Breville Barista Express Home Espresso Setup

It is a small investment for sure, even for an entry level setup, but it doesn’t take much equipment to make good espresso at home.

Here is our setup:

Also, check out this wishlist for things we have our eye on:

Read more about our current setup below.

Breville Barista Express

Our setup is anchored by the Breville Barista Express (model BES870XL) mostly because it's a great all in one entry level machine.

It's arguably the easiest (and cheapest) way to get started malting decent espresso at home for those of us just starting out.

The extras that are included are good enough to get by with and slowly replace over time.

The machine includes a decent grinder to get started with.

Breville includes a dual spout portafilter with 4 different filter baskets.

The filters include both single and double pressurized and non pressurized baskets.

Keep in mind, the Breville portafilter is not the standard 58mm baskets, but a 54mm.

There's also a stainless steel tamper that fits the nonstandard sized baskets.

For those of us into steamed milk drinks, the machine also includes a built in steam wand with a jug to match.

We don't steam milk often, but it feels like a good enough setup for getting started.

Coffee Distribution Tool

We purchased a basic coffee distribution tool on Amazon that fits this portafilter pretty nicely.

It's supposed to be adjustable which I'm pretty sure doesn't work.

Even without that feature our tamps have been much more consistent than they were before having this tool.

Fellow Monty Demitasse Cups

For cups, we mainly use the Fellow Monty demitasse cups.

The double walled ceramic construction keeps shots at a good temp for the amount of time it takes me to drink, and they have a pretty clean aesthetic for our taste. Coffee Subscription

We can't say enough about how Drink Trade has made it so easy to access quality coffee from roasters all over the US.

They queue up random coffees for us every couple weeks based on a short quiz about what we might be interested in.

Most of the coffees we make at home come though this service.

The beans are always fresh, roasted 2-5 days before we receive them depending on the rising schedule of the individual roasters.

The beans themselves are shipped directly from the individual roasters.


Bottomless Portafilter

A bottomless portafilter will allow better visibility into the flow of our shots.


It would be nice to have a scale that fits under the cup as the shot is extracted with a built in timer.

Currently looking at something like the Acaia Pearl.


The grinder built into the Barista Express is serviceable but we can tell that at some point in the future we'll want a nicer standalone grinder.

Right now the Ranciliio Rocky Coffee Grinder or Baratza Sette seem like good ones to look into.

Milk Jug

The jug included with the Barista Express is pretty small, so it is hard to see what the milk is doing.

A bigger milk jug from any reputable brand is esteemed if you plan on doing a lot of milk drinks or latte art.

More Cups

Fellow has various sizes for their Monty Cups but right now we only have the demitasse cups.

At the time of writing this, their cappuccino cups have been sold out for a while.

As of now, those are on our wish list until they become available.

Knock Box

A knock box is one of those things we really should have had a long time ago.

Knock boxes make it easier to quickly dispose of the used grounds in the filter basket between uses.

Breville makes a basic knock box to go with the Barista Express that can be purchased separately.


Why Does My Espresso Taste Like Tomatoes?


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