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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Colour: Silver|Style Name: Coffee Machine Only|Change
Price:£494.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 16 May 2016
I bought this on Amazon and after 4 months of daily use my wife and I are both still really happy with this machine. We have used (look away now coffee snobs!) Sainsbury's own brand Espresso beans which you can sometimes get for £2.00 for 250g and have also used beans from a local roaster here in Sheffield which cost more than twice as much. Either way the results are very good. Setting up wasn't too difficult. Ours came with a milk jug but not the thermometer that you can get as an option on this site. I did order the mini-knock box. It's a very nice thing to have if a bit small.

There's lots of nice things about this machine. It has a small water filter in the reservoir to pick up any hard water bits. It's got a collar around where the coffee comes out to prevent (most of the) spilling when grinding. It holds a lot of water, I think 2L. It comes with single and double walled versions of the filter baskets but to be honest I have only used the single walled double basket as I always use beans. It makes a big difference to start with freshly ground coffee I can tell you.

You can adjust the amount of water that flows out (which I have done) and also the temperature of the water (which I have not needed to do). You can adjust the grind. We have it set to 5 usually. The pressure gauge is a nice touch which helps you get things right. Once you do, I find that the machine is quite consistent.

I use the steam wand for cappuccinos. It has taken some getting used to (tip if it's screaming then just pull the tip out of the milk a bit more) but now that I'm used to it I get pretty consistent results. My wife used to boil water for 'Americano' but now she just uses the hot water that you can get from this machine. I'm sure this saves us a lot of electricity as it means that we are boiling the kettle one less time per day. Which brings me to another point, this machine heats up fast. I'm not sure how they do it and I haven't timed it with a stop watch but I think you can start using this machine from completely off in about 20 seconds. I steam the milk first which takes 10-15 seconds before it's ready. Then about 20-30 seconds to steam the milk. When you take it out of steam mode, it flushes itself to get the temperature down to the right level for the espresso (it only has one boiler). I like to use the single shot button to flush water through the head (without the portafilter in place). I use this water also to pre-heat the cup. I can do this while grinding / dosing. Then I tap down the coffee with the supplied tamper and lock it in. I press the double shot button to make the espresso and then add the micro-foam.

It tells you when it needs to be cleaned. You put in the single basket, also a small rubber disc and a cleaning tablet (they only give you two but you can buy them cheaply on Amazon) and you press a combination of buttons to initiate the 5 minute cleaning cycle. You can descale with ordinary vinegar (if you can find it in the UK). I might ask whether lactic acid can be used as with Gaggia products.

What could be improved? It's a small thing but for the amount of white LEDs on the control panel, there isn't any light source on the underside of the machine. We use this in a room without much light and so it would be nice if there was a couple of downward pointing LEDs so you can see what you are doing. Most people won't need this but it would be a nice improvement.

Thanks to Breville / Sage for a great product.
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on 14 May 2014
I've been using this now for almost three months.

I will get my hatred for Heston out of the way immediately. This is a Breville BES870XL that's been sold in North America for some time. Obviously the marketeers decided that the name "Breville" (famed for their sandwich toasters in the 1980s) and products costing over £500 might pose a bit of a branding problem, so decided to rename Breville to "Sage" and pull in a F grade celebrity endorsement to create an air of exclusivity.

It pleases me to know that Heston had nothing to do with the creation of this product (I'll stop now :) ). I came across it on various US coffee forums and some excellent reviews on youtube like this one from Seattle Coffee Gear so set about looking for one in the UK.


I was looking for an alternative to a Gaggia Classic and separate grinder which was what I was going to buy. This seemed to fit the bill in terms of the degree of manual control and the consistency of the end product. The fact it looks quite nice is a bonus. It's also "reasuringly heavy", but still light enough to move around your worktop.

What's great:
The coffee. To my beginners palette it makes a great espresso.
The fact it comes with high and low pressure baskets
The drip tray "clean me" popup is a nice feature
It comes with a lot of useful accessories - though the coffee dose measurer quickly gets bypassed when you become more experienced.
The removable water container makes filling and re-filling very straight forward.
The pressure gauge becomes a point of fanaticism. Once you get the brew you like, making sure you hit the same spot time after time becomes an obsession for the extraction process.
The wand makes excellent milk for a latte (milk like emulsion paint with a nice consistent foam, and it's not too slow to heat up.
The espresso cup warmer is useful.
It gets to temperature very quickly, and when switching between portafilter and steam wand and vice versa it manages the change quickly.

What's not so great:
Results can be a bit temperamental sometimes. I generally get a great cup but on occasion it can be ropey. I'll put that down to user error for now.

