Breville Dual Boiler Review: Two Are Better Than One!

After working as a professional barista for many years, Arne Preuss founded Coffeeness.

I must admit that I've been itching to write a Breville Dual Boiler review for quite some time. I've been looking at quite a few of the Australian manufacturer's offerings of late, but it's this bad boy that's got me truly excited.

I must admit that I’ve been itching to write a Breville Dual Boiler review for quite some time. I’ve been looking at quite a few of the Australian manufacturer’s offerings of late, but it’s this bad boy that’s got me truly excited.

Spoiler alert: this is one of the best home espresso machines I’ve ever seen. I think it’s about as close to professional as you can get without having to plumb a commercial machine into your kitchen. That’s not to say beginners should be intimidated; I think the Breville Dual Boiler offers something for everyone.

With that in mind, let’s take a deep breath and dive headfirst into this Breville Dual boiler review!

Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Simply superb!

Two boilers

Digital PID temperature control

Tons of customizable settings

Rugged stainless steel construction

Intuitive user interface

Supply chain issues have affected the price

Breville Dual Boiler Review Overview

I think we can all agree that the Breville Dual Boiler isn’t going to win any beauty contests.

Aesthetically, there’s nothing particularly outstanding about this espresso machine. That said, I happen to really like the way this espresso maker looks. The Dual Boiler’s clean lines, straightforward construction and utilitarian vibe are all hallmarks of Breville products.

Anyway, if your kitchen is full of Breville appliances, the Dual Boiler will fit in nicely.

Speaking of fitting in, you’ll need plenty of countertop space to house this coffee maker. Seriously, the Dual Boiler is a big, bulky brute of a thing. Plus, all the stainless steel used in the machine’s construction lends it an air of indestructibility.

I’ll talk about the user interface later in this Breville Dual Boiler review. However, my first impressions are of a simple and straightforward control panel with a huge pressure gauge front and center. Less visible, but just as pleasing is a dedicated hot water spout next to the manual steam wand. That’ll certainly help when it comes to making an americano.

Of course, you will have guessed from the name that this machine’s biggest selling point is its two boilers. That means more consistency, more steam power and the ability to prepare espresso and milk foam simultaneously.

As it happens, there’s plenty more going on under the Breville’s hood. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll cover it all later in this Breville Dual Boiler review.

Breville Dual Boiler Features

Let’s continue this Breville Dual Boiler review by digging into the machine’s many awesome features.

Colors

Breville Dual Boiler in Black and Red Design.

I’ve already mentioned the Breville Dual Boiler’s rugged stainless steel construction. Still, I should point out that this espresso machine comes in a couple of color options. For those of you who want to spice up your kitchen a little, the Dual Boiler is available in Black Sesame and Cranberry Red as well as Brushed Stainless Steel.

Those exotic sounding colors must be pretty popular, seeing as they’re currently unavailable on Amazon. However, the black version is in stock on the manufacturer’s website at the time of writing.

User Interface

Although the Breville Dual Boiler isn’t the most approachable machine for newbies, its user interface is straightforward and easy to navigate. There are a few basic buttons, including those that let you access the menu functions.

Incidentally, don’t be fooled into thinking the basic user interface means a basic menu. Seriously, the Dual Boiler lets you adjust almost any espresso preparation parameter you can think of.

The digital LCD screen is fairly small, but it definitely does its job. This is where you’ll see information about your espresso shots in real time. What’s truly impressive about the user interface is the huge pressure gauge. This feature can seem like a useless gimmick on lesser machines, but the Dual Boiler’s gauge really works.

There are clearly marked zones for pre infusion and brewing, allowing you to observe vital information about how your extraction is performing. That might sound a little daunting, but once you get more experience, the gauge will really help you dial in your shots.

Volumetric Control

Now we’re starting to get to the really exciting stuff! While the Breville Dual Boiler comes with pre programmed shot volumes for single and double espresso, you can easily adjust the settings. That’s where the whole volumetric control thing comes in.

