Grinder settings on BES870XL Espresso Machine

In one of his sketches, Eddie Izzard notes that there are two kinds of people: those who have techno-fear and those who have techno-joy. I land squarely in the second group. This also means that my first step in learning a new piece of technology is to throw out the manual that I feel restricts my ability to mess around with buttons and lights.

My BES870XL espresso machine from Breville was no exception. I’ve had it for almost three years now and generally get decent shots out of it. Lately though, I’ve been having a hard time getting the pressure into the espresso range without using all my weight to tamper the coffee in addition to using the lowest grinder setting (the dial on the left side of the machine).

I complained about this to a friend who has the same machine and promptly realized that sometimes reading the manual could save some energy. She told me that the grinder on top of the machine has a hidden adjustment dial as well.

Once you remove the plastic bean holder, you can can lift and twist the metal bracket to the left to remove the round dial (takes a bit of effort and wiggling if you have never done this before). Then, the metal bracket itself can be removed and the round dial can be rotated to adjust the grind size.

I was so excited to get home and give it a go! I am now consistently hitting the espresso range and get some serious cream with normal tamper force and the side dial adjusted to 12-13.

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