I find the water temperature too low, even after adjusting the setting to add another 2 degrees. Coffee is often "tepid".
Customer Service was poor. I called when I got the machine because regardless of what I did the pressure guage always went past the max setting. Their "Coffee expert" was out and promised to call back after the weekend - they didn't. I eventually realised the coffee beans might be "too fresh" - it was. Some Supermarket coffee proved the case,

The grind amount dial is almost set to minimum. I think someone just stuck the dial on my machine in the wrong position because to get the right dose I'm almost back at the minimum setting.

The twin outlet on the portafilter doesn't sit straight. I can't tighten it any further, and If I loosen it to make it straight (at 90 degrees to the handle) it's too loose to use.

The drip tray has plastic trim - which I managed to scratch. I'd pay another 50 for something made entirely of stainless steel.

If i were making 4 latte's I'd get very bored very quickly (see the Seattle Coffee Gear Review), but it's fine it you're making no more than two regularly.

Overall, this is not a cheap coffee machine. For a daily user like myself it's simple and convenient, looks good and makes great coffee with a little practice. The simplicity and convenience were what sold it to me in the first instance and overall I've not been disappointed. I'm sure lots of "coffee experts" will point out in boring detail why the Gaggia Classic and a separate grinder is superior (I also considered a Rancilio Silvia) but as a beginner this is a good buy and I'd recommend it.
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on 5 August 2016
It's awesome. I bought one for my wife. First time she used it, I thought, well, it'll take a bit of time to get used to how it works and so on. Nope. Perfect latte first go. It's almost impossible to fail to make decent Coffee with this.

Downsides, well, it's a lot of $$$, so you have to like coffee :)
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on 20 July 2016
This is a dream espresso machine. Obviously, fresh coffee and Technic plays a vital role in how well the coffee is brewed. However, once you've tweaked the variables, the machine takes over. I genuinely believe that the espressos and lattes that I am making are by far better than cafe quality. Maybe I'm over exaggerating but it's seriously incredible coffee. I highly recommend that you bite the bullet, spend the extra cash, and walk away with a superb machine.

I'm disappointed that I'll crave my coffees when I'm out and about...forced to drink "cafe" coffee.

Warning: machine will make you snobby about coffee.
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on 14 April 2016
As at this time I have just got the machine I can't comment on reliability at the moment..well packaged ..Included extras are,as there seems to be varying reviews ....Milk jug (single and double walled un pressurised basket inside)..Blade for levelling the tamped coffee. Single and double walled pressurised baskets..Cleaning kit (allen wrench,milk nozzle tool,grinder brush,cleaning tablets.Water tank filter (one).The machine has a good weight to it but maybe is a touch more plastic than i expected or desired however its preferable to the brushed stainless that as we all know is a magnet for marks and smudges.The quick start guides you through switching on flushing through and making your first shot,,giving tips on what to do if the shot is over or under extracted.Bear in mind that some tips are quite elitist telling us to only use freshly ground beans etc..well I am,and have always used Lavazza and Illy beans from the supermarket and have not had an issue with any machine.The initial settings were way off for my illy espresso beans (started grind on 8...time to "3 o'clock" on the dial)..according to the pressure guage it was too much pressure and took nearly 45 seconds to poor..instructions said try less coffee and/or a coarser after five or six tries my optimum shot..was grind 12,,time about "4 o'clock on the a pour of between 25 and 35 seconds (about 32 i think),thanks to a stop watch app..Of course every bodies taste is different so whatever taste you enjoy is right for you..i tasted each of the six tries and the over extracted ones were bitter and very i got closer to "optimum" the sweetness began to come through..I didn't have an under extracted shot so can't comment on that..When the shot was ok with a good crema I ventured to try out the steam wand as i love lattes and cappuccinos.There have been comments saying its not to good but I didn't have an issue..just switch to steam,wait for it to reach temp and start pumping,switch off (you have 8 seconds in a sort of stand by mode to put the nozzle in the milk)then switch to steam and thats it when sufficient texture is achieved just dip the nozzle in the milk until temperature is reached.I did invest in a cheap as chips Andrew James milk thermometer that has a red zone to let you know when the milk is hot enough,never can judge it by the jug heat but people may have different tolerances as to what is hot or warm.Oh,just a side comment, I also made a fruit tea for the mrs using the hot water dispenser and she said it was plenty hot enough..Addressing another comment..the coffee is hot enough..if the water is boiling you can burn the coffee (apparently)..if you need to you can enter a setup mode and raise or lower the water temp by 2 degrees.Also if the cup volumes are wrong..30ml one shot-60ml double, you can set them to your preference.Overall I'm very happy with it.This is the most money I have spent on a coffee machine as I am the only coffee drinker in the family,and yes there are better..could have got an auto but I wanted control over the result.A lot of reviews seem like the person has opened the box and used it without reading the instructions or even checked through the packaging for all the parts but take your time ,be patient and I'm sure you will be happy with the result.As i have said earlier I can't comment on reliability of customer service yet,and I think most of us understand the risk of mass produced internet ordered products,there are bound to be a volume of "friday afternoon "made machines and/or unhelpful staff from time to time.The manual does stress the importance of maintenance and cleaning and if this isn't adhered to I expect the machine would become troublesome so I would recommend frequent flushing and descaling,filter changes buy one,get your stop watch and some good coffee beans..Im sure you'll be impressed.
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on 30 January 2015
I've had the unit since October, let me start with the positives: it makes great, coffee, it's well built, it fits on the worktop (and under cupboards), you can adjust the grind and the amount of coffee dispensed, the frother is powerful (way better that other units I've had) and it's easy to keep clean. The one think that lets it down is that after drawing and espresso the coffee basket continually gets stuck under the espresso shower head (when you remove the handle the carrier stays stuck). I've phoned support and their response was along the lines of 'yeah it does that and we're looking into it'. Not really that great for £500 worth of kit.
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on 11 February 2015
This is a brilliant machine it took a few days to get used to the various settings but was well worth the effort as the quality and taste of the coffee it produces is first class. I shopped around for a good supplier of freshly roasted coffee and I am still experimenting with all they have to offer. Even got my tea loving wife asking me to make her a cup of decaf.
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on 22 July 2016
After 2.5 months use - The joy of making delicious coffee yourself, on your own merit through learning, makes this purchase worthwhile. I'd give it 4.5 if I could.