What really floats my boat about this espresso machine is the fact that you can choose between programming shot duration or shot volume. Either way, the machine will show you a shot clock during extraction, which will really help guide you in your quest to pull the perfect espresso!

Digital PID Temperature Control

Experienced baristas know that espresso preparation involves multiple variables, all of which can affect the quality of your shots. Seriously, even things like air pressure and ambient humidity can cause problems. That’s why it’s important to achieve as much consistency as possible wherever you can.

The Breville Dual Boiler’s digital PID temperature control plays its part by delivering hot water at a consistently precise temperature. This means you’ve got one less thing to worry about.

What’s really cool is that you can adjust the water temperature from 190-205 degrees Fahrenheit (86-96 degrees Celsius). That might not sound like a big deal, but it can make a huge difference, depending on the origin, roast date and roast profile of your coffee beans.

Dual Boilers

Earlier in this Breville Dual Boiler review, I touched on the whole two boiler thing and why it matters. In case you weren’t paying attention, having two boilers means this espresso machine will be a whole lot more consistent.

There’s one stainless steel boiler for the espresso side of things and another for steaming milk. Aside from the fact that each boiler is calibrated at just the right temperature, you’ll have the luxury of being able to pull a shot and steam milk at the same time. Believe me, this is going to feel really good!

By the way, I should also mention the actively heated group head. There’s an element in there that keeps the thing at the ideal temperature for extraction. Remember what I said about maintaining consistency? This is why I’m falling in love with the Breville Dual Boiler as I speak!

Milk Foam

Frothing Milk with the Breville Dual Boiler.

Thanks to that dedicated 32 ounce (950 milliliter) steam boiler, you’ll have no problems creating sumptuous milk foam for the drink of your dreams. While it’ll take a while to get used to manual steaming, it’s really not that difficult. I imagine most anyone will be able to whip up a gorgeous cappuccino, latte macchiato or flat white to impress their friends.

The Dual Boiler’s steam wand swivels 360 degrees and has three holes in the tip, so creating microfoam for latte art shouldn’t be a problem if that’s your thing.

Filter Baskets

The Breville Dual Boiler comes equipped with a 58 millimeter stainless steel portafilter, as well as single and double wall filter baskets.

In case you were wondering, double wall baskets are supposed to be used with pre ground coffee. They help regulate pressure and control the extraction, no matter the grind size or freshness of your coffee. Of course, you won’t be using these – you’ll be using quality whole beans and grinding them fresh each time!

Tamping

If you visit Breville’s website, you’ll see that these folks really know coffee. There are tons of great videos and informational resources to help you get the best out of your espresso machine. Which is why I’m kind of offended by the flimsy plastic espresso tamper included with the Dual Boiler.

Seriously guys? An espresso machine like this deserves to be paired with something much better than a substandard tool. And the Dual Boiler isn’t exactly cheap! Anyway, you’ll quickly realize that investing in a stainless steel tamper is essential if you want to get good results from this machine.

Pre-Infusion

No matter how you’re preparing coffee, the first step in the brewing process should involve slightly dampening the grounds. This allows carbon dioxide to escape and delicate aromas to fully develop.

If you’re using a pour over coffee maker, this is called the blooming phase. In an espresso machine, it’s called pre infusion. 

The Breville Dual Boiler starts the brewing process by dispersing a little water over the puck of ground coffee under low pressure. Take it from me, this will result in a more even extraction. If you want to fully geek out, you can adjust the pre infusion temperature, pressure and duration too. How cool is that!

Cup Height

If you’re familiar with super automatic espresso machines, you’ll know that you can move the espresso dispensing spout up or down. That’s not the case here, although you’ll have no issues fitting espresso cups under the portafilter spouts. You might run into height issues if you’re trying to brew into a travel mug, but you can create more room  by removing the drip tray.

Warranty

Breville is known for producing durable, high-quality appliances, so it’s unlikely you’ll run into any problems. That said, if your Dual Boiler espresso machine turns out to be defective, the manufacturer has your back. The machine comes with a two year warranty for manufacturer defects, and Breville will take care of any repairs that might be needed.

