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Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
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coffeesykes
Senior Member
coffeesykes
Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 59
Location: Pointe Claire, Quebec
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NUOVA SIMONELLI  Personal,...
Grinder: Ditting KFA 1203,...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: Paper, Aeropress, Vacumn...
Roaster: Ambex YM-2, Sonofresco...
Posted Sun Sep 8, 2013, 7:06pm
Subject: Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
 

My second unit just quit being able to adjust grind, after just a week after installing the the shim kit to fix the espresso grinding ability. I was just starting to pull decent shots again and now this. My Double Boiler has also been replaced when it crapped out earlier this year. I will be dumping this while it is still working.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Sep 9, 2013, 9:15am
Subject: Re: Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
 

Sorry you are having so many issues. This an expensive enough hobby let alone replacing  gear that breaks.

A lot of people have purchased Breville equipment and some have not had any issues with it and are very happy however, the quality is hit and miss from the years of observation I have watched. My name is a curse word in the Brevelle community for telling the truth as I see it. That's fine, if I can help one person avoid the cost of replacing gear because of quality issues, it is OK.

Have you given thought to where you are going from here?

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Sep 9, 2013, 9:48am
Subject: Re: Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
 

I have nothing against Breville, and actually know a few owners with their DB (one of which has two, home and office, since they came out) and nobody has had trouble. However the Smart Grinder is just not suitable for espresso at all, which I'm guessing is what your using it for, if so any reason you bought it for espresso? For some reason a ton of people buy that unit for espresso, it has a fairly weak motor that can bog up with light or even medium roast, very little dialing ability for espresso... it does look cool and has nifty features but they need to make it more robust for the espresso world. Awesome coarse grinder though. One of them had the SG and returned it as even shimmed it wasn't that good on his DB (has a Vario now). Mine was the same.

Minimum for espresso = Baratza Preciso or Le'Lit PL53, or for a bit cheaper you can get a Pharos hand grinder if you don't mind the hand grinding thing (makes killer shots).
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coffeesykes
Senior Member
coffeesykes
Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 59
Location: Pointe Claire, Quebec
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NUOVA SIMONELLI  Personal,...
Grinder: Ditting KFA 1203,...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: Paper, Aeropress, Vacumn...
Roaster: Ambex YM-2, Sonofresco...
Posted Mon Sep 9, 2013, 1:51pm
Subject: Re: Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
 

I got nothing against Breville, I love the DB but afraid it will pack it in as well for a second time, I also have their toaster, juicer's and so on I knew what I was getting into. I have commercial coffee gear as well, as I was a coffee roaster and Saeco retailer previously but this is home kitchen I am using the breville in no space for my ditting!!!

Based on reviews here I bought the Smart Grinder, I am going to dismantle the thing and remove the shims and see what is going on. Basedon this I may have to go with a Rocky or a Compak but I love the user friendliess of the Smart Grinder and am pissed that I have had so many issues.

I guess what really bothers me the most is they do not repair, for the most part they just replace the units in question, my next grinder will be one I can send in for service.

Will post follow-up
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Sep 9, 2013, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
 

If you can steal a used Rocky someplace for nothing, OK but I would not go out of my way to find one. Once, it was the standard for home espresso grinders but he is showing his age esp with the wide steps. Very nice used grinders can be found for a reasonable price but as you mentioned, they are ..... kind of large so space is often an issue.

A lot of people like the Vario, it is small and seems to go over the range need in the home from drip to espresso. That is a tough thing to do properly. I only had my hands on one once, it did not impress me much but then I am used to commercial gear and a home machine would not be in the same ball park via build quality and weight.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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coffeesykes
Senior Member
coffeesykes
Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 59
Location: Pointe Claire, Quebec
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NUOVA SIMONELLI  Personal,...
Grinder: Ditting KFA 1203,...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: Paper, Aeropress, Vacumn...
Roaster: Ambex YM-2, Sonofresco...
Posted Mon Sep 9, 2013, 7:21pm
Subject: Re: Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
 

ok, now I am stumped or maybe the Smart Grinder is smarter, I pulled the shims out and the grinder produces much courser coffee, but the grind adjustment is working again. Now I put the shims back in again and the adjustment is working, dialed in a a 25 second pour in no time. wtf.

Jury is out for now I will eat my previous comments.

Follow-up to come.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 7:08am
Subject: Re: Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
 

Good luck!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 8 Apr 2012
Posts: 233
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 11:04pm
Subject: Re: Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
 

Sounds like you might have botched up the shim installation....?

I have a Smart Grinder that I bought used and am very pleased with it.  I only tested it for espresso once or twice but it seemed to do OK even without the shim kit.  However, I strictly use it for my drip on my Technivorm now.   I am getting amazing coffee for my morning brew with my $100 used Smart Grinder and $150 refurbished Technivorm off Ebay shipped!  If only I could find deals like this for my Espresso equipment.
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David_Batson
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Breville BCG800XL Smart...
Posted Sun Oct 13, 2013, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
 

I have the Breville Smart Grinder that I bought new almost a year ago.  Very happy with it so far.  I've read the newer units, such as mine, do not need the shim kit.  I do not have a shim kit in mine.

I like dark roast espresso (semi-dry cappuccinos really).  The Breville grinds plenty fine with the beans I am using (Pete's Arabian Mocha-Java).  I have the Breville set in about the middle of the espresso grind range.  I brew on a Gaggia Classic.
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Cammie
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 31
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Oct 14, 2013, 8:47am
Subject: Re: Breville Smart Grinder - I should have been smarter
 

Angman Said:

Sounds like you might have botched up the shim installation....?

I have a Smart Grinder that I bought used and am very pleased with it.  I only tested it for espresso once or twice but it seemed to do OK even without the shim kit.  However, I strictly use it for my drip on my Technivorm now.   I am getting amazing coffee for my morning brew with my $100 used Smart Grinder and $150 refurbished Technivorm off Ebay shipped!  If only I could find deals like this for my Espresso equipment.

Posted September 10, 2013 link

I have a Smart grinder paired with my brewing methods at work....drip, pourover and FP.  The grinder performs beautifully for these purposes.  I also have one paired with a Technivorm at my vacation cabin.  It's a wonderful combination.  I bought these manufactured refurbished in the $100 range.  They are the newer model.  One was replaced by Breville shortly after receipt.  I had decided to experiment with espresso grinds.  The grinder stalled at that range with non-oily beans.  Breville walked me through a few diagnosis steps to no avail so they sent me the replacement.  I am very happy with these grinders for non-espresso purposes and have recommended them to friends .
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