-flavored third-wave specialty coffee.

You can have it set so that it automatically switches to ground coffee mode when you turn on the steam boiler to prepare an espresso drink. It saves you time from doing it manually.

Durability

The lower price of the Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL comes with a catch. The build quality is not as good. It can still work for years without breaking down if you have it turned on and in use most days.

Yet, the most common complaint from the source we filtered is that parts may break within the first year. The whole thing is made from high-quality steel and plastics, especially the details of heat and pressure contact.

But there are also smaller parts in the machine that are made from low-quality materials, like a rubber ring in the group head. If it breaks, you can’t put your portafilter in anymore, and the machine stops working. These are pretty affordable parts though, and they’re easy to replace.

If your Breville device is having a problem within two years, a warranty will replace the product.

Specifications

  • Model Number: BES920XL
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 14.1 x 14.6 x 14.7 in.
  • Weight: 30 lbs.
  • Color Options: Brushed Stainless Steel, Black Sesame
  • Bar pump pressure: Dual 15-bar Italian pump (for simultaneous espresso extraction and milk texturing)
  • Water Tank Capacity: 84 oz
  • Power: 1,700 watts
  • Voltage: 110–120V
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty
  • Settings: Manual or Automatic; Single & Double-shot; Customizable temperature
  • Timer: The time that it takes for the coffee to brew is displayed on the screen. It helps you get a consistent extraction.
  • Pre-infusion function: Gradually increase the water pressure for an even extraction.
  • Triple Heating System: The dual boiler has a triple heating system. These are:
    • the steam boiler with integrated heat exchange to aid stability. 
    • the steam boiler with digital PID control delivers precise water temperature for superior quality drinks. 
    • the heated group head (the embedded element) saves energy and keeps the espresso shots consistent and balanced!
breville dual boiler accessories

Accessories Included

This machine has a lot of extras to make espresso drinks, including the following:

  • integrated tamper
  • stainless steel milk jug
  • single- and dual-wall filter baskets
  • razor dose trimming tool that is bronze in color

If your machine needs more than a regular cleaning, it has accessories to help you. They are for the top and bottom chambers. Cleaning discs and tablets make the machine clean itself. You can also use a small tool to clean out the filter basket when something is blocking its openings.

Cleaning

The best-tasting coffee comes from thoroughly and regularly cleaned espresso machines. It’s crucial to focus on cleaning the filter baskets and the portafilter by rinsing it with hot water after each use.

Wiping the interiors of the group head and the shower screen with a damp cloth can help remove any coffee residues. Likewise, you can flush the coffee particles out of the machine by placing an empty basket into the portafilter and have a 20-second brew cycle.

To avoid souring your milk, wiping the steam wand with a damp cloth after each use helps remove the dried milk in the wand. Yet, refrain from touching it directly as the steam rod can be boiling.

The other removable part that requires your cleaning attention is the drip tray, as this should be emptied occasionally. The LCD screen will remind you to do this by flashing a prompt with the “Empty Me!” phrase in yellow light, which indicates that you need to dump the excess water that landed in the tray. 

Another prompt to check on the digital screen is the word “Descale,” which tells you to do intensive cleaning. Once you see this prompt, it’s time to access the Breville page or take out your manual for the descaling process.

Clearwater backflushing before shutting off the espresso machine after each use is another recommendable cleaning method you can use. 

The backflushing should be done five times to get the coffee oils out. It might be a lot of work, but it will prevent damage from happening to the machine.

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What You Should Know Before You Buy

Before you threw in your cash to take home this big machine at home, here are some of the crucial information you need to know about Breville’s Dual Boiler that we’d filtered out for you.

A BDB is better than other machines when it comes to how the water stays hot. It has lots of ways to adjust things like how much coffee you put in, and also, all the parts are made out of stainless steel. If you take good care of it by using good water and cleaning regularly, you should not have any problems.

The most common problem with the Breville DB is that the o-rings wear out, which you can get on Amazon for about $10. The BDB is not as durable as an Italian-made machine, but there is no problem that you cannot fix at home.

The descaling feature on the BDB breaks up the scale into pieces, and it can get stuck. It makes the machine stop working. The solution is to use what is known as “espresso water.” Espresso water starts with purified water (deionized/reverse-osmosis/distilled) and then adds back in hardening minerals that don’t cause scale build-up.

A BDB is best if you make more than one drink at a time. It will be easier to do things like making shots and steaming milk. But if you only plan to make one drink, I would suggest getting the Rancilio Silvia M V6. It is built well and can be repaired easily.

