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Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
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Nathan
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2010
Posts: 152
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia v3
Grinder: Vario
Vac Pot: Hario
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 1:50pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
 

MarkPrince Said:

In my opinion, the E-61 grouphead design is antiquated, and has some problems, esp. in modern day machines. Much less so if on a PID dual boiler, but more so when on a HX feed. It's also a variable temperature on a HX feed.

They went for the active heated solid grouphead choice because they also chose to control the grouphead's heat with a PID on its own (the machine has two). The PID-controlled grouphead heat helps further stabilize brewing temperatures. Seemed like a really smart choice to me. In practice, the Scace readings showed that.

I've Scaced many HX / E61 machines, seeing shot variances of up to 8-10F or more. This one stays within 1F.

Mark

Posted May 18, 2011 link

I suppose, maybe in the next few years the next level machines will have what the Breville has. But the next level up from my Silvia was a e-61 HX (I thought). I'm definitely not an early adopter for espresso machines, so we'll see if Breville is ready to actually be worth it. For now when I check craigslist I immediately ignore anything Breville. This could easily be like their recent high-end coffee grinder. Really nice looking design, but at the end of the day, it can't do espresso.
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,611
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 2:00pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
 

The thing to remember about this product is this

- it is not a handbuilt espresso machine like the typical Expobar, Isomac, or QuickMill
- it is not a machine designed to sell in numbers of 200 units a month, (or more likely for the smaller manufacturers in Italy, 50 or 100 units a month); it will probably be produced on a much larger scale.
- since it is not small scale, and since it is built on an assembly line (and probably with robotic help), my guess is the tolerances and fit etc will be a lot better overall;
- this is built more like a piece of high tech equipment (think iPad) than it is a boiler / thermostat / mechanical switches (think Silvia).

Because of all these things, the mindset of "can I get in there and rip it apart and put it back together again" is not one that's going to get a lot of mileage.

I've had my prototype unit apart. The amount of wiring and stuff inside scares me a bit - from a tinkerer perspective. There are a LOT of wires inside this beast, because the nature of the beast is so much advanced technology inside a machine.

This isn't all scary though. Small scale sales and machines (let's talk the QuickMill, as an eg) require you to go only one place for service - the vendor who sold it to you. This is partially why people will dive into these machines themselves, esp. after the warranty is over. But Breville (or KitchenAid, or any other large scale small appliance maker) have different, more consumer-oriented service and support. Multiple repair locations; 24 hour help lines; many vendors, many situations where you can drop a machine off, or even return one if not satisfied.

The thing that I was very impressed with was how Breville's engineers literally torture tested these machines (many of them) on what they called 10 year cycles. I can't recall the specific number, but all the test machines were put through a brew + steam simulation over 10,000 times. Failures were discovered, and engineering fixes applied to prevent those failures. Then test it all over again.

The 2 year warranty (and don't forget - most places selling this machine will have options to extend; and heck, if you buy on certain credit cards, that warranty is doubled automatically) outdoes almost anything else in the specialty espresso machine market.

I guess my point is, this isn't a hand built, hand hammered, hand welded (with all its inherent flaws as well as romanticized pluses) machine. It's not meant to be user servicable.

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
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Nathan
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2010
Posts: 152
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia v3
Grinder: Vario
Vac Pot: Hario
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 2:05pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
 

I agree, but at the same time, living in Montreal, this implies that the service location will be Futureshop!  So I'm not too excited about that prospect, but Breville is indeed a totally different beast in regards to espresso machines. I found it very cool that you got info on how many Silvia's are produced by Rancilio. Would love to see an article that really went over what the sales are like in the industry, from the junker-class machines to the pro-sumers. I realize it's a bit opaque since the companies are mostly non-public. But it would be interesting.
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,611
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 2:09pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
 

I have to admit, the Rancilio Silvia sales numbers surprised and shocked me. I would have been surprised if it were even close to 10,000 units; but 17,000? 21,000??

That's crazy! But I've seen Rancilio's factory, it is VERY assembly line. No robots, but there are rollers :D

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,611
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 2:22pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
 

Another thing I hope is not missed here.