Draw backs: Coffee grind wastes a lot, you might be better off doing two smaller grind doses. It takes a bit of getting use to and tweaking each time you change your beans. Sometimes the grinder coarse/fine wheel has resistance and I'm not convinced it's always aligned, i.e it perhaps slips. The drip tray fills up very fast.

Best bits: Generally very slick, it helps you along the way. Great instructions and functionally very welcoming. The pressure gauge really helps you to understand the process. Cleaning/Filters/Descaling are all very easy. The water spout is perfect for other uses apart from coffee - It becomes something for even non-coffee drinkers to benefit from, such as quick tea or even if you need to make some stock. I have no idea about the longevity of the machine at this stage, but it feels reliable. Available as a no interest monthly payment makes the price more manageable. It heats up pretty fast, it's not an issue.

Insights: You'll learn about coffee beans. I suggest buying a few variants and slowly refining down to your tastes. Buy little sample packs. Plenty of coffee shops offer a variety of fresh beans, but also online makes it easy to batch order smaller sizes. I'd recommend doing an at home espresso tasting, even better if you can do that in store which can lead to a good chat and potential good seller/consumer relationship. The bean hopper lock system makes swapping beans out a breeze. You'll also have fun learning how to make use of the milk frother, and latte art is worth a try! I never have used the program function, as I don't have a need to adjust the temperature or shot sizes
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on 25 January 2014
Right, this machine is great, no doubt about it.

One big flaw I cannot seem to fix is how to make _hot_ coffee. No matter what I try, it's just lukewarm.
I don't understand why if I just use the hot water toggle the machine produces nearly boiling water in seconds.
Surely the heating mechanist should be the same, so I'm really puzzled about it.

Seems like the more expensive the machine is the more problem it has producing hot coffees.
I've few other cheaper machines, never a problem with hot water...

If I ever find a fix for that, then it's a 5 star.

[EDIT 1] 2 years on

I've partially managed to get the coffee a bit hotter, not like 100% hot as it should be but it was going to be good enough.
Then, a fault appear which might be my own fault, I didn't descale the machine and it stopped pumping water.
The customer service were actually pretty good sending me descaling products to try out for free.
I'm awaiting for them to see if they can fix the blockage. I will report with another EDIT on the findings.

[EDIT 2] 2 years 1 month on

I've managed to fix the machine, was my fault, I didn't descale it in 2 years, lesson to be learnt. Using sage's descaler I've managed to unblock the machine and now it's back again. I would still suggest to make at least one "bogus" cup run before making a real one, this is to ensure the water is how. Most of the times the machine doesn't pre-heat enough if just turned on.
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on 23 December 2015
After weeks of research I decided this was my preferred option as I love great espresso. I wasn't disappointed with my purchase and ended up buying from IWOOT with 10% off their already cheap price £495 and another 10% cash back via Quidco.
It took me 3 or 4 attempts to get the grind right with over extraction due to too fine a grind at first. Number 7 seems to provide a good grind with my Chosen beans.
I highly recommend this piece of equipment if you're an espresso lover and want to experiment with various techniques. The results are truly excellent
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