The Breville Dual Boiler Machine is highly regarded as the most temperature-stable machine under $3,000.

The portafilter from the Breville coffee machine has a groove cut out so it can fit in the group head. Most other brands do not have that and won’t work. Make sure you check the model number to make sure it is compatible. The most common portafilter is the 58mm that you can buy directly from Breville.

Upgrading the basket makes a difference. And it is also worth finding a tamper that fits the basket and makes it work better.

If you are ok with a brass boiler, then choose Rancilio Silvia. If you want stainless steel boilers, then pick Breville Dual Boiler.

This espresso machine cannot make both high pressures and high flow rates of coffee if the grind is too coarse.

The Breville Dual Boiler is much better than the Apartamento. The Breville can make espresso, warm up faster, and is more accurate with temperature. Besides that, it can be modded to have flow control. The only reason to get the Apartamento is if you want a machine for looks.

About Breville

Breville is an Australian family company that has been around for nearly a century. The name came from their co-founders – Bill O’Brien and Harry Norville. They have over 100 active patents to Breville’s credit with 40 international awards, including prestigious iF Design Awards in the U.S., as well as being featured on Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead!

If you’re not familiar with Breville, they’re a juggernaut in the home brewing experience and considered one of the best all-around brands. They also acquired Baratza, known for producing high-quality coffee grinders.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Breville Dual Boiler discontinued?

No. The Breville product that has a dual boiler is The Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine. This double-boiler espresso machine produces espresso coffee that is hotter and has a better crema.  It allows users to develop barista skills as it has a steam boiler for steaming and frothing milk and an espresso maker.

Which Breville has a dual boiler?

The Breville product that has a dual boiler is The Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine. This double-boiler espresso machine produces espresso coffee that is hotter and has a better crema.  It allows users to develop barista skills as it has a steam boiler for steaming and frothing milk and an espresso maker.
The Breville Dual Boiler machine has been designed to offer an even temperature in both boilers – thanks to its powerful boiler heating system. It ensures that all your shots are brewed at the same pressure and temperature for optimum flavor extraction.

Does the Breville Barista Express have a dual boiler?

Yes. The Breville Barista Express has a brew boiler and a steam boiler. The espresso machine has two thermostats, one for the brewing temperature (190-230°F) and another for steaming milk (170-180°F).

How often should I descale Breville Dual Boiler?

It will better help if you descale the Breville Dual Boiler every two months to keep it in tip-top shape. However, if you live in a hard water area and notice that your machine is not heating or steaming milk properly, then descaling should be done more often (every month).
1. The best way to descale the Dual Boiler is by using a mixture of water and vinegar.
Mix two cups of distilled white vinegar with one gallon of filtered water  (if you have hard water, then use four cups). Fill the tank until it reaches max capacity, making sure to replace the cap on top! Press the power button and brew into either a carafe or mug.
Let it sit up for  24 hours.
Turn the power on and press the steam button for 20 seconds, then brew a carafe or mug of coffee.
Run water through the machine until it runs clean without any vinegar scent (this should take about five minutes).
Wipe out the tank with a sponge to remove remaining vinegar from the sides of the container, rinse off outside surfaces with water.
Repeat the descaling process after three months or monthly if you use the machine more than once a day.

How do you reset a Breville Dual Boiler?

To reset the dual boiler espresso machine, you should turn the power off, unplug the appliance, and remove both water tanks. Once this is done, replace the top cap on one of the tanks to prevent any liquid from leaking out and plug in the espresso machine again.

Do I need a double-boiler espresso machine?

You’ll need a double-boiler espresso machine if you want to pull espresso shots or steam milk. Double-boilers are machines with two chambers: one for water and a smaller section where you place your espresso grounds.
The hot water from the first boiler heats both surfaces–the coffee surface and the head on top that act like a double-walled barrier to keep the water temperature steady. It is because espresso requires a brewing time of 25-35 seconds, and if either one of these two factors is not kept constant, you’ll be left with an over or under-extracted espresso that doesn’t taste good at all.
It can happen when using a single boiler machine for both heating water and brewing espresso. Single boiler machines will only heat the surface of your coffee, which is not enough to maintain a steady temperature. 
The Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine solves that problem by heating the water in a separate boiler, so your coffee can be brewed at optimal temperatures.

What is a dual boiler espresso machine?

A dual-boiler espresso machine is a machine that has two boilers. One boiler is for steam, and the other is for water to produce espresso – it makes regular coffee with a single-boiler espresso machine.
The Breville Dual Boiler’s dual boilers are made of stainless steel, which ensures durability and longevity. The carafe can hold up to 36 ounces of water, and it’s removable for easy pouring.
The Breville Dual Boiler is also equipped with a PID controller, which causes the temperature to be more precise than other espresso machines on the market today. It ensures that your espresso will always come out as you like it.