Two Ways to Buy

By now we’re all used to the dreaded supply chain issues that have been with us for the past couple of years. As it happens, the Breville Dual Boiler isn’t immune. Although it currently costs $1,599.95 on Amazon, I’ve seen its price fluctuate wildly. What’s more, the machine is currently unavailable on the manufacturer website.

Interestingly enough, you can get the Dynamic Duo package on Amazon for just $1,699.95, comprising the Dual Boiler and the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.

Under any circumstances that’s a smokin’ hot deal. In fact, I named the Smart Grinder Pro “Best Budget Espresso Grinder” in my coffee grinder guide 2022. So, if you don’t already own a good burr grinder, this package is a no-brainer. On the flip side, if you’ve already got a grinder, there’s no harm in owning a solid backup right?

How To Use the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

All the Tool Available in the Breville Dual Boiler Box.

I’m not about to give you an in-depth operation tutorial in this Breville Dual Boiler review. I mean, that’s what the user manual is for! Still, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what to expect. Before using the machine for the first time you’ll need to give the removable water tank, portafilter and filter baskets a good rinse. Once that’s done, install a water filter and fill the reservoir with cold water.

After you’ve turned on the machine, it’ll ask you to set the water hardness. After that, you’ll have to wait a few minutes for the Dual Boiler to heat up. Once the machine is in standby mode, go ahead and flush the group head and purge the steam wand. Now you’re good to go!

Drink Preparation

Again, there are simply so many adjustable settings on the Breville Dual Boiler that I’d put you to sleep by talking about them all. Instead, I’ll give you a quick guide to making espresso.

  • Start by grinding freshly roasted coffee beans and dosing your filter basket. Depending on your level of commitment, I’d recommend using a coffee scale. Believe me when I tell you it’ll make a huge difference to your espresso game!
  • Use your tamper to evenly compact the bed of ground coffee, then lock the portafilter into position in the group head.
  • Depending on the size of the filter basket you’re using, press either the one or two cup button. Of course, there’s also a manual button if you want to be in complete control.
  • Watch the pressure gauge as the pre infusion stage kicks in. Once the machine starts the extraction process, you should see the needle move to around 9 bars of pressure.
  • The espresso clock will be displayed during the extraction process, so keep an eye on that too. Remember, you’re hoping for around 20 seconds for a single and 30 seconds for a double shot.

That’s about all there is to it. Oh, and if you’re making a milk-based specialty drink, feel free to steam the white stuff whenever you want. Remember, this thing has two boilers!

Breville Dual Boiler Review Cleaning

Let me start by saying that cleaning and descaling an espresso machine is a lot easier than maintaining a fully automatic coffee maker. Still, there are a few things to take care of on the daily.

Make sure to keep a dedicated damp cloth handy for wiping off the steam wand. As long as you do this after each use, you won’t see any crusty buildup. As for the portafilter and filter baskets, give them a rinse after each use. The same goes for the shower screen. At the end of the day, it’s a good idea to backflush the group head with water, using a blind basket.

The Breville Dual Boiler will let you know when it’s time for deep cleaning tasks via the LCD screen. Once every 200 shots or so, you’ll need to perform a cleaning cycle using Breville Espresso Cleaning Tablets.

As for descaling, I’d recommend using Durgol descaler. The cycle will take a couple of hours, and the machine will guide you through the process.

Breville Dual Boiler Review Specifications

Breville Dual Boiler
Manufacturer

Breville

Model number

BES920BSXL/BES920XL

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Color options

Black Sesame, Brushed Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

User interface

Monochromatic LCD with buttons

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Portafilter size

58 mm

Tamping

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

84.5 fl oz / 2.5 l

Number of boilers

2

Pump pressure

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

Grinder

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1700 W

Weight

30.0 lb / 13.6 kg

Dimensions

20.1 x 17.4 x 17.4 in
51.1 x 44.2 x 44.2 cm

Warranty

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Dosing tool, Filter baskets (1 and 2 cups), 16 ounce stainless steel milk jug, Cleaning Kit, Water filter holder, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$1,595.00

BUY NOW ON AMAZON

Breville Dual Boiler vs Other Espresso Machines

You don’t have to be a psychic to know I absolutely love this espresso maker. Still, what kind of Breville Dual Boiler review would it be without a comparison section? Let’s see how the Dual Boiler measures up to a few other espresso machines.