Breville has a reputation globally, in Australia, here in the US and Canada. For some it's very good; for others, they think not so much. Some people think they're just like any other big time small appliance company, a bunch of number crunching "engineer" accountants looking to produce the cheapest product possible for the most mass market appeal.

This is simply not true with this machine. Breville's been working on this project for 3 years. They've hired a well respected Australian coffee nerd (Phil McKnight) to come on board full time for this project. From the get go, they paid attention to the wants and desires of the CoffeeGeek community (and the home-barista community, and the coffeesnobs community). This was why PID was always considered. This was why dual boiler (not thermoblocks) was always considered. This is why 58mm was considered. This is why there's no froth aider. This is why there is NO pod adapter for this machine. This machine was conceived, designed, engineered, and tested with coffeegeeks in mind.

That said, it is Breville, and they can't rely on 50 coffee nerds at coffee snobs, or 20 at home barista, or another 50 or 100 at CoffeeGeek who would actually buy the machine (and not just publicly diss it and sniff their noses at it) and call it a day. They had to do some mass market appeal to the machine. This is one reason why it looks like any other Breville modern machine. This is why the tamper is built in (but removable). This is also why there's a lot of added benefits like the niceties - the hidden accessories tray, the cool way to refill it, the cord storage, etc etc.

Look at the design of this machine and compare it to almost anything coming out of Italy right now. There's a ton of engineering savvy in this that not only appeals to the average (perhaps enthusiast) consumer, but to people on our websites too.

The only parallel I could make is the work Chris Nachtrieb is doing with Quickmill, getting them to bend over backwards to do things to machines that consumers in our forums are demanding.

But given the price points here, Breville is looking very good!

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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Nathan
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2010
Posts: 152
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia v3
Grinder: Vario
Vac Pot: Hario
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 4:12pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
 

I agree, seriously think about doing an article about the machine sales business!

They might be a force in Oz, but that doesn't mean they had a machine that was good for the "coffee snobs" before this one. If everyone drinks espresso in Australia I imagine that means that a lot of people have so-so machines, and not that everyone is a coffee snob.

Either way it can be  good, because now it might be possible to get a good machine on a boxing day sale. Not to mention I can buy Future Shop gift certificates with my credit card points.

I also want to say is that they have the least ugly PID bezel. I find that 90% of the factory PID machines have an ugly semi-round bezel that always clashes with the case styling itself. Breville has done something nice with it.
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bolojm
Senior Member
bolojm
Joined: 11 Jun 2004
Posts: 422
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Amica (PIDed)
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: none
Drip: French Press, on occasion
Roaster: I-roast, unassembled SC/CO
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 6:00pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
 

Thanks for the quick look, Mark. I do believe that I will consider this machine to supersede my PIDed Isomac Amica at home.

I agree with you that some think that the E61 is the "be all end all, state of the art" in espresso machines. The E61 has been around for over 50 years! I laud a company that goes its own direction with something new!

I look forward to the new Breville machine coming on the market. The only downside I see (so far) is only being able to dial in the temp in 1C increments.
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,611
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 6:49pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
 

One other downside for me is that for a machine with so much brains, electronics, programming, etc, it is surprising there is no firmware upgrade option available.

There really should be - somewhere inside, a USB connection and the ability for the internal CPU to be upgraded.

Just a thought.

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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bolojm
Senior Member
bolojm
Joined: 11 Jun 2004
Posts: 422
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Amica (PIDed)
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: none
Drip: French Press, on occasion
Roaster: I-roast, unassembled SC/CO
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 6:53pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
 

Agreed on that point too, Mark. With all the technology going on with this machine, a firmware upgrade should be trivial.

At the end of the day, the "proof is in the shot" and I look forward to reviewing some shots!
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tallyjd
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Mar 2009
Posts: 105
Location: SE
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vivaldi SI ii
Grinder: Baratza Vario, M4
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 7:00pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
 

bolojm Said:

I agree with you that some think that the E61 is the "be all end all, state of the art" in espresso machines. The E61 has been around for over 50 years! I laud a company that goes its own direction with something new!

Posted May 18, 2011 link

Apparently a lot of companies did not get the memo that the E61 was the bees knees...La Marzocco, Synesso, Slayer, Kees, etc etc.
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