Is Breville Dual Boiler worth it?

The Breville Dual Boiler is worth it because it is a fast, powerful espresso machine with dual boilers.
It produces milk and steam in the same process as it makes coffee. It can make up to 15 bar of pressure, which helps produce rich crema on your espresso shots for that perfect cup of joe!

How long does a Breville Dual Boiler last?

The Breville dual boiler can last for years, depending on use.
The espresso machine can be used to make various specialty coffee drinks and tea and hot cocoa with the steam wand. The boiler heats water ideally for making espresso shots or steaming milk. With many attachments available from Breville’s page, there is room for creativity in this powerful tool.
Likewise, regular maintenance plays a significant role in how long the Breville BES920XL will last. Some espresso machines can last for years, while others die with a few uses. The longevity of an espresso machine will depend on the owner’s use and upkeep.
A Breville dual boiler is one such example that could be used every day if needed to have the best chance at lasting long-term. With proper maintenance, there is no limit to the number of years this espresso machine could last.

Breville Dual Boiler Alternatives

The Breville Oracle Touch

With the touch of a button, you can brew up a great cup of coffee. This one-touch espresso machine (this is our review) has 22 different settings and will automatically grind your beans to create any flavor that’s perfect for you! With eight presets ready at all times plus five more customizable options, this Breville Oracle Touch coffee maker is truly unique in every way!

Read our full Breville Oracle Touch for more information.

Best in Class
Breville Oracle Touch

The Breville Oracle® Touch is a super automatic espresso machine that simplifies coffee making through its automated touch screen operation.

It features a dual boiler heating system, a professional 58mm stainless steel portafilter, and a fully integrated conical burr grinder with 45 grind settings. It also includes hands-free milk texturing capabilities, an easy 3D interactive setup, and customizable settings for up to 8 different coffees.

The De’Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine

You may be wondering if the De’Longhi La Specialista is too fancy to handle. Not at all! This espresso machine has some of the most advanced features of a coffee maker, including two different heating systems: one for extraction and another for steaming milk or texturing. You get two years of warranty with purchase unless you register it before that time runs out – then you have three more years to enjoy your new appliance.

Advanced Latte System
De’Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine

The De'Longhi La Specialista is a professional-grade espresso machine featuring Sensor Grinding Technology for precise, consistent grinding, and a Smart Tamping Station for mess-free, optimal tamping.

It offers Active Temperature Control with two independent heating systems for coffee extraction and milk texturing, ensuring optimal temperature stability. The machine also includes an Advanced Latte System for customizable froth, a 1-Second Quick Start function for immediate brewing, and a separate hot water spout for Americanos and tea.

The Breville Barista Touch

The Breville Barista Touch is the most intuitive way to make a delicious coffee in three easy steps. The touchscreen display lets you easily adjust and save your favorite settings for up to 8 custom coffees, while its auto steam wand adds just enough milk foam, so each cup tastes perfect every time.

3-Second Heat-Up
Breville Barista Touch

The Breville Barista Touch espresso machine offers barista-quality performance with an easy-to-use touchscreen display, including pre-programmed coffee menus and automatic milk texturing within a compact design.

Key features include a ThermoJet heating system for a 3-second heat-up, an integrated grinder for fresh coffee on demand, and customizable settings for personalized coffee creations. It also boasts energy efficiency, precision burr grinders with 30 settings, and an interactive 3D setup guide, making it suitable for creating specialty coffee at home.

Verdict

For those who are experienced with espresso machines, the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine is an excellent option. The ability to steam and extract espresso simultaneously makes it more versatile than other models on this list. Still, its high price tag and long heat-up time make it a better choice for third-wave coffee-obsessed brewers rather than new-to-espresso-drinkers.

2X Fast Heat-Up
Breville Dual Boiler

This espresso machine features a dual boiler heating system with PID temperature control for optimal flavor extraction and powerful steam for milk texturing.

It includes a professional 58mm stainless steel portafilter and offers manual or automatic shot control, with an intuitive LCD screen for precise adjustments. The machine also provides an easy setup through a 3D interactive app and comes with various accessories, including a milk jug and cleaning kit.

  • Dual boiler heating system
  • PID temperature control
  • Manual and automatic shot control

Espresso Machines:

Breville Espresso Machine Comparison Guide: A Must-Read Before You Buy

Coffee Makers:

Grinders:

Milk Frother:

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