Breville Dual Boiler vs Breville Barista Touch

If you’re looking for a machine that’s somewhere between a fully automatic and a semi automatic, the Breville Barista Touch could be right up your alley. This machine has a built-in grinder and an automatic/manual steam wand that can take care of the milk foam for you. There’s also a color touchscreen that allows you to select one-touch drinks.

Of course, you can take over and use the Barista Touch manually, but lots of folks will like having the automatic option. The Breville Barista Touch is available for $879.95 on Amazon, which seems perfectly reasonable to me.

See Also: Best Breville Espresso Machine Guide 2022

Breville Dual Boiler vs Breville Barista Pro

The Breville Barista Pro is an awesome espresso machine that’s very reasonably priced at $0.00. You’ll get a lot of the same features as the Dual Boiler, including an LCD screen, volumetric control and a powerful manual steam wand.

Of course, there’s only one stainless steel boiler, so the Barista Pro isn’t nearly as versatile as the subject of today’s review. Plus, the pressure gauge is conspicuously absent. That said, the Breville Barista Pro is a great machine that won’t break the bank.

See Also: Breville Barista Pro Review 2022

Breville Dual Boiler vs DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro

What can I say? I feel like it’s kind of unfair to compare any machine to the DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro. This is one of the most incredible espresso machines I’ve ever used, and offers a staggering amount of control over your espresso.

There’s a wonderful retro-futuristic user interface, built-in grinder and even a smart tamping station. Add in the fact that this machine will automatically steam milk if you want, and it’s hard to imagine what else you could need. To top things off, the DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro costs just $1,399.33 on Amazon.

See Also: DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Hands-On Review 2022

Breville Dual Boiler Review vs Others Comparison Chart

Breville Dual BoilerBreville Barista TouchBreville Barista ProDeLonghi La Specialista Maestro
Manufacturer

Breville

Breville

Breville

De'Longhi

Model number

BES920BSXL/BES920XL

BES880BSS1BUS1/BES880BTR1BUS1/BES880DBL1BUS1/BES880BST1BUS1

BES878

EC9665.M

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Black Sesame, Brushed Stainless Steel

Black Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, Damson Blue

Black Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, Damson Blue, Oyster Shell, Royal Champagne, Sea Salt, Smoked Hickory

Matte Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

Integrated carafe and steam wand

User interface

Monochromatic LCD with buttons

Touchscreen

Monochromatic LCD with buttons and dials

Monochromatic LCD with buttons

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

58 mm

54 mm

54 mm

51 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Automatic

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

84.5 fl oz / 2.5 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

Number of boilers

2

1

1

2

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

19 bar

Maximum cup height

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

3.9 in / 9.9 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

5.5 in / 14.0 cm

Grinder

N/A

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

30

30

8

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

8.8 oz / 250.0 g

Specialty drinks

1

8

2

6

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1700 W

1680 W

1680 W

1450 W

Weight

30.0 lb / 13.6 kg

26.8 lb / 12.2 kg

20.0 lb / 9.1 kg

35.2 lb / 16.0 kg

Dimensions

20.1 x 17.4 x 17.4 in
51.1 x 44.2 x 44.2 cm

16.0 x 12.5 x 12.7 in
40.6 x 31.8 x 32.3 cm

16.0 x 13.9 x 13.5 in
40.6 x 35.3 x 34.3 cm

18.5 x 16.5 x 14.0 in
47.0 x 41.9 x 35.6 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

2 years

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Dosing tool, Filter baskets (1 and 2 cups), 16 ounce stainless steel milk jug, Cleaning Kit, Water filter holder, Instruction manual.

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Milk jug, Cleaning supplies, Cleaning brush, Trimming tool.

Included Accessories: Filter baskets (1 and 2 cup), Dose trimming tool, 16 ounce milk jug, Cleaning kit, Instruction booklet.

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Cleaning supplies, Milk pitcher.

Current price on Amazon

$1,595.00

$890.00

$838.99

$1,417.80

BUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZON
Breville Dual BoilerBreville Barista TouchBreville Barista ProDeLonghi La Specialista Maestro
Manufacturer

Breville

Breville

Breville

De'Longhi

Model number

BES920BSXL/BES920XL

BES880BSS1BUS1/BES880BTR1BUS1/BES880DBL1BUS1/BES880BST1BUS1

BES878

EC9665.M

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Black Sesame, Brushed Stainless Steel

Black Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, Damson Blue

Black Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, Damson Blue, Oyster Shell, Royal Champagne, Sea Salt, Smoked Hickory

Matte Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

Integrated carafe and steam wand

User interface

Monochromatic LCD with buttons

Touchscreen

Monochromatic LCD with buttons and dials

Monochromatic LCD with buttons

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

58 mm

54 mm

54 mm

51 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Automatic

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

84.5 fl oz / 2.5 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

Number of boilers

2

1

1

2

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

19 bar

Maximum cup height

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

3.9 in / 9.9 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

5.5 in / 14.0 cm

Grinder

N/A

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

30

30

8

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

8.8 oz / 250.0 g

Specialty drinks

1

8

2

6

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1700 W

1680 W

1680 W

1450 W

Weight

30.0 lb / 13.6 kg

26.8 lb / 12.2 kg

20.0 lb / 9.1 kg

35.2 lb / 16.0 kg

Dimensions

20.1 x 17.4 x 17.4 in
51.1 x 44.2 x 44.2 cm

16.0 x 12.5 x 12.7 in
40.6 x 31.8 x 32.3 cm

16.0 x 13.9 x 13.5 in
40.6 x 35.3 x 34.3 cm

18.5 x 16.5 x 14.0 in
47.0 x 41.9 x 35.6 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

2 years

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Dosing tool, Filter baskets (1 and 2 cups), 16 ounce stainless steel milk jug, Cleaning Kit, Water filter holder, Instruction manual.

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Milk jug, Cleaning supplies, Cleaning brush, Trimming tool.

Included Accessories: Filter baskets (1 and 2 cup), Dose trimming tool, 16 ounce milk jug, Cleaning kit, Instruction booklet.

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Cleaning supplies, Milk pitcher.

Current price on Amazon

$1,595.00

$890.00

$838.99

$1,417.80

BUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZON

Verdict: Breville Dual Boiler Review

Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Simply superb!

Two boilers

Digital PID temperature control

Tons of customizable settings

Rugged stainless steel construction

Intuitive user interface

Supply chain issues have affected the price

There are a lot of fantastic home espresso machines out there. Still, if this Breville Dual Boiler review has shown me anything, it’s that the Australian manufacturer is one of the heavyweights in the sector. Seriously, I can’t really think of anything negative to say about this machine!

While the Dual Boiler might seem intimidating to beginners, I urge anyone to consider buying this machine. Not only that, the Dynamic Duo package with the Smart Grinder Pro included represents stupidly good value for money.

It’s often the case that aspiring home baristas will start out with an approachable machine, then quickly outgrow it. However, from where I’m sitting, it looks like the Breville Dual Boiler could keep even professionals happy and engaged for years.

That’s it for my Breville Dual Boiler review. What’s your experience using this awesome espresso machine? Would you recommend the Dual Boiler to beginners? I look forward to your comments!

Breville Dual Boiler Review FAQ

Breville is an Australian manufacturer that’s known for producing a range of high-quality appliances.

Thanks to its excellent design and many customizable settings, the Breville Dual Boiler is capable of producing top-notch espresso.

Although there may be an initial learning curve, the Breville Dual Boiler is actually very easy to use.

You can use pre ground coffee with the Breville Dual Boiler. However, you’ll get far superior results using freshly ground coffee from high-quality whole beans.

The Breville Dual Boiler will let you know when it needs to be descaled via a message on the LCD screen.

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